For years Iíve been making suggestions to Intuit, publishers of QuickBooks, to add features and make improvements that would greatly increase the versatility of the program. I even went so far as to call the office of the chairman of the board (it was actually to voice a complaint about their limited voice menu options and I took the opportunity to share again my thoughts on features) I did get to speak with the chairmanís secretary and she told me a few things. One of these is that they listen more when several people make similar suggestions, no matter how good a feature sounds on its own.
Thatís why your help is needed. The people at Intuit lack the imagination to see how their otherwise wonderful product can better serve the small business person, especially in the Internet age. They need our help to nudge them.
For instance, I made the suggestion to add the ability to e-mail invoices 4 years ago. Only recently has this feature been added. It could be improved on with the addition of a receipt option since a lot of e-mail does not get through and you may not know if an invoice was received. To say they are slow in catching on to the value of features is an understatement.
Here are other features I have proposed to them before:
1. Allow QB to interact with Microsoft Access (and possibly other databases). This would allow inclusion of data unique to each particular business and could even help QB function as a POS (point of sale) system.
Iíll give a practical example of what I mean. I have a client who is a custom wet suit manufacturer. They have about 30 measurements that are taken for each customer, many of whom order more than one wet suit, such as a full suit and a shorty. The database knows to generate messages if the relationship between specific measurements is questionable, to add a surcharge for larger customers based on specific dimensions, etc. For their Internet sales, they have to enter some of the information 3 times, in the database first, from which the production form is generated, in Quick Books when it is ready to be shipped, and in the UPS shipping software (more about that later). Itís a lot of extra entries and duplicated work. Being able to enter the information in a single program and have data shared would be a tremendous time saver.
2. Add the ability for QB to interact with shipping software. Combined with the above feature, it could work like this: the customer information is entered in QB, along with price, measurements, and other data, including the shipping carrier and shipping choice (ground, 3 day, etc.),. The Access database would handle the production information and such. When the suit is ready to be shipped, the weight is entered, QB would get the rate from the appropriate rate schedule (which UPS, USPS and others already supply), the shipping charges are entered on the invoice automatically, and the information is relayed to the appropriate shipping software (they use UPS primarily), which then generates the shipping label. It might even be made easier than that, especially if QB could print the appropriate shipping labels and such.
3. Add the ability to have custom drop down selections. On invoices, this would be similar to the Item field where you can choose from a list of items you have already specified. Being able to do that for things like size, color, etc. would sure make it easier.
4. Being able to separate customer addresses form their names when printing lists, especially when exporting to Excel. With new versions, when exporting to IIF, their own format, which is similar to tab delimited ASCII, the addresses are shown separately. However, getting them into Excel requires intermediary conversion steps that should be unnecessary.
Iíve got one customer (a wholesaler) who has over 600 dealers, some listed on his web site, who does not have a complete or current listing on the site because of the inconvenience of having to type them over into Excel. I researched this, came up with a solution, and he just sent me a current list in IIF. It would be easier if it was in Excel, as it would be for changes and updates.
5. Fields for the telephone, fax number, business URL and e-mail address that can appear selectively on invoices and other forms. Iím talking about the business generating the invoice, not the customer receiving it. This is something that should have been added years ago yet is still missing.
I may have forgotten some of the many suggestions Iíve made to them over the years. If I did, and then remember any, Iíll add them to this discussion. Meanwhile, you can help bring some of them to fruition by going to http://quickbooks.com/misc/feedback.html
and requesting them, along with any other ideas you might have of your own. You might also encourage other people to do the same. The more requests, the more likely they are to listen and take action.