QuickBooks 2018

Here’s a quick summary of the new and improved features in the US version.

The following new/updated features are available in all Windows versions of QuickBooks 2018 (Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise) in the US, Canada and UK:

  • Multiple monitor support: Intuit has added some features that make it easier to work with multiple monitors (up to three). It is a nice feature, although some people might be a bit disappointed with how this was implemented.
  • Search in the Chart of Accounts: Odd, I didn’t realize that we couldn’t already search for an account in the Chart of Accounts. If you work with a lot of accounts, then this will be helpful.
  • Cash/Accrual toggle on reports: A nice enhancement that makes it a bit easier to switch the basis of your financial reports. If you flip between Cash and Accrual often, this will be helpful.
  • Past Due Stamp: If you resend copies of past-due invoices to your customers, this feature makes it clear that they are past due. This is a reasonably flexible feature.
  • New keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting lines in transactions.
  • Inventory report enhancements: It has always bothered me that many of the QuickBooks inventory reports could not be modified to add columns or change filters. Finally, Intuit is addressing this shortcoming for some of the inventory reports.

QuickBooks Enterprise has a new inventory-centric feature that I’m very excited about. This year, after several years of lowered expectations, the Enterprise development team has embarked on the first step of what I hope will be a series of major new inventory features.

  • Enhanced Order Fulfilment with mobile barcode scanning: This is a major feature that I’m going to address in depth in an upcoming article. It will only be available in the US. Intuit is revamping the workflow for “picking” inventory items to fulfill open sales orders. A key part of this is the ability to work with remote devices, including a barcode scanner, in the picking process. You won’t have to be tethered directly to a desktop or laptop computer running QuickBooks when you scan items! Very exciting.

QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant have this feature, which isn’t found in the non-Accountant versions:

  • Merge vendors: There is a new workflow that will let you merge vendors in your vendor list. It works nicely, but there are limitations as to when you can use this.

Security has been a big focus for the QuickBooks development team for the past couple of years, and that continues this year. If you remember last year’s security/password hullaballoo, don’t worry. The following security enhancements will be a part of all editions of QuickBooks 2018 (US, Canada and UK):

  • Secure web mail: Intuit has updated how QuickBooks works with web mail accounts, using a more secure integration method that resolves many concerns I had about the older approach.
  • Internet Explorer support: Starting with this release you must have Internet Explorer 11 to be able to use many functions in QuickBooks. Older versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported. This is (mostly) a security update.
  • Internal component updates: Continuing with the process they started a few years ago, Intuit is updating several of the internal components to improve security. In this release, they are changing from SHA1 to SHA2 for storing user credentials, upgrading to Sybase version 17, and upgrading to .Net Framework 4.6.2. No noticeable impact that you will notice, just bringing the products up to date with modern security protocols.
  • Additional PII encryption: There were a few PII (personally identifiable information) fields in the database that should have been internally encrypted that weren’t. This update catches those.
  • Changes for QuickBooks Add-ons: If you have an add-on that works with QuickBooks in “unattended” mode (that is, it accesses QuickBooks in the background), there may be an additional preference setting that you will need to change in order for your app to continue accessing QuickBooks. Details on this are a bit vague right now.

QuickBooks Payroll has an improved function. As I avoid “payroll” religiously (any form of it, not just Intuit products), I wasn’t able to test this. Intuit is adding a payroll reminder badge that will highlight when you have an upcoming deadline for payroll liabilities.

QuickBooks Payments will add the option of providing Level 3 data to your customers who use commercial credit cards. This can shorten the time it takes certain kinds of customers to release funds to you.