QuickBooks 2012 – Frequently Asked Questions About Upgrading

QuickBooks 2012 – Frequently Asked Questions About Upgrading.


QuickBooks 2012 {or any new version for that matter} from QuickBooks users.

Each year when Intuit releases a new version of QuickBooks, I’m flooded with a sea of phone calls/emails from QuickBooks users asking a multitude of questions about the new version. Below are some of the most frequent questions that I’m asked.

Should I/Do I NEED to upgrade to the new version?

I’m usually very conservative in regards to this question, especially the last few years with money being so tight for everyone, but typically my answer is:

IF you are currently using a version of QuickBooks that Intuit will sunset/retire next year OR if you feel that your business would benefit from some of the new features/functions – then you should go ahead and purchase the new version now {while pricing is low} BUT wait awhile before you actually install/move your company data file to the new version. I usually recommend that you wait until AFTER you’ve issued W-2?s and other year-end payroll tax returns.
Here’s why I respond this way:

Every year when the new version of QuickBooks is initially released, bugs or problems with the program are discovered by the folks who upgrade as soon as the new version is available, I see the problems being reported on the Intuit forums and other QuickBooks forums as well – and the people who are reporting the issues aren’t very happy. So my question to you is — do you want to be one of the early adopters who gets caught or bitten by a bug in the program that wasn’t discovered before it was released?
If you are currently using a version of QuicBooks that Intuit will sunset or retire next year, then you should go ahead and purchase now, but wait until after you’ve issued your W-2?s. Based on historical data, if you are currently using QuickBooks 2009/Enterprise 9 Intuit will be retiring these versions in May of 2012. If you are using QuickBooks 2008/Enterprise 8.0 {and I actually spoke to someone last week using the 2008 version}, run your payroll in-house and issue your own W-2?s – then you will need to upgrade in order to have the most current W-2 forms.
If you are using the 2010 or 2011 versions, are happy with things the way they are and don’t want/need any of the new features – then just hold off.
Will the 3rd party add-ons that I use be compatible with the new version?

This is ALWAYS a difficult question for me to answer. QuickBooks add-ons can be written by anyone, so you have to take into consideration when that developer will have access to the new version of QuickBooks to test their product, make sure it works as expected, make any necessary coding changes if they discover a problem, put out an update or patch, etc.

Most of the time there shouldn’t be a problem, but you never know for certain. My best piece of advice, when you rely on 3rd party apps to run your business, is to contact the developer who wrote the program and ask them directly before installing the new version, here’s why – it may be a little technical so bear with me:
Gold and Silver level developers, who have their 3rd party applications listed on the Intuit Marketplace, have historically been able to have access to a beta version of the new QuickBooks version in late July/early August so that they could perform testing, etc. As of today {September 9} this early access has not been made available to Gold and Silver Developers. NOTE – 9/12/2012 Gold & Silver developers can now download QuickBooks 2012.
There is a beta version of a new SDK (the Software Development Kit that many developers use to write their add-ons and is required if they are a Gold/Silver developer) that will allow developers to work with some of the new features. But the new version of the SDK is of little use if they also do not have access to the new QuickBooks version for testing, debugging and documenting new procedures or features that the developer might be able to take advantage of.
Other developers who use the SDK but are not Gold/Silver developers OR use other methods of working with the information in your company file – perhaps they use IIF files or other methods to access the QuickBooks file; also do not have access to the new version for testing and in reality they probably will not have access until right around the same time as you do.
Will my current computer/network run the new version of QuickBooks?

QuickBooks 2012 will require that your computer meets the following requirements, check your computers current settings by clicking your Start button -> choose Computer -> select System. This information came from data provided while I was beta testing and may be different when the final version is released:

Operating System:

Windows XP, all versions – Service Pack (SP) 2 or later strongly recommended
Windows Vista, all version with User Account Control (UAC) turned on {installed under a Standard User Account if using 3rd party add-ons}
Windows 7, all versions with User Account Control (UAC) turned on {installed under a Standard User Account if using 3rd party add-ons}
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Processor, RAM, Hard Drive Requirements:
NOTE: You’ll be better off with the recommended requirements.

2.0 GHz Pentium 4 Processor {2.4 GHz recommended}
1 GB RAM {2 GB recommended} for a single user or client machine
2 GB RAM for multiple, concurrent users for Pro & Premier
2 GB RAM or more strongly recommended for Enterprise on a server
2.5 GB free disk space for the actual QuickBooks program – additional space required for the data files
250 MB disk space for Microsoft >NET 4.0 Runtime {provided with the installation}
Screen (monitor) resolution:

QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise is optimized for a 1024 x 768 screen resolution
Database Server Requirements:

Windows XP, all versions – Service Pack (SP) 2 or later strongly recommended
Windows Vista, all version with User Account Control (UAC) turned on
Windows 7, all versions
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
When installing the new version should I choose the upgrade option?

We’ll be dedicating an entire blog post to best practices for installing a new version on a computer that currently has QuickBooks installed. Look for this information on Tuesday September 13th.

How does upgrading affect the size of my current file?

During beta testing I worked with two different files so I could see, first hand, how upgrading to QuickBooks 2012 would affect the size of the QuickBooks data file. To check the size of your own QuickBooks file – with QuickBooks open press the CTRL and the 1 keys at the same time OR press the F2 key at the top of your keyboard – this will open a Product Information window and you can find your file size – you should also check the number of DB {Database} file fragments.

The first file was a very small QuickBooks 2011 file with the following specs:

File size – 14,252 K {which roughly translates to 14 megs}
Total Transactions – 146
DB (Database) File Fragments – 3
After upgrading this file to QuickBooks 2012 this same file had the following specs:

File size – 17,716 K {which roughly translates to almost 18 megs – meaning the file grew 4 megs just from the upgrade}
Total Transactions – 146
DB (Database) File Fragments – 10
This is cause for concern, in my opinion – a 4 meg file size increase and a total of 10 database file fragments for a file that only has 146 transactions!

The second company file was

162,287 K {162 megs}
17,583 transactions
1 database file fragment
After the upgrade to QuickBooks 2012,

File size was 192,396 {about 192 megs or an increase of 30 megs}
26 database file fragments
We’ll be dedicating an entire blog post to some basic file maintenance before and after converting your current QuickBooks file to the new version on Monday September 12th.

What are the new features in QuickBooks?

This is the most popular question that I receive and one of the reasons that I started this blog — so you’ll have to stay tuned for that information.

What’s it gonna cost me?

Beginning on September 26, 2011 you will be able to pre-buy QuickBooks 2012 from Authorized QuickBooks Affiliates and directly from Intuit websites. The prices shown below are BEFORE any discounts.

QuickBooks Pro (single user) – $229.95
QuickBooks Pro 2 User – $459.95
QuickBooks Pro 3 User – $649.95
QuickBooks Pro Add-a-Seat – $229.95
QuickBooks Premier (single user) – $399.95
QuickBooks Premier 2 User – $749.95
QuickBooks Premier 3 User – $999.95
QuickBooks Premier Add-a-Seat – $359.95
*NOTE: I believe that the Premier Accountant Edition will cost an additional $100 over the prices indicated above and will include Intuit Statement Writer. I have not yet seen official pricing, so will update this price at a later date.*

QuickBooks Pro and Premier is scheduled to be available beginning October 9, 2011 at leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, BJ’s, Costco, Fry’s, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Sam’s, and Staples. Typically, the prices that you receive at these retailers will beat any discounts that you would receive if you purchased the software from an Authorized Intuit Affiliate or from Intuit.

Will your software work with the new version?

It should, however, I am waiting – just like everyone else to get my hands on a final release version of QuickBooks to do some more testing before making a more positive statement. I have run our software through some preliminary testing while beta testing the new version and did encounter a couple of issues, nothing major – but I couldn’t tell if the issue was with the QuickBooks beta {because I was having some issues with it} or with our software. I have found over the years that it’s always best to wait until I’ve run tests with a final release and not a beta release before making that final compatibility statement.

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