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Charlie’s Rant: Why Can’t Intuit Communicate?

October 18, 2011 | By | 50 Replies More

We’re going to take a break from our regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you “Charlie’s Rant”, a more or less monthly post where I’ll set aside my usual balanced and sane commentary on QuickBooks and other Intuit-related items and allow myself to complain about something that is bugging me. Today I’m going to rant about how Intuit lets us know about things that are going on.

Businesses who USE QuickBooks are usually very reliant on the product. Creating invoices, paying bills, tracking inventory, these are all key business processes. If there is a problem with QuickBooks, they need to know about it. If there is a fix for a problem in QuickBooks, they need to know about it.

Accounting professionals who work with clients who have QuickBooks are also very reliant on the product. Their clients look to them for expert knowledge on how to manage the program, how to get around problems, and to explain why something isn’t working as expected.

One of the keys to keeping everyone happy is good communications. If there are problems, everyone needs to know about it. If there are fixes for problems, everyone needs to know about it. I don’t think that Intuit does a great job in communicating to business users and accounting professionals.

I know a lot of people at Intuit, and at least a few of them read my articles. I can hear the protests now. “We work VERY HARD to provide information”, “we have MANY methods of communicating with you”. It’s true – there are a lot of ways that Intuit gets information out to us. Here are some examples, and I’m sure that there are several that I’m missing:

  • Twitter – Intuit has multiple Twitter accounts. A few that I’ve seen (and I’m sure that there are MANY more) are @timteichman, @Intuit, @GoPayment, @QuickBooks, @IntuitPayroll, @IntuitInc.
  • Facebook – Bunches of pages there, Intuit, Intuit Quickbooks, Intuit Payroll, Intuit GoPayment, several others.
  • As a ProAdvisor I get to log in to the ProAdvisor web site, where I can get information about what is going on by clicking the “notifications” link.
  • Anyone who has the Accountant version of QuickBooks 2012 can see the Accountant Center, which has an Accountant Updates section that shows notices.
  • There are a couple of “service” web sites that provide information about the availability of services. I don’t have a good list of this, but one example is the QuickBase service page. There used to be others, for merchant services and QuickBooks Online, but the addresses that I had before are no longer working (they could have just moved).
  • In the Intuit Community web site, when you get down to a certain level specific to a product, you sometimes see service messages posted at the top of the page.
  • On rare occasions, Intuit will send out an email notification or newsletter to ProAdvisors if there is something going on.
  • There are, in some cases, email messages that go out to customers of QuickBooks. Usually these are (from what I’ve seen) notifications of a product being discontinued or retired.

I’m also very fortunate to be in contact with many Intuit PR people. These are a great source of information for me as a blogger (usually). I talk to Kim, Danielle, Elisabeth, Vanessa, Emma and probably some others. I also am fortunate to be able to talk to various “Product Managers”, so many that it is hard to keep track of, such as Jacint, Catherine, Shane, at least three Alex’s, Raj and several others.

So, What’s My Problem?

There are a lot of venues for getting information here, I should be happy? Well, I’m not happy when it comes to information for business users, and ProAdvisors. Here are a couple of problems that I see:

  1. Most of the information sources for ProAdvisors and business users are passive. That is, you have to go out to look for them. You have to log in to a web site, find a page, make an effort. Hey, I’m lazy, I want the information to be pushed to me! I’m a busy person, I can’t spend a bunch of my time each day going out to different sites to find information, or to look to see if there MIGHT be something going on.
  2. Most of these sources, passive or not, are clouded with sales chaff. I know that Twitter can be used to get information to me, but I tend to ignore that because so much of the information is promotional. The important things, like service outage notifications, are buried by all the promotional info.
  3. There isn’t one place to look even if I DO have time to go out to look at a web page. Service outage information is in several places depending on the service, information on new releases and updates are in another, and so forth. You have to look in lots of places to find the info that you need.
  4. Sometimes the notifications are hidden. I’m in a hurry. I don’t have time to hunt, I don’t know IF there are any notices, so make it obvious! The new ProAdvisor web site has a notification button, but you have to click it each time to see if there are any notifications, and you aren’t told if any of them are new (although they DO have dates on them, which is helpful).

ProAdvisor Web Site

Look at the issue with the problems with Loan Manager and Internet Explorer 9. We didn’t hear about this from Intuit – I was told about it by a client and had to dig in to find out what was going on. Then, a fix was available, but end users where NOT notified of this, and ProAdvisors only heard about it if you happened to click that Notifications link on the ProAdvisor web site. While Loan Manager might not be important to a lot of people (I wonder about that, though, as there were lots of complaints in the Forums), if you are USING the feature this was a VERY important update.

I Want It All, and I Want It Now!

I’M LAZY AND I WANT YOU TO MAKE IT EASY FOR ME, Intuit! ProAdvisors used to have a newsletter, and regular communications, but that was discontinued a few years ago. You’ve added the Accountant Center with the Accountant Update section, and that is a really nice feature, but you aren’t using it to post the really important bug fix updates (go ahead, compare what you see there today with what you see in the “notifications” section of the ProAdvisor web page). But that isn’t available to people who don’t have an Accountant version.

I’d like to see a couple of changes. Here’s my list – feel free to add your own thoughts!

Use the Accountant Center to push out update/bug notifications. I doubt that this is interesting to them – Intuit won’t want to have their product showing you that there are bugs (even showing that there are bug fixes), but it would help me. I spend a lot of time in QuickBooks – it is easy for me to glance at that portion of the screen. At the very least can you put a red flag there when there are new notifications in the ProAdvisor web site? At least then I would know that I need to look (not optimal, but better than what we have).

There should be one web page that has all notifications available, and it should be open to ALL users. Have a widget that shows the service status of the various Intuit services. Is Intuit Merchant Services down? Post a notice there. Is QuickBase down? Post a notice there. Payroll Services being cranky? Post a notice there. Don’t make us wonder, don’t make us hunt around to find this information. IN ADDITION, have information about updates that are coming out, bug fixes or patches that are available, and more. ONE PLACE that I can go to.

If Intuit could do both of these then I have a “push” notification (Accountant Center) and a passive site that I can go to for all service notifications and bug fixes.

Please?

In the meantime, there are resources that are available. Of course, QuickBooks and Beyond, where you can subscribe and be notified about bug fixes and new releases. We aren’t set up for “service outage” notifications (again, it’s hard for ME to find out about this), but we can help. You can also join Michelle Long’s Linkedin group “Successful Quickbooks Consultants”, often when there are service outages you will see a notice there. If you are a ProAdvisor, I highly recommend joining The Sleeter Group Consultants Network – there is a discussion forum (for members only) where service outage information and update notices are often posted quickly.

I’m Charlie Russell, and this is my rant – opinions expressed here are my own and don’t represent the official position of The Sleeter Group or of any rational person.

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Category: Charlie's Rants

About the Author ()

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He's been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had a one-floppy disk drive system, loading the program from one floppy and then replacing that with the other floppy to hold the data. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. He also is a Xero Certified Partner. Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. Charlie can be reached at [email protected] He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog Connect with Charlie at Google

Comments (50)

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  1. Ed Jaworski says:

    Charlie:

    With all you do to help ProAdvisors and QuickBooks users, you are certainly entitled to a rant once in a while. And I couldn’t agree with you more. Some sort of “Current Systems Status” page, like an “all systems dashboard”, would be a huge benefit.

    Thanks, as always, for speaking up.
    …Ed

  2. Karl Magnuson says:

    Charlie:
    AMEN! The ProAdvisor website should be a better resource than it is. It changes all the time, but the changes are rarely improvements. Intuit wants ProAdvisors to help sell their product and yet, they don’t give us the communication/alerts necessary to do our jobs effectively. That list of resources you wrote about was great, but they have the means to communicate more directly with us. If the ProAdvisor website had an alerts/message area in the header, I would visit it more often. The advisor network groups(Sleeter,NAN,Long for Success) are great resources, but you can’t spend all day at these sites and get any work done.

    Thank you.

  3. I’ve suggested they use a notification service like schools use to communicate with students and parents. They are able to send text, email and phone messages out to users as needed. It would be nice if Intuit had a similar service for people to sign up for and select which notifications they want to receive (i.e. notices about QuickBooks Online, merchant services, banking, other issues, etc.).

  4. Dale Thompson says:

    What if all of us sent them copies of Guy Kawasaki’s Art of Enchantment. Perhaps a few hundred copies arriving there would at least get their attention whether they read the book or not.

  5. Doug Sleeter says:

    Charlie, great synopsis of the problems, the ways Intuit is currently trying to address them, and some actionable suggestions that, although difficult to implement, would be great for Intuit to do.

    We’re all in this together, and the most important goal we all share is keeping clients happy.

    Intuit does a lot, but of course, those of us on the front lines see where things sometimes don’t work as designed. All we want/need is the support and resources required to keep clients happy. Many clients don’t really even distinguish between their QuickBooks consultant and Intuit. They just blame us when things go wrong, and they expect us to a) know the issue and b) fix it.

  6. Jennifer Jarvis says:

    I completely agree. We used to have Intuit’s invoicing service until customers stopped paying on time (on net 30 terms). Turns out Intuit had system problems, didn’t notify us, was taking over 3 weeks to mail out the invoices, failed to mail a number of them, yet couldn’t tell us which ones. We dumped the service and went back to in-house mailing and our receivables picked right back up. We’re still looking for a comparably-priced invoicing service. Seems to me, if Intuit can reliably email me THEIR invoice every year, they could use the same method to tell customers their system’s glitching. Especially on something that can affect the bottom-line so drastically.

  7. I agree with Michelle’s notion. Intuit uses email as a file index for registered copies. It doesn’t take much to post notice to group and send out alerts for errors and notices for fixes available.

    Not the guru Charlie is, but very busy trying to get to my own level of expertise while serving enough clients to pay the rent and still eat.

    Charlie – thanks for helping keep us all up on QB.

  8. Cynthia Huber, CTM, CQP says:

    Good job Charlie. I also find that multiple websites difficult. I now have to keep a book with all the logins becuase one key does not open all the doors.

    I would add that since most of the ProAdvisors are on at least 1 LinkedIn group, an Intuit rep could be in and post to the multiple groups. I know it can be done with some software (post once – blast everywhere….).

    • Cynthia, I use a product called RoboForm to keep all my links and logins and passwords – works very well on both my desktop and my iPad. There are other similar products. But I only have to remember one master password. But you still have to go to all those sites.

  9. Wayne Higdon says:

    Thanks for pushing this important issue Charlie. Although my email inbox is scary, its the most likely place I’m going to see a notice of outage.

  10. Great article Charlie! Hearing about a QuickBooks problem from my clients is not the way I like to approach things. I want to be able to contact my clients and say there is this problem and this is what they need to do to fix it. Makes for a much better client / consultant relationship.

    I also agree with Cynthia. Used to be I could log onto the ProAdvisor website and link to any other Intuit website. Now I have a list with all of the different Intuit websites. What a pain.

  11. Peter Buchin says:

    Back when I was in training for QuickBooks Support in 1999 we were instructed that Intuit software did not have Bugs. Instead, a customer may have inadvertently come across an Undocumented Program Feature. Intuit has come a long way since but still has a ways to go.

    Not only does Intuit still have an aversion to admitting that something may be lacking in one of their offerings, but there was (at least according to my various managers at the relevant times) a legal component as well. Since Enterprise Solutions Support was a subscription-based model, if Intuit didn’t deliver on a promise they would be unable to recognize revenue until the promise was fulfilled. Thus, pre-announcing a bug fix in an update – even if the update was coming out the next day – was strictly forbidden.

    Of course, you are laboring under the assumption that the different parts of Intuit would be able to cooperate in creating and maintaining such a page. Many meetings would need to take place to determine lines of authority, responsibility, and communication. Another obstacle to implementation would be exactly whose budget such a page would come out of.

    My guesstimate? Nine months for a webpage, two years for in-product notification (cut the times in half if you can convince Brad Smith that it will generate revenue.)

    • Thanks, Peter. I understand (to a degree) the legal complications, as they are a publicly traded corporation. Lots of restrictions there, and I run into that all the time (I’ve lost track of how many Non Disclosure Agreements I’ve signed with them). Bug notices, pre announcements, are all very difficult for them. Service outage notifications have complications. However, they DO publish service outage notices, they DO publish KB articles about bug fixes – but all over the place. There has to be a way that they can get this info out that is comprehensive, comprehendable, and legally acceptable.

      As a software developer myself (for a long, long time, going back way before Intuit existed) I understand the concept of “Undocumented Program Feature” very well – thanks for making me chuckle!

  12. Ditto to one and all agreeing with Charlie, and thanks to facebook and Joanie Mann for re-facebooking it.
    I love a VALID rant! Your word has ECHO’s!

  13. Yvonne Bryan says:

    There are websites to look at? I am not too lazy…just too tired to go fishing for info (that might or might not be there)

    I belong to almost 20 LinkedIn groups and 90% of my info about intuit comes from the posts and answers. I skim through post headings, click open interesting ones and read my self to sleep at night dreaming of fixing QB problems all over town…..

    I want LinkedIn to email me. Charlie – you are awesome.

    • Yvonne, you can get email notices from a Linkedin Group – I never log in to the site and “scan”, I have the Linkedin notices go to a folder in Outlook and periodically go through the notices there. But, with all the groups, important things still tend to get buried in the noise.

      20 groups? Wow, that is a lot…

  14. Holly Kennedy says:

    Thank you, Charlie. I couldn’t agree more!

  15. Dick Johnson says:

    Great post, Charlie! Also if Intuit created a single site for important updates (not marketing come-ons), I could set up Outlook to provide an RSS feed when it’s updated – they wouldn’t even have to e-mail me.

  16. Great rant Charlie. I agree 100%.

    Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are NOT the way to inform customers that there is a service outage. Those websites are aimed at ProAdvisors. How many Intuit users are not ProAdvisors? And they are the ones spending the money on program upgrades, not PAs.

    My customers are running a business not checking the internet for Intuit information. A curtsey e-mail to customers about a service outage is really not hard to expect from a company like Intuit.

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Quickbooks is a great product; but, Intuit, the company, really isn’t very respectful of our time or our contribution to their customers. I don’t want communications for the purpose of being sold (I’m already sold). I need REAL HELP from Intuit in communication of bugs, downtime, fixes, etc., and that is not 15 different places to go to seek help. We need reciporal support; then we both win. Guess I’m ranting too. Thanks Charlie for the opportunity.

  18. Cliff says:

    I don’t use Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, and don’t think I should have to register with these websites to stay connected to Intuit.

    We wouldn’t need to have all this communication from Intuit if their products were more reliable and less buggy. I would much rather have Intuit fix their current products, and understand and improve upon the many basic/simple Quickbooks shortcomings before rushing into the next product release.

    Intuit has 8000 employees and $3Billion in sales. With all those people/resources, I constantly scratch my head wondering what all those employees are working on everyday? When I look at Quickbooks functional deficiencies, the latest updates that never seem to fix the deficiencies, and ongoing bugs that plague the product, it seems like Intuit has poor leadership/management and is confused and unfocused.

    • Cliff – service outages will happen even with the largest of companies (don’t get me started on Amazon web services…). So notifications of that at least are still needed.

      And, as a software developer, I have to say that bugs are a fact of life. Complicated software is mathematically impossible to guarantee to be bug free. Bugs will happen, the key issue is how quickly they get fixed and how we find out about the bugs, and fixes, so we can make our business decisions.

      Not that I’m defending Intuit’s track record on bugs (and fixes), I think that they could do better (that is a different rant) – but hey, I’m a software developer myself…

  19. Karen says:

    Charlie – as usual you are right on the money!!!!! I totally support what you are requesting and maybe Intuit will listen if enough of us proadvisors rant along with you. Thank you.

  20. William Murphy says:

    And when they, “the Intuitites”, finally get around to telling us something in like the ProAdvisor Newsletter or Alerts, or even posted on their applicable websites, it is usually 2, 3, 4 or more days after everyone else is discussing the issues on forums like this one, and many other Linked-in groups, the Intuit Community and such.

    It is pretty bad when the Intuit ‘community’ (family of users not website) is discussing a problem or issues that the “powers that be” have not even (or hardly) acknowledged at best, and certainly have not tried to communicate officially. (Obviously it takes a long time to get all their corporate lawyers to come up with the ‘legal-speak’ to COA in how they inform us of an issue; its the old legal dilemma of ‘when did they know what they knew’ vs. ‘when did they admit that they knew it…).

    Thank goodness we have Good Old Charlie to keep on top of things (like bugs) and bring them to our attention is almost ‘light speed’…..ooops, am I supposed to use ‘Peter Buchin’s terminology’ (the Intuit ‘line’…….”undocumented Program features”……in lieu of the word ‘bug’……..”WHAT A CROCK” !)

    Where would be all be without Charlie……….sitting on our keisters awaiting Intuit to finally ‘spill the beans’……that’s where!

    Murph

  21. Bob Crook says:

    Ok…I don’t post that often but I have to comment and say hurray to Charlie. I look foward to every single “QuickBooks and Beyond”…..especially the “beyond” part. Almost ALWAYS the one QB related email I read every time it is issued. It is SO informative and SO MUCH more helpful than most information I (rarely) receive from Intuit.

    I do quite a bit with QB-POS and it is even on a further planet away than even the QB/ES. In fact Intuit doesn’t even say QB-POS is part of the QB family. You usually don’t even see QB-POS at any of the Pro-Advisor booths at conferences. It lives over in the IPS world but we in the QB-POS world that truly want to do QB-POS the “right way” and serve our clients with the best practices know how important QB-POS is to a smooth running QB system. But Intuit seems to not care less about that. But I can tell you clients love it when set up right and trained to properly use POS with QB. I just wish Intuit would realize that.

    One of my forever dreams: I wish with Intuit would at give us a “heads-up” when a patch/release is going out on any product QB/ES/POS. Ok my rant is over. Hope to see some of you at the Sleeter Conference coming up soon. Bob Crook

    • Thanks, Bob – I’ll be at the conference, and in fact Bonnie Nagayama and I have two “sessions” there that are “open forum, come in and chat about QB issues” kinds of things, so come on by and chat.

      I doubt that Intuit will pre-announce updates on a regular basis. The good news is that they do a “manual” update before going to “automatic” update, so we can see the info on the manual update and even do some testing before it gets pushed out to the users automatically (although for my clients I tend to have “automatic updates” turned off, so that I can manage the process for them).

      And I try to get the info out about the new releases before they go to automatic update, although sometimes that is hard as I don’t always know when they come out.

  22. Karl Irvin says:

    Right on Charlie. I think Intuit messages should be pushed into a messages section in QuickBooks instead of by facbook, twitter, linked-in, email etc. They should come to the product you are trying to use.

  23. Janice Husak says:

    Great post Charlie.

    I have noticed the support people on the ProAdvisor line are SO less trained.
    Intuit people on various SB pages are promoting themselves (vote for me as biggest small business influence) more than helping Intuit customers. At least now Intuit does acknowledge there servers are down instead of the ‘old’ days of ignoring the subject.
    I am seriously considering being certified through a different group, Intuit just causes my blood pressure to rise all too often.
    Anyone else get embarrassed when calling from a customer site or even just being in a rush and being asked for multiple confirmation of identification questions?

  24. Good word, and I agree with Karl…the only platform that Intuit can assume all QuickBooks users have is QuickBooks itself. Push urgent status messages into a very visible place in QuickBooks itself.

  25. Diane Offutt says:

    Great “rant” Charlie. You took the words right out of my (and I am sure MANY others) mouth.

    Hopefully Intuit will listen to your rant and they will make changes that are in dire need.

    Thanks,

    Diane Offutt, EA, MAcc
    Woodstock, Georgia

  26. Wow – thanks to ALL of you for your comments! I thought that this was going to be one of those “throw away” blog posts that didn’t get much attention. Guess I was wrong on that one!

    Lots of great ideas here – we don’t all agree on HOW the word should get out, but it is clear that everyone wants better communications.

    I’ll continue to try to get word out when I know about something. I tend to have better knowledge about update releases of QB desktop itself. I don’t work with QBPOS, and I’m not personally using the various “services” on a daily basis. If you see a service outage, feel free to send me an email – I’m not sure if I can fill in that gap or not.

    I think that they do a better job with QuickBooks for Mac, with the Little Square web site.

    All of your comments here really help – I know that Intuit is aware of the volume of responses we are getting here.

  27. Diane Offutt says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I left a comment on LinkedIn and now will leave one on your Blog.

    For the first time in 9 years I am having problems with Remote Access. I can no longer print to my “ADOBE” setup, which always allowed me to print to a PDF on my hard-drive.

    This happens when I work on my new operating system, Windows 7 Prof 64 Bit. If I setup a remote session on my old XP 42 Bit computer, than no problem.

    Webex help advised they are aware of the problem and I should download and install Document Loader, along with having my clients who work on 64 Bit OS also install it. I did and it STILL did not work.

    I now must print to a regular printer in my office, then scan the documents in order to have PDFs for future reference. WHat I don’t understand is how can the Remote Session allow me to spool to webex, then print to a regular printer, but not print to Adobe 10.

    I sure hope they fix this soon, otherwise I need to look for another way to remotely work with my clients.

    Any information you can advise me with would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Charlie,

    Diane

    • Sorry, Diane, I don’t use the Webex remote access, so I can’t help you with that. I’m usually using GoTo Assist Express, sometimes TeamViewer, and in the past I’ve used LogMeIn, depending on the situation. I run on Windows 7 x64 and have never had any issues like that.

    • Joyce Beck says:

      Try downloading a free pdf printer like doPdf or cutepdf – they might work where Adove doesn’t, you never know.

  28. Steve Hymes says:

    I concur with Charlie’s rant! Doesn’t Intuit centralize their “bug” reports so they can review/fix them? Wouldn’t some consolidated posting from that source be reasonable so we are aware of the issue and possible work-arounds? Wouldn’t it be nice if it was PUSHED to us ProAdvisors? – (without all the advertising) .

  29. Cliff says:

    The current 2012 Enterprise release is a good example of Intuit’s deficiency when it comes to customer support.

    Right now there are 2 bugs I personally have experienced, and numerous other Intuit forum members are trying to debug/understand.

    One of the bugs is with the Item List, where the costs/selling prices are changing on their own.

    This is a major bug and can cause significant mis-information, financial billing errors, costing mistakes, and financial losses if the error/bug goes unnoticed.

    No where I know of has Intuit publicly made it known this bug exists in R1P, or provided a public work around. Only after I called Intuit Tech support was I told of a work around, which is to use the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries, instead of the usual edit Items List.

    This lack of pro active notification/warning of the bug, and work around, is pure 100% negligence. I just cannot understand how Intuit can remain silent on significant bugs for weeks/months.

    Any other proactive company, with customers their number one priority, would have issued Bug Alerts as soon as they know about the bug, and provided a workaround.
    Instead, all of Intuit’s customers are dealing with corrupted/changing data due to their buggy 2012 release, and with no end in sight.

    Come on Intuit!

    Start providing a Bug Alert and Bug Status page where customers can see the status of the Bugs, and if/when they are fixed.

  30. Charlie-
    Thank you for highlighting gaps in our customer experience and providing recommendations for improvement. Changes to our offerings and processes, begin and end with customer feedback. And thank you to the other posters for the many passionate comments. ProAdvisors and active communities like this one, are among the best channels of communication we have at Intuit, so we apologize when we frustrate you.

    We completely agree that one ‘key to keeping everyone happy, is good communication.’ You won’t hear ‘protests’ from us. Good communication is two-way, not one-way. We rely on you and the community of users to help identify, diagnose and resolve issues. We filter thousands of calls, chats, community posts, in-product feedback comments, internal server monitoring reports and external partner connections every day. We do our best to communicate the issues that are most important. In many cases, the issue flows through the social channels before we have a chance to issue an alert. In many more cases, the issue gets resolved before the alert is finalized and published.

    Balancing the right quantity of communication, with timely updates, is a balancing act. We aren’t trying to ‘hide’ defects or issues- in fact, we create and edit knowledge articles every day and send out product updates on a regular basis. And you help us respond to community posts and client questions every day. And while some issues are outages or defects, the overwhelming majority of issues we deal with are user specific (training, user system, etc). If we alerted everyone to every knowledge article update, users would quickly tune us out. If we notified everyone, every time a server generated an error report, users would miss the important ones. I’m not defending our practices, just providing two-way communication so you better understand what is happening in the background. We can always improve and your example about ‘Loan Manager’ is a good use-case to share with our team.

    Where we post is another opportunity for improvement. I hear two themes above: a central location for all messages and more push channels. Lots of good suggestions I will share with our team.

    Again, thank you for the constructive feedback. Thank you for the vital role you play in our communication network. And we apologize for the frustrations we cause when we don’t communicate timely or effectively. We hear you and will share this with our team. We may even engage you and this community for additional inputs as we work to improve our communication process.

    Jim Buffington, CPA
    Intuit Accounting Professionals Division

    • Cliff says:

      Jim,

      What is Intuit’s current policy for communicating active/unresolved bugs to their customers?

      Right now there are bugs with Enterprise 2012, and 2011 R8 has a bug that is still not fixed.

      For a few months Intuit had published an R8 workaround/notification on the Intuit website (on the download page). However, that notice has since been removed, and from everything I have read on the forums, the 2011 R8 bug has never been fixed.

      With over 80,000 Enterprise installations, your tech support team must be going crazy trying to provide answers to each customer over the phone, one-by-one.

    • Thanks, Jim. Everyone has different opinions on what method can be used to improve things. My “Rant” wasn’t necessarily a careful analysis of the problem with a detailed explanation of how it should be fixed – it was an expression of my frustration (hence its being a “rant”). But as you can see, this is a topic of great interest to the community.

      Every KB update, every minor hiccup in a server, that isn’t necessarily what needs to be pushed, although that could be argued several ways. But we still need to know about things that impact our clients, or our businesses. Significant server problems have an impact, and we don’t hear about them clearly. And I don’t think it would be that hard to handle.

      Jacint and I have argued back and forth (in a nice way, he’s a great guy) about our different views on how the notifications in the Accountant Center are being used…

  31. Val Barschaw says:

    I truly appreciate your suggested solution. I would love to see Intuit provide a ‘one-stop-shopping’ site for service status updates as well as bug fixes.

    Thank you, Charlie, for not just ranting – but also for the extra effort you put forth to solve the situation. I will even put the suggestion through the QB Help system.

    Hope it helps!

  32. It’s not easy to speak the uncomfortable truth. Thanks for ranting. I rely on/appreciate/get frustrated by Intuit products, so I appreciate your approach to the problem.

    • Thank you, Jennifer – but I’ll disagree a bit. It is very easy to write an article like this – I get frustrated and it just spills out. The other more rational and fully investigated articles are a lot harder to write…

  33. Diane Offutt says:

    Hi again,

    Just wanted to share the FIX for anyone who uses WebEx, is on WIN 7 OS 64 Bit and cannot print to Adobe.

    My husband found the fix. All I need to do is choose a printer named “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”. This Microsoft XPS Document Writer is part of W7 OS and allows you to store any print image anywhere. You save it where you want . It will print anything including graphics and images, and most importantly it allows you to print to ADOBE…and it works on ADOBE 10.

    It first creates a XPS file. Then name the XPS file and save. OPEN the XPS file and Print to Adobe (or anywhere).

    I will post this to the LinkedIn site for others to have.

    Would be nice if QB and Webex tech support had this knowledge and could have mentioned the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” when I called them. It does add a few steps I will admit, but it is a lot better than printing a paper copy then having to scan in the copy. NOT to mention, when I am on the road and do not have a copier. Now I can get back to business as usual with my remote sessions using Webex (which works great).

    Hope this helps anyone having the printing problems with Windows 7 OS 64 Bit.

    Diane

  34. Michele says:

    Thank you Charlie! I personally am tired of feeling that I am the only PA “ranting” with Intuit tech support and others up the ladder. As a QB user for over 20 years and a PA for 16 years, I am in total agreement with your dialogue and your suggestion that the user should be informed by Intuit, not the other way around!

    My latest, and still unresolved issue, is I am unable to utilize the Intuit PaymentNetwork link on my customized invoice template. The two individuals that I have worked with in the IPN department have admitted, finally, that Intuit is aware of the “problem” and is working on it (for almost a year?). Yet they are willing to take up my time (over 3 hours in phone calls, e-mail testing) to assist them with troubleshooting the bug! I have always been willing to spend a little time working with Intuit on these “bugs” because I realize that it might help all the other QB users at some point, right? If only I were compensated by Intuit for all the hours and days spent troubleshooting with Intuit employees providing “Undocumented Program Features.” Yes, life would be good!

    I also agree with Karl, Intuit does want us to promote their product, which is why I sign up for Merchant Services, IPN, QuickConnect, etc. so that I feel confident about suggesting that my clients use these products. Let’s just say, until Intuit fixes the bugs, I will not be advising my clients to be beta testers.

    Let’s hope that Intuit listens and really puts an effort into informing us at the onset of a “bug” and saves everyone, including tech support, hours and days of frustration.

  35. Danielle Kenyon says:

    Thanks, Charlie, for addressing an issue I’ve seen growing for several years. Here’s a thought: Intuit can’t even communicate effectively across the various “silos” they’ve set up. QB tech support doesn’t have a clue about ProAdvisor services. Payroll can’t tell you why it doesn’t post to your G/L correctly, ’cause they’re not accountants. There are so many Intuit websites and links that don’t coordinate, it’s impossible to follow a thread to find a resource. You can no longer get Chat or email support from within Online Payroll, or from without, as far as I’ve been able to discover.

    Intuit has become monolithic and is suffering from ‘too-big-itis’. They’re ponderous and ineffective. Sales is the be-all and end-all and support doesn’t matter. They have enough market share, name recognition and managed expectations (through less-than-accurate marketing programs like the “Fire Your Accountant” push from a few years back) that support is now seen as a pure cost. Seen it before (I’m old, y’know) with massive growth and market share in other businesses and industries.

    This sort of dysfunction is generally self-limiting. For those of us in the QuickBooks support market, it’s just a question of when and how, and how much worse will it get before it gets better.

    Oh, and it’s apparently pretty easy to get Sales messages out to users in-product and by other means, but not service & support? Please, give me a break! I’ve been a ProAdvisor for many years and a QB support provider for many more. I don’t like the lack of regard from Intuit for their customers and service providers. Just plain arrogant.

    -Danielle Kenyon

  36. Greg Lam says:

    I agree with having one place to rule them all… I mean one place where all the news would be published. I too often find myself visiting several places to find out information, all with varying degrees of success.

  37. M@tt says:

    You can rant all you want since this is your website ;)
    Who really cares what other people think! It’s your opinion and website so do whatever you want include “rant”!
    The nerve of people.
    The “truth” is that people don’t want to hear/read about rants but they do. Such hypocrisy.

    Anyway…
    Intuit has always had a problem and its more apparent now since they “push” a NEW QB version EVERY year.
    Why?!
    Does it “really” make a difference if a new version is available? Where’s the “support” for it? Was it tested “properly” without bugs before it’s released?

    We’re all tired of getting cr@ppy, buggy software because the ALL the company really wants is make money. Period!

    If the company would NOT release a new version every year but a few years, then it can put the resources into building a better quality product with fewer bugs and improve their tech. support/customer service.

    Intuit does the same cr@p with their tax programs, 1) TurboTax for the public and 2) ProSeries (and Lacerte) for Tax professionals though there’s MORE issues for ProSeries (i.e. less tax forms available and functionality are limited [i.e. can’t do consolidated returns]).

    The president actually had the gall to put a letter up whenever you logged into your tax program account about how the tax season was going and how their tax product is good, etc… blah!

    Just fixed the issues and provide support considering the money we pay for the product and how we support the product with clients!

    /end of “rant”

    Thanks!

  38. Skyla Rex says:

    A big thank you for your article post. Fantastic.

  39. Charlie, I agree 100%. If you want the information you have to go looking for it. I also agree that the newsletter was a good thing, but not an end all solution for the very reason you stated, Intuit really does not want to advertise the problems. But we, meaning all users, need that information and we need it now without the advertisements. Everyone is busy so, Intuit, come up with a way to optimize your time by consolidating avenues of communication.

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