QuickBooks is one of the more popular accounting software packages used by small businesses to track expenses, sales, income, payroll, and more. If you’re a small business that has used QuickBooks for a long time, you may be most familiar with the desktop version. While many business owners feel that QuickBooks Desktop has a number of advantages over its sister tool, QuickBooks Online, there’s one key disadvantage many people miss: the software doesn’t last forever. You must maintain it by purchasing and installing updates about once every year.
A number of our clients have fallen into the trap of failing to update their QuickBooks Desktop software and found themselves with an outdated system that’s no longer supported by Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks). Once you get to this point, updating becomes a more cumbersome and expensive process.
Here are the five most important reasons to keep your QuickBooks Desktop up to date.
Technology is always improving, and it changes at a rapid pace. Constant advances force us to continually buy new phones, new computers, and new software. We’ve encountered businesses that are still using the QuickBooks version from 2010, or even older. With programs that old, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes incompatible with your computer’s hardware and operating systems, and QuickBooks will struggle to keep up.
2. Service Discontinuation
There are several useful add-on services Intuit offers to QuickBooks Desktop users, including live support, online backup, online banking, and payroll. However, QuickBooks is only supported by Intuit for the 3 years following the release. This year, QuickBooks will discontinue its 2017 desktop services; these services end after May 31, 2020. If you’re using any of the QuickBooks add-on services with the 2017 version, you’ll no longer have access to them by June of this year.
If you utilize the payroll feature on QuickBooks, upgrading is a must. If your version has been discontinued, your payroll subscription will be deactivated. Using an older version of QuickBooks to run payroll is not advised as certain tax calculations will be zeroed out and paychecks will be inaccurate. Users won’t be able to send payroll to Intuit for processing, including direct deposits. In addition, Intuit will no longer be responsible for filing your business’ payroll tax returns and W-2s.
As of January, Intuit is no longer providing security updates or support to any QuickBooks users still running Windows 7 or older. These updates help to keep sensitive information safe. QuickBooks is requiring all users to upgrade their computer systems to Windows 10. If you’re still using an older version of QuickBooks, it’s very likely it will become incompatible with your newly upgraded PC.
5. Time and Money
The longer you wait to upgrade, the more costly it will be. If your QuickBooks version is more than 5 years old, you could face compatibility issues and be forced to hire an expert to correct the issue. Intuit recommends upgrading every 3 years at a minimum. If you stay on top of updates, the process is simple and takes about an hour.
If you’re using an outdated version of QuickBooks Desktop, it’s worth exploring your other options before upgrading. As a subscription service, QuickBooks Online is always up to date with the latest security and compliance patches. Our cloud-based bookkeeping platform of choice is Xero, a user-friendly and collaborative tool that can be customized to your unique business needs through an extensive ecosystem of compatible applications.
It’s also worth assessing whether you’ve outgrown your accounting practices. Our cloud accounting division, GCT Technology and Accounting, can help you take advantage of technology and automation while still offering the critical role of a real, live person reviewing your financials. Contact us for assistance with QuickBooks, general bookkeeping questions, or to learn more about how your business can benefit from moving its books to the cloud.