I recently upgraded from QuickBooks Pro 2008 (I know, I know) to QuickBooks Pro 2012. The upgrade itself was as painless as possible. I really only had to click Next a few times. The first time I ran the program it found my old data file, walked me through making a backup, and then converted it to the new format.
I was also greeted by the following screen which made it really easy for me to adjust to the new version.
A major improvement is the ability to open lists as spreadsheets and work on them directly. Before it really wasted a lot of my time to edit list entries one by one. Now I can fly through updating the services we offer and the prices we charge.
I also had my first QuickBooks 2012 “wow” moment watching the tutorial video (it’s worth taking the time to watch it). Now, when I edit an invoice I can see a customer summary, a list of prior transactions, and my customer notes. This is a huge leap forward. Before I had to toggle between windows – it was basically a nightmare if I needed to look up a customer record in the middle of entering an invoice. This is going to be a huge time saver.
There seem to be a bunch of features that I don’t want, but this is what happens when a program tries to be all things to all users. QuickBooks 2012 features a To Do List which I guess would be helpful if I tracked customer interactions and tasks in QuickBooks itself. I see this feature as the beginning of QuickBooks becoming “business software” rather than “accounting software”. A small business could use QuickBooks to manage everything that goes on in that business, not just to settle accounts.
A time saving feature is the ability to memorize transactions. Say you have a bill that is due every month, or an invoice that goes out every month. The first time you enter it you can click to memorize it. Now, you won’t have to retype that invoice or pay that bill every single time. When you open QuickBooks 2012 a screen pops up with memorized transactions and you can either let it do everything for you or stop it.
The Lead Center is totally new in QuickBooks and I’m looking forward to checking it out. This brings some CRM functionality into QuickBooks 2012 that is probably going to replace my beautiful paper and white board system. Leads can be entered, contacts tracked, and meetings documented so everything is all in one place. The best part is that when a lead becomes a customer, I can convert him with a single mouse click.