by Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
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QuickBooks Reviews

Articles about features and functionality available in QuickBooks, broken down by “year” versions.

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QuickBooks 2015- The Good, Bad and Ugly, Part 1

This year I've decided to do a three part series called The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY and just highlight things in bullet points with a brief description. I may raise a few eyebrows over some to the things that I end up putting in each of the three categories, but so be it. I'm going to start with the "ugly" things, because I feel some of the following items are just that - ugly. Ugly enough to make some people consider NOT upgrading to the 2015 product line because they will have a negative impact in one form or another.
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QuickBooks 2015 Announced – Important System Requirements

For anyone out there reading this post, if you are still running a Windows XP machine - or have clients running XP - DO NOT UPGRADE to QuickBooks 2015 until you've purchased a new computer! And in my opinion, you should spend the extra money and buy a Windows 7 machine and skip Windows 8 - but that is just my opinion.

Office 365 is supported for basic Word and Excel integration, but the Outlook Sync is not. Additionally, if you rely on QuickBooks Statement Writer, neither Office 2013 or Office 365 is supported.

QuickBooks Add-On Developers, such as ourselves, do not have access to QuickBooks 2015 as yet.

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QuickBooks 2014 – Changes/Improvements to the Payroll Center

Color isn't everything that's new and better in QuickBooks 2014.  The Payroll Center got a long overdue overhaul as well.  It's new "tabbed" design splits out payroll tasks, such as Pay Employees, Pay Liabilities, and File Forms makes it neat, efficient and organized. Screenshots and words make the improvements difficult to explain, so I've put together a short YouTube video that actually shows you what's changed and why I think the changes are great.  Why don't you watch the video and let me know what you think!
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QuickBooks 2014 Announced-Biggest Improvement is COLOR!

QuickBooks 2014 was announced yesterday by Intuit to the ProAdvisor Community - which means after months of having to keep my mouth shut (because I've been under a non-disclosure agreement while beta testing) that I could finally talk about it. In QuickBooks 2014 the most noticeable improvement that you see as soon as you launch it is COLOR! When QuickBooks 2013 was released on of the most controversial topics of conversation when it came to the new version was COLOR - or rather the lack of it! Many people, myself included, really had a hard time working in QuickBooks 2013 all day long with that really dark (and yes ugly) charcoal grey/black background color of the left navigation pane.  For many of us, myself included, we couldn't work in QuickBooks 2013 for more than an hour without getting a raging headache. I think QuickBooks 2014 is going to be a HUGE improvement - here's why.
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QuickBooks Automatic Updates & Critical Fixes-What’s Your Policy?

A QuickBooks automatic update for QuickBooks Pro 2013, Premier 2013 (all versions or flavors - Contractor, Manufacturing, Professional Services, etc), and Enterprise 13.0 (all versions or flavors), beginning right around June 3, 2013 with the last round of the update being released today, has created more problems than it fixed for many users and 3rd party developers.

Some users said that the automatic update caused QuickBooks to crash more often and the update also caused many 3rd party desktop add-ons to error out when connecting to QuickBooks or crashed QuickBooks when it attempted to connect.

What's your policy for installing QuickBooks automatic updates?

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QuickBooks 2013 – Group Item Limit Increase

I’m a big fan of QuickBooks Group Items, I think that they are a HUGE productivity booster – but I’ve always had one gripe – they could only hold 20 items in previous versions of QuickBooks – which meant that you had to create more group items in order to accomplish what you set out to do. This has changed with the release of QuickBooks 2013. With the increased number of items that a group can hold, these item types will be even more powerful.

I often see users on the Intuit QuickBooks User forums asking how they can “memorize” an Estimate to use over and over again – why not create a group item that contains everything that you need to build your estimate?

NOTE: This increase will continue into future versions of QuickBooks from this point forward.

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QuickBooks 2013 Revamped Employee Record

Big changes to the employee record, including convenient left navigation and the ability to actually see more items in the payroll info section - which means less mouse clicks and scrolling for you!

However, these changes also mean that you need to size QuickBooks differently on your monitor in order to be able to see everything. We'll show you side-by-side comparisons of each section of the employee record.

What do you think of these changes?

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QuickBooks 2013 – Where Have the Colors Gone?

QuickBooks 2013 has an entirely new look and I have to admit there are many things about the product redesign that I really like, however, the biggest issue that I have with the redesign is the fact that Intuit has removed the ability to change the color scheme of the software.

Where oh where can my QuickBooks colors be, Intuit took them away from me…….ya, I know that sounds like a really bad rendition of an old song - but color is an important part of our daily lives and is said to influence our mood. What do you think of the new grey-on-grey look of the QuickBooks top icon bar?

Apparently Intuit is hearing all of the negative feedback on the lack of color and are proposing a change - if you would like to see what they are proposing (and I think it's pretty lame) take this survey at https://survey.intuit.com/survey/survey_page.cfm

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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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