Thursday, September 9, 2021

QuickBooks Desktop Subscriptions

Adam Engst:

Unfortunately, AccountEdge was built on a 30-year-old, 32-bit code base that wasn’t compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina. MYOB tried and failed to update AccountEdge to be a 64-bit app, and eventually stopped selling it. Tonya didn’t mind keeping one of her Macs on 10.14 Mojave so she could keep running AccountEdge temporarily, but we clearly had to switch accounting systems. Such transitions are most easily done at the start of a year, so in late 2020, we started evaluating the alternatives. Two choices immediately presented themselves:

AccountEdge Pro: You have to give MYOB credit for trying. The company’s engineers figured out a way to embed the Windows version of AccountEdge in a custom emulation wrapper, and they made that the official migration path for orphaned Mac users. However, for $15 per month, we weren’t interested in using an emulated Windows app.

QuickBooks: The 800-pound gorilla of the small business accounting world is still Intuit’s QuickBooks. Although the company seemingly sells a $399 desktop version for the Mac, Intuit’s focus is on various cloud versions of QuickBooks Online, with plans starting at $12.50 per month. […] We were also troubled by the idea of working with Intuit, and the company seems to be up to its old tricks, having just announced that it was discontinuing the Mac app that provided direct access to QuickBooks Online without having to use a Web browser.


The QuickBooks Online Windows and Mac desktop apps are no longer supported as of April 20, 2021.


Due to limited use, we stopped supporting these apps to invest in other functionality that matters to you.

TidBITS eventually decided on Xero.

Meanwhile, the situation for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac has changed (via Hacker News):

For 2022, we are introducing QuickBooks Desktop Mac Plus, an annual subscription-based license for small businesses. We will now be selling our Mac product subscription in place of one-time purchase licenses.


Our transition to a subscription-forward lineup will occur at the time of our 2022 product release – scheduled for October 12, 2021.

We will offer a limited time exception for the purchase of our Desktop Pro, Premier and Mac 2021 one-time purchase licenses (supported through May 2024) to avoid disruption to you and your clients. These products will be available via QuickBooks Solutions Providers (QSPs) and Intuit sales agents until December 10, 2021.

$199 for the first year, then $299/year.


Update (2021-09-10): Michael Love:

I was an upgrade-every-couple-of-years only-use-10%-of-the-functionality QuickBooks user - just as I was with Photoshop - so for me the effect of subscription pricing is that I’ll switch to another product.

As with other subscription products, I’m sure Intuit will more than make up for the loss of smaller customers with the increased revenue from larger businesses. But, as with Adobe, this may create an opening for competitors.

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