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Who says that Accounting is Black and White??
Between the black and white of time-honored accounting principles,
unscrupulous corporate executives
and accountants have found gray areas
to hide unethical activities.
QuickBooks and the company that makes it, Intuit, is
utterly despised by it's users. It's not that it's a bad product,
just perceived as being made by a company grubbing non-stop for money.
Intuit is making so much money hand over fist that they don't care.
Successive versions have gotten more user friendly. 2007 now updates.
2003 would not let you do your own payroll calculations..it wanted to take you to a website owned by Intuit for payroll. User anger pretty much squashed that idea. My accountant had to tweak my copy by using some macro so I could put in paycheck detail....
2007 is much better. Successive versions incorporate user feedback. LUCKIEST is right though..Intuit is making boatloads of money....
Although the debits and credits of accounting are mostly the same after several hundred years, people's need or desire for information and services continues to grow. The old programs are more than enough from an accounting perspective for half of my clients. I actually have a few running the earliest Windows versions of Quicken and QuickBooks.
However, businesses have grown and gotten more complicated. Their needs require more powerful software. Business owners want to be able to slice and dice their financials in ways that cost accountants in the 80s and 90s at even huge corporations couldn't. I have construction clients that want to know how much they made with a certain contractor on say completed bathroom jobs in 2007.
Inventory management has gotten more sophisticated too. I have a manufacturer that has to build their inventory using kits. One valve or flange (sp?) may go into a dozen different assemblies. Any one of those assemblies might be used in a couple different ways. They have to know if they have enough on hand of the lowest level items to build an order if someone calls and orders 25 widgets after someone else orders 25 gizmos that use some competing parts. Right now the answer to that question requires running around the warehouse looking in bins and talking to the shop manager.
Finally, planned obsolescence with annual updates is a profitable model. You get to please the people who want the next flashy thing and the few people who actually need or can benefit from it. Plus in a few years when you stop supporting the old version most people have to buy a new one every 3-5 years. Some people don't mind being without support.
I can't say that I would do things the way they do at Intuit, but mostly I'm just jealous that I don't have the choice. : )