Navigating the Sunset of QuickBooks Desktop 2020: Your In-depth Guide to Transition
In recent times, the business world was greeted with the news of the discontinuation of the QuickBooks Desktop 2020. This announcement from Intuit, the maker of the popular accounting software, has sent ripples across the user community. As the sun sets on this version of QuickBooks Desktop, businesses and individuals relying on it are left with a pressing question: What happens next?
The discontinuation, or “sunsetting,” of this QuickBooks Desktop version does not mean that the program will stop working entirely. Instead, it signifies the end of technical support, security updates, and access to add-on Intuit services (like live tech support) for this version. This development has crucial implications for users, especially concerning their data security, functionality, and the need for transitioning to other versions or platforms.
This guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the situation, the implications for QuickBooks Desktop 2020 users, and the available options for transitioning. Whether you’re considering an upgrade to QuickBooks Online, we’ll help you navigate through this crucial phase. Let’s delve into the details of this significant shift in the accounting and bookkeeping landscape.
Understanding QuickBooks Desktop 2020 Discontinuation
The discontinuation, or sunsetting, of QuickBooks Desktop 2020, is part of Intuit’s strategy to stay at the forefront of business technology solutions. It’s crucial to understand what this process entails to grasp its implications fully.
When a software version is discontinued, it doesn’t mean that the program will suddenly stop working or disappear from your computer. Instead, discontinuation signifies the end of technical support and crucial updates from the developer—in this case, Intuit. For those still using older versions and QuickBooks Desktop 2020, this means Intuit will no longer provide an online help desk or live technical support, security patches, feature updates, or access to connected Intuit services.
Here are the key implications of this discontinuation:
- Loss of Technical Support: From the discontinuation date, Intuit will no longer provide assistance for technical issues with QuickBooks Desktop 2020. This support includes help with installation, troubleshooting, and usage queries.
- No More Updates: QuickBooks Desktop 2020 will no longer receive any updates, which usually would include new features, improvements, and fixes for known bugs or issues.
- Security Patches: One of the most critical aspects of software updates is security patches, which protect the program from new threats and vulnerabilities. With the discontinuation, QuickBooks Desktop 2020 will no longer receive these patches, potentially leaving your data and system at risk.
- Discontinuation of Add-on Services: Connected services, such as QuickBooks payroll, credit card processing, online banking, and others, will no longer be accessible. These services often require an active software connection, and with the discontinuation, this will no longer be maintained.
If you recently purchased a newer version of Quickbooks Desktop, you will still be able to enjoy add-on services like payroll, online backup, critical security updates and more. The discontinuation of support and services for the 2020 version will be enforced by 31 May, 2023. The Quickbooks Desktop discontinued versions are listed below:
- QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2020
- QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2020 (General Business, Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail)
- QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 20
- QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2020
- QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 20
- QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2020
Understanding these implications is the first step in planning your transition strategy. Whether you decide to upgrade to QuickBooks Online or switch to another software, it’s essential to ensure your business operations are minimally impacted and your financial records remain secure.
QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop: A Comprehensive Comparison
As QuickBooks Desktop 2020 users ponder their next move, it’s crucial to compare the former desktop product with its web-based successor. Each offers unique advantages, and the choice depends largely on your business needs, budget, and work processes.
QuickBooks Online: An Overview
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting solution that allows you to access your accounts from any device with an internet connection. This flexibility makes it a popular choice for businesses that value mobility and real-time access to financial data. Pricing starts at $270 per year, making it a more cost-effective solution compared to the recurring yearly subscription to QuickBooks Desktop 202o.
Here are the key features of QuickBooks Online to help you make an informed decision:
- Accessibility: Being that the tool is now cloud-based, offers the advantage of anywhere, anytime access. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your financial data, which is particularly useful for businesses with remote teams or multiple locations. On the other hand, QuickBooks Desktop is a locally installed software that requires access to the specific computer it’s installed on.
- Pricing: The new subscription model offers a more cost-effective solution, with plans starting at $270 per year. This is a much more affordable option than the original QuickBooks Desktop licensing.
Features: Since the announcement of the desktop service discontinuation, Intuit has made a concerted effort to implement the features that once only existed on their Desktop version to the new online application. We’ve created a simple graphic of some of the most important features but we recommend checking out the different plans for yourself to better assess the features you need most.
Making the switch to QuickBooks Online will ultimately depend on your specific business needs. However, it’s clear that there are some significant advantages in terms of accessibility, live support, pricing, and features that support modern, flexible work arrangements.
The Risks of Continuing with QuickBooks Desktop 2020
While it may be tempting to continue using QuickBooks Desktop 2020, especially if it’s been serving your business well, there are significant risks associated with sticking with a discontinued product. Let’s explore these risks in detail:
- Loss of Support: One of the immediate impacts of the discontinuation is the loss of technical support from Intuit. If you encounter any issues or technical glitches with QuickBooks Desktop 2020, you won’t be able to rely on official help from Intuit. This can potentially disrupt your business operations and cause significant downtime.
- Security Vulnerabilities: With the discontinuation, QuickBooks Desktop 2020 will no longer receive security updates. This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered will not be patched, leaving your data exposed to potential cyber threats. In an era where cyberattacks are increasingly prevalent, using a program without the latest security patches is a significant risk.
- Loss of Add-on Services: Add-on services like payroll, credit card processing, online banking, and other Intuit services will no longer be accessible from QuickBooks Desktop. If your business relies on these Intuit services, continuing with this version may disrupt crucial aspects of your operations.
- Data Migration Challenges: If you choose to stick with QuickBooks Desktop 2020 for too long, you may find it difficult to migrate your data to a newer version or different platform later on. With the cessation of support, there may be compatibility issues with newer operating systems, making migration a complex and potentially problematic process.
- Lack of Feature Updates: As technology evolves, newer versions often come with improved features and better user experiences. By sticking with QuickBooks Desktop 2020, you’ll miss out on these enhancements, potentially putting your business at a disadvantage compared to competitors who upgrade to the latest versions.
Given these risks, it’s highly recommended to plan your transition away from QuickBooks Desktop 2020 sooner rather than later. Whether you choose to upgrade to QuickBooks Online or look into a different service, it’s crucial to ensure your business continues to operate smoothly and securely.
Transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online: A Step-by-Step Guide
Switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can seem daunting, but Intuit has a process in place to make it as smooth as possible. However, certain challenges may arise, so it’s essential to prepare and understand the steps involved.
- Update QuickBooks Desktop: Ensure your QuickBooks Desktop is updated to the latest release. This helps to avoid compatibility issues during the migration.
- Prepare Your Data: Clean up your data in QuickBooks Desktop. Fix any discrepancies in your reports, ensure all transactions are complete, and check your lists for any duplicate entries.
- Create a QuickBooks Online Account: If you don’t have one already, create an account on quickbooks.intuit.com/au/
- Start the Migration: In QuickBooks Desktop, go to the Company menu, select ‘Export Company File to QuickBooks Online’
- Sign into QuickBooks Online: Sign in with the account credentials you created earlier when prompted and select the company you want the data to import into
- Copy the Data: QuickBooks Desktop will prepare your data for copying. This process can take a while, so be patient
- Confirm the Migration: After the data is uploaded, you’ll receive an email from Intuit to confirm the migration. Review the import in your online account to ensure everything has migrated correctly.
While the process is straightforward, you might face a few challenges:
- File Size Limitations: QuickBooks Online has a limit to the amount of data that can be imported (750,000 targets). If your file is too large, you may need to condense your records or consider contacting Quickbooks Online’s customer support about choosing a larger plan with data migration assistance included.
- Feature Differences: As discussed earlier, QuickBooks Desktop and Online have different features. You may need to adjust your workflows to accommodate these changes.
- Training: Your team may need the training to familiarise themselves with the new interface and features of QuickBooks Online. Plan for this transition period and provide the necessary support, Shoebox Books also has franchises that can assist in software training services.
Remember, preparation is key when making the transition. By following these steps, you can mitigate potential issues and ensure a smooth migration to QuickBooks Online.
Is QuickBooks Online the Right Choice for You?
Choosing between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop depends on your business needs, operational style, and budget. Here are some factors to consider:
- Accessibility and Mobility: QuickBooks Online’s cloud-based infrastructure allows access from anywhere at any time, which is a boon for businesses with remote teams or for those who need to access financial information on the go.
- Pricing: QuickBooks Online starts at a lower annual cost compared to QuickBooks Desktop. However, additional users and add-ons may change the price dynamics, so you should consider your specific requirements.
- Feature Requirements: In the past, QuickBooks Desktop offered more advanced features, such as customising the branding of reports and invoices. However, with the phasing out of the desktop version, Intuit has begun to integrate these missing features into the online alternative.
- Integration Needs: QuickBooks Online offers more integrations with other platforms and services, which might be beneficial for businesses using a variety of software solutions.
Remember, the decision depends on your specific business needs. It’s best to analyse your requirements, compare the two options, and perhaps even consult with a financial or IT professional before making the final decision.
Complementing QuickBooks with Integrated Software Solutions
Even though QuickBooks (both the Desktop and Online versions) is a powerful accounting platform, for a holistic view and management of your business, you might need other apps or programs that integrate seamlessly with it.
The Importance of Software Integration
In today’s business environment, organisations often rely on a variety of software solutions to manage different aspects of their operations, such as inventory management, customer relationship management, project management, and more. The ability to integrate these platforms can:
- Improve Efficiency: When software systems communicate and share information, manual data entry is reduced, saving time and reducing errors.
- Enhance Decision Making: Integrated systems can provide a more comprehensive view of business operations, leading to better-informed decisions.
- Streamline Operations: An integrated system allows for smoother operations as changes in one platform (like an inventory decrease) can automatically update another (like accounting records).
While QuickBooks is a robust accounting solution, integrating it with other tools can provide a more comprehensive and efficient system for managing your business.
The discontinuation of QuickBooks Desktop 2020 presents an opportunity to reassess your business processes and bookkeeping. Switching to QuickBooks Online should align with your specific requirements, considering factors like accessibility, cost, features and integration needs.
Take action today
Take the time to evaluate your current accounting software needs. Consider transitioning to QuickBooks Online and streamline your accounting and bookkeeping processes.
Whether you need help with software setup or a complete transition to QuickBooks Online, the team at Shoebox Books is here to guide you. Trust our qualified professionals as we are highly skilled in a range of platforms as well as Xero & MYOB. Simplify the process and book your session today for efficient software training.