Maintenance Release Update
The QuickBooks ‘manual update’ R4 maintenance release was issued earlier today and you can download it from the QuickBooks Product Updates and Downloads site. If normal practices apply Intuit will start pushing out this release as an automatic update within 5 to 14 days.
By now many of you have read the release notes either on that site, or perhaps in ‘the other guy’s blog’, and so I won’t bore you by listing the same notations. What I will do is point out some of the changes, improvements and fixes that I feel are most important, or absolutely horrible ideas, in other words my ‘best and worst picks’ from this release.
First place: Improved the performance of the Employee/Payroll Center for large files with many employees and payroll transactions. [Note: I tested this on a file that had about 400 employees listed in the Employee Center, although only about 45 of them are actively on payroll at present. On the workstation I tested it had been taking about 15-18 seconds to load the Employee Center; after this manual update it took only 9-11 seconds on the same workstation. That’s a significant improvement in my mind.]
Second place: Direct deposit checks will no longer show as negative in the reconcile window. [Note: For those using direct deposit this has been a serious/significant issue; how many times have I heard the bookkeeper(s) complain about this one, ‘not any more’ hopefully.]
Third place: A user without full access permission will no longer be able to open the Inventory Company Preferences and modify "Automatic Cost & Price Updates". [Note: This is only for ‘Enterprise Users” and really isn’t much of a big deal in my mind, other than it may indicate that Intuit has come to the understanding that ‘security protocols’ need to be applied throughout the product not just in a few areas, and ignored in others.]
Honorable mention: The Verify Data Utility has been updated to provide more information for non-posting transactions with a site:bin mismatch. [Note: We have been seeing this Error on an increased frequency as more people are ‘adopting’ Advanced Inventory (features). I note that this Release doesn’t say anything about ‘fixing the cause’ of these errors, it simply says that the Verify utility will give us more ‘needed’ information that may simply correction of these errors (perhaps even self-correction).]
Worthy of mentioning (Good or Bad): The UI layout has been changed, to facilitate a better in product help experience. The help window is now one, moveable, resizable window with improved navigation to self-help and assisted help options. [Note: The redesigned and seemingly ‘improved’ Help that opens the available information in the same window as the displayed help topics; now if the Help feature only displayed actually helpful information, that would be a "winner-winner-chicken-dinner of a deal."]
Worst Idea in the Release: Opening a damaged company file will no longer display an error code before the internal QuickBooks File Doctor launches. Relevant user information will only be shown if the tool fails to repair the file. [Note: I am NOT a fan of the File Doctor, in all my testing it ‘fails’ most of the time; now instead of being given the opportunity to ‘not waste time with File Doctor’ by skipping that step when a file doesn’t open, the Doctor will rush in even if he isn’t wanted….it’s almost as if Intuit assumes that ‘any QuickBooks file’ belongs to them and they can do what they want with it without letting the QB User have any say in the matter.]
I don’t think anyone, has absolutely, positively tested R4 thoroughly enough to say that it is perfected and everyone should ‘rush right out’ and migrate to their 2014 versions of QuickBooks. On the other hand, if you are already on 2014 because you could only buy that product, or because you ‘jumped the gun’ and went ahead and upgraded, then I would seriously consider updating to this R4 maintenance release.
If you are running a 2014 version of QuickBooks already, probably R3, we would like to hear about anything ‘good or bad’ you have experienced thus far; and if you do decided to install this new R4 release, we would like to get your views on the changes incorporated in it. So in either situation, just use the comments window below to share your firsthand knowledge, I for one would love to hear from your.