Intuit provides a table to compare the versions of Point of Sale (POS) Pro from 6.0 to 8.0.
Comparing QuickBooks Products
The differences in security features between QuickBooks and Enterprise Solutions, its more powerful relative, are significant. Those are apparent from the opening window to manage users, which in QuickBooks is the User List, and in Enterprise Solutions is the Users and Roles window.
For this comparison, we’ll compare QuickBooks 2009 to Enterprise Solutions 9.0. QuickBooks 2010 and Enterprise Solutions 10.0 haven’t changed the security model from the 2009 series of products.
In QuickBooks Premier 2009, managing users is on the Company->Set Up Users and Passwords->Set Up Users… menu. In Enterprise Solutions, this functionality is on the Company->Users->Set Up Users and Roles menu.
Here’s the opening screen:
QuickBooks Premier 2009
Enterprise Solutions 9.0
At the highest level, QuickBooks supports 3 broad access levels:
- All areas of QuickBooks
- Selected areas of QuickBooks
- Accountant access, which blocks access to customer credit card numbers
Here’s the window to specify the broad access level. We’ll focus on controlling access to selected areas of QuickBooks.
Once Selected areas of QuickBooks is chosen as the access level, the type of access (either No Access, Full Access, or Selective Access) can be controlled in 9 areas of QuickBooks:
- Sales and Accounts Receivable
- Purchases and Accounts Payable
- Checking and Credit Cards
- Time Tracking
- Sensitive Accounting Activities
- Sensitive Financial Reporting
- Changing or Deleting Transactions
Screenshots of these 9 areas are shown at the bottom of this article.
By comparison, Enterprise Solutions adopts a different approach to access. User access is controlled by managing the access of a role and assigning one or more roles to that user. Enterprise Solutions supports 15 pre-defined roles:
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- External Accountant
- Full Access
- Payroll Manager
- Payroll Processor
- Time Tracking
- View Only
These pre-defined roles can be treated like access templates. They can be duplicated to create a new role, and that new role can be edited to create a different level of access.
Each role in Enterprise Solutions can be given 1 of 3 main access levels (none, full, or partial) to 11 different areas/activities. These 11 areas/activities are further broken down into 116 sub-areas/activities. In the example above, the access of the Finance role can be managed across 7 sub-areas/activities. The Finance role has been given Full access to Asset Accounts, but no access to the company’s General Journal. Under the Banking area/activity, a role could be given access to the company’s checking account, but not its savings account.
Users can be assigned to any of the 15 pre-defined roles or new roles created from those templates. Adding a new user with appropriate access only requires assigning that user to an Available Role. Changing a user’s access is as simple as changing the Assigned Roles.
Assigning access through managed roles is referred to as granular access. It’s far more powerful and flexible than the 9 broad access levels in QuickBooks Premier. Granular security is more appropriate for the mid-market businesses targeted by Enterprise Solutions and the up to 30 simultaneous users it supports. Likewise, the access control in broad functional areas offered by QuickBooks is suitable for the small business market it serves.
9 Selective Access Areas of QuickBooks Premier 2009
Out of the box, QuickBooks doesn’t completely support true fund accounting, but there are several simple, low cost ways to provide fund accounting in QuickBooks.
Fund accounting is a method of accounting used by public sector (e. g., cities and towns) and non-profit organizations because these entities have a need to track balances and expenditures across multiple purposes, or funds. Money is normally appropriated to a purpose at the start of a fiscal year, and expenditures are made against the available balance for that particular purpose or fund over the course of time. As a result, public sector and non-profit entities have a need to produce balance sheets and income statements for each fund as well as the overall entity. In contrast, a for-profit business produces a balance sheet and income statement for the overall entity but doesn’t have the need to produce balance sheets for groups within the overall business, such as individual departments.
Support for fund accounting in QuickBooks consists of 2 needs:
- Preparing an income statement for each fund
- Preparing a balance sheet for each fund
The first need, preparing a fund income statement, is easily handled by QuickBooks through the use of classes. Classes are a tool to track 1 aspect of an entity’s finances and are managed on the Lists->Class List menu selection. Generally speaking, simply creating a class for each fund and assigning a class to all transactions solves the need to track income and expenditures across funds. See our article for more information on the role of class tracking.
Where QuickBooks out of the box falls short in supporting fund accounting is in fulfilling the second need – preparing a balance sheet for each fund. There are 2 ways to address the need for fund balance reporting:
- Use a third-party add-on
- Track fund balances in a separate program, such as Excel
Because of the popularity of QuickBooks, third-party developers have produced a variety of tools to add features and capabilities to the program. Intuit maintains a list of many of these add-ons on the Intuit Marketplace. For QuickBooks, there are several add-ons listed in the Fund Accounting category. One add-on, FundsFix by Qfix Software Llc, addresses the need to produce a balance sheet for a fund. Based on the user comments reported on the Intuit Marketplace, this add-on has been well-received.
Another approach is to use a separate program such as Microsoft Excel to track fund balances. Normally, a spreadsheet would consist of the opening fund balance at the start of the fiscal year with additional columns for the year-to-date expenditures manually entered from a QuickBooks report and the calculated remaining fund balance. For simple fund accounting needs, this approach is workable. However, given the availability of a very low-cost add-on to address this need, it’s an approach that is only suitable for the simplest fund accounting requirement.
The Unit of Measure preference is a way to specify the basis for quantities, prices or rates, and costs for an Item. It’s only available in Premier and Enterprise Solutions, and support for it varies by product and edition.
QuickBooks supports 2 modes for assigning a unit of measure: Single (Single U/M Per Item) and Multiple (Multiple U/M Per Item). In Single mode, each item can only have 1 unit of measure; in Multiple mode, an item can be converted from a base unit, such as each, to another, such as case or dozen, that contains a specified number of the base unit.
These QuickBooks products support only a Single unit of measure per item:
- Premier Nonprofit Edition
- Premier Professional Services Edition
These QuickBooks products support both Single & Multiple units of measure per item:
- Premier Accountant Edition
- Premier Contractor Edition
- Premier Manufacturing & Wholesale Edition
- Enterprise Solutions
- Enterprise Solutions: Contractor Edition
- Enterprise Solutions: Manufacturing & Wholesale Edition
- Enterprise Solutions: Nonprofit Edition
- Enterprise Solutions: Professional Services Edition
The Unit of Measure preference is set by clicking on the Edit->Preferences menu selection and selecting the Company tab on the Items & Inventory submenu. If you've never enabled this functionality in this company file (.qbw), you can enable it by clicking the Enable… button.
You’ll then need to specify the unit of measure mode: either Single U/M Per Item or Multiple U/M Per Item. Click Finish to complete the process and return to the Items & Inventory preferences.
If the unit of measure has previously been enabled, you can change the unit of measure mode or disable it using the pulldown selector.
You can disable or change the Unit of Measure preference after you’ve previously enabled it, but doing so will impact how item quantities, prices, and costs are displayed. For example, if you previously had the Multiple U/M Per Item Unit of Measure preference enabled, disabling it will cause all item quantities, prices, and costs to be displayed in base units only, even if the transaction was recorded in a related unit of measure.
System requirements for QuickBooks products vary by version.
The minimum system requirements can be found in various Intuit knowledgebase articles based on the product version:
- QuickBooks 2010 and Enterprise Solutions 10.0
- QuickBooks 2009 and Enterprise Solutions 9.0
- QuickBooks 2008 and Enterprise Solutions 8.0
System requirements include:
- operating systems supported
- processor, RAM, display, and free disk space requirements
- CD drive specifications for installation from optical media
- network requirements
- additional software requirements, such as Microsoft .NET runtime environment
- compatibility with other QuickBooks software such as Point of Sale (POS)
- third-party office productivity software compatibility, such as Microsoft Office
- firewall and anti-virus compatibility