QuickBooks’ installation process seems to gain or lose a few steps—and clicks of the Next button—with each new version. Still, you only have two basic options: install the program from scratch or upgrade from a previous version. When you upgrade, you can run both the old and new versions on your computer at the same time, which is essential if you’re an accountant or bookkeeper who works with company files from several different clients. Even if you use QuickBooks to run your own business, you might want to keep your old version around in case you decide that you don’t like the new version. However, once you open your company file in a new version of QuickBooks, it won’t run in the earlier version (see the box below), so be sure to back up your company file before you run it with the new version.
This appendix walks you through both paths of the installation process. You’ll also find out how to install QuickBooks 2011 on a company network (Where to Store Your Company Files). If, like most businesses, you have several people who can access a company file at the same time, everyone has to run the same version of QuickBooks, so prepare to spend the time installing the program on all those machines. You’ll also learn where on a network you can store your company file—and which location to choose for best performance.