Last Fall, Intuit introduced the QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Model that alters the way businesses will be paying for their QuickBooks Enterprise licenses. This move has stirred up a bit of confusion amongst many QuickBooks users, since it sounds like a more massive change than it really is. To help answer some of the questions you may be having, here are some of the more important things you need to know about this change.
Although the new pricing structure for the QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Model is referred to as a "subscription," it is not an online application. Since most people consider subscriptions to be a sort of cloud-based service like QB Online or Netflix, this has been the number one area of confusion. The software itself is still downloaded/installed and used on servers, networks and PCs the same way it always has. The "subscription" element of this new model is only in regards to the annual pricing. i.e. - The software is the same, the way you pay for it is not.
New Way of Paying
Instead of one large initial payment for your license, and then on-going annual payments for the Full Service Plan(FSP), under the QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Model businesses will now pay for their license renewal each and every year, which is inclusive of the FSP. Similar to the optional FSP model, the subscription based licensing will ensure that you always have an up-to-date, supported version of Enterprise accounting software that works with Intuit's online business services. Here's what you get with each subscription plan:
With the QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Model, can I pay monthly?
No, subscriptions are paid for, and renewed, annually. Similar to the way FSPs were purchased, you are pre-paying for a one year service plan.
What if I don't renew when my subscription expires?
The software will be de-activated and you will no longer be able to use it. You will still have your QuickBooks data files (.QBW, .QBM, .QBA, etc.), but you will not be able to open them with your software any longer. It would be similar to having an MS Word doc without MS Office installed...you won't be able to open and use the file.
Is there an option for choosing the traditional three year license OR the subscription model?
Nope. As of October 6th, its only available as an annual subscription. If you have Enterprise and a FSP, you will be upgraded to the new version when you renew your FSP, and begin paying annually from that point forward. If you have Enterprise and DO NOT renew an FSP, you will be able to use the software for longer...depending on the online services and support you need. Basically, over the next three years, as versions of the software sunset, more and more people will be transitioning to the subscription model of pricing.
Deciding Whether or Not to Upgrade
So, for everyone out there that makes use of their FSP, upgrades their version of QB Enterprise each year, or is using a version that has/will be sun setting soon, the choice is simple and not that impactful. Select a Silver, Gold or Platinum subscription plan and be on your merry way. For current Enterprise users that are not immediately going to upgrade, it appears as if you still have some time to decide what to do. But keep in mind that options for upgrading or transitioning to the subscription model are designed to be a driving force for doing this sooner rather than later. So you may want to at least consider it and prepare yourself for the transition.
Start a Conversation
Since this new QuickBooks Enterprise Subscription Model is still evolving, with new details and clarifications coming to light every day, feel free to ask questions, share your experiences, or let other readers know what you have discovered or found out about the new subscription plans. If you need help identifying and selecting the right QuickBooks Enterprise subscription plan for your business, one of our Advanced Certified ProAdvisors would be happy to help you.