As you evaluate your decision between QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Pro/Premier software, keep in mind that the Enterprise version of QuickBooks provides a lot more features and benefits that may help cost-justify the purchase very quickly. Here are some of the key differences:
* With QuickBooks Enterprise, you receive a 12 month subscription for a 10 gigabyte (GB) online data backup vault at no extra cost. This data backup vault allows you to backup not just your critical QuickBooks data file, but also your spreadsheets, text documents, graphics, and virtually any other digital file. QuickBooks Pro and Premier do not include this.
* With QuickBooks Enterprise, you receive free technical support directly from the Enterprise support team for a full 12 months at no extra cost. With QuickBooks Pro and Premier, you receive 30 days of tech support directly from Intuit at no extra cost.
* With QuickBooks Enterprise, you receive a full set of training CDs on the software at no extra cost. These are not available with the purchase of QuickBooks Pro or Premier.
* With QuickBooks Enterprise, you receive one free license/seat for each of their bundled applications - Warehouse ES, Sales Management ES, Field Service ES, and Business Intelligence ES. These applications are built in to QuickBooks Enterprise to help your business solve specific issues (such as lot tracking of inventory, etc.)
* QuickBooks Enterprise can now have up to 30 users in the company data file at the same time (the 2009 release of Enterprise added 25 and 30 user licensing options). No matter how many licenses of QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier you purchase, you will be limited to 5 users in the company data file at the same time. This can be a significant limitation for growing businesses.
* QuickBooks Enterprise is designed to handle a much larger data file size. In general terms, QuickBooks Pro and Premier data files tend to really slow down and potentially have other issues and problems with them if they get into the 150 - 200 megabyte size range. QuickBooks Enterprise is much more scalable and can deal with data file sizes approaching 1 gigabyte (4-6 times those of QuickBooks Pro/Premier). This could be a huge advantage for your business - if you "hit the limit" in the QuickBooks Pro/Premier data file size, you have to go through an archival process that makes it harder to access historical data. That problem goes away with QuickBooks Enterprise.
* QuickBooks Enterprise supports the use of Windows Terminal Services for remote connectivity from other business locations. If you have QuickBooks users in multiple locations, Enterprise can be a real asset for you. QuickBooks Pro and Premier do not work with Windows Terminal Services and are not supported by QuickBooks tech support in this area either.
* QuickBooks Enterprise has a much more detailed and richer set of user security tools and permissions than QuickBooks Pro/Premier. These tools help limit the users of QuickBooks much more effectively in QuickBooks Enterprise.
Have other questions on the differences between QuickBooks Enterprise and the other versions? Contact me for more insight.