It’s that time of the year again. Instead of writing about new changes and improvements in QuickBooks at the beginning of this Fall as in prior years, I decided to wait and let these changes “settle in” and get implemented into everyday use. So these are the new features that make the most sense to highlight.
Unless otherwise noted, all new and improved features are available for all versions of QuickBooks Desktop 2019 (Pro/Premier, Accountant Edition, Enterprise).
Inactive Items in Inventory Reports
A filter for Inventory Parts marked “inactive”, this needed new feature provides a complete and up-to-date assessment of inventory. Until now, Inventory Valuation reports did not include items that were marked “inactive”, even if they had quantity/value on hand as of the report date. This new feature saves research time with what sometimes were incomplete reports. With Mendelson Consulting being the foremost QuickBooks inventory specialists, I can confidently say that, more than a new feature, this is a much-needed rectification in how Inventory Summary reports should work. I am elated that my many years (yes, years) of dialogue and explanation with QuickBooks product managers finally reaped this reward. Finally, we have reliable valuation reports for tying inventory value to the General Ledger!
Invoice Status Tracker
Provides real-time visibility of Customer Invoice status to expedite collections and improve cash flow. Many years ago, Intuit introduced the ability of emailing Invoices to Customers, something that most QuickBooks users now take advantage of. The powerful new feature in 2019 extends that capability by enabling to see an Invoice’s status by Sent, Viewed, Paid, and Deposited icons, based on the recipient having opened and viewed the Invoice.
And if you use QuickBooks Merchant Services (now with EMV support) to accept electronic payments, this even shows you when the money was deposited to the bank! Different topic, but definitely worth considering, given that it saves on merchant service fees and bookkeeping time. If you do not already have Intuit Payments, ask us about it…
Check to Bill Pay
Provides consolidated view of outstanding bills from a vendor without lengthy manual queries so you can manage payments easily. This convenient new feature prompts the user to link a payment to open Vendor Bills directly from the Write Check function. And when writing a check to a Vendor, it shows Bills open for only that Vendor.
Simplified one-click transfer of credits across Customer Jobs for streamlined workflow. Before 2019, QuickBooks did not allow transfer of credits across Jobs, needing extra special adjustment transactions instead. Now it does! QuickBooks does the accounting in the background, so you do not have to. You are prompted when credits are available across Jobs as Invoices are created. This is a huge deal for businesses that track Customer Jobs, as many times payments and credits need to be applied across different Jobs.
Enhanced Pick, Pack, and Ship (Enterprise only)
Visibility into all Sales Order information from a single dashboard for pick, pack, and ship status. This increases speed and accuracy in the order fulfillment process. This enhanced feature allows for picking of partial orders and shipping separately, providing packing instructions through mobile devices, integrating with 3rd-party carrier companies (FedEx, UPS, and USPS) to record costs directly into QuickBooks as well as print carrier-specific labels, and showing real-time warehouse updates. Again, being the foremost specialists in QuickBooks inventory, we see this enhancement as a great step in the right direction for QuickBooks Enterprise. Months of our communication with QuickBooks product managers helped develop this feature. (And there is likely more to come in this category…)
Manage Payroll Permissions (Enterprise only)
Tightened payroll permissions ensure only users with explicit authorization are able to view transactions and payroll reports. This new feature of explicit permissions to view payroll reports prevents access by unauthorized personnel and protects sensitive information.
Reliable Sick and Vacation (Enterprise only)
Provides greater visibility into employee sick and vacation accruals, balances, and shortfalls while increasing compliance with state mandated maximum accrual rates. For users of the QuickBooks Payroll service, this new feature displays accrued, used, and available sick time on employee pay stubs for greater clarity of sick and vacation time use and balances.
Since inception of the program, the file format used in QuickBooks for importing and exporting list and transaction data has been the IIF (Intuit Interchange Format) proprietary text file format. For those who use IIF imports, the improved version of the import function facilitates better success by validating data beforehand and generating reports to enable fixes before re-imports. For example, one of the error-checking enhancements is the import utility does not allow erroneous accounts to be created by default (as in previous versions).
In 2019, QuickBooks provides better access to tools for the visually impaired. In partnership with JAWS screen reader, QuickBooks 2019 provides clarity for visually impaired users by announcing window titles and fields as they hover over or select them. Access to this enhancement is available only to users who have JAWS installed on their devices and it now automatically works with QuickBooks.
Data File Optimization
With years of use, QuickBooks company files tend to become large, sometimes resulting in having to perform a data file reduction.
In QuickBooks 2019, the improved Archive & Condense process provides options to remove the Audit Trail data but leave transactions. This can be useful because the Audit Trail itself in many instances is the source of large data file size.
For those Mac users that prefer to keep the Mac edition of QuickBooks locally installed, Intuit has a few updates and improvements for QuickBooks Mac 2019 (surprise!)
Intuit had indicated that QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2016 would be the last version available, with the product continuing to be supported by until 05/31/2019, so these new features and improvements for 2019 should give Mac users renewed interest in staying with QuickBooks.
Discrepancy report for bank and credit card reconciliations
Now there is a report that will reflect after-the-fact transaction changes, helping to identify irregularities and errors in the books. Warning: The report will only work for items created after the new software was installed as transactions entered and reconciled prior to the upgrade were not being monitored in this way.
Past Due Stamps
A feature that has been in QuickBooks Windows for years, this is an improvement to have an automatic stamp reminder that displays on print and email Customer Invoices that are overdue.
Customer & Vendor Center: Email Tracking
Just as QuickBooks Windows have had for years, now QuickBooks for Mac has this visibility to emails sent to customers and vendors, increasing visibility into communications related to QuickBooks activity.
All this said, the best platform for QuickBooks for users of Mac is QuickBooks Windows on Parallels or running QuickBooks on their own private cloud server (which we highly recommend). If this is you, let’s have a conversation…
After trying the new features and improvements in 2019, everyone will agree that it keeps with the philosophy of simplicity that QuickBooks has professed for years, helping to facilitate efficient operations and integrity in financial results.
Happy QuickBooks 2019 everyone!
Contact our consultants to find out how and when it makes sense for you to upgrade your QuickBooks software. Stay up to date with security and features updates, and keep your business software working for your business.