QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper or QuickBooks Pro? Comment to Enter to Win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 FREE!

QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper or QuickBooks Pro? Comment to Enter to Win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 FREE!

Do you wonder if you should get QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper or QuickBooks Pro?  Is QuickBooks Accountant really worth the additional cost?   Would QuickBooks Pro be sufficient?  Did you realize Intuit introduced QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper in the summer of 2012?  How does it fit between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Accountant?

If you are an accountant, bookkeeper, tax professional or QuickBooks consultant, then I recommend using QuickBooks Accountant or at least QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper.  QuickBooks Pro is better suited for clients and not accounting professionals working with various client’s QuickBooks files.

Just like a contractor needs the right tools for the job, accounting professionals need the right tools to help us do the job efficiently and effectively.  QuickBooks Accountant is the best tool for the job if you work with clients using QuickBooks.  Depending on the services you provide clients, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper may work as an alternative.  A chart comparing the differences between QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper is shown later in this post.   However, I recommend QuickBooks Accountant because the additional tools and features are worth the extra cost in the price.  Also note, QuickBooks Accountant is included with your ProAdvisor membership (which I highly recommend — watch for an upcoming blog post for more details about the ProAdvisor Program and benefits for accounting professionals).

Comment on THIS blog post by Tuesday, December 6, 2012 to enter the QuickBooks 2013 Give Away and you could win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 (MSRP $499.95). 

Share THIS blog post on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter and paste the link(s) in the comments below for additional entries to win!

QuickBooks Accountant 2013

QuickBooks Accountant has the following features and functionality to help accounting professionals work more efficiently and improve profitability.

  1. NEW in 2013:  Batch Enter Transactions — or copy and paste 1,000+ transactions (Checks, Deposits or Credit Card Transactions) from Excel and save all at once.
  2. NEW in 2013:  Send Journal Entries – Send entries from QuickBooks so clients can import with just a click (the client must be using QuickBooks 2013 to import the JEs).
  3. Starter Copy — Save time setting up new clients by using an existing company file as a template.
  4. Period Copy – Create a period copy (i.e. for one year or a specific time period) of QuickBooks files.
  5. Client Data Review — Client Data Review allows you to find and fix problems in QuickBooks files quickly and efficiently with these tools:
    • Troubleshoot Prior Account Balances
    • Reclassify Transactions (and assign a class)
    • Review List Changes – Chart of Accounts, Items, Fixed Asset Items and Payroll Items
    • Fix Unapplied Customer Payments and Credits
    • Clear Up Undeposited Funds account
    • Write off Invoices
    • Fix Unapplied Vendor Payments and Credits
    • Fix Incorrectly Recorded Sales Tax
    • Compare Balance Sheet and Inventory Valuation
    • Troubleshoot Inventory
    • Find Incorrectly Paid Payroll Liabilities

Client Data Review can save you a lot of time cleaning up client data files. To learn more about Client Data Review, attend Michelle Long’s live webinar Save Time and Improve Profitability with Client Data Review on December 13, 2012.  One lucky registrant (do not need to attend live) will win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 (MSRP $499.95). Seats are limited so register now:  http://clientdatareview.eventbrite.com/  Plus, you will receive a 78 page PDF manual as a reference.  The webinar will be recorded and available for 30 days after the live webinar.

  1. Accountant’s Copy — Work with an Accountant’s Copy from your client and export changes for them to import into their file.  This allows the client to keep working in their QuickBooks file.  There is one year of backwards compatibility with an Accountant’s Copy.

To learn more about using an Accountant’s Copy and other options for working with client data file in different situations and scenarios, attend Michelle Long’s live webinar Data Exchange and Data Collaboration with your QuickBooks Clients on December 6, 2012.  Seats are limited so register now:  http://dataexchange.eventbrite.com/  One lucky registrant (do not need to attend live) will win QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper 2013 (MSRP $399.95).  Plus, you will receive a 100 page PDF manual as a resource.  The webinar will be recorded and available for 30 days after the live event.

  1. Multi-Instance — Work in two different QuickBooks files at the same time.
  2. File Manager — Open and manage QuickBooks files quickly and easily.  Also, batch upgrade files and store passwords in the password vault.
  3. Statement Writer — Create financial statements and reports with a live link to the QuickBooks data file.  Customize a template once and reuse it in the future or with other QuickBooks files.  This is great to create GAAP compliant financial statements,  custom reports showing budget vs. actual for the current period, year to date and prior year actual and more.  Plus, you can create key ratios and charts and that are linked to the QuickBooks data.

To learn more about Statement Writer and see how to create custom reports and charts and graphs linked to the QuickBooks data, attend Michelle Long’s live webinar on QuickBooks Statement Writer 2012 on December 19.  Register now, seats are limited: http://statementwriter.eventbrite.com/  One lucky registrant (do not need to attend live) will win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 (MSRP $499.95).  Plus, you will receive an 83 page PDF manual as a reference.  The webinar will be recorded and available for 30 days after the live webinar.

  1. Accountant Center— Access your most used accountant tools quickly.
  2. Working Trial Balance — Tied to the QuickBooks data so changes or adjustments are updated automatically. Great at year end and includes a field to enter work paper references.
  3. Fixed Asset Manager — Maintain details for fixed assets, calculate deprecation and post the entries to QuickBooks.
  4. Adjusting Journal Entries / Reversing Journal Entries (plus totals on the journal entry window) — Using Adjusting journal entries show in the adjustments column of the working trial balance and differentiates your entries from other general journal entries.  Plus, click reverse to enter a reversing journal entry.
  5. Toggle — Toggle into QuickBooks Pro, Contractor, Non-Profit, Retail, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Professional Services and Premier as needed).

Click QBA-version-years-2010-2013 of the new features added to QuickBooks Accountant over the past few years.

QuickBooks Accountant vs. QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper

Many of these features are only available in QuickBooks Accountant 2013 but there are some in QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper 2013 as shown in this comparison:

QuickBooks Accountant 2013

QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper2013

Batch Enter Transactions



Send Journal Entries


Period Copy


Starter Copy



Accountant (Bookkeeper Center)



Client Data Review


Accountant’s Copy






File Manager



Statement Writer


Working Trial Balance


Fixed Asset Manager
Adjusting / Reversing JEs





Do you use QuickBooks Accountant or QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper?  Which feature is your favorite or saves you the most time working with QuickBooks clients?

Comment on THIS blog post by Tuesday, December 6, 2012 to enter the QuickBooks 2013 Give Away and you could win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 (MSRP $499.95). 

Share THIS blog post on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter and paste the link(s) in the comments below for additional entries to win!



90 thoughts on “QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper or QuickBooks Pro? Comment to Enter to Win QuickBooks Accountant 2013 FREE!

  1. Brenda Carr

    Hi Michelle, I am preparing to start my own Accounting business later this year and have utilized your website, blog and books as research and educational tools. I am excited about your giveaway as I am interested in using QB as my accounting software. I am just getting started and would love to win a copy of Quickbooks Accountant. The information you provided about the differences between each program is very helpful as I was debating on which application would best suit my business needs. Thank you.

  2. Denise Bickle EA

    I haven’t yet used the Accountant edition. My clients pretty generally like to try to do their own bookkeeping and then send the file to me for adjustments, reconciliation etc. Therefore, I tend to buy the Pro edition. I don’t make alot of money in bookkeeping and prefer taxes. I would love to see what the Accountant edition can do for me to justify the extra cost.

  3. Dale Thompson

    Is the Data Exchange webinar available online somewhere? Looks awesome.

  4. John E Iacono

    We use the Accountants edition in our offices. For new clients it depends on the sophistication of their needs. Most use Pro, a few use Premier, and one uses Enterprise edition.

  5. Tracy O'Mara

    Why, oh why, could they not come out with some of these features in 2012? I talked a company into switching back in June and wished so hard that I could of copied and paste transactions from their Quicken file since I could not convert because their previous clerk did not reconcile for YEARS! It also would of saved us from purchasing a statement convertor to download credit card transactions from the merchant accounts that do not offer Quickbook downloads. I doubt I could talk them into upgrading to 2013 in order to save time with the statement convertor……

  6. Karla Geldmacher

    I also use the Accountant’s Edition as a Pro Advisor. I don’t see much need for a bookkeeper’s edition. If the client has a professional and skilled bookkeeper in house I would recommend the tools in the Accountant’s Edition because they are SO helpful. I use Client Data Review all the time and really like the tools in it.

  7. Andrew

    I work on the accountant version myself but setup clients on Premier most often. The ProAdvisor route is the best way to go for me. Gives me access to all versions. Have yet to recommend QB Enterprise but I’m sure some of my existing clients will move up to that eventually.

  8. Diane Maddox

    I am using the 2012 Professional Bookkeeper and the 2011 Premier. I have had no difficulty transitioning from the 11 to the 12 but the Bookkeeper software, where you can view all your files and versions, puzzles me some. I does not recognize the version of my 2011 files and asks me to upgrade them when I try to open them thru it. Some of my 2011 files I can’t upgrade because the client doesn’t want to buy new software. However, other than that. I like it. I know that being able to have two files open at once will be a huge help, especially for my clients that have multiple companies and activity between the two companies.

  9. Catherine

    Many years ago, I took the “risk” and purchased my first accountants edition. Hands down, it was one of the best decisions I ever made for my business.

  10. Clarissa Vogel

    I am loving this site. I look forward to upgrading to Accountant copy. I like the fact that I can toggle between clients. Thanks for the drawing it would help me a lot to win this.

  11. Valerie Thieme

    Good information as I’m trying to decide which one buy.Also, I enjoyed your classes yesterday at JCCC.

  12. John Thigpen

    Most of my clients get Quickbooks Pro, but I suggest QB Accountant to them because of the added features and reports. For example, the ability to look at all prior bank reconciliations rather than just the most recent is worth the price differential just by itself, in my opinion.

  13. Laura Naff

    I enjoyed your training sessions yesterday at Johnson County Community College. I am excited to work in Quickbooks 2013. I like using Quickbooks Accountant version. It was great to meet a fellow Mizzou alum!

  14. Karen Wedge

    I like the QuickBooks Accountant version because it’s so versital and allows me several options when working with my clients’ versions. I like that I can toggle to different QuickBooks versions as well as having the Client Data Review and being able to use Accountant’s copies to work on my clients’ books.

  15. Keith Tucker

    I have been using QB Accountant 2012 for a few months and appreciate the functionality it provides to me as the accountant to serve clients.

  16. Keith E Johnson CPA

    Ive just been setting up QB 2013, & am still migrating clients to it. How far back can you go with 2013 as far as accountant copies (what is tge earliest version if QB the client can have to make 2013 work?

  17. Jacqueline Dailey

    My favorite features in QBA is the client data review and the statement writer – awesome! I also love the send GJE’s – All items that are not available in QBB.

  18. Joe Milan

    I have been using Accounting 2013 for awhile now and I like it. I have no problems with it and it, to me, is just as easy to use as all the other versions.

    There are a few issues with Windows 8 though.

  19. Diana S. Steers

    I am an accountant looking to start my own business. I have QuickBooks Pro 2012 but feel I should update to QB Accountant 2013 before proceeding. I would like suggestions from others on the pros and cons of QB Pro vs. QB Accountant.

  20. Rhonda Rosand, CPA

    I can’t imagine life without Client Data Review in the Accountants’ version. I didn’t even know that there was a Bookkeeper version until a couple of weeks ago at the Ultimate vCon.

  21. Elaine Sims

    There are far too many options, I think it just makes it confusing. I liked when I bought 2010, it had the industry options, *AS WELL AS* accountant, which meant I didn’t have to pick or choose.

    I just don’t have the cash flow to support the PA program, and having to buy a new version of the software every year just seems stupid to me as well. Oh well, what can you do, if you want to run with the big dogs…

  22. Peter Flournoy

    I agree with your summary – I worked at an entity that used QB Pro and recently upgraded to the 2013 version which has a number of very nice new features and a new user interface. Thanks for all that you do!!!

  23. Bryan Tilburt

    Thanks for breaking down the differences. One really does has to weigh what they do offer in their services to clients and see whether they personally would benefit from it. You’ve done a good job at showing the differences.

  24. Venesa Rogers

    Thanks for the information – Was wondering the difference with using QB Accountant

  25. Tom Conley

    Am not sure by reading these numerous responses how to decide QB_Acct vs QB_Bk. I hear people saying that they really like QB_Acct for various reasons, of which most of them are in the Bookkeeper version. I also hear that Intuit is offering too many choices that will confuse the lay person, yet I believe these two versions are intended for the professional to serve small business clients. It does seem overwhelming from all, and I agree, that the Accountants version is a great tool, but frankly, I don’t think I use the features that are missing from the bookkeeper version. Would like to hear from people who do regularly use the features missing in the bookkeeper version.

  26. Patti Almonte

    I had always used Premier. Once I joined the ProAdvisor program, I got Accountant, and I LOVE it. I always recommend Premier to clients, although I’ve had one client who already had Pro, and several who use Mac.

  27. Laura

    Been in business for 26 years. Accountant uses Sage Business Works, so that was what I used. Started using QuickBooks for Mac during our prior fiscal year. This past fiscal year converted, retyped everything just to learn, to QuickBooks Pro 2012. Have found QuickBooks to be a very wonderful product. Now looking for my next career, in construction now and getting a bit to old to do the physical work my current job requires. Been reading and attending many of the webinars and wow, the amount of information and opportunities out there is tremendous. Michelle, thank you for the information you have made available to everyone.

  28. Cindy

    We’ve been using the Accountant version of QB for years now and it works great. I think that’s the way to go.

  29. Jimmie

    I think Inuit is offering too many choices for the new business start ups and could lead to confusion for some novices. Yes, IF they call a ProAdvisor, they will get a recommendation based on the business structure, etc. As for me, I have worked in Pro and Premiere as well as the Accountant’s versions as a ProAdvisor. I recommend all 3 versions to my clients depending on their needs and their payroll needs as well. I do not think I would recommend the new Professional Bookkeeper version. Redundant I think.

  30. Mary Dougherty

    I’ve been using Quickbooks Pro. It’s worked fine for me right now…I only have 3 clients and do all the entry work. My plan is to expand my business, however, so an upgrade will most likely be necessary. Thanks for the comparison of the Pro and Bookkeeper versions, Michelle. My heart and mind say go Pro but my wallet says Bookkeeper!

  31. Tammatha

    I am using QB Pro now, but looks like I am going to have to research upgrading to Accountant. Thanks for the information.

  32. Tom Conley

    I have not used the Professional Bookkeeper yet, but my take is that with a few other minor changes, it is similar to the Accountant version without the statement writer and client data review. So I am not a big fan of the statement writer, so this would seem to make a lot of sense to have a lesser priced software without paying for a feature that I don’t use. I struggled with the statement writer a lot last year to make custom reports that a client wanted. I spent more time each month fussing with re-formatting and re-creating reports, that it just proved too costly for me, in terms of my time.

    I think the Accountant version is great, but the Bookkeeper version seems an affordable alternative.

  33. Bria

    I have been recently using QB Pro but I really like thefeatures of the accountant version. I hope to be able to upgrade very soon.
    Thanks Michelle!

  34. Julia Hopkins

    I was a ProAdvisor for many years, and just let it lapse this last year because the cost was just too much during the process of building a new house and my renewal came right after Christmas!
    However, I will say I miss it desperately and I will need to do something again soon, so I can work on my year end client files who give me their Accountants Copy to work on. What a great feature (which is funny, since many years ago, I hated and didn’t trust the Accountants copy and merging it back was a pain. It has come so far in the last several years).
    There are a lot of new features in 2013 that I haven’t been able to see yet. I miss being out of the loop on all the latest and greates with Quickbooks!!

  35. Susan Humphreys

    I’ve been using the Accountant’s version since it came out. I would never purchase a different version for myself, due to the ability to toggle to other versions. I do find that most of my clients use Pro and don’t need the Premiere versions.

  36. Diana Paty

    I have been using the Accountants Edition since I became a ProAdvisor, I could not run by business without all the great features and benefits it contains.

  37. Janet Roderick

    I’ve used the Accountants Edition for several years. My favorite feature is the ability to toggle between editions. It is so handy for teaching clients and helps prevent the confusion caused if they see features that aren’t in the version they are using.

  38. Silvia Evans

    The Accountant version is totally worth the extra money, and I too have recommended it to clients for their own purposes. However, I really can’t see why a bookkeeper version is necessary.

  39. Lori Thompson, EA

    I love the Accountants version, I’ve been using it since it’s launch. I have not yet had a chance to look at 2013 but am very excited about the batch enter transactions… this would save me a ton of time. It almost sounds too good to be true :o) Thanks for the info Michelle.

  40. Suzanne

    I currently use Pro and am thinking about upgrading to the accountants version or the enterprise version. I would love to see that comparison.

  41. Kevin Frawley

    I was not aware of the Quickbooks Professional Bookkeeper version. No I am. Thanks!

  42. Beth Thorp

    Appreciate Michelle’s review & all the comments. Really is making me reconsider purchasing annual Accountants’ version instead of Pro, although I do most of my work on clients’ programs at their offices. Need to look into the ProAdvisor deal again — I know it sounds like a good deal, but it needs to be an appropriate “fit”, too. Hope they don’t sell the title to people without proper credentials.

  43. Barbara Gallagher

    I definitely need some help in deciding which version to upgrade to. I know the accountants version would work well for most of my business but I also have QB at a few of my clients locations. I load backup copy’s to my desktop so work can be done off site as well as on site so I am concerned about compatibility with different versions.

  44. Debbie Kay

    I like using the accountant edition; it is great to be able to switch between the various versions to accomadate all clients, from non- profit, to retail, services, etc.

  45. Timmerle Kelly

    I have only known about the Prof. Bookkeeper Edition for a couple of months, but agree with others here. I would still stretch a little bit and get the Accountant’s version. Anything to make the job easier!

  46. Patti Killelea-Almonte

    I’ve like many of the features in QB 2013. I’m just disappointed at the lack of ability to change the color scheme. I’m very visual, and color is very important to me.

  47. Cheryl Lund

    Cheryl Lund #QuickBooks Accountant, Professional Bookkeeper or QB Pro? Comment on blog post to Enter to Win QB Accountant 2013 FREE http://ow.ly/fCyNw

    I shared on LinkedIn but I don’t know how to paste the link,

  48. Mimi

    Since I started using the Quickbooks Accountant and found the many tools that are not offered in any of the other versions, i would never consider changing. Especially like the client review. Michelle, thank you for your insightful tips. Would love to have a chance to win your give away!

  49. Cheryl Lund

    I have not used the Quickbooks Accountant version yet, I have been using the PRO version. I like your comparison of the features and I hope that I get the opportunity to use the Accountant version.

  50. Cindy Schroeder

    I have been using the Accountant version for the last 5 years. The improved Customer Data Review tools have easily paid for the price difference between pro and accountant. I often encourage my clients to get the better version.

  51. Sondra Lane

    I can’t afford to attend the webinars but I would like to enter to win the Quickbooks Accountant software.

  52. Henry Jenkins

    Hello out there. For me the Accountant’s Edition allowed me to go underneath the user interface to fix certain problems with data: some user created, others with no explanation. However, there is learning curve above and beyond Quickbooks. In my opinion, the user must be comfortable with the accountant’s edition features which presumes an understanding of why the accountant’s edition is needed! Newbies have no clue and even the less experienced dare tread lightly. Murphy’s Law – if anything can go wrong, it will.

  53. Cynthia

    I have been using the Accountant’s edition for years (since I became a ProAdvisor in 2005). I love it and when I was able to buy two more editions at 1/2 price I jumped on it and installed them in my husband’s business. I don’t need the extra features there, but what the heck… for the same price as Pro… why not get the best version. I’ve tried to sell it to my accountant, but he is concerned about price. I’ve not been able to convince him that just the quick reclassify will save time — and most importantly for me, making the accountant’s version for them to work on while I can continue working on my businesses. Now they do their thing on their version, write down changes on paper and send me copies… ugh!

    I’m like the others with Bookkeepers version – not going to bother – if I get bookkeepers in my world, they can try it, but otherwise, I would strongly encourage them to get the accountant’s edition.

  54. Patrick

    Thanks for the update.

    This might not be the place but Do know of any fixes coming down the line for Enterprise 2013. Been seeing a ton of complaints regarding lockups, freezes and delays in everyday tasks.

  55. Catherine Mallers

    The client review function is what makes my bookkeeping easier to handle, which is why I would only use QB Accountant. I’m excited to play around with the new look/feel of the 2013 release. Any if Windows 8 is going to be a problem moving forward?

  56. Connie Vanderzanden

    I was disappointed that Intuit came out with the Bookkeeper edition. I have always felt if you based your tool decision on price, you get crap. The Accountant’s edition allows bookkeepers to grow in their business, it encourages them to increase their knowledgebase and it allows better service for their clients. Instead of coming up with another desktop version why don’t they put that money into creating a stronger online solution. I’d really like to find a way for bookkeepers to stop hiding behind their tool and focus more on increasing their confidence in their book knowledge of accounting. There’s my rant – thanks for the post Michelle. I appreciate the time to show the differences.

  57. Sandra Purvis

    I would not even consider using QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper when it does not have the Client Data Review option that QuickBooks Accountant has. That is the most useful tool that Intuit has provided us ProAdvisors. I also agree with the others that adding the Bookkeeper software just makes for too many options.

  58. gro a lunde

    The statement writer sounds sweet. I wish that was available in of of my previous jobs. it would have saved my lots of time compiling monthly financials! thanks for a great website/blog!

  59. Jo Ellen Peters

    I have always used the Accountant’s Edition and love it. For those that are just starting their business and are short on funds, the Bookkeeper’s Edition may be just the thing to get their business going.

  60. Vicki

    I actually own QB Bookkeepers edition. I think it worked for me because of the price point and going from Pro to Accountant. I like the new features I see in the Accountants Edition and may upgrade in the next year.

  61. Jennifer L. Todd, CPA, CGMA

    The only problem I have working in the Accountant’s version is that I have tools at my disposal that are not there when I am working on a live client file at their location! So I get spoiled by the Accountant specific features! I like the idea of a bookkeeper edition only if the cost savings is significant versus the Accountant edition, otherwise, I just don’t see the benefit. Thank you Michelle for keeping us up to date on all of this stuff!

  62. Gerald Mayerhoff

    I just don’t see a need for Quickbooks Professional Bookkeeper. If you work in-house then you should be using QB Pro. Even if you are a bookkeeper, if you work on more than one client you would want the additional capabilities that the accountants version gives you.

  63. Elaine

    I am a big fan of the accountants edition becuase of the extra features. I dont know about the Professional Bookkeepers edition, except what I have learned here from you, but it strikes me odd that Intuit is reinventing itself for every little niche. I dont see that many functional differences between the versions to make the industry specific versions other than some reports, which I can customize myself, and Customers are called Donors in the Nonprofit version. I think I will stay away from the Professional Bookkeeper version and just stick with what I know already – the Accountants Edition. I would not be happy to find out features I like are not available in the “other” versions. Too many versions creates adversion for me.

  64. Meschele Schoolfield

    Michelle your blog is amazing… So much to learn so little time… but it appears that QuickBooks Accountant is a far more complete product for the money.

    I am most interested in the “Toggle” feature that allows you to switch as needed.


  65. Elizabeth

    What are the differences between bookkeeper and accountants version, other than one is included in the proadvisor package?

  66. Shelia Beeker

    I think that the accountants version is always the best. Looking forward to upgrading in January 2013!!!

  67. Amy Campbell

    Does Accountant allow you to work in a client’s company file from a previous version of QB without upgrading the file? Or will the client have to upgrade to QB Pro 2013 to continue to use their company file? Thanks.

  68. Gina Palacio

    I’ve been watching the release of QB 2013 – the past few years Intuit has really come up with some nice innovations in the accounting version. I do think that adding another layer (the Bookkeeping version) just adds confusion as to which edition should be purchased. If anything, it might hold some of us back from upgrading – weighing cost against features. I’ve been buying the accountant’s edition for several years now . . . .