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QuickBooks 2011-Upgrade or Not Upgrade, THAT is the question

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Each year when a new version of QuickBooks is released, we are asked by our customers “should I upgrade?” and “is your software compatible with the new version”.

QuickBooks 2011 New FeaturesThese are both important questions which deserve consideration by QuickBooks users who also use QuickBooks integrated applications.  Each year my answers are usually this:

Is your software compatible with the new QuickBooks version?
Yes, it is, see our compatibility announcement dated 9/28/2010.

As Intuit Gold Developers we “usually” have access to new versions of QuickBooks while they are in beta status.  Usually we can obtain a beta version of the new QuickBooks version in August, so we can begin testing our software for compatibility; this type of early access usually includes the ability to obtain several different/updated beta releases; before we actually get a copy of the final release version.  All of this means several rounds of testing as each new new beta release introduces bug fixes to features and functionalities of QuickBooks.

Once we have a final release version, we run a gauntlet of tests with our software to verify that any new features and/or functionalities introduced to QuickBooks do not cause problems with the way our software integrates with/works with your QuickBooks file.  If we discover problems, we need to make changes to our own code to deal with the problems and run all of the tests again.  Once we have completed our testing, we then have to create both compatibility updates (patches) for our existing customers and build new versions of our software to make available to new customers.  All of this has to be accomplished in a two week period of time.

USUALLY, our software is compatible with the new version of QuickBooks as soon as Intuit makes the announcement that it is available to purchase – however, we never know how new QuickBooks features/enhancements will affect how our software integrates with QuickBooks until we have had an opportunity to thoroughly test our software with a final release.

IF you use and rely on the functionality of a QuickBooks 3rd party application; it is in your best interest to ask this question – do not make the assumption that your 3rd party application will “automatically” be compatible with a new version of QuickBooks!

Should I upgrade to the new QuickBooks version?
This question is more difficult to answer; there are so many things to take into consideration – do your existing computer “have what it takes” to run the new version, will you need to purchase new computers that come with Windows 7 and Office 2010 installed, do you rely on 3rd party QuickBooks integrated applications?  For more information, see Computer Requirements & Office Compatibility.

However, my typical answer is to do your homework but go ahead and purchase the upgrade, initial pricing is usually very good; but that you should probably wait awhile before actually installing it and updating your company data file – unless you strongly NEED to have the new features.

Why?  Historically, each year when a new version of QuickBooks is initially released users discover bugs which were not found during Intuit’s own testing and through their own “official beta tester” program.  Often times these bugs occur due to the thousands of possible computer configurations and the various ways in which people actually use QuickBooks.

We usually suggest that you wait a month or two, or until after you have generated employee W-2’s, before you update.  This way you can watch QuickBooks Forums and User Groups to see if people are running into errors and what those errors are – you do not necessarily want to be one of the people who get caught by problems.  Additionally, during the first few months Intuit is busy putting out maintenance releases to correct problems and, again historically speaking; by January Intuit has most if not all of the problems resolved.

Having said all of that…..I participated in the “official” Intuit beta tester program and have had access to beta versions since July; while Ben has had access since August, through our Intuit Developer Network membership.  We have both been testing/using the version fairly extensively, without any major issues; but I don’t use all features as heavily as you might.

If you are thinking of upgrading to QuickBooks 2011, read our 10 Tips for a successful installation/upgrade

how to complete a certified payroll report Request our FREE 142-page “What’s New in QuickBooks 2011? eBook, by completing a simple request form.

This eBook will provide you with with all the information I’ve posted here in our blog, plus MORE!

Once you’ve completed our simple request form, you’ll have instant access to this 142-page .pdf eBook, designed to be duplex printed and put in a binder for future reference.

4 Responses to QuickBooks 2011-Upgrade or Not Upgrade, THAT is the question

  • Kerrie, I’m really sorry to hear about your troubles, stuff like this can be very frustrating. One of the first things that I would check is to see what “Release” of QuickBooks 2011 you are using. If you start QuickBooks, and then press and hold down the CTRL and the 1 keys at the same time a Product Information window will appear. It should read something like Product QuickBooks Pro 2011 Release R?P, whatever number is in that ? mark spot is important. Intuit released an R4 patch, which not only fixed quite a few problems, but also introduced some new ones. If you are running the U.S. version of QuickBooks Pro, you should manually download the R5 patch as it has taken care of a lot of issues that people have been having. Visit Intuit’s update page to download R5P http://support.quickbooks.intuit.com/Support/ProductUpdates.aspx. I hope this helps. Nancy

  • I am trying to assertain if anyone else has had a problem with their upgrade to 2010/11 Quickbooks Pro payroll feature. Staff leave accruals which are set to accrue on a ‘per hour worked’ are accruing for some staff and have stopped accruing for other staff. Also the leave available balances alter at ‘quickbooks will’ without leave being taken. I have been using the program for 6 weeks and have had to manually adjust & reconcile all staff accrual balances (roughtly half have been effected.) I did not experience any problems with accrual totals in 2008/09 Qbks Pro’s payroll feature.
    I can’t comment on the IT upgrade process.

  • Hello Ken
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    You are certainly correct, you don’t “need” Windows 7 or even Office 2010; it’s just getting increasingly difficult to purchase a new computer with XP installed on it (I still have an XP machine that I use daily; with a Vista and Windows 7 machine that I use for testing).

    Adobe Flash is loaded with newer versions of QB, because that is how they are now doing the graphics interface and for some other reason that escapes me at the moment.

    You are also correct that more Intuit/QuickBooks items run in the background – QuickBooks Web Connector, QuickBooks Automatic Update, QuickBooks Help, Intuit Sync Manager, Intuit Data Protect, and a portion of the actual QuickBooks program (at least that is what I see in the Processes Tab of Task Manager on my Windows 7 machine). All of these items are running, but yet QuickBooks is not. Some of these can be turned off without an issue, other remain running and probably should not be disabled without first checking out Intuit’s knowledgebase.

    I’m sorry you’ve been left with such a bad feeling. I’ve been using Intuit products since the mid-80’s and while they do have their quirks, they are very good programs. And just for the record, I don’t work for Intuit and they aren’t paying me to say this!

  • As far as upgrading your computer, you don’t “need” Windows 7 or Office 2010. QB2011 will run on XP and recognizes Office 2003 and up. What you do need is a 2+Gh quad core processor and multi-gig RAM. Otherwise; this bulbous resource hog slows everything to a crawl including Windows start-up. It adds about three minutes to boot time for reasons I don’t know. I suppose it’s loading and running it’s spy-service apps. It has three programs in memory and QB isn’t even running. It also loads Adobe Flash whether you want it or not and won’t allow you to uninstall Flash. I don’t use Flash nor want it on this computer. I’m sending my copy back and taking Intuit up on their 60-day money back guarantee. Thanks but no thanks to a data grabbing (stealing) PC hog. Be sure to read the EULA. Everything you enter is shipped off to Intuit and it might even be shipped off-shore.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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