Review: QuickBooks 2010 for Mac

QuickBooks 2010 adds New Company Setup Assistant & Preferences Pane. (January 21st, 2010)

QuickBooks 2010 for Mac by Intuit is full of new features and bug fixes. Sync with Address Book and track client hours with My Time, plus process credit card transactions.

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Intuit Inc.

Price: $199.95

The Good

  • Improved Preferences pane.
    Address Book sync works well.
    Credit/Debit card processing added.

The Bad

  • No online bill pay.
    No cross-platform file compatibility.
    Still feels like a second-class citizen compared to the Windows version.

QuickBooks for Windows is the defacto standard when it comes to accounting software. QuickBooks for Mac, however, has always felt like an afterthought when compared to its Windows sibling. QuickBooks 2010 for Mac, the latest offering from Intuit, is full of new features, bug fixes, and some of the same shortcomings that have plagued the Macintosh version since the beginning.

New and Improved Features

New features in QuickBooks 2010 include the New Company Setup Assistant and the ability to process debit and credit card payments without leaving the application. Improved features include how you create and edit invoices, estimates, and purchase orders, plus a more powerful and flexible search feature. A Guide Me feature walks new users through important tasks, so that you can customize the program more easily. In addition, QuickBooks synchronizes with Mac OS X Address Book and includes the program My Time for tracking billable hours for different clients.

Using QuickBooks

When you start the program, the New Company Setup Assistant loads a default set of functions based on the type of company you tell it you own. This fundamental assistance has been reduced from multiple screens to two, and should be enough to get most people started quickly.

quickbooks2010-newcompany


New Company Setup Assistant


Intuit makes much of the new built-in credit and debit card processing available in QuickBooks 2010, and it works very well. The problem is that there is no online payment of bills support. I think that online bill pay should be a part of any professional financial software, especially at this price. You can sync your QuickBooks customers contact information to your Mac OS X Address Book application, which reduces typing. I thought it worked perfectly and more efficiently.

The useful Company Snapshot feature shows at a glance anything you want to know about your company, such as Income, Expenses, Trends, Account Balances, Vendor Balances and more. The customizable window works with drag-and-drop widgets in a drawer at the bottom, much like Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X.

quickbooks2010-companyshot.


Your Company At A Glance Snapshot


The overhauled Preferences pane now sports the Mac OS look and feel. You can navigate through your preferences quickly and easily.

quickbooks2010-prefs


New Preferences Pane


If your business needs to track time spent on individual projects, the free downloadable My Time module should be a big help. It works in conjunction with QuickBooks or as a standalone application. You choose the jobs or clients to track and it assigns that time the designated clients.

quickbooks2010-mytime


My Time - Time Tracking Module

Summary

QuickBooks 2010 requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 and above and an Intel-based Mac. I did not test the payroll module, but you can test it out free from www.macpayroll.com. While I like the new features and the more polished interface, the inherent problems with this version of QuickBooks are still all too present. My overall impression of QuickBooks 2010 for Mac is that there are sill problems with it, such as cross-platform file compatibility, online bill payment, and, dare I say it, the coherent look, and functionality of the Windows version.

As a small business owner who wants a new financial application, I am frustrated that no one offers a solid and intuitive financial application for the Mac platform. I use customized spreadsheets in Apple's Numbers application and Billable from Clickable Bliss, to invoice and every day I look for an application that merges those two and folds in credit/debit card processing and online bill pay. So far, I have not found any program to meet my needs.

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