QuickBooks Zen is the code name for the 2013 edition of QuickBooks for Mac from Intuit (www.intuit.com). The latest release is designed to help small businesses new to QuickBooks for Mac get up and running faster and reduce the learning curve, according to the folks at Intuit. Updates include:

° Data Import. You can populate contacts and products or services bought or sold by importing contacts automatically from the Address Book, or by copying and pasting contact or item information from spreadsheets.

° Improved new user experience. QuickBooks Zen offers tutorials and tips, including video how-to’s and more.

° Document Attachments, a feature that attaches contracts, proposals, receipts and more to related records for easy reference.

° Batch invoicing, which is designed to streamline the process of invoicing multiple customers for the same service by creating a template and invoicing all customers simultaneously.

° Intuit PaymentNetwork, which enables small businesses to get paid faster. It provides a way for a small business’s customers to instantly pay their invoices electronically. Payments sync with QuickBooks. Bank payments cost the small business owner U$0.50 cents each.

° Improved reconciliation, which helps minimize errors and helps users identify discrepancies through optimized filters and searches when reconciling QuickBooks data with bank statements. Users can view previous reconciliation reports for snapshots of their businesses over time.

QuickBooks for Mac 2013 is scheduled to be available directly from Intuit at www.quickbooks.com/mac beginning Sept. 24. It’s expected to be available at Apple retail stores, Apple.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Costco.com, Fry’s, MacZones, Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples on Oct 7.

Suggested retail prices are: one user: $249.95; two users, $499.95; three users, $749.95; four users, $999.95; and five users, $1,249.95.