QuickBooks Student trial for Mac

Mac users who want to (or have to) use Intuit’s QuickBooks have plenty of choices—we can run the Mac, Windows, or Web app version. One of those options probably pops out as an obvious choice, but as I recently discovered, the least-obvious solution is sometimes the best one.

My wife and I are both professional writers. A few months ago, on the advice of our accountant, we reorganized our small business as a corporation. We agreed to endure a considerable amount of extra paperwork in exchange for significant financial and legal benefits.

Accountants love QuickBooks (even if authors don’t)

Our accountant all but insisted that we use QuickBooks so that she could easily view and update our financial records. However, I don’t like that the Mac versions of both QuickBooks and Quicken have for years lagged behind the Windows versions, and I find that expensive annual updates rarely add crucial features. Recently, I also learned about the millions Intuit spent lobbying to keep tax returns complicated. Despite my misgivings, I agreed to use QuickBooks to keep my accountant happy.

Initially, I assumed I’d buy the Mac version of QuickBooks 2016, but when I read Macworld’s review, I discovered that the app’s data files aren’t cross-platform compatible. So if I wanted to share data with my Windows-using accountant, I’d have to back up my data in QuickBooks for Windows format and send her that file, which she could then “restore.” Once she finished with the file, she would send it back to me and I could reimport it. But in the meantime I wouldn’t be able to make any changes to my company’s data, because unlike QuickBooks for Windows, QuickBooks for Mac has no way to merge an accountant’s changes into an existing file. Grrrr.

Well, I thought, I’ll just buy the Windows version. After all, I have Windows 7 running on my Mac thanks to VMware Fusion. But before I clicked the Buy button, I saw the fine print about licensing, which changed my mind.

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