Sunset is the process of retiring a software edition. This process does not affect QuickBooks’ SaaS offerings (QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, or Advanced). If you have a subscription edition of QuickBooks Desktop Pro (i.e. Pro Plus), Premier (Premier Plus), Enterprise Accountant, or Enterprise (QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Diamond), your software can be upgraded at no charge by logging into your Intuit account and downloading the most recent edition.
QuickBooks financial products for Windows follow one schedule, and QuickBooks Point of Sale and QuickBooks for Mac follows separate sunset schedules. Sunset and launch dates for QuickBooks Software are always announced by Intuit, so technically they may always change. (That being said, historically it is May for sunset, and October for launch).
There are several. The immediate decision is to decide whether to upgrade your Desktop Edition or to move to QuickBooks Online. In either case, set up a call with us or email us here and we will do our best to get you up and running in no time.
If you follow the following directions and determine your software to be out of date, the initial reaction will be to upgrade to the newest version of QuickBooks Desktop. I do not recommend this for everyone. You will want to identify the pros and cons of moving to QuickBooks Online Advanced as well.
For QuickBooks Enterprise users, who make up the core of our client base, we typically would recommend evaluating QuickBooks Online Advanced. Unfortunately, this program does not have the inventory functionality that Enterprise does. It has proven a switch to consider for our Logistics clients, who typically work from loads and not from inventory, but most of our manufacturing and distribution customers are sticking with Enterprise.
This being said, we can make it work if needed. Sometimes a client has inventory but the features in Online Advanced outweigh the cons of having more limited manufacturing functions. We can’t make a definite recommendation without having a consultation, but some of the decision points for our Inventory-based clients are as follows:
- Do you prefer to use workarounds in some things in the short term, knowing that as a SaaS offering QuickBooks Online Advanced is growing by leaps and bounds, and very possibly will match Enterprise in the future? Or, do you prefer to sit back and not be on the “bleeding edge”? If you don’t have inventory, this is less of a problem, and QuickBooks Online Advanced becomes a very attractive solution. However, QuickBooks Online Advanced does not support barcoding scanning (yet), does not have Advanced Inventory functionality, and the inventory reporting is very basic, among other things.
- Do you have the time to convert to one of the SaaS offerings? A direct move is not technically time-consuming, but you will want to allow time to validate your reporting and to make sure nothing was lost. There is a comprehensive list of checks we go through before calling it a complete switch, even with the in-product tools. Many non-posting transactions will not come over without help (import utilities or manual entry). These include things like purchase orders, estimates, etc. In most cases, you are looking at a 10-30 hour process depending on how large your organization is.
- Do you have more than 25 users? QuickBooks Online Advanced currently (as of this writing) supports 25 users. I expect that to change, but QuickBooks Enterprise supports 40 users, so it offers more room to grow.
- Do you have 3rd party apps that only connect to one or the other? Desktop and Online have separate SDKs, so if you have an app that connects to Desktop you need to see if it also connects to Online, and vice versa. Much better than getting surprised after the software move. Additionally, they don’t always connect the same way, so in this case, a little homework goes a long way.
- Do you have ambassadors of the SaaS world in your office, yelling at you to get off of Desktop? Many times QuickBooks Hosting (private cloud) is a great, easy solution to make everyone happy, without having to get used to a brand new platform. I’m a huge fan of changing software interfaces and flows as little as possible for employees. The more you change, the longer it takes to train your team, and the more griping you will have (trust me). Wanting to say you are in a SaaS software is not always as attractive if you can get a cloud solution without moving to straight public cloud SaaS. Many times the same people doing the yelling have not actually had the opportunity to do an apples to apples analysis of what both pictures look like, especially if they are from IT and not Accounting. We can help bridge that gap and keep everyone happy – you will be a hero.
I am not a proponent of QuickBooks Desktop only, or QuickBooks Online only. I strongly feel that each company needs to make that decision based on the makeup of their team, their function needs, and their timeline. We provide the information and talking points so that you can make the decision best for you. If there comes a time where I feel that QuickBooks Online Advanced meets every user’s needs, I will proudly proclaim it here, on the blog.
If you hit F2 in your software you will see the current software edition on your computer. The version is displayed prominently at the top. In this case, I’m running QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 2020, maintenance release R6P.
The following editions are no longer supported, or will no longer be supported after May 31 (we will update this list yearly):
QuickBooks Pro 2017 or prior | QuickBooks Premier 2017 or prior | QuickBooks Premier Industry Editions 2017 or prior | QuickBooks Enterprise 2017 or prior | QuickBooks Enterprise Industry Editions 2017 or prior | QuickBooks Accountant 2017 or prior
The core software will still work with limitations in most cases. The bigger problem has to do with what will not work.
Intuit Merchant Services will not work. Customers will no longer be able to pay your invoices online, which won’t matter because you can’t send them out using the integrated email service, anyway.
QuickBooks Payroll (QuickBooks Basic Payroll, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll, QuickBooks Assisted Payroll) will not work if you use an in-product edition. If you use a web portal to access your payroll, you can still run payroll, but any associated sync will not work.
Bank Feeds will no longer connect to your bank. All transactions will have to be hard-entered.
Online Backup will no longer work.
When you go to call Support because Certum has closed for the day, they won’t help you (don’t worry, we still will, but we are not available 24-7).
If you are trying to work with TSheets along with your QuickBooks Desktop, quit now. It won’t work. Time cards will have to be manually imported or entered, but it is also a bit pointless, because payroll won’t work!
Just about anything that goes from one software to another, connecting to QuickBooks, will not connect any longer. Your software will be an island.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Basically, you have just opened a Pandora’s box.
Hire a data entry clerk. Your bank feeds being missing will be immediately problematic. Additionally, your customers will need to mail checks or you will need to charge them from the merchant services portal, so add some double entry and extra days until payment there. Switch your payroll to Excel, or convert to a web-based SaaS payroll with QuickBooks (we have a few options, give us a call). Don’t do any multi-currency transactions unless you want to manually enter the rates. Don’t expect to send any Accountant copy files to your accountant. Add some money in the budget for your IT person for when your file is infected with a virus patched on a more recent QuickBooks version. Oh, and find a manual way to backup your file. And get ready for LOTS of annoying pop up errors telling you that a mistake has been made, because your software is out of date.
Basically, you will have a big Access database requiring old school manual entry. If you are keeping the software for archival purposes, it may be ok if your Advanced Inventory does not cause problems. For current users I heartily recommend an upgrade.
A maintenance release or maintenance update with QuickBooks includes tweaks on features, new features, and security patches. The first two wouldn’t be as much a concern, since any bugs should have been resolved in the 3 years since the edition launched. It’s the last one that gets you. Security is nothing to mess with, especially in this day and age. If you decide to stick with unsupported software then the biggest hope you have is to make sure your computer security settings are very very strong, and I still don’t recommend it. Honestly, why take the risk when you have so much of your financial data in that file?
As your QuickBooks Solution Provider we want to make sure that your business’ most precious information is secure and in a modern environment. As I tell my clients – don’t save pennies to cost dollars later. An insecure or unmaintained platform is a bad idea.
To determine the best way forward for your business, or for any other help, we would love to talk to you. Contact us here.
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