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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward Introduction
This is a straightforward introduction to keeping your account. The simplestart version is the next step up from paper acocunts and would ideally be suited to the small home business. Perhaps one starting out. If you have employee's or indeed need a more advanced stock control function I would suggest looking at the pro version or higher but this is indeed an excellent...
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by Andrew

versus
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intuitive, but missing the ability to email invoices
My wife is a self-employed pet-carer. Until now, she has been using Excel to manager her accounts, and Word to print her invoices, which is more time-consuming than it ought to be. Quickbooks is designed to make the tasks of a very small business much easier. SimpleStart 2012 theoretically has everything she needs to run her business, but it also has some needlessly...
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by Peter


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intuitive, but missing the ability to email invoices, 4 Dec 2011
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My wife is a self-employed pet-carer. Until now, she has been using Excel to manager her accounts, and Word to print her invoices, which is more time-consuming than it ought to be. Quickbooks is designed to make the tasks of a very small business much easier. SimpleStart 2012 theoretically has everything she needs to run her business, but it also has some needlessly annoying features, and the ability to create quotes and to email invoices are either absent or don't work.

Installation is easy, but lengthy, and you can virtually go away and make a cup of tea while Quickbook starts up on a modest office computer. Thankfully, it runs quite quickly once it has started up. You need to type in some basic company information when you start it up for the first time, but you can go back and edit this later if you need to.

The Home screen is a flowchart, showing money coming in on the left, your business in the middle, and money going out on the right. Money coming in consists of sales receipts (where the customer paid at the time of sale) and invoices/receive payments for work you invoice in arrears. Both flows can turn into "Deposits" if you pay them into your bank account. There's an option to accept credit cards: this requires that you sign up with RBS WorldPay, which incurs a monthly fee and a per-transaction payment.

The ability to customise invoices is very useful, and it's extremely flexible. The default invoice has Item, Quantity, Rate and Amount on each line, but my wife wanted to list a date for each item, and to hide the quentity (which for her is always 1). It was quite easy to achieve this using the "Customise" dropdown. Usefully, you don't need to create customers or products in advance: you can create them both "on the fly" as you type in an invoice. This is just as well, because there's no way to import customer or product information from Excel.

You can print invoices. Theoretically, you can also email them as PDFs; however, there doesn't appear to be a way to set Quickbooks up to use your email client. When you first try to email an invoice, you get taken to a preferences page that has no information about how to set up email (the online help shows a completely different version of the Preferences screen).

On the "money out" side, you can write cheques, record expenses or issue refunds. In each case, you can print cheques if you buy Quickbooks cheques (optional stationery). I'm not entirely ssure why you need a separate "write cheques" option - presumably expenses and refunds together cover all options? If you issue a refund, you can either record it as paid, offset it against an invoice or hold it for later payment. If you're recording deposits and cheque payments accurately, you'll also be able to show your current bank balance.

There's no ability to manage stock or pay any employees; however, there are icons on the Home screen for both. If you click on them, you are prompted to upgrade to Quickbooks Pro: an upselling opportunity for the software company.

If the package could email invoices as advertised, this package would be ideal for a self-employed person. If you don't have the need to email invoices, it could save you a lot of valuable time.

Note: I couldn't find how to create estimates until someone from Intuit helped me out. That's because I had clicked the wrong option when I first started the program: if you say you don't create estimates then the "Estimates" icon vanishes from the Home screen. You can turn it back on through the File => Preferences dialogue, and the icon magically reappears.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward Introduction, 8 Jan 2012
By 
Andrew "impulsive gadget buyer" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a straightforward introduction to keeping your account. The simplestart version is the next step up from paper acocunts and would ideally be suited to the small home business. Perhaps one starting out. If you have employee's or indeed need a more advanced stock control function I would suggest looking at the pro version or higher but this is indeed an excellent starter package with which to setup shop!

It is easy to install and use and Intuit have excellent online support. I found no negative impact on ym system but I am running an overclocked i5 with 8gb and an ssd for an os drive. I also like that Nathan from Intuit has taken the time to respond to and offer support to any issues highlighted in the reviews.

All in all a nice introduction to book keeping, though I feel it would all too easily be outgrown and maybe the pro version is perhaps best suited to anyone other than the lone home business user?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal, 25 Nov 2011
By 
Sheila Camp "Sheila" (Durham) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you are starting out in business this product is ideal. It's not sophisticated and I got started pretty quickly and found the set up easy to use - just follow the guide. There is also a straightforward "how to" with the CD.

Do you need to send quotes and invoices via email on a PDF attachment? Yes - then this is ideal for you. I've only used if for invoicing. Nothing else, but I can't wait to use the SimpleStart 2012 Pro.

If there has to be a down side, it's a one licence product but you can buy more licences if you need to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, simple start? Not quite so simple., 15 Feb 2012
By 
Dinah85 "Dinah93" (Cleveland,UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The home accounting for small business market is a gap I'm surprised Microsoft haven't really bothered trying to fill. The Excel/word combination used by most self employed people is at best clunky and time consuming and at worst an error waiting to happen. So I was delighted to be able to give this a go, however I didn't find it went quite as smoothly as hoped. Overall the software is infinitely better than trying to fit excel to my needs, but it had some drawbacks.

The installation process while straight forward was slow, as is the start up process. It has good basic functions for income and outgoings but working out how to generate invoices was convoluted. Once I got past this I noticed the main weaknesses of the software are highlighted by the developers. Things like payroll and stock management have icons on the homepage but when you click them you are directed to a "buy Quick Books Pro" page. It's a bit of a pet hate of mine to always feel like you're being pushed into buying functions you don't need - I would rather these icons weren't there at all.

What it does, it does well but the finish is a bit rushed and it really does encourage users to upgrade to the pro option. The long start up time and the regular trips to the upgrade page leave you sorely tempted to get the next step up. So all in all a good starter but you'll save yourself a headache by going with the pro edition from the start if you think you're ever going to be tempted by the extra functions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful business tool, 16 Jan 2012
By 
George Rodger - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A simple and straightforward product for small businesses - it's certainly what I'd call 'beginner's level', and if you're doing more than just being a one-person operation, with little stock needs etc., you might need to look at a higher-level product.

It's easy to install, simple to use, and really helps to collate money flow information in easy to use and understand formats.

One thing I'm surprised at though, is that there's no way to email invoices that I can see - you can print them, but further than that...

Still, a very good product for the price, and a great starter item.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bernard Matthews would be proud, 14 Dec 2011
By 
Victor Meldrew Mk2 "stefan morawiec" (Dorset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As we enter into the Christmas season, I feel that I am using a product produced by Intuit, but designed to be a Turkey.

The product is easy to install on Windows XP and I assume others and does have a set on on board tutorials: beware though you have to input every single piece of text into the tutorial forms exactly or it does not allow you to continue. Onto the programme itself, well in a word, "slow". It simply crawls along and just when you think that it has speeded up, it crashes. I have really persevered with this piece of software, but feel that it really is quite poor and having looked at the "pro" programme and the positive feedback that that product receives, perhaps the prudent home bookeeper should spend a little more and go 'pro': in my opinion this programme is not worth purchasing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid !, 19 Jan 2012
By 
fivestarfrankie (chippenham, wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am 57 and first worked in Accountancy at 17 so I guess 40 years qualifies me to judge this. It is dreadful. It makes simple things difficult and difficult things incomprehensible. I'm not a huge fan of Sage but trust me their products are at least a hundred times better than this. As young people seem to say: FAIL !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012 - two misnomers, correct year!, 17 Feb 2012
By 
A. J. Thorne "Created4Life" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
I started a new business about five months ago. Although a sole trader and unlikely to be VAT registered in the foreseeable future, from previous experience I knew that I should have my book-keeping good from the start. I asked around and researched for advice via the Internet and forums for a good accounting package or spreadsheet to use. I also asked my newly appointed accountant for his advice. As he was using Quickbooks himself, he suggested that I do the same, pointing out that end-of-year stuff would be much easier. Back home, further investigation, including asking the guys at Intuit which version to purchase, assured me that SimpleStart 2012 would be ideal. How wrong that was! Simple, straightforward tasks are made complicated. Intuit is a misnomer: QuickBooks SimpleStart is NOT intuitive! It is confusing and the terms it uses are misleading. I have wasted many hours of valuable time trying to understand what's going on and unravelling the mistakes that I have made because the 'guidance' was unhelpful. Repeated unnecessary data entry seems to be required to get the program to operate. Is this because it's a cut down version? It doesn't perform tasks in the way you'd expect and sometimes it gets things quite wrong, such as emailing an invoice without the amount that had already been paid by the customer (the on-screen preview had included the credit!). I tried the free helpline during the first 30 days. Oh dear. Unfortunately the man at the other end of the phone wasn't able to listen nor understand the questions I put to him. A half hour conversation gained nothing. I then contacted Intuit UK again and spoke to the man who had assured me that SimpleStart would be ideal for me. He confessed to not understanding any technical aspect of the program and would therefore ask a colleague (from the UK) to ring back that day. He didn't. Nor the following day. I rang again and was put through to the colleague. He claimed that he had indeed phoned and left a message. Hmm, I don't have a message facility and I would have logged a missed call. Back to the review of the program: For some weeks now I have concluded that the inadequate SimpleStart version is a business ploy by Intuit to get you to upgrade to the much more expensive Pro version. Of course, once you've entered key data such as customer records you are disinclined to start from scratch with a new package. So you are tempted to think that the Pro version will solve the problems. However I am unwilling to pay out another 100 or so. Frankly I'm not sure what to do now. I'd like to ditch QuickBooks altogether. Perhaps I'll write my own spreadsheet or try another accounting package. I'm sorry if I appear disgruntled but this is not the simple start for which I was hoping!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and efficient, 14 Dec 2011
By 
Adamski (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a useful introduction to business accounting and a significant step-up from using Excel and a lever arch file!
It is no substitute for the 'pro' version if you are a small business though. I would recommend this entry-level product for those who run a simple business from home, do not need stocktaking capabilities and don't employ any staff. If any of these basic requirements are required then you will find them and a whole host of other features in the 'pro' version. For what it does though, this product is highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lot For Your Money - But Make Sure It's The Right Package For You, 18 Mar 2012
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The clue to this rather neat and handy little accounts package is in the wording supplied by the publisher; i.e. SIMPLE START BASIC TIME SAVING TOOLS. It is for people with SMALL businesses - i.e. you won't see the accounting team at IBM all gathered round their monitors using it, and it's EASY to learn and use. In other words, to get the benefit of it you won't need an MBA. If you require anything beyond this then you'll need to shell out for the professional or premier editions.

I mention these rather obvious points because I've read a few critical reviews on here and think some people have unrealistic expectations of it. It enables you to easily keep a check on the financial side of your business and it does allow you to produce useful information in a professional-looking format to promote your business. That in a nutshell is both its remit and what it delivers to you.

Cash goes into your business, QuickBooks tracks who it's coming from, where you're spending it, it allows you to keep an easy eye on bills that fall due and identifies overdue payments from debtors. You can produce smart-looking invoices to send out - with your company's logo prominently displayed. And I'd point out that these look so much more professional than those old photocopied letterheads with figures written in in Biro that we all sometimes receive from tradesmen, or whatever. And although you have to save your PDFs to hard disk prior to e-mailing them, that's surely not a big deal*.

In addition it allows you to produce reports from most of the data that you have input.

It's therefore aimed at the beginner, and to this end the makers also grant you 30 days telephone support to help you over the odd tricky areas you encounter - although I'd point out that the online tutorial is both comprehensive and user-friendly.

I've been using this for a while now - and though it has its limitations, it is a useful, intuitive package that produces excellent results for those on a budget. And no, it DOESN'T come with multiple licenses!

Oh, by the way, if you don't find the package simple to use, Intuit offer you your money back. I DID find it easy to use and so never read what the terms of this offer were.

* If anyone knows a way around this, please let me know!
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QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC)
QuickBooks SimpleStart 2012, 1 User (PC) by Intuit (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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