Intuit Inc. has officially released QuickBooks 2007.   The company’s worked hard in recent weeks to build buzz around the latest incarnation of its flagship product -- first by unveiling improvements to its ProAdvisor program, and then by announcing a partnership with Google Inc. to tie online marketing services into the software.   And though the latest version of QuickBooks is equipped with the expected bells and whistles, Intuit executives are quick to note that a host of other improvements in the 2007 version focus on making day-to-day tasks easier to complete.   Intuit Small Business Division product manager Samir Khosla said a number of ideas for refinement grew directly out of the on-site visits to QuickBooks customers the company regularly conducts. He said a prime example was a simplified setup in the 2007 version, geared to helping new users label their income and expense accounts more accurately with a simplified Chart of Accounts. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game, so we can prevent errors before they ever get to the accountant,” Khosla said, who added that about 85 percent of QuickBooks customers use an accountant.   According to Intuit executives, the financial management software category grew 37 percent last year, with Intuit continuing to hold on to more than a 90-percent share of the marketplace and, at the same time, fending off a new entry into the field, the recently renamed Microsoft Office Accounting, which Intuit says was held to a market share of less than 2 percent. QuickBooks has more than 3.4 million active users, and this year, Intuit is aiming to move more than the 1.4 million units it sold of the 2006 version last year.   Among the other new QuickBooks features Khosla highlighted were:

  • An improved payroll function, so the nearly 1 million businesses that use Intuit Small Business Payroll Services can run payroll for all their employees at once.
  • A new “Dividing Date” function that allows accountants to make changes to their clients’ company files, while the business owner continues to work on their day-to-day business transactions without interruption. When the accountant is done making adjustments, the business owner can review and import the changes directly into QuickBooks.
  • Easier customization of forms -- including invoices, letters and purchase orders -- with color schemes and logos while showing users changes as they are made.
  • Depending on the size and specific needs of a business, the QuickBooks 2007 line adds new capabilities for specialized businesses and growing companies including enhanced features for product-based businesses, online time tracking for professional services firms, after-the-fact payroll and increased list limits for growing businesses.

QuickBooks 2007 products are currently available directly from Intuit, at www.quickbooks.com, and will be available on Oct. 11 at major retailers.   QuickBooks Premier -- including the accountant edition -- is priced at $399.95, or $1,499.95 for a five-user pack. The entry-level product, QuickBooks: Simple Start Edition, will retail for $99.95 and a new three-user pack for QuickBooks Pro is priced at $499.95.   For midsized businesses, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 7.0 starts at $3,000 for a five-seat license and up to 20 simultaneous users.

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