Quickbooks Pro 2012 is the long awaited latest release of Intuit’s market leading small business accounting package. As expected, it builds on the long list of innovative features introduced in previous versions, up to and including Quickbooks Pro 2011. Although it does not introduce any earth shattering new features or essential components, it does noticeably further help small businesses to quickly and efficiently organize their finances.
When it comes to small business accounting, no other accounting package can compare to to the Inuit range of products. As has been the case since day 1, Quickbooks Pro 2012 offers exceptional flexibility to the small business owner in the process of their book keeping and payroll, helping them to monitor and control the overall business health.
The Quickbooks Pro 2012 Range
There are currently two versions in the new range, Quickbooks Pro 2012 and Quickbooks Premier 2012, both improved in order to help the users save time and so allow them to focus more fully on their business.
Quickbooks Pro 2012
This is the core product and is suitable for the majority of potential users. It has been updated to both help businesses more effectively manage their finances and to save time on the back office tasks. It allows the users to organize their business finances all in one place, while also providing a centralized view of customer, vendor and employee information. If also helps in saving time on the everyday mundane tasks, such as cash flow management, invoicing and paying bills.
Quickbooks Premier 2012
If you have more advanced requirements, you will want to opt for quickbooks premier. This extends the standard package to provide more than 150 additional sales and tax reports, together with a range of industry specific reports, such as accountants, contractors and manufacturers and retailers. In addition, it supports a range of customizable tools for tracking inventory, creating purchase orders and setting pricing levels, For the more sophisticated users it offers features to aid with automatic forecasting of future sales, expenses and growth opportunities.
As always with their products. Intuit makes getting started a doddle. Just a couple of screens are used to solicit the basic company information including the business type, when it creates and initial set of accounts. You are then immediately free to use the program to enter transactions or create reports or invoices.
A new calendar view has been created for Quickbooks Pro 2012, showing upcoming events, such as appointments, to-dos bill deadlines and invoices, in an easily assimilated pictorial view, rather than the older list view. The view automatically updates whenever any changes are made to the underlying data, helping small businesses stay on top of their accounts.
One of Quickbooks prime features has always been the range of reports. Right out of the box there are over 100 predefined report layouts, but Quickbooks Pro 2012 dramatically extends this by incorporating more than 1000 community contributed industry-specific templates. The small business user can search the custom reports by industry, rating and popularity and with a simple click can populate the report with their own business data.
Exporting to Excel
Quickbooks Pro 2012 sports a new, and very impressive, interface with Excel, allowing the users to retain their worksheet formatting when saving new versions. This means you can modify your spreadsheet to apply custom formatting, then export a new dataset from Quickbooks Pro and have the spreadsheet update without losing your formatting. Even more impressively, the update can be initiated directly from the Excel end using a new Quickbooks tab added to the toolbar during installation.
Organization Assistance: Lead, Document And Inventory Centers
Several new features have been added to help the user organize their workflow. For a start, the new Lead Center can be used to help develop your initial contacts with a prospective client, replacing the need to maintain unstructured lead notes using spreadsheets, word documents or scraps of paper. In essence, Quickbooks Pro 2012 now has it’s own built in mini Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), where you can log all the contact details, together with the date, phone number and associated notes. When you finally win the contract, it’s a single click of a button to transform the lead into a full blown customer entry while maintaining the history you’ve already entered.
The CRM idea is further extended by the new Document Center. This provides a central location to store and manage any number of documents related to a customer account, such as proposals, contracts and receipts. This can be done either by dragging them from an explorer window directly into the Document Center, or by clicking the Attach button, which has now been added to the different screens, including invoices and various forms.
The final organizational feature, the Inventory Center, is only provided for purchasers of Quickbooks Pro 2012 Premier Edition. This provides centralised access to, and easy management of, all inventory related tasks, including low stock levels and other reports.
Time Saving Features
Intuit products have always been renowned for their efficiency and smart design which has helped save the users considerable time when completing their accounts. Quickbooks Pro 2012 improves this again by incorporating a set of once click transaction processing features. For example, it now takes a single click to transform an estimate, recording it as a sales order, purchase order or invoice. It’s also now possible to create a letter in a single click, basing it on one of the supplied templates, or to memorize a transaction for future repeated use.
A related item included in this version is Batch Timesheet Creation. Unfortunately, this will only really benefit businesses where a significant number of the staff all work the same number of hours, as the process involves creating a timesheet and then assigning it to a set of employees.
For the owners of the Premier edition, a new Batch Invoicing for Time and Expense provides a further time saving features. This improves on a feature added in the previous verson, which allowed batch creation of identical transactions, extending it such that Quickbooks Pro 2012 allows any number of different value invoices to be created in one go.