QuickBooks Desktop 2020 offers increased automation and more

For 2020, Intuit has updated QuickBooks Desktop, Enterprise and Payroll with more automated options, with the goal of moving money around faster and making functions like reporting more efficient. While cloud-based software is certainly increasing in popularity, QuickBooks’ desktop products remain popular, and the yearly updates continue to respond to customer demands.

Moving money faster

QuickBooks Desktop now automatically creates payment reminder emails, and users can choose the content that goes within each email, tailoring the message for specific customers. Users can still review everything before it’s sent, and they can also choose how many days after the due date that the reminder is sent, and can select different days for different customers. Reminders can be scheduled in advance, and QuickBooks will provide a prompt when it’s time to send them.

Small-business users can now automatically add customer purchase orders and PO numbers to invoice emails. The idea is that giving end customers the right information quickly will result in faster payment. Previously, users would have to manually search for and add customer PO numbers to the subject line in every invoice email.

Users can also now combine multiple emails instead of sending a separate invoice email for every invoice. Previously, users would sometimes circumvent the inability to combine emails within QuickBooks by manually combining invoices outside of the platform.

All of these features are available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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Efficiency upgrades

An upgrade to reports addresses a long-standing issue with data visibility. Now, users can horizontally collapse columns in reports within QBD so they can present only the data they want or need customers or other stakeholders to see. Previously users would have to export the reports outside of QuickBooks to modify.

Also new is the Smart Help feature, available under the Help menu or by pressing F1. F1 pulls up improved contextual content and search options, and provides access to a live support agent either through messaging or a call-back option. Despite the name, Smart Help doesn’t employ artificial intelligence or machine learning, so it doesn’t learn as you go — rather, it’s an upgraded version of support.

Also in new in search capabilities is the ability to quickly search for any open company files.

Users in the United States can now access software updates from directly within QBD. According to Intuit, a significant number of customers call the company every year when it’s time to upgrade. The upgrade workflow also used to consist of between six to 19 distinct steps. With in-platform upgrades, customers can now avoid these issues. While users tend to prefer talking to a live person to help them through an upgrade, the new version allows them to perform the upgrade themselves with just a few clicks, simplifying the process considerably.

These features are available in the U.S. only.

New in QB Payroll

Updates in QuickBooks Payroll are for U.S. customers only, and include the ability to view the status of payroll sent to Intuit, so business users can see if it was sent in time and if it is being processed properly. Employees can also check the status of their direct deposit more easily.

Also new is employee self-setup — similar to the upgrade to software updates, self-setup is an improved process by which employees can get themselves situated much faster and with less complexity than before. If an employer performs the setup, the process has been reduced from 60 screens to five screens. If an employee performs the self-setup portion, this process can be reduced to two screens.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 20.0

Users of the Platinum edition of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 20.0 in the U.S. will see improved fulfilment features:

  • Landed cost: There is now greater visibility into actual product costs by factoring freight, duties, insurance and other miscellaneous costs incurred during the purchase cycle.
  • Alternative Vendors: There is now a centralized information hub containing vendor contact information and imported pricing data. Businesses can create purchase orders with vendor information automatically included.
  • Express Pick-Pack: Users can now complete the picking and packing operations as part of a single workflow.
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