QuickBooks + Microsoft = Recipe for Frustration

by Charles Cherry

We’ve been using MS Office Accounting to keep our books. It seems that most accountants around here want to use QuickBooks, so I finally gave in and bought a copy. Besides, I wasn’t crazy about Office Accounting – it is a resource hog, and it is a pain to keep up to date. I was hoping QuickBooks would be better, seeing as it has been around for 20 plus years now. The main thing I was worried about was the data conversion.

I did a quick Google search and found out that QB has a data conversion utility which will “automatically convert your data from Office Accounting to QuickBooks.” Sounds too good to be true, I know.

So, I installed QB Premier on the computer we use for accounting. No problems yet.

Next, I downloaded and installed the conversion utility. No problems yet.

Then, I tried actually running the conversion utility.

The very first thing I see is an error message stating that the conversion utility had a problem, and to call a 1-800 number to “complete the conversion process.” Right.

Strike One.

So I call the number, and sit on hold for 15 minutes.

Strike Two.

A person finally answers, and it is an outsourced helpdesk in India.

Strike Three.

By now I am starting to get irritated, because the tech keeps wanting me to give him my phone number, address, and all that. I just want my problem solved, not to be added to yet another mailing list, thank you.

He finally tells me to try running the utility on a different computer. Fine. I’ll try that. Goodbye.

The conversion utility has to have something to convert, I reason, so I go to the accounting computer, detach the data files from Office Accounting, copy them out to a network drive, go to the second computer, and copy the data files from the network drive into a new folder.

Next, I download, install, and run the conversion utility.

Full Stop. You have to have QuickBooks installed to run the conversion utility. Doh!

Man, these guys don’t want to make it easy, do they?

So I go get the QuickBooks disks, install them on this computer that we never plan on using for accounting, just so I can run the conversion. Ok, done.

I start up the conversion utility again. Hey, at least it runs this time! It asks me for the folder where the files are located.

I navigate to the folder, and click Next. I hold my breath. And cross my fingers.

Nothing happens.

Nothing happens.

Pop! The conversion program just disappears! No error message, no “Thank you, sir, but we could not convert your files.” Nothing. Nada. Nilch.

OK, maybe it just hit a snag. I’ll try it again.

Same story, different attitude. Now it’s worse.

These guys at Quicken really want me to trust our accounting data to them, when their conversion utility acts like this? It doesn’t really inspire confidence, you know.

I wonder if I can still get my money back for the QuickBooks software?