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Intuit launches QuickBooks 2006

Meeting with users has helped Intuit Canada develop the needed features for its latest edition of QuickBooks small business accounting software, according to Gary Meeberg, director of QuickBooks payroll services.

Reviewing how customers are using the product has helped the company channel the feedback into the next product cycle, he said. “Our one-year upgrades work well in terms of being as responsive as we can to the features users need,” he added.
New to QuickBooks 2006 is an update to support Canadian cheque formatting standards, which will change by the end of 2006. Since one of the features of the software includes the ability to print cheques, Meeberg said it was vital to update that component to be in compliance with the latest standards.
Another add-on to the 2006 version is a learning centre, providing quick tutorials for new users. “For many accounting software is still daunting, so we had to find a better way to help get over that initial barrier,” said Meeberg.
Holly North, a Vancouver-based company serving the Canadian film and television industry with rental equipment and supplies, has been using QuickBooks since its start up in 1998.
“It’s grown with us, especially payroll which can be very painful for small businesses,” said owner Mike Kaerne. “What used to take me an hour, now takes minutes and it’s logical, reliable and easy to teach my staff of 10.”
Kaerne is on a monthly plan for automatic online updates of QuickBooks and payroll software.
He doesn’t mind paying the $119 each month for the service. “I’ve chosen to keep it constantly up-to-date, and for me the price is affordable,” he said.
A noticeable difference since last year’s version has also been the price of the QuickBooks product line.
The line-up, starting with the entry level EasyStart software is now $99.99, down from $149.99 in 2005.
QuickBooks Pro, for basic accounting such as creating budgets, inventory, generating reports and payroll management, sells for $199.99, down from $349.99.
The QuickBooks Premier edition includes all the Pro capabilities plus loan management, income and cash flow projections, integrated customer tracking and vehicle mileage tracker.
It sells for $399.99, down from $499.99.
While he admits the price change makes the product line more attractive, Meeberg said the new edition, as in past versions of QuickBooks, is designed to easily simulate the financial flow of how a small business thinks about its finances.