Intuit’s industry leading, small business accounting program, QuickBooks 2008 Simple Start Up + Pack, is top of the line just like its predecessors, QuickBooks 2006 and 2007 versions.
QuickBooks 2008 has some wonderful new features like Coach Tips, which help new comers learn the necessary steps for specific accounting tasks. For instance, it could teach them how to create a bid and then translate it into an invoice. The upgraded Help System enables QuickBooks to dispense advice, which is precise and relevant to the task that has been undertaken. QuickBooks 2008 version integrates rather well with Google Maps making it easier to get directions to a business address present in the database. Its compatibility with Microsoft Outlook is also enhanced and thus the task of sending QuickBooks company files to an accountant is streamlined. These features will be discussed in depth later in the article.
QuickBooks 2008 comes in many different styles to suit many different needs and pockets. The Pro-edition has a sophisticated assortment of payroll, invoice and expense tracking tools. Premiere is the industry specific version and has the added, business forecasting and inventory management features. The Simple Start offers basic invoicing and check-writing features and is probably the best option for start-ups and small shops with a very small number of employees.
QuickBooks 2008 is a user-friendly accounting program, but like any other sophisticated accounting program, it is not very easy to execute. To make it easier to comprehend as compared to other programs, the main –interface is in flow-chart format and has QuickBooks Coach, a help window in the upper right corner. This has two buttons; one is View Tutorials and the other Coach Tip Guides. View Tutorials provides single click access of instructional videos in QuickBooks Learning Centre while Coach Tip Guides helps guide you through a particular task. E.g. If one is unsure about how to process a sales order, click on Show Coach Tips. The main screen then darkens and Information icons appear. Click on the icon besides sales order and the steps to process the order are highlighted. On dragging the mouse over each step in the work flow chart a text window opens to explain the steps. This, excellent for rookies but annoying for Pro, feature can be turned off by a single click on the Hide Coach Tips button.
QuickBooks 2008’s Web Listings feature automatically uploads your business information to top online directories like, Google Maps, Yahoo local, YellowPages.com and SuperPages.com. Also, QuickBooks 2008 has done away with the earlier, clunky e-mail applet for sending sales receipts etc. The 2008 version has improved integration with e-mail clients like Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail. E.g. To e-mail a QuickBooks invoice via Outlook, just click Customer Centre/invoices, choose customer name and press send in ‘create invoice’ window. Outlook launches the customer’s address to the ‘To’ field, the invoice is attached as a PDF file and a customised form letter can be made in the Text window. The QuickBooks 2008 Help file is easy to use and appears as a column on the right side.
QuickBooks 2008 is free for the first thirty days but gets a little steep after the thirty days end.
All in all, QuickBooks 2008 is an extremely well made accounting program, which is user friendly for both pros and rookies. It gives excellent guidance and has a variety of editions, which are specific for specific industries. Definitely a good buy for those in accounting.