What's new in QuickBooks 2010?

Feb. 1, 2010
The new QuickBooks 2010 is now available! Intuit improved this annual version release with only a few new features and changes for all industries, and the simplicity increased with a few enhancements that affect professional practices.

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The new QuickBooks 2010 is now available! Intuit improved this annual version release with only a few new features and changes for all industries, and the simplicity increased with a few enhancements that affect professional practices. All these new features and enhancements are in the QuickBooks Pro 2010 version!

My favorite enhancement is the Reconciliation Window. Two modifications enhance your ability to reconcile easier. The older I get, the harder it is to differentiate between transaction lines. QuickBooks 2010 improved the visual capability by immediately bolding all transactions. When a transaction is selected, the selection is “unbolded” and highlighted with a gray background. The difference takes a little getting used to, but it sure makes reconciling visually easier.

New to QuickBooks 2010 is the Favorite Menu option. Customize your most common tasks to be available in this menu, such as Weekly & Monthly memorized reports, Chart of Accounts, Write Checks, Use Register, Scheduled Payroll, and Pay Scheduled Liabilities.

Also new to QuickBooks 2010 is the App Center and the Doc Center. The App Center is a single location to locate and try business applications that work with QuickBooks. Unfortunately, most of the applications do not apply to professional practices and the one application that would is not offered — a timeclock. Keep in mind, the App Center is new and it will be interesting to see how it matures.

The Document Management Center is a long–awaited addition. This tool allows users to store up to about 1,000 two–page PDFs (100MB) for free, attaching them to specific QuickBooks transactions. However, there are enough good and bad points regarding this new feature that it does not get my recommendation … at this time.

The first good is that Intuit provides the backup, and the first bad is you can't back up on your own computer. The second bad point is if you quit paying for the service, you no longer have access to the Document Manager to view your previously scanned documents. That's pretty bad. I believe in the future of Web–based software, which is what this is. I also believe you should always have a backdoor to that software, should you decide in the future to switch software. In other words, you should still “own” your data and eternally have access to that data regardless. Again, because this is new, I expect it to mature to add some of these revisions at a later date. If they make these key changes, they would have my recommendation! Should you not choose to use the App Center or Doc Center, you can deselect them from your Icon Bar, as well as anything else you are not going to use.

The newly revised Report Center is a change that isn't that effective and increases the memory demand on your computer. The Reports can be presented in a Carousel, List, or Grid view, each giving the user the capability to create the report from that view. If you are not sure which report you need, it's a great way to become familiar with the reports. Keep in mind, however, that these reports are not specific to professional practices so the examples will look vastly different.

The improved Company Snapshot allows you to edit and change the views of each section. Choose the X for the sections that do not apply to professional practices (Customers) and move each section to a more logical layout. Using this section provides a brief practice overview, so make it work for you! For new users, the ability to build the Vendors List in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries is pretty cool! For you long–time users, this tool is great to verify the addresses in a simple spreadsheet–like format. In one window, you can copy and paste and edit the list, customizing the columns for what you want to edit. This is especially helpful prior to printing checks or using online banking, but falls short of being able to inactivate list entries.

Surprisingly, nothing changed with the dual capability of the Online Banking Center. As I wrote in the September Susan Gunn Solutions newsletter, you can choose between the 2009 or 2008 Online Banking views. I believe the side–by–side register view (2008) is the easiest functioning view to download transactions (banks or credit cards) and add them to the appropriate register.

If you are upgrading your computers to Microsoft Windows 7, QuickBooks 2010 is the only compatible version. Older QuickBooks versions will install on Windows 7 and appear to be working but have experienced major issues. This is why Intuit will only support QuickBooks 2010 on Windows 7. Before I hear complaints, let me state the obvious: all software is at the mercy of the operating system and computer hardware. When an operating system makes major changes, the software (like QuickBooks) must be retooled to work and play nicely with it. This is not often an easy accomplishment and changes with every update and revision. Since Windows 7 is new, the new QuickBooks 2010 was “retooled” to work with Windows 7, not prior versions of QuickBooks.

If you currently use QuickBooks 2008, it is time to upgrade. Sam's Club or Costco still seem to be the least expensive places to purchase QuickBooks Pro 2010 (around $149), but watch the sales. With every new release, many of the office supply stores will offer the software at a reduced price.

One additional side note: When registering your new software, most online registrations are being routed to call Intuit. This enables Intuit to “up–sale” additional products and services, for which you can simply reply “No thank you.”

Though the QuickBooks 2010 software has few changes that affect your practice, I was glad to see some enhancements that work to simplify the use! Make QuickBooks work for you in managing your practice more effectively.

Susan Gunn's insight teaches thousands of practices to harness QuickBooks more efficiently as a powerful management tool, beyond tax accounting. Send her an e–mail to [email protected], go to www.SusanGunnSolutions.com, or become a Facebook fan.

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