By Lisa Gecko
Business accounting software is a must for handling orders, inventory, and bookkeeping for most organizations. Quickbooks has been the standard for businesses for many years. The 2012 versions of Premier and Accountant are the most feature rich versions of the popular Quickbooks business software. In this article we will take a closer look at each in order to determine which is right for you.
Quickbooks Premier 2012
Quickbooks Premier comes with a higher price point than Quickbooks Pro, but Premier has many features that may be important to your small business. Before purchasing Quickbooks, take a look at the features that are available in the Premier addition.
With the premier version you can build a professional business plan quickly by answering step-by-step questions. QuickBooks fills in the numbers based on your QuickBooks data. You can export the projections to Excel for further analysis or save it as a PDF file.
With another Premier feature, you can click a button to create a forecast of income and expenses for the coming year, based on your existing QuickBooks data. And you can Increase or decrease line items by any percentage to adjust for future changes.
Access over 150 industry-specific reports in QuickBooks Premier such as: Profitability by Product for manufacturing and wholesale businesses, Job/ Project Costs for professional services firms & contracting businesses, Donor Contribution Summary for nonprofit organizations, Sales Tax Liability for retail businesses.
As a job changes, with Premier you can simply enter change orders into the estimate so that you can keep track of the changes, and the impact on the bottom line. Change orders are included on documents you print for your customer so that there are no surprises at the end of the job.
You can also easily track all liability and workers compensation insurance expirations, and track and bill clients in the way that works best for your unique business, whether it be by time & material, job phase, and percentage completion. And customized job cost reports allow you to see a job’s profitability on a detailed, task-by-task level. You can even see the projected cost to complete a job.
With the Job Costing Center you can get an instant reading of how you’re doing on your current jobs. See a summary of key information for your jobs including which jobs are most and least profitable, all in a single window.
With the inventory management tools, you will always know where your inventory stands and when reorders are required. Easily set-up an item list and track reorder points. Track inventory as it is being purchased, stocked and sold. And the easy to use sales order features will allow you to track pending orders without affecting your accounts receivable accounts, prioritize open sales orders and manage partial fulfillment. And you can create Bill of Materials that can track material costs, overhead costs, and labor. During the manufacturing process, mark assembly items as pending to see work in progress.
If you deal with raw materials that come in different sizes or weights, QuickBooks will allow you to set multiple units of measure for each inventory item to track the amount of material used and available. With a click, you can instantly convert from cases to pallets, or whatever units of measure you define. The correct units are then printed on invoices, purchase orders, sales orders, pick lists, and packing slips.
Another helpful feature is the ability to demonstrate financial accountability to your Board of Directors with the Statement of Financial Income & Expense and 990 form. Give your Board an overview of your organization’s financial status with the Statement of Financial Income and Expense.
QuickBooks Non-Profit ready to use templates allow you to easily track pledges and donations, and it makes it easy for you or your accountant to prepare the IRS Form 990 by letting QuickBooks total and organize all your finances according to IRS requirements. The Statement of Functional Expenses 990 matches the IRS Form 990. Just transfer the totals to the form and you’re done.
Once you’ve set up your budget, you can compare it to your actual performance with almost no effort – just open the budgets versus actual reports from the Report Center and see where you stand. And now you can decide who to bill by seeing all clients with unbilled time and expenses on a single screen. Instead of creating an invoice from scratch, simply open the Invoice for Time & Expenses screen and select the client and job combination. Outstanding billable time and expenses are transferred directly to an invoice.
Pay and get paid the right amount by being able to quickly and easily set different billing rates for your employees, clients and services. To track profitability, reports like Billed vs. Proposal by Project, Cost-to-Complete by Job, and Job Costs by Job and Vendor help you stay on top of which projects are most profitable.
Time Tracker for QuickBooks, an optional subscription service, is the fastest, easiest way to collect and record billable and non-billable hours into QuickBooks Pro and Premier for accurate invoicing, payroll and reporting purposes. No more paperwork! Employees or contractors only need an internet connection to submit billable hours. Download timesheets right into QuickBooks with one click.
You can track sales results easily, accurately and flexibly with the Sales Summary Form. Enter total payments and taxable/non taxable sales for the day, week or any time period you choose. QuickBooks Pro also calculates your sales tax liability automatically and makes it easy to spot cash drawer over/under discrepancies for easy end-of-day sales reconciliation.
The customized reports available in QuickBooks Pro make it easy to analyze sales trends and track profitability. Turn any work order into a purchase order with just one click. No need to retype line items or even vendor information – Premier Retail Edition fills it in for you. Just edit quantities, if needed, and print. Or turn the PO into a PDF, and e-mail it right from QuickBooks.
The Accountant version of QuickBooks is the next step up in Quickbooks. It is able to handle inventory, back orders, sales orders and unit of measure tracking on top of all the features that come through using the Pro or Premier editions of QuickBooks.
Quickbooks Accountant 2012
The Accountant edition of QuickBooks is the most powerful and feature rich edition of Quickbooks. In addition to the features of the Premier version, it also allows for the use of more than one type of company being entered into the same QuickBooks program. It is primarily used by bookkeepers and accountants, as it allows one to make changes to the accountant’s copy file to be re-integrated into the original company file.
Unless your business is an accounting or bookkeeping business, you won’t need the added accountant-friendly features of the Accountant edition. However, the Premier version will do what a small business owner needs to have done. The advantage to the Accountant edition, aside from the “accounting” features you don’t need, is that the Accountant edition is often cheaper than the Premier.
Both versions can be utilized by just about any industry in existence. This choice is given during the Easy Step Interview, when QuickBooks asks you to identify the type of industry you are in. The file then uses a template of the chart of accounts for that type of industry.
You can access your QuickBooks file from wherever you are if you are using the Accountant edition, without the need for a third-party remote access system. You cannot access the Premier edition without the use of third-party remote access.
Another feature available only through the Accountant edition is the ability to toggle between the editions your office staff may already be used to, whether it’s the Simple Start or Pro editions.