If this blog were a gun and Intuit were a person there’d be a smoking hole in the wall somewhere above their left ear and I’d be brandishing for a second shot. It’s a good thing there aren’t waiting periods for creating new posts on blogs, because I’m angry now.
Alright, I’m not really that angry, but I am perturbed, annoyed, and frustrated. With who? With Intuit. Who’s Intuit? They make Quickbooks. What’s Quickbooks? It’s accounting software for small to mid-size businesses. What are mid-size businesses? They’re small businesses that don’t like being called small so they had to make up a new term.
The cause of my frustration begins with a phone call I was on with a sales person from Intuit a few weeks ago. On that phone call I asked the person “Can I upgrade from Enterprise 2.0 to Pro 2006?” The answer was “Yes, but you won’t have access to the Enterprise features.” Turns out the sales guy didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.
But since I also didn’t have a clue, I promptly purchased Quickbooks Pro 2006. But wait, why was I upgrading to a newer version in the first place? Was I dissatisfied with my version of Quickbooks because everyone had a newer version and I was keen to enjoy all those new features? Was there some compelling feature that made the upgrade necessary in order to deal with the new ways in which business is conducted today? No, as a matter of fact I’m quite happy with Enterprise 2.0 and could go on using it for years. That is, if Intuit hadn’t cut off support of payroll features which forced me to upgrade.
Why does Intuit cut off payroll support? Is it because it’s just too much work to make it work on older versions? Maybe, but I doubt it. There’s an obvious reason, which is that as long as I keep using my outdated software that I’m happy with, they don’t make any money. Why not force people to upgrade, we’ll make millions! Well, in truth I don’t mind that tactic. That’s their right to run their company that way, and if I don’t like it I have a right to start my own accounting software company and provide unlimited support forever. Intuit’s lack of support for software more than three-years old would be only mildly annoying if it weren’t for what followed.
I went out and purchased Quickbooks Pro 2006 with Payroll Solutions for $400. I didn’t buy the newest version of Enterprise Solutions because 1) I don’t need the Enterprise features I’ve learned, and 2) it costs around $4K, many times what Pro costs.
I installed Pro on our front-desk computer and went to open our Quickbooks file. No dice. I got a message saying something to the effect of Quickbooks Pro not being able to open Enterprise files. Great, so the Intuit representative either 1) lied to me, or 2) didn’t know what he was talking about.
So I start searching through Intuit’s website and I find Karl Irvin’s website. Karl went out and developed a piece of software that can transfer transactions from Enterprise versions of Quickbooks to the Pro version.
Thrilled, I purchased the software. Whoops. It can only transfer within two versions of each other, and Enterprise 2.0 and Pro 2006 are about four versions apart. My problem is that I’ve already spent a week and a half working on this in between the light work I have here and there running a company, and if I don’t get the new software installed real fast I’m not sure how I’m going to cut paychecks. And by the way, I’ve leaving a lot of the details out of this story to spare you the drama.
Luckily I happen to have a cousin in-law who is a Quickbooks Certified Advisor and has a copy of Enterprise 6.0. I send my assistant on a 2-hour drive to pick up a burned disk, bring it back, and install it, upgrade the file from 2.0 to 6.0. I then proceed to use the software I bought from Karl for $130 to transfer everything to 2006. This takes a while because I’m not very good at reading instructions and so I have to do this multiple times.
“Finally,” I’m thinking, “I’ve finally got it” as I open 2006 and I see all sorts of data in there. Hmmm, but wait. Why is my bank balance a few hundred thousand dollars above what I know it to be? Well, as it turns out Karl’s software doesn’t transfer everything. One thing it leaves out is payroll transactions. I figure this out by looking around his website as I curse Intuit for not just building functionality into their software to allow me to transfer everything easily from Enterprise to Pro. Karl built his own program, and I know Intuit has teams of developers, so I’m sure they could do it quite easily if they wanted to.
But wait, Karl says he’s also built a utility that transfers payroll over. However, it doesn’t transfer everything, it just brings the checks over with the total amounts so that your balances will be correct, even if your payroll details aren’t. Well, it’s better than nothing, so I buy that software for $50.
I try to run the software, but it doesn’t work. Turns out it’s not compatible with 6.0.
And that’s where the matter currently rests. I’ve had to go back and re-enter in all the information for payroll for 2006, and I’m looking at paying my accountant for several hours to make adjusting entries and such so that our balance comes out right, and who knows what else isn’t quite right.
I don’t blame Karl for any of this, although I think it would be bonkers if he could get his software to transfer EVERYTHING over, but I’m guessing he faces limitations within Quickbooks that don’t make that possible.
I am peeved at Intuit. I wish I had never purchased Enterprise in the first place and I would caution anyone against buying it unless they’re comfortable paying a few grand to upgrade it every three years, knowing that if you want to transfer to Pro you’re going to have some serious work ahead of you.
All told, I’ve currently spent $180 more than I planned to, and I suspect I’ll be out around $400-500 more after my accountant fixes everything. When I add in my time and the potential for added inconvenience down the road due to unforeseen consequences of this transfer I wonder if I shouldn’t have forked out a couple grand for Enterprise 6.0. I think that’s what Intuit has planned all along.
But I’m going to make it my goal that their plan backfires on them, at least to the extent I can affect things. Whereas Intuit hoped to make a few extra grand off of me, they haven’t. And with my angry rant of a blog post, who knows how many others, who otherwise may have purchased Enterprise, will now opt for Pro instead, costing Intuit tens, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or maybe they’ll even buy Peachtree or Great Plains, who knows.
Tell the people, don’t let my sufferings have been in vain!