Updated 3/22/11 — It appears that some Intuit servers are down which is affecting QuickBooks Online and other online services. Hopefully service will be restored soon, but here are some alternatives in the meantime:
- Use Outlook — in QuickBooks, go to Edit>Preferences>Send Forms>My Preferences to change it to use Outlook.
- Use another email service — in the Invoice (or Estimate or form), go to File>Save as PDF or you can download CutePDF Free (www.cutepdf.com) and print to PDF. Then, use another email service (like gmail) to send an email and attach the PDF to it.
- Use a free Paycheck calculator http://www.paycheckmanager.com/free_payroll_calculator.aspx or the Circular E (www.irs.gov) to calculate paychecks manually. You may need to issue manual checks instead of direct deposit. Then, you can enter it in QuickBooks later. If you use Assisted Payroll, call them to see how they want you to handle it.
- Credit Cards
- Write down down the customer information and process the payment later. Be sure to maintain the sensitive credit card info securely until it can be destroyed later.
- Call to get ‘Voice Authorization’
- Visa / MasterCard / Disc ACQ / Amex OnePoint 800-228-1122
- AMEX 800-528-2121
- Discover 800-347-1111
Once service is restored, please use QuickBooks or Online Terminal to capture the authorization. Important Note — you will need the authorization code from the voice authorization as well as your customer’s credit card number and expiration date to complete the transaction. For further information, contact support at (800) 558-9558.
- QuickBooks Online — You may need to write down orders/invoices or manually write checks and enter the details later.
Keep in mind that any of us could be without power due to a severe thunderstorm, flood, tornado, fire, earthquake, hurricane, snow storm or a number of other problems. As business owners and professionals, we have to deal with the situation calmly and professionally. Usually your customers, vendors and employees wiill understand the situation. As small business owners, we need to have a backup plan of how to continue operating when an emergency strikes–whether it is a natural disaster or a failure in technology. You may want to make sure you have ‘business interruption insurance’ that would cover losses in certain circumstances. Maintain your composure, keep your calm and find alternatives to help minimize the disruption.
I’ve been using QB’s for 24 years. Started my company on it with a Mac (6″ screen!) in the 80’s. Now, (currently using Enterprise), I can say that I have a long history with QB’s. The most dissapointing part of this situation (servers down) is that it continues to happen over and over again. The length of time the servers are down is unheard of, but to have such a devastiting problem that affects ALL your customers and yet not come up with a solution in at least a couple of years is both damaging to your reputation and irresponsible in the eyes of your customers.
We cannot email invoices, run credit cards, or send purchase orders. However, I can’t imagine the frustration for business who selected the Online version…thank G I didn’t go in that direction….
Thanks Doug — I originally wrote that post last summer. It’s a shame I’ve had to re-post it in January and now too. 🙁
Great list of alternatives for making it through during these outages. Thanks for posting them so quickly.
Unfortunately, I think this type of thing WILL happen from time to time. It’s just the nature of technology, whether it’s on the desktop, or in the cloud. But events like this give more and more power to the argument that we need solutions that act more like outlook/exchange as opposed to pure SaaS-only. We’re still in the wild west as far as the cloud is concerned.
I appreciate the information that Michelle has supplied but I am a bit dismayed by the fact that Intuit does not have redundant back-up servers and systems to cover these outages. Cloud Computing is being touted by all software vendors as the future of computing but if these outages which last for several hours are as common as this blog suggests then I doubt that I will be recommending its use in the future. I now have 2 clients that I put on QuickBooks On Line service in December 2010. Both of them are currently regretting that move as their employees are sitting around doing nothing while waiting for the system to come back up. I believe that Intuit has to come up with a desk top application to allow at least contiuned data input to be uploaded to the On-Line system when service is restored. Every bank in the U.S. has redundant back up systems in place to automatically take over their critical systems when a failure occurs. Cloud computing systems must provide the same type of continuous access.
I agree with you Edward! They were some outages in the Summer of 2010 and I thought Intuit had learned a lesson then. We were told they were making it a priority (as Charlie mentioned in his comment) to ensure there weren’t more outages. So, for it to be down a few hours yesterday and now this morning is very frustrating!
I too have recommended QuickBooks Online to clients. In January, I trained about 25-30 treasurers for a national fraternity to use QuickBooks Online for their chapters. These outages hurt my image and reputation too!
Not everything is working, I do not use Quickbooks online, but I use Intuit Payment Solutions and is still not working after several hours.
Hmmm….Intuit says everything should be working now. Maybe try closing your browser & then login again.