Intuit announced last night that QuickBooks 2011 and Enterprise Solutions 11.0 will be available by September 17, 2010, including via electronic download from our Buy QuickBooks page.
On tap for 2011 are:
- A new Collections Center to make it easy to send overdue invoices to customers via email
- Support for batch invoicing
- Balance sheets by class – Intuit might have finally addressed the lack of support for fund accounting
- Multi-instance capability in Premier Accountant Edition, allowing 2 company files from the same version open at the same time
- A separate File Manager utility that can help firms running multiple QuickBooks files across multiple versions
- Subtle improvements across multiple features accessed in everyday use
- A variety of changes to Intuit services
New features have been added selectively to the different QuickBooks products, so check out our updated article describing the feature differences between Pro and Premier.
As with any new version, it will take some time for firms to change operating procedures to take advantage of the new features. For example, while the addition of a Balance Sheet By Class report will solve many business problems, it will trigger a lot of future posts in our KnowledgeBase describing how to use this feature because debits and credits will have to be balanced by class – something QuickBooks users haven’t confronted before QuickBooks 2011.
Here’s an overview of the new File Manager:
Some of the subtle improvements include:
- the addition of a Customer tab to the Company Snapshot, showing (among other things) 2 key metrics: length of time as a customer and average days to pay
- the addition of a History tab to important windows, such as Enter Bills, Create Invoices, and Create Credit Memos/Refunds; the History tab can be quickly opened and closed, and shows a Summary, Recent Transactions, and Notes for the vendor or customer
Tweaks such as the added History tabs make it easy to get around QuickBooks in fewer keystrokes in less time. That drives productivity improvements in busy offices – and can help make the cost of upgrading a good investment.
It’s premature to say whether these changes make QuickBooks 2011 a worthwhile upgrade. This upgrade is definitely not like the introduction of QuickBooks 2009, which added a major new feature in the form of support for multi-currency. However, with each passing year and the addition of new features, QuickBooks becomes a more mature product, so there are fewer “blockbuster” features available to add.
Still, it is unfortunate that Intuit has decided to pursue some short-sighted ways to add revenue. For 2011, there are a variety of small fees, such as the $4.99 fee to revise a previously saved form design. They’ve also made changes to the QuickBooks Pro product, such as limiting it to a maximum of 3 users, which can effectively force upgraders to purchase the more expensive QuickBooks Premier.
The market reaction to higher costs without eye-popping new features is likely to be a yawn.