From the April/May 2010 Review of Small Business Accounting Systems (Locally Installed).
Who hasn’t heard of or used QuickBooks? Let’s factor in the millions who are using QuickBooks at this very minute. All told, QuickBooks is by far the single most popular financial accounting product designed specifically for the small business owner. But Intuit, makers of QuickBooks, has not been content to rest on its laurels. Instead, more features and functionality are found with each new release. 2010 is certainly no exception.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
QuickBooks installation has always been simple, and the new Express Install offers users even quicker setup by eliminating or consolidating some of the previous steps. QuickBooks is easily navigated, utilizing centers as a means of system navigation. Users can also access specific functions from the drop-down menu bar at the top of the screen. The QuickBooks user interface is very full, and new users may initially find it cluttered. If so, users can easily customize the user interface to suit their needs. All QuickBooks data-entry screens are similar in design so users will quickly become comfortable with navigation.
QuickBooks provides industry-specific chart of accounts options along with form templates to design custom forms. As well, QuickBooks Premier allows users to choose an industry-specific edition of the software during installation, with editions for accountants, contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers, nonprofits, professional service firms and retailers.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
All QuickBooks activity is processed through centers. Though not named specifically as modules, QuickBooks provides the core set of GL, AP, AR and Payroll functionality. Journal entries are processed through the company function. The customer center offers users the ability to enter customer information, create invoices and handle credit card processing. The vendor center lets users manage all vendor information, enter and pay bills, receive items into inventory, and process 1099s.
QuickBooks Premier offers sales tax functionality. Users can set up preferences, run state tax forms and pay tax as needed. The sales tax liability report details sales tax due and tax payee. The Audit Trail report provides management with detail about every transaction that is entered into QuickBooks. QuickBooks currently contains multi-currency capability, although only one currency type can be assigned per customer.
While QuickBooks Premier can be networked inside a central location, it does not have true multi-location capability, but the remote access feature can be utilized to access data from the main office.
QuickBooks easily handles regular sales orders, and the POS edition will suit small retailers well. QuickBooks Premier also offers links to both UPS and FED EX, with an option to set up an account for either or both in the shipping manager.
Centers allow for tracking of detailed information about customers, vendors and employees. Customer information can be stored, and users can attach files, check balances and view customers based on the selected criteria. Vendor management is similar, with balance totals listed, as well. Quick reports of check balances can also be run directly from this screen. The employee center tracks check total per pay period, with summary reports run from the center.
Inventory is entered under the vendor center. One of the new features in QuickBooks 2010 is the ability to enter or edit multiple list entries, cutting and pasting directly from Excel into QuickBooks. Users can also enter sub-item groups, the manufacturer’s part number, and purchase and sale information, but pricing is limited to one per item.