How to Prepare for the QuickBooks 2024 Release

The upcoming QuickBooks 2024 release promises to bring some great new features and updates to the popular small business accounting software. As an accounting professional or small business owner who relies on QuickBooks, it’s important to understand these changes so you can prepare accordingly. Getting ready for the new release ahead of time will ensure a smooth transition and allow you to take full advantage of the latest capabilities.

Keep Your Software Up-To-Date

The first step in preparing for the QuickBooks 2024 release is making sure you are running the most current version of the software. Intuit generally releases a major update to QuickBooks every year, so staying on top of updates ensures you have all the newest features and fixes. Being several versions behind can cause compatibility issues when you eventually upgrade.

Go to the QuickBooks update page and check that you are running the latest 2023 version. If not, download any updates and get your software completely up to date before the 2024 version launches. This gives you a clean slate. Consider setting a reminder to check for QuickBooks updates periodically so you never get too far behind.

Understand the New Features Coming

Intuit gives sneak peeks of what to expect in the upcoming major QuickBooks releases. Monitoring these announcements lets you know what new capabilities are on the horizon. For 2024, Intuit is planning updates focused on making QuickBooks even more user-friendly for small businesses.

Some highlights of expected updates include:

  • Improved income/expense tracking with automatic categorization of transactions
  • More flexible inventory management tools
  • Expanded customization options for invoices, reports, and forms
  • Enhanced feature integration between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online
  • Updates to keep QuickBooks compatible with the latest operating systems and Microsoft Office software

Knowing what new features are coming down the pike lets you consider how they may impact your workflows. You can plan for potential improvements and make decisions about how you will leverage the new tools with the 2024 release.

Assess Your Hardware Needs

With every new QuickBooks release comes new system requirements you’ll need to meet or exceed for peak performance. Carefully assess whether your computer hardware and equipment configurations will be sufficient for handling the 2024 version.

Check that your hardware meets or exceeds the latest minimum requirements for processor speed, RAM, hard disk space, and internet connectivity. QuickBooks 2024 may demand faster processing power or more RAM than older versions you’ve been running. Upgrading any outdated components of your setup ensures optimum software functionality.

Also examine peripherals like your printer, scanner, or point-of-sale equipment to confirm compatibility with the Windows, MacOS, or mobile operating systems supported by the new QuickBooks 2024 release. Identify any potential peripherals that are aging or obsolete and will require replacing.

Train Your Team in Advance

Don’t wait until after the 2024 upgrade to get your staff and colleagues up to speed on impending changes. Use the months prior to the release to train your accounting and bookkeeping teams on what functionality is coming, fundamental software changes, where to find key functions within the new interface, and how updated workflows will work.

Leverage release previews, documentation, and free training resources from Intuit to educate users and administrators within your organization on the 2024 release ahead of deployment. Clearly communicate timelines for the upgrade rollout. Designate power users as troubleshooters to assist if any post-update issues arise. Investing in personnel readiness ensures you hit the ground running with the latest QuickBooks instead of a scramble to learn the altered product after updating.

Plan Your Timing Thoughtfully

Aim to schedule your QuickBooks 2024 upgrade during a relatively quiet period rather than your peak tax or financial reporting season. This minimizes business disruptions from any installation issues and lets your team adjust to software changes without impacting critical deadlines. Rule out dates where you have vital closing, payroll processing, or compliance filing tasks to complete without flexibility in case delays arise.

If possible, first run QuickBooks 2024 in tandem with your older install or mirrored test environment to verify compatibility with your company data before deploying it in production across your whole user base. Account for some potential downtime and rolling the upgrade out incrementally during transition. Build in contingencies so you can revert back if any replacement hardware or processes don’t work as anticipated right away.

Back Up Your QuickBooks Company File

Before installing major QuickBooks updates like the 2024 release, a complete data backup is critical safeguard to avoid potential data corruption issues or losing customizations. Use the native QuickBooks backup function or reliable third-party backup software to create a restorable company file copy. Store this backup externally for disaster recovery purposes.

Test restoring from your backup to confirm it works properly. Schedule regular backups moving forward after transitioning to QuickBooks 2024 for ongoing protection. Having reliable backups prevents headaches if any unforeseen bugs are encountered during initial product use. Know you can revert your company file if essential and then troubleshoot the problem with confidence, avoiding business interruption.

Budget for Additional Costs

While annual upgrades to QuickBooks desktop solutions don’t trigger subscription cost increases inherently, the 2024 release may spur additional expenses for your business to consider allocating budget for.

Planning for potential upgrades to computer hardware, expanded cloud storage fees, replacement peripherals, and staff training delivery will allow you to absorb these costs smoothly. Run estimates on likely new expenditure items so they can be accounted for in budgets and cash flow planning leading up to launch of the new version. Build in padding for incidentals or unexpected purchases as well.

Carefully projecting costs ahead of time keeps infrastructure upgrades, extended capabilities, and formatting changes in QuickBooks 2024 from busting budgets down the road. Know what you might have to spend on to fully leverage what’s to come.

Leverage Available Transition Resources

Take full advantage of Intuit resources developed to ease the shift from older QuickBooks versions to the latest 2024 upgrade:

  • Release notes – Review Intuit’s detailed rundown of all changes once published so you know exactly what to expect during and after upgrading.
  • Community forums – Consult upgrade guidance and shared experiences from fellow users who have already adopted the new release.
  • Live webinars – Sign up for Intuit-hosted transition web events for overview information and to get answers to platform change questions directly.
  • Blogs/eBooks – Reference QuickBooks blogs and eBooks breaking down upgrade best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and lessons from past implementation cycles.
  • Video tutorials – Watch step-by-step video walkthroughs of the new user interface, features, and functionality from Intuit’s experts.

Leveraging these free materials, peer insights, and overviews from the QuickBooks team will make getting up to speed on the 2024 release smooth sailing.

When to Make the Switch

Once the QuickBooks 2024 update officially launches, you get to choose your own transition timing based on when works best for your financial calendar and readiness level:

  • Switch immediately upon release to be an early adopter of the latest tools.
  • Upgrade after several weeks or months for a more stable introduction after bugs are patched.
  • Delay until you complete year-end filings to avoid disruption before closing your books.
  • Coordinate the change alongside a major company milestone like a relocation or expansion.

Select a target upgrade timeframe aligned with your resources availability, financial reporting deadlines, and risk tolerance. Then stick closely to your planned schedule and contingency protocols.

Recap of Key Preparations

Transitioning business-critical software like QuickBooks to a dramatically revamped new version can seem daunting. Stay the course by focusing on these proactive steps for a smooth upgrade process:

  • Confirm you are on the latest pre-2024 QuickBooks release before upgrading
  • Read up on and train staff on expected new feature rollouts
  • Assess hardware/IT needs based on anticipated technical requirements
  • Back up your company file and validate it restores properly
  • Budget for any upgrade-related expenses like training or equipment
  • Move forward based on a structured rollout plan and schedule

With attention on change management viability, taking advantage of available resources, and emphasis on skills building ahead of time, you will sail through rather than sink implementing the QuickBooks 2024 release. Careful preparation and forethought sets you up for unlocking updated tools’ full potential.

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