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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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Post Intuit Canada appoints former Apple Canada staff member as Managing Director

Accounting software company Intuit announced that it has appointed Jeff Cates as managing director of Intuit Canada. Before joining Intuit, Jeff Cates led the consumer and enterprise division at Apple Canada. Intuit has stated that Cates will lead its strategic growth and its go-to-market strategies for its small business and consumer offerings.

It's an interesting development to have someone as managing directer at Intuit Canada who has a strong Mac background. Over the years, Intuit's commitment to the Canadian Mac marketplace has been spotty at best. Do a search of Intuit on ehMac.ca, and you'll find plenty of threads with members expressing their frustration. There's a monster thread going on now entitled, The ongoing Canadian Mac Accounting software issue in which a (brave) representative from Intuit Canada participates.

Whether or not this appointment will improve things for Canadian Mac users remains to be seen. William Campbell, the CEO of Intuit, is also on Apple board of directors, and only in the past couple of weeks, is "updating" their Quicken 2007 software to be compatible with Mac OS X Lion.

Intuit has had a history of being very behind on their releases of Mac versions of software and spotty with its support for certain products, such as discontinuing the Mac desktop version of QuickTax, and discontinuing QuickBooks for Mac in Canada, then re-releasing a rebranded MYOB as QuickBooks, then not updating it etc... We often then hear that support for the Mac market is based on previous lack of success and acceptance of it's Mac product offering which is then attributed to a small Mac market.
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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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interesting, but i've still got a vendetta against them.

I can't remember if I said it here or on macrumors, but screw 'em.

They left the mac community high and dry as far as I'm concerned.
They're only coming back b/c of the number of macs being sold so they see that as an opportunity when maybe they should had stuck with 'us' like other software providers did.

Sure, maybe it's the companies policy to not develop for smaller markets, but I think they goofed. If other providers can survive, why couldn't they? They chose to ignore us.

Personally, I won't ever use their products again.

Petty?...perhaps, but when you're trying to run a business and one of the larger accounting software companies turns their back on your OS, it stings. I had 7 years of previous sales in Quickbooks which worked, but was clunky (old version I will admit). I wanted to move away from the ONLY use I had for the Windows bootcamp on my imac, but their last QB version was US ONLY! ... I could have kept windows going, but how ridiculous is that!?!?

On another note, I'm very happy with my Accountedge package. No huge issues, works slick and with the link into Daylite, my workflow is much easier and has saved me valuable time.

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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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The QuickBooks on Mac in Canada issue is a thorn for me--clearly, since I started the now-monstrous thread.

But if they release even one updated QB for Mac in Canada, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. And if it's cross-compatible with Windows (i.e., I can open my Windows QB files on the Mac, make changes and still have them openable by Windows) I'll buy multiple copies just because.

Seriously. QuickBooks for Windows is terrific. I want the same thing on the Mac. I'll take even a more bare-bones version for the Mac if it's cross-compatible. Many, many moons ago, I was a software developer and despite what the brave Intuit rep attempted to tell me, I know this is not that difficult to do, unless it was badly designed and programmed to begin with. And even then, they have a Mac version in the US, so it really should not be that difficult to do, and if they bite the bullet on cross-compatibility, they make their development for ALL versions much simpler for themselves down the road. (Don't even get me started on how their email integration on Windows only works with Outlook.)

Are you listening Intuit? Because I have a lot to say.
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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #4
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The QuickBooks on Mac in Canada issue is a thorn for me--clearly, since I started the now-monstrous thread.

But if they release even one updated QB for Mac in Canada, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. And if it's cross-compatible with Windows (i.e., I can open my Windows QB files on the Mac, make changes and still have them openable by Windows) I'll buy multiple copies just because.

Seriously. QuickBooks for Windows is terrific. I want the same thing on the Mac. I'll take even a more bare-bones version for the Mac if it's cross-compatible. Many, many moons ago, I was a software developer and despite what the brave Intuit rep attempted to tell me, I know this is not that difficult to do, unless it was badly designed and programmed to begin with. And even then, they have a Mac version in the US, so it really should not be that difficult to do, and if they bite the bullet on cross-compatibility, they make their development for ALL versions much simpler for themselves down the road. (Don't even get me started on how their email integration on Windows only works with Outlook.)

Are you listening Intuit? Because I have a lot to say.

Sonal, it sounds like Intuit should hire you to help bring this to fruition. Seriously..that's not sarcasm. They should be utilizing actual Mac users and experienced QB folks.
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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #5
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Sonal, it sounds like Intuit should hire you to help bring this to fruition. Seriously..that's not sarcasm. They should be utilizing actual Mac users and experienced QB folks.
They don't need me.

They have legions of experienced QuickBooks users on Windows--it's probably the number one accounting package, and the majority of bookkeepers and accountants I know (and I know a lot) really like it a lot.

They have Canadian users on Windows.

They have Mac users in the US.

All the expertise for making a Canadian Mac version of QuickBooks exists in their company. They can take their US version, add a few rules about Canadian accounting, HST and payroll, and voila. This should not be difficult, and if it is, then the only reason for that is that their software is poorly designed.

I mean seriously, what's the difference between, say, Windows Excel and Mac Excel? A slightly Macified UI. Should be the same for Canadian Windows Quickbooks and Canadian Mac Quickbooks. What's the difference between Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the US and in Canada? Not a lot. And they know them already.

Though for some bizarre reason I do not think the US Mac version is cross-platform, which makes no sense... sometimes you want to send your data file to your accountant, who will likely not be using the same OS as you. This would be uglier to implement, but if done would ultimately lead to a cleaner separation between function and data, which would be much better for their programmers in the long run.

Seriously. What's accounting software other than a bunch of data tables with defined rules about how they interrelate (or in other words, a relational database like the thousands of other examples of relational databases out there) with a good UI and good reporting?

This should not be as hard as they claim--and if it is, then there is something very wrong with their software design. (Note: I have a strong hunch that there is something very wrong with their software design.)
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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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They don't need me.

They have legions of experienced QuickBooks users on Windows--it's probably the number one accounting package, and the majority of bookkeepers and accountants I know (and I know a lot) really like it a lot.

They have Canadian users on Windows.

They have Mac users in the US.

All the expertise for making a Canadian Mac version of QuickBooks exists in their company. They can take their US version, add a few rules about Canadian accounting, HST and payroll, and voila. This should not be difficult, and if it is, then the only reason for that is that their software is poorly designed.

I mean seriously, what's the difference between, say, Windows Excel and Mac Excel? A slightly Macified UI. Should be the same for Canadian Windows Quickbooks and Canadian Mac Quickbooks. What's the difference between Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the US and in Canada? Not a lot. And they know them already.

Though for some bizarre reason I do not think the US Mac version is cross-platform, which makes no sense... sometimes you want to send your data file to your accountant, who will likely not be using the same OS as you. This would be uglier to implement, but if done would ultimately lead to a cleaner separation between function and data, which would be much better for their programmers in the long run.

Seriously. What's accounting software other than a bunch of data tables with defined rules about how they interrelate (or in other words, a relational database like the thousands of other examples of relational databases out there) with a good UI and good reporting?

This should not be as hard as they claim--and if it is, then there is something very wrong with their software design. (Note: I have a strong hunch that there is something very wrong with their software design.)
lmao good points
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Old Jan 4th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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They don't need me.

They have legions of experienced QuickBooks users on Windows--it's probably the number one accounting package, and the majority of bookkeepers and accountants I know (and I know a lot) really like it a lot.

They have Canadian users on Windows.

They have Mac users in the US.

All the expertise for making a Canadian Mac version of QuickBooks exists in their company. They can take their US version, add a few rules about Canadian accounting, HST and payroll, and voila. This should not be difficult, and if it is, then the only reason for that is that their software is poorly designed.

I mean seriously, what's the difference between, say, Windows Excel and Mac Excel? A slightly Macified UI. Should be the same for Canadian Windows Quickbooks and Canadian Mac Quickbooks. What's the difference between Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the US and in Canada? Not a lot. And they know them already.

Though for some bizarre reason I do not think the US Mac version is cross-platform, which makes no sense... sometimes you want to send your data file to your accountant, who will likely not be using the same OS as you. This would be uglier to implement, but if done would ultimately lead to a cleaner separation between function and data, which would be much better for their programmers in the long run.
It's cross platform only in that you can save a copy of your data file that a Windows user can open, and you can open a copy of the data file that they send back to you if they've made changes. Think of it like the way that Pages handles Word documents.

The biggest problems are no multi-currency support, and no support for multi-users. I don't think that you want the US version brought to Canada. You want the Windows version to be ported to the Mac platform.

I agree with the earlier posts, this is a "wow, we better hop on this i-thingy now that every other person has one of dem dar Apple things". I wonder how good the orthopaedic surgeons are in Alberta because Intuit Canada's employees must have sore knees from jumping off then back on the bandwagon.

When the discussion of Quickbooks for Mac comes up with the Daylite Partners, one of the first things that the US Partners remind us is that QuickBooks for Mac gets sold in most cases because of the name. Small business owner goes to accountant asking about Mac accounting software. Accountant tells them to buy QuickBooks thinking that it is the same as the Windows version (it's not even close). Customer ends up being terribly disappointed.

As for Mr. Cates joining Intuit, hopefully it will make a change but remember that Bill Campbell is on Apple's board, and he's the Chairman and former CEO of Intuit, the parent company.

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Seriously. What's accounting software other than a bunch of data tables with defined rules about how they interrelate (or in other words, a relational database like the thousands of other examples of relational databases out there) with a good UI and good reporting?

This should not be as hard as they claim--and if it is, then there is something very wrong with their software design. (Note: I have a strong hunch that there is something very wrong with their software design.)
In Intuit's defence, this isn't unusual and quite often it is not by design. What many people forget is that underneath software such as accounting software, CRM software, etc. is a database and possibly a database engine.

These days, there are some good choices for developers to use, Daylite and LightSpeed both use PostgreSQL. But it wasn't always the case. Many software titles that have been around for a while had to originally develop their own database engine. As each new version of the program comes out, they probably ask whether they want to continue with the existing engine or switch. Switching database engines can be complicated and expensive to do. Both Daylite and LightSpeed did a switch a couple of years ago, earlier versions of both products ran on OpenBase but both developers found the reliability of OpenBase to be a problem and decided to switch. It wasn't an easy process and we're talking about two products with a considerable smaller sized market than QuickBooks has.

I know that ACT! has a similar issue. I've been told that it doesn't run on a relational database. I know that versions of Goldmine, another Windows based CRM still run on a variation of the old dBase structure.

To make a change of that size takes a lot of work, a lot of guts, and in some cases thick skin. Those of you who were around for the Mac OS 10.0 (Cheetah) and 10.1 (Puma) days will understand what I'm talking about. OS X took a while to develop, and a few years to become accepted.

Sometimes when there is something wrong with the software design it is a result of building layers on top of layers. Eventually you'll need to strip the layers all off, or better still, build a completely new product and blow the old one up.
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Old Jan 5th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #8
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I don't use Pages--not sure how it handles Word document. How Word handles a Word document is that the data file is the same, so both Windows Word and Mac Word can open and save. QB has a challenge if they want to support multiple-users on multiple OS's, but this is not insurmountable. For the use case of 'small business Mac user wants to send their Windows-using accountant the data file' they don't need multi-user. (That could come later.)

Even if US Mac QuickBooks is a piece of garbage to be tossed away, the point still stands that they have all the domain expertise for building a) a good Mac QuickBooks and b) a good Canadian Mac QuickBooks in house. They have a really good understanding of what accounting functions and use cases are important. They know the rules in various countries. They have Mac programmers. All the ingredients are there. If we could rely on Intuit to keep supporting the software and releasing new versions, I don't think anyone would mind if they put out a bare-bones port of their Windows version and kept adding to it to build it up to the standard of their Windows version... of course, I think they've burned out their trust, at least in Canada.

I'm aware of how this kind of clunky program design likely came about, and you're right that it's not unusual.

However, in the highly likely case that Intuit had to write its own data engine of some kind, it's still good program design to keep a clean separation between the data layer and the programming layer. Sure, in the early days they probably didn't do this to keep things running faster, but that has not been as much of an issue for a number of years now--they've had a long, long time to do something about that, even if for their own benefit. (And they're clearly not so worried about speed these days, since QB2009 is really slow to load new company files--we're talking minutes instead of what took seconds in the previous version.)
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Old Jan 5th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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In Intuit's defence, this isn't unusual and quite often it is not by design. What many people forget is that underneath software such as accounting software, CRM software, etc. is a database and possibly a database engine.

These days, there are some good choices for developers to use, Daylite and LightSpeed both use PostgreSQL. But it wasn't always the case. Many software titles that have been around for a while had to originally develop their own database engine. As each new version of the program comes out, they probably ask whether they want to continue with the existing engine or switch. Switching database engines can be complicated and expensive to do. Both Daylite and LightSpeed did a switch a couple of years ago, earlier versions of both products ran on OpenBase but both developers found the reliability of OpenBase to be a problem and decided to switch. It wasn't an easy process and we're talking about two products with a considerable smaller sized market than QuickBooks has.

I know that ACT! has a similar issue. I've been told that it doesn't run on a relational database. I know that versions of Goldmine, another Windows based CRM still run on a variation of the old dBase structure.

To make a change of that size takes a lot of work, a lot of guts, and in some cases thick skin. Those of you who were around for the Mac OS 10.0 (Cheetah) and 10.1 (Puma) days will understand what I'm talking about. OS X took a while to develop, and a few years to become accepted.

Sometimes when there is something wrong with the software design it is a result of building layers on top of layers. Eventually you'll need to strip the layers all off, or better still, build a completely new product and blow the old one up.
I totally agree.
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Old Jan 5th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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I don't use Pages--not sure how it handles Word document. How Word handles a Word document is that the data file is the same, so both Windows Word and Mac Word can open and save. QB has a challenge if they want to support multiple-users on multiple OS's, but this is not insurmountable. For the use case of 'small business Mac user wants to send their Windows-using accountant the data file' they don't need multi-user. (That could come later.)
there are plenty of instances where cross compatibility like this exists..reason and ableton live (audio software) are both perfectly compatible mac to win. same with photoshop etc.
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