Monday, October 31, 2011

Intuit Payment Network Adds Credit Card Processing

If you've never heard of the Intuit Payment Network, I don't blame you.  I can't say that I feel they are marketing it much, since I rarely see mention of it online anywhere.  But if you are, or you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I've written about the major weakness of IPN:  it didn't process credit cards.  Well, now it does.

I've previously written that IPN appears to be competing with PayPay, but that it didn't want to compete with QuickBooks' built-in credit-card processing, so it wasn't an option.  They seem to have "cut the baby in half," so to speak at Intuit.  There now is credit-card processing via IPN, but it's not within QuickBooks and requires more steps than the built-in processing does.  Still, at least it's offered and there are no monthly fees, as there are with the built-in feature.  However, the processing fees are higher with IPN than with PayPal, at least if my math is correct.  So how can they expect to compete with PayPal?

I posted a comment on the IPN blog at, but they apparently didn't approve the comment or don't moderate comments very often.

My other peeve is that IPN is supposed to "sync" with QuickBooks, at least if you have Intuit Sync Manager running.  This is to save you the double-entry that you have to do with PayPal.  If it worked, it would be one advantage IPN has over PayPal.  Except it doesn't work.  And when I called Support there for assistance, they said the issue would be escalated and that was the last I heard.

Ironically, I just completed one of those online questionnaires from Intuit, asking me what I thought of their customer service.  The last question was, "On a scale of 1 to 10...I think QuickBooks values me as a customer."  I answered zero.

QuickBooks continues to be that kid that you know that you sense wants to do right, wants to be good, yet can't stop sticking his foot in his mouth or acting out.  The lack of coordination and planning is apparent.  As always, I keep wanting QuickBooks to be better, to do better.  But the waiting continues.

If you've cracked open QuickBooks 2012, I'd love to hear your comments on what works or doesn't work.  I'm still waiting...and waiting...and waiting...for my review copy, but once I get it, I'll be sure to share my thoughts.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Sort of Mid-October Monthly Round-up

A very happy New Year to all of my Jewish friends, family, and colleagues.  I hope you all had good holidays and easy fasts.

Life here at The Zack Company has been moving slowly, as I have no current intern and the entire family has gotten an early start to the winter cold season.  Don't worry.  I do great sleeping no more than thirty minutes at a shot before being woken up by a crying one-year-old or a crying three-year-old.  At least I got my flu shot.  Of course, for about two days after, I felt a bit like I had the flu.

Funny story.  Every year, my wife makes big plans for the Jewish holidays.  Often I'm a bit resistant.  I'm not a great Jew.  I'm a proud Jew, but not very religious.  This year, I tried to get on-board with the program.  I went out and bought two new suits and we joined a shul and everything.  We were all set.  Then I got sick.  So I missed Rosh Hashanah services because I was sick.  No worries, there's still Yom Kippur.  Except then our one-year-old got sick.  So I stayed home with him.  So, two new suits in the closet, never worn.  I better get invited to a couple of weddings soon, dammit.

So, the monthly round-up....  Here's the story.  I stayed up until eleven last night, trying to reconcile what we had electronically and what we had in physical format and where I am with all of it.  Lacking an intern, the reading has really slowed down.  I did, however, read a new novel by a new client that I took on not that long ago, and it's awesome.  A few tweaks here and there, and I'll be headed out to publishers with it.

So, here's what's been going on submission wise:

In September:

...we received 45 queries and declined 4;
...we received 3 sample chapters and declined 1;
...we received 1 manuscript and declined 1.

In October, so far:

...we received 19 queries and declined 3;
...we received 1 manuscript.

We currently have on-hand (give or take one or two):

...18 sample chapters;
...3 proposals;
...12 full manuscripts, including 2 from current clients;
...52 queries I have yet to go through.

I also discarded a number of queries that we'd answered with requests for more material, but never received.  We followed-up on most if not all of these at least once.  For the life of me, I can't say why someone would query me and then not submit when asked to.  Maybe I need to add a "confirm email" requirement on the web form, so that people don't give me bad addresses?

Obviously, as I am currently without a first reader, things are going to be going a bit slowly in the reading department.  I looks like we are currently reading material that came in in July.

As always, your patience is appreciated.