The new QuickBooks® Desktop 2021 editions have new and improved features to help get paid faster and secure data more effectively, making the software work better than ever. Many of the improvements center on automation and workflow, enabling users to get more done in less time and setting up more activities to be automatic. Other improvements center on data and information access, allowing to get granular with setting user permissions and access to certain types of information, even down to the data record.

As in previous years, Intuit® has delivered several enhancements to existing functionality in QuickBooks desktop, especially in the Enterprise edition and where inventory is involved. Here is a brief summary that highlights the main changes or additions introduced with QuickBooks 2021 editions.

Improved bank feeds

Review bank transactions and match them to existing ones in your books, or quickly add new transactions using the advanced bank feeds capability. You can automatically categorize or batch-edit bank transactions by payees, accounts, and classes. This can dramatically reduce the time and complexity of reconciling entered transactions with the items the bank processes.

Automated payment reminders and statements

Send statements automatically to customers, with each statement tailored to the customer’s needs or preferences. Set automatic reminders for customers when their invoices are due and schedule statements for your customers to let them know when they have invoices to pay. Timely communications is more likely to create a good customer experience. It also reduces the time required to communicate individually with customers, making Accounts Receivable management and collection activities much more efficient.

Customized payment receipts

Want to send certain customers a customized message on their receipts? You can now use custom templates for forms like invoices, sales receipts, estimates, statements, and purchase orders so each form has the right look and information. Then use the new customer groups capability to get the right form for the right customer every time.

PDF preview

It is always a good idea to preview a document before you send it via email, but that has not always been a convenient thing to do in QuickBooks. Now, QuickBooks lets you automatically preview attachments before emailing to customers. You can even preview multiple attachments at once without having to manually open each one outside of QuickBooks, saving huge time and effort, and smoothing out a previously clunky workflow.

Receipt management

Receipt management in QuickBooks Desktop is a new feature that makes entering expense receipts easier and faster. You can give users access to upload expense receipts to QuickBooks using the mobile app or directly from the computer. Automate creating categorized receipt expense entries using the QuickBooks Desktop Mobile App.

Alternative vendor reports

Key inventory reports can now include alternate vendor information, improving visibility into vendor information on inventory stock status by item, inventory valuation summary, and other reports. Linking to alternate vendors via these reports streamlines the process of reordering from alternate vendors.

Landed costs

Gain more control and flexibility over how you calculate and share fully-landed inventory costs. QuickBooks Enterprise 21.0 has added flexibility in setting up landed cost accounts as “COGS” (Cost of Goods sold) or “Other current assets,” and can accurately calculate landed cost for old item bills from closed accounting periods. You can also print bills with or without landed cost, allowing you to better control the information you present.

Add prices to barcode labels

Wouldn’t it be great if you could print barcode labels with pricing information as well as the item name and description? Now, you can! Barcode labels help you accurately identify and manage inventory, providing the information most often needed by employees and customers.

Create customer groups

Improve customer communication with rule-based customer groups based on fields such as customer type, location, or balance. Creating customer groups allows you to find all customers that match certain criteria. Then, you can create automated statements, send payment reminders, or create mailing lists for specific groups of customers. In QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, you can even use customer groups to define permissions and access at customer and vendor group level (more on that next!)

Data level permission

Data level permissions is a new feature in QuickBooks Enterprise 21.0 that gives you better control when restricting access for users and roles. You can create users and roles with access permissions all the way down to the record level for customers and vendors. With data level permissions you can improve security and confidentiality of information by assigning users access only to the specific data, transactions and reports that they are responsible for. Users will only be able view, edit, or delete specific customers, vendors, or data with the permissions you assign to them.
Editor’s note: Without a doubt, this is our favorite new feature in QuickBooks Enterprise this year. Full disclosure, our firm was the driving force behind this new feature, as we spent several years working with QuickBooks product managers building it!

QuickBooks Desktop software continues to be the cornerstone of small and midsized business accounting. From very small business to the growing enterprise, QuickBooks delivers the functionality that every company needs to manage their inflows and outflows, customers and vendors, and all banking activities. Starting with the early 1999 version to the current 2021 release, Intuit has continued to add capability and enhance features and usability to keep QuickBooks as the most popular finance and operations product on the market.

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