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First Look: QuickBooks 2009 for Mac

updated 07:50 pm EST, Mon November 10, 2008

FIrstLook QuickBooks 2009

The growth of Mac market share is having some pleasant side effects -- especially for software. Instead of just releasing ported Windows versions, the economics of scale has made it practical for some developers to rewrite their titles to take advantage of Mac OS X features and ease of use. Intuit has made that investment in QuickBooks 2009, and the result is a much more "Mac-like" application. Simplicity is the key, the company says, and a host of new features have been added to reduce the learning curve for the venerable small business accounting application.

Intuit calls this "the most significant upgrade" in the product's history. A prime example is the new Home Page feature that provides quick access to common tasks -- a better organized alternative to the long row of icons that had been the hallmark of the previous interface. Home Page resembles a flow chart providing a visual representation of each step in the business process. A single click allow users to check inventory, take orders or pay bills. (For those who prefer the old version, the old icon bar remains.)

QuickBooks 2009 Home Page

For users who want to keep an eye on the 'Big Picture,' the Company Snapshot feature gathers data from across the various areas of a business and creates a one-page update including income and expenses, account, customer and vendor balances and various reminders.

Another major change involves the way business data are organized. Earlier versions required users to search for things like contact information in one place, and move to another to find invoices. Quickbooks 2009 automatically gathers related information into one-page "centers" for customer, vendor, transaction and report information. The Report Center generates profit and loss statements, balance sheets and other reports which can be accessed with Cover Flow, much like an album in iTunes.

QuickBooks 2009 Report Center

Intuit has done some work "under the hood" as well. The company says QuickBooks 2009 for Mac is built from the ground up for the Mac platform -- and the new features were written in Cocoa. One feature that did not make this release, however, is support for global search using Spotlight. Search functions are instead available within each "center."

A new batch e-mail function allows users to collect mail from the day and schedule a time to send them all at once. Emails can be edited before sending using Mail or Entourage.

Support for iCal and MobileMe has also been added. To-Do lists, reminders, and invoice information can be displayed and automatically updated in iCal. Intuit has added encrypted MobileMe backup support for QuickBooks data via a menu option.

New users will likely appreciate the detailed video tutorials that ship with QuickBooks 2009. Presented in a style similar to that of Apple's tutorials, the videos cover a wide range of topics from making a deposit to more advanced uses like processing payroll.

QuickBooks 2009 Tutorial

The problem with updating any application as well-known as QuickBooks is the risk that long-time users might be put off by new features and interface changes. Intuit seems to have come up with quite a suitable compromise with this version. Users who like the old interface aren't likely to find the changes too jarring, while new users may be more likely to appreciate the "Mac-like" feel. And, instead of just a Windows port, QuickBooks is now truly a Mac application.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still misses the mark

    Intuit never fully ported the Windows version to the Mac. It has always been a dumbed down version and still is. Most small businesses need multi-user support. This version still lacks that.

    Mac users just want feature parity. This product is still not on par with its Windows counter-part.

  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Where's my Quicken for Mac? The 2007 version sucks

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quickbooks still stinks

    This is my most personally hated Mac application in existence. They charge $200 every year, promise they made the files Windows compatible and it is always a lie. They are worse than politicians. 100 simple things like scrolling in fields are missing. They don't provide well for people who have 1,000's of 1-time customers since they force me to keep a unmanageable massive list of customers that I can only take out of view one at a time through several clicks. I can't search for even a customer name or purchase order number or much of anything. I look like a dufass looking for stuff when my customers have questions about something in billing. I have to rely on other records like email to help me better see what's going on with my business. I hate this software.

  1. Deakin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I use Quickbooks for Windows and I'm about to change to another solution because they're making the 2009 edition incompatible with company files of any current version that has 'multi currency' enabled! Can you believe they're making an update that cannot be migrated to from earlier version?Why would anyone want to use it on the Mac if it's a feature-crippled version on top of that?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No way

    If anyone has used Quickbooks for Windows, then you'll recognize that the so-called new Home Page feature is nothing more than a ported over version of the one in the Windows version. There is nothing "Mac-like" about it. Intuit continues to amaze me that it purports to sell Mac software that is half-baked and second-rate compared to the Windows version. Isn't there a truly Mac based solution for both accounting and POS?

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's rental software

    No matter what they say- you are only renting Quickbooks. If you don't upgrade at least every 3 years- it stops working.
    If you have employees- you can't enter the tax rates yourself- you have to buy a $200 a year tax table, which they don't tell you about until after you buy.
    Not only is the tax table expensive- it keeps thinking there is an Ohio School District tax- when there isn't.
    I had to switch to a PC years ago when they discontinued the Mac version- now- I can't switch back because it still doesn't have full parity.
    Do anything you can to avoid this software.

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