The answer to your questions is “It depends”. You don’t really need to purchase a new copy of QuickBooks every year, but you might want to. With each new version of QuickBooks there are usually new features to the program. These features usually come from suggestions made from current users wanting improvements. Check out what’s new for 2011 QuickBooks Pro http://quickbooks.intuit.com/pro/whats-new/ .
As Intuit finds bugs in their software, they release fixes. There is no charge for these fixes. If you press the F2 key when you have your company file open, you can see what release you have at the top of your screen. These releases keep your program running smoothly and it is suggested you continue to download them when they become available.
Unlike fixes to the program that are free, when Intuit releases a new version of their software you will have to purchase it again. There is often a discount to upgrade through Intuit, often it can be found it at a lesser cost somewhere else or on the internet.
The main reason you would want to upgrade your software to a newer version is Intuit no longer will offer support of a version older than three years. What this means:
* If you have employees and have been using a payroll subscription through Intuit, payroll updates will not be available.
* There are no longer any “fixes” for bugs that might occur in the program you are currently using.
* There will be no more support offered for your product through the Intuit email server (emailing invoices, etc.)
Deciding to upgrade QuickBooks is something you might consider talking to your accountant or CPA. If upgrading allows for features with easier and better reporting, your business has employees and additionally want support from QuickBooks you should consider upgrading at least every 3 years. What is your experience with updating QuickBooks? Need help? Contact our Certified Professional Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org for free and confidential support.