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QuickBooks 2013 Is Here - Should You Upgrade?

QuickBooks 2013 has arrived and the perennial question is - "should my business upgrade to it?"

Let's take a moment to review some of the new features in the US QuickBooks 2013...(the first set of new features listed below are available in the QuickBooks Pro 2013, QuickBooks Premier 2013 and QuickBooks Enterprise 2013 editions)

  • MAJOR revisions to the "look and feel" and user interface in an attempt to streamline and simplify many screens and forms
  • Ability to better track information about customers and vendors with redesigned centers
  • Time and expense preference for billable expenses
  • Ability to print a vendor bill
  • Have bill credits print on check and bill payment stubs
  • Show name, description or both for items appearing on reports
  • Other enhancements only found in the Accountants Edition, which most small businesses don't use

These new features are found ONLY in QuickBooks Enterprise 2013:

  • Default class assignments for items, customers or ledger accounts
  • Inventory reorder reports now show available quantities
  • Auto-create purchase orders
  • Bin location tracking (requires Advanced Inventory add-on package)
  • Bar code scanning (requires Advanced Inventory add-on package)

I'll be posting future updates about QuickBooks 2013 functionality in the coming weeks, so be sure to subscribe to this blog to stay updated.


If your business needs some of the specific functionality introduced in QuickBooks 2013, it certainly makes sense to consider an upgrade. For example, I know many clients have been begging for the ability to print a bill from within QuickBooks, so an upgrade may be justified in their case. Same goes for the ability to set a default class on transactions.

However, for the rest of us, my suggestion is to bypass this upgrade.

My guess is that you weren't clamoring for an overhaul of the interface in QuickBooks. I know I wasn't, especially since there are so many other issues and concerns that need attention within the software (see my wish list for QuickBooks 2013 here - they actually got a few of them, but many others need attention!)

Having worked with QuickBooks since 1999, my opinion right now is that this is one of the most underwhelming new releases I have seen in many years when it comes to improvements in the software. Will it change as the weeks roll on? We'll see...


Instead of investing in an upgrade to QuickBooks 2013, consider making an investment in getting more training and insight on how to be more efficient with your existing version of QuickBooks.

There are lots of training options available to you. One that I offer is called an "over the shoulder" review of your QuickBooks. During this session, we connect remotely and I virtually peer over your shoulder while you work, offering suggestions for improvement and conversation about QuickBooks functionality you may not know about. It is one of my most requested training packages. Contact me if you'd like to learn more about my "over the shoulder" sessions.


Am I being too critical of the new release? Getting cranky in my old age?

I welcome your input and feedback on your plans to upgrade or not or anything else relating to the new version of QuickBooks!





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You could try to do a file rebuild (File > Utilities > Rebuild Data) and see if that makes your problem go away.

Scott Gregory


Only the 2013 version of QuickBooks is certified compatible with Windows 8.

You can try to install and run your older version of QuickBooks on Windows 8. It may work completely, partially or not at all.

If the latter two, not much do to other than to upgrade to minimize your frustration.

Save 20% on your upgrade via my site:

Scott Gregory

I am using the 2004 edition and have been very happy with it. A couple of weeks ago I lost my customer and vendor detail centers. I get run time error "0" on the screen. I can acsess the customers and vendors by other means but it is tedious. Any idea how to get these back. I have Windows XP and do not have enough ram for 2013.

Can anyone tell me how to use quickbooks 2011 on my windows 8 computer?? I am told 2011 pro is not compatible with the new windows 8 OP. UG


I don't know of any way to combine the information from multiple PDF files into one PDF file within QuickBooks.

Maybe if you had something like, they might have some tools to combine PDF files.

The 2013 editions of QuickBooks does not allow you to add pictures to items in quotes - good idea though!

Scott Gregory

For some customers we have a lot of invoices to send by mail. Right now we just save each invoice in pdf file and send each invoice in just one email. But the customer is asking us to send then togetherin just one pdf file. It is posible? How?
With the new version is posibke to add pictures to the items in a quote?


In QuickBooks 2010, you can click on File > Save as PDF and save an invoice that way. From there, you can attach to Outlook and send it that way.

If you don't use Outlook, you have to upgrade to QuickBooks Pro 2013. Don't even bother with Simple Start - you're wasting your time.

You can save 20% on your upgrade to QuickBooks 2013 via my web site:

Scott Gregory

Like Tony, we have QuickBooks 2010 and use it to e-mail invoices to our clients and for sales tax and customer reports. I was told when I called Intuit that I would no longer be able to e-mail invoices. I then thought I would save the invoice as a PDF and attach it from our business e-mail directly. I was told I cannot save an invoice as a PDF with my current version; therefore, I would need to upgrade to 2013 Pro. Today I called to ask if I could use Simple Start 2013 and was told I would have to upgrade every year. We have a side, home business and are trying to avoid unnecessary expenses since our business does not generate a lot of income. Would you please confirm that the above is true and I cannot avoid buying the 2013 Pro? Thank you so much.


Here is a link with more details about the end of support for QuickBooks 2010:

If none of that impacts you and you don't want to upgrade, simply keep using your current version. Just understand that if you need help down the road, Intuit will not offer it for QuickBooks 2010 after 5/31/13.

Scott Gregory

I have Quick books 2010. What it does serves me well enough
I am being told that I must upgrade but Ai am not too sure why I need to
I mainly only use the e-mail aspect of Quick booksbut not through the Quick Books systemonly dirct
If I don't upgrade what will happen?



Indeed, there were a number of good new features added in the 2012 version of QuickBooks.

Be sure to update your QuickBooks 2013 to the latest update (R3) via Help > Update QuickBooks once your installation is complete.

Scott Gregory

I plan to upgrade to QB Pro 2013 this weekend. Hope it all goes well. I currently have QB 2010, so my three years is about up for support. I'm looking forward to gaining the new features from QB 2012 (I don't think QB 2011 offered much, if I remember correctly).

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