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Intuit — QuickBooks: Premier Accountant Edition 2005

From the September 2005 Review of Sales
& Use Tax Software

Intuit actually has two write-up packages, the result of its purchase of EasyACCT
plus the development of its QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition (QBAE). Intuit
has made its product strategy clear: to position itself as a major player in
the write-up marketplace. Most will agree that QuickBooks (QB) is the most popular
accounting product on the market today. The supported, native connectivity between
various client versions of QB and professional users who use Intuit EasyACCT
or QBAE is unparalleled in today’s marketplace. Let’s discuss QuickBooks
Premier Accountant Edition.

QBAE is a full-featured write-up program designed and offered in support of
professionals who wish to serve their clients efficiently. It includes traditional
write-up features like chart of accounts, general ledger, journals, financial
statements and accountant’s reports, in addition to advanced financial
reporting tools, an interactive trial balance, a built-in depreciation module,
and superior connectivity to other versions of QB.

The interactive trial balance permits the user to drill down to source details
and enter workpaper references. Accountants can access their clients’
files from work or home using the Remote Access feature. The program includes
a new Financial Statement Designer, which allows easy modification of custom
financial statements. Users can quickly create professional financial statements,
complete with compilation reports and supporting schedules/documents. With QBAE,
accountants can manage all of their clients’ QB files including Basic,
Pro and other industry-specific editions. Plus, it works with all prior-year
versions of QB.

Suzi Graden is a CPA at Creamer Green & Associates (,
a Salem, Oregon-based firm that specializes in working with dentists, among
a variety of other businesses. She says that client demand drove her to select
QB Premier Accountant Edition, “They use QB, and they want someone who
understands it and can work seamlessly with their information.”

Graden conducted a user study before the first release of the program came
out. She says that “at the moment I realized what they were trying to
accomplish (that I throw away my trial balance and write up software and start
using QBAE for all those needs), I told them they had a long ways to go (and
thought to myself they were dreaming). I was very surprised at the end result
that was released, and the software gets better every year. Here I am two years
later using the software religiously and nothing else.”

QBAE includes wizards and an EasyStep Interview routine that assists the user
in initial setup of a company’s charts of accounts. The program utilizes
an interface called the Customer Navigator with traditional pull-down and icon
menu bars. The program is intuitive in its design, which allows for a fast learning
experience and the ability to quickly utilize the provided write-up tools. Step-by-step
help is available everywhere the user navigates.

Graden notes that with any transition of software packages, there is an expectation
that the first year will involve extra time. “The beauty of using QB Accountant
Edition,” she says, “is that for all those clients who use QB, there
is no setup time involved.” And for those clients who do not use QB, she
points out that “this is a great time to develop a standard chart of accounts
within the firm for comparability between clients.” While Graden is a
big fan of the product, she still has a wish list. “I find there are only
two things I wish I had in QBAE that are not there — the ability to import
a trial balance from Excel and tax journal entries with a tax trial balance.”

Customizable pre-designed reports are provided, as well as the ability to create
a variety of statements and other reports using the
Financial Statement Designer. Through the system’s Reports Navigator,
users have access to summary and detail income statements and balance sheets;
YTD and previous year comparisons; and statements that can focus on specific
transactions, accounts, activities, customers and vendors. These reports can
be exported to Excel or word processing documents.

The program’s integration with QB programs is powerful, offering built-in
solutions and flexibility in meeting individual client needs. Import is available
from tab- or comma-delimited text files and from QB. Export is available to
Lacerte, ProSeries and to spreadsheets. Production processing is advanced: The
user is provided the means to batch multiple jobs.

Graden believes the most beneficial aspect of using this program is the seamless
integration with client information: “I can do all of my work in one software
program. I can transfer information back and forth to the client with ease.
In the past when using a separate software package for write up or trial balance
work, I would always need to go back and forth between QB and the write-up software.
Some clients used QB while others did not, so there was back and forth because
of that. For my QB clients, I would need to retrieve information out of QB and
then move over to the trial balance program to do the work. I think it is really
important that clients not be asked to enter journal entries because I know how much they hate that process. Basically this software eliminates many steps
for me.”

Built using the Microsoft .NET framework, QBAE is highly portable. This is demonstrated
by the related Online version of QB. The program is compatible up and down the
related product line, demonstrating its scalability.

QBAE provides separate Accountant Help, an Online tutorial, a CD-based Tutorial,
context-sensitive QB Help, Startup Checklists, and additional online support
assistance, including a knowledgebase with FAQs, links to various QB Support
locations, and a variety of live support plans. Additionally, web-based, CD-based
and live, in-person instructor-led seminars are available. Graden credits the
company for the implementation of an accountant-focused tech support team in

2005 Overall Rating