Tuesday, June 7, 2011

QuickBooks Payroll Service Alert - endless reminders

The Problem
I do manual payroll... no service... no tax table download... all manual (I created a little Access application to help with the calculations). Anyway, after upgrading to QuickBooks Pro 2011 from my old QB Pro 2006, every time I went to Pay Employees, I got this annoying dialog. If I clicked Remind Me Later, it went away and let me do the payroll but it just came back again the next time. I could not figure out how to make it go away permanently.

I had to call Intuit anyway to register the product (dumb that you have to do that) and it took about 30 minutes and about 5 transfers but they helped me get rid of the pop-up. The problem was that way back in 2006 when I originally purchased Pro 2006, apparently I had signed up for the service for 2 days (a trial?) but ended up doing it manually. Well, the company file remembered that I had service and when I upgraded to 2011, it could not comprehend that perhaps I had been doing it manually for the last 5 years and so it figured I needed to reactivate, verify or be reminded endlessly.

The solution
It is pretty easy once you know what to do. Go to Help>QuickBooks Help. Do a search for 'manual payroll', somewhere in the one of the first articles will be a link titled manual payroll calculations. Follow the directions (just a couple clicks) and voilĂ ! You should get the following:

There is probably a more direct way to get to that option but I do not know where it is. If you do, please comment and I will update the post. Have fun doing your payroll manually! I know I do.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

QuickBooks on Windows 7 - Why 2 icons when running?

I finally decided to upgrade my QuickBooks to a version that is 'officially' supported on Windows 7. I bought QuickBooks Pro 2011. Don't get me started on the registration process... maybe another article.

This issue
For now, I was disappointed by the fact that this version, which is officially supported on Windows 7, does not behave on the Taskbar as well as the 2006 version (which is not officially supported) that I had to manually install (see old post). Unlike every other program that I currently have a Taskbar shortcut for, when I open QuickBooks from the Taskbar icon, it creates another icon to let me know that it is running. It is supposed to use the same icon and thus save space on the Taskbar but it doesn't.

The Fix
The fix is pretty easy. If you look at the properties of the shortcut, it points to an executable file QBW32Pro.exe. But if you look in the Task Manager when QB is running, you will see that the file QBW32.exe is actually running. So, presumably, when QBW32Pro.exe is launched, it does something and eventually launches QBW32.exe. What that something is, I don't know. But, knowing QuickBooks, it is probably something I don't care about. Possibilites: looking to see if an instance is already running, checking to see if there are multiple versions of the program installed or possibly just a way of enforcing the particular version. So, I just browsed to the folder where the QBW32.exe lives (C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks 2011 for me) and created a TaskBar shortcut for that file and removed the one for QBW32Pro.exe. It works fine. Whatever QBW32Pro.exe is doing before it launches QBW32.exe doesn't seem to be necessary on my machine. Your results may vary.