Are there alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise?

Given the recent price increase for QuickBooks Enterprise software as well as the conversion from the Full Service Plan into the subscription model, some businesses are asking if there are alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise.

Let's take a closer look at some potential options and explore them in more detail...

CONVERT FROM QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP ENTERPRISE TO QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP PRO OR DESKTOP PREMIER?

Naturally, the first thought is that it should be easy to convert from one desktop version of QuickBooks to another, right?

Not so fast...

If the goal is to convert from QuickBooks Desktop Pro to QuickBooks Desktop Premier, the conversion is simple.

If the goal is to convert from QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier into QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, that conversion is also simple.

Going the other way and converting from QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise into QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier is not simple at all.

In fact, it cannot be done directly - there is no button or feature in Enterprise that will allow you to downgrade to Pro or Premier. You simply can't do it.

There are third parties that offer a paid QuickBooks Enterprise downgrade service, so you could certainly consider that as an option.

Just understand...

If you do opt to move to Pro or Premier, Pro is limited to a maximum of 3 users at a time in the company file, and Premier is limited to a maximum of 5 users at a time in the company file. There are also other key differences between the Enterprise, Premier and Pro versions of QuickBooks that you'll need to study so you know what you may be giving up. Chances are that you needed to get into Enterprise for a reason (more users, better security, more capacity, etc.), so the chances of Pro or Premier being a good solution for you may be very limited.

 

CONVERT FROM QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP ENTERPRISE TO QUICKBOOKS ONLINE (QBO)?

Ok, so moving from QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise into QuickBooks Desktop Premier or Pro isn't a good idea based on your research.

What about moving from QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise into QBO? After all, QBO is the future of QuickBooks according to everything that Intuit is saying.

Not so fast...

To me, I don't have to look any further than this information provided on the QuickBooks support site:

QBES to QBO

Based on that, I'm not spending any further time considering this path out of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.

But wait - they say they don't support moving data from QuickBooks Enterprise. What if I want to start with a brand new file and not move any data from QuickBooks Enterprise into QBO - will that work?

As Intuit notes in the message above, the differences in features between Enterprise and QBO are significant. If you've completely evaluated QBO (and I literally mean hammering on a trial copy of it for 30 days) and deemed it a possibility, then starting from scratch may be a viable solution for your business. Having worked with Enterprise since 2004, I just can't see too many businesses coming to the conclusion that QBO would be a good alternative for them as QBO currently exists. You'll know best though...

 

CONVERT FROM QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP ENTERPRISE TO ANOTHER SOLUTION SUCH AS NETSUITE, SAGE, OR OTHER "MID-MARKET" PACKAGE?

So you've been Googling alternatives to QuickBooks and you see options such as NetSuite, Sage and others appear in the search results.

It's important to understand that these packages are firmly rooted in what is known as the "mid-market" space. They are designed for businesses that need more features or functionality to support their operations and future growth plans.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is somewhat in the "mid-market" space, but when compared to some of these other alternatives, the differences in features and functionality are extensive.

And of course, the differences in cost is extensive too!

As a rough rule of thumb, if your business is considering a move into NetSuite, Sage, or other similar mid-market package, your investment will likely begin in the $40,000 - $60,000 range, and quickly scale up from there.

Guess what?

Intuit knows these cost differentials quite well too. They have positioned QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise very nicely so that it is a far less expensive solution for businesses that don't need the complexity or cost of these mid-market packages.

 

STAYING WITH QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP ENTERPRISE? GET A 20% LIFETIME DISCOUNT!

Sigh...

Sorry to be the bearer of the news above, but I wanted you to know that your options to move away from Enterprise may be limited.

Given that, if you decide to stay put, you might as well snag the 20% lifetime discount on QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise I offer as a reseller.

 

QUESTIONS?

I completely understand that you have more pressing things to do than understand the nuances of QuickBooks Enterprise. If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please contact me.

Be sure to add your thoughts in the comment box as well so others can share in your experiences with QuickBooks Enterprise!

 

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What is a Sales Receipt in QuickBooks and How Can It Help Me?

Ever notice the little icon on the QuickBooks desktop road map that says Create Sales Receipts and wonder what it's all about?

Sales Receipt Home Screen

Here's the scoop...

A sales receipt is designed to post the sale of your product/service AND the payment for it all in the same transaction.

In the traditional invoice process (where you sell now and (hopefully) get paid later), there are three steps:

  1. Create the invoice
  2. Post the customer payment when received to credit the open invoice(s)
  3. Deposit the money in the bank

With the QuickBooks sales receipt process, if you're getting paid at the same time you deliver, you've now just cut the process down to two steps:

  1. Create the sales receipt
  2. Deposit the money in the bank

This results in 33% less work for you - how cool is that?

In fact, it is so cool, a client to whom I showed the sales receipt functionality exclaimed - "this is freakin' cool and will be an amazing game changer for our business!"

Love to hear things like that!

On the sales receipt screen, you simply plug in the payment details right there too as shown in the screen shot below: 

Sales Receipt Header Shot

 

Create the sales receipt, save it, and you're on your way to getting more done in less time.

Please share your experiences with QuickBooks sales receipts with us! Look forward to hearing how they work/don't work for your business...

 

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Intuit Pushes Through Big Price Increases on QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop 2018 Edition

Does your business use QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop software?

If so, you'll want to fasten your seat belt and get into the details below.

My clients are experiencing a lot of questions and confusion on this, so wanted to get the information out to you as I know it.

A QUICK REVIEW OF THE BASICS

To be sure we've got the basics of QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop subscriptions down, here is a quick recap:

  • QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop is ONLY offered on a subscription basis now (for those of you who still refuse to accept that, please understand that the old "buy once/use many years" model for Enterprise is dead. Has been since the fall of 2015, and there is no going back)
  • The subscription period is for 12 months
  • When you subscribed, you had the option to choose 12 monthly payments (monthly plan) or 1 annual payment (annual plan)
  • There are 3 subscription levels - Silver, Gold, and Platinum
  • If by chance you are still on the old Full Service Plan (FSP) of QuickBooks Enterprise, be sure to read this post that discusses what is happening with these accounts in the coming days.

FIRST WAVE OF PRICE INCREASES - STARTS OCTOBER 2017

The list price of QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop 2018 was raised 10% for BOTH the monthly plan and annual plan options as of 10/1/2017. This is the first price increase on the subscription model since it was introduced in 2015. This pricing will apply to subscription renewals that come due in October 2017 or for new subscriptions that begin in October 2017.

Here is a recap of the monthly plan and annual plan prices that reflect the 10% price bump - these prices are through 10/31/2017:

QBES 2018 Price Increase - October List Price

As a reseller of QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop, I am able to offer you a 20% lifetime discount off the QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop list prices. Here is a recap of my discounted pricing:

QBES 2018 Price Increase - 20% Off

SECOND WAVE OF PRICE INCREASES KICKS IN NOVEMBER 1, 2017

Wait for it...

On top of the 10% price increase noted above that kicked in for both the monthly and annual plans for QuickBooks Enterprise, an additional 20% price increase will kick in effective November 1, 2017 for the MONTHLY payment plan option. The annual payment pricing will stay the same as shown in the October table above - it does NOT change as of November 1, 2017.

This pricing will apply to subscription renewals that come due in November 2017 or for new subscriptions that begin in November 2017 where the MONTHLY payment option is chosen.

QBES 2018 Price Increase - November List Price

As a reseller of QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop, I am able to offer you a 20% lifetime discount off the QuickBooks Enterprise list prices that kick in November 1, 2017. Here is a recap of my discounted pricing:

QBES 2018 Price Increase - November 20% Off

WAIT - DID YOU SAY A 20% PRICE INCREASE?

Yes I did.

For those who want to pay for their QuickBooks Enterprise subscription on a monthly basis, it will cost 20% more (on top of the 10% across the board price increase that kicked in 10/1/2017) as of November 1, 2017.

During the call that Intuit had for resellers where all of this was hurriedly explained, there was some mumbling about this 20% increase being some type of "finance charge" to carry the cost of financing the payments on a monthly basis. Other than that, I have nothing to share with you as to the how and why of this increase.

Intuit has advised that due to a programming problem on their end, monthly plan subscribers that renew between 10/19/2017 and 11/4/2017 will still renew at last years prices. They have provided no guidance to indicate if this is going to stay as is or if a fix is going to be put in place. Maybe you'll get lucky and miss it for another year!

CHECK YOUR RENEWAL E-MAIL VERY CAREFULLY

Keep an eye on your mailbox for your renewal announcement. They are rolling out now.

Keep a sharp eye out on the price that is being shown on the renewal amount. Here is an example of what the renewal e-mail will look like:

QBES 2018 Renewal Notice

Note that the value showing for the renewal amount is automatically going to show the list price of the renewal. It will NOT show any discounts that are tied into your account.

For example, all of my customers that are getting the 20% lifetime discount on QuickBooks Enterprise are NOT seeing the 20% discount reflected in their renewal notices. Intuit has assured us that the discounts, while not showing on this e-mail, will indeed be applied to the account appropriately.

I cannot explain to you why the e-mails are being sent out this way. I have not received any reply from Intuit as to why this is happening.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

I've shared with you what I know about this to date. If something changes, I'll be sure and update this post.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the 10% increase that rolled out October 1, 2017.

However...

If you are on the monthly payment plan and want to avoid the 20% price increase on QuickBooks Enterprise 2018 that kicks in November 1, 2017, it is possible to convert your account to the annual payment option. Simply complete my order form for QuickBooks Enterprise, and I'll get it taken care of for you.

If your inclination is to start looking for alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise, I can tell you that your options are exceptionally limited. More on that in the next post.

Need help sorting all this out? Contact me and we'll review the specifics of your situation in more detail.

 

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Eliminate wire transfer fees and simplify global payments with Veem

While attending the Accountex accounting show in Boston a few weeks ago, I spied a session on the agenda that was focused on simplifying wire transfers and global payments.

This topic is quite relevant for my consulting practice and likely for many of my clients too, so I made sure to catch the session to see what it was all about.

The folks from Veem did not disappoint...

Veemlogodark

DISRUPTING THE INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS MODEL

The presentation by the Veem team was centered on this simple premise - "rethinking wire transfers and making the process easy and affordable".

As anyone involved in business to business wire transfers knows, the existing process is certainly not easy, nor affordable. And, it is not even close to being transparent.

Take a look at how the Veem approach to international payments works - a lot simpler, and far less hands touching things (click to enlarge):

Veem Diagram

As you can see, their process is eliminating the middleman from the international payment process. A wonderful idea!

Veem is currently positioned to send business to business funds to over 60 different countries (and expanding that list regularly) with no wire transfer fees. In addition, you can also receive payments via the Veem platform.

DID YOU SAY NO WIRE TRANSFER FEES?

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Veem platform provides you the capability to send payments at no charge.

Veem gets paid by earning a small percentage on the foreign exchange rates that are involved in the transaction. I'll let them explain it to you via this example (click to enlarge the view):

Veem Payment Example

BACKED BY SOPHISTICATED INVESTORS + 40,000 CUSTOMERS STRONG

The Veem platform is backed by a number of prominent inventors from around the globe, including:

  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • Fenbushi Capital
  • SBI Holdings
  • Digital Currency Group
  • and others...

Veem indicates that they are currently servicing over 40,000 customers - many of them small and mid-size businesses like yours.

In addition, according to their web site, Veem was founded by a world class team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined experience in payments, payment processing and banking IT infrastructure management, who aim to change the financial payment system through innovation.

Read more about Veem via TechCrunch and Forbes.


FAQ AND RESOURCES

Veem has set up comprehensive pages of FAQ and helpful resources to help you better understand how their service works as well as the reasons why you should consider moving your international payments to them, and ditching your bank ASAP.

EXTRA BONUS...

Veem also offers connectivity to the Xero and QuickBooks Online accounting platforms (sorry, it does not connect to the QuickBooks Desktop platform as far as I know).

SIGN UP IS FREE

Veem has provided me a special signup link to share with you to get you right into the flow of using their service. There are no signup fees of any type to use the Veem service!

CHEERS TO THEIR SUCCESS...

If there ever was something that needed disruption, it is the wire transfer process. I think back to my CFO days 20+ years ago, and all the hassles I had with that process. You never knew much about what was going on, other than that I was getting nicked by fees all along the way.

All I know is that if Veem existed back then, I'd have signed up in a flash!

I wish the Veem team great success as they tackle this challenge...

 

Are you using Veem today? I welcome your feedback on how their service has worked out for your business...

 

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Critical Alert! Big Changes Ahead for QuickBooks Enterprise Full Service Plan (FSP) Customers

IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU READ THIS IF: Your business is using QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise software AND you are still on the older Full Service Plan (called the FSP for short). If this is you, it is essential that you carefully review the information below.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU IF: You are are using QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise  software AND are currently on any of the subscription plans - called the Silver, Gold or Platinum subscriptions. The information below does NOT apply to you in any way if you have any of those subscription types. Naturally, this does not apply to you if you are using QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Online editions.

 
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU KNOW...

Starting September 18, 2017 and continuing through September 2018, businesses that choose to renew their FSP at their designated renewal time will actually be leaving the FSP program behind and automatically being moved into a NEW program Intuit is rolling out called the "QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Subscription Program".

No big deal, right?

Wrong!

If you just let the renewal happen automatically as many businesses do, you will then have committed yourself to subscribing to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise software for EACH and EVERY YEAR thereafter.

If you choose not renew your subscription a year from now, your QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise software will NO LONGER RUN.

That's correct - if you choose not to renew one year from now, you will not be able to access your QuickBooks software - it will stop running.

This is VERY different from what happened in the past if you chose not to let your FSP renew. The software would still run in those situations. That is all changing.


Here is a sample copy of the e-mail you will receive 30 days ahead of your FSP renewal relating to this situation. Note the discussion about this new requirement to renew your subscription in the future in the highlighted area:

QBES FSP 2018 Renewal Letter

OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU:

Hopefully the point made above has grabbed your attention!

A year from now, if you choose not to renew your subscription, your QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise software will not run and you will be unable to access your company financial information.

So just what are your options at this point?

OPTION 1: CHOOSE NOT TO RENEW YOUR CURRENT FULL SERVICE PLAN (FSP) AND JUST LET IT LAPSE

If you choose this option:

  • Your QuickBooks (QB) Desktop Enterprise software will continue to work for as long as you want to use it - this is incredibly important to understand compared to the options below
  • You will not have access to any QB support  services - i.e. can't call Intuit for help, etc.
  • You will not get any product updates (i.e. bug fixes or patches) unless they are deemed a "security patch" by Intuit - you will still get those
  • You will not get any product upgrades (i.e. you will not be eligible to receive new versions of QB in the future)
  • Your version of QB Desktop Enterprise will still be supported under the Intuit 3 year sunset rule - said another way, if you are on QB Desktop Enterprise 2015, your support will end 5/31/2018. If you are on QB Desktop Enterprise 2016, your support will end 5/31/2019. If you are on QB Desktop Enterprise 2017, your support will end 5/31/2020. If you are on versions older than these, you are already using an unsupported version of QB Desktop Enterprise.
  • You will have no other choice but to subscribe to QB Enterprise in the future if you do want to move into a new version (i.e. you want to upgrade to QB Desktop Enterprise 2019 when it is released). It is no longer possible to "buy QB Desktop Enterprise once and use it for many years"

OPTION 2: CHOOSE TO RENEW YOUR CURRENT FSP, AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE THEN AUTOMATICALLY MOVING INTO THE "QB ENTERPRISE SUBSCRIPTION PLAN" AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THAT

 If you choose this option:

  • You will have access to US based customer care/support
  • You will get 12 months of QB Desktop Enterprise upgrades
  • You will get access to online data backup and data protection services
  • You will get access to Advanced Reporting, Advanced Inventory and Advanced Pricing modules as you always have
  • As a new benefit, you will get expedited US based care support
  • As a new benefit, you will get free QuickBooks training - access to online, self-paced training classes for you and your staff
  • As a new benefit, you will get a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) - free access to a dedicated CSM, a single QB point of contact reachable via direct phone or e-mail to address your specific product needs and questions

 If you choose this option:

  • It is essential that you understand what happens a year from now - if you choose NOT to renew your subscription a year from now, your QB Desktop Enterprise software will STOP working and you will NOT have access to your company financial data. If you do renew, it's business as usual of course

 If you choose this option:

  • It is critical to understand that you will be charged a premium of anywhere from 18% - 44% over the discounted pricing that is available to you under the Silver, Gold, or Platinum subscription levels


Here is the pricing table so you can see for yourself how these are priced. The first column is what you would pay if you simply renew your existing FSP into the new QB Enterprise Desktop Subscription Plan. The columns that discuss the Silver, Gold and Platinum subscription levels reflect the 20% lifetime discount (that's correct - for each year of your subscription) I can offer you:

QBES FSP Pricing Table

OPTION 3: CHOOSE TO MOVE INTO ONE OF THE QB DESKTOP ENTERPRISE SUBSCRIPTION PLANS - SILVER, GOLD OR PLATINUM

If you choose this option, all three subscription levels have the following:

  • You will have access to US based customer care/support
  • You will get 12 months of QB Desktop Enterprise upgrades
  • You will get access to online data backup and data protection services
  • As a new benefit, you will get expedited US based care support
  • As a new benefit, you will get free QuickBooks training - access to online, self-paced training classes for you and your staff
  • As a new benefit, you will get a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) - free access to a dedicated CSM, a single QB point of contact reachable via direct phone or e-mail to address your specific product needs and questions

In addition:

  • If you choose the Silver subscription, you get Advanced Reporting
  • If you choose the Gold subscription, you get Advanced Reporting and Enhanced Payroll
  • If you choose the Platinum subscription, you get Advanced Reporting, Enhanced Payroll, Advanced Pricing and Advanced Inventory

 If you choose this option:

  • It is essential that you understand what happens a year from now - if you choose NOT to renew your subscription a year from now, your QB Desktop Enterprise software will STOP working and you will NOT have access to your company financial data. If you do renew, it's business as usual of course

 If you choose this option:

 

PLEASE DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

As a QuickBooks reseller and consultant, my goal with this detailed posting is to educate you about all the changes going on as a result of this announcement by Intuit. This will help you make an informed and educated decision about what is best for the needs of your business.

I am hoping to help you avoid a major "oh crap" moment a year from now. By that I mean you then come to realize you've been moved into the new "QB Desktop Enterprise Subscription Plan" by simply renewing your FSP, and you then have to renew your subscription each year forward from there or lose access to the software.

Please understand that those of us that resell QuickBooks Enterprise software are simply the messengers here. Intuit is calling the shots with these changes.

QUESTIONS? NEED TO REVIEW SPECIFICS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

If you have questions about anything you have read above, please post them in the comments box. If you have them, others likely do as well!

If you need to talk through the specifics and the potential impact of this in your business, please contact me.

 

 

 

 

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QuickBooks 2018 - What New Features are You Hoping to See?

If history repeats itself, we'll be seeing a new version of QuickBooks desktop software released sometime in the fall of 2017 (don't confuse this with the Online version of QuickBooks). By desktop, I mean the Pro, Premier and/or Enterprise editions of QuickBooks. Sorry Mac users - I don't expect to see any new editions of that version ever again...

If you were drawing up a list of new features for QuickBooks 2018, what would you like to see?

Here's my list:

  • The ability to see gross profit margins automatically on quotes, sales orders and invoices

  • The ability to have much more functionality with e-mail addresses
    • For example, there could be a field for the "Accounting Department E-Mail" so that all invoices being sent out would go there instead of having to deal with the very limited use of the two existing e-mail fields

  • Being able to see the contents of the custom fields for inventory and non-inventory automatically appear on the screen without having to click the Custom Fields button every time!
    Custom Fields Displayed

  • An authoritative fix for the years-old problem with the Memorized Reports list getting corrupted and memorized reports being lost

  • A fix to allow the screens in QuickBooks to fully display and not get cut off at the bottom  - for example, you can't see the save and close or other buttons in the lower right corner because the screen does not "fit" properly

  • The option to simply delete a transaction from Intuit Merchant Services that does not post properly when downloading credit card transactions. Intuit tells me these drop off the screen after 6 months - why not allow the user to simply delete it?

  • The ability to fix sales tax reporting when the various codes get out of whack. Fixing the sales tax payable balance is easy. Trying to fix the breakdown of that balance across codes - a huge hassle.

  • Turning on the Enter key preference and Use Today's Date preference by default - I've seen these two things throw many new users into a state of confusion over the years.

  • Add a date paid stamp to bills, just like what was done to invoices

  • Expand the cash flow projector tool beyond a 6 week window. This was a great start a long time ago, but haven't seen anything new with this tool for years.

  • Allow multiple vendors/costs  for those vendors to be stored for an inventory or non-inventory item

  • Having an inventory stock status by item report that shows the qty of each LOT on the report - it current shows the lot numbers in stock, but not the quantities of those lots.

  • A sales by customer by product report - please?

I'd love to hear what's on your mind when it comes to new features and functionality in QuickBooks 2018! If you're reading this online, just drop your comments in the box below. If you're reading this via e-mail, just click the "view in browser" link to take you to the web site for easy posting.

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