Tuesday, January 15, 2008

QuickBooks 2008 Highlights and A Couple of Suggestions

This article was written by Dick Ginnaty, CPA

QuickBooks 2008 is out and a couple of the changes are going to be helpful. First, they have added something called the QuickBooks Coach which is designed to get you up and running quicker. It introduces to you to the QuickBooks Learning Center, and offers a new, interactive guidance mode so you can learn about QuickBooks faster. Second, they have improved the online banking setup so in most cases you can establish online banking in three steps. Third, they have created a preformatted Excel spreadsheet that will enable you to more easily import data to QuickBooks, and fourth, they have integrated QuickBooks with Microsoft’s Outlook or Outlook Express to enable you to e-mail invoices and statements to your customers directly from QuickBooks.

Although the changes in QuickBooks 2008 are helpful, they are evolutionary in nature, not revolutionary, which brings me to suggest that as far as updating your existing QuickBooks, I believe that unless a change they are making is so critical to your operation that you must have it right away, I would suggest a bi-annual update plan (i.e. upgrading to the latest version, every two years). This will keep you reasonably updated (Intuit only supports QuickBooks versions that are two years old or less) and not brake your pocketbook.

My other suggestion is to establish a second company in QuickBooks for you to experiment with. By that I mean, set up a second company similar to your “real” company. This “play” company is where you can try out new or unfamiliar QuickBooks procedures to see if they give the right result. Such things as implementing on-line banking or e-mailing of invoices, etc. should be tried out in the “play” company before going live to the actual company. Obviously, any mistakes or redoes in the “play” company will not modify or destroy any “real” data, allowing you freedom to try new features without endangering actual records.

Good luck and here’s hoping it “all adds up” for you.

(If there is any area in accounting or tax that you think needs to be addressed in this newsletter please e-mail Dick at Ginnatycpa@aol.com and if it is of general interest, he will address it in future articles).