mac accounting software filter: Should I buy a PC laptop solely to run Quickbooks?
January 9, 2006 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Should I buy a PC laptop solely to run Quickbooks?

Last spring I switched the last business computer over to a mac. No viruses, no lock-ups, I'm happy except for one thing. There are no workable tax tables for Quickbooks for mac.

I used Quickbooks for PC for over 10 years and despite Intuits questionable business practices I was for the most part happy with the product. On switching to the mac product I assumed I would continue to be a happy customer. That was until I discovered that the 3rd party tax program bundled with QB mac is basically unusable, neither I or my accountant can get it to work consistantly and the web reviews about the product say basically the same thing. Right now I'm paying my accountant about $100 per month to do payroll for me. That's not much money but I'd rather do it myself like I used do.

I've begged Intuit to publish tax tables for the mac like they do for the pc but it's not going to happen in my lifetime. I've considered buying Mind Your Own Business for mac but right now I'm leaning toward buying a cheap laptop just fpr pc quickbooks which I already own. I need to make a decision before the first payday of 2006 which is in a week. I hate the idea of having product dedicated computer. Any ideas?
posted by Xurando to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Why not use Virtual PC? Quickbooks isn't a demanding application, and I bet it'd run adequately when emulated on a Mac. You probably already have a copy of XP lying around, so the cost won't be too much.
posted by killdevil at 3:44 PM on January 9, 2006

Yeah, Virtual PC should work fine for now, and then when the Intel switch is complete you can get Virtual PC for that too.
posted by kindall at 3:46 PM on January 9, 2006

Also, it's widely rumored that the new Intel Macs that Steve Jobs is releasing tomorrow will be able to dual-boot Windows XP natively. So if you need another Mac for any reason, get one of those and use it for Quickbooks on Windows as well.
posted by killdevil at 3:46 PM on January 9, 2006

Err, correct link to Virtual PC is here.
posted by killdevil at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2006

My business uses Quickbooks via VPC, and it works great, though our comptroller uses a real Windows PC since Quickbooks is all she does.
posted by tomierna at 3:57 PM on January 9, 2006

VPC is an option worth considering, certainly.

For my money, though, I'd consider picking up a bargain PC. If you really don't want another machine around, then don't bother. But at over $200 for a copy of VPC... it's not much of a leap to get the real thing. And while you don't foresee any other reason to have a PC, many certainly exist.

I suppose I am answering "yes."
posted by scarabic at 4:05 PM on January 9, 2006

Why would this purchase be a laptop? That probably doubles or triples the cost, and it sounds like this is partly about saving money.
posted by NortonDC at 4:08 PM on January 9, 2006

Oh yeah, it looks like they don't offer Virtual PC without a copy of Windows anymore, so it's not nearly as cheap as I remember. :(
posted by kindall at 4:11 PM on January 9, 2006

The state of mac accounting software is so amazingly poor combined with the less than stellar performance of VPC for real world use that the answer must be: YES.
posted by shagoth at 4:12 PM on January 9, 2006

Response by poster: For a whole host of reasons primarily slowness and lock-ups Vitual PC is not an option. I thought about it but it won't work.
posted by Xurando at 4:17 PM on January 9, 2006

Response by poster: It's not about saving money, it's about ease of use. Getting a tower would not fit into the ease of use paradign.
posted by Xurando at 4:22 PM on January 9, 2006

If the only thing you do on the computer is Quickbooks, disconnect the network 95% of the time and don't install anything else. It should be as stable and virus-free as a Mac.
posted by smackfu at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2006

Provided your laptop was on a network you could buy a cheap, dedicated PC tower for quickbooks and connect to it via rdesktop. Almost as good as being there.
posted by roue at 4:55 PM on January 9, 2006

I'm having the same issues with Quickbooks for Mac. Whatever you do, don't buy it. If you already have, and can't return it, throw it in the garbage and write it off as a bad investment. Seriously.
posted by SpecialK at 5:26 PM on January 9, 2006

Consider trying QemuX (free) if you go the emulation route (and have a fast machine.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 6:14 PM on January 9, 2006

Response by poster: Bought a $650 laptop. Now I just hope the export back to PC goes smoothly.
posted by Xurando at 8:15 AM on January 12, 2006

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