Take this article with a grain of salt because I, the author, was never good at accounting. Accounting classes were my lowest grades in college. It’s hard to tell whether I hate Quickbooks because it is accounting on the PC, or if the product itself is indeed lacking in simplicity (among other things).
As of today’s date, there are only two reviews of Quickbooks Professional Services 2009 so far on Amazon.com, and both gave the product 1 out of 5 stars. Ouch. However, for whatever reason, Quickbooks Professional Services 2008 has 4.5 / 5 stars from 3 customer reviews.
I would probably give it 2 out of 5 for the following reasons:
1) It is bloated and slow software. It takes a while to load and it gobbles up a lot of RAM if you leave it open while you work.
From the time to double-clicking on the application launch icon until the time this screen appears:
2) It is confusing software. I bought two books apart from the software purchase to try and make sense of it all. And I am a former computer programmer! First I bought Quickbooks 2008 for Dummies. That helped a little bit with the set-up process and understanding the flow of the program. However, it left a lot of open questions as to how to do things like properly set up client trust accounts. To answer these questions, I bought Law Practice Accounting Using Quickbooks. I was willing to spend at least $100 trying to make the most use of my $300+ investment in Quickbooks.
I still don’t get it. Things have become so messed up that I started to do my trust accounting on good, old fashioned line paper.
If I were to say something good about Quickbooks, it is indeed feature rich. It is also the industry standard with accountants and CPAs. Almost all CPA firms will accept your Quickbooks data file for review. There are hundreds of reports, and the software allows for a great deal of customization.
I won’t go in to all of the features, you can check the more-authoritative Amazon.com description for that, but this author is seeking a better, easier accounting solution in the meantime. One alternative I’d like to check out is LessAccounting. I’m also looking at ClairtyAccounting. Finally, SaaS Law Practice Management programs like Clio are rolling in accounting functionality.
Comments on this subject, and what you use, are welcome and appreciated.