My sincere hope is that you can avoid the situation one unfortunate business shared with me recently.
Here is the sad story...
"I am the City Secretary for a very small city. I am the only city employee. We do not use Payroll, Credit cards or create sales receipts or invoices. We only enter budget, record deposits, write checks, reconcile and print reports.
In 2013 our auditor advised us to get QuickBooks instead of Quicken. We ordered it through Dell at the same time we purchased a new computer. We had a lot of trouble converting the data from Quicken 2012 to QuickBooks 2012, it took months for them to get it right. But they informed me that I had to purchase the annual support plan for them to continue to help. So we did, and they upgraded me to QB Pro Plus 2013. Then when I called back for some support this year they upgraded me to QB Pro Plus 2014.
A couple of months ago I received email and a call concerning my annual support payment. Honestly, I did not plan on subscribing every year I only wanted to get all the kinks worked out. It is very difficult to understand the foreign accent so I do not feel like I am receiving the information I need. They said if we do not purchase the annual support plan that we would not be able to use our QB. I received another email today stating that my credit card would be automatically charged on Jan 8 for $299.95 plus tax for my annual subscription to QB Plus. I am confused and would love it if you could clear this up for me.
I purchased QB so why wouldn't I be able to use it if I do not want their annual support plan? I don't know whether we need to continue with the support plan or cancel and subscribe again in a year or so, and what impact that will have on the functioning of my software? What would you recommend?"
THE PLUS VERSIONS OF QUICKBOOKS PRO AND PREMIER - UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!
The following screen shot of what you would see when purchasing QuickBooks Premier (same goes for QuickBooks Pro) will help you visualize things a bit better:
The left hand side of the screen is showing the "PLUS" option. The right hand side is showing the traditional "buy it once" purchasing method.
It is essential to understand that the PLUS version is a fee that MUST be paid EACH year. If you don't pay, the QuickBooks program doesn't work. It is that simple.
As you can see in the graphic above, the PLUS package also includes support, data backups and upgrades. This means that you automatically get the latest edition of QuickBooks (i.e. QuickBooks 2016) when it is released, since you are paying for that upgrade as part of your annual PLUS subscription package.
Keep in mind that you are still subject to the "3 year support" rule from Intuit if you opt for the traditional "buy it once" option. However, you are not making a payment to Intuit EACH year with the traditional "buy it once" option.
QUICKBOOKS ENTERPRISE IS SUBSCRIPTION ONLY NOW
The Pro and Premier versions of QuickBooks are available in both the PLUS and "buy it once" options as of this posting (though I expect to see the "buy it once" concept fade into the distance sooner rather than later).
The same cannot be said for the Enterprise version of QuickBooks. As of October 2014, the only way to purchase QuickBooks Enterprise is via an annual subscription. No ifs, ands, or buts. Subscription only for QuickBooks Enterprise.
YOUR QUICKBOOKS DATA IS ALWAYS YOURS
Whether you opt for the traditional "buy it once", the PLUS subscription option for QuickBooks Pro and Premier, or if you have a subscription for QuickBooks Enterprise, your QuickBooks database/company file that you create with all your lists and transactions in it will always be yours.
The bummer is that you need the QuickBooks software to access your QuickBooks database/company file. So, make sure to budget accordingly for an annual payment if you choose the PLUS option for QuickBooks Pro or Premier!