This article details and compares features of the Pro, Premier and Enterprise editions of QuickBooks and has been updated to reflect differences between the versions as of 2012.  Look for future articles comparing the different editions of QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Pro QuickBooks Pro is by far the most popular of all the accounting packages among small businesses and comes in just one edition.  The product retails for $229.95 for one user and $649.95 for a three user package.  It was designed to give small businesses one package which has the ability to perform all accounting functions.  It has the ability to perform basic accounting functions such as:
  • Entering and printing checks
  • Tracking sales and customer payments
  • Tracking customer and vendor contact information
  • Manage payroll and payroll taxes (with payroll add-on)
  • Creating estimates and invoices
  • Reconcile bank and credit card transactions
  • Importing list information from Micrsoft Excel
and then adds the following:
  • Allows up to 3 simultaneous users to access the program at one time. (With the purchase of additional licenses)
  • Adds simple user permissions to restrict users from specific areas of the program
  • has more than 100 built in reports
  • Allows the import of data from Microsoft Excel, Quicken, Microsoft Office Accounting, and prior versions of QuickBooks
  • Allows the tracking of accounts payable including tracking bills and setting due dates
  • Track inventory including setting reorder points & creating purchase orders
  • Download banking and credit card transactions into the program
  • Track sales and purchases in multiple currencies
  • Create and report on budgets
  • Time tracking
  • Lead Center (New for 2012)
  • Global To-Do's (New for 2012)
  • Calendar View of Transactions and To-Do's (New for 2012)
  • Dynamically updating of Excel connected Excel spreadsheets (updated for 2012)
Although the product should meet the needs of the majority of smaller businesses, it does lack features such as:
  • Advanced inventory controls
  • Sales orders
  • The ability to create a business plan
  • Forecasting sales and expenses
  • Creating industry specific reports
The product offers an incredibly streamlined accounting system that will meet the needs of most small businesses and offers this package at an affordable price.  It is also easy to use and relatively easy to find bookkeepers that have experience in working with the product. QuickBooks Premier QuickBooks Premier offers a product that is tailored for particular industries and includes six customized editions:
  • Contractor Edition – for building contractors or construction companies
  • Retail Edition – for companies in the retail industry
  • Non-Profit Edition – for not-for-profit organizations
  • Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition – for distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturing companies
  • Professional Service Edition – for legal firms, designers, architects, etc. in the service industry
  • Accountant Edition – for accounting and CPA firms
The product retails for $399.95 for one user and $999.95 for three users.  The product was designed for companies requiring a little more complex accounting functions and for those with the need to have an edition that adds industry specific reporting without cluttering the interface.  It includes all the the features of Pro but adds the following:
  • Increases the number of simultaneous users to 5
  • Increases number of built in reports
  • Offers more advanced inventory controls such as unit of measure conversions and bill of material for assemblies of inventory products
  • Change orders on estimates
  • Customer specific price levels
  • Multiple billing levels for employees
  • Sales orders
  • Create cash flow projections
  • Track workers compensation
  • Increases functionality of journal entries by adding reversing entries
  • Adds accountant specific features such as fixed asset manager
  • The ability to create a business plan
  • Forecasting sales and expenses
  • Creating industry specific reports
  • Inventory Center (New for 2012)
  • Batch Invoice for Time and Expense (New for 2012)
  • Accountant Center (New for 2012 - Accountant Edition Only)
The program offers quite a comprehensive feature set for an affordable price.  It does lack some additional features that larger companies might demand, such as:
  • More granular user permission levels
  • A more robust database to handle higher volumes of transactions or larger customer or vendor lists
  • Customer relationship management solutions
  • Custom reporting
  • Complex inventory management functionality
  • Enhanced field service management solutions.
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions offers the most features of the QuickBooks line of products.  It is focused squarely at companies in the low to mid-market with revenues greater than $1 million.  Like QuickBooks Premier, it also comes in the same six flavors:
  • Contractor Edition – for building contractors or construction companies
  • Retail Edition – for companies in the retail industry
  • Non-Profit Edition – for not-for-profit organizations
  • Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition – for distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturing companies
  • Professional Service Edition – for legal firms, designers, architects, etc. in the service industry
  • Accountant Edition – for accounting and CPA firms (only available in a one-user license)
Your local Intuit Solution Provider (ISP) is often the best place to obtain QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions since they can provide expert setup and implementation services as well as can provide training to get employees up and running on the new system.  ISPs also frequently run special promotional offerings, which provide a better overall value on the product than purchasing from the alternatives.  Contact us for our current promotional offerings. Suggested retail pricing for the product is as follows:
  • $3,000 for the 5-user pack
  • $5,000 for the 10-user pack
  • $8,000 for the 30-user pack
The product is designed for larger companies with higher revenues which have more users accessing the system and entering many more transactions.  It is also designed for companies with more complex needs in one business area such as those with greater customer relationship management (CRM) needs, inventory needs, field service management needs, or more complex reporting needs.  It includes all of the features of QuickBooks Premier, and then adds the following:
  • Much more granular user permissions – the user permissions are now based at the transactional level rather than giving broad access areas.  ex. A specific user can be given access to enter and print invoices, but not to modify them or delete them.
  • More robust database – the database is built to handle more transactions and list items and consequently, reports run faster and data files can be larger without sacrificing performance.
  • The ability to combine financial statement reports from multiple QuickBooks company files.
  • Increased simultaneous users up to 30.
  • Lists such as the customer list, vendor list and item list can be much larger since they don’t have a set cap on the number of list items as Premier does.  Intuit tested the list capabilities up to 100,000 list items, however there is no actual limit.
  • More tasks can be performed in multi-user mode without switching to single-user mode.  These tasks include inventory adjustments and deleting list items.
  • Enhanced Inventory Receiving (New for 2012)
  • Images in the Item List (New for 2012)
  • Improved Multi-User Functionality (New for 2012)
  • FIFO Inventory Valuation (New for 2012 - Advanced Inventory Only)
  • Serial Number/Lot Tracking (New for 2012 - Advanced Inventory Only)
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions provides a package of features that are very robust at a very reasonable price point.  The features the product offers are very comparable to other mid-market accounting software packages but in many areas, the product offers more features, in a simpler interface, with less IT and systems maintenance requirements. Call us today if you need further information about which software package is right for you. Also check out our store for pricing on all of the QuickBooks products discussed in this article.