Every year from October to June I hear this question repeatedly and my answer isn’t the same for everyone. Intuit’s annual upgrade release of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise is in early October and Point of Sale follows in early January. Then Intuit starts notifying everyone that they need to upgrade to the new version if their current software is nearly 3 years old because it will no longer be supported.
But what does that really mean? It simply means that Intuit only actively supports the most recent three years’ versions so if you call tech support, they’ll decline to answer your questions. I‘ll help you, but they won’t. More importantly, if you
- process your payroll through QuickBooks,
- or use one of Intuit’s integrated merchant service solutions,
- or use the online banking features,
- or use the online backup service,
- or any of the app center business solutions,
all of those features may cease to function once you pass the 3 year deadline.
For “Mom and Pop” businesses that do their own bookkeeping, have no payroll, backup to a flash drive, and don’t accept credit card payments, my answer is no, you don’t have to upgrade. Just remember that the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll have problems later. Technology changes. If your eight year-old computer running Windows XP and QuickBooks 2001 suddenly dies, you may have trouble converting your QuickBooks data file from version 2001 to version 2011. If you have to hire someone to help you do what would have been a seamless, painless conversion six years earlier, you may pay more for the consulting than you would have paid for interim software. You’ll certainly face a significant learning curve adjusting to ten years of program improvements.
For businesses with employees, especially any company using QuickBooks Enterprise or Point of Sale, the answer is a resounding yes! You definitely should keep up with the times and be within 3 or fewer years of the newest version. Software is just typical cost of doing business and you can’t be efficient without it. You don’t hesitate to pay for the cost new technology in cell phone service and cable TV, so bite the bullet and keep up with the business technology that makes a real difference in managing your company.
Happy Memorial Day weekend.