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How to Enter Bills in QuickBooks Desktop

It’s not as much fun as creating invoices, but the bills must be paid. Here’s how QuickBooks helps.

A 2-Step Process

QuickBooks divides your accounts payable tasks into two separate processes: entering bills and paying them. It requires some extra time upfront as you complete the first step, but streamlines the second so that the actual bill-paying only takes a few seconds.

To get started, click Enter Bills on QuickBooks’ home page to open a window like this:

Before you can pay a bill in QuickBooks, you need to create a record for it.
 

The toolbar for the Enter Bills window is not pictured in the image above, but you don’t need it yet. Rather, you start by clicking the down arrow in the field next to VENDOR and selecting the biller’s name from your list (or clicking <Add New> if you haven’t yet created a record for that entity). The ADDRESS should fill in automatically, as should the date.

If you set up default payment TERMS in that vendor’s record, your preference should show in that field and the BILL DUE date should be correct. Enter the AMOUNT DUE and complete any of the optional fields that the transaction requires (REF. NO.DISCOUNT DATE, and MEMO).

Since this is a utility bill, the Expenses tab should be highlighted, and the amount you entered above should appear in it. Below that is the ACCOUNT field; open that list and choose the right one. Don’t worry about the CUSTOMER:JOB and BILLABLE fields. These will only be completed when you’re charging a customer for an expense or item.

Warning: If you’re not familiar with the concept of assigning accounts to transactions, please schedule some time with us. This is a critical designation that affects so many other areas of QuickBooks.

Saving Your Work

The toolbar from the Enter Bills window
 

Once you save your bill, you’ll be able to access it when it’s time to apply payment. How will you remember when it’s due, though? QuickBooks can remind you – or even pay it automatically. So, before you leave the Enter Bills window, click Memorize in the toolbar pictured above.

The Memorize Transaction window will open with your vendor already entered in the Name field. You’ll have three options here:

  • Add to my Reminders list. QuickBooks can add this bill to its list of Reminders. To ensure that you’ll see this every time you open the software and can make any changes necessary, open the Edit menu and click Preferences | Reminders | My Preferences. Click in the box in front of Show Reminders List when opening a Company file. Then click the Company Preferences tab (if you’re the administrator) and find the Bills to Pay row. Click the appropriate button to indicate whether you want QuickBooks to Show Summary or Show List, and enter the number of days before due date.
  • Do Not Remind Me. Just what it sounds like.
  • Automate Transaction Entry. You can only select this if the transaction will be exactly the same every time (except for the date). If the number of transactions will be limited, enter the Number Remaining. And tell QuickBooks how many Days in Advance To Enter.

If you choose the third option here, be very careful when you define the automation. You should really only do this if you’re an advanced user. 

When you’re done, click OK to close the box, and save the bill.

Next month, we’ll talk about the second step: the actual paying of bills. In the meantime, let us know if you want to schedule a session to go over any aspect of your accounts payable – or anything else in QuickBooks. We’re here to help you — making QuickBooks easy!

“QB Bob” and Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider (QSP)
www.biz-bob.com
256-337-5200

Customer Statements: The When, Why, and How

If your business relies on invoices to get paid, there may be times when you need to create and send statements.

If you’re using QuickBooks Online, you can easily send a statement, a list of sales transactions, credits, and payments. There are three kinds of these:

  • Balance Forward. This document emphasizes what’s currently owed by displaying it at the top. Below that is a list of sales transactions that occurred between two dates you specify.
  • Open Item. You select a date, and the statement shows all transactions that were completed before it.
  • Transaction Statement. There’s no total balance here, just the amounts billed and received for every transaction.

Setting Up Statements

Balance Forward statements cover a period of transactions that you define.

There are three way to create statements. You can:

  • Click the Plus (+) icon at the top of the screen.
  • Dispatch one while you’re in a customer record.
  • Launch a batch action from the Customer screen.

Before you create your first statement, though, make sure QuickBooks Online is set up the way you want it to be. Click the gear icon in the upper right of the screen and select Your Company Account and Settings. Click the Sales tab and scroll down to Statements. Click Statements to open the options there.

You can List each transaction as a single line or List each transaction including all detail lines. Click the button in front of the one you prefer. If you want to Show aging table at bottom of statement, click in the box. This will show customers how many days each transaction is overdue.

Click Save when you’re done.

Creating Statements

If you’ve already started entering transactions so there’s some data in QuickBooks Online, click the Plus (+) icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Tip: If you don’t see the plus (+) icon, you’re in an active screen. Click the in the upper right to close it, saving it first if necessary.

Click Statement, which is located under Other on the far right. Under Statement Type, select Balance Forward. Below that is the Customer Balance Status field. Do you want to see customers with open balances, those who have overdue invoices, or all customers? The third option will include credit memos.

Select a Start Date and End Date. In this example, these were 04/09/2018 and 09/09/2018, and the statement date was 09/10/2018. Click Apply. QuickBooks Online will display a list of matching customers. Click Print or Preview at the bottom of the screen to see your statements.

In this preview, the customer’s balance forward on 04/09/2018 was $8,245.05. A catch-up payment was made on 08/09/2018 and another invoice sent on 09/01/2018, which accounts for the TOTAL DUE at the top.

From this screen, you can either Print the statements or Close to go back to the previous page, where you can Save and Send.

Two Other Options

As we stated earlier, there are two other ways to create statements. Click Sales in the left vertical toolbar and highlight the Customers tab by clicking on it. Hover your cursor over a customer and click the down arrow at the very end of that line. From the list that opens, select Create statement.

You can also hand-pick multiple customers to receive statements. With the Customers window open, click in the box in front of your choices, and then click the down arrow next to Batch actions at the top of the list. Select Create statements.

The mechanics of creating statements in QuickBooks are fairly simple. But you don’t want to send an inaccurate one to a customer. Make sure your transactions are up to date before you generate any statements, and choose your date ranges carefully. As always, we’re available to help with this task – or any other area of QuickBooks Online that might be confusing to you. We’re here to help you be pro-active to avoid problems in the long run.

“QB Bob” and the SBS Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider (QSP)
www.thesbsteam.com
256-337-5200

Extend QuickBooks’ Usefulness with Add-Ons

Do you think you’ve outgrown QuickBooks or feel like there’s something more you need it to do? If so, find an integrated add-on app that will work for you. There are hundreds of them available, so it’s likely you’ll find one that will do just what’s needed. They fall into several categories: ranging from billing and invoicing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to inventory management and time-tracking. They have special versions designed to work with QuickBooks, and they will require a monthly subscription fee.

Here’s a look at three of the most popular applications. If you’ve never worked with integrated applications before, we recommend that you let us help get these set up and running for you since their operations can be confusing at first.

Expensify

From receipt tracking through reimbursement, Expensify automates the process of managing expense reports. You snap photos of receipts, and the site’s built-in intelligence will read them and enter details like merchant, date, and price in the system’s own forms. If you need to record vehicle mileage, Expensify can do that by using your smartphone’s GPS. Other features include compatibility with global currencies and taxes; notifications of travel itinerary changes; “smart” receipt-auditing (ensuring that your expense policies are enforced); and direct deposit reimbursements.

You can enter expenses manually in Expensify or take a photo with your phone. The site will read the receipt and transfer critical data to forms in the app.

The service offers three price levels for small business. For $5 per user/month, you get tools that enable basic expense approval and online reimbursements. A Corporate subscription gives you that, plus advanced policy support, corporate card reconciliation, and a multi-staged approval workflow, for $9 per user/month.

method:CRM

method:CRM was actually built exclusively for QuickBooks users. It expands on the customer management tools found in QuickBooks and supports two-way synchronization. You can see real-time customer, lead, and vendor data in either application; automate lead-collection and lead-tracking; and service customers far more efficiently than with QuickBooks alone. The application saves time by streamlining workflows and eliminating duplicate data entry, and its customer and vendor portals provide safe online spaces where you and your contacts can interact, view transactions and other information, and make payments.

After a 30-day free trial, you can subscribe to one of two levels. The Contact Manager version ($28 per user/month or $25 if paid annually) offers everything with the exception of the ability to create QuickBooks sales transactions, accept online payments, and track your sales pipeline. These tools are included in CRM Pro ($49 per user/month or $44 if paid annually). Some services are available a la carte.

Bill.com

If you only process a couple dozen bills and invoices every month, QuickBooks may be all you need. However, if you have complex, transaction-heavy accounts receivables and payables that are difficult to track, you might want to consider Bill.com. A web-based application that integrates very well with QuickBooks, Bill.com is all about automation. It offers multiple ways to get your sales and expense documents into a digital format (scan, fax, email, smartphone photo) and then follows your directions as it routes them to the appropriate employees for approval. You’ll make and receive payments electronically and always know where you stand with customers and vendors, thanks to a simple, understandable user interface and navigation scheme.

Once you create approval policies within Bill.com, the application enforces them.

Pricing starts at $39 per user/month, which includes accounting software integration and your choice of payable or receivable support. You can get both for $59 per user/month – plus advanced automation and approver options.

Many More

There are hundreds of others, in more targeted areas like human resources, reporting, shipping, and e-commerce. You can search or browse through the library of solutions here.

If the integrated apps we described here sound too complicated for you, you may not need them. Or perhaps you do need them but you’re not sure you could master them easily. That’s where we come in. We would first determine whether you’re using all of QuickBooks’ own tools in the problem areas you’ve identified. Then we’d introduce you to your options in that category and help you get up and running.

QuickBooks was designed for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean that you currently use or understand all of its parts and how they work together. So, contact us at 256-337-5200 we can show you some things you may not know. We want your business to thrive, and having a clear understanding of your financials is essential to that success.

“QB Bob” and the SBS Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider (QSP)
www.thesbsteam.com
256-337-5200

Not Using QuickBooks Online? What You’re Missing Out On

The first thing QuickBooks Online displays is what’s called its Dashboard. This is the site’s home page, which contains an array of charts and account balances that provide a quick overview of your finances. Click on an element here-say, a checking account balance-and you’ll be able to drill down and see the details behind it (in this case, an online account register). Click on the Expense graph, and a transaction report opens.

Your First Hours with QBO

QuickBooks Online is not one-size-fits-all. Its setup tools help you customize it to meet your own company’s needs. 

QuickBooks Online works like other online productivity applications you may have used. It uses toolbars and buttons for navigation, drop-down lists and blank fields for data entry, and clickable links to open new related screens to trigger actions. Which is to say, the site is easy to use once you understand its structure. We can walk you through the early steps that are required, which involves tasks like:

  • Using the provided setup tools to customize the site.
  • Connecting QuickBooks Online to your bank and credit card company websites so you can work with transactions.
  • Creating records for your customers, vendors, and the products and services you sell (you’ll be able to add new ones as your business grows).
  • Learning about QuickBooks Online’s pre-built reports.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the site’s workflow.
  • Making the transition from your current accounting system.

How You’ll Benefit

Once you’re comfortable using QuickBooks Online, you’ll discover what millions of small businesses have already learned, that the site helps you:

Get paid faster. You can sign up with a payment processor to accept credit cards and direct bank withdrawals, which can speed up your customers’ responses to invoices. You’ll also be able to accept payments when you’re out of the office on your mobile devices.

Minimize errors. Once you enter data, QuickBooks Online remembers it. No more duplicate data entry that can cause costly mistakes.

Find any detail in seconds. QuickBooks Online has powerful search tools that allow you to find what you’re looking for quickly.

Better service customers. Because your customer profiles include transaction histories, you’ll be able to deal with questions and problems quickly and accurately.

Bill time as well as invoice products. QuickBooks Online supports sales of time-based services with capable time-tracking tools.

Improve your customers’ and vendors’ perception of you. Your business associates will know that you’re using state-of-the-art technology by the forms you share and the customer service you provide.

Save money and time. It does take some time to make the transition to QuickBooks Online. But you’ll quickly make that up with the hours you’ll save on accounting tasks, and be able to concentrate on tasks that improve your bottom line.

Be prepared to grow. Because all of your financial data is organized and easily accessible, you’ll be able to quickly generate reports that help you plan for a more profitable future. Banks and investors will need some of these if you decide to seek financing.

Mobile Access

Although you may do the bulk of your accounting work on your desktop or laptop, you’ll have access to many of the site’s features on your smartphone. Your home page displays both an abbreviated version of your browser-based dashboard and a list of recent transactions. You can view, edit, and build new customer, vendor, and product or service records. Snap a photo of a receipt to document an expense and look up or create invoices, estimates, and sales receipts. Record payments, view critical reports, and add notes. Of course, your mobile data is always synchronized with the site itself.

QuickBooks Online lets you do much of your accounting work when you’re away from the office with its mobile app.

Happy to Help

QuickBooks Online was designed for small businesspeople, not accountants. But it includes features that are best used in conjunction with our consulting services, like advanced reports, payroll, and the Chart of Accounts. In fact, the site makes it easy for us to have access to your data so we have the ability to assist you and troubleshoot.

We’ve helped countless sole proprietors and small businesses move their accounting operations to QuickBooks Online, and we’ve seen the difference it’s made in their productivity as well as their attitude toward financial management. Contact us at 256-337-5200, so we can do the same for you.

“QB Bob” and the SBS Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider (QSP)
www.thesbsteam.com
256-337-5200

Using Memorized Transactions in QuickBooks

Tired of repetitive data entry? QuickBooks provides a way to save time and keystrokes when you create some transactions.

QuickBooks makes it very easy to set up transactions for repetitive use. Here’s how it works. We recommend you use one of QuickBooks’ sample files for this tutorial.

Creating a Template

Let’s start by creating a repeating bill. Click Enter Bills on the home page and complete all the fields that will remain the same every time the bill is created. In our example, we’re paying a utility bill whose Amount Due will change every month, so we’re leaving that blank. When you’re done, click Memorize in the toolbar to open this window:

Once you’ve created a transaction template, you’ll have to complete the fields in this window to memorize it correctly.

The vendor name appears automatically in a field in the upper left. Below that is a list of four options. These have to do with how/if you want to be notified when it’s time to process a memorized transaction. Your choices are:

  • Add to my Reminders List. QuickBooks will display an entry in your Reminders List for each memorized transaction. Not using RemindersLet us help–call 256-337-5200.
  • Do Not Remind Me. Nothing will be done.
  • Automate Transaction Entry. You would only select this option if nothing but the date of the transaction changes when it recurs. QuickBooks would automatically process and dispatch the transaction.
  • Add to Group. If you have multiple recurring transactions that come due at the same time, you can create Groups and assign transactions to them (more on this later).

On the right side of the window, open the drop-down list in the field next to How Often and select from the options provided. Click the calendar icon to choose the transaction’s Next (Due) Date. If you only want QuickBooks to automate the entry a specific number of times, add that in the field next to Number Remaining. Then enter the Days In Advance To Enter.

Further Explanation Needed

We’d like to expand on two of the concepts discussed here. First, advance notice for transactions. If you’ve selected Add to my Reminders List for any memorized transactions, you need to tell QuickBooks how far in advance your reminders should start to appear. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Reminders.

If you want  Reminders for memorized transactions, you’ll need to tell QuickBooks what your Preferences are.

Memorized Transactions Due appears toward the bottom of the Company Preferences list. Click on the appropriate button to indicate whether you want to see a summary or a list in your Reminders (or nothing at all) and how many days in advance the alert should appear.

Also, Groups. As we mentioned earlier, you can combine memorized transactions due at the same time within a group. To create one, go to Lists | Memorized Transaction List. Click the arrow next to Memorized Transaction in the lower left, then click New Group and give it a name. Choose from the options available for notification and click OK.

Now you can add memorized transactions to this Group by right-clicking on it, selecting Edit Memorized Transaction, and clicking in the button next to Add to Group. Click the down area to the right of the field assigned to Group Name and select the one you just created.

You can add memorized transactions to a  Group and process them at the same time.

Caution Advised

We’ve explored this QuickBooks feature with you because we wanted you to see one of the ways that the software can save time and minimize errors. There are many others, and we’re always happy to introduce you to more. Give us a call at 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment today!

The mechanics of creating memorized transactions are fairly simple; however, mistakes can be costly in terms of bills that don’t get paid on time (or at all) and items or services that don’t get invoiced. If you’re new to QuickBooks, we suggest training to get you off to a quick start. Even if you’re a seasoned user, you may want our help setting up memorized transactions for the first time. Let us know if you need assistance with this or any other element of QuickBooks accounting, we’re ready to help and a quick call to 256-337-5200 will provide help for all!

“QB Bob” and the SBS Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider (QSP)
www.thesbsteam.com
256-337-5200

4 Ways QBO Can Improve Your Company’s Financial Health

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is more than just an online bookkeeper. It can help improve your cash flow, your customer relationships, your inventory readiness, and your future.

Four Ways QBO Can Help You

Let’s look at how QuickBooks Online accomplishes all of this. You can do much of it on your own, but we’re trained to help small businesses get the most out of QBO. We can help you maximize the effectiveness of your accounting time so your company can:

1.  Better balance between income and expenses.

QBO offers quick, real-time overviews of your sales status.

You can’t begin to improve your company’s cash flow until you understand where the financial bottlenecks are. QuickBooks Online provides that information for both income and expenses in a variety of ways. In the image above, you can see that there are seven past-due invoices. Click on the orange bar to see a list of them, and you can automatically send reminders. QBO also automates the process of sending statements.

You can also run accounts receivable and accounts payable reports that will show where you stand with customers and vendors, like Open InvoicesUninvoiced TimeUnpaid Bills, and Accounts Payable Aging Detail. If you determine that one of your consistent problems with cash flow is late customer payments, you can set up a merchant account through QuickBooks Online to support credit card payments and bank transfers.

2.  More repeat business because of improved customer interaction.

Your customers are like gold. To build the best relationships possible with them, you need a clear, updated picture of their transactions, their payment details and history, and your interaction with them. QBO provides templates for Customer Information records that provide all of that, along with their contact information and a real-time update of the status of their invoices and payments, estimates, time activities, etc. The latter is provided in the form of an interactive list with links to immediate actions you can take. 

3.  A more stable, profitable inventory of products.

If your business sells products, you know that you have to be smart about inventory levels. Stock too much and you have too much money tied up unnecessarily. Too little, and you’ll be turning customers away and possibly losing their future business. QBO’s inventory-tracking tools help you achieve and maintain that balance, so you know both when and how much to reorder.

It’s easy to evaluate your inventory status very quickly in QBO.

QBO also offers multiple inventory reports, like Inventory Valuation Detail, Physical Inventory Worksheet, and Sales by Product/Service Detail.

4.  Readiness for growth.

You may never want to acquire another company, move into more spacious offices, or employ dozens of individuals. However, it’s not often that a company doesn’t want to be in a position to grow. You never know when an opportunity will present itself that would require additional capital. Would you be ready?

If you’ve never applied for a business loan or tried to attract investors, you don’t know how much financial information you’ll need to provide or in what format. There are very specific reports your potential lenders or investors will want to see, standard financial statements. QBO includes templates for these, which include a Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, and Statement of Cash Flow.

Like the reports we mentioned earlier, they’re easy to generate with QBO, thanks to intelligent, customizable templates. Analyzing them, though, and making sure they’re ready to be seen by third-parties takes professional expertise. We can help you better understand and use other elements of QBO so that you’re taking advantage of all of its benefits. Contact us soon to set up an initial consultation.

The SBS Team
QuickBooks Solutions Provider
www.thesbsteam.com
256-337-5200

Why QuickBooks?

You know about QuickBooks but you’re still hesitating. Here’s why you should make the transition.

How It Helps

There’s never a good time to make the transition to new software. Switching to QuickBooks is going to cut into your productive hours, and it will take some time to learn how it works before you can start using it daily. We can accelerate that process by helping you implement it and training you on its operations.

Once you get going, you’ll discover a whole range of benefits that you may not have even considered, like:

Once you’ve created an item record, for example, QuickBooks stores it for use in transactions.

Minimized errors. Once you’ve entered data in QuickBooks, whether it’s a customer’s address or a product/service price and description, the software stores it. It will appear in lists that you can access when, for example, you’re creating invoices. Not only does this improve accuracy, but it also makes duplicate data entry unnecessary.

Faster payments from customers. QuickBooks supports merchant accounts. Sign up for one, and you’ll be able to accept direct bank transfers and credit/debit cards from customers. You can automatically include a payment stub on invoices to speed up the remittance process.

Real-time account balances. Supply your login information for your online banks and other financial institutions, and QuickBooks can connect to them. It imports cleared transaction data regularly and helps you reconcile your accounts. You can even set it up to pay your bills electronically.

Instant data access. Got a customer on the phone who has a problem with an invoice or payment? QuickBooks’ search tools help you track down the smallest detail in seconds. 

Time-tracking. If you (or your employees) provide services that are billed back to customers, you can create time records individually or on a timesheet. These blocks of hours and minutes can be marked billable, so they’ll appear the next time you start an invoice for any affected customers.

If your company sells services, you can create individual timesheets and mark sessions as billable.

Improved customer relationships. Your customers want answers when they have problems or questions, and they want them quickly and accurately. QuickBooks lets you store all needed details about customers in records, including contact information, payment particulars, and transaction history. Nothing helps encourage future sales like a company that knows its customers.

A more contemporary image. Those invoices and statements you create in Word-or worse, write by hand-contribute to your customers’ impressions of you and your commitment to using state-of-the-art technology to better serve their needs. When you email professional-looking, carefully-customized sales and purchase forms, you’re likely to go up a notch in their eyes.

Feature flexibility. You can use a little of QuickBooks and still have it be worth your time and technology dollars, or you can stretch its capabilities to the limits. If the latter happens, you may want to expand the software’s reach by integrating it with one of the hundreds of add-ons available in areas like inventory, invoicing and billing, and CRM.

Time and money savings. This is actually the most compelling reason to use QuickBooks. Yes, you have to pay upfront for the software, but you’ll soon see that your investment will reduce the hours you spend on accounting. That means you’ll have more time to do what only you can do: make your business flourish by planning for its future and taking the actions that will move you toward greater success.

Have you installed QuickBooks but you’re having trouble using its features? Do you need some guidance, particularly in the area of advanced reports? Contact us at 256-337-5200. We’ll assess where you are with the software and devise a plan to complete its implementation. You may be surprised to learn what you can do and how easy it is when you’re taught how to customize and use it for your business.

The SBS Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

5 QBO Reports You Should Review Weekly

There are numerous QuickBooks Online reports that you should be consulting at regular intervals.

QuickBooks Online’s Dashboard, the first screen you see when you log in, provides an effective overview of your company’s finances. It contains at-a-glance information about your recent expenses, your sales, and the status of your invoices. It displays a simple Profit and Loss graph and a list of your account balances. Scroll down and click the See all activity button in the lower right and your Audit Log opens, a list of everything that’s been done on the site and by whom.

Other Pressing Questions

The Dashboard supplies enough information that you can spot potential problems with expenses and sales, accounts, and overdue invoices. So…..How’s your inventory holding up? Are you staying within your budget? How about your accounts payable – will you owe money to anyone soon?

QuickBooks Online offers dozens of report templates that answer these questions and many more. If you’ve never explored the list, we suggest that you do so. It’s impossible to make plans for your company’s future without understanding its financial history and current state.

QuickBooks Online has many reports that can provide real-time, in-depth insight   into your company’s financial health

Comprehensive and Customizable

When you click Reports in your QuickBooks Online toolbar, the view defaults to All. The site divides its report content into 10 different sections, including Business OverviewSales and CustomersExpenses and Vendors, and Payroll. Each has two buttons to the right of its name.

Click the star, and that report’s title will appear in your Favorites list at the top of the page. This will save time since you’ll be able to quickly find your most often-used reports. Click the three vertical dots and then Customize to view your customization options for that report (you’ll have access to this tool from the reports themselves).

Necessary Knowledge

You can, of course, run any report you’d like as often as you’d like. Most small businesses, though, don’t require this frequent intense scrutiny.

Here are five reports that you do want to consult on a regular basis:

  1. Accounts Receivable Aging Detail. Displays a list of invoices that haven’t yet been paid, divided into groups like 1-30 days past due, 31-60 days past due, etc.
  2. Budget vs. Actuals. Just what it sounds like: a comparison of your monthly budgeted amounts and your actual income and expenses.

Warning: Some reports let you choose between cash and accrual basis. Do you know the difference and which you should choose? Ask us – call 256-337-5200!

 You can customize QuickBooks Online reports in several ways.

3.  Unpaid Bills. Helps you avoid missing accounts payable due dates by displaying what’s due and when.
4. Sales by Product/Service Detail. Tells you what’s selling and what’s not by displaying date, transaction type, quantity, rate, amount, and total.
5. Product/Service List. An accounting of the products and/or services you sell, with columns for price, cost, and quantity on hand.

Customization, Complex Reports

Note that there’s a category of reports in QuickBooks Online named For My Accountant. The site includes templates for reports that you can run yourself, but that you’d have difficulty customizing and analyzing. These standard financial reports-which, by the way, you’ll need if you create a business plan or try to get funding for your business-include Balance SheetStatement of Cash Flows, and Trial Balance.

You don’t need to have these reports generated frequently, but you should be learning from the insight they provide monthly or quarterly. We can assist you with this part of your accounting, as well as any other aspect of financial management where you need assistance. Contact us at 256-337-5200 so we canhelp you make better decisions for the future of your business.

The SBS Team
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

All About Sales Receipts in QuickBooks

Documenting every sale carefully helps ensure that your financial records and reports will be accurate. The sales receipt is the right tool for this in specific situations

A Simple Form

Here’s an example of a situation that illustrates the importance of really learning about and understanding QuickBooks before you start entering live data. Say you got a check from a customer on the spot for a house painting job you completed. When you look at the QuickBooks’ home page, which icon do you click?

You might be tempted to click Receive Payments, since that’s exactly what you’re doing. However, that screen is reserved for revenue that comes in to satisfy outstanding invoices and unpaid items on billing statements. Instead, you’d click Create Sales Receipts to open the Enter Sales Receipts window. Here’s a partial view of what you’d see:

When a customer pays you immediately for goods or services, you need to open and complete the Enter Sales Receipts window.
If you’ve already entered your customer and item/service records in QuickBooks, you can record your sale very quickly here. Even if you haven’t, or if you need to create a new record on the fly, you can select <Add New> when you open the drop-down option lists for the Customer:Job and Item fields.
 

Warning: Do you need to track inventory levels for products you sell? Have you created thorough records for these items? There is information that QuickBooks needs to help ensure that you don’t run out of stock or keep too much on hand. Let us walk you through the software’s inventory-management tools so you can take advantage of all the benefits they offer.

Once you’ve selected the appropriate customer, Class (if you use this feature), and Template (Here again, do you understand that you can either use the default sales receipt form provided by QuickBooks or customize it? We can help here), make sure that the Date and Sale No. are correct.  Next, click on the icon representing the transaction’s payment method, choosing from CashCheckCredit Card, or eCheck. Click the More button if your method isn’t listed there. Here, you can add new options by selecting Add New Payment Method. A small window will open allowing this. If you want to modify this list further by, for example. editing and deleting the default methods, clear and close the current sales receipt, open the Lists menu, and select Customer & Vendor Profile Lists | Payment Method List. This window will open:
Click the down arrow in the Payment Method field near the bottom of this window to see your modification options.

Once you’ve chosen the desired Payment Method (and entered a check number if necessary), you’ll complete the rest of the sales receipt much like you would an invoice, by selecting the correct products or services, the quantity you’re selling, and the transaction’s tax status. QuickBooks will fill in the rest if you’ve created complete item records.

When you’re done, save the sales receipt. Information about the transaction will be available in standard places like the Customer Information screens and various reports.

Whether your revenue comes instantly (documented by a sales receipt) or as longer-term payment on an invoice, your company’s income is just one element of the cash flow equation. Are you able to create and interpret the reports that can help you understand these complex calculations, like Cash Flow Forecast and Profit & Loss? You probably run some of QuickBooks’ more basic sales reports regularly, but consider bringing us in to do the deep analysis needed to make better business decisions. Call us at 256-337-5200 TODAY to set up an appointment and to save you time.
 
Small Business Solutions LLC
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Don’t Have a Budget? QuickBooks Online Can Help

The hardest part of creating a budget is getting started. QuickBooks Online provides tools that can jump-start the process.

Creating the Framework

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that your fiscal year is set correctly in QuickBooks Online. Click the gear icon in the upper right, then click Your Company | Account and Settings | Advanced. If the First month of fiscal year isn’t correct, click the pencil icon over to the right and change it. Then click Save and exit out of this window.

Click the gear icon again and select Budgeting, then click Add budget in the upper right.

QBO asks you the questions that need to be answered before you start filling in your budget grid.

The first thing you’ll do is give your budget a descriptive name by entering it in the Namefield. Next, open the drop-down list under Fiscal year and select the correct 12-month period. You can create your budget in one of three intervals: MonthlyQuarterly, or Yearly. If you want to populate your budget with numbers from this year or last, make that selection in the Pre-fill data? field.

There’s one more option at the top of the Budgets Grid screen that’s not shown in the image above. You can Subdivide by CustomerClass, or Location. This can be useful if you want to view budget data specific to a subset of entries in each of those categories. You could, for example, choose three customers and view only their numbers in the grid individually, one at a time.

Providing Your Numbers

Once you’re satisfied with the selections you’ve made, click Create Budget in the lower right. The screen will refresh and display a grid that you can edit.

Let’s say you’re working on a budget for the second half of 2018. QBO brought in your numbers for January-May. You see that the numbers don’t vary much from month to month on one specific line item, so you’re going to assume that they will continue to be true (unless you know something that will affect it after May). You could enter a rough average of the first five months in the JUN field.

Hover your cursor over the arrow to the side of that field, and this sentence appears in a small bubble: Click to copy the value across on the row. QBO will then enter that number in the JUL through DEC fields.

QBO can save you some time as you enter data in your budget grid fields.

When you’re done entering data in all of the fields relevant to your business, click Save in the lower right and close the window. Your budget will now show up in the list.

Tip: If you have multiple blank rows and don’t want them to be displayed, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your budget page. Click in the box in front of Hide blank rows to create a checkmark .

The Hard Part

QuickBooks Online simplifies the mechanics of creating a budget, but it’s up to you to supply the numbers. There’s a lot of common-sense advice that experts offer for this process, like:

  • Remember seasonal upswings and downswings.
  • Make your goals as realistic as possible. You might want to create separate budgets for “needs” and “wants.”
  • Track your expenses carefully for a period of time so you can estimate more confidently.
  • Create reports regularly that compare your budget vs actuals.

QBO can help you with that last piece of advice; it offers a report called Budget vs. Actuals.  You’ll find it in the Business Overview group.

We can help, too. Once we understand a little more about your business structure and goals, we can take a look at your income and expense history and make some personalized recommendations. Connect with us soon (call 256-337-5200), and we can start you on the path to a more focused financial future.

Small Business Solutions LLC
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Customize QuickBooks’ Forms to Polish Your Image

The invoices and other forms you send to customers and vendors should reflect your company’s image.

Improving What Exists

You can personalize your QuickBooks forms and make them consistent with any design themes your brand may use.

We’ll look at the modification options for an invoice, though, depending on what version of QuickBooks you’re using, you can also work with sales receipts, purchase orders, statements, estimates, sales orders, and credit memos. Start by opening the Lists menu and selecting Templates. Highlight Intuit Product Invoice in the list. Click the down arrow next to Templates in the lower left corner and choose Edit Template.

The above image displays part of the window that opens. Here, you can add a logo, change the color scheme, and change fonts for your company’s contact information and the labels that identify each field (like Bill To, Terms, and Quantity). The right pane of this window shows you what the form will look like as you make changes.

Nothing you’ve done so far will prevent you from using Intuit’s pre-printed forms. But when you click Additional Customization at the bottom of the screen, you’ll be warned that if you make modifications beyond this point, the forms may not print correctly. To be safe, click Make a Copy. You’ll be able to print this new version on plain paper.

Deeper Customization

The image below shows you part of the window that opens when you click on Additional Customization. The first two columns here are the most important; they let you specify the labeled fields that will appear on your invoices. When Header is the active column, you’ll be able to choose the content that will go at the top of your form, like Date, Invoice Number, and Terms.

Next to each default label, you’ll see boxes for Screen and Print. Click in these boxes to create or delete checkmarks; this will indicate whether each label will appear in the software itself and which will be printed for your customers to see. If you’d like to change the language QuickBooks uses to describe each, enter your preferred word or phrase in the Title column.

With the Header column highlighted, you can shape the appearance of the top section of your invoices.

Warning: As you’re checking and unchecking boxes, a dialog box may open telling you that your changes will cause some fields to overlap on your form. If you click the Default Layout button, QuickBooks will make automatic adjustments to fix this. Clicking Continue means you’ll have to use the software’s Layout Designer to make your own adjustments. This tool is not particularly intuitive, and it requires some design skills. If you must work with the Layout Designer, let us help.

When you click the Columns tab, you’ll see a list of the fields available for the main body of your invoices, like Description, Quantity, and Rate. This works similarly to how you just modified the Header, with one exception: You’ll be able to enter numbers in the Order column to specify the placement of each field. Here again, you’ll be able to watch a preview of your form change in the right pane.

If you want to start over, click the Default button to revert the form to its original state. When you’re done, click OK.

Neatness Counts

Whether you print and mail your forms or simply dispatch them electronically, we strongly encourage you to make them as professional and polished as you possibly can. Their appearance will enhance or detract from the image your customers and vendors have of your business. Let us know if we can help. We’d be happy to help you learn about and implement the customization options that QuickBooks offers.

Small Business Solutions LLC
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

Using Product and Service Records in QuickBooks Online

Picking Products

Much of your accounting work probably consists of filling out forms. Whenever you create one of these invoices or sales receipts or purchase orders, you already know that you can open a drop-down list and select the name of a customer or vendor. QuickBooks Online lets you enter data about what is being bought or sold in the same way.

To see how this works, open an invoice form and complete and/or verify the fields at the top (customer, date, terms, etc.). Click in the first PRODUCT/SERVICE field, and then click the down arrow to see the list of items and services you sell.

When you create a sales or purchase form, you’ll be able to select the appropriate product or service from the drop-down list – or add a new one.

When you select an item, the description and price will fill in automatically. You’ll have to add the quantity and click in the box below the column labeled Tax (if applicable). QuickBooks Online will calculate the total cost of the product or service on that line. If you need to enter additional sales, proceed to the PRODUCT/SERVICE field in the second line and repeat those actions until you’re done and can save the transaction.

Working with Items

What do you do when you need more information about a specific product than just its description and price? Do you have to return to its individual record?

No. QuickBooks Online includes a great tool that provides real-time updates on your inventory items and lets you work with them. Click the Sales tab in the left vertical menu, and then on the Products and Services tab at the top. The table that opens displays numbers for every item’s quantity on hand and reorder point. Look at the end of each line, and you’ll see a drop-down list labeled Edit that looks like this:

QuickBooks Online’s Products and Services page provides real-time inventory updates, as well as item-management tools.

As you can see, there are a number of actions you can take here on individual products.

Warning: If you think there’s a reason you should Adjust quantity or Adjust starting value, please talk to us first. Your inventory records need to be precise. We can schedule a session to go over this and other concepts you need to understand in order to keep inventory counts accurate.

You can take some of these actions on multiple items simultaneously. Click the down arrow in the Batch actions field above this Edit menu. Click the boxes in front of the products you want to work with and select the desired activity (unavailable ones will be grayed out in the list). Take extra care with this mass modification tool.

Multiple Reports

QuickBooks Online’s Product and Services screen may be all you need in your daily work, but there will be times when you need more analytical assistance. You can turn to the site’s specialized reports for more in-depth scrutiny. Click the Reports tab in the left vertical pane. Make sure the All Reports list is active and select Manage Products and Inventory to see what’s available, including:

  • Inventory Valuation Detail.
  • Sales by Product/Service Detail.
  • Physical Inventory Worksheet.

Reports are easy to run but can be difficult to customize correctly and interpret. If we’re not working with you already on the complex standard financial reports that should be reviewed monthly or quarterly, please call us at 256-337-5200. The more you understand about the financial status of your company, the better your decisions will be.

Small Business Solutions LLC
Intuit Premier Reseller
256-337-5200

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