What's New in QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2018?

Whats New in QBES 2018

Want to take a closer look at the new features that Intuit has baked into QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2018?

My video will provide you with the quick tour you've been looking for to see what's inside:

 

 ADDITIONAL QUICKBOOKS DESKTOP ENTERPRISE RESOURCES FOR YOU:

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Webinar: How to Track Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop (Pro/Premier/Enterprise)

Inventory and Warehouse

Wish you had a better understanding of how to set up and track inventory in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise?

Get the insights you're looking for with my new webinar called "Tracking Inventory in QuickBooks Desktop - From Purchase to Shipment"

Designed for all inventory based businesses that are looking for insights and ideas on how to use QuickBooks better.

Webinar Registration Button

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5 Reasons to Pause Before Selecting QuickBooks Online for Inventory Tracking

Pause for QBO Inventory

Thinking about using QuickBooks Online (QBO) for tracking your inventory?

It may very well be a good choice for your business, but here are five reasons why it may not...

(NOTE: Unlike the desktop versions of QuickBooks that only update new features once per year, QBO releases new features and functionality more often. The listing below is accurate as of the date of this blog post).

Reason #1 - No backorder tracking

If your business is lucky enough to ship every order complete, then this isn't a concern at all.

If you do have backorders, then QBO won't help so much.

Unlike the sales order tracking feature in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, QBO does not offer sales orders. Without them, you're forced to develop some alternate method (think Excel) to track your unshipped orders.

I have seen some businesses try to use the estimate feature of QBO for open order tracking. While that is certainly a start, it usually isn't robust enough to run your business on.

Reason #2 - No ability to fix calculated average cost problems

Every inventory item you create in QBO has two costs that are associated with it. 

The first cost is the one you see in the inventory item master. I'll refer to this as the "purchase cost" and this is shown in the graphic below:

QBO "PURCHASE COST" FIELD:

QBO Purchase Cost

QBO "CALCULATED AVERAGE" COST:

The second cost is the one that QBO carries that you can't see - the "calculated average" cost, as shown in the graphic below:

QBO Average Cost

Unlike the Pro, Premier and Enterprise desktop versions of QuickBooks, QBO has no button, lever, or option available to fix this calculated average cost figure if it goes out of whack. I have worked with 3 levels of support at Intuit on this issue, and the only sound I hear is crickets when discussing it.

And it WILL go out of whack due to reason #3...

Reason #3 - No ability to stop on-hand from going negative

Do you often "ship negative" to get an invoice processed and out the door?

By that, I mean you create the invoice first, drive the on-hand quantity of an item negative at that time, and then make a vow to go back and fix it later?

If that's you, QBO is going to give you some heartburn.

If you "ship negative", that process then starts to cause problems with the calculated average cost that QBO holds (see reason #2 above). The calculated average then becomes incorrect, and then any inventory valuation type reports you run in QBO will be incorrect. I've seen the effects of this process first hand in a number of customer QBO files.

The Enterprise edition of QuickBooks desktop does have an option to stop a business from "shipping negative". The Pro and Premier desktop versions of QuickBooks don't have this option, but at least they have the "fix" available for the average cost.


Reason #4 - Can't Set the Closing Date if Inventory On Hand is Negative

The closing date in both the desktop QuickBooks and QBO is a great thing! It stops entries from being made or changes to existing entries in closed accounting periods.

Sadly, if you have just one (that's right, just one) inventory item in QBO that has a negative on-hand quantity at the time you go to set the closing date, you'll be presented with this lovely message:

QBO Closing Date

Sorry to say, there is no way around this other than to get in and fix each and every negative on hand value as of the date you want to set.

I have never seen the Pro, Premier or Enterprise versions of QuickBooks flash this message if an on-hand value is negative.

I am unable to even attempt to explain the logic behind the scenes as to why this happens in QBO - it makes no sense to me.


Reason #5 - No Custom Fields for Inventory in QBO

The Pro/Premier desktop editions of QuickBooks offer you five custom fields to use as needed.

The Enterprise desktop edition of QuickBooks provides fifteen custom fields to use as needed.

QBO offers....zero (at least that I could find anyway).

Depending on what type of information you need to track for your inventory (i.e. color, weight, size, etc.), you may find this to be a very limiting factor.


GREAT NEWS! THERE ARE PLUG-INS THAT CAN SOLVE THESE INVENTORY PROBLEMS...

If you like the concept of QBO and find that it works well for other aspects of your business, you'll be glad to know there are options out there that can help fill in these missing pieces when it comes to tracking your inventory.

Plug-ins such as:

can be brought into the mix to help you overcome the inventory limitations currently found within QBO. Naturally, it's important to understand just what it is about your inventory that you need to track - that will help determine which plug-in may be the best fit for you.


NEED HELP SORTING IT ALL OUT?

I've been working with inventory-based businesses for over thirty years, and I welcome the opportunity to consult with your business on this topic.

 

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The Inventory Planner - An Inventory Forecasting Tool for Your Business

The inventory stock status report in QuickBooks is a good way to keep score on your inventory, and see what items you need to order.

But what if you want more than it provides?

Consider a closer look at the Inventory Planner software package to help with your QuickBooks inventory forecasting needs.

THE INVENTORY PLANNER APPROACH

Designed to help e-commerce businesses with their inventory management, Inventory Planner brings many helpful features to you, including:

  • Automatic forecast and replenishment
  • One click purchase orders
  • Overstock analysis
  • Tracking multiple sales channels in one central place

I really like the forecasting module, as it looks at both the sales history of an item as well as forecasted usage, as shown in the screen shot below:

Inventory Planner Forecasting

The same applies to the overstock module, as Inventory Planner identifies slowly moving inventory and helps to take action on it. You will see if product is overstocked according to its current sales velocity. It can also analyze some common reasons why a product might not be selling well, for example the most popular sizes or colors are sold out.

Inventory planner overstock

CONNECTIVITY TO QUICKBOOKS ONLINE AND E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

Currently, Inventory Planner connects to QuickBooks Online, as well as e-commerce platforms such as: Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce and many others.

You can use Inventory Planner with the desktop versions of QuickBooks, but you'd have to use their CSV import tool in order to accomplish that. They currently do not offer a direct integration with QuickBooks desktop products (Pro, Premier or Enterprise).

FREE TRIAL AND PRICING

Inventory Planner provides a free 14 day trial of their software. At the conclusion of the trial, pricing starts at $99/month for tracking up to 1000 skus, and then scales from there based on the number of stores and number of skus being tracked.

I have found their support team to be exceptionally responsive and helpful as questions have popped up in working with their software.

If you've been looking for a tool to help you plan and manage your inventory more effectively, I encourage you to take a closer look at the Inventory Planner package.

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Improve Your Profits and Cash Flow in 2018!

You're invited to my Crankin' Up Your Cash Flow! webinar series that starts in just a few weeks!

Crankin' Up Your Cash Flow! will show you how to manage and improve the cash flow that runs through your small business.

This webinar series provides you with tools, tips, and ideas on how to make this new year the best it can be when it comes to profits and cash flowing through your bank account.

The webinars will be offered over a three week period (each will be recorded of course!). Also, I'll be setting up a private forum for participants to interact with me as well as other small business owners taking part in the Crankin' Up Your Cash Flow! sessions (participation here is completely optional).

There are a very limited number of slots available so we can have a nice small group!

Learn more about how Crankin' Up Your Cash Flow will help your business...

Crankin Up the Cash Flow Button

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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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