Yesterday, I looked at QuickBooks 2009 for Mac and while the new version is an improvement in many areas, it does not replace the Windows version in all situations. In fact, there are a number of good reasons to continue to use the Windows version of QuickBooks despite your desire to switch completely over to the Mac. Here are the major reasons to stick with QuickBooks for Windows.
If you have multiple people in your company that need access to QuickBooks (maybe AR, AP, controller, CFO or CEO) then you have to use the Windows version. The Mac version simply does not support multiple users. Period. You could also consider using the online version of QuickBooks, as long as you can live with the limited feature set.
QuickBooks Premier is really five industry-specific flavors of QuickBooks: Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail. If you need the extra features to support these industries, then you will only find them on Windows. Some of the features are pretty compelling, so I would recommend you take a hard, long look at the product description before you pass on Premier.
The big example that gets trotted out whenever this discussion comes up is the additional inventory tracking options in QuickBooks Premier. Specifically, you can create and track “assemblies” in Premier that consist of other items that are assembled to make a product. The benefit of assemblies is that you can track the components and either combine them into assemblies or break them apart into individual items for sale as needed and QuickBooks will still keep an accurate count of all your inventory, and help you prepare the correct invoices for these items.
QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition
If you are a CPA or an accountant for hire that supports several firms, then you have to get the Windows version. Intuit has a special version of QuickBooks Premier Account Edition available just for you that allows you to easily work with multiple companies and prepare all the reports and statements that your clients may need.
Do not be misled here. Intuit gives a blanket warning about payroll to people considering switching to the Mac version. The real truth is that you cannot use Intuit’s Payroll Service that is fully integrated with the Windows version of their software. You can use QuickBooks Payroll for Mac to accomplish the same thing. However, if you are committed to Intuit’s service, you will want to stick with the Windows version of QuickBooks.
QuickBooks for Windows allows you to process credit cards directly in the application. This feature is not available in the Mac version. If you are using Intuit’s Merchant Account Services, then you will want to stick with the Windows version.
Online Bill Pay and Funds Transfer
Again, this is a feature that is built in to the Windows version that is not available directly inside the Mac version of QuickBooks. There are a number of other ways to pay bills online through your bank’s website or CheckFree, etc. You just need to decide how much you like Intuit’s service and if you want the convenience of accessing this service and scheduling payments from QuickBooks itself (admittedly, a great convenience).
So Now What?
You have looked over the list and you have found that you had better keep using QuickBooks for Windows. Do not despair! The options for running the Windows version have increased significantly over the last couple years and it is fairly simple to do this from your Mac. Tomorrow, I will start a two-part series explaining the different options to run QuickBooks for Windows on your Mac. I can promise that one of those options will meet your needs and you will be able to keep the best of both worlds.