Monday, December 31, 2007

Deals on New QuickBooks Software

As I’ve often said, it is possible to save quite a bit of money on the more expensive software, such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Office, by buying them from eBay sellers.  I have saved substantial amounts of money that way over the past several years, including some times where I bought an earlier version of a program in order to be able to buy the newest version from the manufacturer at their much lower upgrade price.

The most expensive version of QuickBooks is their heavy duty Enterprise Solutions (ES), which used to come only in a 10 user version that cost $3,500.  I have been using ES for our books here since it first came out, but only because I received a free copy as part of my ProAdvisor membership. For accountants who are not ProAdvisors and who have clients using ES, it could get expensive being able to support them.  Luckily, Intuit recently started expanding the flavors of ES, offering versions for 5, 10, 15 and 20 simultaneous users, costing as much as $9,000 plus another $2,000 per year for their service plan. 

The best aspect to this product line expansion, from a purely selfish sense, has been the introduction of a special single user version for professional accountants that allows us to work with client files from any of the other larger programs.  It retails for only $849.   

I am discussing this now for an even more selfish reason.  As a beta tester for the 2008 program, Intuit sent me a free copy of this special accountant version of the newest Enterprise Solutions program.  Since I already had a copy as part of my ProAdvisor update, this redundant copy has been put up for sale on eBay by Sherry at a huge discount off of the retail price.  The auction expires next Sunday, January 6, 2008. 


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sending smaller data files

From a client:

Kerry, I have completed my books on last year, 2007 for our corporation. I purchased a winzip file to send compressed messages but I am having a difficult time useing it. I have someone coming to help me in the morning if that does not work I will copy to a disk and drive it up to Harrison tomorrow myself. I will let you know.

My reply:

There is no need to use WinZip for QuickBooks files.  We used to use that for Quicken files because that program had a terrible backup function.  QuickBooks has its own built in compression tool when you make Portable Company Files (QBM) or Accountant's Review (QBX) copies.

Go into the "File" menu, then to "Accountant's Copy", then "Client Activities", then "Create Accountant's Copy"

Save the QBX copy to a folder on your computer where you can remember its location.  Then either attach it to an email to me or upload it to my online service.

To send the file to me, or upload it to my online server, check out the instructions on my website

Good luck.


From the client:

Kerry, I think I did what your inst. told me to do. If this is not correct please have Sherry let me know when we can get together on a phone call, and she can waik me through this process. At any rate thank you very much for all your help and info. Look forward to heraing from you.

I wrote back:

You sent the 15.3 mb full size QBW file. 

I will look it over.

Next time, please make either a Portable Company File (ending in QBM) or an Accountant's Review copy (ending in QBX).  Both of those are only about one tenth the size of the QBW, making for much faster uploading and downloading.

Thanks for your help with this.




Intuit Secuity Alert


Subject: verification


 I haven't downloaded this yet as it didn't come directly to me from intuit.



Can you verify it's for real?  I am thinking it is...



Surprisingly, I didn't receive that message myself.  I went to the Intuit website and it does look legit.

However, even though I have more Intuit programs installed on my computer than anyone I can think of, I am not planing to run this special patch from Intuit.  I do frequently run the Update function inside QuickBooks, as well as the Tuesday Microsoft patches via Windows Update; so I will let those patches take care of this issue.

If you're not experiencing any of those special problems with your QuickBooks, you should be able to bring everything the more natural way, as I am doing.

Thanks for checking with me before you accepted that Intuit patch.








UPDATE:  I was just going through my incoming email backlog and found that I had actually received this security alert directly from Intuit on 12/11/07.



Accepting Faxed Checks


We have faxed a check to you guys for our tax prep fee for several years now.  I would like to be able to receive faxed checks from my out of state clients, but we, and our bank, don't know how to get set up to do that.  Is that something that our Quick Books Program can do for us?  We would really appreciate any help or direction you could give us about doing that.

Thank you,


The ability to accept faxed checks to create new check drafts is just one of the various features that make the VersaCheck program a very handy tool.  I haven't had to buy any preprinted checks for any of our accounts for the last ten or so years.  I buy blank check stock from the same company that makes VersaCheck and use it to print up blank checks to hand prepare, as well as the check drafts.  It also comes with a driver that allows checks to be printed from QuickBooks right onto blank check stock. 

They also sell printers and toner with magnetic ink, but I have never used any of those.  I have always printed the checks and drafts on the same laser printer with regular toner that I use for all of my other printing and they clear the banks just fine. 

I actually had my first rejected check draft just a few weeks ago for a check a client had faxed in on an insurance company account.  All of the other check drafts drawn on banks all around the country have been accepted with no problem; so that was a fluke.

You can see more info and buy the programs via the company's website

While they have a growing number of versions of their program, I have been using their Gold one for the past six or seven years and it has been working perfectly.

Just like QuickBooks, there is a new version of VersaCheck released each year.  Also like QuickBooks, you don't need to buy the new ones and can make do with an older version for several years if you don't want the newest features.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.




Thank you so much for the information.  The only program I had found info about was from a company called CheckWriter.  It looks like the VersaCheck program does substantially more than CheckWriter, and even costs less.  This looks like the product we've been needing.

Thanks again for your help and the information.


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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Multiple Years In QB Files


Subject: Quick Books

I seen your page on QB and I was wondering if you know how many years I can use my QB Pro 2007?

Simply Accounting stated on the box that it can save up to 7 years.  Is there any limits in QB2007?

Kindest Regards,


None of the regular QuickBooks programs has ever had any limits on how many years' data you could keep in a single company file.  It's just a matter of your hard disk space.  I actually prefer to keep as many years as possible in the same file for easier reporting and comparisons of multiple year data.  I currently have the entire history of our first corporation, covering from 1994 to the present, in a single QBW company file and have every intention of letting it accumulate forever. 

I encourage all of our clients to do likewise.  I frequently need to look up older data.  This has especially been useful while preparing 2006 tax returns and locating the 2003 through 2006 phone bill charges for the special long distance tax credit.  Clients who didn't have those back years in their QB files had to accept the measly standard $30 to $40 credit, while those whose data extended back often received credits of over $1,000.

I have no idea of the space limitations present in the two crappy versions of QuickBooks that I advise against using, Simple Start and QuickBooks Online; but wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see limitations in both of them, especially the online version, where your files are stored on the Intuit servers and you have no control over how many years they choose to hold onto.

All of the desktop versions of QuickBooks, from the first one to the current 2008 versions, allow you to accumulate an unlimited number of years of data in a single company file.

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter



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