QuickBooks is driving me nuts with its movement to a 'pay monthly forever' type service instead of simple ownership of the software or 'on premises' software. I do not need to pay bills while I fly to the Super Bowl, or check the profit margins while in the bathroom. I work at my desk - one place, where all that can and should be.
After the last forced change away from Windows XP, I was told by QB to move it all to my Mac and all would be well. It has been a nightmare of huge proportions, with me spending well over 100 hours trying to get it to work, and then trying to keep it running. Even then, I have to subscribe to a payroll system that is clunky and cumbersome at best.
I am changing from a S corp to sole proprietorship, so now is a good time to make a change. I just want to own the software, do payroll for 2-3, calculate payroll taxes, print checks, basic stuff. No inventory, no job tracking, no depreciation - simple.
Does anyone have any experience with or suggestions of who/what to look at?
I do not. But I am keenly interested in this topic. My wife just updated our Quickbooks payroll tables for the year. Ouch. I think I need to buy shares in quickbooks. I think the time is ripe for some strong competition.
I know what you mean. It seems everyone including AutoCAD is going a subscription based model or Software as a Service (SaaS). Not sure if this is good or bad, but it's definitely changing. We use AccountEdge from MYOB and are happy with it. It is still a stand alone, own it type of software. It has various modules depending on what you need, starting at $350.
I am new to office accounting software. I just bought quick books pro for around 200.00. I own it now, but have not opened the box yet. What's wrong with buying the software outright? Please enlighten me as I can send it back. Harold.
Owning outright is what I prefer. But quickbooks about forces one to upgrade every three years. And every year we buy the payroll tables service, for doing our own payroll. The price of that service is now $400/year. Software seems to be getting more expensive at a rate much greater than inflation. And while improvements are made, I don't realize a commensurate benefit. My opinion. Yours may differ.
It's a double edged sword...I too like the idea of "Owning" the software. Though, if you look at any EULA agreement, you never truly owned it anyways, but that's another topic in itself.
But, we now have legitimate copies of AutoCAD 2003 on the shelf in our office...because they are all but useless. So, if you own it, obsolescence is a factor to consider. I do prefer to keep up with software upgrades, though sometimes it pushes me out of my comfort zone. It feels as though I'm just getting used to software when it's time to upgrade again. Some days I miss the two tools I relied on heavily when I first started....a pencil and a pad of paper...though i could never keep up with that anymore.
I look at things, I think, much like you do, Gary. I don't mind my Cabinet Vision maintenance/upgrade expense because we use it heavily. I use Word, Excel, Access, etc., heavily and pay for new versions every now and then. Even for this software, the productivity gains from new versions aren't that great, and the cost seems to be going up substantially with the new cloud paradigm. Then for software we don't use that heavily, for us that would be AutoCAD LT, we have pretty much ruled out ever buying it. (In the past we would buy it every several years.) In a nutshell, it seems to me that the price of software is greatly increasing under the new "cloud" method.
I have used QB Windows since about 1997. While I disliked the every 2-3 years forced upgrades and costs/hassles associated with them, I loved what QB did for me. Sturdy, easy to use, and reliable, I spent time with it everyday.
It has been around for years and can't be that complicated. Some one should be able to have the same thing for a couple hundred bucks with annual upgrades for changes in payroll tax laws. You buy it, you own it, use it as you like.
But their Mac version (2015) is nothing but a patched up afterthought, but I do own it - paid $250.00 as a "Special Rate". You cannot get payroll information without going online to a different site and whole different thing. That part is subscription, $39.95 a month for two employees. I have never even set up the taxes on that side of it since it is way too complicated, some Indiana tax will not run, and I just don't have the energy to do so. Online is the only place where you do payroll and figure taxes, get reports, etc for payroll. For the previous many years, this was all in the same program, same windows, same place as the whole of QB.
The transfer to Mac and start up (no more than 15 minutes they said) took 38 hours over 3 days and was a nightmare that nearly killed me. They gave up on it 3 times, and said I should consider going back to XP. I am obsessive compulsive about my data, and there were times I wondered if it would ever work again.
And it doesn't - or at least it is not the same. Slow, odd and foreign feeling, it is nothing like the nice quiet, quick QuickBooks I used to take comfort in daily. Made me feel good about my business. Now I avoid it, I am uncomfortable and still using help almost everyday. I think this is in part due to the fact that they want me to move to QB Online, the monthly pay forever solution. I'll walk before they convince me to do that.
Imagine walking into your shop one morning, and all the equipment is similar, but different makes, and in different locations. Your hand tools have all been moved, and are no longer in a logical or handy placement. Light switches and thermostat are moved, and work differently. No fun.
Years ago, I heard that if anyone says they "have to do it this way because of the software", then they were sold bogus software. Now it seems to be the norm - adapt to their product or move on.
It's going to sound like t's going against what your asking for but Xero is a great option.
It IS cloud based and it IS a monthly subscription charge but the thing with accounting software is that YOU NEED to keep it up to date anyway and it ends up costing you more than what a monthly subscription would.
I changed over to Xero from MYOB about 2 years ago and the improvement in efficiency were ridiculously good. Even if the "access anywhere" thing doesn't excite you other features are great, reconciling accounts takes at most 1/4 of the time it would take you now. You can leave notes and ask your account to log in and check on what you have done. Updates are small and frequent and happen without you having to get an upgrade disc and load it on your computer. If you wish to have a book keeper 'off site" they can log in from anywhere.
Don't know much about fresh books but it sounds like it's in the same sort of league.
My wife studied Quickbooks and became a certified Pro Advisor for a couple of years. We worked with Quickbooks in our business for a while before that. Our experience is Intuit is rapidly working to force people to QB online, as it provides steady cash flow and locks people in. What became apparent to me, is QB seems to be more of a database program and less a spreadsheet. My opinion is that is a fundamental flaw.
We tried QB for Mac first and soon abandoned it. We switched to the windows version and ran it through Parallels Desktop with Windows 7. Intuit will support a program version for 3 years and then require you to upgrade period. Amazing that QB says you can do set up in 15 min. You can, but you will learn you set it up wrong.
If you are new to QB, you will be well served to interview Pro Advisors to find one knowledgeable in your industry. You will pay the right one around $400 to set it up right the first time and avoid untold hours in your time or accountant fees to unraveling the cascading problems caused by incorrect initial set up. This is where a good Pro Advisor is worth their weight in gold. You can then hire the person for month end and quarterly entries a few hours a month.
Payroll is ALWAYS a separate issue in QB. You can set up excel spreadsheets to do payroll calcs and make entries into QB to avoid the payroll service. A workaround (common in QB) that can save you money. The caveat is you better be pretty accurate, because doing so can come back to haunt you. Easiest if you have few employees, and better if they have consistent pay.
To the comment of why is basic bookkeeping after all these years so difficult to find software for? First government regulations add untold complexity every year. Second, every business owner thinks their simple way of bookkeeping is the best. Start a discussion about where or how to document transactions, and you will be amazed at the difference in opinions. Every business customizes the way it handles accounting to fit their preferences.
No real opinion on Quickbooks other than it could be a lot better, particularly cash management. My question is for those doing their own payroll: why? I pay Paychex to do it and I'm darn glad I do. Sure, there's still some record keeping involved, but I don't have to worry about changes in tax law/reporting. Just this morning I got an email from Paychex telling me how they had revised their W-2 reporting to prevent fraudulent tax filing. They did it, I don't have to worry about it. A couple of years ago Congress passed a special tax credit for new hires. Again, Paychex made it easy for me to implement the credit, saved me a couple of thousand bucks. I don't want to worry about all of the minutiae of payroll tax filing - I did that for more than 20 years, including through QBs service in the 90s, and Paychex is way, way easier. Just my two cents.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.