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Intuit QuickBooks logo.png
Developer(s) Intuit Inc. [1]
Stable release
Operating system Microsoft Windows[1]
macOS (USA only)
Type Accounting software
License Proprietary
Website quickbooks.intuit.com

QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions[2] that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions.


Intuit was founded in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx in Mountain View, California, USA. After the success of Quicken for individual financial management, the company developed similar services for small business owners.

Initial release[edit]

The initial Quicken software did not function as a "double-entry" accounting package. The initial release of QuickBooks was the DOS version that was based on the Quicken codebase. The Windows and Mac versions shared a different codebase that was based on In-House Accountant, which Intuit had acquired. The software was popular among small business owners who had no formal accounting training. As such, the software soon claimed up to 85 percent of the small business accounting software market. It continues to command the vast majority of this market.[3] Professional accountants, however, were not satisfied with early versions of the system, citing poor security controls, such as no audit trail, as well as non-conformity with traditional accounting standards.

Subsequent releases[edit]

Intuit sought to bridge the gap with these accounting professionals, eventually providing full audit trail capabilities, double-entry accounting functions and increased functions. By 2000, Intuit had developed Basic and Pro versions of the software and, in 2003, started offering industry-specific versions, with workflow processes and reports designed for each of these business types along with terminology associated with the trades.

Options now include versions for manufacturers, wholesalers, professional service firms, contractors, non-profit entities[4] and retailers, in addition to one specifically designed for professional accounting firms who service multiple small business clients. In May 2002 Intuit launched QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions for medium-sized businesses.

In September 2005, QuickBooks had 74% of the market in the US.[5] A June 19, 2008 Intuit Press Release said that as of March 2008, QuickBooks' share of retail units in the business accounting category reached 94.2 percent, according to NPD Group. It also says that more than 50,000 accountants, CPAs and independent business consultants are members of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program.[6] By then Brad Smith was the new CEO, though former CEO Steve Bennett had nearly tripled Intuit revenue and quadrupled earnings in eight years.[7]

On September 22, 2014, Intuit announced the release of QuickBooks 2015 with features that users have been requesting from the past versions. Improved income tracker, pinned notes, improved registration process and insights on homepage are some of the general changes for all versions of QuickBooks 2015.[8]

In September 2015, Intuit released QuickBooks 2016 that contains several improvements to the existing ones and new features such as batch transaction, bill tracking, continuous feed label printer support, batch delete/void transactions etc.[9]

In September 2016, Intuit released QuickBooks 2017 with several improvements like automated reports, smart search and improved viewing of report filters among other things.[10]

International versions[edit]

Versions of this product are available in many different markets. Intuit's Canadian, British and Australian divisions offer versions of QuickBooks that support the unique tax calculation needs of each region, such as Canada's GST, HST or PST sales tax, European VAT for the United Kingdom edition and Australia's GST[11] sales tax. The QuickBooks UK edition also includes support for Irish and South African VAT.

The Mac (OSX) version is available only in the United States.


Intuit has integrated several web-based features into QuickBooks, including remote access capabilities, remote payroll assistance and outsourcing, electronic payment functions, online banking and reconciliation, mapping features through integration with Google Maps, marketing options through Google, and improved e-mail functionality through Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. For the 2008 version, the company has also added import from Excel spreadsheets, additional employee time tracking options, pre-authorization of electronic funds and new Help functions. In June 2007, Intuit announced that QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions would run on Linux servers, whereas previously it required a Windows server to run.[12]

QuickBooks Online[edit]

Intuit also offers a cloud service called QuickBooks Online (QBO). The user pays a monthly subscription fee rather than an upfront fee and accesses the software exclusively through a secure logon via a Web browser. Intuit provides patches, and regularly upgrades the software automatically.

As of May 2014, QuickBooks Online had the most subscribers for an online accounting platform, with 624,000 subscribers.[13] compared to Xero, which reported 284,000 customers as of July, 2014.[14]

The cloud version is a distinct product from the desktop version of QuickBooks, and has many features that work differently than they do in desktop versions.[15]

In 2013, Intuit announced that it had rebuilt QuickBooks Online "from the ground up" with a platform that allows third parties to create small business applications and gives customers the ability to customize the online version of QuickBooks.[16]

QuickBooks Online is supported on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10, Safari 6.1, and also accessible via Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS 7.[17][18] One may also access QuickBooks Online via an iPhone, a BlackBerry, and an Android web app.[19][20]

In 2011, Intuit introduced a UK-specific version of QuickBooks Online to address the specific VAT and European tax system. There are also versions customized for the Canadian, Indian, and Australian markets, as well as a global version that can be customized by the user.[21]

QuickBooks Point of Sale[edit]

QuickBooks Point of Sale is software that replaces a retailer's cash register, tracks its inventory, sales, and customer information, and provides reports for managing its business and serving its customers.

Add-on programs[edit]

Through the Solutions Marketplace, Intuit encouraged third-party software developers to create programs that fill niche areas for specific industries and integrate with QuickBooks. The Intuit Developer Network provides marketing and technical resources, including software development kits (SDKs) for EDI.

Intuit's Lacerte and ProLine tax preparation software for professional accountants who prepare tax returns for a living integrates with QuickBooks in this way. Microsoft Office also integrates with QuickBooks.

Compared to other versions of QuickBooks, fewer third-party add-ons integrate with QuickBooks Online Edition. Although recently, seamless QuickBooks integration is only offered by a handful of vendors.

In addition to add-on products and an online edition, Intuit released a Commercial Hosting Program, allowing commercial service providers to offer hosted versions of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. The QuickBooks Commercial Hosting Program allows the commercial service providers to offer rental licensing for the Pro and Premier QuickBooks editions. Hosting allows businesses to use all features of the desktop version of QuickBooks as an Internet-accessed service.[22]


The 1999 version of QuickBooks forced users to pay an additional fee for payroll table updates.[23] The 2000 version of QuickBooks tried to force users to pay an additional fee for payroll tax updates for each company file. After a boycott, this fee was changed to one charge per copy of QuickBooks.[24]

In April 2006, Intuit disabled functionality of add-on services for QuickBooks 2003 in the areas of Bill Pay, Credit Card Download, Do-It-Yourself Payroll, Employee Organizer, Merchant Service, Online Banking, Online Billing, and Support Plans and Services. Since then, Intuit has disabled equivalent functions for all QuickBooks versions approximately 30 months after it has stopped selling them.[25]

On 15 December 2007, the company released a version of its automatic updater for OS X with a serious program error. The company fixed the updater on 17 December, but by then it had caused substantial data loss for a number of users.[26][27]

QuickBooks Online suffered an extended outage on February 2, 2009,[28] and again due to power failures on June 16–17, 2010. Many customers complained on the company's forum, and threatened to leave the service for a competitor such as Sage.[29] Brad Smith, Intuit's CEO, apologized for the series of outages, totaling around 60 hours, which affected most Intuit online products and tech support.[30] A later July 14 outage resulted in a second Intuit CEO apology,[31] which referred to Intuit's "new online products", "designed for 24/7 availability", and to "aggressively migrating" to two new data centers.

A QuickBooks 2009 online banking module had major problems, which resulted in hundreds of comments in several threads on the Intuit Community discussion forum.[32][33][34] The QuickBooks product manager used these as an official thread to discuss problems, which were resolved in March 2009.[35]

As of November 2014, users of QuickBooks for OSX have reported compatibility issues with Apple's new operating system, OS X Yosemite.[36]


QuickBooks were the official kit sponsor for Premier League club West Bromwich Albion for the 2014–15 Premier League season in the United Kingdom.[37] They were also the official kit sponsor for Aston Villa for the 2015–16 Premier League and 2016–17 EFL Championship seasons, replacing Dafabet.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Elsa Wenzel. "QuickBooks 2008 Pro Specs". CNET. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  2. ^ Marks, Gene (2014-01-06). "Why Your Company May Dump QuickBooks This Year". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-04-06. 
  3. ^ "USA TODAY Education - Careers TODAY". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  4. ^ "Nonprofit accounting software from QuickBooks". Quickbooks.intuit.com. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  5. ^ "How To Face Off Against Microsoft". Businessweek. 2005-09-04. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  6. ^ "Intuit Hits 50,000-member Milestone With QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program". Intuit.com (Press release). 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Intuit Announces CEO Succession - Brad Smith". Intuit.com (Press release). 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  8. ^ "Intuit Releases QuickBooks 2015 – What You Need To Know?". Ace Cloud Hosting. 2014-09-12. 
  9. ^ "Intuit Releases QuickBooks Accountant Desktop 2016". Accounting Today. 
  10. ^ "QuickBooks 2017 Has Arrived! Here Is What to Expect - Accountex Report". Accountex Report. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  11. ^ Finis, Lauretta. "Setting up GST in QuickBooks Online". Intuit QuickBooks Australia. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Intuit Press Release - Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Embraces Linux". Intuit.com. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  13. ^ http://investors.intuit.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2014/Intuit-Reports-Third-quarter-Results-Revenue-Grows-14-Percent-Led-by-Cloud-Solutions/default.aspx
  14. ^ https://www.xero.com/media/3261697/ceos-presentation-2014-annual-meeting.pdf
  15. ^ "Accounting Software for Small Business - Intuit QuickBooks". Oe.quickbooks.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  16. ^ "Intuit Launches the Completely New QuickBooks Online". Intuit. September 23, 2013.
  17. ^ "QuickBooks Online — Smarter Tools. Better Business". quickbooks.intuit.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  18. ^ http://help.quickbooks.intuit.com/kb/WKlFnQ/supported-browsers
  19. ^ "QuickBooks Comes To iPhone, BlackBerry - Personal Tech - Smart Phones". Informationweek.com. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  20. ^ "Calling all Android users! | QuickBooks Online Blog". Blog.quickbooksonline.com. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  21. ^ Howlett, Den. "Intuit Q3 FY2016 provides important insights about SMBs and the cloud". Diginomica. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  22. ^ "Intuit Hosting Program". 
  23. ^ Foster, Ed. "Twist in Intuit's crippleware techniques doubles the cost of its tax-table service". Infoworld. Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  24. ^ Livingston, Brian (2002-01-12). "Intuit products "phone home" more often than you may like". CNET. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  25. ^ "QuickBooks Sunset Policy". Support.quickbooks.intuit.com. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  26. ^ Turner, Daniel Drew. QuickBooks Update Dropping Data for Mac Users, eWeek, Dec 18, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  27. ^ Warren, Christina. QuickBooks users be cautious of recent update, TUAW, Dec 16, 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
  28. ^ Needleman, Rafe (2009-02-03). "QuickBooks Online goes offline for several hours | Webware - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  29. ^ System problems for Intuit give Sage a boost, The Times, London, June 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-18
  30. ^ "A letter from the CEO | QuickBooks Online Blog". Blog.quickbooksonline.com. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  31. ^ ""Effort is underway…" A letter from the Intuit CEO | QuickBooks Online Blog". Blog.quickbooksonline.com. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  32. ^ [1] Archived February 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ [2] Archived February 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ [3] Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ "How to Deal With QuickBooks 2009 Online Banking - Practical QuickBooks : Practical QuickBooks". Qbblog.ccrsoftware.info. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  36. ^ ""Intuit community" Is an update to QuickBooks Mac 2014 Planned for Yosemite compatibility?". 
  37. ^ "West Bromwich Albion - Historic Football Kits". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  38. ^ "Aston Villa - Historical Football Kits". historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2018. 

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