13 posts categorized "Alternatives to QuickBooks"

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...


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.



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:


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...



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.




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.



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!



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.


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.


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


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


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!


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.


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.


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.



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.


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?


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


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?


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"


 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:

NOTE: Pricing in the table below was current as of publication date. Click here to review current pricing for QB Enterprise

QBES FSP Pricing Table


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:



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.


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.






QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is true...

The only way you can now purchase QuickBooks Enterprise software is via the subscription pricing model. You can read more about this change to QuickBooks Enterprise subscription pricing in my previous blog post.

As a result of this change, a number of common questions have surfaced, so I wanted to take this opportunity to get them answered for you.

Q: How do I get QuickBooks Enterprise if I don't want to be part of the subscription program?

A: The only way to get Enterprise is via the subscription program. There are no other options available to you - if you do see QuickBooks available (especially older versions) out there on the web, exercise EXTREME caution. They are likely pirated/bogus copies of the software.

Q: Are there discounts or promotions available on the QuickBooks Enterprise subscription program?

A: I offer QuickBooks Enterprise at a 20% discount price for EVERY year of the subscription program - this discount program is offered every day. Beyond that, there are other promotions that may run at other times of the year. One of the common promotions that has run in the past is 40% off the subscription price of QuickBooks Enterprise - however, that promotion was ONLY for the FIRST year of the subscription period.

Q: Is it true there are three different levels of subscription available for QuickBooks Enterprise?

A: Yes, that is true. Currently, there are the Silver, Gold, and Platinum subscription levels of QuickBooks Enterprise. The Silver level is the "traditional" version of QuickBooks Enterprise. The Gold level includes all Silver features plus a subscription to the QuickBooks Enhanced payroll service. The Platinum level includes all Gold features plus a subscription to the QuickBooks Advanced Inventory module.

Q: Is QuickBooks Enterprise now "in the cloud" since it is subscription based?

A: This is one of the biggest areas of confusion - the answer is NO, it is not "in the cloud". While the pricing for QuickBooks Enterprise has changed, the software itself is still installed locally on desktops, laptops and servers, just like it always has been.

If your business doesn't want to be in the "IT business", you can always have QuickBooks Enterprise set up with a hosting company. This will provide you with anytime, anywhere access to your QuickBooks Enterprise. Generally for budgeting purposes, you would expect to pay about $50 per user per month for this hosting. Some services cost more, some less, but this figure is a good starting point. Keep in mind that you're NOT paying for your own IT in the case of hosting. The hosting company is providing it for you.

Q: How long is the subscription period for QuickBooks Enterprise?

A: When you sign up, the subscription period is for one year. You can choose to make one annual payment to cover it, or break things down into monthly payments (but you are still on the hook for a full 12 months). Currently, there is no discount or price break if you pay annually, so I tell my clients to keep their money in the bank and opt for the monthly payment plan. As mentioned above, my discount plan for Enterprise entitles you to 20% off the subscription price EVERY year of your subscription.

Q: What happens if I cancel my QuickBooks Enterprise subscription?

A: A couple of things happen if your QuickBooks Enterprise subscription is cancelled:

  • You would still owe the balance on your account if you cancelled before the end of the annual period (see the note above)
  • You would not be able to access your critical accounting and other information, as the software stops working after a 14 day period. And that would be a huge problem!
    • VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: No matter what, your QuickBooks company data file is always yours, even if you opt to have your QuickBooks Enterprise hosted. The problem crops up if you don't have the software to access your QuickBooks company data file. No software, no access to it. So, while you still own it, the value of it becomes questionable at that point.

Q: Can I downgrade from QuickBooks Enterprise to QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Pro to get away from the subscription pricing?

A: Not directly. There are no "magic buttons" inside the software that will allow this to happen. However, there are third party companies that offer this downgrade as a paid service. One such example is QuickBooksUsers.com QuickBooks Enterprise downgrade service.

Naturally, you'll want to ensure that taking this step makes sense for your business. You may be sacrificing speed, functionality, user security, and/or concurrent user access by downgrading out of QuickBooks Enterprise. Learn more about the key differences in QuickBooks Enterprise, Premier and Pro versions in my handy reference guide.

Q: Are there alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise?

A: I put together a separate article that discusses the alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise in more detail. As you'll see in that article, most of the alternatives are going to cost you significantly more than Enterprise and they usually add layers of complexity to your business that you may or may not need or want. But the choice is yours as to which software you choose to power your business.

Q: I am currently happy on an older version of QuickBooks Enterprise - should I continue to renew my Full Service Plan (FSP) again to avoid the subscription plan?

A: Here are some additional insights into the conversation surrounding the "should I renew" or "should I not renew" my QuickBooks support plan. It is essential to understand that if you do not renew your support plan, when you do go to upgrade your QuickBooks Enterprise at a future date, you will become part of the subscription program at that time.

Q: Does my QuickBooks Enterprise subscription include access to QuickBooks support?

A: Yes, it does. You have full access to the QuickBooks support desk as part of your subscription.


I know I didn't get all the questions here, but the ones above I'm asked regularly. Hope you find it helpful!




QuickBooks Desktop Version Outranks QuickBooks Online and Others

G2 Crowd recently released their research report to compare the best accounting software options for business. Thanks to them for making these results available!

Here is a graphic that recaps the results of the report (click the graphic for more details):


When ranked according to user satisfaction, here is how the packages stacked up:

  • Intacct - 95
  • Xero - 85
  • QuickBooks Desktop - 83
  • Freshbooks - 82
  • NetSuite - 49
  • Financial Force - 45
  • Sage 100 ERP - 44
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP - 17
  • QuickBooks Online - 10

Taking a look at the results of the direct comparison of QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, note that QuickBooks Desktop scored a 4.0 out of 5 stars, and QuickBooks Online scored a 2.1 out of 5 stars.

The survey also offers other comparisons, such as the G2 score, # of ratings and market presence. Be sure to click into the report for detailed user feedback and many other product details and insights.


It is interesting to observe that of the nine entries listed above, three of them are the traditional desktop platforms (QB Desktop, Sage 100, and Microsoft Dynamics GP). All the others are strictly cloud based solutions.

The buzz has been building for small businesses to move to the cloud for their accounting needs. If your business uses QuickBooks, maybe the results above suggest that you don't move quite so fast off the desktop version? If you have graduated from QuickBooks, maybe the cloud is the way to go.


Please share your thoughts on the QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online and cloud vs. desktop accounting debate in the comment box below and let us know how your business views this debate...




Changing Software in Your Business? Required Reading Before You Do

Contemplating a change in the software your business uses, whether it be accounting, CRM, or any other package?

Converting - Past to Future Graphic - July 2014Before you get too deep in the process, you will want to dig into this article from Adam Bluemner, the managing editor at Find Accounting Software.

Titled "30 Ways to Ask Software Providers the Questions You Really Meant to Ask", Adam takes a very refreshing look at commonly asked questions and repackages them into questions that are much, much more helpful to you in your evaluations.

Well done Adam!


If you have gone through a software change and knowing what you do now, what questions would you add to this list?

Look forward to your thoughts...



QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online - Which is Better for Your Business?

This question is coming up a lot in conversations about QuickBooks right now.

If you didn't know better, you'd think QuickBooks Online (QBO) was the only edition available these days and that the desktop versions had been retired.

Go ahead and see for yourself...

Visit the home page of the QuickBooks web site and you'll see what I mean - the references to the desktop versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise) are buried in the lower left hand corner and also buried in the "all products" link at the top of the page. You really have to look for them on the site.


Many of the businesses I consult with use QuickBooks Enterprise, so they are too big to use QBO.

However, I regularly talk with small businesses like yours and gather their insights on "all things QuickBooks".

When it comes to the question of which version is better, I'd like to share some feedback that I'm hearing on a regular basis...

I'm hearing these two common threads:

  • There are businesses that have previously used the desktop version of QuickBooks and decided to move to the Online edition
  • There are businesses that have had no experience with the desktop versions and have gone directly into the Online edition

First, those businesses that have had no experience with the desktop versions and went directly to QBO...

  • They enjoy the 24/7 availability of QBO
  • They enjoy the fact that there is no upgrading/updating needed
  • They appreciate the AppCenter and mobile capabilities of QBO
  • For some of them, they discover the functionality of QBO is a good fit for their needs
  • For others, they come to the conclusion that QBO is not robust enough for their needs and they begin looking at QuickBooks desktop or other alternatives

And now, for those businesses that have had some experience with QuickBooks desktop and then decided to move to QBO...

  • I am hearing that very few of them were glad they made the switch
  • By far, the majority of comments I am hearing from these folks center around the following:
    • How quickly can I convert back to QuickBooks desktop?
    • QBO just doesn't meet the needs of our business when compared to the functionality found in the desktop versions
    • Other words and comments that can't be printed in this family-friendly blog post!


I get it. Intuit is directing a significant portion of their development resources toward QBO and the ecosystem built around that. They have publicly stated as much at various conferences.

Are they leaving the desktop users behind?

For now, Intuit says no - they are still developing the desktop products and providing support to them. And they pledge to do so in months ahead.

As I have watched the desktop vs. QBO story unfold over the last few years, it looks to me like that the desktop will indeed be left behind at some point in the future. Whether that is three years or ten years from now, the writing is on the wall.

A small sign of this pending change - Intuit is now giving priority to ProAdvisors that are certified in QBO over those that are certified with the desktop versions. Coincidence? I don't think so. Another much larger sign of this change - the fact I mentioned above that you have to look really, really hard to find a mention of the desktop versions. Coincidence? I don't think so.


A couple of thoughts to share with you on this topic...


In the event you currently use the desktop version of QuickBooks and are considering a move to QBO - be absolutely certain to take a test drive of QuickBooks Online (QBO) to ensure form, fit and functionality for your needs BEFORE making any switch. You will be very glad you did.




Care to share your thoughts on this debate? Feel free to drop your comments in the box below (or click here to visit the live blog page)



Should I Renew My Service/Support Plan for QuickBooks Enterprise?


My mailbox has seen a steady stream of messages asking this very question.


The reason the renewal of the QuickBooks Enterprise support plan has become such a hot topic comes down to this...

Many businesses are seeing increases in their annual renewal costs (those with 5 users or more) ranging anywhere from 71% to 200%.

That's correct - those are not typos...


In case you missed my earlier article, QuickBooks Enterprise has moved to a subscription pricing model as of October 2014.

As I see it, these increases in the renewal costs of the QuickBooks Enterprise full service plans are designed to eventually move those not on the subscription plan into parity with those that are on the plan. I see this happening over the next 1-2 years.

Eventually, it will be less expensive to be on the subscription plan the way things are going. We're just not there yet.


There is no right answer to this question - your business will have to carefully evaluate the options.

As a quick reminder, the QuickBooks Enterprise support plan offers you the ability to get the latest version of Enterprise when it is released and also get access to the Enterprise support desk for a period of 12 months. (I also offer consulting services on Enterprise, but separate fees do apply - gotta pay the bills somehow...)

If you DO renew your support plan, you are then exempt from the subscription plan for another 12 months. You'll get your update to the latest version of QuickBooks in the fall of 2015, and you will get access to the Enterprise support team. Pretty much business as usual.

Except when it comes to your checkbook - it will be lighter due to the increase in renewal costs.

If you DON'T renew your support plan (and that is your choice), then you simply keep using the version of Enterprise you currently have and you don't get access to the Enterprise support desk.


When it does come time to purchase an upgrade to your QuickBooks Enterprise (let's say you choose to do that in 2017), you will then be welcomed into the subscription plan at that time, however that may look. There won't be any other options.

And no, you can't purchase an older version of Enterprise anywhere to avoid the subscription. Many have asked that, and all have been told the same thing - no chance.


It's essential to know this - the alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise will cost you 3 times or more than what you'll be paying for Enterprise.

Not to mention the enormous costs involved in converting, implementing and training on a completely new software package.

So making the quick reaction to move away from Enterprise will likely not be the best for your business for many reasons.


That's the straight scoop as I know it and I wanted to share it with you.

What are you going to do? Renew? Not renew?

Let your feelings be known and post your comments in the box below (if you are reading the live blog) or click here to go to the blog post and offer your thoughts.



QuickBooks Enterprise 2016: Alternatives to Subscription Pricing?

My post about the change in pricing for QuickBooks Enterprise 2016 to the annual subscription model has drawn a LOT of feedback.

QBES Box Shot (left) copy
Most of the comments have been provided to me privately, and they center around these two major themes:

  • Disappointment in the increased costs of accounting software for those impacted by the subscription model

  • What are the alternatives to QuickBooks Enterprise?


Let's take a closer look at this question, since it is on the minds of many at the moment.

First, we need to review one critical point before getting too far into this conversation. And that point is:

  • QuickBooks Enterprise, when properly positioned, is designed for businesses with 20-99 employees.

To expand on that concept, QuickBooks Enterprise does NOT play in the same space as any of the following that you may think are alternatives:

A business that tries to "squeeze" into one of the above packages and move out of QuickBooks Enterprise will likely be making a very poor decision.

While the cost savings of moving into one of these packages may look enticing at first, the significant loss of critical functionality, database size/functionality, user security and other essential features will hamper most businesses almost instantly. Costs will rise exponentially once the business realizes their mistake and yet another alternative is explored.


As mentioned above, QuickBooks Enterprise is well positioned for those businesses that have 20-99 employees. Is it found in smaller or larger businesses? Sure. But that is the "sweet spot" in terms of comparing Enterprise to other packages in the marketplace.

Given that, we're now getting into a conversation of some of the "mid-market" packages out there. And this is where the numbers get interesting...


So let's do this - let's assume you are looking at the 5 user package of QuickBooks Enterprise on the annual subscription basis and trying to compare it to other alternatives out there.

Estimated total costs per year of QuickBooks Enterprise vs. others in the mid-market space:

Hmmmmm....the numbers that looked big a while ago don't look quite as big when stacked up against other competing packages.


Many have said that comparing QuickBooks Enterprise to other packages such as NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics GP isn't an accurate comparison.

They feel that alternate packages such as these have far more horsepower and functionality than QuickBooks Enterprise does. While I'm not an expert in these other packages, from what I have seen of them, I would tend to agree with this assessment.

However, with an increase in functionality comes an increase in complexity for your staff, increased maintenance costs and a bigger hurdle to obtain a solid return on investment.

Some businesses simply don't want or need all the "extras" that come with some of these other packages.

And that is where QuickBooks Enterprise fits in...do you see that too?


If your business decides to forge ahead with QuickBooks Enterprise, I welcome the opportunity to assist with your purchase. As a leading reseller of Enterprise, count on me for the best discounts and promotions for your purchase.


Agree with my assessment? Disagree in no uncertain terms? Share your thoughts in the comments box below - I look forward to hearing from you!



QuickBooks Enterprise vs. Net Suite: Part 2 - "On-Site" vs. "In the Cloud"

In part 1 of this series, we took a brief look at the “cheapest vs. best fit” considerations of both QuickBooks Enterprise and NetSuite.

Now we’ll examine another big decision point when considering new software – on-site vs. in the cloud.

Full Disclosure: I am a reseller for QuickBooks Enterprise and an affiliate sales rep with Brainsell who represent NetSuite.


NetSuite was built from the ground up to be a fully cloud based solution. Quite simply - if your business has access to the internet, it has 24/7 access to NetSuite.  Desktop or mobile devices included.

Having your accounting/ERP solution in the cloud removes the need to invest in servers and the related IT support eco-system that goes with it and can simplify your operations and reduce your costs.

Naturally, you’ll want do some contingency planning in case your main internet circuit goes down if this type of approach appeals to you. Many businesses purchase a "spare" internet circuit for emergencies such as these, so you'll need to factor in those costs too.



Currently, QuickBooks Enterprise is still a “desktop and server” based software product. That simply means you need to install the software on each desktop/ laptop that will be using QuickBooks Enterprise, and it also needs to be installed and configured on a server computer. In some cases, this configuration also then allows for remote access via “remote desktop” capabilities that have been baked in the server.

As a result of this approach, you have the embedded costs of supporting the desktop, laptop and server computers to consider. If you have a solid IT plan and support team in place, adding another application like QuickBooks Enterprise to the mix shouldn’t increase those costs dramatically. However, if the thought of having to deal with servers and other IT complexities is enough to cause gut-wrenching pain or sleepless nights, maybe this approach is not for you.


Alternately, a growing concept in the QuickBooks Enterprise world is to have it “hosted in the cloud”.  Without getting too technical, hosting provides the ability to access your QuickBooks 24/7 via the internet. It removes the need for maintaining servers, etc. as discussed in the traditional approach above.

For example, you would buy QuickBooks Enterprise from a reseller like me. Once you do that, you contract separately with a hosting company – they take these licenses you purchased and then install/configure the software in THEIR server environment (not yours). Once that is done, they give you the keys to access your QuickBooks information via the internet.

Keep in mind this key point – if you need an “add-on” for QuickBooks such as advanced inventory management, this add-on solution ALSO has to be hosted in order for QuickBooks to communicate with it – you can’t have QuickBooks being hosted and the add-on running on your local server. This is completely different than the NetSuite approach – all their modules are under one roof.

For discussion purposes, hosting QuickBooks Enterprise can run about $50 per user PER MONTH. Additional applications such as Microsoft Office and/or other applications will increase that price. So – in some respects, we’re back to the “cheapest vs. best fit” discussion mentioned earlier.


There is definitely no easy or right answer…

The answer to this question boils down to the philosophy, needs and budget of each individual business. The pros and cons of each approach need to be carefully evaluated before a decision can be reached.


QuickBooks Enterprise