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Intuit debuts QuickBooks 2013

Intuit has unveiled QuickBooks for Mac 2013, the newest version of its small-business accounting software package. According to Intuit representatives, the new features in QuickBooks 2013 are designed to help users get started quickly, to organize records more effectively, and to simplify common tasks.

"We really focused on the Mac experience," said Kimberly Gehant, Intuit's group product manager of QuickBooks for Mac, during a product demonstration. "The demographics are different for Mac users. Businesses using QuickBooks tend to be more service-based, and have fewer employees than [Windows-based] businesses."

(Image Caption: Guide Me: QuickBooks 2013 has more videos to assist the user.)

Key to the new version of QuickBooks is the integration of the Intuit Payment Network, which has been available in the Windows version of QuickBooks. Invoices made in QuickBooks 2013 give customers the option of paying through the Intuit Payment Network. Intuit charges a 50-cent flat fee for bank payments to the biller, regardless of the amount of money involved in the transaction. If the biller decides to accept credit card payments, the biller must pay a percentage of the invoiced amount instead of the 50-cent fee. Once the bank receives a payment through the Intuit Payment Network, it notifies QuickBooks 2013, which marks the appropriate invoice is marked as paid.

Intuit has also updated QuickBook 2013's reconciliation tools to help users find a transaction more easily. Users can hide transactions that would otherwise appear in a list, either by making the statement date the cutoff date for showing transactions or by manually selecting individual transactions to hide. In addition, users can save past reconciliations, and they can revert to a previous reconciliation by clicking the new Under Last Reconciliation button. Also, opening a QuickBooks for Mac 2013 file in the Windows version won't result in any loss of reconciliation information.

One key new feature that should help users get started with QuickBooks more quickly is the ability to copy items in a separate spreadsheet and then paste them into a QuickBooks file in the appropriate spaces. Unfortunately, QuickBooks still can't import spreadsheet files from Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers, and it can't import .csv or tab-delimited .txt files. On the other hand, QuickBooks 2013 can import contact information from Address Book.

(Image Caption: Documents Attachments: QuickBooks 2013 supports file attachments.)

Intuit has added more videos to the Guide Me help in QuickBooks. Some of the videos are integrated into the software, while others stream from the Internet, which means that you'll need an Internet connection. The Guide Me, when opened, senses where you are in the QuickBooks file and displays related content, making the help information readily available.

Other new features include Documents Attachments--which allows users to attach documents such as text files, spreadsheets, or images to a QuickBooks file--and batch invoicing.

QuickBooks for Mac 2013 will be available on September 24. Pricing starts at $250 for a single-user license; upgrade pricing starts at $200 for a single user.

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