The latest version of Intuit’s accounting package for the Mac, QuickBooks Pro 2007 , has several new features that are sure to please many users, including Universal support and a new form design tool which allows you to customize estimates, invoices, and statements. But if you were holding out hope that the latest version was going to add credit card processing or multi-user support, you’ll have to wait a little longer.
While the program ships with several pre-designed forms, you can customize any of these or create new forms with amazing ease. QuickBooks’ forms now support multiple images in a single document—including background images—and you can use a variety of standard image formats and numerous color options. Form fields can be dragged and placed anywhere on the document, and you can configure fields to appear on the form but not on the printed document you’ll send to your customers. The only issue I had with the form tool was the way that the form field and title were linked to each other on the page. Unlike programs such as FileMaker Pro ( ), which treat data fields and text boxes as separate entities, the QuickBooks form designer keeps the title field and data field together. You can only change where the text field appears in relation to the data field by aligning it either to the left of the data or right on top of it.
While they’re not major new features, Intuit has also added the ability to print deposit slips, has added more options for customizing the toolbar, and has better organized the receive payments form, making it easier to get payments from your customers for specific jobs. In the past, you had to select a specific job for each customer to apply payments. Now, QuickBooks allows you to select one customer and all of that customer’s outstanding invoice information will appear in the account field. You can then apply payments either by selecting individual jobs or by entering a payment amount; QuickBooks will distribute the payment between your open invoices.
What remains a mystery to me is the program’s continued lack of support for credit card processing and multi-user access to data files, as well as the one price fits all pricing structure that Intuit has chosen to follow. Intuit says that its customers are not interested in the first two. But this seems doubtful, given that the Windows version of the program and two competitors—MYOB AccountEdge ( ) and MYOB FirstEdge ( )—feature credit card processing. Both QuickBooks for Windows and AccountEdge also support multiple users. As for the pricing scheme, an Intuit representative said that they put the same effort into updating the program every year and correspondingly charge the same amount every year.
Macworld’s buying advice
QuickBooks Pro 2007 remains an excellent accounting application, and it’s just about the easiest accounting application you’ll ever use. The program’s new form designer is a welcome addition to the program and far better than what you’ll find in any of the program’s competitors. But lack of multi-user support and a credit card processing feature will make QuickBooks a questionable choice for some users.
[ Jeffery Battersby is a frequent contributor to Macworld . His blog can be found at jeffbattersby.com. ]QuickBooks’ new form design tool makes it easy to create and customize business estimates, invoices, and statements.