As individuals and businesses weigh whether to be PC- or Mac-based, one of the major issues is what crucial computer tools will still be functional, and how hard it will be to learn new ways of using them.

I’ve been through two company-wide PC-to-Mac conversions, with all their accompanying temper tantrums and confusion. The old familiar shortcut keys no longer worked, the pathways through systems that we could once do in our sleep now had unexpected twists and turns.

One by one, staff members had to re-learn basic applications in a new format.

One of those key business applications is QuickBooks, but CPE Link instructor Shelly Robbins says there’s no reason to fret when Mac-based clients come your way. Robbins says QuickBooks/Mac 2011 is “multi-user capable and much more user-friendly” than earlier ways of converting QuickBooks to Mac.

According to Robbins, businesses that often opt for Mac systems include:
* Architects and Engineers
* Graphic Designers, Interior Designers, Web Developers
* Small Retailers

Robbins’ newest project an online “Help Wanted” and Directory exclusively for people who need QuickBooks support. “There is so much work to be done in the constantly-moving and ever-expanding field of QuickBooks consulting that there is much to be gained when QuickBooks consultants team up together,” she says.

These are, of course, some differences between the Windows and Mac versions. There’s no accountant’s copy on Mac, for example, and there are limited third party app integrations. Payroll and banking are online, and functions such as progress invoicing are different.

But there’s no need for worry, Robbins says, and nothing to be afraid of. QuickBooks for Mac works just like any other Mac software and has “the ease of use you expect from QuickBooks, and the elegance and simplicity of the Mac.”

Robbins — who got her start as a bookkeeper with the first version of QuickBooks in DOS — is a QuickBooks training and troubleshooting expert. She is founder and president of Seattle-based The QuickSource.