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QuickBooks Upgrade vs. Renewal: Enterprise Subscriptions in a Nutshell

QuickBooks Upgrade vs. Renewal: Enterprise Subscriptions in a Nutshell

We’ve had some discussion recently on just what the difference is between upgrading and renewing, when it comes to QuickBooks Enterprise subscriptions. Because this can be a bit of a headscratcher, let’s look at the difference between these terms as they apply to QuickBooks, and what they mean for you.

What is the QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Discontinuation & Sunset Policy?

To begin, it’s important to understand Intuit’s sunset cycle. Historically, Intuit will provide upgrade and support for the last three versions of QuickBooks, defined by year, with the fourth oldest year being no longer supported or “sunset”, usually around the end of the first quarter. For example, as of the time of this post, Intuit provides support for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 versions. The 2015 version was sunset earlier this year, meaning users of that version are no longer able to receive the following:

  • Direct Intuit support
  • Patches, or payroll updates for that version
  • Use of Online Banking
  • Merchant Services

In that instance, users should begin using one of the currently supported versions. Patterns tell us that version 2016 is then most likely going to be sunset following Q1 of 2019.

Do I Have to Upgrade to the Latest Version of QuickBooks Desktop?

The process of upgrading is when you install and begin using your data file in a newer version, which upgrades the data file’s information to work with the new version. You do not necessarily have to upgrade every year. Because of the three-year sunset cycle, users will often upgrade on a three-year cycle themselves, installing the newest version only when the current is about to sunset, then not worrying about it for another three years. Users who prefer to always have access to the latest features may instead choose to upgrade to the most current version each year after it is released.

Why or When Would I Renew my QuickBooks?

Renewal is somewhat different from this. To be able to upgrade on whichever timeline you prefer, you must have renewed your subscription. Renewal entitles you to the following:

  • An additional year of support
  • Release updates for currently supported versions of QuickBooks
  • Software access for currently-supported versions
  • Access to that year’s new version of the software, which again you may choose to upgrade to or hold off on, so long as the version you currently use has not yet been sunset.

Wrapping Up

A QuickBooks subscription must be renewed each year to maintain access and to get release updates and online services. Renewal will also allow you access to upgrade to the latest version.

The upgrade is optional so long as the version you are using is still within its product life cycle, which has historically been 3 years from release. Once the product has been sunset, users must upgrade to a supported version.

If you haven’t checked them out, we have been running webinars – called Technology Tuesdays. We highlight a lot of what we offer – at Out Of The Box Technology; and from our partners highlighting what they offer. We’re going to have #Gusto highlighted again – next week!


We’re happy to announce we’ll have QuickBooks 2020 Feature Highlight on October 8, 2019! It will be webinar based, and you’ll be able to receive CPE Credits for your attendance and live participation throughout.

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