No. Internal development cycles did not allow enough time to implement the necessary changes in all components of QuickBooks 2017. QuickBooks is over 20-years old and uses several different programming technologies. Accessibility changes are being made where they have the most impact in the product and affect the most common processes used by most users. Future updates and upgrades will include more accessibility changes.
The first accessible release provides access to the major work flow for day-to-day operation of QuickBooks. These work flows include creating estimates, sales receipts, and invoices. Users can also enter and pay bills and write checks. Future QuickBooks updates and upgrade releases will expand accessibility in other areas of the program as they become available.
The QuickBooks 2017 user interface is significantly different than earlier versions of QuickBooks. If you have a specific work-around for required tasks you've been using in earlier versions, we strongly recommend you use QuickBooks 2017 with the sample data provided and confirm that you will be able to perform your critical tasks prior to completely switching over to the new version of the program. Some user interface changes in QuickBooks 2017 may break work-around techniques you've been using with earlier versions.
Yes. Many of the changes made to the system make other areas of QuickBooks easier to use, though you may run into controls or screens that don't work as well as they need to. Less commonly used areas such as Inventory Management and Payroll may still have usability issues, but are scheduled as priorities that will be taken up in 2017.
The screen readers currently supporting QuickBooks 2017 include Jaws for Windows and NVDA. Work is still being done to include Window-Eyes going forward. Each of these manufacturers has access to the accessible components and development is underway on scripts or apps that work with QuickBooks 2017 in order to improve overall usability. JAWS 11 and higher is supported but JAWS 12 and higher is recommended to take full advantage of the script functionality.
No. Older versions of QuickBooks will not work any better with screen readers. You will need to upgrade to QuickBooks 2017 or later to take advantage of the accessibility changes. In some cases, if you install the QuickBooks 2017 scripts for your screen reader while using an older version of QuickBooks, it will be harder to use the Quickbooks than before.
QuickBooks 2017 is updated regularly with service packs. These service packs are label R1, R2, etc. Currently the R5 service pack is required for best support with a screen reader, and further improvements are planned for future releases. R3 is the minimum supported service pack, but is still recommended that you update. If you buy a retail boxed version with a service pack earlier than R5, you will need to install it and apply the latest update.
Once you convert your company file to QuickBooks 2017 and add data you will not be able to revert back to an earlier version. We recommend backing up your data from the earlier version and don't enter any live data until you are sure you want to make the upgrade. If QuickBooks 2017 does not allow you to perform critical tasks you require, you can always use your older data file and keep using your earlier version of QuickBooks. If you decide to switch back to an earlier version of QuickBooks after you've entered live data you will need to re-enter any new data into your older version of QuickBooks.
QuickBooks 2017 will incorporate even more accessibility changes as we build accessibility protocols into our development process. Intuit's goal is to continue to improve accessibility to the QuickBooks family of products.
QuickBooks 2017 for Windows, which includes QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise, has been the primary focus to date. Other QuickBooks products will be looked at as we gain momentum. Certain features that were not addressed in 2017, will be prioritized and included when work is started on QuickBooks 2017.