Which version of Quickbooks?

This is a “nuts and bolts” post.  I have a client that told me his business is growing so he wants to move from Quickbooks Pro to Quickbooks Enterprise.  Fortunately for him (and his checkbook) he told me he was going to do this before he spent his money. It turns out he was doing just fine with Quickbooks Pro.

The reason you would choose one version over another is more a function of features you need rather than the size of your company.  Yes, Enterprise and Premiere do a better job with large data files but that usually is not worth the extra money.  Here is MSRP pricing for the various versions of Quickbooks 2012:

Quickbooks pro Single User (including Mac)


Quickbooks premiere Single User


Quickbooks Enterprice Five User



So what are the differences?  Intuit has produced a number of industry specific versions of premiere that does make your transaction processing and reporting more intuitive and easier to understand.  Pro does not have any of these industry specific versions:

  Pro Premiere Enterprise
Maximum number of users 3 5 30
Create and email sales orders   Yes Yes
Optimized for large data files     Yes
Forecast sales and expenses   Yes Yes
Industry specific reports   Yes Yes
Create inventory assemblies   Yes Yes
Multiple warehouses     Yes
Serial and lot number tracking     Yes
Access to previous bank recs   Yes Yes
Accountant Edition   Yes Yes
Contractor Edition   Yes Yes
Wholesale and Manufacturing Edition   Yes Yes
Nonprofit Edition   Yes Yes
Professional Services Edition   Yes Yes
Retail Edition   Yes Yes


There are other more nuanced differences between the versions but this chart gives you a very good overview.  Please note there is also an online version of Quickbooks.  The good news is you can access QB from anywhere.  The bad news is its functionality is somewhat limited – and it can get expensive over time (you are paying a monthly fee per user).

My recommendation is you do not make a decision on buying or setting up quickbooks without using your CPA, a Quickbooks Pro Advisor or another QB expert.  If you do things right up-front, you will not have the typical problems business owners have with their accounting records.

Thanks for your time and have a great day.




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