Organized Bookkeeping

When is the Right Time to Upgrade your Accounting Software?

Are you still on Desktop?  Worried by those pesky notices that your software is out of date and you should really, really, really buy a new version?  Here are some pros and cons of updating the software:


  • Payroll.  Typically older programs have issues with payroll.  It’s a multi-headed beast that requires up to date information.  QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t work with payroll after three years have gone by.  Usually in May of each year.  (Desktop QB = Desktop Payroll).
  • New Features.  Maybe you have always wanted a calendar included in QuickBooks.  Now you can have one.  Sage has also added great addons over the years.  That quirky thing that you were afraid of might be your new best friend.
  • It just works better.  If you opened a software program from 10 years ago and a shiny new one; the difference would be obvious.  You might not notice the difference from year to year; but overall, there have been massive improvements to software.
  • Your staff might not say it; but they like working with shiny new programs.  Making some old worn out version depletes staff morale.  They spend the most time working with it.  Make sure they have a good experience.


  • It’s still working isn’t it?  Yes, for many small companies; software will work for years after the original ‘non-supporting date.’  This is usually for tiny companies though.
  • Bugs.  It might not work correctly.  I always suggest waiting a few months to upgrade.  One year the QB desktop upgrade incorrectly calculated sales tax payment to tax authorities.  Another year, PDF’s didn’t print for a while.  Let someone else beta test their programs.
  • Your computer can’t support the newer version.  Hello, QuickBooks for Mac.  Last year the new QuickBooks Online was having problems running on older Macs.  QBO demanded to run on a newer version of safari which was not available on older Macs. Solution?  Upgrade the computer?  Might be expensive.
  • Multiple computers are networked to run the program.  True.  Many programs demand to be run across the network using the same version.  So it isn’t a case of a few hundred dollars, it’s a few thousand to upgrade.  Make sure any decisions are made by management and have a consistent policy.