15 Nov Different Version Management
Different Versions Driving You Crazy? We Have a Solution!
One of the biggest issues for Accountants and Bookkeepers who use QuickBooks is managing the different versions of the software, and keeping track of which clients are using which version, updating the system of tracking the issue when they upgrade, not to mention the additional issue of keeping track of their passwords (assuming they provided it to you in the first place). As part of continuing quest to find tools and resources to make your job easier, we have several suggestions to make the process easier. Although we do not endorse all of these ideas, we provide them to help spark the thought process for your own clients. We will start with the most extreme, and end with what we feel is the best solution.
Never return data to the client – one solution is to only have the most recent version of the software and as files arrive, convert them to the latest version. The problem with this approach is that the file cannot go back to the client using the Accountants Review Copy, or if major revisions are needed.
Force all clients to upgrade (or not) – another solution is to keep all clients on the same version. This can be accomplished one of two ways, instruct the clients not to upgrade until you say to, or always require all clients upgrade to the latest version. Some firms have even gone so far as to include the software price in an annual amount charged to the clients.
Different versions on different computers – although this process works well for some QuickBooks consultants, it creates work flow issues as staff members move from desk to desk, not to mention additional work and confusion when a client upgrades.
Data files saved in version specific directory – As a client data file is restored, it can be placed in a folder named for the version i.e. QB2002. This works well if the client does not upgrade. If the client does upgrade, it will be important to move the data file in Windows from one folder to another. The other reason this is a problem is because the data file may not be quickly found when needed (i.e. opening a version of QuickBooks, finding the file and discovering it needs another version, closing QuickBooks and opening the correct version to open the data file).
Password Management – When a client uses the password feature, they improve internal control (a good thing) but they can complicate the accountant”s life (a bad thing). Typically the problems arise because either the client set up a password and did not provide it to the accountant, or changed the password. To track passwords, the procedures vary, but typically one of the following three methods will be used: 1. write the password and version in the front of the client work paper file, 2. passwords are kept in an Excel or Word document for all clients (a master list), or 3. Passwords are kept with the client contact information in some type of contact data base. Any of these solutions can work, but the system breaks down when the information is not kept current (or the client changes the password and forgets to let you know).
Our Best Solution – What we have found works best is a little program called Advanced Intuit Password Recovery. From within the program you choose the appropriate data file. A pop up box then appears with all the passwords for the file (including Admin). In addition, the version used is also displayed. This tool works for versions 4-2002. The update for 2003 should be available soon. All of this can be had for only $60 for the business version. There is a trial version available, but it only provides the version and part of the password. Now obviously, we are assuming that you have permission from the owner of the file to access the file, and that you are not doing anything illegal with the tool.
For more tips and tricks like this, check out our article on Remote Accounting Solutions.