Taking Counter-Intuit(ive) to a Whole New Level

My wife is the treasurer of a local not for profit which has used one form or another of QuickBooks for many years. Awhile ago, when for various reasons they needed remote access to their accounting information, I migrated them over to QuickBooks Online.

Based on several years worth of use by myself, and talking to numerous other users, I’ve come to two interesting conclusions:

  • QuickBooks Online is, by far, the worst designed, worst implemented and worst documented piece of software I’ve used in at least the last decade, if not longer; and,
  • It’s amazing popular.

It’s rare, thank Ghu, for those two things to go together. Normally, when you produce crap people learn about it and stop using it. Forcing you to either evolve it to be non-crap or out of business. Why that hasn’t happened in Intuit’s case with QuickBooks Online I do not know.

Maybe they have the worlds best marketing department. They sure don’t have any decent, let alone good, software engineers.

When something fails you may or may not get any kind of error message. When I was trying to do a restore-from-backup the process flagged two errors, both minor, and offered one suggestion/reminder. While simultaneously failing to restore 159 bank deposits, totaling over $750,000, with nary a peep. It did manage to restore 848 payments. Maybe Intuit dislikes receiving money?

No, that can’t be. Because if/when you get a private message via the community forum to contact a “special” level of Intuit support they’ll be surprisingly helpful…and offer to fix your problem for the low, low price of a cool few thousand dollars.

Hey, maybe Intuit has stumbled upon an interesting business strategy: build an initial product that’s good enough to develop a strong market presence. And then gradually stop maintaining it, causing it to get crappier and crappier…and use that as the start of a new consulting business!

Make more by investing less!

What’s not to like? Well, unless you’re a customer.

Just my opinion, of course.

2 thoughts on “Taking Counter-Intuit(ive) to a Whole New Level”

  1. Mark, thanks for this! I migrated the non-profit I manage to QBO a few years ago. I 100% agree that it is awful in all dimensions, usability being high among them.

    But the major caveat is what you compare to. In my example, when I walked into my (volunteer) job, the books were being kept on an old version of QuickBooks, on a dusty computer in the corner that was running Windows 95(!), had no security at all, and could be dialed into via some kind of remote control software that was painfully slow. No backups whatsoever. This was in 2017.

    So…. At least I could say after migrating that the data was better protected than that and the access was usable enough (compared to weirdo remote control) that volunteers could actually access it in a way that it was going to be used. I suspect that is the bar for a lot of small organizations.

    Sometimes the victories are measured by comparing where we start from…

    (PS – for further (dysfunctional) fun, try using their bill.com integration to pay bills from within QBO…)

  2. Good to hear from you, Jon! And congratulations, you are the first commentator on this site! 🙂

    I agree that better is always relative. And I can imagine things, like the situation you recounted, where QBO is, in fact, better…because the baseline is so low.

    It’d have to be pretty low, though :).

    My views are biased by the fact I spend way too much time writing software…and publish almost none of it. Both because I’m always thinking of better ways to do things I’ve already done (and would hate to have people rely on something I wrote only to have it suddenly go in a different direction vis a vis API calls) and because it’s never quite good enough.

    I’ve gotten over that last bit, to some extent, by reminding myself “so long as I’m not charging for the software I write it’s probably at least worth what people are paying for it.” 🙂

    But then I get really, really mad at companies like Intuit. Which charge beaucoup bucks…and fail to deliver, IMHO, a quality product.

    If you have a moment check out one of my other sites, https://www.jumpforjoysoftware.com.

    Take care!

    – Mark

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