Thursday, October 27, 2005

Welcome Intuit!

Using my blog stats as a guide, the blog has seen a fair amount of traffic from the good folks at Intuit, both in California as well as from Texas. It's ok, I know you're watching Small Business Accounting like a hawk. Please continue to come back and join the discussion.

One thing I have to say about the good folks at Intuit is that they've stepped it up again. I received mail from them on QB 2006 and it included a link to help "educate" me on the differences between QB and SBA. Now, ordinarily I'd be glad to see this kind of info, but I was a bit disappointed in what was presented. Anyone who has spent any time with SBA will immediately see the wrong info being pointed out on the comparison page. Everything from what versions of Office are supported by SBA to how SBA works with Excel to the claim about customer and vendor centers, etc, etc, etc. I could go point by point and offer updates to the incorrect info, but it's just not worth my time.

In addition to the direct claims on the comparison page, there are a few paid-for "reviews" of SBA -- one by Laura Madeira and one by Doug Sleeter. Again, both of these "reviews" are so 100% biased that it's hard to sort out what is right and what is wrong. Fortunately for me, having used SBA extensively, I know that the cash-basis examples that she calls out have already been fixed in the SBA update. Her claims about how the ADP payroll service tell me that she hasn't used it. (Hey Laura: It's free for 30 days right now -- try it and see how the expense and liability accounts are automatically updated for the user.) Finally, her claim about the Accountant Transfer feature in SBA may have some merit, but when you realize that most accountants don't use the QB Accountant Copy feature because of it's limitations and wind up sending the entire file anyway, the issue kind of falls apart. The Sleeter review contains similar inaccuracies: lack of custom address on job invoices, reports by class, etc.

In short, I'm disappointed in the Intuit guys this time because I thought they had more integrity -- this hard-line marketing is barely a notch above mudslinging. Honestly guys, if you're going to shoot at the Microsoft product (which is expected), at least keep it accurate.


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Scott_QuickBooksGuy said...

Here at Intuit in Mt. View as well as in other cities, we try and learn as much as possible from our current and potential customers. Whether it’s talking to them directly or reading a blog. In fact, I was at our call center in Tucson yesterday listening to customers’ phone calls, even though I work on our websites.

For us… especially my team, it’s really all about learning…So, it’s interesting to hear what you are thinking.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger LauraM said...

SBSGuru, I can appreciate your passion.

As an accountant I specialize in software selection and implementation for my clients. My clients pay me for this expertise.

So it is not surprising, given what I do, to take a close look at the SBA product.

As of the 1.0.3223.1 release of SBA the issues I outlined in my review remain problamatic for SBA.

These are issues typical for any accountant wishing his client to have a software solution that is both easy to use and accurate.

Each issue raised in the Cash Basis accounting method are serious enough for an accountant to look closely at before recommending SBA for certain industries.

Payroll for the small business user is a critical, time sensitive task. I have used SBA payroll extensively and find that it is not user friendly for both the client and accountant.

1) Many accountant's prefer to be involved with their clients payroll, with ADP the only solution this task does not connect the Accountant and the client.

2) As of the referenced version all payroll transactions for one pay period are sent to SBA as one lump journal entry. This makes it next to impossible to reconcile the bank account easily.

3) You are correct in citing that the expenses and liabilities increase in SBA with each payroll. I wasn't referring to that in stating the small business users need help in creating their liability check. Failure to create the payroll liability check for the correct amount in the correct time period can lead to costly IRS penalities. Other software packages create this check for the correct amounts and remind the user when they are due.

There are many accountant's that do prefer to use a data file that changes can be made to and then imported back into the clients file, while not disrupting their client's work flow. Not having this feature available makes it harder for those accountant's to work with their clients data.

Fortunately for our clients we are both passionate about what we do. When looking for an accounting software solution ease of use and accuracy should both be equally considered.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Craig said...

I'm wondering if any ex-Intuit customers have had difficulty with the new ADP product transition?

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