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Intuit's (http://www.intuit.com) QuickBooks 2011 for the Mac is a solid update that -- at long last -- adds multiuser support.
QuickBooks 2011 for Mac also features new reports and tools to help users track job-related mileage so they can claim the tax write-offs they deserve. Users can also customize reports and forms to reflect their brands and to show the exact data they need to show. Two new features help make sure that QuickBooks 2011 for Mac can grow as a small business expands:
° Multi-User Access allows up to five employees to simultaneously view and edit QuickBooks data files.
° User Permissions lets small businesses determine who can work in up to eight accounting activity areas. In addition, iChat integration allows logged-in users to communicate with each other using QuickBooks to avoid crossed wires.
The best new feature is the instantaneous updating of the file with each transaction recorded. The ability to group transactions by class for reporting purposes is sweet. Changing settings, layouts and schedules is easy. Also, the new version isn't so different from its predecessors that you'll need a long learning curve to get the hang of it.
Thankfully, QuickBooks 2011 for Mac looks and functions like a Mac app, integrating with other Mac programs like iCal and the Address Book. It also also includes these features:
° Mileage Tracking enables users to log their job-related auto mileage for reimbursement on customer invoices.
° Register Sorting allows users to find specific transactions faster by easily sorting account registers by date, type, number, amount, and other fields.
° You can export report data to either Excel or Numbers.
New customization features and templates in QuickBooks 2011 lets you create simple forms.
° Layout Designer offers improved, ready-made templates to give users the ability to create customized forms for estimates, invoices and more. New tools simplify image cropping and field alignment to create a professional look.
° Customize Reports allows users to more easily create custom reports with a modern look using familiar Mac-like tools.
That said, there are several areas in which QuickBooks 2011 could be improved. There are still problems with cross-platform data files. Apparently, there's no “solution” for Canadian Mac users who also file taxes using the GIFI import feature to transfer profit & loss and balance sheet information automatically from QuickBooks to QuickTax Incorporated, other than running Windows versions of both QuickBooks. Along the same lines, it doesn't support multicurrency or import of bank statements from countries outside the US.
QuickBooks for the Mac still has a ways to go to be a topnotch program. But it's gotten better with the latest version. The latest version of the financial software has a suggested retail price of US$229.95 for a single user license.
Macsimum rating: 7 out of 10
-- Dennis Sellers