The business accounting software Quickbooks Pro 2007 for Mac was my first business accounting software package and will probably be the last Quickbooks title that I purchase.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not bitter, angry, or have any axe to grind. I just believe that I discovered the pros and cons too long after the purchase to do anything concrete to resolve my issues with this software.
First of all, I enjoyed the ability to quickly set up a chart of accounts. This was helpful in putting together where all of the money was (and is) coming and going. I had my company accounts set up in minutes, the only problem is, there is little or no help in determining if they are set up correctly. When I first installed the software, it was so replete with bugs that it would crash almost automatically. Within a few weeks, there was an automatic software update (a built in feature) that allowed me to 'patch' the troublesome bugs and begin to work with a stable software platform.
Since I am a lifelong Mac user, I was limited in my choices back in 2006 as to what accounting software was available to me. I looked into Peachtree accounting products but they were just too high for a smaller size business like Hamilton Productions used to be back then. Quickbooks Pro was about $200 and seemed to have most of the features that I was looking for: Integration with online banking and even direct credit card processing (for an additional fee of course). I liked that I could create a 'bid' or 'proposal' in Quickbooks Pro then, turn that proposal into a 'job' and from that job turn it into an invoice and then eventually a packing slip. And, on top of all this, I could customize the quotes, invoices, and packing slips with my company logo, slogan, and/or address.These were all features that could give a smaller business a professional look.
Some of these features actually worked, a couple did not. First, at the time, Intuit did not offer credit card processing for Macs, this was NOT made clear up front by Intuit as I'm sure they would have missed out on quite a few sales had they made this clear from the beginning. When I called support, it took hours of hold time and dead conversations with people that knew less about the software than I did! I then chose to email directly with the support people for Quickbooks, and after several bounced emails, finally I was told quite simply that Quickbooks 2007 for Mac would not support direct processing from the software. And, even if it did, I would have to sign up with the Quickbooks credit card processing company which was about 30% more expensive than other processing companies. My understanding is that Intuit has now fixed this issue and Macs now enjoy the same right as PCs to be overcharged by Quickbooks to process their credit cards. Hooray!
The second feature that was a "phantom feature" for Macs was the integration of the software with online banking. This would, theoretically, allow you to download your statements directly into Quickbooks Pro and then assign each line item as a vendor expense, payment etc. which would have been AMAZING for organizing my books. However, for the first year, I was unable to use the software to communicate online with my bank (which was a very large bank). At first, I thought it was operator error and after more hours of searching for answers and receiving none, I reached the conclusion myself that Intuit, yet again, listed a PC feature as a "Mac" feature and again, all Mac users were out in the cold. In all fairness, with subsequent releases this has been cleared up and after a year, I was able to utilize this feature for the first time.
I like that I can add credit payments and deposit reminders directly to my ical. The data entry on the forms is a bit clunky. You can't really see what your invoice is going to look like when you're typing it, as the data entry on each line does not self-break or 'justify' to see all of it as you type. If you're billing description on a particular line is too long, you will type into the hidden abyss forever masking the mystery of whether you are typing the description without errors or not. When you customize the credit memos, invoices, or quotes, you don't see your logo on the invoice. All of the above can only be seen on final print. Which was no fun for me. Hopefully in subsequent releases this has been fixed.
There are quite a few little knocks on this software, I don't want to list them all as that would sound like embittered complaining, however I will say that for $200 I would expect the software to operate with stability upon installation - Quickbooks Pro for Mac 2007 did not. I would expect there to be some kind of pseudo-helpful tutorial or pdf to walk us through the basics, there was not. I would want to know that the support team at Intuit was ready to help their business customers get up and running in a timely fashion, there really wasn't a support team.
This software is the most widely known and does have some handy features but the limitations vs the price cause me to give it a big thumbs down.