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QuickBooks 2013 Upgrade Do’s, Don’ts & Frequent Questions

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QuickBooks 2013 can be purchased right now directly from Inuit websites or through Authorized Intuit Affiliate links – however, it won’t be in stores until the middle of October. Many companies will want to upgrade right away.  However, it seems that each year when Intuit announces a new version of QuickBooks, I’m overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from clients and customers asking a multitude of questions about the new version.  Here is a list of do’s, don’ts and frequent questions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I/Do I NEED to upgrade to QuickBooks 2013?

Should I upgrade to QuickBooks 2013?I’m usually very conservative in regards to this question, especially the last few years with money being so tight for everyone, but typically my answer is:

If you are currently using a version of QuickBooks that Intuit will retire or sunset next year (in this case QuickBooks 2010 or Enterprise 10.0) OR if you feel that your business would benefit from some of the new features and functions — then you should go ahead and purchase the new version BUT wait awhile before you actually install/move your company data file into the new version.  I usually recommend that you wait until AFTER you’ve issued W-2’s and other year-end payroll tax returns.

When should I purchase QuickBooks 2013?

Intuit offers a great migration policy which can help you to get the best value for the money you spend.  This is the latest information on the QuickBooks 2012/2013 migration policy:

If you buy QuickBooks 2012 between July 25 and September 23, 2012 you are eligible for a free migration to QuickBooks 2013 when it becomes available next week.  That’s double the product for the same amount of money!  Take advantage of this great deal today by purchasing QuickBooks 2012 at a 10-20% discount through our Authorized QuickBooks Affiliate page.

Will the 3rd party add-ons that I use be compatible with QuickBooks 2013?

Contact the software developer to ask them!

QuickBooks add-ons can be written by anyone, so you have to take into consideration when that developer will have access to the new version of QuickBooks in order for them to test their product, make sure it works as expected, make any necessary coding changes if they discover a problem,   and THEN put out an update, patch, etc.

Developers used to be able to participate in an Early Access program (which coincided with official beta testing) and had a couple of months in which to test their add-on programs with the new version of QuickBooks, make any necessary changes, and quite possibly add enhancements to their own programs – however, the last few years Early Access has not been available.  This year, 3rd party developers didn’t get their hands on the new version of QuickBooks until the 18th of September (QuickBooks could be purchased on Monday the 24th) —- trust me, 6 days is not enough time to test and/or make adjustments!

Most of the time there shouldn’t be a problem, but you never know for certain, so if you rely on 3rd party applications to run your business or to perform important tasks — contact the developer and ask them directly!

Will QuickBooks 2013 run on my current computer – OR – will I need to buy a new one?

That’s always a good question to ask!  This information comes from the QuickBooks Support site, make sure you click the link to read the entire article as it is far more detailed than the information below.

Basically,  you want to make sure that your current computer has a 2.0 – 2.4 GHz processor, with 1 to 2 GB RAM and that your monitor is set for a 1024 x 768 or higher resolution for best display.

Upgrade Do’s:

  • Plan an appropriate amount of time, especially if you have multiple users
  • Contact the developers of any 3rd party desktop add-on applications that you use to be sure that the add-on works with QuickBooks 2013
  • Make sure that you know where your current company data file lives
  • Make sure that important tasks such as payroll and billing are done
  • Make sure that you watch and understand what is being done to your computer – don’t let others simply do “whatever”
  • Rebuild your QuickBooks file just before you install the new version
  • Check the number of DB (Database) file fragments
  • Make 2 backups of your company data file
  • Install QuickBooks 2013 – making sure that you do not overwrite/replace your existing version
  • Run Disk Defragmenter on the hard drive of your computer (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter -> follow prompts)
  • Open your existing QuickBooks company data file -> follow the prompts for upgrading your file
  • Check the number of DB (Database) file fragments (rebuild your file OR make a portable company file and then open it)

Upgrade Don’ts:

  • Don’t plan the upgrade for a day where you need to do payroll, billing, or perform any intensive task that requires access to your computer/company data file
  • Don’t assume that the 3rd party add-ons that you use are compatible – contact the developer
  • Don’t overwrite your existing QuickBooks installation

Remember, once you update your company file you cannot open it in your previous version of QuickBooks – UNLESS you have a backup of the file!

For more detailed information, request our Free 19-page eBook: FAQ – Upgrading QuickBooks, from our companion site Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business.


14 Responses to QuickBooks 2013 Upgrade Do’s, Don’ts & Frequent Questions

    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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