March 31, 2020

QuickBooks Desktop 2019 - For Small Businesses

QuickBooks Desktop
By: Ronald B. Allen

QuickBooks 2019 Desktop is here, just released by Intuit! Very shortly, Enterprise Users, QuickBooks ProAdvisors (for Desktop), and QuickBooks Pro/Premier 'Plus' users will receive notification of the release. After that, QuickBooks Pro, Mac, and Premier Software versions will be available through retailers.

At Exigo Business Solutions we have been testing and evaluating pre-release versions of QuickBooks Desktop 2019. In this article, we seek to give you a snapshot of the 15 features that Intuit has added, improved, enhanced, or modified.

Here are the changes you should know about for QuickBooks Desktop 2019.

For users of the 2019 version: QuickBooks Pro, Accountant, Premier, Enterprise
1.  Tracking Customer Invoice History

This new feature provides better status tracking and general information regarding invoices. It provides easy visibility in real time for invoice status when doing collections or looking into invoice history.

Note: This image was created from an Intuit source document.

Note: You will need to mail the invoices within QuickBooks in order to get full functionality. This will require an active Internet connection to display some information. And, if you are running Microsoft Outlook 2010, it will not support all of the features.

2. Credits Transfer between Jobs: Same Customer

A nifty new feature simplifies workflow when you want to transfer credits from one job to the next for the same customer. Credits are displayed to indicated unused credits which can then be easily transferred to a different job.

Note: This image was created from an Intuit source document.

For this task, QuickBooks creates a special ‘Account for Credit Transfer.’ This is an “Other Current Asset” account-type which records the changes which happen, using journal entries behind the scenes. A smart feature is that QuickBooks sets this account to inactive status as soon as it is created. That way, users don’t mistakenly try to post transactions to it.

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019

Be aware. There is no quick “undo” option for this feature. So it really automates and streamlines the same kind of manual workflow QuickBooks users are usually taught. But, you need to make manual journal entries to reverse these changes. And, if you are using an “Accountant’s Copy” of client data this feature does not work.

3. Prompt Used to Create Bill Payment: In lieu of Write Check, Has Been Improved and Revised

The change here is just with the prompt to keep users from proceeding without thinking to write a check instead of creating a bill payment. Nevertheless, it is a useful feature for his purpose.

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks 2019.

QuickBooks 2019 make sure that the correct workflow procedure is followed. It highlights ‘Go to Pay Bills’ option (blue button) of its new “Check for Bills” pop-up. Pick this option and QuickBooks goes directly to the “Pay Bills” window and automatically filters the window for the exact Vendor you first tried to write a check for. This really speeds up workflow making it more intuitive to follow the right procedure.

4. Inventory Valuations: Inactive Inventory Items

Formerly, Inventory Reports giving valuations of your stock did not include any items previously made “inactive.” This happened even when those items had balances on hand. This caused a difference in the inventory value amount on those reports when it was contrasted with the amount that was reported as Inventory Asset account total.

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019

For 2019, the QuickBooks Desktop Inventory Valuation reports may include inactive item quantities and values. That way you can balance inventory reports against the inventory assets listed in the Balance Sheet and the General Ledger.  A checkbox, “Show Inactive Inventory Items,” is placed on the report header. It is to the right of the Dates and ‘Hide zero QOH’ options. See above in the Inventory Valuation Summary.

NOTE: This feature has a “bug.”  While it includes inactive 'Inventory Items' in the computation it doesn’t include any inactive 'Inventory Assembly Items' in the computation (with quantities on hand). So, the report may not balance on your balance sheet or the general ledger even though other errors aren’t present.

5.  Intuit Data Protect Revision

This may be a good idea but a lot of QuickBooks users have not activated Intuit Data Protect even when they were eligible for the off-premise solution to backups. The general complaint is that it is difficult to set up, to monitor, and to restore backups.

Note: Image from Intuit

The Data Protect feature for Intuit was updated. It streamlines the set-up process and simplifies automation of QuickBooks backups sent to Intuit ‘cloud servers.’ This feature now gives your actionable messages in case of failure to complete a backup. This seems to improve reliability and usefulness of the backup feature.

6.  IIF Import Functionality Enhanced

There has been a long history the IIF import feature file corruption resulting from improper structuring of IIF files, errors in formatting and insufficient error checking during the import process. In the 2019 version IIF import functionality has been greatly improved. It now has SDK validation and verification routines written into the data import process.

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019

This feature includes a new interface. When data does not meet import requirements, it is not imported and you can find and navigate to that data from the interface. The new feature still lets users import list data as well as supported transactions. It provides a summary as well as specific reasons why an individual import failed.


Note: This image is from an Excel report and the data came from the pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019.

7. Data File Optimization via Audit Trail Condensation

Users will find this feature useful. It reduces file sizes by removing the audit trail but not changing any transactional data. In a heavily edited file, this can be close to half of the file! It also performs internal database optimizations. This is a good feature!

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019

The result of using this feature will be faster performance. And, if you need to see the audit trail, QuickBooks keeps a copy!

8.  Easier to Move QuickBooks from One Computer to Another

This feature came out in 2018 but this is the first launch in which it is included. You will find it substantially easier to move Company files and the QuickBooks program from computer to computer using this feature. (Three can be moved.)

Note: This image was created from a pre-release version of QuickBooks Desktop 2019

To use this tool, you need Admin level access to the computer on which QuickBooks and the Company files are currently installed. Transfer will require a large enough USB (flash memory) and enough free space to hold the Company files. When you start the process QuickBooks tells you how much free memory space you will need.

And, you will need Administrator level access to the new computer as well as an active Internet connection. Here is the process:

1) Copy information to the USB drive

2) Create a password to unlock all information being transferred to the new computer

QuickBooks will copy all needed information as well as Company files from your original computer onto the USB drive. It will download the right version of QuickBooks, install based on info from the USB drive, and set up all files. This is a feature for Enterprise (v19) Users with a 'Plus' Subscription, QuickBooks 2019 Pro, Accountant, and Premier versions.

9. Easier to Upgrade to New QuickBooks Version

This is another feature from 2018 used for ‘Plus’ Subscribers who wanted to upgrade from 2017 to 2018.  This is the first version in which this feature is available from the start and will help those using Plus to convert from 2018 to 2019. Use this feature and reduce the work of upgrading down to just a couple of clicks!

Note: This image was created from Intuit source documents.

The process downloads the new version and installs it on your computer. And, it gives you’re the option of keeping the old version. It registers the new version and activates it and then converts all of your Company files. This quicker process will take you three to four minutes, tops! The feature is available to users of QuickBooks 2019 Pro, Enterprise(v19) Users with 'Payroll' Subscriptions, and Premier, Accountant users.

10. Adjustment History of Employee Pay Has Been Expanded

This is for folks using a ‘Payroll Subscription’ of QuickBooks 2019. It was added during 2018 and this is the first version in which it comes as a standard feature.

Note: Image from report generated using the QuickBooks 2019 pre-release version

Use this feature to track changes to employee pay rates in regard to hourly payroll items, commission items, and salary and bonus items.

11. Tracking Changes to Sick and Vacation Pay

Users of this feature will see improvements to tracking and reporting of sick and vacation time.

Note: The image comes from the pre-release version of QuickBooks 2019 and adapted source documents and prepared with the Enhanced Payroll subscription.

It has two improvements. There is a warning when saving a paycheck if it exceeds what is available for vacation or sick time. And, paystubs are reformatted and include available used, accrued, and available vacation hours.

For All QuickBooks Enterprise (v19) Users

12. Identification of Sensitive Payroll Permissions

This is a function for administrators. With this feature the administrator will be to identify when a user has a specific permission level allowing them access to sensitive payroll information. The user is indicated with an * (asterisk).

Note: Image created using the QuickBooks 2019 pre-release version

Basically, this is a quick way for an administrator to see who has which permissions. It does not allow further “granular” restriction of such information from roles containing access. The feature comes with Platinum subscribers to QuickBooks Enterprise (v19) who use advanced inventory features.

13. Sales Order: Pick, Pack and Ship

This is an improvement on a feature added with QuickBooks 2018. It has to do with the Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet and the optional Mobile Inventory Barcode Scanners which speed up picking of orders by the workers on the warehouse floor. QuickBooks 2019 has expanded this functionality to allow packers to prepare their orders for shipment by using the same mobile scanners in order to capture packed contents, the shipping weights and the packing dimensions.

Note: This image was created using the QuickBooks 2019 pre-release version documents.

This new functionality integrates workflow directly with FedEx or UPS Shipping Manager features that are already built into QuickBooks.  The information captured in the packing process is combined with Sales Order information. This not only updates packing documents, but also prints the correct shipping labels allowing all information to be recorded on a centralized dashboard.

14. Purchase Order Receiving Enhancement

Here is another mid-2018 feature that is present with the new 2019 version. Users of the Enterprise Advanced Inventory feature of QuickBooks asked for increased functionality. This was to offset the costs of purchasing scanners. Incorporating sales fulfillment with receiving inventory was a natural fix. Now the feature includes the use of mobile scanners for recording receiving of purchase orders and a new worksheet for purchase order management.

This enhanced feature lets you identify the purchase order, assign receiving personnel using the scanner or printed received receipt and scan merchandise directly to inventory using a mobile device. Optionally you can enter the info into the PO worksheet when not using the scanner.

Note: Image created from Intuit source documents and QuickBooks 2019 pre-release version of

This feature can reduce data entry errors substantially for increased inventory receiving efficiency.


QuickBooks for Mac 2019

Apple Mac lovers, here it is! A Mac-specific version of QuickBooks is back for 2019. It includes the following.

• Reconcile Discrepancy Report for Bank/Credit-cards

• Customers and Vendor Email Tracking

• Sharing QuickBooks for Mac file via iCloud Sync

• safeguard sensitive data with Required Passwords

• Enhanced Report Window

• Import of Square sales data



The mobile devices and scanners mentioned here are sold separately and are not part of subscriptions for QuickBooks Enterprise (v19).

This article is meant to provide a snapshot summary of new QuickBooks 2019 features and is not meant to be an in-depth review.

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