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A better QuickBooks replacement? ZarMoney
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Posted 2/17/2023 09:32 (#10099131 - in reply to #10098780)
Subject: RE: A better QuickBooks replacement? ZarMoney

No, and no.

If you're referring to ManagePLUS, Intuit's development interface for getting access to data from QuickBooks Online is very different from the interface for the desktop editions.--especially in terms of security steps required for getting access to data. The market for ManagePLUS has always been a bit thin--not many QB users needed that kind of tool. (Interestingly, much of our ManagePLUS sales have been to nonprofits. The tax law which applies to them requires that they allocate overhead expenses among the various programs they administer--such as anti-addiction programs, nutrition education, etc.--based on staff hours devoted to each program, or square feet of building space devoted to each program.) We decided not to do the rewrite which moving to QuickBooks Online would have required.

If you're referring to FormCalc SST--our QB add-on which does live calculations on invoices, sales receipts, etc.--we did go to the (significant!) development effort necessary to create a version which works in Web browsers, hoping we could market it to QuickBooks Online and Xero users, mostly. We called it FullSpeed bit withdrew it from the market after about a year.

There were three problems with it:

(1) FullSpeed had limited value in QuickBooks Online and Xero because, unlike the QB desktop editions, neither allows inserting additional columns in their sales forms. So there wasn't much data available on the form to use in calculations: you can't calculate the shipping weight for an invoice if the unit weight of each Item is not available for multiplying by the Quantity for that Item. In other words, few QBO or Xero users would have needed it, compared to QB desktop users.

For example, we have a fertilizer dealer in California that uses FormCalc SST for bunches of calculations. Her invoices have 20 or so custom field columns containing things like N, P, K analysis of each Item (each fertilizer material), density (lbs./gallon), etc. From that data she calculates fertilizer mix/loading sheets, cost of each material in the mix, and even a label sheet for each load that's required by the CA Dept. of Agriculture. NONE of this would be possible without being able to have a bunch of custom fields to her invoices.

(2) FormCalc SST--and therefore FullSpeed--are Windows applications, which use very Windows-specific API calls and internal facilities such as the UI Automation interface to get access to live data on QB forms. But because you can access QBO or Xero from a Linux or Apple computer, or an Android or Apple tablet or phone, you wouldn't have the calculation features available in those situations, because those systems don't run on the Windows OS.

(2) The BIG problem, was that cloud based accounting systems operate within Web browsers...a LOT of different Web browsers, all of which behave a little bit differently. Unlike pure Windows applications, the timing of when data is accessible, cursor movement oddities, etc., in a Web browser's user interface are unreliable--things which FullSpeed had to be able to depend on. Then too, there's the fact that many people let their browser auto-update its software. So what worked last week in Chrome might not work this week in Chrome, though it might still work in Vivaldi or FireFox. FullSpeed became a tech. support nightmare, and we couldn't feel good about selling a product which many people would be depending on but which we could not guarantee would be reliable. So we pulled the plug on it.
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