title>Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter Wizard Animation


Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Friday, June 25, 2004
QuickBooks File Identification
The following is a rather lengthy discussion that will only be of interest to other accountants who work with multiple QuickBooks files.

Intuit has finally implemented a feature in QuickBooks 2004 that I have been requesting for years and years.

I receive dozens of QuickBooks data files from clients every week. While a new version of the program is issued every year, most people hold onto their versions for several years before upgrading. The frustrating thing for me has been that there has been no way to distinguish which version of the program the files I receive were produced in. The file names look exactly the same, with nothing to distinguish a 1999 file from a 2004 or any other year. It then involves a lot of trial and error, with different versions of QB, for me to open the file without converting it into a newer version than the client can use.

Several weeks ago, I received an email from QuickBooks with the following announcement:

Subject: QuickBooks ProAdvisor Alert: Intuit introduces QuickBooks Version Detector for Accountants with QuickBooks 2004

(This Alert email is being sent to you because you are a valued
QuickBooks ProAdvisor(SM).)

Key Info
* Audience Affected: QuickBooks(R) ProAdvisors, and their clients who
use older versions of QuickBooks (back to 1999).
* Notification: Intuit's new QuickBooks Version Detector (included in
QuickBooks 2004 Release 6) lets QuickBooks ProAdvisors quickly
identify which version of QuickBooks a client is using, without
having to open the QuickBooks file.
* Timeline: Mid June
* Action: QuickBooks ProAdvisors that have "QuickBooks Update" enabled
on their computer will automatically receive the QuickBooks R6
update from Intuit which includes the version detector feature. If
you do not have "QuickBooks Update" enabled, you may visit:
to download the QuickBooks R6 update for free.

Intuit introduces free QuickBooks Version Detector for Accountants
with QuickBooks 2004

Intuit's new QuickBooks Version Detector lets you quickly identify
which version of QuickBooks a client is using, without having to
open the client's QuickBooks file. QuickBooks Version Detector
works with your QuickBooks 2004 software, and will detect QuickBooks
versions dating back to 1999. The version detector is included,
along with a variety of other improvements and fixes, in
QuickBooks 2004 Release 6.

Simply "mouse-over" a client's QuickBooks file to identify the
version and year. A message box message appears, showing the:
* Version of QuickBooks that last opened the file
* File type
* File size
* Date when the file was last modified

Every couple of days, I would go to the manual download page and look for Service Release 6. It was finally up there as of a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, this new feature wasn't working properly. I installed it multiple times on my main computer and it just wasn't working. I noticed that other QB pros were also unable to get it to function properly. Based on this advice from Intuit, I ran the Update QuickBooks function once again. I noticed a small file being downloaded and installed. This time, the version detector feature seems to have been properly activated. It works from within all of the QB programs, not just 2004. It also shows up when I'm looking at files in "My Computer" and Windows Explorer, which is what I had really been hoping for. I can now verify the proper version of QB to use before even starting up the QB program.

Updating QB Programs
In a similar vein, while I do think it's worthwhile upgrading to the newest version of QuickBooks each year, users shouldn't wait more than three years to do so. Intuit has recently started sunsetting (aka retiring, orphaning, abandoning) versions of QuickBooks that are more than three years old. The most recent case was QuickBooks 2001, which was officially retired as of April 30, 2004. Anyone using the 2001 or older programs should just go ahead and buy a copy of the 2004 program and be set for three more years rather than try to get by via picking up a cheap copy of the 2002 or 2003 program from some place like eBay.

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