Many reviews comment on the color scheme. At first I was skeptical about what they meant, but after using the program; yes it is a problem. I am going to cover that as well as several other points important to know.
Back up your company files right before loading the new version 2013. It only takes a second, and makes your test drive easily reversible.
You have a choice of jumping off of the diving board by loading the new version of QB 2013 by overwriting the old version, and then converting your existing company files but unconverting them, and restoring them is a major hassle. So the following is important to know.
You can run both versions of QuickBooks (in my case 2010 and 2013) concurrently/at the same time. So you are keeping your old version of QuickBooks intact while you try out the new one. (They currently have a 60 day return policy so take it for a test drive) This is important. When installing it asks you, "Do you want to overwrite your old version?" If you want to test it out and not go through the rigamarole of reconverting, or restoring your old version in case you want to send the new version back, say NO by choosing the option above it in order to write it to a new location. They already have a folder designated to do that when you choose that option and it is called "QuickBooks 2013". Don't worry about choosing your industry edition; you can always change it later from within QuickBooks. Note: If you install it on more than one computer you must install the same industry edition. This way you can try QuickBooks without over writing your existing version, OR converting your current company files over to the 2013 version either. So play with the sample file, or do as I did if you are creating a new company in addition to the old one. So with both version running and open, if I have an order from a customer from one company I can process it without having to open and close companies to access it. In plain words I have one click access to both companies. So both Qbooks versions are open, and both companies are open at the same time. That is something you cannot do if you only have one version of QuickBooks. You can however have two companies open if you install QB into a laptop also. (They allow you one other install but only if you use the same industry edition. So for example if you have a manufacturing company and a retail business they have different industry editions)
So now onto the three pound monster; the color schemes. In 2012 you had the option of choosing an assortment of color schemes. You don't have that option in 2013. That wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that they chose colors that create headaches; well at least in some people. I love the way 2010 looks. It is reminiscent of Outlook 2007 with its soft blues and grays. It is pleasant to look at and easy to read. 2013 has the same icons and choices (how are they going to improve on something in any major way that has been through a zillion years of tweaking to make it Intuit-ive?) BUT they changed it slightly with the biggest problem as I see it (no pun intended) is they included black backgrounds with reversed out white letters. Our eyes get adjusted to that, and then on the same page they have these super soft letters on a bright background which is a seismic shift. I can see what they mean that this could give you a headache after awhile. So I thought I would convert it some by minimizing the left side navigation pane, which is easy to do with one click of the mouse, but the problem is that when you use any one of the features such as invoicing, credit memos, estimates etc up comes those screens with the same black header reversed out and you can't change that. On a cerebral-vision basis it is not conducive to reducing the workload, but rather increasing it. Your eyes and vision set have to constantly readjust depending on which part of the page you are focusing on. As soon as you open the program and spend a few minutes with it, you immediate feeling will be how do I change the black headers only to find out you can't. The headers also give you a feeling of the old DOS days; it is real basic and the level of graphics is Neanderthal. The rest of the work area is fine. I don't have any problem with soft lettering, or the nicely colored icons; just change the headers, and/or include some color scheme changes.
What else is there?
I have been using Intuit products since the DOS days in the 80's. Easy to use, intuitive, and great for small businesses. There is no way they are not going to fix this. There are too many people complaining about it. It will have a devastating effect on sales. Intuit is the best and I am sure they will be updating by re-creating the color scheme choice like they had in 2012, or at the very least go back to the pleasant default color scheme in some earlier versions. If they don't hold onto your 2012 version because they are going to become more and more valuable especially if Intuit stops making the 2012 version.
UPDATE: Okay I am going to have to tip my hat because Intuit did "correct" the problem. Why do I put quotes around correct? I don't want to nit pick but I have to be critical. What they did with R6 free update (R9 is out now) is "Company File Color Scheme" option is introduced in the "Desktop View" preference to allow users to change the color of the title bar and the border of QuickBooks windows for a particular company file, which will help users to differentiate between multiple company files. This preference will be replacing the "Company Color Flag" preference introduced in R4 release. We are offering 14 different "Company File Color Scheme" options to apply on various company files. This is a user level preference, which essentially means that various users connected to the same company file can select different colors. (R6)
That was a copy and paste from Intuit of the improvement. What it means is that the title bars have been made adjustable into some really nice colors. My main concern was how the large black background area with white text was creating an eye set, if I can use that expression which was pretty bold, and then you had to re-adjust your eyes in order to see the fine print in lighted out gray in the forms etc. So it was a headache waiting to happen. At first I dismissed others comments but then saw exactly what they were saying, and had to agree with them. So what did Intuit do? They did not get rid of the large black background to the main menu on the left, BUT you can minimize that so it is a small border on the left side of the screen. Then they gave you this option to change the title bar color options with some beautiful colors, while at the same time changing the title bar titles themselves into all caps to help balance the visibility out. All in all it is very useable now.
In all fairness in my 2010 version the invoices for example have black backgrounds with white letters in the inner title bars but the black bars are a lot thinner. 2013 has large black bars still. BUT with the other changes it is very manageable, and I would now have to say that I give the whole program a triple thumbs up and 5 stars. I also must admit that the left main menu is easier to read with a black background and white letters, rather than a lesser contrast option so they did good. The fact that you can minimize that whole window, and then you are working almost exclusively in your color choice (and the ones they give you are beautiful) makes this a top drawer program. I am once again in love with Quickbooks, yes even the 2013 version.