What’s New in QuickBooks Desktop 2021

Dan DeLongQuickbooks DesktopLeave a Comment

QuickBooks Desktop 2021 will soon be released. Here is a listing of the features you can see in this year’s release. We organized them by version of QuickBooks, the features are cumulative (each section includes the features listed above it).

Features in 2020 (latest release and 2021)
NEW! PDF Preview for emailing forms
  • What is it? You can preview the PDF of invoices and other attachments within QuickBooks before you send them.
  • Where is it?: From a displayed Create Invoices transaction, select Email on the Main ribbon toolbar.

Improved Payroll Liability Reminders
  • What is it?: This feature is an improvement for the payroll liability payment due reminder, using a calendar application and allows you to set calendar reminders in your desktop calendar.
  • Where is it? From the menu bar, select Employees > Payroll Center. From the Pay Liabilities tab, select a displayed row on the Pay Taxes & Other Liabilities section. Select the Set payment reminder button, and then you will be prompted to open a natively installed calendar application, or you can save a file to import into your calendar tool.

Simplified Employee payroll setup
  • What is it? : This feature allows small business owners to complete historical payroll set up more efficiently. During the setup employees can be invited to collaborate and securely fill in their own personal information.
  • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select Employees > Payroll Setup.

QuickBooks capital funding improvements
  • What is it? Get access to transparent, easy, and flexible business funding – with no origination fees, prepayment penalties, or hidden charges. Apply right in QuickBooks, without affecting your credit score.
  • Where is it? To access QuickBooks Capital, from the menu bar, select Banking > Get Financing.


Features in All version of QuickBooks Desktop
Improved Bank Feeds
  • What is it? This feature has enhanced the bank rule feature which allows you to automatically categorize bank transactions with more detail. This will allow for improved batch editing, as well as matching. The new feature improves flexibility and efficiency so that you can quickly search for, and define categorization criteria.
  • Where is it? From the menu bar, select Edit > Preferences > Checking > Bank Feeds > Advanced Mode. To launch Bank Feeds from the menu bar, select Banking > Bank Feeds > Bank Feeds Center.


NEW Customer Groups
  • What is it? This feature allows you to create rule-based customer groups based on fields such as customer type, status, location, sales rep, and balance. This allows you to manage and automate communications with your customers.  After you set this feature up, your customized Customer Groups can then be used to automate the sending of invoices or statements.
  • Where is it? From the menu bar, select Customers > Payment Reminders > Manage Customer Groups, or optionally choose Lists > Manage Groups.
NEW Automated Statements
  • What is it? This feature helps you automate emailing statements to your customers, customized based on your customer groups. Statements can be reviewed before they are sent and can use predefined email and templates configured during the setup of the feature. Different templates for each form can be chosen for different Customer Groups.
  • Where is it? From the menu bar, select Customers > Create Statements, and select the box “Go to Payment Reminders,or Customers > Payment Reminders > Schedule Payment Reminders > New Schedule > Statement.To select the scheduled statement timing, from the menu bar, select Edit > Preferences > Payments. On the designated day and time, a reminder pop-up displays that there are reminders to be sent.Note: Requires the setup of Webmail/Outlook/QuickBooks email, as well as the setup of Customer Groups.
NEW Customizable Payment Receipts
  • What is it?  This new feature will use the new default Intuit® Standard Payment Receipt. However, this new receipt can be customized by adding a company logo.  You will be able to access the ability to format using the layout designer tool as you can with other templates. You can create multiple formats to use with specific customers.
  • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select Lists > Templates > Payment Receipt. Alternatively, from the menu bar, select Customers > Receive Payments. Click to select the Formatting tab on the ribbon toolbar, and choose to Customize Data Layout.
IMPROVED Auto matching for merchant payments
  • What is it? Helps QuickBooks Desktop merchants auto match all payments to their accounting records every time, with complete confidence and no work. The majority of downloaded payment transactions will be automatically assigned to the proper open invoice. Users can efficiently focus on a category of transactions that need immediate attention. And, the best news yet: Credit card payments are deposited the next day into the merchant’s account; no extra fees or merchant action required!
  • Where is it? From the menu bar, select Customer > Credit Card Processing Activities > Record Merchant Service Deposits
  • NOTE: QuickBooks Desktop Payment account required for this feature. Click here for discounted rates that are lower than ordering inside the product exclusive to QuickBooks ProAdvisors.
NEW QuickBooks Desktop Manager
  • What is it?: Easily find and install all of your QuickBooks Desktop products from a single management tool. Get up and running, in as little as four clicks, when installing or upgrading QuickBooks Desktop.This application needs to be installed for any non-subscription owned QuickBooks Desktop products starting with the year 2010 through the latest version. For subscription products, only supported versions of QuickBooks Desktop will be available for install. You can download it here.
  • Note: Desktop Manager does not include owned licenses of QuickBooks Point of Sale or QuickBooks for Mac
NEW! QuickBooks Tool hub
  • What is it?: Fix common problems and errors by tapping into a hub that contains easy-to-use troubleshooting tools.
  • Where is it?: Download here.
Features in QuickBooks Desktop subscriptions (Plus & Enterprise) Only
NEW! Receipt Management
  • What is it?: This feature allows you to capture the receipt data and attach it to the transaction in QuickBooks. All you have to do is use the QuickBooks Desktop mobile app to photograph receipts, import, and review. When you review you can categorize, and manage multiple receipt transactions at once.
  • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select Vendors > Receipt Management.
What is a Plus Subscription
  • As Intuit is phasing out one time purchase of QuickBooks Pro & Premier desktop products, they are encouraging customers to select the Plus subscription version by including extra benefits & Features. These include:
    • nlimited customer support at no additional charge (a $299 annual value)
    • Automatic data backup and recovery at no additional charge (a $99 annual value)
    • Active subscriptions give you access to the latest EDITIONS. You will continue to have access to the latest updates, features, security patches, and compatibility with the latest third party operating systems that are currently available. 
    • Subscription exclusive feature. Automatically create and categorize receipt expense transactions using the QuickBooks Desktop Mobile App, or a scanner
    • Optional: Add-on discounted cloud-based remote access
QuickBooks Accountant Edition
  • NEW! Batch Delete Sales Order
    • What is it? This feature now allows accountants to clean up their clients’ data files efficiently with batch delete for sales orders.  
    • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select Accountant > Batch Delete/Void Transactions.
QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum and Diamond
NEW! Data Level Permissions
  • What is it? This feature allows for setting granular data level permissions for users based on the customers, vendors, and data they are responsible for. This allows for improved delegation, visibility, and productivity.
  • Where is it?: Requires Admin Login, from there follow the steps:
    1. From the menu bar, select Company > Users > Setup Users and Roles and select the Roles tab. Edit an existing role, or create a custom role. For this article, I will edit an existing role.
    2. Select the Accounts Receivable role, and choose on the right to Duplicate.
    3. Type a Role Name, with an optional Description for detailing the restriction(s).
    4. In Role Access, click on Centers, and in this example, click on Customer Center.
    5. In Activity Assess Level, click Custom and then Edit.
    6. If no Customer Groups exist, create a customer group. Optionally, in the top left, you can select to “Allow this role to create new customers,” and then choose to permit the assigned users of this role to View, Modify, Delete, Print, or View Balance.

In these images, a Residential A/R Accounts role is being created and assigned to the Residential Customers group. This same functionality is also permitted for working with Vendor groups.

NEW! Landed Cost can use COGS Account
  • What is it?: The Landed Cost feature allows the user to allocate freight, shipping, and other charges to the cost of an item. The new feature allows users to choose the Cost of Goods Sold as the account type as an alternative to Other Current Asset (recommended).This feature has also been improved to permit calculating landed costs for vendor bills in closed accounting periods. As a benefit to the QuickBooks user, they have better control over sensitive information by printing bills with or without landed cost details.
  • Where is it?: To set up Landed Costs: From the file menu, select Edit > Preferences > Items & Inventory > Company Preferences > Advanced Inventory Settings > Landed Cost tab.
IMPROVEMENT! Require Serial/Lot Numbers
  • What is it?: New option to prohibit users from recording a transaction without  serial or lot number. This can be a global setting or per-item basis.
  • Where is it?: To set the global preference, from the menu bar, select Edit > Preferences > Items & Inventory. Select the Company Preferences tab, choose Serial/Lot Numbers, and select the default setting to require serial/lot numbers. Optionally, to set the requirement on an individual inventory item, from the menu bar, select Lists > Items List. With your mouse cursor, select the item, and right-click to edit. Click the serial (or lot number) button on the right side, and choose to Make it Mandatory.Note: This feature will release with the QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 21.0Platinum subscription after R1.
IMPROVEMENT! Barcode label prices
  • What is it?: This feature now allows you to include the sales price on printed barcode labels along with the item name and description. This will give better visibility to customers and employees by including this detailed information on barcodes. 
  • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select File > Print Forms > Labels.
IMPROVED! Alternative Vendors column in Inventory Stock Status Report
  • What is it?: With this feature, users have an information center containing vendor contact and pricing data, helping to make more informed purchasing decisions.You can easily create purchase orders with vendor information automatically included.
  • Where is it?: From the menu bar, select Reports > Inventory > Inventory Stock Status by Item or Inventory Valuation Summary. To include the Alternate Vendor column on the displayed report, click the Customize Report button. Next, on the Display tab, scroll to select the Alternate Vendor column.

It’s exciting to see the investment continue in desktop products to increase efficiency. This allows you to save time and money so you can get back to your business. To learn more about these features, get a demo, or an analysis to see what your best options are for your particular needs, reach out to a QuickBooks Solution Provider who is an expert in the implementation as well as discussing your business needs to help you choose the best version based on the features available. If you are interested in furthering your own training in using QuickBooks for your business, check out our courses at schoolofbookkeeping.com

If you’re not sure which version of QuickBooks is right for you, try our QB Chooser tool.




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