Understanding the Differences Between QuickBooks Upgrades and QuickBooks Updates
I'd like to take a moment and clear up the confusion that exists when discussing QuickBooks upgrades versus QuickBooks updates.
These are the software downloads that are "pushed" out by QuickBooks periodically to fix known problems in the software or to deal with other issues and concerns within QuickBooks. In some cases, these updates also add new functionality to QuickBooks (example - the updates for QuickBooks 2010 have added functionality that was not in the initial release of 2010), but generally, new functionality is added with a QuickBooks upgrade (see discussion below).
If you see an alert on your screen when you start QuickBooks about installing an update, it is telling you that there are some fixes to the software that QuickBooks needs to install. My recommendation is to choose "Install Now" and download these updates as quickly as possible on all computers that are running QuickBooks.The benefit to you is that you then have the most updated version of the software running in your business.
The R Factor:
When any version of QuickBooks is first released, it is considered Release 1, or "R1" for short. Each successive update to that version of QuickBooks that is released increases the "R" value. You can always quickly tell what Release or "R" you are on with your version of QuickBooks by tapping the F2 key on your keyboard.
To ensure that you are completely updated to the latest version of QuickBooks updates, simply click on Help > Update QuickBooks > Update Now. Let the download complete, and then restart QuickBooks. (NOTE: If doing this in a networked environment, plan these updates (especially for your server) for off-working hours to minimize disruption and hassles).
An upgrade in QuickBooks is simply the new version/year of QuickBooks that is released. For example, a QuickBooks upgrade is moving from QuickBooks Pro 2007 to QuickBooks Pro 2010. Or moving from QuickBooks Premier 2008 to QuickBooks Premier 2010. Note that the key variable here is the YEAR of the product, not the "R" factor as mentioned in the QuickBooks update information above. Another example of a QuickBooks upgrade would be a move from QuickBooks Pro 2008 to QuickBooks Enterprise 2010.
In the past, QuickBooks has released a new version of their software each fall, sometime between September and November. If history holds true, we should expect the QuickBooks 2011 upgrade to be available in the fall of 2010. Now, if they would only give us a sneak peek into what new features are going to be available in QuickBooks 2011!