Why I Can Not Use QuickBooks

Why I Can Not Use QuickBooks

I really want to like QuickBooks. It has a wonderful user interface and processes things quickly. It allows me to create invoices, track payments, record expenses, etc, etc. But the best part of QuickBooks is it's add-on module, Customer Manager. At first glance, it seemed to be perfect for my business because it had the ability to manage my customer database, while at th same time allowing me to assign projects and project-related tasks to each client. In my line of work, that is critical. Customer manager also has a calendar function that is very user-friendly.

Customer Manager also allows you to keep notes (i.e. phone calls, pasted emails, etc) and assign them to Clients, Projects, and even Tasks. Customer information can be sync'd back and forth between QuickBooks and Customer Manager.

Without Customer Manager, QuickBooks is OK, but not a "must-have."

I gave the two programs a full test through two weeks of my business cycle. Sadly, at the end of testing, I had to decide to NOT use the products. Here are the reasons why:

  • No Palm Support. My Palm Treo 650 is a key component of my business. My contacts, task list, and calendar are critical to my day-to-day organization. While on the road, I can check email, create accounts, and assign a task based up on any important messages/calls. Unfortunately, QuickBooks' Customer Manager does not offer ANY sync'ing capability with the Palm platform. The only solution for me is to purchase Microsoft Outlook and sync the data there first -- and THEN sync to Customer Manager.Forcing PDA users to go through Outlook baffles me, especially knowing that QuickBooks' biggest competitor is Microsoft Accounting. You would think that they would embrace the Palm community! For my trial period, I did actually download Microsoft Outlook 2007. However, I do not own Microsoft Outlook, and have no desire to purchase the entire Microsoft Office Suite, just so I can sync with QuickBooks.
  • No Billable Hours/Tasks Support. When first started using Customer Manager with QuickBooks, I was excited to think that I could track all of my projects/tasks and then easily convert that data into invoices with QuickBooks. Sadly, that is not the case. QuickBooks does not recognize any project data -- only customer data. Invoicing still requires double-entry.

Bottom line...For me to use QuickBooks, I would have to waste a lot of time doing double entry and verifying the accuracy of the syncing process (which I learned was not as seamless as I had hoped). I would also have to purchase Microsoft Office (Outlook is not sold seperately). Those are both deal-breakers for me.

Posted: 2007-02-20

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