Update 4-3-2009: Nope – it doesn’t look like Intuit doubled the price. The confusion stems from any number of issues – not the least of which Intuit’s web site is vague over what “payroll” processing means within older versions of QuickBooks Pro.
Turns out on at least QuickBooks Pro 2008 and 2007 there was a separate fee charged for 3 user and unlimited payroll processing. Sure, you could use Payroll within the older versions – so long as you didn’t mind manually entering many of your calculations. This information was nearly impossible for me to find on Intuit’s own site. Their 2008 “what’s new” guide seems to indicate that their QuickBooks Pro 2008 does indeed do payroll (with no mention of having to subscribe to a service that in many cases doubles the price of the software). Only once I made a trip to the Barnes and Noble was I able to pull out older reference guides stating that QuickBooks indeed offered an added fee payroll service at least for the 2007 and 2008 versions (and Inuit states that it has always been that way).
So how do people without a CPA degree and 20 years of accounting industry experience figure this stuff out? Beats me.
One of the emails that arrived in my inbox this morning was from Amazon advertising some software deals.
Amazon had a “special” on QuickBooks Pro 2009 plus QuickBooks Payroll “3 user” for $169.
Perhaps I’m a little out of touch with Intuit’s product line (I have an email in to them so they can straighten me out) — however last I knew you could run payroll from within QuickBooks Pro without limit on the number of employees.
Now if I read their marketing literature correctly, an end user wanting payroll and accounting within QuickBooks would be expected to pay:
QuickBooks Pro 2009 – $119
QuickBooks Payroll 3 Employee – $199/year
QuickBooks Payroll Unlimited – $279/year (this is, I believe, what used to be included in QB Pro)
By my quick math this is a 100% price hike.
Certainly there will be the explanation that it’s not a hike for people who don’t use payroll, (insert blah blah) — however comparing apples to apples you have a street price that was being offered previously of $99 to $149 for the QuickBooks Pro with Payroll versus the new pricing which appears to break out the accounting and the payroll (Note: Limited payroll functionality seems to be included in the QB Pro version but to get the SAME functionality it appears you now must buy a separate Payroll subscription).
The best way around this (for now) is to license the QuickBooks Pro 2009 plus Enhanced Payroll through Amazon’s $129.99 deal which is cheaper than renewing the annual payroll ($199).
Anyone have better information on this than me?
What can users expect next from Intuit?
- Limits on the number of customers?
- Limits on the number of vendors?
- Limits on the number of transactions?
As Sage Business Partners we are very obviously not independent with our thoughts as to the above. We also don’t offer Peachtree or Businessworks (two of Sage’s lower cost offerings) and have not taken a complete study of whether Peachtree has a similar policy (they may). This information is merely an observation that after having seen the QuickBooks Pro product drop in price via online merchants that suddenly I’m now seeing it “bundled” with another product for Payroll when so far as I’m aware the prior versions included the Payroll without limits.
Set me straight if I’m wrong or you know more- in the comments below.