The End of QuickBooks for Mac


Intuit has announced that it will no longer develop or release new versions of QuickBooks for Mac (QBM) beyond the current version, 2016. This was not much of a surprise, given that a new version was not released for this calendar year. QBM has always been something of the neglected step-child anyway. It has always lacked many features available in other versions of QuickBooks and developers have been blocked from developing for it as well.

So what does this mean to you? If you are a current user of QBM 2016, it does not mean much in the short term. If you want to continue using it, then there is no immediate reason to make a change. QBM 2016 will continue to be supported until May 31, 2019. This means you can call or text support for help and they will continue to release updates to address bugs and incompatibility issues. And of course, Biz Books Cloud will continue to support it and previous versions beyond that, if you continue to use them.

If you are using an older version of QBM and want to continue using QBM, I recommend you consider upgrading to the latest version to maximize the availability of support and updates. Not a lot has changed in the latest version. Mostly it does the things is already does with more reliability and efficiency. However, keep in mind that you need to be running at least MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) to run the latest update of QBM 2016. Contact us if you have questions about this or need help upgrading.

What if you are ready, like Intel, to dump QBM? You have a couple of options still within the QuickBooks family. The first option is QuickBooks Online (QBO). This is QuickBooks in the cloud with a monthly subscription and is a fully-featured accounting program. However, it does take some time to get used to for QBM users, as the user interface is completely different. You use QBO in one of two ways. First, you can download the QBO app for Mac from the App Store and install it on your Mac. The app runs just like any other Mac program, it just runs with your cloud data and keeps it up to date there. Or you can log in to QBO from your favorite web browser (Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are all compatible).

You will find that QBO matches QBM function-for-function pretty well, unless you are using QBM to track inventory in your business. If you are, QBO may not work for you, though that is not always true. QBO also comes with some benefits not available in QBM. The biggest one is that it can be used from ANY computer (Mac or WIndows) or smart phone or tablet (iOS or Android) from anywhere in the world day and night. This means you are no longer tied to the Mac where the program is installed to do your accounting. So you can invoice your customers, take payments, and even keep your books from anywhere with internet access. Stuck waiting for the doctor who is hours behind? Get your bookkeeping done while waiting! You should know that if you have more than one company you track in QBM, each of them will require its own subscription in QBO, at least for now. Intuit is working on addressing this. Also, ask us about discounted pricing on QBO subscriptions.

If you prefer to stick with a program installed on your Mac that uses the data locally only, then you still have a couple of options. One is to switch to QuickBooks for Windows using a Windows installation on your Mac, most commonly via Parallels or VMware to run Windows alongside MacOS. Or you can switch to AccountEdge, which is another Mac accounting program that works on Mac and Windows. See another blog article on this website to further explore these options.

If you are comfortable with the idea of accounting in the cloud, but want other options than QBO, then Xero is a comparable option. Wave is another option, with fewer features, but free for basic use. There are many others, but those are the ones I would look at.

If you choose to change your accounting program, your company file(s) will need to be converted, even if you choose another version of QuickBooks. The conversion within the QuickBooks family is fairly painless, but is still best left to a professional, as there are many things to consider and do before converting. If you choose a program outside of the QuickBooks family, then conversion may also be fairly painless or may be quite involved and expensive. Bottom line, call us so we can explore your options and help you reach the best decision for your business.

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