The Quickbooks Price Increase and Why I Hate Subscription Software

I like bookkeeping… In fact I love bookkeeping. I also

I learned the art as a kid working at my Dad’s business where I helped process accounts payable, receivable, payroll, invoicing, etc. If you stay on top of it you always know where your business is at with just a glance and Uncle Sam will stay off your back.

When the YouTube channel started making some money I purchased a copy of Quickbooks for Mac to balance the books. Over the years I’d have to upgrade to the newer version mostly because Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks, would require upgrades when new versions of OS X came out. They never added any substantially new features but it’s really hard to add new features to the practice of bookkeeping that’s pretty well established.

A few months ago Inuit announced that Quickbooks for Mac was moving to a subscription model. I was not happy – if the last ten years were any indicator this was more of a money grab vs. an effort to improve the product.

I started looking for alternatives but sadly I couldn’t find anything.. Intuit really cornered this market. So I did some research and determined that Quickbooks Online’s entry plan was going to be less expensive and offer the functionality I needed. It would also let me work across multiple computers a little easier than the desktop version. So I bit.

Transferring data was a nightmare. Importing from Mac Quickbooks was broken at the time and nobody from Intuit said anything so I wasted a few hours trying to get it to import. I eventually borrowed a friend’s Quickbooks for Windows, imported the file, and then sent that over to Quickbooks Online. Not a good first impression. Oh and they started charging you regardless of whether or not your data makes it there.

The interface is a little different but the entry level version of Quickbooks Online does the job for me. I kinda like being able to keep my books up to date from my phone too.

Just like before nothing really changes with the product month-to-month. In fact it’s exactly the same as what it was when I first subscribed back in November. Yet Intuit extracts $25 a month for the privilege. What’s worse is the constant upselling I get when I log in, hoping I’ll take one of their loans, apply for their checking account, subscribe to their payroll service, etc. I feel like they should be paying me!

Some example ads

Yesterday I got an email from Intuit telling me that they’ll now be taking $30 a month vs. the $25 I had been paying. Am I getting anything new for that? Nope. Just more money for the marketing department desperately trying to upsell me.

This is why if I have a choice between a purchased license and a subscription I almost always choose the purchase option. Developers can get lazy when they’re guaranteed income every month. I’m happy to pay an upgrade price for new and useful features. I dropped Adobe when they moved to subscription and found great alternatives like Pixelmator.

So why not switch? There are some alternatives out there like Wave Accounting but none of these alternative services import data from Quickbooks. So in order to move I either have to manually key in all of my history or abandon it. That’s a no-go for me. You’d think if a company was serious about competing with Quickbooks they’d develop a migration path!

So I’m stuck. But I’ll keep looking.