I recently could not restrain myself from posting to an Intuit Practice Excellence Program forum. The post I commented on (Time to upgrade – What’s new in QuickBooks 2012) was stale, as QuickBooks 2012 came out in September 2011 (10 months ago). I first said, “I want to know is what is in QB 2013. I know it is not out yet, but it must be in beta.” Some responses said it was confidential and I should volunteer for an Intuit Advisory Council. I responded:
I enjoyed serving on several Intuit Councils. I also was their repeat Top Beta Tester. They stopped running this as an annual competitions when I said that my results (twice as good as the #2 person) were discouraging others from participating.
I had MANY very frequent email exchanges (over a period of many years) with CEO Brad Smith, his predecessor Steve Bennett, and many of their top assistants. Brad told me he was going to be CEO, during a 45-minute call made during a Florida – Alabama championship football game, as I predicted two years earlier. Unfortunately, he also told me he recruited someone as my Intuit Point of Contact. He had little Intuit knowledge, so my replies were slower, sterilized and occasionally untrue. A subordinate also said to let Intuit handle customer support, even where they had already failed, rather than having me ask top Intuit people for help. Therefore, while I know beta confidentiality rules, I hope someone contacts me direct about QuickBooks 2013.
I want to know if QuickBooks 2013 has automatic downloads like Mint. QuickBooks is otherwise overly slow and inaccurate. I wrote QuickBooks, Xero, Security and CPA Malpractice because QuickBooks is more likely to have errors due to its manual entries, file transfers and data corruption, compared to automatic Xero entries without transfers. QuickBooks also is more likely wrong because QuickBooks CPAs often do not do get bank statements or do bank reconciliations, even as they make many QuickBooks entries during over-busy tax seasons.
I also wrote 15 reasons why QuickBooks is the Worst Place for Your Data. Local programs are very unsafe, unreliable and not secure, especially when not used by computer professionals. In saying that, we must not compare QuickBooks desktops to total safety because:
- Almost all bank data, credit card and other financial institution data is already on the web
- Local business offices backup QuickBooks imperfectly or not at all
- QuickBooks users use unreliable computers
- Business computers and facilities are almost completely insecure and unprotected
- Almost no one computer or security experts runs business computers
This is a very small part of what is wrong with the QuickBooks desktop world. QuickBooks Online is weak and unreliable. The Xero world has:
- Multiple redundant computers systems, at multiple highly secure and geographically dispersed locations
- Multiple electrical power and internet connections
- Professional backup, including continuous backup, malware protection, power protection, security systems and personnel
- Xero only uses read-only data, so no one can steal anything meaningful.
- The extra Xero safety, security and reliability costs far less to use than it would in local offices
Some still say local offices are safe and secure. However, good web applications and systems are faster, easier, safer, more secure and reliable. This is no longer a matter of debate. If you think otherwise, you are badly uninformed and wrong.
The cited posts show why I feel that QuickBooks CPAs, knowingly using more error prone data (without Xero, Yodlee, Mint or similar data checks), are really committing malpractice. They are also committing moral malpractice if they do not tell clients that Xero and programs like it provide the fastest and easiest way to do accounting, in more current (daily or weekly, minimize month-end and year-end work), economical, safe and secure way.
One user questioned if my post was necessary. I responded,
None of the comments here upset me. Were my long prior and current posts necessary? No, but the question should be whether they are appropriate. I find it hard to restrain myself, because most of the accounting world is wasting substantial time producing a less accurate product. That is malpractice. They also are doing this at much higher cost, without appropriately considering their lack of security or safety. Most important, they are doing this in a way that has been making themselves, their clients and their families unhappy, by perpetuating year-end rushes.
Accountants also are doing this with Intuit, whose CEO recently said that it places mobile access first. Intuit often seems to place accountants last. Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor leader, Ian Vacin, recently joined Xero. He wrote, “… it comes down to core competency… for Xero, it’s the accounting professionals who are more forward-thinking, with clients who can appreciate Web-based bookkeeping… A year or so ago I checked what Xero could do… they are one of the few that had accounting professionals in mind… the time was right for change… I didn’t want to lose the investment I made in myself, in helping small businesses thrive and helping the accounting community grow… Xero was a chance to be part of something amazing and change the industry for the better.”
Several on the 2002-2003 QuickBooks Advisory Council pushed hard for a better practice manager, integrated with QuickBooks and ProSeries – Lacerte. Intuit never gave us this and dropped what it had in 2008. Xero places accountants first, so it quickly made a good product (WorkflowMax) part of a national practice excellence group. It also soon bought the company, so it keeps improving its product and giving it to those with more than 10 clients.
Intuit revolutionized accounting 28 years ago. Now Xero is doing that. I do not believe Intuit will offer automatic downloads in QuickBooks soon, because it could lead to anti-monopoly action. I am not waiting.