First look: QuickBooks for Mac 2012 aims to meet unique needs of Mac enterprise

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
The new QuickBooks for Mac 2012 is designed to satisfy the unique characteristics of Mac business users, who are very different from their Windows counterparts.



Intuit recently offered a sneak peek of the latest version of QuickBooks for Mac, which is set to become available on Sept. 26, to AppleInsider. Pranay Kapadia, group product manager of QuickBooks for Mac and Mobile, explained that the financial application is different on Mac OS X than it is on Windows because the average customer for each product is different as well.



For example, the average QuickBooks for Mac user has a much smaller business size compared to a QuickBooks user on PC. Intuit revealed that 60 percent of its QuickBooks for Mac customers are sole proprietors of their business, and most of them are in service-based industries.



"It's about solving the jobs well," Kapadia said of the differences between QuickBooks for Mac and PC, "and not about check-boxes and feature parity."



One major focus in this year's update is a new user experience, which Kapadia said aims to make sure that new users start with QuickBooks for Mac on a confident note. In that respect, Intuit has three things to help: Guide Me, a list of top-used features; an active blog where users can get updates; and assistance and support that comes in the form of a 60-minute personalized setup with each purchase.



One key change highlighted by Will Lynes, QuickBooks for Mac product manager, relates to invoices. A list of transactions has been added to the left, along with search functionality, allowing users to find transactions and invoices quickly. The customer info panel and transaction list also appears on estimates, receive payments, sales receipts, credit memos and refunds, bills, write checks, enter credit card charges, and general journal entries.







An available new customer summary includes information like open balance, recent transactions and notes. The development team's effort, Lynes said, has been to make QuickBooks for Mac more efficient, presenting users with all information in one place.



But Intuit has also worked to simplify its finance software with the 2012 version. For example, developers have reduced the number of save buttons in invoices to just one, making what Lynes referred to as an "elegant solution."







Customer polls showed Intuit that the top places where Mac users are spending time are with invoicing, bills and expenses. For all of them, the company decided to adopt a paper-like design that they felt would help users view data in an un-cluttered way.



Another major feature of the latest version is an improved search function. Lynes admitted that the previous search experience didn't work like Mac users, who are familiar with Apple's Spotlight feature, would expect.







Now, just like with Spotlight or Google, users can simply type in a search term, like a customer name, employee name, amount or transaction number. Results show up quickly, and large amounts of data can be further filtered by options like transaction type.



Users can also save their search criteria, just like Apple's own smart searches in Finder. The option doesn't store the list of results, but the criteria itself, allowing for dynamic results to be delivered.







For online banking, Intuit has taken lessons learned from its acquisition of Mint.com in improving transactions that are imported into QuickBooks. Now, the software will analyze how users are renaming their payees, and suggest names based on that.



Among beta testers who have been using QuickBooks for Mac 2012 ahead of its launch, more than half have said they're saving an hour or more per month in time compared to the previous version of QuickBooks, Intuit said.







"This is where we want to take lead and lead with Apple and make sure we're doing the right thing for our customers," Kapadia said. "It's not about the laundry list of features."



For more on QuickBooks for Mac 2012, see an extensive rundown on the list of features highlighted by Intuit.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    Finally, what looks like a nice solution to use. I'm glad they're really looking and listening to see where they should put their efforts into improving the software. The chart depicting the differences between PC and Mac Quicken users is extremely interesting as well.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Did they ever fix the problem where the Mac version could not be used on a PC QuickBooks network? That is classical Intuit. Apparently, the concept of networking different types of computers is so alien to them that they never bothered to make the Mac version compatible with a PC QuickBooks network.



    And the wording of their press release makes me think that nothing has changed. They still have this view that Mac users have different needs and don't need a 'real' financial solution like Windows users. I'm disgusted by the fact that they are still spewing this nonsense.



    As a shareholder, I'd be livid. First, by the fact the they're alienating so many users and second by the fact that they're wasting so much money having parallel development. A more intelligent approach would be to have a single calculation module and then only the UI would need to be developed separately.



    I would strongly encourage any Mac users using QuickBooks to find an alternative. It has been at least 15 years since Intuit wrote any decent software for the Mac.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    What is it with Accounting/Book Keeping software that makes it so unappealing? Oh yea! The butt ugly interface that Intuit is known to produce. That's the ticket!
  • Reply 4 of 51
    I owned a small business in construction for 16 years and sold out in 2007. I used MultiLedger by CheckMark along with their payroll software. Quickbooks on a Mac was a sorry offering from Intuit. My company employed from 6 to 13 people. I would expect that many small businesses with employees simply didn't find Intuit's offerings up to the task. It seems that they have created the user base and now are using this self created statistical analysis to justify continuing to offer the same sorry stuff. Intuit should either get with Mac software or get out completely. That goes for their dumb Quicken offerings as well which I gave up on long ago.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Did they ever fix the problem where the Mac version could not be used on a PC QuickBooks network?



    All the CPAs I know are using Windows. If it is incompatible how do you get your taxes done?



    Edit:



    I did some searching around and this is what I found.



    Share your QuickBooks data with Windows-based users, such as your accountant. Send a Mac file to a Windows user (who can update it) and the Windows user can send it back. Just click the toolbar icon: "Backup to QuickBooks Windows". As QuickBooks creates the backup, it simultaneously creates a PDF file of simple instructions for opening and sending back the file. Send both files to your accountant or Windows user.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Pranay Kapadia, group product manager of QuickBooks for Mac and Mobile, explained that the financial application is different on Mac OS X than it is on Windows because the average customer for each product is different as well.



    For example, the average QuickBooks for Mac user has a much smaller business size compared to a QuickBooks user on PC. Intuit revealed that 60 percent of its QuickBooks for Mac customers are sole proprietors of their business, and most of them are in service-based industries.



    "It's about solving the jobs well," Kapadia said of the differences between QuickBooks for Mac and PC, "and not about check-boxes and feature parity."





    this is bullshit. and a self-fulfilling prophecy.



    If they keep making a mac product for small businesses, is there any surprise that their mac customers will be mainly small businesses?
  • Reply 7 of 51
    Fragmentation!

    All we ask for is the same Windows version on the Mac to avoid the plaguing incompatibilities. Companies buy Windows in Mac based shops only to run software such as QuickBooks, that chart is crap at best.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    All the CPAs I know are using Windows. If it is incompatible how do you get your taxes done?



    Obviously, you don't know anything about accounting software, accountants, or taxes.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    To Pranay Kapadia: It's the features, stupid!
  • Reply 10 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skipaq View Post


    I owned a small business in construction for 16 years and sold out in 2007. I used MultiLedger by CheckMark along with their payroll software. Quickbooks on a Mac was a sorry offering from Intuit. My company employed from 6 to 13 people. I would expect that many small businesses with employees simply didn't find Intuit's offerings up to the task. It seems that they have created the user base and now are using this self created statistical analysis to justify continuing to offer the same sorry stuff. Intuit should either get with Mac software or get out completely. That goes for their dumb Quicken offerings as well which I gave up on long ago.



    +99

    when i started my business, one-write and peach tree were the best choices. Peachtree has grown, and its not great but it gets the job done. Most people don't change lightly, its not like changing your favorite spreadsheet app. I run my business on a mac, but have to use virtualization for peach tree. Quickbooks was NEVER up to running a small business, and on a mac was much worse, and its so recent. Hence there are so few business running QB with any employees on a mac.

    I work with a lot of other business owners - peachtree is most common - and if intuit offered a QB alternative, many would switch - if only because of peachtree performance.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    Here's your QuickBooks 2012 feature summary: trinkets to make it look like they're not hosing people for what should be a patch from their Lion-incompatible version.



    Intuit is a joke.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Obviously, you don't know anything about accounting software, accountants, or taxes.



    Ha Ha! Well I know a little. I know enough to tell my accountant to send over the Windows QB file to our CPA. Fortunately, I don't need to know any more than that so I can concentrate on making and spending money.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member
    First, a little story:

    A few years ago in Canada, Intuit offered QuickTax for Mac users. But it wasn't complete. Is was missing the RRSP (similar to 401k) planner so that you could plan your RRSP filing and see how much tax you would save. They promised the update was coming. It came - AFTER THE RRSP FILING DEADLINE!



    The next year they discontinued QuickTax for Mac citing "we had poor sales last year. The Mac market in Canada is not large enough to justify us developing and selling QuickTax for Mac." Gee, you think? Not including one of the biggest reasons people bought tax software might result in poor sales.



    I wish Intuit would realize these things:

    1. Mac users are different only in that they demand better UI for their software.

    2. You can't justifiably withhold the features Mac users want and then say "Mac users don't want that because they don't use our product for that." BECAUSE THEY CAN'T, YOU MORONS!



    Mac users are not different in that you can use that as an excuse to leave out features or not implement cross-platform compatibility in your products. Stop using that as an excuse for poor planning.



    It's like setting up a lemonade stand year after year that sells only lemonade and then claiming "my customers don't want iced tea because they've only ever bought lemonade from me."
  • Reply 14 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,347member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skipaq View Post


    I owned a small business in construction for 16 years and sold out in 2007. I used MultiLedger by CheckMark along with their payroll software. Quickbooks on a Mac was a sorry offering from Intuit. My company employed from 6 to 13 people. I would expect that many small businesses with employees simply didn't find Intuit's offerings up to the task. It seems that they have created the user base and now are using this self created statistical analysis to justify continuing to offer the same sorry stuff. Intuit should either get with Mac software or get out completely. That goes for their dumb Quicken offerings as well which I gave up on long ago.



    That was my reaction too. Why not make their software scaleable rather than limiting it based on a user profile which is a direct result of the software's limitations in the first place?
  • Reply 15 of 51
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,347member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    All the CPAs I know are using Windows. If it is incompatible how do you get your taxes done?



    Edit:



    I did some searching around and this is what I found.



    Share your QuickBooks data with Windows-based users, such as your accountant. Send a Mac file to a Windows user (who can update it) and the Windows user can send it back. Just click the toolbar icon: "Backup to QuickBooks Windows". As QuickBooks creates the backup, it simultaneously creates a PDF file of simple instructions for opening and sending back the file. Send both files to your accountant or Windows user.



    It is 2011, Macs have been using Intel chips for long enough that the software could and should have been indistinguishable other than the usual looking nicer on a Mac type UI things. It is simply ridiculous that Inuit think the Mac versions should be dumbed down. CPAs are people too, perhaps they'd love to use Macs and not waste half their client's time waiting for virus updates, Adobe Reader updates ... And so on.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    Puh-leeze. QuickBooks is a piece of junk. So QuickBooks 2012 for Mac has finally caught up to QuickBooks 1995 for Windows?



    QuickBooks for Mac will never, ever, ever, ever hold a candle to the BEST accounting package for the Mac, which is AccountEdge.



    And anybody who believes that Intuit actually gives a damn about the Mac platform clearly hasn't been paying attention to how Intuit has treated all their loyal Quicken customers of over 20 years. Intuit is a horrible company that makes horrible products with horrible customer service (straight to you from India!).



    I wouldn't give Intuit one more penny of my money if my life depended on it.



    I support REAL COMPANIES that make GREAT PRODUCTS that WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT THE MAC... such as AccountEdge (for business accounting) and iBank (for personal finances).



    Sure, AccountEdge and iBank both have their problems too, but at least they CARE about their Mac customers and WANT to continually make the best products for Mac users.



    Intuit has shown their true colors, and they are a disgusting company.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The new QuickBooks for Mac 2012 is designed to satisfy the unique characteristics of Mac business users, who are very different from their Windows counterparts.



    For example, the average QuickBooks for Mac user has a much smaller business size compared to a QuickBooks user on PC. Intuit revealed that 60 percent of its QuickBooks for Mac customers are sole proprietors of their business, and most of them are in service-based industries.




    Intuit is either clueless or purposely creates statistics to justify limited development efforts for Macs. Their statistics comparing QuickBooks users for Mac and PC may be true but it is not a surprise. Past and current Mac versions have been crippled and cannot be used by anyone but small businesses or larger businesses with very simple accounting needs. Our firm's business is all on Macs but guess what, Intuit? We use Parallels and run QuickBooks Pro in Windows 7 on our Macs! We show up as a Windows user in your statistic because you force us to use your Windows version.



    And Intuit, you know very well that plenty of service-based industries have needs that are not covered by your Mac version. In our case, one of the key reasons why we use QuickBooks Pro for Windows with Parallels is multi-currency support. As long as there is no multi-currency in the Mac version, we have to use the Windows version.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    There are some excellent observations of QBs here but if you really want intuit to listen maybe email them and tell them directly, venting here may feel good but won't bring change.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kerryb View Post


    There are some excellent observations of QBs here but if you really want intuit to listen maybe email them and tell them directly, venting here may feel good but won't bring change.



    I actually have spent a good deal of time trying to work with QB support and marketing staff in the hopes of getting the damn product fixed. #1 Problem not addressed in the title of the story: Proper Compatibility with Windows Versions!! I don't want to hear "unique differences" between Mac and PC users... I want to hear how the same great (read craptastic) experience on Windows is not available in a bug-compatible way with the Mac versions... and you can even share the same data file!



    But no... Our protest was sticking with 2006 since its release. Now we are going to a professional ($25k) system and dumping Intuit. Not really sure who wins here though...
  • Reply 20 of 51
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    CPAs are people too.



    If I use that for my new signature do I have to give you credit?



    Seriously though it takes more than Intel chips to make it cross platform. To program for Windows you use Visual Studio and for Mac, XCode. Unless you do some porting thing like Adobe and Apple do, but that never turns out so well.
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