This is an article I wrote for Intuit, Inc, it was featured in the Intuit Accountant Newsletter of October 2012.
I recommend this artible for anyone that has ever asked the question, “Should I update to QuickBooks Enterprise?”
I have actually gottent that questions quite a but in our QuickBooks Training courses.
“Work Smarter, Not Harder” is one of American Business’ most used cliché. What does it really mean?
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of complexities embodied in these four simple words, where the message behind it can evoke many suppressed feelings the average business owner has. First, lets break down what “working smarter” means to today’s business:
- Doing it once, doing it right, go to the next task.
- Not going back and correcting or repeating the work.
- Errors are expensive, it means more time, more cost and you can even lose a client.
- Taking a task that had several steps with several people to complete vs. reducing it down to one simple step that one person can do.
- Running the business the way you want to run it instead of letting the status quo tell you how to run your business.
- Getting work done from anywhere and at any time; no restrictions from the old “9 to 5 at the office” idea.
All small and medium size businesses “work hard,” especially in today’s economy, but translating hard work into reduced costs and increasing profits is the real challenge … Which brings me to QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions 13.0.
Having an all-digital, paperless, automated accounting system is the essential cornerstone of a successful business in today’s age. Today’s fast-growing small- to medium-sized businesses get more things done today with less people and less steps, which likely use the most popular accounting system in this segment: QuickBooks Enterprise 13.0.
So what did Intuit® bring new into this year’s version? First, it is important to mention that the 2012 update was the biggest, most-new feature rich release in my lifetime as an accounting professional, so it was pretty hard to foresee what new changes were coming down the pipeline. Let me list the most important V.11 and V.12 changes to QuickBooks Enterprise that are also included in the latest version:
In Advanced Inventory:
- Multiple Location Sites for Inventory
- Enhanced Inventory Receiving – to separate the receiving process from the accounts payable process
- Serial Number or Lot Tracking
- FIFO Inventory Valuation – First In First Out its now compliant with GAAP Standards
In Daily Activities:
- Open two company files at the same time
- Built-in ODBC driver for custom reporting with other programs like Microsoft Access or Crystal Reports
- Batch Invoicing
- Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail Integration
- In Transaction quick history panel
- Lead Center – keep track of leads (non-customer yet) in a different center
- Attach Documents to transactions and store them in your computer
- Global To-Do List
- Create Credit Memo from invoice
- Batch Timesheets
- Automatic Price Markup – fixed margins on items help you automatically change sales price when costs change
- Quick Find and Select within sales forms
In Reporting and Information Access:
- Balance Sheet by Class
- QuickBooks Search – another way to find your accounting data
- Consolidate multiple company files using P&L by Class report
- Collections Center – better reports about clients and receivables
- Customer Snapshot
- Inventory Center and Image in the Item List– Snapshot to easy to find inventory related information
- Better Excel Integration and updating for reporting
QuickBooks Enterprise has always been at the forefront of enabling business owners and managers of growing businesses to work smarter, not harder. If you use QuickBooks Enterprise yourself or ask a person you know who uses it, the common theme is that the business could not run without it.
Back to the big question: What new features are there in QuickBooks Enterprise 13.0 and how will it “smart-up” today’s current fast growing businesses?
Intuit really focused on two major themes this year:
- Customization: for easier access to most used task and improving the time it takes to process and find information in QuickBooks.
- Efficient Inventory Processing: Barcode scanning, Bin Location Tracking, Auto PO, increased list limits, printing bills and other functions speed up inventory processing while increasing accuracy.
Upgrading the Look and Feel and Customization is probably the biggest area of improvements and innovation from Intuit this year:
- New Ribbon Toolbar is located atop sales forms that contain the most common actions, such as Void, Save as PDF and Customer History. This means less right-clicking, having to use keyboard shortcuts and going through menus to find the options, which is particularly more painful for non-experts.
- Customer and Vendor Center Customization – allows you to set the parameters of what information about your clients or vendors you want to store, including your Twitter handle, Facebook Page Link, multiple emails and fax numbers.
- New Tab Functionality stores notes, to-dos, transactions and contacts together for easy reference and faster access to important information.
- Customizable Left Toolbar – designed to store your shortcuts to transactions and favorite reports, all in one easy to access toolbar.
Other Improvements to save time:
- Add recent and memorized reports right on the home page for faster access to reports, the most important decision making tools in the business.
- Print Bills – speed up your approval processes or use to verify and reduce errors.
- Automated Billable Time and Expenses – now there is an option to have QuickBooks automatically create invoices for reimbursable expenses.
- Auto PO – a new option to automatically create Purchase orders for items bellow required minimum amount. This speeds up the purchase process to allow you get inventory faster and on time in order to sell more.
- Default Classes – this was a heavily requested feature to have QuickBooks assign a default class to a name or expense account to speed-up data entry process and increase accuracy.
- Increased list limits – allows you to work with more historical data and larger QuickBooks Files to add value to historical reporting.
In Advanced Inventory:
- Bin Location Tracking – so now we have multiple inventory sites, PLUS Bin numbers within those sites, as well as a Sort Pick list and Item List by location to speed up inventory processing.
- Barcode Scanning – the long-awaited feature that will turn QuickBooks Enterprise into a high-speed inventory processing system. This is compatible with most USB bar code scanners, but also allows you to print your own barcodes Barcode scanning speeds up receiving and dispatching, but most importantly eliminates costly mistakes of item mis-keying.
It is also important to note that QuickBooks Enterprise (in contrast to Pro or Premier) is known for robust networking architecture to handle five to 30 simultaneous users, customizable user access with 115 different sets of access controls that can enabled/disabled per user, and higher limits in number of items and names. QuickBooks Enterprise also offers more customizable custom fields to make forms more adaptable to your business, built-in remote access feature to work from anywhere in the world at any time, access to Advanced Inventory features upgrade, access to the Full Service Plan with US-based technical support and annual upgrades to the latest version of QuickBooks Enterprise included with the plan.
I recommend QuickBooks Enterprise 13.0 to any growing business looking for the simplicity of QuickBooks’ ease of use combined with the power of robust inventory management – all customizable to work for your business the way you want it to work.
Source: Intuit Accountant Newsletter October 2012
Hector Garcia, RTRP
QuickBooks ProAdvisor & Registered Tax Return Preparer
QuickBooks Training Courses, South Florida