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How to Sail Around Software Sunsets

Jul 7th 2016
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When a software maker discontinues features, support or even their full product (an act sometimes called “sunsetting”), there’s more to be concerned about than just losing technical support or missing out on new features.

When products sunset, you can lose access to key services and functionalities your business relies upon. This is particularly true in the case of accounting software, where features like bill payment and payroll are highly dependent on the software which is no longer supported.

Take, for example, QuickBooks Desktop 2013 (Windows and Mac), which as of June 1, 2016, has discontinued access to add­on services like payments, payroll and online banking ­ just as they’ve done for older QuickBooks Desktop versions each year for the past several years. Over 1 million copies of QuickBooks Desktop 2013 have been sold, so many users are no doubt impacted.

Here are a few of the discontinued services and outcomes for QuickBooks Desktop 2013:

  • Online banking ­downloading transactions, sending online payments or transfers results in an error message
  • Checks and 1099 e-­file ­processing now requires workarounds, outside of the software
  • Bill pay ­connecting with your financial institution displays an error message
  • Security updates ­no longer provided for download

So What Can You Do?

Although sunset for QuickBooks Desktop 2013 has already occurred, many customers and accountants are just realizing the impact. To continue to access vital system functions, some of your options are to purchase the latest version of the desktop software (which could sunset in the next few years), convert to an online product, or switch to another accounting system altogether.

Beyond QuickBooks, Thomson Reuters too is sunsetting its CS Professional Suite Accounting product line in June 2017, so their users will face a similar choice.

A huge amount of pressure is often put on desktop users to spend money to upgrade to the latest version. It is wise to consider cloud­-based software, such as Xero, which isn't weighed down by legacy desktop code.

AccountingWEB and Xero have partnered to bring you this sponsored content as we share a belief in the furtherment of the profession through greater insights.​

Replies (3)

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By BSP-Tim
Jul 27th 2016 11:14 EDT

Advertisement!! The article is promised as a way of getting around the sunsetting of desktop products. Entire article is about what happens, and everybody knows, then ends with one sentence, 'So, just buy our product!' Thanks for a waste of time.

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By gmassey
Jul 28th 2016 04:50 EDT

Agreed, the title is totally wrong, there is nothing there Seth to help software users "sail around software sunsets". My mother runs a small business, and Quickbooks has been a nightmare for her where she has only limited needs. I will continue to look for other options - certainly not QB ever again due to way she has been treated - multiple popups saying you must contact support to "fix this" or "that, and 30 minutes into the call, all they offer is "you need to update"

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Replying to gmassey:
Seth F
By Seth Fineberg
Aug 2nd 2016 10:41 EDT

Granted this is more of a snapshot than a deep analysis or detailed guide but sometimes you have to take those basic steps or know what you're up against. QB and the others mentioned are only a few of the examples of legacy software that will no longer receive support. All I did was supply some basic thinking, NOT an add for another company. Xero of course is one option, they know they're not the only ones but they represent the type of growing options that are out there to switch to. The reality is, there's only so much patchwork you can do and when support can no longer be called, what do you do? If your car is so old that they no longer make certain parts for it, nor will you find a mechanic that can fix it. What do you do? This was the main point and perhaps I could have put it in those terms. But some people, by nature, are loathe to move on to other things and would rather duct tape and glue it all as long as they can.

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