QuickBooks 2019: What to know and what to expect

Posted 2 months ago in Small Business Tips
by Megan Jensen

Quick note:

ZipBooks is a  cloud-based Quickbooks alternative that helps you not just manage, but grow your business.

And while lots of people are switching and we’d love to have you join the ZipBooks family, we’re all about you getting the accounting product that’s best for your business.

So here, you’ll get an honest evaluation of the Quickbooks 2019 desktop products.

One of the questions business owners usually ask is, “What type of accounting software should I use: cloud or desktop?” 

Cloud software is, simply put, data that is stored online, rather than on the hard drive of a specific computer. Like ZipBooks! It can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection.

Desktop applications are accessed from the computers that have the software installed on them. Your hard drive is the information point.

QuickBooks 2019

QuickBooks is popular with businesses that like using desktop accounting software. Historically, Intuit has released new versions of QuickBooks, and this year is no exception! QuickBooks 2019 was released at the beginning of September 2018, with various improvements and changes in each product. What does it look like and what updated features does it have? 

To understand some of the updates, it’s helpful to know more about each product that QuickBooks offers. Here’s a quick (pun intended) rundown!

Types of QuickBooks Products

QuickBooks has numerous different bookkeeping solutions, based on what type of business you run, and what kinds of tasks you need QuickBooks to help you perform. QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier are the two most common small business products that QuickBooks offers. 

QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier

QuickBooks Pro and Premier are both targeted to small businesses with up to $1M in revenue per year, and less than 20 employees. They both have basic bookkeeping and reporting features, and they both have payroll capabilities. A couple of key differences are that Pro allows three unique users, while Premier allows five,  and Premier is better-suited for businesses in the following industries:

  • Nonprofit
  • Manufacturing and wholesale
  • Professional services
  • Contractor
  • Retail

QuickBooks Premier provides industry-specific setups for each of these types of businesses, including a customized chart of accounts, and product and service lists that apply to each. 

To see a detailed comparison, including pricing, check out our QuickBooks Pro vs. Premier article.

QuickBooks Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is a product for larger businesses with more customers, and vendors, and more sales and expenses to keep track of. It has six times the capacity of QuickBooks Pro or Premier. You can have up to 30 individual users with QuickBooks Enterprise. Here are a few of the other advantages of using this product over others:

  • Improved sales order management
  • Consolidate reports from multiple company files
  • Control pricing from within QuickBooks
  • Work in two company files simultaneously
  • Track 100,000+ customers, employees, inventory items, etc.
  • Up to 14 unique user roles
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • Add hosting to access anywhere

QuickBooks Accountant Desktop

If you’re an accountant with multiple clients, then the QuickBooks Accountant Desktop might be a good fit. Keep track of each of your clients’ company files in one convenient program. New features in 2018 include bulk delete or void, easier search function, user-friendly Bill Tracker, new report filters, merge vendors, and a whole lot more. You even have access to the Accountant Toolbox, which you can use anywhere you are to do work within your clients’ QuickBooks software.

There’s an online version too if you prefer cloud over desktop.

QuickBooks Mac

If you’re a QuickBooks for Mac user, it’s important to note that Intuit previously announced that their 2016 desktop version would be the last Mac product they would release, and that they will only support it through May 31, 2019. This means that after that date, you can no longer process payments or payroll through your QB software. Intuit is urging QB for Mac users to switch to QuickBooks Online. While there IS a rumor that Intuit has heard the complaints of its Mac users, and IS in fact developing a 2019 version, the rumor can’t be confirmed for certain. 

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is what’s called a cloud-based application, meaning it’s not installed on one specific computer, but can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. You can access your files, and work from wherever you are. Phone, iPad, PC, Mac: whatever you’re using, you’ll be able to do what you need to do, including all the basics like:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Generating reports and financial statements
  • Time tracking
  • Project organization
  • Collecting and recording sales tax
  • Integrate 3rd party apps

Coming Soon: On the Intuit website it says that QB Online will soon have a Contractor feature that will help YOU help your clients pay and manage their own contractors. 

Check out our article on QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop for a more detailed review.

QuickBooks 2019 Desktop Updates

Here are some of the upgrades and features that have been released with QuickBooks 2019 this month. Some are specific to individual products and others are standard over all products. The following are standard upgrades over all QuickBooks desktop products.

Switch to a different computer

One of the biggest features of QuickBooks 2019 is that you can easily transfer your QuickBooks program and files to another computer. You don’t need to manually transfer all of your files, or reinstall everything. All you need is your old computer, your new computer, an internet connection, and a USB flash drive. In only a few easy steps, you’ll have all your files on your new computer and you’ll be able to start working again, without missing a beat.

Improved Backup System

Technology fails all the time, so it’s important to know that your information will be safe somewhere if this happens to you. Intuit has improved their Data Protect system so that you can choose what you back up, get confirmation that it is being backed up, and receive emails if something fails to back up. You choose how often to back up, and get notifications if you’ve waiting too long between backups. 

Better Sick and Vacation Time Tracking

Prior versions of QuickBooks have never had a way to make sure you don’t overpay on sick or vacation time. QuickBooks 2019 gives you a warning message when an employee goes over their sick or vacation pay limits. It also shows used, accrued, and available time on the employee’s pay stub so they’re always in the know about time they have available.

*This feature is only available with a payroll subscription

Invoice History

In the QuickBooks 2019 release, you can see the history of any given invoice in one place, instead of having to click around to different places in your account. See when the invoice was created, when it was sent, when your customer viewed it, when it’s paid, and when the money reaches your account. 

Inventory Tracking

Another feature upgrade that seems to be a big hit is the way QuickBooks 2019 keeps track of inactive inventory. It used to be that all inventory was counted together in the inventory total, even inventory that had been taken out of circulation. With the upgrade, you can choose to mark certain inventory as inactive, even if you still have units available. This makes it so that when you look at your Inventory Valuation Summary, you can see at a glance which items you’ve marked as inactive, highlighted in yellow. You also have the option of excluding them from the report.

Bill Pay Default

It used to be possible in QuickBooks to accidentally make double payments for one transaction when paying bills. You might write a check to pay a bill, but then forget to make an entry in Pay Bills to reflect that payment. Later down the line, you might think you haven”t payed the bill and make another payment. With QuickBooks 2019, when you put a vendor name onto a check, QuickBooks will automatically check for unpaid bills for this vendor. You can then select the bill you’re paying, or you can continue to write your check if it has nothing to do with prior bills.

User Permissions Warning

When assigning additional roles to any user of a QuickBooks file, the admin will get an alert if whatever permissions they choose include payroll access. It also has an asterisk next to each role that includes payroll access.

*Only available on QuickBooks Enterprise

Sales Order Worksheet Improvements

With the new release, when you go to your sales orders, you now have a dashboard that will show you the numbers of all sales orders, open sales orders, picked sales orders, packed sales orders, and shipped sales orders. You also have the option of making changes to multiple orders at once, using the Batch feature.  AND, you can pack and print a shipping label right from your account. The information will automatically transfer over to your invoice.

The new packing feature is especially helpful for warehouse workers as they can see and keep track of all their assigned tasks on a mobile device.

*Only available on QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum

Credit Transfers

When a customer has a credit on their account, you can now transfer that credit between multiple jobs for that specific customer, instead of having to create a separate credit for each job. You can do this by using the Account for Credit Transfers in your chart of accounts. QuickBooks makes this account inactive for any other purpose so that users don’t accidentally use it for other things. The only potential problem is that you can’t undo transfers once you  perform them, unless you make a manual journal entry. 

Easy Upgrades

Installing the newest version of QuickBooks has been streamlined to a two-click process. Choose to update, and QuickBooks will automatically save a copy of your company file beforehand, so nothing gets lost in the transfer. In earlier versions, you had to search for your company file in the new version, but now, your company file will be there waiting for you to open it for the first time.

QuickBooks 2019 Online Updates

QuickBooks Online (QBO) compares most closely with QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier, meaning that features released in the 2019 version are probably already active in QuickBooks Online (one of the perks of using a cloud application). In general, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise has lots of additional features that QBO doesn’t have. So, the upgrades specific to QuickBooks Enterprise above will not be new features in QBO. 

What are some of the other pros to using cloud over desktop applications? Here are a few:

Advantages of cloud over desktop applications

While getting a new version of your software is exciting, it can start feeling a little last-century in the way you have to wait for it, and the limits on what it can ultimately do for you. If you’re considering switching over to a cloud-based system, here are some good reasons to keep thinking in that direction.

Access anywhere

Desktop, cell phone, ipad, laptop– you can log into your account on-the-go, on any device when your accounting program is in the cloud. With a desktop version, you can only access your software from the computer it’s installed on, unless you have a remote access program set up.

Multiple users

Generally, desktop versions of accounting software provide access to only a limited number of users, and they can’t be in the program at the same time. Cloud software allows you to give access to any number of users you decide, including accountants and other professionals. It’s easier and more secure than sending sensitive information over email, or on a USB device.

Quicker Updates

Desktop software relies on yearly updates to provide fixes and improvements. But with cloud applications, the software is updated continuously, in real time. The companies that run them are always working on improvements and bug fixes that will then automatically update to the app. Without the user needing to do a thing!


With a desktop accounting program, your information is only as safe as the security you decide to put on your personal computer and network (and the quality of the lock on your front door). But when your system is in the cloud, your information is stored in large data centers that are monitored 24 hours a day. Your connections are also encrypted and secured to keep hackers from tapping into your information.

With a cloud application, it doesn’t matter if someone steals your laptop, or if you have an office fire (though these scenarios would be awful anyway!). A thief can only access your accounting records if they have your login info (remember to choose a strong password of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and other symbols). A fire will only destroy your physical equipment, not your records, so your business will recover faster.

Integration with other applications

Cloud software allows you to collaborate with other applications to keep your business running seamlessly. For example, you can integrate your accounting application with your payment system so that payments from customers show up automatically in your records. Or use a payroll application that will automatically insert all paychecks into your account register. Genius!


Ultimately, the choice is yours, and if you decide that cloud-based accounting is the way you want to go, ZipBooks is here for you! We’ve got solutions for companies of all types, and features specifically suited to helping you run and grow your business.

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