Can a Small Business Windows PC User move to a Mac?

Mac Windows LogosAdmit it.  You’ve looked at them.  We have all looked at them.  Apple has spent millions in advertising so that we cannot miss them:  The New Mac Book Air and Mac Book Pro notebook computers.  The Mac Book Air is ultra light.  The Mac Book Pro has an amazing screen.  And the iMac and Mac Mini desktops are more like sculptures than computers.

But you live in a Windows world with Microsoft Office and Quickbooks and probably feel like all you can do is longingly gaze at those sleek aluminum cases and dream about the day that you might be able to run your business on a Mac.

Well someday may be today for you.

There is a good chance that Microsoft Office for Mac and Quickbooks for Mac versions may just set you free from Microsoft Windows.  Especially if you are not using any of the advanced features of the Windows version and you have limited sharing needs for your Calendar and don’t need to share you Quickbooks data file with other users.

There are a few key differences in Microsoft Office for Mac:
The keyboard short cuts will be a little different due to the differences between the Windows and Mac keyboard command structure.  For example, PC’s have a “Windows” key and Mac’s have a “Command” key.

The fonts may be slightly different so you may have to substitute or purchase fonts for a close or exact match. However, if you use the standard font in the Windows version there is a very similar Mac version so spacing and document layout should be maintained without issue.

Macro support is not as comprehensive on the Mac version.  If you have extensive use of Macros, you will want to test your documents and spreadsheets before fully committing.

Outlook sync to other services, such as Google, is not as strong in the Mac version and some calendar/event tagging is handled differently.

If you predominantly write letters and simple reports, create basic spreadsheets with standard formula tools, and use Outlook as an email client with a Contact address book and Calendar, you should be fine.  Both Windows and Mac versions can open and save each other’s Microsoft Office files without issue.

Here are some key differences for Quickbooks for Mac:

Quickbooks for Mac does not offer the Premier Specialized Editions. One key benefit of a Premier Edition is the predefined reports.  However, you can easily duplicate most of those reports through the report writer.

The only Intuit Payroll option is “Quickbooks Complete Payroll” which is Intuit’s version of a payroll service.  (You report the hours, Quickbooks Complete Payroll takes care of the rest including direct deposit or mailing checks and all tax filings.)  If you presently use a third party payroll service like ADP or PayChex, then there is no issue at all as nothing changes.

If on your Windows version, you use the Basic Payroll (Tax Tables Only) or the Enhanced Payroll (Tax Tables plus Federal and State Tax Forms Printing), you are out-of-luck.

There is no multi-user version of Quickbooks for Mac.  It is a single install, single user program.

If you are the only user of your Quickbooks program, do not do payroll yourself and don’t need predefined advanced reports, the QuickBooks for Mac will certainly do the job without issue.

Quickbooks has a one-time conversion process to move the data file from the Windows to Mac version.  After that, once you Start Quickbooks for the first time on a Mac, the layout, look, and feel are pretty much the same – only cooler – because it is on a Mac.

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