Quickbooks 2014 Review

QuickBooks 2014Intuit released Quickbooks 2014 desktop version at the end of September and I just found the time to test it.

And it does take time to get the new version installed. Like its predecessor Quickbooks 2013, the software installation takes at least 20 minutes depending your computer speed. But the killer is the time it takes to upgrade your company file so it will work in the 2014 version.

My company file is around 17mb (which is small) and it took about 20 minutes for the file to be upgraded. At least Quickbooks 2014 warns you now that it will take time (unlike the nasty surprise with 2013). The Quickbooks dialog box before you get before the upgrade states that files under 100mb will take under an hour, files from 100 to 250MB takes about 1-2 hours, 250 to 500MB takes 2 to 6 hours, and 500MB and over can take up to 48 hours. If you are lucky, you only have one company file to upgrade. You have to wonder how many businesses with big company files can afford to be unable to bill clients for that amount of time. Be sure to schedule lots of time when doing the upgrade.

How different is Quickbooks 2014 from the 2013 version? Visually they have changed the colour scheme and provided greater contrast on the home screen so it is a bit easier to see things. However, this version still doesn’t do well with small screens. Intuit seems convinced that no one does book keeping with a screen less than 21” which is really silly given that a lot of folks have gone mobile and use smaller laptop screens.

The automatic shortcuts on the left hand side, still have the most useless options first. Seriously, who opens an accounting program to look at the calendar first? I know my top three shortcuts are Customers, Vendors and Company Snapshot. The second option available is the new Income Tracker option. Income Tracker is really just a shortcut to sales reports so no great gain there.

The Company Snapshot feature has not received any updates in the version though it needs them. Still only 12 modules to choose from. The colour scheme is awful and unchangeable. For people who want a quick peek at their expenses, it still shows all the items in various shades of red and orange which makes it hard to distinguish between items like Office expenses and rent. Why bother with a pie chart if you can’t distinguish between the slices.

Company Snapshot expenses detail
Company Snapshot expenses detail

New features

Now you can attach a document, scans and even emails from Outlook to a record. This is useful for tracking say a client request for a purchase or service. The bounced cheques process has been greatly simplified thank heavens and the payroll centre has been updated and you can track paystubs you’ve emailed to employees now.

Not sure the upgrade is worth it for most business owners unless they need the document and email attachment benefits or if they are using QuickBooks 2011 or earlier and need the features added since 2011.

If you do want the upgrade, call me and I can get you a discount.