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.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.
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.
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.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.)
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.