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QuickBooks: PC vs. Mac - Why the PC Version is Better

Thinking about moving from the PC version of QuickBooks to the Mac?

Wondering what's different between the two versions?

PC vs Mac GraphicYou will want to read this guest post from Greg Patt, the owner of Orange Blossom Press, a QuickBooks user for 13 years, and a "dyed in the wool Macintosh user since its birth in 1984 and the Apple II before that".

Greg and I have had some very interesting exchanges over the years about the PC vs Mac issues with QuickBooks and he has offered to share his perspectives on this ongoing debate.

Here are Greg's thoughts - enjoy!

"OK, I’ll admit it.

We Macintosh users can be a little snobbish.

We think our platform is well, maybe a little easier to use than yours Windows people. Hey, we DID invent the GUI window you know. You got your name Windows from OUR windows! We gave you the mouse! Come on, you know there are some things we can do that you want to do…

But on this topic we want to be with YOU brother!

This time, we want what you have.

What am I talking about? We want the features in our Mac QuickBooks that you have in your Windows version! Heck, we would be happy with half the features you have.

Let’s start at the beginning. There are, count them, five different versions of QB on the Windows side to fit the product to your needs. (QB Pro, Premiere, Enterprise, Accountant & Point of Sale)

How many versions are there on the Mac side? Uh, one.

So we drool over the features that from year to year you get, and we don’t. Like Collections Center for example, that allows you to keep up on your receivables. You got it…uh, we don’t. How about the ability to Invoice multiple customers at once with Batch Invoicing? Nope. Maybe the newest thing, the ability to scan and deposit your checks with Intuit Check Solution for QuickBooks? Sorry, no. How about seeing key customer information at a glance with the Customer Snapshot? That is in even your most basic Windows version. Nadda. What about track and follow up on sales leads with the Lead Center? Nyet. How about create a business plan, track your Balance Sheet by Class, or Forecast sales & expenses? No, no and not a chance.

Not even my favorite one, the ability to send your accountant a file they can work and send back to you to sync with yours as you continue to work on it? What?
Yea, I believe I the tooth fairy too damn it! I guess I should be happy we CAN even export a copy our Windows accountant can even uses huh? Well, remember that when you have to either stop using you QB while your accountant is making updates or just maybe reenter all the transactions you made when they send the updated version back to you.

Well, I bet in the last two releases of the QB for Mac we got something you didn’t!

Oh yea, we can now integrate with Ichat and ICal, our calendar software.

Big whoop! That has pretty much been our feature upgrades for 2011 and 2012 versions. Well, the newer versions ARE more “laid back”. That is market speak for SLOW!

Hey, it isn’t just me. These complaints are posted over and over on the Mac QB chat boards. The responses by the Intuit chat moderator are very professional and polite, “Thank you for your input, we are aware of the issue, I will pass your comments on to the product manager. We have limited resources and have to determine which features our Macintosh customers want.”  I bet she wanted to say, “Hey be grateful we gave you back the Mac version! You know we took it off the market once, we can do it again!”

The best solution by one of the posters to the problem of determining which features Mac users want was my favorite.

Take the QB Windows version box to the product manager and say, “We want this!”

We can only hope, over and over and over again."


Want to see in black and white more of the differences between QuickBooks for PC and QuickBooks for Mac?

Take a look at this great article about opening your QuickBooks file for PC in a Mac from Shelly King at Little Square.

Scroll to the bottom and see the handy list of what IS imported and what is NOT imported when you try to move between the PC and Mac versions of QuickBooks. Whoa - that's a bunch of stuff that does not move from one version to the other.

That information is pretty telling to me - the Mac version of QuickBooks is missing a LOT of functionality found in the PC version.

Will Intuit close the gap in their upcoming release of QuickBooks 2013? Only time will tell on that...


Have you moved from the PC version of QuickBooks to the Mac? Wished you hadn't? Glad you did?

Please share your thoughts on this topic in the box below. Our community would love to hear what you have to say about it!





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Hi Sandy:

Thanks for your comments - sorry to hear about your experience of moving from QuickBooks PC to QuickBooks Mac.

Unfortunately, I hear similar stories all the time on this topic.

The good news - if you take your QB data file from Windows into the QuickBooks 2013 for Windows, all of your memorized reports should transfer with no trouble.

If you like the Mac platform, consider running the Windows version of QuickBooks inside of it. There are several ways to do that - the Apple store can assist.

Scott Gregory

2 days ago I switched from quickbooks pro 2010 to quick books Mac 2013. I have been a quickbooks user for over 12 years for a very large church. What a nightmare this has been!! I lost about 30 memorized reports and as of today still have not been able to recreate a single report. I REALLY wish we would have done some research prior to the switch. I highly recommend doing your research. I find the qb Mac 2013 to be very slow and to customize a report has been very frustrating. I totally regret the switch. It have been a terrible experience. I like the Mac in general but I think the qb Mac 2013 is more for small businesses. Any pointers would be appreciated. Does anyone know if you loose your memorized reports if you upgrade to qb pro window 2013?

Yes we moved from the PC to Mac and totally regret it. I thought it was just us, maybe user error but it's a total mess and I'm going to contact QB's to see if we can switch back. Most frustrating thing ever!

What is your thought on running parrelles on a Mac to use Quickbooks premier contractors. I am in the ,arket for a new pc and so far Best Buy has had no reps available until I have waited for a half hour for the second time. Really getting frustrated and everyone I know that has a Mac loves it. I know th QB fore Mac won't work for me. Have read the payroll is all messed up. So I need to access QB another way and we also use a wireless router for my daughters computer


I tried Parallells but found it slow and frustrating, I do have a Mac running Windows 7 now using boot camp and it is faster but that computer is pretty much dedicated to Windows only tasks such as Publisher. It is not the main Mac on my desk. Switching back and forth between OSs is not practical.

No offense, but having to use Windows to achieve parity with QB is a solution, but a poor one. We chose Macs for lots of reasons and I don't think it is unreasonable to have something CLOSE to parity as a result.

Regardless of the major differences between Mac vs, PC QBs, there have really been no notable enhancements to the Mac versions in 3-4 yearly updates.

This is especially frustrating because Bill Campbell Chairman and former CEO Intuit Corp. is on the Board of Directors of Apple!

Hi Tina:

Many that I know of have reported success and satisfaction with using QuickBooks for PC via Parallels or some other virtual type setup within a Mac.

You could also consider putting QuickBooks for PC in a hosted environment such as that of InSynq - www.cpaasp.com.

Scott Gregory

Thanks for the post! I have a client who is an all Mac environment, he's a contractor, and it is very frustrating to know what PC version will do verses Mac version since I have other clients on PC version.

I have explored trying to use QuickBooks for PC on Mac OS using Parallels as an option. Any guidance to that would be appreciated.

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