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Are You Memorizing Transactions? Should You Be?

You know that QuickBooks saves a lot of time, so learning how to memorize transactions can save you more?

Making Copies

To memorize a transaction, you first need to create a model for it. Let’s say you have a monthly bill for $450 that’s paid to Bruce’s Office Machines. You’d click Enter Bills on the home page or open the Vendors menu and select Enter Bills. Fill in the blanks and select from drop-down lists to create the bill. Then click Memorize in the horizontal toolbar at the top of the form.  This window will open.

Before you can Memorize a transaction, you first have to create a model (template) for it.

The vendor’s name will already be filled in on the Memorize Transaction screen. Look directly below that. There are three ways that QuickBooks can handle these Memorized Transactions when one of their due dates is approaching:

  • Add to my Reminders List. If you click the button in front of this option, the current transaction will appear on your Reminders List every time it’s due. You might request this for transactions that will change some every time they’re processed, like a utility bill that’s always expected on the same day, but which has a different amount every month.
  • Do Not Remind Me. Obviously, QuickBooks will not post a reminder if you click this button. This is best used for transactions that don’t recur on a regular basis. Maybe you have a snow-shoveling service that you pay only when there’s a storm. So the date is always different, but everything else is the same.
  • Automate Transaction Entry. Be very careful with this one. It’s reserved for transactions that are identical except for the issue date. They don’t need your approval – they’re just created and dispatched.

Click the down arrow in the field to the right of How Often and select the correct interval. Then click the calendar icon to pick a date for the next occurrence. If you have selected Automate Transaction Entry, the grayed-out lines below Next Date not shown here) contain fields for Number Remaining and Days in Advance to Enter.

How Does QuickBooks Know?

Obviously, you’ll want advance warning of transactions that will require processing. QuickBooks lets you specify how many days’ notice you want for each type. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences. Click Reminders in the left vertical pane, then the Company Preferences tab. You can tell QuickBooks whether you want to see a summary in each category or a list, or no Reminder. Then you can enter the number of days’ warning you want.

QuickBooks lets you specify the content and timing of your Reminders.

Working with Memorized Transactions

Once you’ve created some Memorized Transactions, you will undoubtedly need to review them at some point. To review, open the Lists menu and select Memorized Transaction List to see all the templates for recurring bills, invoices, etc., that you’ve defined. Right-click on one you want to work with, and this menu appears:

The Memorized Transaction List with the right-click window open

You have several options here. If your list is so long that it fills multiple screens, you can Find the transaction you’re looking for. If you’ve created multiple related transactions, you can save them as a New Group. You can also Edit, Delete, and Enter Memorized Transactions.

Anytime you’re letting QuickBooks do something on its own, it’s critical that you thoroughly understand the mechanics of setting the process up. We’d be happy to go over the whole topic of Memorized Transactions with you, or any other aspect of QuickBooks operations — call us today at 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Setting Up QBO Users

Unless you assign specific access rights to your users, they’ll be able to see and do everything that you see and do on the site. You undoubtedly trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them, but it’s just good business practice to restrict individuals to their specific work areas.

QuickBooks Online makes this easy. Once you’ve set up individuals for a specific set of screen permissions, that’s all they’ll see when they log in with their user names and passwords. Here’s how it works.

Several Levels

Click the gear icon in the upper right of the QuickBooks Online screen, then select Manage Users under Your Company, then click New. This mini-interview will open.

QuickBooks Online’s mini-interview will walk you through the steps required to assign access rights to employees.

As you can see, four access levels are supported. You’ll probably select Regular or custom user most often because you can drill down and set permissions at the screen level. The Company administrator is you, of course, unless you’ve assigned this role to someone else. The user at this level has access to everything.

You can also let someone see Reports only, with the exception of payroll reports and those that contain contact information about customers, vendors, and employees. If you have employees who submit time sheets but don’t otherwise work in QuickBooks Online, you can let them in to do Time Tracking only.

Tip: There’s a fifth option here. You can grant us access to your QuickBooks Online company data, making it easier for us to monitor and troubleshoot your accounting information. Let us know if you want to take advantage of this.

Paring Down Access

Click the button in front of Regular or custom user if it’s not already highlighted, and then click Next. This third screen in the mini-interview deals with Customers and Sales and Vendors and Purchases Access Rights. Click All or None if appropriate.

This screen in the mini-interview helps you restrict user access in Sales and Purchase areas.

If you’re allowing Limited access in these two areas, be sure to read the fine print explaining what is and isn’t allowed. When you’re satisfied with your selection, click Next. On the next screen, you’ll set administrative rights for that user by indicating whether he or she can manage other users’ access rights and work with your subscription status and other company information.

You’ll supply the individual’s email address and name on the following screen. This will be used to send an email inviting the user to sign in using an existing Intuit Business Services user name or one he or she creates. Click through the next screen and click Finish when you’re done. The mini-interview will close, and you’ll be back at the Manage Users page.

Your User Overview

The Manage Users page displays a list of all users who have been invited or are active.

The Manage Users screen

The table here lists all users’ names, email addresses, access rights, billable standing, and status. If you haven’t received a response to an invitation (Invited), you can click the Resend button to issue another email. When he or she responds, Invited changes to Active. Click on a row to highlight an individual, and you can Edit or Delete him or her, and see an audit log of Activity.

You or your appointed Master Administrator should set up access rights before any new employee is admitted to QuickBooks Online. Let us know if you’re having trouble with this element of the site, and if you’d like us to join your list of active users. It’s a lot easier for you and us if we can get in there and see what problems you’re having — and resolve them. Need help? Call us today @ 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment.

 

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Setting Up Users in QuickBooks Desktop

Identifying Users

To get started, open the Company menu and scroll down the list to highlight Set Up User Names and Passwords. On the slide-out menu, select Set Up Users. The User List window will open, and you should see your own entry as Admin. Click Add User.

To give an employee access to QuickBooks, enter a User Name for him or her here, then a password.

The Set up user password and access window will open. Fill in those fields and check the box in front of Add this user to my QuickBooks license. This will not be an option if you already have three or five users, since these are the maximum number allowed by QuickBooks Pro and Premier. Tip: If you’re not sure how many user licenses you’ve purchased, hit your F2 key and look in the upper left corner. Need to add a license? Call us @ 256-337-5200 for the best pricing.

Click Next. In the window that opens, you’ll define the access level for your new user. Your options here are:

• All areas of QuickBooks,
• Selected areas of QuickBooks, or,
• External accountant (you can grant us access to all areas of the software except for those that contain sensitive customer data, like credit card numbers).

Click the button in front of the second option, then Next.

You can specify the access rights for individual employees in numerous areas.

The image above shows the first screen of 10 that display the levels of access available in many individual areas of QuickBooks. Be sure to read the whole page carefully before assigning rights. Here, for example, you’re not just allowing the employee to enter sales and A/R transactions. You’re also deciding whether to grant permission to view the Customer Center and A/R reports. As you can see, your options are No Access, Full Access, and Selective Access (three levels there). Check the box below this list if you want the employee to be able to View complete customer credit card numbers.

When you’re finished there, click Next to specify your similar preferences for Purchases and Accounts Receivable, Checking and Credit Cards, Inventory, Time Tracking, and Payroll and Employees. The next two screens contain more complex concepts, but you’ll follow the same process to express your wishes. They are:

Sensitive Accounting Activities, like funds transfers, general journal entries, and online banking tasks
Sensitive Financial Reporting, which allows access to all QuickBooks reports.

The option you choose here overrides all other reporting restrictions that you’ve specified for the employee.

Finally, you’ll tell QuickBooks whether this person can change or delete transactions in designated areas, and whether he/she can do so to transactions that were recorded before the closing date (if this applies). The last screen displays a summary of the access and activity rights you’ve given the employee. Check them carefully, and if they’re correct, click Finish.

Housekeeping Options

The User List window

QuickBooks then takes you back to the User List window, where you’ll see the employee’s name displayed. If you want to Add, Edit, Delete, or View a user, make sure the correct name is highlighted and click the button for the desired action.

If you’re just now looking to add your first employee to QuickBooks or if you’re starting to outgrow the user limit, give us a call. There are more issues to consider when you take on multi-user access. We’d be happy to discuss them with you.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Getting Acquainted with QuickBooks Online (QBO)

Simple QBO Setup

Interested in QBO but not absolutely certain you’re going to stick with it? Then, sign up with us and get a 30-day FREE trial-click here.

If you have data in a desktop QuickBooks file, you can start the import process after you log in, however, we strongly recommend that you let us help with setup if you’re planning to do this. We recommend having us do a QB health check before uploading from desktop because cleanup is much easier/faster in desktop.

Once you start entering data, your QuickBooks Online Dashboard will give you an overview of your finances.

When you’ve completed your account setup, the main QBO screen opens. You’ll see your Dashboard, a collection of data and charts that provides critical information like your bank balances, your outstanding invoices, and your current profit and loss. You’ll eventually be using the vertical pane on the left for navigation. But you don’t need to click the links there yet – you have other setup tasks to do first.

Specifying Options

If you’ve used a desktop version of QuickBooks, you know about its many menus and Preferences window. QBO uses a different convention for choosing options and entering the information that will serve as the backbone for your company file. To get there, click the small gear icon in the upper right corner.

Tip: There are two other links next to the gear icon. You’ll be able to search for transactions by clicking the magnifying glass link. The plus (+) sign opens a window with links to screens where you can create transactions and initiate other activities.

You’ll spend a lot of time working with the links in the Your Company window when you’re setting up QBO. You can always refer back to it later on.

As you can see, you have access to a lot of data and activity in the Your Company window. You don’t have to go through absolutely every link before you start using QBO, but two you should look at early are Account and Settings and Manage Users.

The Account and Settings page is divided into multiple areas that you can access from a navigation bar on the left. They include:

  • Company: Fill in contact details and upload your company logo for use on sales forms.
  • Sales: Customize sales form content (preferred terms, custom fields, discount field, etc.). Would you like to turn on inventory tracking?
  • Expenses: Do you use purchase orders? Track expenses and items by customer? Make expenses and items billable?
  • Payments: Do you want to subscribe to QuickBooks Payments so you can accept credit cards and/or bank payments through QuickBooks Online? If so, give us a call at 256-337-5200 so we can have our payment’s specialist contact you.
  • Advanced: You’ll have numerous decisions to make here. For example, what tax form will you use? Will you want to automate some activities, like applying bill payments? Do you need to support multiple currencies?

The Advanced page of QBO’s Account and Settings presents you with numerous options. You may want our help with this.

Multi-User Access

Will more than one person at your company be using QBO? If so, you’ll most likely want to specify what areas they’re allowed to visit and what activities they can do. Click the gear icon in the upper right and then select Manage Users. QBO displays a mini-interview in a window here that walks you through the process of assigning access rights to individuals (Custom User, Time Tracking Only, etc.).

We’ve probably taken up more than your first hour by now, but we wanted to stress the importance of thoroughly setting up QBO before you start entering contact records and creating transactions. If this is your first experience with an accounting application, we highly recommend that you engage us in your first hours of using QuickBooks Online. We can come in at any time and troubleshoot problems, but it’ll be more economical and less time-consuming if we work with you from the start. Call us today at 256-337-5200–let us show you how easy using QBO can be from anywhere at anytime.

As always, we stand ready to help–call us at 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Establishing Preferences in QuickBooks

To start customizing QuickBooks so it works best for you, open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.

As you can see, the left vertical pane contains a list of Preference types. Click on any of these to change the option screens to the right. Always click the tabs labeled My Preferences and Company Preferences to make sure you see everything that’s displayed for each type (sometimes one will have no choices).

Setting Up Reminders

Let’s look closely at one set of Preferences: Reminders. It’s very important that you visit these screens when you begin using QuickBooks. Depending on how big your company is and how complex your accounting processes are, there may be things you need to do every day, like pay bills and follow up on overdue invoices. It would be nearly impossible for you to do everything on time if you didn’t ask QuickBooks to keep track of critical dates and remind you of them.

Click Reminders in the left vertical tab. You’ll see one option under My Preferences. Do you want QuickBooks to show Reminders List when opening a Company file? If so-and this is a good idea-click the box in front of that line if there isn’t a checkmark there already.

Then click Company Preferences. Here’s where you’ll tell QuickBooks whether you want to see summaries or lists for each reminder, or neither. You can also specify how much advance notice you want for specific tasks by entering a number of days. QuickBooks comes with default settings, but you can easily change these.
QuickBooks comes with default settings for Reminders, but you can enter your own Preferences here.

As you can see, it’s easy to specify your Company Preferences. Click the appropriate button under Show Summary, Show List, or Don’t Remind Me. If you’ve requested a reminder, delete any number that appears in the box in front of days before or days after and then enter your own.

Critical Areas

We recommend that you look through all of QuickBooks’ Preferences and change any that don’t fit your company. Some simply have to do with the way QuickBooks displays information and how it functions, but others have direct impact on your accounting work. As always, we’re available if you have questions here.

There are many that you will probably want to visit. They may have numerous options, but here’s some of what you can establish in each:
  • Accounting. Do you want to use account numbers and classes?
  • Checking. Which accounts should QuickBooks automatically use for tasks like Open the Pay Bills, Open the Make Deposits, and Open the Create Paychecks?
  • Finance Charge. Will you be assessing finance charges on late payments from customers? What’s the interest rate, minimum finance charge, and grace period?
  • Items & Inventory. Do you want inventory and purchase orders to be active?
  • Multiple Currencies. Does your company do business using other currencies?
  • Payments. Can customers pay you online? What methods can they use?
  • Payroll & Employees. Will you be processing payroll using QuickBooks?
  • Sales & Customers. Do you want to use sales orders? How should QuickBooks handle invoices when there are time and costs that need to be added?
  • You can see why it’s important to study QuickBooks’ Preferences early on. It’ll help you avoid unnecessary roadblocks and ensure that your company’s needs are reflected well in the software.

As always, we stand ready to help–call us at 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Custom Fields and Classes

Start from the Beginning with Custom Fields

You can start working with custom fields and classes at any time. They’re most effective, though, when you build them in as you’re just starting to use QBO.

Let’s look at custom fields first. When we refer to “fields,” we simply mean the rectangular boxes in records and forms that either already contain data or that can be filled in by you, either by entering the correct word or phrase, or by selecting from drop-down lists. Most of these are already named. On an invoice, for example, there are fields for information like Invoice date and Due date.

But you can add up to three additional fields to sales forms. To do so, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select Account and Settings, then click Sales in the vertical navigation bar on the left. The second block here contains Sales form content. Click Custom fields, and you’ll see something like this:

 You can define up to three custom fields on sales forms and make them visible internally and/or to your customers.

Click the word Off if it appears, and it will change to On and display three blank fields. Think carefully about what you would like to appear here, as this isn’t something you’ll want to change. If you haven’t yet met with us about how to set up QBO, let’s schedule some sessions to go over all your setup procedures, including custom fields.

Enter the words or phrases you want displayed on sales forms in the three fields. Then decide whether you want them to be visible only to you and your accounting staff or to your customers, too. Click within the Internal and Public to create check-marks. When you’re done, click Save.

Additional Categorization with Classes

QuickBooks Online’s classes provide another way to categorize transactions. You can use them to differentiate between, for example, departments or divisions. If you’re a construction company, you might have different classes for New Construction and Remodel. Unlike custom fields, you’re not limited to three classes.

You can filter many reports by class. QBO contains report templates designed specifically for reporting by class, like Sales by Class DetailPurchases by Class Detail, and Profit and Loss by Class.

Here’s how you create your own list. Click the gear icon in the upper right of the screen and select Account and Settings. Then click Advanced in the left vertical navigation toolbar. Under the fourth heading, Categories, you’ll see Track classes. If the word “Off” appears to the right, click in the box to turn this feature on. A box like this will appear:

Class-tracking in QBO helps you create more targeted reports.

Even if you’ve defined a number of classes, they’re not required on transactions. If you want to be reminded should you forget to classify one, click in the box in front of Warn me when a transaction isn’t assigned a class. You can also choose to assign one class to an entire transaction or to each individual row. Click the arrow to the right of One to entire transaction to drop the option box down and make your choice. When you’re done, click Save.

You can create classes as you’re entering transactions by clicking the arrow next to Class over to the right of the screen and selecting +Add new. We recommend, though, that you think this through ahead of time and make at least an initial list by clicking the gear icon in the upper right and choosing All Lists, then Classes, then New.

Great Flexibility

These are two of the customization tools that are built into QBO. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been using the site for a while, we can introduce you to all the ways that you can customize QBO.

As always, we stand ready to help–call us at 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Anatomy of a QuickBooks Inventory Item

If you have an item-heavy business, you need QB tools to track your inventory. 

Activating Inventory-Tracking

Before you get started creating item records and including them in transactions, you need to make sure that QuickBooks is set up to start tracking. Open the Edit menu and click Preferences. Click Items & Inventory in the left vertical pane and then select the Company Preferences tab. This window will open:

jan-2017-qbc-fig-1QuickBooks needs to know what your intentions are when it comes to inventory-tracking.

First, click in the box to the left of Inventory and purchase orders are active if it isn’t already checked. Click the next box down if applicable. The rest of this window deals with two concepts you need to understand. Quantity on Hand refers to the number of items that you actually have. Quantity Available subtracts items currently on Sales Orders. QuickBooks will warn you if you don’t have enough of a specific item to commit to a customer. You just have to decide which definition of Quantity you want to use.  When you’re done here, click OK.

Accuracy Matters

Now you can start entering records for the products you sell. Accuracy is absolutely essential here. You’ll see why as you explore QuickBooks’ tracking capabilities.

There are a few ways to open an item record window. You can click Items & Services in the upper right corner of the Home Page, or open the Lists menu and select Item List. Both will open a window displaying any item records that have been entered in a register-type view. Right-click anywhere and select New, or click the arrow next to Item in the lower left corner and select New.

jan-2017-qbc-fig-2Double- and triple-check your work as you enter information in the QuickBooks item record window.

QuickBooks lets you create records for numerous types of items, including Service, Discount, and Inventory Assembly. To see how inventory-tracking works, select Inventory Part from the drop-down menu under TYPE. Next, enter an Item Name/Number in that field.

If you’ve already named a main category (like Hardware, in the example above) and want to place your product in a subcategory of it, click the Subitem of box and choose from the drop-down list. Manufacturer’s Part Number is optional. You can ignore UNIT OF MEASURE, if this isn’t an option in your version of QuickBooks.

Purchase Information

If you buy this item from a vendor, fill in this side of the window. Write the description that should appear on purchase transactions when you place an order. Enter the cost you pay for it, and select the COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) account if the default isn’t correct. Do you buy this product exclusively from one supplier? Select the name in the drop-down menu under Preferred Vendor.

Sales Information

Enter the description you’d like customers to see on invoices and the price you’ll charge. If you’re at all unsure of what to select for Tax Code or Income Account, we can go over your Chart of Accounts with you and explain how its accounts are used in records and transactions.

Inventory Information

Here’s where the software’s tracking capabilities come in. QuickBooks will probably default to your Inventory Asset account, which is fine. Enter the minimum number of items that should be in stock when you get a reminder to reorder, and the maximum you want to have at any one time. Fill in the On Hand field with the number you currently have. QuickBooks will automatically calculate the Total Value.

In the screen shot above, you see an example of what that last line looks like once you start using that item in transactions. You’ll see its Average Cost and the number that are currently on purchase orders and sales orders.

Creating records for every product you sell can be tedious, time-consuming work; however, the payoff comes in the real-time knowledge you’ll have of your inventory that will lead to better, smarter purchasing decisions. As always, we stand ready to help–call us at 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

QBO Recurring Transactions

Save time and ensure that repeat transactions are processed as scheduled–use recurring transactions.

Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Create a template, a type of model, for each recurring transaction. To do this, simply create the transaction you want to repeat. Say it’s an invoice for a service you provide monthly to a company or individual. You’d fill in all the required fields.

Step 2: Click Make recurring in the horizontal toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The following window will open:
jan-2017-qbo-fig-1

When you click Make recurring at the bottom of a transaction, this window of options will display.

Step 3: Select the Customer first by clicking the arrows to the right of the blank field. QBO will fill in contact information and automatically display name that as the Template name. You can leave it there, or you can try to think of a phrase that describes the transaction, so you’ll remember it. Next, you need to decide how QBO will handle the transaction. There are three options:
  • Scheduled. Be very careful with this one, since QBO will automatically create and dispatch it. This only works if the information in the transaction-minus the date-is always exactly the same.
  • Reminder. This is safer. QBO will display a reminder in time for you to complete and process the transaction.
  • Unscheduled. QBO will do neither of the above, but the template will be available to use as you need it. This is good for infrequent transactions that share some common information.

Step 4:  Taking into account variables like delivery methods and due dates, enter a number in the field in front of days in advance. Then skip down to Options and click the box in front of all the statements that apply to that transaction. The bottom line in this window contains the fields that will let you specify the transaction’s Interval. Click the arrows next to each field to open its menu.

In the example above, we’ve indicated that the invoice occurs monthly on the first day of the month, starting on January 1, 2017. You don’t know how long this will recur, so we’ve left End set to None. When you’re satisfied with everything in the window, click Save template in the lower right corner.

To see a list of the repeating transactions you’ve defined, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select Recurring Transactions. A table displaying them will open and display columns including Type, Interval, and Previous Date. Look toward the end of one of these lines. To modify the template, click Edit.
 jan-2017-qbo-fig-2
The Recurring Transactions screen gives you an overview of the templates you’ve created and provides links to action options.
There are other options here that vary depending on the type of transaction. In the screen shot above, the template is a bill. You can:
  • Use it to create a new transaction,
  • Duplicate it and modify it, to make a new template,
  • Pause it, to temporarily suspend its recurrence,
  • Skip next date and resume after the next interval, or
  • Delete it.
QBO also includes a report that will display all the templates you’ve created. Click Reports in the left vertical pane, then All Reports (unless this list is already active), then Accountant Reports. You’ll find the Recurring Template List in the lower right corner.

Recurring transaction templates can save you a lot of time and increase accuracy. Conversely, they can result in unbilled revenue and past-due bills-or even duplicate transactions-if they’re not created with precision. We’d be happy to step in and guide you through the process for the first time. Call us today at 256-337-5200 to schedule an appointment.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

QuickBooks 2016 Wrap-Up

Is your annual QuickBooks wrap-up on your end of year “todo” list? Here are some of the things we suggest you fit into your busy schedule sometime this month.

 

Create and send year-end statements.
 dec-2016-qbc-fig-1
As your customers wrap up 2016, too, it’s good to send statements for past-due accounts.

 

In an ideal world, all of the invoices that are currently due would be paid off by the end of the year. We all know that’s not usually the reality. Two reports can help you here: the A/R Aging Summary and Open Invoices.

Give everyone a chance to clear their accounts before December 31 by sending statements. Click Statements on the Home page (or Customers | Create Statements) to open the window pictured above.

You have multiple options here that are fairly self-explanatory. The screen above is set up to create statements for all customers who have an open balance as of the date you select, but not for inactive customers or those with a zero balance or no account activity. That way, no one who’s paid in full to date will receive a statement. Of course, if you didn’t want statements created for anyone who’s less than 30 days past due, you’d click in the box in front of Include only transactions over and enter a “30” in the following field. Questions about all of this? Give us a call at 256-337-5200.

Tip: You can also find out who’s overdue by clicking on the Customers tab in the left vertical pane to open the Customer Information screen. Click on the down arrow to the right of the field just below Customers & Jobs. QuickBooks provides several filters for your list.

Reduce your inventory.

dec-2016-qbc-fig-2

Want to discount all or selected items in your inventory by the same percentage or amount? Open the Customers menu and click Change Item Prices. We can work with you on the whole item pricing process.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day might be a good time to sell excess inventory by having a sale. If you only sell a few products, you probably know what hasn’t sold well in 2016. If your stable of products is larger, you can run QuickBooks reports like Inventory Stock Status by Item and Sales by Item Detail to identify your slow-sellers and discount them. You may need to filter your reports to see the right data. Call us for customization options if you’re unsure of how to do this.

Clean up your contact lists.

If you don’t maintain your customer and vendor lists, you’ll eventually start wasting time scrolling through them when you enter transactions. So this would be a good time to designate those contacts that you’ve not dealt with in 2016 as Inactive (you can delete their records entirely, but we advise against that). Simply open a Customer record, for example, and click the small pencil icon in the upper right to edit it. Click on the box in front of Customer is inactive.

Run advanced reports.

Here’s where we come in. If we’re not already helping you create and analyze QuickBooks’ advanced financial reports (found in the Accountant & Taxes sub-menu of Reports) monthly or quarterly, let’s talk. It’s important, and they give you insight that you can’t get on your own. This is another activity that can spill into January.

QB health check.

We suggest monthly to quarterly checks. If you haven’t had a health check in a while, January is a great time to schedule a visit with us – call 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

QBO Apps and Add-Ons

QuickBooks Online (QBO) helps many small businesses manage and track their income and expenses, create records and transactions, and run reports to gauge their financial health. Do you wish it could do more? If so, try an App. They integrate easily to share data and to do the extra work you may need. Below are a few, and for a complete listing click here .

Bill.com
dec-2016-qbo-fig-1

Bill.com automates your accounts receivable and payable processes. It supports electronic billing and payment, as well as multiple approval levels.

You can certainly enter/pay bills, send invoices and receive payments using QuickBooks Online (QBO). However, adding a connection to Bill.com gives you more advanced options for accounts receivable and payable. Simply send your bills to Bill.com by scanning, emailing, faxing, or taking a picture with your smartphone. The site’s automation tools turn them into digital records and route them through your specified approvers. Once approved, they’re paid electronically or by paper check. Invoices are just as easy to process; customers can pay by using PayPal, credit card, or ACH. Bill.com’s mobile app makes it possible to keep up with invoices and bills while you’re out of the office.

Expensify

Are your employees still paper-clipping receipts to handwritten expense reports? This method is unnecessarily time-consuming. Expensify can help. Your staff can take photos of receipts with their smartphones. Expensify then converts the expense information into coded digital records and submits them for approval based on your company’s policies. Credit card purchases can be automatically imported too. All data is synchronized with QBO in real-time and coded to reflect your preference of QBO’s expense accounts, customers/jobs, etc. Once you’ve approved a report, you can have the money deposited into the employee’s bank account the next day.

TSheets Time Tracking

TSheets employee scheduling software automates tasks that QBO doesn’t do: scheduling and remote time-tracking for your hourly employees. Your staff no longer has to fill in paper timesheets. Instead, they can use their smartphones to track their hours and GPS location points. After you approve timesheets, that information is sent over to QuickBooks, ready for use in your payroll processing. TSheets can also take over the task of creating employee schedules. For a free TSheets trial click here and save 10% when you activate your account after the trial ends.

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 Your employees can easily “punch” in and out using their smartphones. TSheets also uses GPS technology so that your staff members’ locations are always known to you.

SOS Inventory

QBO performs some basic inventory management tasks. You can create records for items and use them in transactions, and keep track of the number of items in stock so you know when to reorder (or have a sale). SOS Inventory goes well beyond those capabilities. You can create sales orders, track cost history and serial numbers, and document work-in-progress (WIP). SOS Inventory supports multiple locations and the entire pick/pack/ship process.

Insightly CRM

You can create thorough customer records in QBO and document some of your interactions; however, it doesn’t facilitate true Customer Relationship Management (CRM) nor project management. Insightly CRM does both. It lets you build exceptionally thorough customer profiles so that you can view social streams, email history, and any events, opportunities, or events related to them. Its project management features include the ability to track by pipelines or milestones, define contact roles and custom fields, and generate advanced project reporting.

QuickBooks Online Integration KeyAll of these apps can work in standalone settings, but their integration with QBO and mobile capabilities create powerful partnerships that help you serve both your customers and your employees in ways that QBO alone can’t.

We want to ensure you are getting as much as you can from using QBO and to increase you awareness of add-on solutions. We’re not trying to sell you applications. As always, we’re happy to work with you to get to know QBO better and to match its capabilities to your company’s needs–so call us today at 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment. Happy QBOing!

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Creating Meaningful Reports in QuickBooks – Part 2 (Customizing)

The actual mechanics of creating reports in QB are fairly straightforward. You can go to the
Report Center, make a selection, maybe change the date range, and voila! Your company’s related data appears in neat rows and columns.

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You may be able to get some of the information you need by changing the date range on a QB report.

Now perhaps you want to see different columns than what QuickBooks’ report templates include. Further, you might like to filter your output for more meaningful, targeted analysis. Some of QuickBooks’ reports-particularly those included in the categories Company & Financial and Accountant & Taxes – can be a little difficult to understand.

We encourage you to let us run these more complex reports, like the Balance Sheet, for you on a regular (monthly or quarterly) basis. They can provide valuable insight as you continue to make critical business decisions. We surely don’t want to discourage you from working with QuickBooks’ reports on your own. You could run A/R Aging Detail, for example, to keep an eye on past-due payments, or Unpaid Bills Detail to see where you stand with your own financial obligations.

Make Reports Yours – Customize

Sometimes, QuickBooks’ own report output is a bit too broad for your needs. So the program provides sophisticated customization options. You can work with these to narrow down and shape the data that appears in your reports.

First, columns. Building reports from scratch would be too time-consuming and frustrating for you to do all of the time. It’s unnecessary, since QuickBooks provides templates for its reports, sets of columns and data filters that would serve some businesses well, and which can be modified by each user.

Hands on Exercise–Try this. Open the Profit & Loss Detail report and click on the Customize Report button in the upper left corner. The Modify Report window opens.

nov-2016-qbc-fig-2QuickBooks lets you modify the columns that appear in reports.

The Display tab should be highlighted. Change the Report Date Range if necessary by clicking on the down arrow to the right of the Dates field. You can also create your own custom date range by deleting the dates in the From and To fields and entering new ones, or by clicking on the small calendar icons and clicking on the desired dates.

Warning: Do you understand the difference between running reports as either Accrual or Cash? This is important. If you don’t, let’s get together to go over some basic report concepts.

It’s easy to change the default columns that appear in reports. You can either enter a column label in the Search Columns box or scroll down the list of all possible labels. Click in the space in front of the ones you want to include, and click on existing check marks if you want to remove those labels. You can also designate a sort order, either Ascending or Descending.

If you want to work with the Advanced options, or if you come across a Display screen that puzzles you (depending on the report), call us at 256-337-5200 to set up a reports training session.

nov-2016-qbc-fig-3QuickBooks Report Filters Screen

When you’re done here, click on the Filters tab. This is a powerful element of QB report customization. You can limit your report output to data that meet certain criteria. In the image above, for example, you can tell QB which subset of Accounts should be included. Click on the Billing Status filter, and you can limit the results to Any, Not Billable, Unbilled, or Billed. You get the idea. You can apply multiple filters to a report. Every one you select will appear in the list under Current Filter Choices.

We’ll skip the Header/Footer and Fonts & Numbers tabs, since these are primarily cosmetic options you can explore on your own.

You can see from this brief overview how you can use many QB reports as is or customize them extensively. We recommend that you work with reports regularly, both on your own and with us. The insight they provide can help your company grow and flourish instead of just getting by. We can also memorize these custom reports, so you can run them any time you want. Want to learn more, give us a call at 256-337-5200.

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Paying Bills in QuickBooks Online (QBO)

QBO employs a two-step process for bill payment. Once you’ve completed the first (setup), the hard part is done, and you can move on to fulfilling your financial obligations.

nov-2016-qbc-fig-1Create a bill template and enter its details. You can even set up recurring bills.

To review quickly from our previous post, we created a bill by clicking on the plus (+) sign at the top of the screen and selecting Bill under Vendors. Once created, you can click on Make recurring at the bottom of the screen to establish periodic payments (as pictured above). You can choose to have payments that are always the same sent automatically, or you can request a reminder so that you can change the amount before emailing or printing. Those reminders appear when you first log into QBO. You can access them by clicking on the corresponding link under Tasks.

Making Payments

QBO makes it very easy to pay bills. You can do so from a handful of different screens on the site – sometimes in multiple places on the same page.

  • Click on the Vendors tab in the vertical toolbar on the left side of the screen. The page that opens displays a horizontal chain of bars near the top, color-coded to indicate what they represent: Purchase Order, Open Bills, Overdue, and Paid Last 30 Days. Each segment tells you how many transactions share that status as well as their total dollar amount. When you click on a segment, the table below changes to include a list of the actual transactions. At the right end of each line is a Make Payment link that you can click to get a payment screen. If you want to see the actual bill that was sent, click on the Vendor name itself.
  • You can click on the plus (+) sign at the top of any screen where it appears and go to Vendors | Pay Bills.
  • Open the bill itself and click on the Make Payment link in the upper right corner.

nov-2016-qbc-fig-2A partial view of the Bill Payment screen

When you’ve opened a bill that you want to pay, double-check the information in the upper part of the screen. The Vendor details should, of course, be correct, but make sure the date reads as it should. Look in the box to the right of the vendor’s name. If it’s not displaying the correct account for the transaction, click on the double arrows and select the right one.

QBO will follow its own numbering system for bill payments. If you want to assign your own by entering a reference number of some kind, delete what’s showing in the Ref no. field and add your own. The Bill Payment # in the upper left will change to reflect that.

If there are multiple bills in the list below, click in the box in front of the one(s) you want to pay to create a checkmark. Look at the end of each line, too. QBO defaults to a full payment for bills. If for some reason you’re planning to make a partial payment, replace the dollar amount in the Payment box with your own. In the bottom left portion of the screen, you can enter a Memo if you’d like and add an Attachment. When you’ve checked everything for accuracy, click Save and close or Save and new in the lower right corner.

Automation Helps

Paying bills manually can be painful. Beyond the fact that you’re watching money leave your accounts, the mechanics of writing checks and/or dispatching electronic payments on time-and keeping everything organized-can be a constant challenge. QuickBooks Online’s bill-paying tools can help with that. We are here to help if you need assistance, please call us at 256-337-5200. Wouldn’t it be great to have all your bills set up for 2017 to save time?

The “QB Bob” Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

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