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QuickBooks Upgrading FAQ

Most frequently asked question #1: Where to buy QuickBooks Pro


I did a rather thorough Internet search before buying version 2004, and the best price I found from a reputable source was:

$245.25 from www.thenerds.net.

$245.00 from www.a2zcomp.com.

These prices are before the upgrade rebate, with no sales tax, and includes shipping.


Most frequently asked question #2: Will I lose my data if I upgrade?


Absolutely Not.  New versions of QuickBooks Pro are ALWAYS compatible with prior versions of QuickBooks Pro.  What this means is that any new version will be able to read data files from previous versions of the program.


Most frequently asked question #3: Do I need a new template file if I upgrade?


No.  Once you have adopted the Template File and have been using it as your company file, it's no longer the Template because now it's got your data in it.

Of course, after asking your permission, QuickBooks will upgrade your existing company file when you first open it in the new version of QuickBooks, but you certainly don't want to reinstall the Template File and start all over again with a new set of books.

Other common upgrade questions


 

How often does Intuit release a new version of QuickBooks Pro?


For the past five years, Intuit has released a new version of QuickBooks Pro every year in January.
 

Why does Intuit release new versions of the program every year?

Intuit has developed an annoying habit of releasing a new version of QuickBooks Pro every year, regardless of wither the new features justify a new release. Specifically, the "improvements" in versions 2002 and 2003 largely amounted to the addition of new strategies for selling additional services over the Internet, services such as the monthly payroll update, your own Website (where they are only too happy to become your credit card merchant) and online banking (for a fee).

On this subject, I'm particularly aggravated at the institution of the monthly payroll rate service. The federal payroll tax deduction tables haven't changed since 1996 when President Clinton pushed the first retroactive tax increase in history. Nevertheless, Intuit has written QuickBooks Pro so that you have to continue to pay the $7.00 monthly fee for the "updates" that haven't changed, or the payroll module won't work.
 

How often do I need to upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks Pro?


The specific answer would depend upon whether the latest version of QuickBooks has new features that you believe are important. Barring your need for a specific new feature, you can generally skip the new releases for two of three years. In other words, there isn't anything wrong with QuickBooks Pro 2002 or 2003, so I you don't need any of the new features that are in version 2004, then you don't need to upgrade at that time.
 

How much should I expect to pay for the upgrade?


First, understand that Intuit doesn't release upgrade versions of QuickBooks, they release new full versions and then issue rebate checks to qualified existing QuickBooks owners. This means that when a new version is released, you will need to buy the full version and then use the rebate certificate inside the box to send away for the rebate, which is typically approximately $100.00. I've done this every year for 6 years and never had a problem getting the rebate check.

Nevertheless, you need to keep a sharp eye out for the price you pay for QuickBooks. Many retail and Internet stores have the unmitigated gall to "advertise" the new release at what is actually the full retail price, usually approximately $270.00 to $280.00, making a big show as if this is a sale price, which it isn't. Some will even go as far as to advertise a price after the rebate, which would make it approximately $180.00. Still others will show you both QuickBooks and QuickBooks Pro and then list the price of the cheaper QuickBooks.

I say let's not reward the full retail sellers. You can find QuickBooks Pro at a regular discount price of approximately $250.00 at places like Sams Wholesale Club and (for some reason) Office Max. This does not include the rebate, of course. The bottom line: You can save $50.00 simply by picking up the phone, and I encourage you to do so.

Another method of finding the discounted price of the newest versions of QuickBooks is to shop the Internet. I did a rather thorough search myself before buying version 2002, and the best price I found from a reputable source are listed at the top of this webpage.
 

I'm using Quicken. Should I upgrade to QuickBooks Pro version 2001?


Definitely Yes.  You're driving a go-cart. It's time to start driving a Corvette, but DO NOT expect to convert your Quicken files to QuickBooks. Yes, I know that it says that you can do it, but as a practical matter IT DOSEN'T WORK, largely because Quicken is a personal financial program and QuickBooks is a business accounting program. Besides, you want to start using the Template File because it's already set up for a construction company.
 

I'm using QuickBooks Pro version 6.0 / 99 / 2000 / 2001. Should I upgrade to version 2004?


Definately!  QuickBooks version 6.0 is now FIVE versions old, and the difference between versions 6.0 / 99 / 2000 / 2001 and 2004 certainly justifies spending the money for an upgrade.
 

I'm using QuickBooks Pro version 2002 or 2003. Should I upgrade to version 2004?

Probably Not.  At this time, QuickBooks Pro 2002 is only one year old and doesn't suffer from any programming flaws. Of course, if you want the new features in version 2004, then go for it.
 

If I upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks Pro will I lose my existing data?

Absolutely Not.  New versions of QuickBooks Pro are ALWAYS compatible with prior versions of QuickBooks Pro. What this means is that any new version will be able to read data files from previous versions of the program.
 

If I upgrade or change to Windows ME will I lose my existing data?

Absolutely Not.  New versions of Windows have no effect on your QuickBooks Pro data files. What this means is that any new version will be able to read data files from previous versions of the program.
 

What happens when I upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks Pro?

Nothing that affects you.  Unless you specifically change the setting during the installation procedure, the installation program will install the new version of QuickBooks over your existing version, thus replacing it completely. Of course, this isn't an issue unless you're a QuickBooks Pro consultant who needs to keep every version to be able to open your clients files.

Depending upon your old and new version, and the location of your QuickBooks data files (the company file), when you first open the new version may search your hard drive, and may locate your existing data files, upon which it will prompt you to upgrade the file(s) to the new version. If the program doesn't identify any existing data files during the installation, don't worry.

After the installation of the new version, the first time you try to open a data file created by a previous, the new version will prompt you with a message to the effect that the file you are trying to open is from an older version, and do you want to upgrade it. The answer is of course YES. The program will ask you to confirm, then it will force you to do a backup, then it will go through a short conversion routine during which it restructures the file to conform to the new version, after which it will open the file.

The upgrading / conversion routine will only change the data file to meet the requirements of the new version of QuickBooks. It will not change any of your data, which you will observe after the file is open.

If you have more than one data file (other companies, a separate payroll file, etc.) you will need to go through the routine for each of these files.

Once a data file has been converted to the new version of QuickBooks, it cannot be opened by the older versions because it is no longer in their file format. that's why you may see a warning to the effect that other persons on a network will all have to upgrade their versions of QuickBooks to access the converted file.
 

If I upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks Pro do I also need to get a new Template File?

No.  Once you have adopted the Template File and have been using it as your company file, it's no longer the Template because it's got your data in it. Of course you will want to upgrade your company file, but you certainly don't want to reinstall the latest version of the Template File and start over with your books.
 

I upgraded to a new version of QuickBooks Pro, and now I can't find my QuickBooks Pro files?

QuickBooks is a strange program in one respect: It's the only program I know that keeps it's data files (your company file) in the same folder with all the 200+ program files that are required to actually run the program. No other program does that, precisely because it leads to confusion.

To avoid this problem, the installation program for the Template Files copied the Template in a new folder directly off your C drive named QuickBooks Pro Files, which is not the folder that QuickBooks expects to find the data files. This makes it much easier to find and identify your company files, for example when you may need to email the file to your accountant or QuickBooks consultant.

However, when you first start the new version of QuickBooks, it doesn't know where your files are, but the solution is so simple. Select File, then Open Company, which opens the standard File Open dialog box. From there select the little file symbol with the up arrow directly to the right of the "Look in" box. Go up until you can select Drive C, then in the window below select the "QuickBooks Pro Files" folder. When the QuickBooks Pro Files folder is in the Look in line, the you will see your company files in the window below, where you may select your company file to open it.

This process takes about 10 seconds if you have any understanding of your computer's file structure, but if you're completely clueless, then get someone to do it for you.
After you've opened the file once, QuickBooks Pro will automatically open the same file each time you start the program.


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