QuickBooks 2013 - Simplified, Optimized, Efficient

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If I had to summarize the changes I see in QuickBooks Pro and Premier, I would say the changes are designed to make it easier and faster to get your work done. They gave QuickBooks a new look, but don't panic. It won't take you long to see that the Home page is easier to read and you'll find many more tasks a simple click away instead of having to use a few clicks to get there. So let's take a look:


The fonts are larger (nice for those of us in reading glasses!), the sections better defined and fewer icons. The other big change is the left Icon bar designed to get you to your desired locations faster. While I like the concept, I don't like it eating up my screen space, so I've turned it off, put my old toolbar back in place and turned on my Open Windows again. But nice to have the choice.


With the new transaction ribbon toolbars, your related tasks are now an easy click away - no more hunting or having to click through a few menu items. I think once you get used to this look, you'll love the easier functionality of it and find that you get your tasks done faster.


I think my favorite new feature is all the improvements they made to the Customer, Vendor and Employee Centers. The tabs make more sense, it's easier to get to the section you want, AND you can have so much more information - to keep up with our changing communication options. Notice all your choices for phone, social media, etc. in the Customer Center.

And my other favorite improvement in the Customer Center is the ability to add multiple contacts (I believe an unlimited number - at least in Enterprise) and more notes. BUT, for those of you upgrading, you may find that you'll have to clean up your contact list after you upgrade - your contact name may appear in the First Name field instead of being split between first and last. The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries will help you clean up fast.


If you use part numbers for Items, a long-standing request has been to see the Description with the part number - especially if you have lots of part numbers and/or numbers similar. It's now a feature you turn on in the Company Preferences (Reports ) and shows up in parentheses. Note that it's the cost description, not the sales.


INCREASED ITEMS LIMIT FOR GROUPS - I love to use Group Items - it's a fast way to get many Items onto an estimate, invoice, bill, etc. Until now, the limit was 20, which worked for many. But I do have clients where 20 was insufficient. Now you can have up to 50 Items. If you're unfamiliar with what they are or how they can save time, check out my article on Group Items,

DEFAULT BILLABLE STATUS - Finally - you get to choose whether time and expenses are normally billable or not. QuickBooks has always assumed that if you entered a Customer:Job, that it was billable. I've had clients complain about having to uncheck the box - now you get to pick. However, be forewarned, if your default setting is unbillable, that you will then need to be more diligent about being sure you pick up ALL billable expenses for projects/jobs.

PRINT BILL CREDIT DETAIL ON CHECK STUBS - Now when you pay a bill and apply a credit, the detail can show on the check stub.

BATCH ENTER TRANSACTIONS - Many of my accountant and bookkeeper friends may like this new feature, but I suspect some of my non-accountant clients might like this as well. You can copy and paste from Excel - checks, deposits, credit card charges and credits. This is available in the Accountant's Editions only, but I frequently recommend that edition for non-accountant clients for a variety of reasons.

There are several great new features for the Enterprise version of QuickBooks, but I will leave that for another article.

2013 is currently in its first release and it's a little buggy, so I'm recommending that most of my clients wait until the R3 or R4 patch comes out (R3 should be out soon) - ESPECIALLY if you use 3rd party software. But I'll be happy to demo the software for you how it really looks/feels and if this upgrade is one you should do. I will be creating a demo video in a few weeks, so will keep you posted.

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