On Monday, for one day only, you can pick up a copy of Quickbooks Pro 2009 for free at Staples.
This appears to be a real offer. Staples stores will sell Quickbooks Pro 2009 for $159, after applying a $40 “instant rebate.”
There will be coupons in the store to mail in for a $159 rebate.
There are more details in an email from an Intuit representative here. Quantities at the stores will be limited to stock on hand but this isn’t a bait and switch deal – the stores have been bulking up their inventory.
The same offer will reportedly be available online on the front page of the Staples web site. You can buy it online from the Staples web site. Don’t forget to print out the rebate form!
Quickbooks is the only game in town for a small business. If you haven’t upgraded recently, this is the time to do it!
Karl Palachuk, one of the best bloggers on small business technology, had this to say recently:
“The undisputed 800 pound gorilla among small business finances is Intuit’s QuickBooks. No one loves it. Everyone uses it.
“Overall, QuickBooks does a great job or they wouldn’t be where they are. Having said that, their program is amazingly bloated, filled with annoying spam and popups, and they have some of the worst technical support in the history of software.
“”Everyone” integrates with QuickBooks. That is to say, everyone does something with QuickBooks. Most of them import and export aggregate data and lose all the detail. As a result, many people who could be “integrating” QuickBooks end up doing double-entry in their line of business application and QuickBooks.”
Looking for an alternative to Quickbooks? Microsoft has several accounting programs that might look like contenders. Karl quotes a summary from Ernest Cook of Better Idea Group to clarify the current status of the various accounting programs from Microsoft.
“Due in no small part to the overlay in markets focus and similarity of the names, many people over the years have confused the Small Business Financials, Small Business Accounting and Office Accounting products so let me clarify for the group:
“Small Business Financials is based on the “Great Plains” code base. A quick call to Customer Source today confirmed that I can say publicly that Microsoft has NO plans on creating any more new versions of this product. The LAST version of this program is version 9 and if you have a client on an earlier version and is still current on support they could upgrade to that version. If they are NOT current on support, they need to start planning on what they will migrate to. In short, Small Business Financials is in fact going away +++ DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO YOUR CLIENTS +++
“Small Business Accounting – This product was written from scratch in 2004-2005 with a target market of 1-5 users. The only version that has this name is the inaugural edition that was labeled 2006. Due in no small part to the iterative nature of the initial product, a “service pack” came out later in the year but was still called SBA 2006. It had SQL 2000 technology and was based on the .Net 1.1 framework. Anyone that is still running this program and “stuck” on the workflow should, at the very least migrate to Office Accounting 2009 +++ Small Business Accounting is GONE – DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO YOUR CLIENTS +++
“Microsoft Office Accounting – The first version of this was in 2007 and was a direct descendant of “Small Business Accounting”. The BIG difference is that the 2007 version was based on .NET 2.0 and SQL 2005 technology and Microsoft broadened the offering by creating a FREE “express” version and pushed it thru download sites etc.
In 2008, some bugs were fixed and new functionality was added to the product, most notably the addition of a Spanish language version. The most current version, 2009 was recently published and consists primarily of resolutions to issues that had been brought up by customers and partners for quite awhile.
“As an ISV who has invested a SIGNIFICANT amount of money into my products that need Office Accounting to work, it would be easiest for me to tell you that Office Accounting has a bright future and tell you to recommend it to your clients. I can’t do that. I am NOT investing anymore time or money in the Office Accounting product line. Not only that but friends on the list might also be interested in hearing that I am migrating my own company books BACK to Intuit’s QuickBooks.”
See you at Staples!