Quickbooks 2013

I was forced kicking and screaming to finally update my Quickbooks when moved to Windows 8. I had been using Quickbooks Pro 2009 which I had coaxed into working on Windows 7 with a registry hack but it was time to give in as I couldn’t get the invoice PDF conversion to work.

Installation took longer than the old version. About an hour to install and then run the updates that make it work properly on Windows 8. Then I had to convert my company file to the new version. Another 30 minutes there. I recently worked with a client who had to upgrade their version. Their company files are larger than mine and it longer to convert their files to the new version. So if you have large company files, plan for an installation time of 2 hours at least before you can actually use the product. Of course be sure to back up your company files and, if you’re really cautious, make a system restore point before starting the process.

After rebooting your computer from all the updates, time to explore the new interface. Intuit did a major redesign and came up with something that looks remarkably like Outlook 2010 in high contrast mode. And unlike Outlook 2010 which at least gives you three options for colours, Quickbooks 2013 is stuck in this brown high contrast mode. And they brought in a ribbon (which you can turn off). And they moved some frequently used buttons just so you really know you paid for a new version.

Besides the redesign, Quickbooks 2013 now has a new customer lead centre function which you can expand into SalesForce. It’s really basic so stick to using Outlook if you’re too cheap to pay for a real CRM. But decent for Intuit to have made it scalable to SalesForce.

Also in this version is an option to back up your company file in a format that can be opened by previous version of Quickbooks. Really useful feature if you and your book keeper are on different versions of the program.

Is it worth upgrading? If you’re going to Windows 8, you have to. Definitely not a change that would be welcomed by computer users who find visual changes to a program confusing and disturbing.