22 Nov Product Overview
Quicken is primarily designed to handle personal finances, including mortgage amortization and investment tracking. There are basic Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable components plus a limited number of reports. Quicken does not have a true general ledger component.
Simple Start, released in 2004 is designed for new businesses and those that have been using a manual system (i.e. spreadsheets, one-write systems, paper and pencil, etc.)
QuickBooks Basic takes the ease of the registers and forms from Quicken and expands to include more sophisticated business functions such as inventory and a true general ledger. Prior to 2002 the name of this product was simply QuickBooks. With version 2006 this product is no longer available.
QuickBooks Pro adds many enhancements to the QuickBooks Basic software such as: estimates, time tracking, advanced job costing features, multiple price levels, integration with other programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook or Symantec ACT!, online payroll services and multi-user access, to name a few.
QuickBooks Premier was new with version 2002. It includes all the features of QuickBooks Basic and Pro plus more journal entry options, easier reconciliation reporting, remote access, and Expert Analysis. There is a specific Premier version available for several industries with the main difference being a special navigator and a few additional reports.
QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition according to Intuit’s web site is customized for accountants with multiple QuickBooks clients. It has all of the features included in the other three versions (including the contractor reports). The remote access feature will permit working with a client file as long as it is the same version (i.e. 2003) even if it is not the same product (i.e. Basic or Pro) plus the ability to “collapse” many detail reports.
QuickBooks Enterprise Solution has been described by Intuit personnel as “QuickBooks on steroids.” Included in this product are all the features of the Premier software, plus just about all the limits are doubled. The file structure has been changed to permit effective use of larger data files. There are additional human resource features, the ability to combine reports from several files and an included technical support package. This product also has industry specific alternatives.
QuickBooks Online Edition is Intuit’s ASP solution. This is the correct solution for businesses with simple accounting needs, but the desire to have remote access to the data (for different locations for example). A persistent Internet connection (such as DSL, T1 or cable access) is needed. This product was previously called QuickBooks for the Web. The functionality has been increasing but it is still not as robust as the desktop QuickBooks accounting packages.
QuickBooks for the Mac was not updated between 1997 and 2002. The version numbers have kept the old sequence (i.e. version 5 was released in 2003 and version 6 was released in 2004) rather than using the year like the Windows based products. New with version 2005, the Mac products now have adopted the year for the version number.