Multi – Instance vs. Multi – Task?


QBAE 2011 is my favorite version so far. Really, out of every version that I have ever worked on from the days of DOS all the way up I LOVE this version.  We have begged and pleaded INTUIT for several things as accountants. We have wanted the software to be able to do and give us more in the form of reports, audit trails, job costing, and of course multiple user. Here it is Muli -Instance (MI) aka multiple files opened at once… let the angels sing and open the flood gates. We have arrived into the world of 2011 QBAE where we now can be more efficient and productive working with TWO (2) files at the same time.   Are you as excited as I am? Well… before you go out and get ready to start your multi tasking day let me give you the true run down.

First off, who doesn’t love that we can now work in this world of multiple companies.  The data files both have to be in QB 2011, so this is great because all files need to be updated. You can use the CDR feature in both files. Get all your clients up to 2011 you won’t regret it. The next great feature is fitting both files on each screen and working on them side by side, or if you are a TRUE multi tasker you can  use them on your multiple monitors.  Also, I love the fact that you can reconcile accounts on both company files. The side by side look up is so helpful especially if you are working on company files that have related accounts that need reconciliations.  The cut and paste works between both data files. For example, if you are creating journal entries between the two files or creating invoices and bills.  I also like that they label the data files for you,(Primary) and  (Secondary), this comes in handy when you are posting from one data file to another file. I also am impressed that you can backup while in either data file there is no restrictions on this.

With time being so precious opening and closing up data files was always a huge time drain in my day. Now with the MI, I’m able to open the file if a client calls and still maintain the client file that I’m working on without disruption.  These are the some of the highligts to the multi – instance feature.  I think Multi – Instance is one of the huge advancement in the Intuit software to be added recently and I use it on a daily basis.

The pros always lead way to the cons and with this MI there is no exception here.  As well as multi – tasking things go wrong if you go too fast, the data file has to be opened a particular complex way.  You are not allowed to just go up to File>Open Company.. then Voila.. This will not work with the new MI.  The instructions are a little confusing at first, either use the QB data file Manager or do a little work around to get the file opened. I’m not so happy with the work around so I tend to keep my file Manager opened so I can access the files easier. Payroll is another issue that I discovered was not available on the second data file. Wow! Surprise. This is more than a little inconvenient especially if you process payroll for a client. Make sure that they are the PRIMARY data file.

Another feature that is unavailable is the use of online banking. I tend to download a lot of client banking and credit card transactions then post to the accounts.  I am unable to do this in the secondary data file.  Very bothersome if you have to have a quick transaction downloaded.

Multi-Instance has brought us into the world of multi tasking single handedly. I think this feature is one of the biggest time savers that we have in the new QBAE edition. We are all multi tasking on a daily basis and this feature fits right in with the world we live in.. Nice job INTUIT.


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