QuickBooks Unveils 2008 Models

If you’re an auto enthusiast, you wait for the fall to get a glimpse of the latest models for the upcoming year.

If you’re a QuickBooks aficionado, the fall is an exciting time for you, too. It means the chance to see what’s new in the leading small business accounting application.

Just as that car buff might be impressed with the 2008 models of the newest Mustang or Corvette, but still not plan to buy one, many of you may admire the new capabilities Intuit adds each year. However, after admiring the new features, you must then decide whether you need the upgrade. Here’s a quick look at what the new version promises.

For QuickBooks Pro Edition 2008 and QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008, Intuit has focused primarily on three areas, according to Samir Khosla, group product manager: “Getting started, getting paid and getting data to your accountant.”

Khosla said that 50 percent of QuickBooks users bill for their time, and the latest QuickBooks takes that into account by allowing you to invoice for hourly services directly from Outlook and tap what it says is an improved Time Tracker.

According to Intuit, you can designate meetings, e-mails and appointments in your Outlook calendar. You can then submit those to Time Tracker for billing. You can also send e-mail directly from QuickBooks using Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, so you can e-mail invoices, sales receipts and reports without leaving QuickBooks.

Another goal of QuickBooks is to let small business owners see the financial health and activity of the operation in a single dashboard-like view. For example, you can now view unbilled time and expenses for all clients on single screen and transfer to an invoice with one click.

Intuit has also expanded it WebListings service to go beyond Google. Khosla said now small businesses can manage multiple Web listings from QuickBooks and send company information to local listings services Yahoo Local, YellowPages.com and superpages.com — in addition to Google Maps.

QuickBooks 2008 is also designed to offer improved help features through an improved search engine. There’s also, according to Khosla, a new tab for commonly asked questions helps you find what you’re a looking for more easily. The new version also includes additional help by providing contextual links to QuickBooks community pages. The links take you to the most recent post in a particular category, he said.

Intuit also focused on making it easy to get started with QuickBooks. For example, in the 2008 edition, Intuit has reduced the number of screen to set up QuickBooks from 100 to 30, Khosla said.

Pricing for QuickBooks 2008 line is as follows:

  • QuickBooks Pro Edition 2008: $199.95
  • QuickBooks Pro Three-user Pack 2008: $549.95
  • QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008: $449.95
  • QuickBooks Premier Three-user Pack 2008: $1,199.95
Intuit says the software will on store shelves on October 10 and available direct on October 1.

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