QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009, the latest edition of the market-leading small-business accounting package, sports numerous useful improvements, including multicurrency support for transactions with foreign vendors and customers.

Note: QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 is not yet available in the UK (20/11/2008).

QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 also improves multiuser capabilities, offers smarter online banking, and makes it easier for your outside accountant to work with your QuickBooks records.

Longtime QuickBooks users will welcome improvements to the dashboard: the company snapshot feature includes more details on your business finances and makes it easier to drill down to examine the details.

And new users will benefit from the addition of a panel with context-sensitive links to the QuickBooks Live Community, a user bulletin board - a feature that could help them get answers to many questions.

Selling to the world

Intuit couldn't have timed its support for multi-currency any better. Dodgy economic conditions will encourage many businesses to sell offshore to foreign customers.

QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 lets you download up-to-date currency exchange rates so you can easily prepare invoices in Euros or other currencies, even if your product costs are maintained in US dollars. You can view your outstanding receivables either in US dollars or in the foreign currency. Customer payments can be received by wire transfers using Intuit Payment Services (at extra cost).

NEXT PAGE: more in multiuser mode

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QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009, the latest edition of the market-leading small-business accounting package, sports numerous useful improvements, including multicurrency support for transactions with foreign vendors and customers.

More in multiuser mode

Intuit says that, at about half of the businesses using QuickBooks, more than one person works with the software. These businesses will appreciate QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009's improved multiuser mode, including data backup and running reports. QuickBooks Messenger lets you text-chat with other users.

Some operations must still be performed only in single-user mode. But QuickBooks administrators who need solo access can now send a message to other users and log them out.

Online enhancements

Banks rarely record transactions the same way you do in your company books. Borrowing from its personal finance application, Quicken, Intuit lets QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 suggest possible matches when you download transactions from your bank account. You can then establish a rule to rename similar transactions in the future, to save time.

Intuit now provides a free website for 12 months for each QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 customer. Unfortunately, the plan appears to have been designed by a tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge: the freebie is limited to a scant three web pages, so it's hardly worth your time to set one up. Microsoft Office Live Small Business offers a far more generous bundle of free web services, including both a custom domain and email accounts.

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QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009: Specs

  • Windows XP/Vista/2003 Server
  • 1.8GHz processor, 2.0GHz recommended (required for Vista)
  • 256MB (512MB recommended, required for Vista) of RAM for a single user, 512MB of RAM for multiple, concurrent users
  • 1 GB of disk space (additional space required for data files)
  • Windows XP/Vista/2003 Server
  • 1.8GHz processor, 2.0GHz recommended (required for Vista)
  • 256MB (512MB recommended, required for Vista) of RAM for a single user, 512MB of RAM for multiple, concurrent users
  • 1 GB of disk space (additional space required for data files)

OUR VERDICT

The improvements make QuickBooks Premier Edition 2009 a good value for new users and a worthwhile upgrade for current customers. A less costly Pro edition lacks industry-specific financial reports and inventory-tracking tools, but it may appeal to smaller service businesses on a budget.

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