Intuit has released QuickBooks 2011, with new features designed to allow small-business owners to access essential information remotely.

A new service, QuickBooks Connect, lets small businesses access QuickBooks data remotely via the Internet or a mobile device. Other key additions include customer and vendor history features and a customer snapshot. QuickBooks 2011 also includes a simplified start-up process, with start center guides that assist users through installation and allow them to import business contacts directly from their Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail webmail accounts. The center recommends the first steps to populate a new user’s account with key information to begin quickly.

The software goes on sale Sept. 27.  

“For every small-business owner, time is money,” said Dan Wernikoff, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s financial management solutions division. “They want to focus on their business, not on their books. With QuickBooks 2011, we’ve focused on helping them put seconds, minutes and even hours back on the clock.”

Coinciding with the QuickBooks 2011 release is QuickBooks Accountant 2011, an Intuit ProLine product focused on accounting professionals.

New features in the latest version of QuickBooks Accountant allow users to work in two different company files at the same time. A file manager enables accountants to manage all of their client QuickBooks files by version year, edition, and location, or group them by common characteristics set by the accountant. A built-in password vault stores user names and passwords in one place. QuickBooks Accountant 2011 also includes the ability to automate the process of upgrading clients’ QuickBooks files in batch to the latest version year.

“With this latest edition, we wanted to make everyday tasks for accountants more efficient,” said QuickBooks Accountant product manager Victoria Dolginsky. “We are able to do so by lightening the administrative work, replacing the need for a multi-level, sub-accounts structure, and having essential QuickBooks data accessible through mobile and connected services.”

Intuit’s goal for QuickBooks Accountant 2011 is for firms to realize a 50 percent reduction in cycle time while using the product, as well as a 15 percent revenue increase, Dolginsky added.

Suggested retail prices for 2011 editions are $229.95 for the QuickBooks Pro Edition and $399.95 for QuickBooks Accountant.

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