BlockTax, the world's only two-time #1 Top Tester of QuickBooks, won two more awards for pre-release testing of the exciting new QuickBooks.
QB no longer tracks beta points, due to our prior near doubling of the #2 Top Tester's beta test points. However, our efforts recently helped us and two of our clients win seven free copies of QuickBooks. This is one reason we always strongly encourage clients and associates to sign up for the free QuickBooks beta tests. The best reason is this give us all several months of actual experience with the new program, before other CPAs even know what it does. It also gives us a really good chance to get QuickBooks to add features we feel are really important, while doing what we can to eliminate bugs.
For example,. This is due to its open database and a software development kit. These are what programmers really needed to integrate all their other programs with QB. I began pressing for this during the QB6 June 1998 beta tests I soon won. First came my the beta newsgroup post, The Most Wanted New QuickBooks Feature in QuickBooks. I followed this with a post saying that a QuickBooks Developer program should be the most wanted new feature. I pointed out this would let many testers get the features that they wanted. These were the most popular tester posts. All testers responding very much wanted a developer version, at prices up to $2,000.
At the time there were almost no QuickBooks Add-ons. QB technical support never supported the old incomplete QB IIF format. Some QB add-on developers actually said Intuit seemed actively hostile to their efforts. This apparently related to a feeling that developers might compete with QB when it added features. My effort may even have caused the end of QB beta test newsgroups.
Despite this I began my QuickBooks Add-ons web pages. I also often pressed for a developer version in countless newsgroup posts and in personal meetings and private posts with Our QuickBooks Friends. Among the many reasons for wanting this was it was an ideal way for Intuit to get countless companies to help them add different features they could not possibly afford to add to their mass-market products. The key is that by integrating the the additional programs you not only never enter data twice, but you also eliminate many errors and keep records far more up to date at far less cost. Of course, it also is an ideal way to make other people help sell many more copies of QuickBooks. Finally, it is a cheap safe way to determine where there is really significant user interest in an add-on area.
Many newsgroup readers and developers strongly supported my lead. I also repeatedly scoured the web and contacted QuickBooks Add-on developers to rapidly increase the many programs on my QB Add-ons website. All this made it increasingly clear that there was very significant interest in a developer version. Finally, QB began to encourage developers and others to partner with them.
Their results must have strongly confirmed what I wanted. In June 2001 Intuit announced an its QB developer version and a software developer kit. In fact, Intuit's founder personally stated that the developer effort would be his #1 top priority. Of course, I certainly do not claim exclusive credit for turning this around within three years. Recent industry trends now strongly emphasize program interoperability.
This, however, it is a very clear example of what can happen when to your creative ideas when you actively beta test.