QuickBooks Gets Webbier
Attempting to leverage QuickBooks' deep hooks into small businesses, the new version also introduces connections to a variety of third-party online services -- most at extra cost.
The new Document Management service lets you attach document files to any vendor, employee, account or transaction. These documents can also be stored on Intuit's servers for remote access or sharing with employees or outside accountants. The first 100MB of storage is free, with additional storage starting at $4.95 per month. You can use local or online files, or scan paper documents directly into QuickBooks from any TWAIN compatible scanner. Messerschmidt said QuickBooks users typically spend 3 to 4 hours per week dealing documents, so having electronic versions at hand could save a significant amount of time.
Another new service, Intuit Check Solutions for QuickBooks, lets you scan checks into QuickBooks, match them to an invoice, and then send them to the bank electronically for processing. The service costs $19.95 per month ($9.95 per month if you already have an Intuit Merchant Service Account) plus a one-time set-up and a small per-check fee..
The Marketing Center, meanwhile, works with Vertical Response to build e-mail marketing campaigns using QuickBooks data. In addition to automatically adding contact information and sending the e-mails, the Marketing Center provides customizable templates and suggestions for how to target e-mail marketing campaigns based on customer activity. A graphical layout walks you through the various elements in the process. According to Messerschmitt, recommendations and the first 500 e-mails are free. After that, she said, pricing works out to about $7.50 per 500 e-mails sent.
Finally, if the Report Center is channeling Apple's iTunes interface, then Intuit's new App Center is clearly taking a page from the iPhone's App Store. The new Web service will have apps from Intuit and third parties on the Intuit Developer Network. Users can also use the App Center to reach developers who can create custom apps as needed. Some apps are free, Messerschmitt said, while others are sold on a subscription or per-use basis.
Meanwhile, the new QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0 adds all the new features found in the Pro and Premier editions, plus a few new wrinkles of its own:.
- 13 predefined custom fields for customers, vendors, employees, and items -- along with filtering and sorting functionality to run reports with the custom fields.
- An improved Intuit Statement Writer is designed to make it easier to create more accurate financial statements by linking QuickBooks files directly to Excel spreadsheets
- Enhancements to Inventory Assemblies include a new quick editing capacity and the ability to create custom fields.
QuickBooks 2010 Pro and Premier a QuickBooks.com, priced at $200 and $400 respectively, with discounts for multi-user licenses, but no upgrade discounts. (The Premier version adds specific features for key vertical industries.) A five-user license for Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 10.0 costs $3,000 for new users. Upgrades start at $850.
All three products are available online today at, and the Pro and Premier versions will be available in retail stores on October 7.
Fredric Paul is publisher/editor-in-chief of bMighty.com and SmallBizResource.com.
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