Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 is a market-leading small-business accounting software package.

With this upgrade QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 simplifies program setup, provides useful training help, improves integration with online services, and adds other interesting features. These help justify its hefty cost of £449 - although it is available for less if you shop around. Irritatingly, the US cost is only half of that at $450. Visit our Small Business Advisor website to catch the latest reviews and prices for business IT products.

Getting started

A smarter setup process reduces the number of screens required from more than 100 in previous versions to about 30 in Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008, reducing new users' startup time.

The new QuickBooks Coach and Tips give novice users two ways to learn: tutorials and guidance. You can use Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008's interactive tutorials to learn more about key features, and rely on guidance mode as you work with the program. If you get stuck, clicking on a guidance icon leads to an explanation of how a process fits into your accounting workflow.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008' online help now displays context-sensitive topics. A link goes to the QuickBooks Community Forums, a bulletin-board system where users can view or post messages on tips, best practices, and questions.

Quicken and Peachtree users have long been able to convert and import financial data into QuickBooks; with Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008, Microsoft Office Accounting users have that option, too.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008's new 'Time and Expense' invoice form puts your unbilled time and expenses on a single screen, to help you decide which customers to bill. The QuickBooks Time Tracker (an extra-cost subscription service) enables you to use Microsoft Outlook to account for your time.

Many QuickBooks users hire a professional accountant to look at and adjust their books before preparing year-end financial statements. Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 makes sharing data with your accountant easier with a wizard that guides you through the steps of creating an accountant's copy of your books. The software encrypts the copy and sends it to your accountant via a secure Intuit server.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 has improved its integration with various online services. An expanded listing service adds your business to several directory sites, including Google Maps, SuperPages.com, Yahoo Local, and YellowPages.com.

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Easy access to Google Maps

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 now integrates directly with Google Maps and Directions, which can help sales staffers plan customer calls. For example, prior to visiting a customer, you can click the Directions link in QuickBooks and create a Google map of the route from your office to the customer, with directions.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 comes with a version of Google Desktop that lets you search for customer or vendor data in QuickBooks or elsewhere on your PC. Visit our Small Business Advisor website to catch the latest reviews of business IT products.

Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008: Specs

  • 1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 (or equivalent) with 512MB of RAM
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32bit only)
  • 1GB of disk space (additional space required for data files)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or better required
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Common Language Runtime 1.1
  • at least 256 colour SVGA video
  • optimised for 1024 x 768 resolution
  • internet access with at least a 56Kbps modem
  • 1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 (or equivalent) with 512MB of RAM
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32bit only)
  • 1GB of disk space (additional space required for data files)
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or better required
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Common Language Runtime 1.1
  • at least 256 colour SVGA video
  • optimised for 1024 x 768 resolution
  • internet access with at least a 56Kbps modem

OUR VERDICT

Microsoft Office Accounting still integrates better with Office applications, but Intuit QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 retains its lead in accounting capabilities. Overall, the upgraded integration with online services and the friendlier startup routine make QuickBooks Premier Edition 2008 a good choice for newcomers and a solid upgrade for existing customers.

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