How to Sail Around Software Sunsets
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.
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