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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:53 am

Quick Books software restrictions

We've used Quick books bookkeeping software in our business for ten years now and up until now it's been a great way of managing the day to day finances of the business for us non-accountant types.

The problem is that the software now has to be renewed every two to three years otherwise, from my limited understanding, there is something within the software which prevents you using it anymore. In the past you could keep using the software for as long as you liked, although the software was no longer supported and there were no updates available, which was fine as long as you didn't need to use it to do PAYE transactions.

Under the new system, as I understand it, after the license has expired which is between 2-3 years, you can only access the software for archive information and cannot make any changes to old or new data.

Maybe I'm naive or something, but if you have bought the product for a purpose, then you should not be shut out of using it after only 2-3 years.
I'd be interested what anyone else has to say about this, and wonder if there is a reasonable case to be taken up with the relevant government office, the unfair trading commission or something??? :-?
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:04 pm

Neil, don't think what you have said is 100% true. The software won't stop working as far as I know but certain parts of it are only available if you subscribe to the update service they provide.
I used it for a number of years and it did everything I needed it to without any problem at all but I didn't have any staff so didn't have to worry about using the payroll functions it has built in.
The payroll function is a sort of add on which you subscribe to the same as you would with sage and they send you the updated figures from the government each year so you are completing your employees pay and tax correctly.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:16 pm

I'm not 100% on the software, but we do use it. well accounts staff do...
I was a bit narked when i installed it onto a second PC sitting 4ft away from it and had to pay another £350 for the pleasure of using it on a network, per PC.
After the event i calmed down and realised the reasons behind this. same as when we wanted to use signlab on other computers, it required a second package etc
I dont know about the expiring of the quick books software situation, but then again, i do have to purchase updated anti-virus software each year.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:25 pm

Martin, we recently had to pay to continue using the product and were told by the customer service that we would only be able to have access to the data if we didn't upgrade, and that we wouldn't be able to use it to prepare new quotes and invoices, or change any saved data.

I would be very happy if you can prove me wrong on this as I am considering changing to a new bookkeeping software which in my opinion won't be ripping me off every couple of years. :-?

My advice to anyone using Quick-books, if I am right about this, is to consider your options well before the usage period expires, as they'll have you by the 'Short and Curlly's unless your prepared to switch to a new accounts system overnight. :)
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:58 pm

I use Sage and have had to update this whenever I have changed to a new operating system. The last time we updated they offered us free one year telephone support (which we never use) - after the year expired they sent us a renewal invoice for another years telephone support. As I had never requested this (and never used the first year) I simply ignored the invoice. This was followed by reminder letters and phonecalls all of which I ignored. Eventually they gave up and wrote to us to saying as we had not paid they were assuming we no longer required this support :roll: Rather sharp practice I thought.

Still at least they (Sage) are not putting a time limit on the software they sell, which I have to agree with Neil is highly dubious and I suspect probably illegal.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:09 pm

Phil,

Sage was the alternative software I'm thinking of changing to next year.

I'd be interested to hear if it's user friendly for the sign industry and how easy it is to make adjustments to transactions they've been saved.

I was once told that with Sage, once you've entered and saved an amount. that it's really hard to amend or delete. :)
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:19 pm

I find it very good - it does everything (and more) that I need it to do. Once an invoice has been posted it cannot be altered. This means you have to create credit notes for any invoice you need to cancel. Likewise, once you have created an account it cannot be deleted. This means I now have a database of unused accounts that are cluttering up the system that I can't get rid of which is a bit of a nuisance but I suspect is necessary to provide an audit trail. Once a year we just give our accountant a copy of our backup and they use this to work out our tax and to produce our annual report.

I've never used any other accountancy software so cannot comment on how well it compares to other packages.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:21 pm

The payroll function and technical support cease on the product and the end of 3 years.
I understand that 'Payroll' is updated at least annually to keep up with Inland Revenue changes, they consider that after 3 years the product is old and updates are written only for the newest product, equally support ceases on the 'old' product for the same reason.
I guess that's the same for lots of software.

Steve
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:28 pm

Steve,

I understood from customer service that after the 2-3 years you cannot use the product at all - obviously I wasn't in a position with them to argue so I just had to cough up the fee so I could continue using the system.

I'd like to hear from anyone that can continue using the software once it expires.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:52 pm

True to form then, Intuit continue to be a money grabbing outfit.
I have used Quicken then Quickbooks from the year dot, and despite moans from my accountant, I will stick with Ver 2001. I don't do payroll or tax calcs so it does what I need.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:57 pm

Peter,

Did you switch off the automatic updates on your Quick Books?

I suspect that if I'd kept to an older version of Quick Books and not
allowed it to download updates, I might be able to use it without restriction like you.

good luck to you mate if you can use it without paying the renewal fee. :)
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:08 pm

Neil,
I think you need to speak to them again - since you're paying for the privilege you might as well find out exactly stops functioning and what doesn't.
As I said, I understand that it is the payroll function which will stop receiving updates and will therefore cease to function, everything else will work.

Steve
Last edited by Steve Morgan on Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:17 pm

Hi Neil,
We are using quickbooks at the moment but not the payroll. Its a 2002 edition and has no updates available but all functions work. The one good thing about the no updates is that you can put it onto 2 computers with the same ID code and sync them when needed. I think its the payroll part that ceases to work but whenever i'm having difficulties with quickbooks I always go to their forum at:

http://community.quickbooks.co.uk/

Its a great site and has been a fountain of information for an accountancy newbie.

Cheers John
Last edited by John Gregson on Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:34 pm

I never, updated online as I just don't trust them plus if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Not all bad news by delving a bit.
Looks like the program will run just the same but without additions like payroll and online banking etc.

See here:
http://support.quickbooks.intuit.com/su ... nplan.aspx
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:18 pm

Neil, I have quickbooks 6 pro and have never had a problem with it, I don't use the payroll function and have never used the online download so can't comment as to what changes they have made to the system via the online download.
All the functions that I need and a lot that I don't ever use seem to work OK but I can't do things like PAYE as I subscribe to payroll.
I've never used SAGE but have been told it is very good and user freindly but by people who are running other types of business so don't know how easy it would be to set up and use for a sign business.
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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:30 pm

Hi, I have gone from 2 user QB 2005 Pro to QB 2008 Pro recently, I am actually a QB software developer in my spare time and reason for upgrade was mainly due to changes in Tax handling and IR so forth.

In 08, the VAT is calculated differently for the VAT100, so that is one update.

05 will not stop working, they however would drop support for us in an emergency.

I have developed for Sage and QB and to be honest for the ease of use, QB is a very good bit of software, Sage is pretty good for large business and is quicker. I think instant account is a sage product and that is pretty good.

TBH, accountant dictate what they want.. but to be honest Dont Change.. you will feel uncomfortable.

So, plan an upgrade every 3-4 years if thats what you want to do. I would suggest that myself due to the changes we will get in accounting practicies.
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Post Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:24 am

Thanks for everyone's input

It's a shame no one else has experienced the 'your version of Quick Books has expired' message as I feel the software manufacturer's are exploiting us consumers.

Time for me to read through the QuickBooks users forum :)
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Post Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:23 am

Hi Neil,
We tried to reinstal QB on a new computer after a recent crash. When we called Intuit, they would not give us a new licence number as they said the product was too old and should be upgraded. We only use it for invoicing and analysis so felt that this was a bit unfair. Intuit told us they don't support after 3 years. Fine, but we didn't 't want support, just a number to reinstal. We are now looking at alternative programs as this is a rip off.

peter
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Post Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:10 pm

Peter Mindham wrote:Hi Neil,
We tried to reinstal QB on a new computer after a recent crash. When we called Intuit, they would not give us a new licence number as they said the product was too old and should be upgraded. We only use it for invoicing and analysis so felt that this was a bit unfair. Intuit told us they don't support after 3 years. Fine, but we didn't 't want support, just a number to reinstal. We are now looking at alternative programs as this is a rip off.

peter


Exactly - as I stated earlier.

True to form then, Intuit continue to be a money grabbing outfit.
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Post Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:05 pm

If anyone's looking for very reasonably priced software, I can highly recommend Acclaim software.
It has no 'bells & whistles' but will do everything else if you pay for the full package (about £40) I think.
There's also a demo download for you to try.
I've been using it for about 6 years, and had no problems-don't have staff, so not sure about payroll

Barbara
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Post Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:06 pm

Hi Barbara,

I'd be interested in trying out the demo the Acclaim accounts software.

Any chance you could post the contact information for us :D
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Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:16 am

Hi Neil
Glad to be of help
[url]www.acclaimsoftware.com.[url]

I have no affiliation with the company-just a very happy customer.
I do believe they have a UK distributor,but you can get everything from the above link.

Happy hunting :D
Barb
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Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:27 am

We just received this from QB via email:-

In the middle of March, Intuit will be releasing a product update to allow payroll users to complete their payroll year end and to continue processing payroll into the new tax year. This e-mail aims to help you prepare yourself for this product update so that you have a problem-free payroll year end experience.

Note: QuickBooks 2004 and 2005 users will be able to process the 2007-2008 payroll year end and file P14 and P35 forms online, but must upgrade by 6th April, 2008 to a more recent version of QuickBooks to continue using payroll in the new tax year. Please call 0845 606 2161 for more information.


What can we say about that then lol
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Post Tue May 06, 2008 7:16 pm

Neil,

Not sure if you have changed software packages, but I found myself in a similar situation with Intuit recently - I have regular 2004 version. Use more as a book-keeping system as I also have an accountant - I keep up to date and he worries about my tax return and savings on tax etc. Accordingly don't need the updates or payroll etc.

My laptop screen on which my Quickbooks was installed went blank - when I tried to re-install on my desktop and entered license and product number, it still required an activation by Intuit/Quickbooks people. They said that they no longer had any activation codes for Quickbooks 2004 - and it seemed my only option would be to upgrade to ver 2008 (about £250) or pay £30/month if I was to see my data again. I was naturally less than pleased.

Luckily my screen sorted itself out but a check on the Intuit site showed someone (with Quickbooks 2005) had a similar problem but Intuit's policy had changed (although seems person I spoke to wasn't aware of it) - and he could get an activation code if he had license and product number.

I double checked and got this response:

QUOTE
You will still be able to obtain an activation code for QuickBooks 2004 going forward, however your License and Product Number are your responsibility and Intuit will not be able to provide new License/Product Numbers for unsupported products.

I have passed on your comments to the Sales Manager to ensure that the Sales Team is providing correct information.

Regards,
UNQUOTE

Obviously payroll/new tax codes etc not supported going forward.


Thread details here if any help.

http://community.quickbooks.co.uk/discu ... opic=31199


May be worth checking if you are still getting the runaround.


Martin
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Post Tue May 06, 2008 7:32 pm

i print out the license information as soon as i register.. pita it is...although we dont get problems with that.

Over the last few days, QB have released a fix for week 53, basically Payroll Year End was skipping some calculations! so we had to call in the accountant a few weeks back to do something about it and now I see an update. Huge (oh i swore !) up in my view!
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Post Tue May 06, 2008 9:07 pm

I get my Quick Books through the bank (Barclays) for £20 per month. This also includes off site back-up with Iron Mountain........might be worth checking out if Intuit are charging £30............

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