QuickBooks 2016 vs. 2018

Users of Intuit QuickBooks know exactly what they like and dislike when it comes to the version of software they run. Users who prefer earlier versions of QuickBooks have set preferences that they may fear losing with an upgrade. Those who enjoy the latest and greatest have probably already jumped onboard of the QuickBooks 2018 bandwagon, but does it actually have some game-changing features? We’ll take a look at the new features of 2018, and compare with the much beloved 2016 edition of QuickBooks to see which is more beneficial for companies. Does 2018 have what it takes to convert lovers of 2016? Let’s take a look.

Features of QuickBooks 2016

When QuickBooks 2016 was released, Intuit unlocked tools that were previously only usable by accountants to be utilized by all users. This included using prior account balances to locate account discrepancies, managing lists more actively with the list changes function, and period copy reporting capabilities, to name a few. There were also huge improvements made for Mac users with 2016, allowing better and faster performance. Some other features introduced with 2016 included:

  • Bill Tracker: Similar to the Income Tracker, this new feature gives users an instant view of “money-out” transactions. See outstanding bills, item receipts and purchase orders all in one place. There is no longer a need to gather multiple reports.
  • Fiscal Year-to-Last Month report filter: In addition to all the reports available in prior versions of QuickBooks, users are able to generate a “This Year to Last Month” report.
  • Payments Screen Search Options: Users can sort by any column in the payment screen and find the transaction they are searching for without having to scroll down through pages of transactions.
  • Bulk Clear Send Forms: This is a simple way to select and remove multiple documents from the send queue in one quick step.
  • QuickBooks Statement Writer: If you have Microsoft Office 2013, then the QuickBooks 2016 installation program should patch your computer so that it will work with QuickBooks Statement Writer.

QuickBooks 2016 has Enterprise and Pro versions as well, each having exclusive features in each version. Users who benefit most from these versions include medium-large business owners who exceed the 14,500 customer limit, or when more users need to access QuickBooks.

2016 also brought the push toward QuickBooks Online, making heavy-handed moves to shift desktop customers to a cloud-based system. But as we’ve mentioned about Quickbook users, some have their preferences set in stone, and have no desire to make the switch to Online, or even to upgrade. Intuit does have a sunset cycle on its software, meaning once the version turns 3 years old, support for that product ends. However, Quickbooks makes it easy to upgrade, for example, the data in a user’s current QuickBooks file (2006 and later versions) will upgrade to QuickBooks Desktop 2018 seamlessly. With support ending Support for QuickBooks 2015 this year, 2016 is up next. Users who utilize services such as QuickBooks Payroll or QuickBooks Merchant Services, will have to upgrade to QuickBooks 2018 in order to keep using them. With this seemingly inevitable shift happening, let’s take a look at the newest features of Quickbooks 2018.

Features of QuickBooks 2018

Some of the new features up-front are available for all Windows versions of QuickBooks 2018 (Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise), and include:

  • Multiple monitor support: Intuit has added some features that make it easier to work with multiple monitors (up to three).
  • Search in Chart of Accounts: Find an account or sub-account faster with an added search bar in the Chart of Accounts.
  • Cash/Accrual toggle on reports: With just one click in the report window you can switch to a cash or accrual basis and easily switch back and forth between the two. Great for accountants or businesses that report in one basis and file taxes in another.
  • Past Due Stamp: Get customers to pay you faster with a Past Due stamp for invoices. QuickBooks can automatically add a past due notice on overdue invoices for emailing or printing. If you don’t want to add the notice to a specific invoice, simply toggle the notice off with one click.
  • Inventory report enhancements: Add flexibility and insight to your business with newly customizable inventory reports and get better tracking of your inventory with additional fields.

QuickBooks 2018 also made vast improvements with security including:

  • Secure web mail: Intuit has updated how QuickBooks works with web mail accounts, using a more secure integration method.
  • Internet Explorer support: Starting with this release you must have Internet Explorer 11 to be able to use many functions in QuickBooks. Older versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported.
  • Internal component updates: Continuing with the process they started a few years ago, Intuit is updating several of the internal components to improve security. In this release, they are changing from SHA1 to SHA2 for storing user credentials, upgrading to Sybase version 17, and upgrading to .Net Framework 4.6.2.
  • Additional PII encryption: There were a few PII (personally identifiable information) fields in the database that should have been internally encrypted that weren’t.

Changes for QuickBooks Add-ons: If you have an add-on that works with QuickBooks in “unattended” mode (that is, it accesses QuickBooks in the background), there may be an additional preference setting that you will need to change in order for your app to continue accessing QuickBooks.

There are even more features included with Pro and Enterprise versions of 2018, which for the sake of time, you can take a look at the full version breakdown on the QuickBooks page.

So are these features enough for users of older versions of QuickBooks to make the switch? Many users are implored to upgrade their software at least every 3 years, in order to get the most benefits from QuickBooks. As far as 2018 goes, the biggest improvement seems to be in Inventory Management. 2018 Desktop is great, especially if you’re in an industry like Retail & Non-Profit. For example, in the General Contractor version, you can analyze job profitability or track job estimates. While on the Non-Profit version you can generate end of the year donation statements or run donor contribution reports. However, 2016 seems to still have a leg-up when it comes to profitability, at least until the sun sets on 2016 next year.

In short, the version of software that benefits you and your business most, relies entirely on which features your company will utilize most. For a more extensive look at the cost-effective features between Quickbooks 2018 Desktop and Quickbooks Online, check out this found here courtesy of Techarex.

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