Intuit has released the QuickBooks 2012 R3 update for the U.S. versions of QuickBooks. Here is an overview of what the update contains. There is an extensive list of changes, which is not unusual with the R3 release of any version of QuickBooks. Some are bug fixes, some are enhancements, and there is at least one new “feature”.
I’ve been able to test some of these changes, but certainly not all. Also note that I was looking at a pre-release of R3 for most of my evaluations, and sometimes Intuit changes things (or drops them) at the last moment, so my apologies if I mention something here that you can’t find (if that happens, ask me about it!). There are a LOT OF CHANGES here, I hope that I got them all!
At the time I’m writing this, the release is available as a manual update from the Intuit support web site. If all goes well with the manual update you can expect this to go out as an automatic update in about a week.
Note that there is a “file conversion” when you open a file that used the R1 release. No big deal, I just want to mention it. I assume that this means that you can’t go back to an R1 release from R3 (I didn’t try it), but I don’t see a reason why you would want to.
Updated 10/20/2011 to add information.
Updated 10/25.2011 to correct some information on the Calendar feature.
Some Bugs Of Note
I’m going to mention a few special issues that were fixed – this is not all, it is the ones that have some impact on R1 users.
- Changing the sale price or cost of one item, then viewing another item, no longer changes the price of the second item. Big, big problem, glad they fixed it.
- The 1603 error, which I believe usually was an issue when converting files (sorry, don’t recall the details), is fixed. This started in QuickBooks 2011 R8 (when will they fix it THERE?).
- This release fixes the problem where you would see “Another user has made changes to this invoice or a transaction that is linked to it”, which was driving a bunch of people crazy because it happened randomly when nobody else was making changes.
- Lot Tracking: There was a big bug in R1 where you could not enter a quantity in a transaction that was greater than 999 if you used lot tracking. This has been fixed!
- Client Data Review: QuickBooks should no longer crash if you apply a credit memo to a credit card charge in the Client Data Review.
- Accountant’s Copy: You should no longer get a Runtime Check Failed error when special characters are in some of the transactions, when doing a View Changes.
- Changing the quantity on checks linked to a purchase order will now save correctly. Before this the transaction was not saving the changed quantity.
- In the Item List, if you had filters for active inventory and assembly enabled, you would get a no data to print message when trying to print the list. This is fixed.
- If you edit an item that existed in a prior version of QuickBooks, the edit item window will no longer show a zero value for the markup price or percentage.
- The markup percentage will now show two numbers past the decimal.
- In Enterprise there is an Inventory menu, and it has options for New Inventory Item and New Assembly Item. In R1 these options would open a generic Add Item window. In R3 these options will now open the appropriate item window for the item type chosen.
- The Inventory Activities option is removed from the Inventory menu (Enterprise), it is replaced by the individual inventory options.
- There are a couple of nomenclature/labeling fixes at various places.
- You will no longer need to click the Build & Close button twice to save an assembly build.
- The Notes area in the Inventory Center is no longer hidden by the Transaction History.
- The Change Item Prices Mark All behavior has been improved. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but it must be good?
- The Inventory Center will now display assembly transactions even when an item filter is used.
- The Inventory Item QuickReport will now use the correct unit of measure.
This is an additional-fee feature available only in Enterprise. There were a LOT of new features this year, some that were very complex, so I’m not surprised that there are a number of bug fixes here.
- The Inventory Center will now show the correct information for the selected site if the results are showing information from that one site.
- QuickBooks will no longer close unexpectedly when creating duplicate transfers from saved transactions.
- “Turn On Advanced Inventory” will no longer display in the Inventory menu when it has been activated.
- Test Data: The sample Advanced Inventory.qbw file will no longer fail on verification.
- You don’t have to close open transactions or reports when you enable FIFO costing.
Lot and Serial Number Tracking
- Serial and Lot Number Reports will no longer include items without serial or lot numbers (this should cut down on the size of reports). In addition, these reports are now accessible from the Report Center.
- Pressing the Return key after selecting “Add Multiple” or “QuickView Serial Numbers” will now open a window to select serial numbers.
- If you use the add multiple serial number option to add a large number of serial numbers, QuickBooks will no longer close unexpectedly.
- When viewing PDF forms the Serial Numbers column will no longer display, the contents will display in the description column.
- When there are no serial numbers present for an item, the Select All button will be disabled from the serial number dropdown.
- QuickBooks will now inform you when you use invalid characters in serial numbers.
- You cannot edit and save transactions with lot numbers with negative quantities.
- The Transaction List by Serial Number and Transaction List by Lot Number reports will no display the correct signs when referring to an increase and decrease in quantities.
- Duplicate Serial Numbers are no longer visible in the Qty on Hand Serial Number QuickView when opened from the Inventory Center.
- If you delete lines items in Serial or Lot Number Adjustments they will no longer display when saving the transaction.
- The Lot Number by Site report will now open in the sample company file.
- The Transaction List by Serial Number report will no longer display the modified filters when clicking the Cancel button (before, it made you think that you were saving the report filters).
- Warnings for blank serial or lot numbers now work correctly based on the preferences set for the company file.
- If you build an assembly and you have Serial Numbers enabled, but sites NOT enabled, you couldn’t enter a serial number for the assembly in R1. This is fixed in R3.
- If you build an assembly with serial numbers enabled, and you don’t enter a serial number for the components, you only get ONE warning now, rather than a separate warning for each component part like you did in R1.
Enhanced inventory Receiving
- Enabling this feature will no longer close QuickBooks (that didn’t happen to me, so I’m not sure what was going on here). Instead, it will close all open windows, which is appropriate.
- Bill Credit fields are now editable when switching between Bill and Bill Credit when Enhanced Inventory Receiving is enabled.
- The “Select PO/Item Receipts” button in the Enter Bills form now says “Select Related Transactions” when using Enhanced Inventory Receiving.
- Purchase Orders: You can now bill more than you ordered after changing the quantity on purchase orders.
- “Multiple” is no longer shown as an option when you add additional lines to an existing bill with a reference number.
- Purchase orders received in full with negative quantity line items will now convert correctly.
There should be a number of small “user experience” improvements here, but I don’t have a list at this time.
- The Doc Center support for TWAIN compliant scanners has been improved (wish they supported Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners!!!).
- If a user has view only permission that user can no longer delete attached documents (through the QuickBooks user interface, that is).
- There are some fixes relating to problems with attached documents when upgrading from QuickBooks 2011 to 2012.
- Performance in the Doc Center was improved when you have a large number of documents.
Send Reports to Excel
- There were some problems with saving formatting that have been resolved.
- Column headers will no longer shift when you re-send a report to Excel. Also, if you change a column heading in Excel, that change is preserved.
- If you send a report to an existing workbook you can now use the Select Sheet dropdown.
- Additional formatting features are now saved, including fill color, font color, percent, currency symbol and border lines.
- If you have a Quickbooks 2011 report in Excel and it is updated for the first time by a send from QuickBooks 2012 you will get a message saying that this is the first time.
- If you are exporting a list to Excel and you choose CSV, after selecting “existing workbook”, you will no longer be prompted to specify the file.
- When exporting a report to Excel the program will remember the Excel file name you used the last time, based on the company file, for this same report.
- Excel will no longer crash when you export a report when the Office Live Plugin is installed.
- Reports saved in Excel will now retain custom column widths the first time the report is used in Excel.
- This release fixes an issue that caused year to date transactions to not show in the Calendar view.
- There was a problem with Batch time sheet updates that affected move than the selected employees. It has been fixed.
- Sick and Vacation hours can now be entered with a negative value.
- Editing a pending paycheck will now correctly update Sick and Vacation balances.
- The normal QuickBooks keyboard shortcuts for selecting dates have been added to the Calendar feature.
- Invoices with Pending Status will no longer show in the Calendar.
- Vehicle Mileage Transactions, timesheets and YTD adjustments will now show on the Calendar (10/25/2011).
- You can now create a To Do from the Calendar Daily View. A green “plus” symbol was added to the upper right corner in that view.
- The status of a Bill will now show “Paid” or “Unpaid” in the Calendar, rather than “Open” or “Closed”.
- The Calendar will now show both past due and upcoming items (10/25/2011).
- A Calendar Preference has been added, to let you control some features.
Several improvements here, which isn’t surprising as it was a new, new feature.
In the R1 release, in the lead center, on the To Do List tab, you had a button at the bottom to Add To Do. Now we have two menu buttons, To Do and Reports. With To Do, you can now edit or delete the To Do from this point, which is helpful. This feature is ALSO added to the To Do List window.
For reports, there is only one report here.
Up at the top of the Lead Center screen there is an Excel button that gives you several Excel exports that you may find useful.
Right click on a lead in the Lead Center list, and you get a popup menu (wasn’t there in R1), and there are a number of options.
BIG IMPROVEMENT: I complained about this in my original article on the Lead Center, and now it is fixed! If you convert a Lead to be a Customer, your notes convert to the customer. Very helpful fix.
- 1099 Forms: If you add data to the 1099 Vendor screen you will no longer see “unnecessary characters” added to the address.
- Also, for 1099’s, there is a BIG change to the format of the Print/E-File 1099 menu option. In R1 it was a bit of a clunky user interface. Click a button and get a report window, click a button and get the preferences window, click another button get another report, kind of clunky. Now we have a “wizard” that leads us through the steps in a more user-friendly (and visually attractive) process. I didn’t spend a lot of time with this, so I can’t really give a full opinion on how the process worked, but I think this is a nice improvement.
- The QuickBooks backup counter will now reset when a backup is created, which prevents the backup reminder from displaying when a backup was just created (this has been a problem for awhile, it is not just a 2012 problem).
- There have been some changes to the To Do List. If you add a new To Do from the Calendar, or from the To Do List itself, you now have more options. Before we didn’t have the “With” feature that lets you select a customer, etc., but now you do. In addition, the time portion of the date/time setting is optional, you can un check the “time” box. There are also options to edit and delete To Do’s, as I describe above in the Lead Center.
- Tax forms and auto-archived PDF tax forms will not be included in the QuickBooks backup.
- Asset accounts added during Express Start will now be available in the Chart of Accounts.
- The option to delete transactions created by condensing the company file is now only available in QuickBooks Accountant and Enterprise Solutions.
- Condense can remove time and mileage activities outside the dates set during the Condense Data wizard.
- There were several options available only to users of Enterprise Accountant – they are now available to all editions of Enterprise. I’m not sure which options at this time.
- QuickBooks no longer warns that Budget data may be removed at the beginning of the Condense Data process.
- A report of transactions that could not be removed by condense is now available to QuickBooks Accountant and Enterprise users.
- New company files sometimes had a problem where they could not “verify”. This is resolved.
- There are a couple of fixes in the Help system, correcting information as well as adding back and forward buttons.
- If you add a new Sales Tax Group you can see the Make this item inactive check box – it used to be hidden a bit.
- Mileage rates have been updated.
- A problem with a change in the Company name not being reflected in the Send Invoice view (PDF) has been resolved.
- If you launch memorized reports from the Reports Center instead of the Reports menu they will no longer have an extra Date filter added.
- There are performance improvements for the Shared Reports feature.
- The T5018 Canada sales tax report is no longer shown in the U.S. versions.
- A new Find Report permission is available. This allows you to restrict a user from viewing or printing results from the Find menu. There are several improvements here.
- Mozilla Thunderbird should now be an option when setting up email integration. I didn’t see this, but it might be that it only shows up if you have it installed? I could be wrong on this one, sorry.
- There are some fixes for passwords when sending a reports using QuickBooks web mail.
- There are several improvements in the Report Center for showing categories, and the favorites menu.
- “Sent” invoices will no longer show in the list of invoices to send in the forms using the File/Send Forms function.
- A user can be switched between the Pro or Premier product to a Pro Plus or Premier Plus subscription model just by calling Intuit, rather than having to uninstall and reinstall the program.
- The Online Payments option (Intuit PaymentNetwork) has been improved so that you can turn off the links for all unsent invoices that have already been created when the option was on. You also lose the links in invoices that you resend, if they had them before. In addition, there are some changes to the text in the email that goes out if you DO use this feature.
According to Alex Hood, Group Product Manager for QuickBooks Desktop, their goal has been to try to reduce the in product advertising that has been in QuickBooks. There have been lots of complaints about that issue over the past year or so. With the R3 release of QB 2012 Alex estimates that they have reduced this kind of advertising by 80%.
QuickBooks Easy Saver
This is a feature that was seen in some of the early test versions of QuickBooks that was pulled from the R1 release. It’s baaaaaccck! With improvements and fixes.
A few things to note:
- You might not see this because they are rolling this out as a pilot program, so only a subset of the 2012 R3 users will see this.
- I hope to have a more detailed article on this in the next week or so – because the R3 beta test didn’t have all features activated. If I took screen shots from the pre release they will most likely change on the official release date.
- This is an OPTIONAL feature that you can turn off, and there is no cost to you.
EasySaver is a new feature where Intuit will negotiate discounts with select vendors (since they can offer the “combined purchasing power of millions of QuickBooks customers”). The program then examines your previous purchases and then makes recommendations that might save you money.
You can add items to a “shopping cart”, and then make your purchases through your account in the Intuit AppCenter.
More on this in a future article.
Wait, What About the R2 Release?
We just had the R1 release, now we have the R3 release, did we miss R2? Well, not really. I believe that Intuit reserves the “R2” release designation in case there is a really, really bad problem in R1 that has to be fixed right away. An R2 release would have just the fix for the major bug that destroys files (or something like that) and they don’t want to get it mixed up with the first “regular” update. So, if you see an R2 update, you know that it is really, really urgent. If we go directly from R1 to R3, all is normal.
Are There Still Bugs?
Yes, the R3 release doesn’t fix all of the bugs we know about. Will they be fixed in R4? Will there BE an R4? When would it come out? Well, I am not allowed to say anything about this in advance, all I can say is “keep your eyes here” and I’ll let you know as soon as something comes out.
I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the bugs in QuickBooks, specific to 2012 or bugs that are older. Too many to catalog and track! I do know that there is a problem with the Lot Tracking feature of Enterprise 12 where you can’t enter a quantity in a lot that is greater that 999. That isn’t fixed in R3, but Intuit is aware of it. Correction – this IS fixed in R3. That was a last minute correction. Great!