QuickBooks Mac Review
- Well-designed UI
- Advanced features
- Ample accounting reports
- Double-entry accounting
- Cash-basis and accrual accounting
- No integrations
- Poor support materials
- Limited users
QuickBooks Mac is back! In 2016, QuickBooks Mac was discontinued and users were forced to wait out their last three years of support or switch over to QuickBooks Online. Now, QuickBooks has released a brand new 2019 version of QuickBooks Mac. According to QuickBooks:
Feedback from loyal customer highlighted just how important QuickBooks is for them. We’re excited to offer our first new QuickBooks Desktop for Mac products in 3 years.
QuickBooks Mac is a locally-installed program designed specifically for Macs. The software combines the best of both worlds by joining together the feature set and accounting complexity of QuickBooks Pro with the ease of use and more modern UI of QuickBooks Online.
While many loyal Mac users are excited to see this software return, Intuit seems to have accomplished very little on the product during this three-year hiatus. The software is less buggy and runs more smoothly, but there are hardly any new features and there’s still not a single integration. These shortcomings paired with poor customer support, no payroll, and no payment processing put QuickBooks Mac out of the running for many small business owners.
Continue reading to see if the pros outweigh the cons for your business.
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Table of Contents
QuickBooks Mac is locally-installed software. You can purchase a QuickBooks Desktop for Mac license for $299.95 directly from Intuit. The software can also be bought from resellers like Staples, Best Buy, or Amazon.
When you purchase a QuickBooks Mac license, the license will last you three years. After three years, QuickBooks drop support for the software. This means you’ll be forced to constantly update and repurchase the software. Fortunately, QuickBooks Mac can often be found at a discounted price at the Intuit store.
Intuit does offer a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are not pleased with the purchase, you can return the software for a full refund. Representatives usually point to this guarantee rather than offering a free trial of the software. Don’t let that pressure you into purchasing before you’re ready, though; deep within the depths of the QuickBooks Community, you’ll find access a free 30-day trial. No credit card information is required for the trial, and you can uninstall the software at any time. Warning: Use of free trials may inhibit users from being eligible for software discounts upon purchase.
QuickBooks Mac License
- Invoices and estimates
- Expense tracking
- Contact management
- Accounts payable
- Time tracking
- Project management
- 100+ reports
- 1 user
There are a few extra costs to be aware of before purchasing QuickBooks Mac.
- Additional Users: You can add up to three users to QuickBooks Mac. The more users you buy, the larger a discount you get on the software. Contact Intuit directly to learn how large of a discount Intuit is offering for additional users.
- Payroll: Unlike QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Mac does not integrate with QuickBooks Payroll. You can still purchase QuickBooks Payroll and use it as a stand-alone product, but it will not connect directly with your QuickBooks Mac software.
- QuickBooks Payments: Much like payroll, QuickBooks Mac does not integrate directly with QuickBooks Payments. You can still use QuickBooks Payments as your merchant account provider, but there won’t be a “pay now” button or client portal for your invoices like there is in QuickBooks Online. Instead, users will have to click on a payment link you provide them with and go to a separate payment screen to pay their invoices.
- Bank Feeds: Some banks charge a fee for working with QuickBooks. This fee can range from $10 – $15/month.
- Upgrades: An annual upgrade costs $299. Unlike QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop for Windows, QuickBooks Mac does not have live bank feeds. You will have to refresh the bank feeds in order to add the most recent transactions.
- Phone Support: Users receive free installation support for the first 30 days of service. After that, users will need to purchase phone support. You can buy a single call or pay $89.50/three months.
- Hosting Service: QuickBooks partners with Right Network and provides online server hosting for companies in need of mobility (although this service may be mute now that you can share QB Mac files on iCloud). Contact QuickBooks directly for pricing details.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
QuickBooks Mac is a locally-installed program, although internet is required for certain functions (like payroll, downloading the software, and product updates). QuickBooks Mac has also added a brand new feature where you can share data between computers using iCloud.
Hardware & Software Requirements
QuickBooks Mac is compatible with macOS v10.12 (Sierra) or higher. Exporting data requires Apple Numbers (v3.5) or Microsoft Excel 2016 or later. Contact Intuit directly for more information on QuickBooks Mac’s computer requirements.
Specific Size Of Business
QuickBooks Mac is designed for small businesses that have no more than three users. The software has the in-depth accounting features required to run most small businesses. The sheer number of features and learning curve may be too much for micro-businesses, and the software is not ideal for larger businesses that require payroll, integrations, or more than three users.
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac does support multiple companies but there are users permissions available.
Both accrual and cash basis accounting.
Ease Of Use
QuickBooks Desktop products generally have incredibly steep learning curves. While QuickBooks Mac can be difficult to navigate at times, the software is much easier to learn than QuickBooks Pro and has a much fresher, more attractive UI. As a Mac user for 10-years, I found this software easy to use and understand. My only complaint is that oftentimes certain features only appear as icons, leaving you guessing what on earth each button means.
QuickBooks Mac has an incredible number of features. Here is a summary of the best QuickBooks Mac has to offer:
- Home: Like traditional QuickBooks Desktop products, QuickBooks Mac has a home page that is organized into sections for Vendor, Customer, Employee, Company, and Banking. Icons and arrows mark important features and guide you through the proper flow of the accounting cycle. Along the top of the screen, you’ll see icon buttons for key features. There is also a top menu bar that helps you navigate all of QuickBooks Mac’s features.
- Dashboard: If you want a more traditional dashboard, as you would find with cloud-based software, you can use the snapshot feature. This feature gives you a snapshot of your business’s financial state using various charts and graphs. The charts are labeled Income Tracker, Expense Tracker, Account Balances, Income And Expense Trends, Income Breakdown, Expense Breakdown, Customers Who Owe Money, Vendors To Pay, Reminders, Year Over Year Income, Year Over Year Expenses, Top Customers By Sales, Top Vendors By Expenses, Top Items By Sales, To-Dos, and Notes.
- Invoices: QuickBooks Mac offers 23 invoice templates and you can create custom templates as well. You can share invoices through email or print the invoices (and print envelopes to accompany them). You can create batch-send invoices to customers and send progress invoices, but there are no recurring invoices and no way to accept customer payments straight from your invoices. My favorite part about the invoicing feature is that when you save or send an invoice, the software makes an awesome cha-ching! noise, which is very satisfying.
- Estimates: You can create estimates and easily convert estimates to invoices. There are 17 estimate templates total.
- Contact Management: Much like QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Mac has an extensive contact management feature. Not only can you add general contact information, but you can also add credit limits, to-do lists, assigned representatives, default sales tax, customer credits, and even maps and directions. Each contact also gets their own dashboard complete with current bills and past history. You can also create contact groups and easily invoice the entire group at once. QuickBooks Mac has the unique ability to sync directly with your Mac contacts. You can manage vendors as well.
- Expense Tracking: You can track expenses using bank feeds or by manually entering or importing transactions. If you opt for bank feeds, they aren’t live bank feeds, so instead of your bank transactions automatically updating, you’ll have to manually refresh the transactions in QB Mac. QuickBooks Desktop for Mac automatically matches transactions and you can create matching rules as well. QuickBooks Mac also has a nice Transaction Center where you can view and manage all of your transactions in one spot.
- Bank Reconciliation: You can reconcile your bank accounts in QuickBooks Mac and can run several reconciliation reports.
- Chart Of Accounts: You select your chart of accounts when you initially set up the software. You can select each account from a pre-generated list of accounts, or you can opt for a default cart of accounts. You can also add and edit accounts as needed later on.
- Accounts Payable: You can easily create bills in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
- Checks: You can write and print checks directly from QuickBooks Mac.
- Inventory: In QuickBooks Mac, you can record items, services, inventory parts, and more. You can add detailed descriptions of items as well as rates, item numbers, and custom fields. You can set inventory reorder points as well as default sales tax items and sales tax groups. You can add sub-items in order to create inventory bundles.
- Project Management: You can create projects in QuickBooks Mac, although you have to connect them to a customer. You can set a job status, start date, projected end date, description, and more. QuickBooks Mac also has job costing reports.
- Time Management: You and your employees can track time and create timesheets. You can also attach billable time to invoices and use progressive invoicing, which is a way to invoice projects as each step is complete rather than all at once.
- Reports: QuickBooks Mac provides over 110 reports. QuickBooks Mac has important accounting reports as well as insightful sales reports and even some graphs and charts.
- Budgeting: You can create a yearly budget in QuickBooks Mac. You can enter your budget goals manually or use the previous year’s data to create your budget. You can also run insightful budgeting reports to help you stay on track.
- Journal Entries: You can create general journal entries.
- Purchase Orders: QuickBooks Mac supports purchase orders. You can easily convert estimates into purchase orders.
- Credit Memos: You can credit memos in QuickBooks Mac.
- Receipts: You can create and send sales receipts.
- Class Tracking: You can sort transactions by class to give you added detail and insight into your business. Some companies use classes to track locations, departments, inventory types, etc. You can create sub-classes as well.
- Default Email Templates: You can save time by creating default email templates.
- To–Do Lists: Like in QuickBooks Pro, you can create to-do lists and run to-do list reports to stay on top of all your business tasks. You can also set reminders; QB Mac can send you automatic reminders for things like overdue invoices, bills to pay, money to deposit, and more.
- Sales Tax: You can set as many sales tax items and groups as you would like. You can also assign a default sales tax to contacts and items.
- Tax Forms & Support: QuickBooks Mac supports 1099s and 1096s.
- Deductions: You can track and record mileage deductions in QuickBooks Mac. You can also assign mileage to jobs and mark the mileage as billable or non-billable.
- Importing & Exporting: You can import just about anything into QuickBooks Mac. Exporting is more limited. You can create an all-encompassing company file or you can exports lists to an IFF file and addresses to a text file.
Customer Service & Support
QuickBooks is notorious for poor customer support. Unfortunately, QuickBooks Mac is no exception. While phone support wait times are quite short for a QB product, it’s clear that Intuit’s focus is on its other software. There is no email support and other support resources are limited. Plus, you have to pay an extra $89.95 every three months for phone support.
QuickBooks Mac has made it easier to find customer support since the 2016 version, and the help center is better organized with dozens of in-depth how-to articles. The saving grace for QuickBooks Mac is that the help center can be accessed directly from within the software — and the Little Square resource provides tons of support resources and business tips.
Here are all of the support options QuickBooks Mac offers:
- Phone Support: You can call a sales rep at any time, but you have to pay extra for phone support.
- Live Chat: There is a live chat feature on the QuickBooks Mac website, though representatives are there for sales questions and often try to force you to switch to QuickBooks Online.
- Help Center: There is a QuickBooks Mac help center where you’ll find dozens of how to articles and guides, FAQs, and questions from other customers. You can also access the help center from the Home screen on QuickBooks Mac
- Little Square: Little Square is an online magazine for QuickBooks Mac users. It features tips and tricks for getting the most out of your software, much-needed video tutorials, and a complete user guide that covers everything you need to know about QuickBooks Mac. There’s also helpful advice on how to successfully run a business.
- QuickBooks Blog: QuickBooks has a blog, but most articles are focused on QuickBooks Online.
- Social Media: Intuit has a combined Facebook and Twitter page for all its QuickBooks products.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
The issue with finding QuickBooks Mac reviews is that all QuickBooks products tend to be lumped together — Pro, Online, Mac, Payroll, etc. For example, ConsumerAffairs features the biggest collection of negative QuickBooks reviews with the software receiving only 1/5 stars. However, most reviews are not about Quickbooks Mac.
From customer reviews that are specific to QuickBooks Mac, user experiences seem split fairly evenly between negative and positive, with a slight lean toward the positive. Here are some of the most common criticisms:
- Forced Updates: Many users are frustrated because they are forced to upgrade after support ends for their version of QuickBooks Mac. Between paying for updates, phone support, and extra users, people are not happy with how quickly the costs add up.
- Far Behind QuickBooks Pro: One of the most common complaints is that QuickBooks Mac does not compare to the capabilities of QuickBooks Pro for Windows, especially in terms of integrations.
- 2019 Version Issues: A couple users had issues downloading and installing the 2019 version of QuickBooks Mac properly.
- Poor Customer Support: Several users complain that is it difficult to reach customer support. This becomes an even bigger issue when many users also complain that the software has a steep learning curve and is difficult to navigate without help.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
QuickBooks Mac receives 7.7/10 stars on Trust Radius, 4.5/5 stars on SoftwareAdvice, and 3.3/5 stars on Amazon. Not all of the reviews making up these ratings are specific to QuickBooks Mac, but there are enough obvious QuickBooks Mac reviews to glean that users usually like the software and many are happy the software has been revived. Here is what users like best about QuickBooks Mac:
- Easy To Use: Users are surprised and pleased by how easy QuickBooks Mac is to use (especially given the reputation of other QuickBooks Mac products). Users also enjoy the UI and organization of QuickBooks Mac.
- Built For Macs: Many loyal Apple-users praise the software for being designed specifically for Macs. Quite a few users say its difficult to find good accounting software that functions correctly on Macs, so this software is a breath of fresh air.
- Good Feature Selection: There is a lot of positive feedback about the features available with QuickBooks Mac, especially things like invoicing, budgeting, and reports.
Here is what a few users are saying about the software:
I use QuickBooks for Mac to manage all of my finances for my consulting company. It’s incredibly helpful to organize receipts and invoices with the multiple clients I work alongside.
It’s QuickBooks, it runs on a Mac, now my life is complete.
Best of all the bookkeeping and accounting programs I have used, they have thought of everything. I continued to use Quickbooks even after I sold my business. It works great for your home accounting. I couldn’t balance my checkbook without it.
The Apple Platform is not known for its user-friendliness with many of the accounting softwares out there so QuickBooks coming to Mac was very welcome. The user interface is intuitive, simple to use, and the exportable data is exactly what you would need.
Integrations & Add-Ons
One of the biggest downfalls of QuickBooks Mac is that there are no integrations, not even to QuickBooks Payments. While the company focuses the majority of their integrations effort on QuickBooks Online (which has over 400 integrations), even QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise all have upwards of 200 integrations. So it is incredibly disappointing that QuickBooks Mac doesn’t have a single integration.
Interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.
With locally-installed software, data security is primarily up to you; this is even more so the case for QuickBooks Mac users. QuickBooks Pro provides automated back-ups and data encryption to Windows users at an extra cost. Unfortunately, this service is unavailable for Mac users. QuickBooks does offer good online resources for learning about protecting your computer.
Read our article How to Keep Your Locally Installed Accounting Software Secure for more information on protecting your data.
QuickBooks Mac is a full-featured accounting solution with ample capabilities and a well-organized, modern design. Job costing, class tracking, contact management, to-do lists, reports, and expense tracking are only a few of the many features this software has to offer. QuickBooks Mac is also one of the few programs designed specifically for Mac users.
However, the software is not without its faults. There are no integrations, no payroll, no multi-currency support, and live bank feeds aren’t live (you have to manually refresh them every time you want to see updated banking information).
It seems to me that Intuit puts very little care into their QuickBooks Mac product. After three years, the company has hardly made any improvements to the software. They have very limited customer support options and every time you talk to a customer support representative they try to force you to switch to QuickBooks Online. It seems to me that businesses shouldn’t hold their breath for QB Mac to fix issues like lack of payroll and integrations because Intuit is just going to point users to QBO rather than updating their QuickBooks Desktop for Mac product.
Because of this, I recommend shopping around before you commit to QB Mac. Take a look at our other Best Accounting Software For Macs alternatives, and don’t forget to use the free trial of the software before purchasing.