If you work in one of the industries covered by QuickBooks Premier, you can get additional features unique to your industry. (When you install QuickBooks Premier, you choose the industry version you want to run. If your business is in an industry other than one of the five options, choose General Business.) Some people swear that these customizations are worth every penny, whereas others say the additional features don’t warrant the Premier price. On the QuickBooks website ( http://quickbooks.intuit.com/premier ), you can tour the Premier features to decide for yourself. Or you can purchase QuickBooks Accountant, which can run any QuickBooks edition, from QuickBooks Pro to the gamut of Premier’s industry-specific versions.
Here are the industries that have their own Premier editions:
• The General Business edition has Premier goodies like per-item price levels, sales orders, and so on. It also has sales and expense forecasting, the Inventory Center, more built-in reports than QuickBooks Pro, and a business-plan feature.
• The Contractor edition includes features near and dear to construction contractors’ hearts: job-cost and other contractor-specific reports, the ability to set different billing rates by employee, and tools for managing change orders.
• Manufacturing & Wholesale is targeted at companies that manufacture products. Its chart of accounts and menus are customized for manufacturing and wholesale operations. You can use it to manage inventory assembled from components and to track customer return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) and damaged goods.
• If you run a nonprofit organization, you know that several things work differently in the nonprofit world, as the box on page xxi details. The Nonprofit edition of QuickBooks includes features such as a chart of accounts customized for nonprofits, forms and letters targeted to donors and pledges, info about using the program for nonprofits, and the ability to generate Statement of Functional Expenses 990 forms.
• The Professional Services edition (not to be confused with QuickBooks Pro) is designed for companies that deliver services to their clients. Unique features include project-costing reports, templates for proposals and invoices, billing rates that you can customize by client or employee, and professional service– specific reports and help.
• The Retail edition is customized for retail businesses. It includes specialized menus, reports, forms, and help, as well as a custom chart of accounts. Intuit offers companion products that you can integrate with this edition to support all aspects of your retail operation. For example, QuickBooks’ Point of Sale product tracks sales, customers, and inventory as you ring up purchases, and it shoots that information over to your QuickBooks company file.