Intuit – QuickBooks Pro 2008 review

easy accounting for small businesses
Photo of Intuit – QuickBooks Pro 2008
£255 + VAT

QuickBooks Pro 2008 begins, as do all good stories, at the beginning. With every version of QuickBooks, Intuit is always on the lookout for ways to make the package more initially accessible.

When you’re setting up your company details here, the “easy step start-up” interview has been fine-tuned considerably, with a more simplified and pain-free series of questions. There’s also a freshly streamlined main menu which lays out clearly labelled icons for all the main tasks, complete with flowchart-style arrows informing the user of the typical order of tasks.

This helpful design is backed up by a myriad of thoughtful touches, such as the quick-zoom feature (a magnifying glass which, when clicked, lets you view a breakdown of the finances and workings behind a figure), and interactive tutorials that utilise sample data to teach you how various functions work. We were suitably impressed by these efforts on the user-friendliness front.

In terms of the core mechanics of the program, it’s a case of refinements rather than sweeping changes. The biggest tweak is the introduction of customer, employee and supplier centres. These hubs are basically organisational tools which group together relevant information on said topics. For example, in the supplier centre all your suppliers and transactions with them are listed for a quick and easy overview.

Intuit has also introduced customisation options for QuickBooks Pro’s various forms (credit notes, invoices and so forth), so it’s now possible to add company logos and suchlike to produce a more professional and personalised look. Should you wish to search for specific information inside the program, Google Desktop is included to make this a much easier task, and a number of other little tweaks are present in the 2008 version, such as the ability to enter several different addresses for a supplier or customer.

QuickBooks Pro boasts one major optional extra – for £100 more you can purchase the Payroll edition which comes with a one-year payroll service subscription. This provides a thorough payroll management system, including up-to-date help with all the forms and minutiae an employer is expected to deal with.

It’s also worth mentioning that Intuit offers a 30-day money back guarantee on the QuickBooks software, so if you’re not happy with what you get, you can ask for a refund before the end of the first month.

Company: Intuit

Contact: 0845 606 2161

The smoother interface, bolstered help facilities and various minor refinements are welcome additions to the 2008 version, and QuickBooks Pro remains a high quality accounting package. It's not cheap, but in this case you do get what you pay for.