I have used Quickbooks for over 20 years. I bought my first version at Sam's Club in the early 90's. It was a DOS version and cost $30 if my memory is accurate. I learned accounting using Quickbooks even though I studied accounting in school. It was excellent software. Each new version was better. Each new version had more features. I bought many upgrades. I still have them. I wrote interface software for Quickbooks using IIF files and something called Intuit API. In my mind Quickbooks and Intuit were the Gold Standard, high quality.
I think the best version was QB 2004. After that Intuit started implementing what I call "customer capture". "Oh, you looked at the new free trial software and loaded you data file? Well that converted you data to the new format which can only be read by the new version. You will have to get the new version."
I sold my business and started a new business where I do the accounting again. I could not use Quickbooks 2004 because I had to get authorization code after 30 uses with a new install. Guess what? The online source for the authorization code is no longer a valid URL and the phone number is no longer a working number. When I bought the software I bought a right to use it forever. Software is no longer sold with those rights that but it was then.
I have used Quickbooks Online for the past 9 months. I am not satisfied with the ease of use, the reports, performance or reliability. I have duplicated all of the nine months' entries into GnuCash, a free, open source accounting program. I like open source and GnuCash is good software. But it is not as good as the old Quickbooks.
I do think the customer should always have ownership and control of the data they enter into software. That is not the way it is in the software industry. I know. My business was a software business.
(I apologize for griping. It is very frustrating to use software that is not as good as it was in the past. Accounting software should be getting better and cheaper but the opposite is happening.)
I do have a question: Does anybody know how I can get "authorization code" for my 2004 Quickbooks so I can use it?