Intuit will release QuickBooks 2013 and Enterprise Solutions 13.0 on or about September 24th. Downloads from Intuit’s site will be available immediately upon release. Physical product should reach stores by sometime in October.
The biggest thing users will notice about QuickBooks 2013 is the new design, or graphical user interface (GUI) in tech-speak. The design incorporates colors from contemporary web sites and ribbons on forms similar to Microsoft’s popular Office software suite.
There’s little in the way of major new product features, but there are important tweaks throughout the program. We’ll cover the changes in more detail in future posts. For now we’ll touch on a few examples of the improvements.
In the QuickBooks 2013 Customer Center, shown below, information is organized into tabs. Customers can now have multiple contacts and multiple date-stamped notes, which can be managed on the Contacts and Notes tabs respectively. There are built-in links to maps and directions to the customer’s address to save having to re-enter that address in another application. When navigation and mapping apps are everywhere, it’s good to see Intuit recognize the importance of this type of information.
Many forms, such as the Create Invoices form shown below, now include a ribbon full of common commands. The ribbon is larger than the icons used in previous versions of QuickBooks. The increased size allows the text and icon to more clearly identify the task with which it is associated. In the past QuickBooks icons were so small that that they provided little useful information. In the age of retina displays, they simply didn’t cut it anymore, and QuickBooks 2013 is a recognition of that reality. Quick links have been added to a context-sensitive find tool. In other words, the FIND button on the Create Invoice ribbon has input fields for invoices, and the button on the Enter Bills ribbon has input fields for bills.
These improvements are useful, but no single one stands out as revolutionary.
The design change for QuickBooks 2013 is the standout feature. The new look won’t be universally loved, but the change brings QuickBooks much closer to the visual appearance of popular web sites, which are playing a growing role in setting the standards against which software is judged.
For more background on the changes in QuickBooks, check out Intuit’s blog post on the introduction of QuickBooks 2013.