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NEW! QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) v.12

(Reposted Article by David Glantz, Business Cents)

New Features

Display total quantity sold on sales receipt.

V12 Solution. The total quantity of all items on the sales receipt is displayed above the total dollar figures in the bottom right-hand corner of the sales receipt. This can help compare the total quantity of items on the sales receipt against the actual count of physical items.

Total quantity sold

Nuances. The wording “No. of Items” is a bit misleading. It is actually the total quantity of all items on the sales receipt. It would be helpful to also display the total number of items, e.g. if 10 of Widget A and 10 of Widget B are being sold, the total number of items is 2 and the total quantity is 20.

Better keyboard support: Provides the ability to fully complete the workflows in Make a Sale and Receiving using keyboard entry.

Improved auto-reconciliation of payments: When using Intuit Payments in conjunction with QB 2015 desktop financials, V12 will auto reconcile credit card payments to the Intuit merchant service deposits.

EMV chip card ready: EMV (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®) chip technology is becoming the international standard for credit card and debit card payments. You might have heard similar terms used to define this same technology – Chip and PIN, Chip and Signature, or simply just chip technology. Chip cards are standard bank cards but, in addition to the standard magnetic stripe, are embedded with a microchip that stores and protects cardholder information. This provides an additional level of authenticity.

The reason behind this chip technology is to increase security and reduce fraud. More than 1 billion chip cards are currently being used internationally. The United States is a bit behind the curve implementing this technology.

V12 is EMV capable when used in conjunction with the Ingenico IPP 350 PIN Pad device, which accepts EMV Chip and PIN cards.

New logo: A new logo appears on the application icon, the splash screen, the program title bar, and likely in other places as well. This uses the new QuickBooks branding that was introduced with QuickBooks 2015.

QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop 12.0 Logo

Bug fixes

Significantly faster performance: Faster workflow processing performance such as sales receipts, accessing items and customer lists, looking up item history, etc. Some have reported 10x faster startup times as compared to QuickBooks POS 2013. In our experience, V12 is much faster than the initial release of 2013 and V10, and is somewhat faster than the most recent 2013 release.

Substantially reduced software glitches: Software hangs, screen locks, shell aborts, non-responsive behavior, and more. We and our clients have experienced many fewer bumps and bruises in the latest 2013 release. Additional fixes were applied to V12 as well.

Large backup files: Support for backup files greater than 4GB.

Functional fixes: Some functional fixes, including the ability for Shipping Manager to function properly, item tags print correctly, et al.

In Summary

We at Business Cents have spent a lot of time researching other POS products out on the market. After each review, the conclusion has been that the QuickBooks Point of Sale desktop product has a better baseline feature set. There will always be functions that could be improved upon – mobile sales, the mix of old screens (V9) and new ones (V10+), reporting, lack of QuickBooks Online integration, etc. That is a constant. However, none of the products we reviewed in this price range have the same level of functionality.

The conclusion… Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale Desktop 12.0 is a solid desktop point of sale and inventory management product

How and Why? Memorize Transactions in QuickBooks

 

I’m sure one of the reasons you started using accounting software, among many others, was to save time, and QuickBooks has complied. When you create a record for a customer, vendor, item, etc., you rarely — if ever — have to enter that information again; you simply choose it from a list. 

Time is no longer wasted searching through endless piles of papers to find the one you need; you just do a computer search. And when you need reports on monthly sales, inventory purchases or your payroll liabilities, you don’t have to create a spreadsheet or locate paper records; you just click a few times in QuickBooks to create the report.

Memorized transactions can be another major time saver. You can use them to:

  • Provide the same service for a customer on a regular basis,
  • Charge a monthly fee for rentals, maintenance, membership, etc.,
  • Pay a bill to the same company regularly, or
  • Have a standing order with a vendor for a similar set of items.

It’s easy to create memorized transactions. QuickBooks provides an icon for them in the toolbar of every transaction form that’s supported, like invoices, bills, and purchase orders.

Figure 1: When you see the Memorize icon in the toolbar of a transaction form, you know that you can create a template to use over and over.

 STEPS FOR CREATING MEMORIZED TRANSACTIONS:

1.  Create a transaction that you know will be repeated – even if the amount will be different every time (you’ll still save time because you won’t have to fill in or select absolutely every detail). Let’s say you’re doing some social media consulting for a customer, and you’ve contracted for eight hours every month. Create the invoice for that billing.

2.  Then click the Memorize icon. This window opens:

Figure 2: In the Memorize Transaction window, you’ll tell QuickBooks how often the transaction will be created, in addition to providing other information.

3.  Your customer will already appear in the Name field. Next, choose from among three options so that QuickBooks knows how to handle this recurring form:

Add to my Reminders List. If you choose this by clicking on the button in front of the option, QuickBooks will add this transaction to your existing Reminders List.

Do Not Remind Me. We don’t recommend this option unless you have an exceptionally good memory, few memorized transactions, or a tickler file in another application. Even then, reminders are a good idea.

Automatic Transaction Entry. This absolutely saves the most time. It’s also the riskiest option. If you select this, QuickBooks will send the transaction through at the intervals you’ve defined. You’ll have to enter a number that indicates how many times you want the form sent and how many days in advance it should be entered. Please consult with us if you are planning to automate transactions. We don’t want you to have unhappy customers or vendors or an unpredictable cash flow.

4.  Next, you’ll tell QuickBooks how often this transaction needs to be created by clicking on the down arrow to the right of How Often. Click on the calendar icon in the Next Date field to select the exact day this should occur next (you’ll have an opportunity when you work with the Reminders List to specify how much advance warning you want).

5.  When you’re done, click OK.

Once you start memorizing transactions, QuickBooks will store them in a list. When you get a reminder that one is due soon, open the Lists menu and select Memorized Transaction List. You’ll see this screen, populated with your own work:

Figure 3: You’ll open the Memorized Transaction List to enter one or to work with one you’ve already created.

Highlight a transaction in the list and click the down arrow next to Memorized Transaction in the lower left corner to see your options here. You can also click Enter Transaction, and your original form will appear. If you’ve saved it with a permanent amount, you can just save and dispatch it. Otherwise, enter the correct amount before you proceed.

If you’re fairly new to QuickBooks and don’t feel like you’re well acquainted with its time-saving features, give us a call at 256-337-5200, and we’ll set up some training. Better to do that up front than to have to untangle a jumbled company file. We’re always happy to help.

The “QB Bob” Team

Take a Tour Around QuickBook Online’s (QBO) Home Page

Switching from QuickBooks desktop or starting fresh with QuickBooks Online? Here’s a quick overview of its home page.

Whether or not you’ve ever used accounting software, we think you’ll like using QuickBooks Online. It was designed for small businesses who have little or no accounting experience, and its user interface and navigation should be familiar to anyone who’s been around websites.

We do have to say, though, that if you’ve never used any accounting applications, some upfront training with us might be in order. Once you get used to how your Excel-and-paper accounting system translates to the web, you should do fine. But you’ll save a lot of time and avoid frustration if you learn the basics before you start entering your own company data. It’s easier to explain how things work before you attempt them than to try to untangle a tangled-up company file.

That said, let’s look at what you’ll see on the home page when you first sign into QuickBooks Online.

 

Figure 1: QuickBooks Online presents a good overview of your company’s finances on its home page.

 QuickBooks Online’s home page was designed to give you a quick look at what’s happening with your company’s money. By checking it first thing every morning, you’ll know whether something needs attention immediately. If it does, you can use the links provided here to take care of business.

Using graphs and numbers, the home page gives you the bottom line on your income, expenses, and profit and loss. You can click on practically anything here to see the detail behind the totals — and to do something about it if necessary.

The left vertical pane contains your main navigational toolbar. Click on any link here, and you’ll either go straight to that section — like Customers and Reports — or you’ll get to choose from a number of sub-pages (Taxes | Sales Tax or Payroll Tax, for example). Clicking on Home always takes you back to the home page.

In the upper right corner, you’ll find the Help icon, which gives you access to QuickBooks Online’s searchable help files. If you’re a new user and we haven’t done any training with you, you’re likely to find that these brief explanations don’t answer all of your questions or don’t answer them thoroughly enough. Let us help when that occurs.

Your company’s name appears to the left of Help. When you click on it, you’ll see this:

Figure 2: Clicking on your business name in the upper right corner of QuickBooks Online opens a window containing numerous utilities and lists. 

It’s a good idea to explore these options early in your QuickBooks Online life:

In Company Settings, you can make your preferences known about many aspects of the site. For example, you can establish the payment terms that will appear automatically on sales forms, and turn fields like Shipping and Discount on or off. You can set up an account with QuickBooks Payments so your company can accept credit cards, and you can choose whether or not to use Classes to categorize transactions (we can work with you on these in training).

Another important item here is Manage Users, which lets you set limits on what other staff can and can’t do in QuickBooks Online.

Directly below the two links in the upper right corner of the home page is a list of your bank accounts and their balances. Since QuickBooks Online can be connected to your online financial accounts, you may see two numbers here: your bank balance according to the bank and to QuickBooks Online.

The most recent Activities will be displayed below your account balances. You’ll see a list of all actions that have been taken by anyone with access to the site, like invoices created and/or sent, and bills paid.

 

Figure 3: The Activities section of QuickBooks Online’s right vertical pane displays all actions take recently by you and your staff. 

Finally, QuickBooks Online includes a handy navigational tool at the top of the screen that contains three icons. The magnifying glass gives you access to the site’s search tool. Clicking on the + sign opens shortcuts to transaction screens and other commonly-used features. And the third icon displays the most recent transactions processed.

That’s it. Your accounting workflow will make use of the countless other pages within the site, but QuickBooks Online’s home page does a good job of showing you the lay of the land.  Interested in learning more about QBO, ready to make the switch–Call Small Business Solutions LLC at 256-337-5200 and let us help!

QuickBooks – Setting Preferences

QuickBooks is ready to use as soon as it’s installed, but you can change settings to adapt it to  your company.

All Small businesses need basic features in their accounting software such as a Chart of Accounts and a good set of report templates. There must be tools to bill customers and to document income and expenses. Some companies need payroll management, and some need the ability to create purchase orders. These days, many businesses want to accept payments online.

But it’s unlikely that your business uses absolutely every feature that QuickBooks offers, and you need to ensure that every tool you want to use is set up properly.

If you’ve been using QuickBooks for a while, you may have been directed to the Preferences window already (accessible by clicking on Edit | Preferences). If you’re just starting out with the software, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the most important elements contained there. Here are some of them.

Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Preferences window. Some features are already turned on or off by default, but you can change their status.
 

Accounting

Click on the Accounting tab in the left vertical pane, then on the Company Preferences tab. Here, QuickBooks wants to know whether you plan to use account numbers. It also offers the option to turn on class tracking, which lets you define classes like company locations or divisions, or salespeople. Not sure what you should do here? Please ask us.

Desktop View

Options here involve usability and visibility issues. Getting them right can save you time and frustration. For example, under the My Preferences tab, you can choose between a VIEW that displays only One Window, or one that keeps Multiple Windows open. Click on the Company Preferences tab to turn specific features – like Payroll and Sales Tax — on and off.

Finance Charge

Should you decide to apply Finance Charges to late payments, for example, please let us go over this feature with you. We’ll explain how it is set up and how it works in day-to-day accounting.

Items & Inventory

This is critical: you must visit this screen if you will be buying and selling products. First, ensure that the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are active has a check mark in it. If not, click in the box. Also important here: QuickBooks can maintain a real-time inventory level for each item you sell so that you neither run short nor waste money by stockpiling. Check the box in front of Quantity on Sales Orders if you want the software to include items that appear on sales orders in the count. Also, do you want a warning when you don’t have enough inventory to sell (as you’re filling out an invoice, for example)? We can explain the difference between Quantity on Hand and Quantity Available; call us at 256-337-5200 to discuss.

Figure 2: Some inventory concepts may be unfamiliar to you. If you’ll be buying and selling items, let us walk you through this section.

Payroll & Employees

Payroll is integrated with QuickBooks, but it’s so complex that it almost acts as another application. If you’re planning to take this on yourself, some training is advised.

Reminders

Unless you have a very simple business or an extraordinarily good memory, you’ll probably want QuickBooks to remind you when you need to complete certain tasks. Click Reminders | Company Preferences to see the lengthy list of events that QuickBooks supports, like Paychecks to Print, Inventory to Reorder, and Bills to Pay. You can have the software display either a summary or a list of what needs to be done, and you can specify how many days in advance you want to be alerted.

Sales & Customers, Sales Tax, and Time & Expenses

If your accounting workflow includes tasks in any of these areas, you’ll need to turn features on and make your preferences known.

You probably won’t need to have absolutely every feature turned on from the start. But as your business grows and changes — and we hope it does — you can always revisit the Preferences window to let QuickBooks know about your new needs. We hope you’ll let us know, too.  We would love to schedule a QuickBooks Health Check with you. After all, February is American Heart Health month and your QuickBooks file is the heart of your business activities.  Call us today at 256-337-5200.

Stretching QuickBooks Online (QBO): What You Can Do With Apps

QuickBooks Online (QBO) has worked well for countless businesses, but if you need more than it offers in some areas, there’s likely to be an app for that.

You’d be hard-pressed to find two small businesses in the U.S. that have exactly the same needs when it comes to financial management. Fortunately, QuickBooks Online is powerful and flexible enough to please hundreds of thousands of small businesses.

As companies grow, they often find that the core features, user interface, and navigational tools that QuickBooks Online offers still suit them just fine. Still, they need to move beyond the tools offered in one or more areas.

That’s why QuickBooks Online has dozens of add-on applications — apps — that focus on one specific area of QuickBooks Online and extend what’s offered there. Since they’re all cloud-based, you have access to them anywhere, anytime, on a PC or mobile device, once you’ve set up an account.

To see what’s available, just click on the Apps link in the left vertical toolbar.

Figure 1: You can choose from dozens of integrated applications built specifically to add features and flexibility to individual areas of QuickBooks Online.

 

Take a look around this page, and click on any of them to get more information. All of the apps listed were designed to fit QuickBooks Online, but if you’re new to integrated applications or wondering whether a specific one would be a good match for your business, we can help you decide — and get started with it.

QuickBooks Online’s apps cover a lot of ground. Each falls into one of several categories, including billing and collections, expense management, time tracking, and customer relationship management. We’ll look at three of them here.

Bill.com automates your accounts payable and receivable. It began its life as a billing app (hence the name), adding receivables a few years ago. Though you could use it as a sole proprietor, its features are more fully utilized in a team setting. You email, fax, or upload incoming bills to your Bill.com account, where they can be entered, routed to the appropriate staff person, approved, and processed (transmitted directly to a vendor bank account or remitted via paper check). The ability to store all related documents in the cloud and maintain a strict audit trail add to the site’s security. Automated invoices, reminders, and payments simplify your receivables workflow. Bill.com also provides a close, real-time look at your current cash flow and also projects future scenarios.

Concur Travel and Expense has very tight integration with QuickBooks Online; it shares, for example, customer, vendor, and employee records, as well as job data and expense types. Your employees can either enter expense data manually or use a smartphone to take pictures of receipts, which can then be uploaded directly into Concur and automatically attached to their expense reports, along with any credit card charges (which can also be sent directly). Once you’ve approved an expense report, Concur handles the background bookkeeping and transfers funds into your employees’ bank accounts.

Figure 2: Your mobile employees can create and submit expense reports on the road using the mobile Concur app. iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry are also supported.

Method CRM marries your QuickBooks Online data to your customer relationship management tasks. Lists of your customers, vendors, items, etc. and their associated records are available in the app, as are transactions like invoices, payments, and vendor bills. When prospects fill out forms on your website asking for product and/or service information, a new lead/sales opportunity is created in Method CRM. If a lead becomes a customer, that data is shared with QuickBooks. The app is exceptionally customizable, down to the actual design (should you decide to tackle this, though, let us work with you from the start).

There are many other types of apps that can be integrated with QuickBooks Online, including:

Constant Contact: Email marketing

TSheets Time Tracking: Timesheets and time tracking

Bigcommerce: Online shopping cart management

F|G Receivables Manager: Smart accounts receivable management

Shoeboxed: Scans and categorizes paper receipts

Figure 3: You can upload or drag and drop files, forward emails, or send paper receipts through U.S. Mail in a prepaid envelope to Shoeboxed.

These apps are easy to use for the most part, but whenever you’re moving data in and out of QuickBooks Online, you need to have a clear understanding of the source and destination. We’ll be happy to assist as you move beyond the boundaries of QuickBooks Online.  Call us today at 256-337-5200 to discuss Aps and/or migrating to QBO.

Creating Inventory Items in QuickBooks

Whether you’re selling unique items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will:

  • Ensure your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing,
  • Provide needed information about inventory levels, and
  • Help you make smart reordering decisions.

Follow these steps to setup your QuickBooks (QB) file to track inventory and to create items. 

Step 1:  QB File Setup – Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Items & Inventory. Click the Company Preferences tab and click in the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are activated if there isn’t a check in the box already. Here, too, you can ask that QuickBooks warn you when there isn’t enough inventory to sell. Click OK when you’re finished.

Figure 1: You need to be sure that QuickBooks knows you’ll be tracking inventory before you start making sales.

 Step 2:  Create item - open the Lists menu and select Item List. Click the down arrow next to Item in the lower left corner of the window that opens and select New. The New Item window opens.

 Warning: You must be very precise when you’re creating item records in order to avoid confusing your customers and creating problems with your accounting down the road. Please call us if you want us to walk you through the first few items.

QuickBooks should display the list of options below TYPE. Since you’re going to be tracking inventory that you buy and sell, select Inventory Part. Enter a name and/or item number in the next field. This is not the text that will appear on transactions; it’s simply for you to be able to recognize each item in your own bookkeeping.

Figure 2: Let us work with you if you have any doubts about the data that needs to be entered in the New Item window. It must be 100 percent accurate.

 

In the example above, the box next to Subitem of has a check mark in it because “Light Pine” is only one of the cabinet types you sell (you can check this box and select <Add New> if you want to create a new “parent” item on the fly). Leave the next field blank if your item doesn’t have a Part Number, and disregard UNIT OF MEASURE unless you’re using QuickBooks Premier or above.

Fill in the PURCHASE INFORMATION and SALES INFORMATION fields (or select from the lists of options). Keep in mind that the descriptive text you enter here will appear on transaction forms, though customers will never see what you’ve actually paid for items, of course (your Cost, as opposed to the Sales Price). 

QuickBooks should have automatically selected the COGS Account (Cost of Goods Sold), but you’ll need to specify an Income Account. Please ask us if you’re not sure, as this is a critical designation. The Preferred Vendor and Tax Code fields will display lists if you’ve already set these up.

QuickBooks should have pre-selected your Asset Account. If you want to be alerted when your inventory level for this item has fallen to a specific number (Min) so you can reorder up to the point you specify in the Max field, enter those numbers there (the Inventory to Reorder option must be turned on in Edit | Preferences | Reminders). 

If you already have this item in stock, enter the number under On Hand. QuickBooks will automatically calculate Average Cost and On P.O. (Purchase Order).

Click OK when you’ve completed all of the fields. This item will now appear in your Item List, and will be available to use in transactions. When you want to create, edit, delete, etc. any of your items, simply open the same menu you opened in the first step here (Lists | Item List | Item).

Figure 3: The Item menu, found in the lower left corner of the Item List
Precisely created Inventory Part records are critical to accurate sales and purchase transactions. So use exceptional care in building them.  If you would like additional training and/or tips, contact us at 256-337-5200.
The “QB Bob” Team

QuickBooks Customer Statements: How/When To Use

We all use invoices for billing our customers, but there are times when you may want to send statements too. Thanks to the company file you’ve built in QuickBooks, creating statements, like invoices, is generally a very simple process that requires no duplicate data entry. Statements are generally not used nearly as frequently as invoices. However, you may find them more appropriate if you:

  • Want to create a form that lists all of a customer’s open charges
  • Have a customer who accrues multiple charges before being billed
  • Receive advance – or regular — payments, or
  • Need a historical accounting of a customer’s activity, including charges, payments, and balance.

Limitations of Statements
QuickBooks places some restrictions on statements. For example, if you have a number of related charges for which you want to create a subtotal for you’ll have to use an invoice. Statements also cannot include sales tax, percentage discounts, or payment items. Products or services requiring descriptions that run more than a paragraph can’t go on a statement. Customization options, too, are limited: you can’t add custom fields to the statement form, nor can you include a message to your customers, like, “We appreciate your business.”

The “Reminder Statement”
There may be occasions when you want to create a form that lists invoices received, payments made, and any credits given for one or more customers. This may be necessary when, for example, a customer disputes a charge. You may also want to send out these statements to remind customers of delinquent payments.

You do not have to enter any new data for these statements. Instead QuickBooks will pull the existing activity that you ask for in the Create Statements window, shown below. To get there, either click on the Statements icon on the home page, or open the Customers menu and select Create Statements.

Figure 1: The Create Statements window in QuickBooks offers multiple options for defining the statements you want to send to customers.

Figure 1: The Create Statements window in QuickBooks offers multiple options for defining the statements you want to send to customers.

As you can see, QuickBooks offers a lot of flexibility in the creation of statements. You can specify:

  • The active date range. Under SELECT STATEMENT OPTIONS, you can either enter a date range or request a statement for every customer who has open transactions as of the Statement Date (be sure that this date is correct before proceeding). You can also ask to include only transactions that are past due by a specified number of days.
  • The customers to include. Do you want to use the conditions you just outlined to apply to All Customers? If so, click on the button in front of that options. If you choose Multiple Customers, a small button labeled Choose… will appear. Click on it, and a window displaying your customer list opens. One Customer also opens your list of customers. If you’ve assigned types to your customers and want to include only those in one category (like Residential or Commercial), click Customers of Type. And Preferred Send Method lets you limit your statement output to customers who receive either emailed or printed forms.
  • The template to use. Click the down arrow to see the statement templates available. If you have not customized QuickBooks’ standard form and want to do so, let us help.
  • Whether QuickBooks prepares one statement per customer or per job. This is a very important distinction, so choose carefully.
  • Miscellaneous attributes of your statement run. Click on the box in front of any that should apply.
  • If you assess finance charges, you can do so here. This is an advanced activity in QuickBooks, and we’d be happy to provide guidance in this area.

When you’re done, you can Preview your statements, Print, or E-Mail them by clicking those buttons.

Entering Individual Charges
If you need to enter individual charges, you’ll have to work with QuickBooks’ customer registers. You’ll find these by either opening the Customers menu and selecting Enter Statement Charges or highlighting a customer in the Customer Center, then clicking the down arrow next to New Transactions and selecting Statement Charges.

Figure 2: A Statement Charge in the Customer Register.

Figure 2: A Statement Charge in the Customer Register.

We highly recommend that you let us help you get started if individual charges are necessary. Like many of QuickBooks’ functions, this isn’t a difficult activity once you understand it, but it’s much easier and economical for you to get upfront guidance than for us to come in and untangle your company file later.

The “QB Bob” Team

Depositing Payments in QuickBooks

Simplify, work smarter and spend more time with your customers—whether you accept cash, checks, or credit/debit cards, QuickBooks has tools that help streamline the process of moving the funds into your physical bank accounts.  In fact, part of your job is done when you enter the payments on the Receive Payments or Sales Receipt screens.

Two Ways to Enter Payments for Deposit

When you record a payment in QuickBooks, you can enter it in one of two ways.  Payments can be deposited:

  1. In a specific bank account. QuickBooks lets you specify an individual account for each transaction. If you select this option, a box labeled DEPOSIT TO will appear on the Sales Receipt and Receive Payment screens. Select an account from the drop-down list, and your payment will be automatically deposited into it.
Figure 1: You can choose to deposit customer payments to specific accounts.

Figure 1: You can choose to deposit customer payments to specific accounts.

2.  In Undeposited Funds.  This is an asset account that can hold multiple payments, but they are not automatically deposited.

If you decide to have all payments sent to the Undeposited Funds account, you can establish that as your default. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences | Payments | Company Preferences. Then make sure that the box in front of Use Undeposited Funds as a default deposit to account is checked.

 

 Figure 2: Check the box on the right if you want payments sent to the Undeposited Funds asset account. You will make the actual deposits later. If this box is not checked, a DEPOSIT TO field will appear on the Sales Receipt and Receive Payments screens.

Figure 2: Check the box on the right if you want payments sent to the Undeposited Funds asset account. You will make the actual deposits later. If this box is not checked, a DEPOSIT TO field will appear on the Sales Receipt and Receive Payments screens.

Other Deposits

What about money you receive that is neither payment on an invoice you sent or payment for an item or service received immediately? There are many situations where this might be the case, including:

  • Vendor refunds, rebates, etc.,
  • Unsolicited donations [for non-profits], or
  • An owner’s investment in the business.

To record incoming funds like these, open the Banking menu and select Make Deposits to open the Payments to Deposit window. Click OK to skip to the Make Deposits window.

Complete the Deposit To, Date, and Memo fields, then click in the table below them if you haven’t already used the Tab key to get there. Use the drop-down lists to select (or add) the individual or company who submitted the payment, the account where it should be tracked, the payment method, and the amount. Enter any additional information needed, fill in the optional Cash back goes to fields, and then save the transaction.

Note: While you’re working in the Make Deposits window, you can click the Payments button at any time to open a new window containing customer payments that need to be deposited if you want to process them simultaneously. 

You may also want to use the Attach tool for miscellaneous payments to store related documentation. 

Depositing Undeposited Funds

You should process your Undeposited Funds on a regular basis, whether every day, every few days, or weekly, depending on your banking needs. To do this, go to Banking | Make Deposits.

Figure 3: You can either view all of the unprocessed payments in Undeposited Funds in a single list, or you can display them by type.

Figure 3: You can either view all of the unprocessed payments in Undeposited Funds in a single list, or you can display them by type.

The Payments to Deposit window will open if you have pending payments in your Undeposited Funds account. Put a check mark in front of all of the payments you want to deposit by clicking in the column to the left of the DATE column.

Click OK, and the Make Deposits window will open, displaying the payments you just chose. As we instructed previously, select the account where you want the money deposited and the date, add a memo, and request cash back if desired. Save your work when you’re finished.

These are the steps you’ll take to deposit payments by cash and check. If you’re planning to open a merchant account so you can accept debit and credit cards, the process is similar, but there are additional steps you must take to ensure that your books balance.

We can answer any other questions you have about depositing payments. You work hard for your money, so make sure you see it in your bank accounts.  Let us help you decide the best way for you to deposit funds–call us today at 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment!

Using Timesheets in QuickBooks

QuickBooks is remarkably flexible when it comes to recording the time employees spend on customers and jobs. You can enter information about a single activity (either billable or unbillable) and/or document hours in a timesheet. You can enter time:

  • Using the built in “stop watch”
  • Manually enter or
  • Use a third party App that syncs with QuickBooks.

We have several solutions that will meet your needs-call us at 256-337-5200 for recommendations.

 

Time/Enter Single Activity

All versions of desktop QuickBooks include dialog boxes designed to help you enter all the details related to a single timed activity. To get there, either open the Employees menu or select Enter Time | Time/Enter Single Activity or click the down arrow next to the Enter Time icon on the Home Page and choose Time/Enter Single Activity.

Figure 1: QuickBooks helps you create records for individual activities completed by employees, which can be either billable or unbillable.

Figure 1: QuickBooks helps you create records for individual activities completed by employees, which can be either billable or unbillable.

Fill out the fields in this window like you would any other in QuickBooks. Click the calendar icon in the DATE field to reflect the date the work was completed (not the current date), and click the down arrows in the fields that contain them to select options from a list. If you already know the duration of the activity, simply enter it in the field to the right of the clock icon. Otherwise, use the Start, Stop, and Pause buttons to let QuickBooks time it.

The Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box is designed to record one activity, not necessarily an entire workday, unless an employee only provides one service for one customer in a day. If he or she provides more than one service for one or more customers, you’ll need a fresh record for each.

Note: If the employee selected is timesheet-based, an additional field will appear above theCLASS field asking for the related PAYROLL ITEM.  And if you’ve turned on workers’ compensation (and the employee is timesheet-based), a field titled WC CODE will drop into place below it. This must be done absolutely correctly, and it can get complicated. We can help you manage this feature.

 

A Comprehensive View

At the top of the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box, you’ll see an icon labeled Timesheet. If you click on this with an employee’s name selected, his or her time-sheet will open and display the hours already entered for that period. Or you can open a blank timesheet by opening the Employees menu and selecting Enter Time | Use Weekly Timesheet. You can also click the Enter Time icon on the Home Page.

Figure 2: You can access an employee's timesheet from the Time/Enter Single Activitydialog box, from the Employees menu, or from the Home Page.

Figure 2: You can access an employee’s timesheet from the Time/Enter Single Activitydialog box, from the Employees menu, or from the Home Page.

If you’ve entered all of the hours individually for an employee in a given time period, the timesheet should be correct when you click through from the Time/Enter Single Activity box. If not, you can edit cells by clicking in them and changing the data. Be sure that the Billable box is checked or unchecked correctly.

You can also enter hours directly on a time-sheet instead of recording individual activities. Just select the employee’s name by clicking on the arrow in the NAME field at the top of the Weekly Time-sheet dialog box and fill in the boxes.

Note: Individual activities that you enter for employees are automatically transferred to the time-sheet format and vice-versa.

 

Billing for Time

QuickBooks keeps track of all entered billable hours and reminds you of them when it’s time to invoice. If customers have outstanding time and/or costs, this dialog box will open the next time you start to create an invoice for them:

Figure 3: This dialog box is one of the ways QuickBooks helps you bill customers for everything they owe.

Figure 3: This dialog box is one of the ways QuickBooks helps you bill customers for everything they owe.

QuickBooks also provides several reports related to billing for time. We’ll be happy to go over them and – as always – help with any other questions you might have as well.

NOTE:  We are using a great program for billing clients that fully integrates with QuickBooks and makes it easier, more convenient for clients to pay their invoices–hence, you get paid faster.  It is called Bill & Pay.  Call us to learn more or   click here  to sign up for a FREE trial and/or to start using Bill & Pay to bill your clients.  The $100 set-up fee will be waived for you.

Tailor and Customize Your QuickBooks’ Reports

QuickBooks simplifies and speeds up your daily accounting work, but you’re missing out on valuable insight if you don’t tailor and customize your report data.

One of the rewards for diligently entering all of your accounting information is a better grasp of your company’s financial performance. That insight ultimately leads to better business decisions that can contribute to your future growth and success.

Figure 1: QuickBooks' Report Center can help you learn about what each report is designed to tell you. But smart customization requires deeper insight.

Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Report Center can help you learn about what each report is designed to tell you. But smart customization requires deeper insight.

Make Reports Meaningful 

Like many other tasks in QuickBooks, report customization tools aren’t difficult to master. What’s challenging is:
  • Understanding what each report is designed to tell you
  • Determining which reports are most relevant to your business information needs, and
  • Designing each to produce the critical insight you need in order to move forward.

The first challenge is fairly clear. You can understand what many reports do by their titles, their content, and the descriptions QuickBooks offers. We recommend that you spend some time looking at the Report Center in QuickBooks to familiarize yourself with your options.

The second two challenges are a bit more formidable. It’s our job to assist you in establishing a workflow in QuickBooks to keep accurate records and to produce necessary transactions. But we want you to do more than just maintain the status quo. When you analyze and interpret what your reports are telling you, you can make smart business decisions.

So if we haven’t gone over this with you already or if you need a refresher, we encourage you to schedule some time with us so you can get the maximum benefit from your QuickBooks reports. Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule an appointment or to sign up for our “QB for Business Owners” training  class which goes over the reports you should be frequently reviewing (next class will be October 16, 2014).

Figure 2: You can't miss QuickBooks' customization link when you open a report. But the trick is knowing how to best use its options for your business.

Figure 2: You can’t miss QuickBooks’ customization link when you open a report. But the trick is knowing how to best use its options for your business.

A Simple Set of Steps to Customize Your Reports

Let’s take a look at a report you may already generate:

Sales by Customer Detail  (Reports | Sales | Sales by Customer Detail).

QuickBooks comes with a commonly-used set of default columns in its reports. This particular report contains column labels like Type (invoice, sales receipt, etc.), Item and Quantity, and Sales Price.  You can easily change the default date range up below the toolbar. But to get to QuickBooks’ powerful customization tools, click Customize Report. A window with four tabs opens. They are:

Display. Options in this window help you specify the columns you want to appear in your report. In the lower left corner, there’s a list titled Columns that contains every possible column label for that report. If you scroll down, you’ll see a check mark in front of the default columns. Click on any item to uncheck it, and click in front of any that you’d like to add.

Other options here include how your data should be totaled and sorted. Some reports let you choose between cash and accrual basis.

Filters. This is the difficult one — and the tool that will provide the most insight. Filters determine which subsets of related data you’ll see (accounts, items, customer types, zip codes, etc.) by including only those that meet certain conditions. Here’s where we can really help you answer critical business questions that will lead you to smart decisions.

Figure 3: In this example, you've created a filter that will find all commercial drywall jobs that have been invoiced in the current fiscal quarter. You could narrow this report further by, for example, class, state, and paid status

Figure 3: In this example, you’ve created a filter that will find all commercial drywall jobs that have been invoiced in the current fiscal quarter. You could narrow this report further by, for example, class, state, and paid status

Header/Footer and Fonts & Numbers. You can tailor the design and layout of your reports here.

Well-formulated reports can help you spot cash flow problems, maintain correct inventory levels, see your most profitable jobs, and compare your estimates to actual costs. You’ll also be able to identify your best customers, your best selling items, and your top sales reps. Careful customization of your reports — and thorough analysis of their data — will provide clearer answers to your questions about your company’s future. We can help you take full advantage of these powerful tools.

Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule an appointment or to sign up for our “QB for Business Owners” training  class which explains the reports you should be frequently reviewing (next class will be October 16, 2014).

“The QB Bob” Team

QuickBooks’ Payroll Setup

Fortunately, the QuickBooks’ payroll setup tool can guide you through the process. Once you’ve signed up with QB Bob to process payroll, if you want to do the setup yourself, open the Employees menu and select Payroll Setup.

Figure 1: The QuickBooks Payroll Setup tool tells you what information you'll need to supply in order to start paying employees.

Figure 1: The QuickBooks Payroll Setup tool tells you what information you’ll need to supply in order to start paying employees.

Easy Operations

The first screen you’ll see in this step-by-step, wizard-like setup guide contains a link to QuickBooks’ payroll setup checklist. You don’t have to assemble all of the information you’ll need about your company, your employees, and your payroll taxes, but we recommend that you gather as much as you can before you start.

You’ll advance through setup by completing the information requested and then clicking the Continue button in the lower right (or, sometimes, Next; there’s also a Previous button available often). If you don’t have a particular detail immediately at hand, you can continue on and come back later. You’ll be able to edit your work then.

To back out of the whole process and return at another time, click the Finish Later button in the lower left.

Building a Framework

QuickBooks first wants to know about the various types of compensation and employee benefits your company offers. To start adding your Compensation options, click Add New. Click in the box in front of any pay types you support (Salary, Hourly wage and overtime, Commission, etc.) to create a check mark. When you click Next, this window opens:

Figure 2: It's easy to indicate the types of compensation your company offers.

Figure 2: It’s easy to indicate the types of compensation your company offers.

Keep clicking Next after you’ve completed each screen until you come to a page that lists all of the compensation types you’ve defined. To make any changes, highlight the type and click Edit to modify or Delete to remove. Then click Continue when you’re finished.

The next section is probably the most difficult: Employee Benefits. Here, using similar interface conventions to enter information and navigate, you’ll provide information about your company’s:

  • Insurance benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Paid time off, and
  • Miscellaneous items (cash advance, wage garnishment, mileage reimbursement, etc.).

It’s absolutely critical that you set these up accurately, or you’ll have unhappy benefits providers — and employees. If you’re not absolutely confident of an answer, it’s better to leave an item unfinished and come back later. You may want to ask us to work with you as you complete this section.  Call us at 256-337-5200 and we can do it for you.

People and Taxes

QuickBooks will then ask you about your employees. Have your W-4 forms handy for this section, as you’ll need to know Social Security numbers, birth dates, etc.

Figure 3: On this screen, you'll tell QuickBooks what type(s) of compensation and their dollar amounts apply to the employee.

Figure 3: On this screen, you’ll tell QuickBooks what type(s) of compensation and their dollar amounts apply to the employee.

All of those details you entered earlier about company benefits comes into play here. Once you’ve defined an employee’s compensation types and amounts, the next screen will display the additions and deductions that your company supports. You will have set up defaults for some of these, but you can modify them for individual employees.

There are numerous other details that you’ll have to supply for your staff, like how vacation and sick hours accrue, what state will want to collect taxes from them, and what their filing status is.

Unless you’ve worked with payroll before, you’re going to want our help in completing the payroll tax section. Once it’s done correctly, QuickBooks will calculate taxes due and help you pay them.

Finally, QuickBooks helps you determine whether you’ll need to enter any previous payroll data from the current year before you start to process your payroll in the software.

Whether you’re switching from manual payroll or a payroll service, or simply getting ready to pay your first employee, QuickBooks payroll-processing tools can help you save time and foster accuracy — as long as you get the details correct from the start. Call 256-337-5200 and talk to a “QB Bob” team member about payroll service options and how we can help you save time and money!  We’ll have you set up and processing payroll in no time.

5 Ways You Can Use QuickBooks’ Income Tracker

QuickBooks appeals to millions of small businesses because it offers multiple ways to complete the same tasks, which accommodates different work styles.  Say, for example, you wanted to look up a specific invoice. You could:

  • Go to the Customer Center and select the customer, and then scan through the list of transactions,
  • Use the Find feature (Edit | Find), or
  • Create a report.

Another way you can get there if you have a recent version of QuickBooks: the Income Tracker(Note: Only the Administrator or a staff member with the correct permissions can access this feature. Talk to us about whether to allow other employees to use it, and how to set that up.)

Figure 1: QuickBooks' Income Tracker provides a visual overview of your company's income.

Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Income Tracker provides a visual overview of your company’s income.

To get there, either click the link in the vertical navigation bar or go to Customers | Income Tracker.

One Screen View of Open Estimates and Open, Overdue & Paid Invoices

Four colored bars across the top of the screen represent open (unbilled) estimates, open invoices, overdue invoices, and invoices paid within the last 30 days. Each bar contains two numerical values: the number of transactions of that type and the dollar amount involved.

QuickBooks defaults to displaying all types of transactions, but when you click on a bar, the screen changes to show only that type of transaction.

You can also filter the table of transactions using the drop-down lists below the colored bars. Your choices here include Customer:JobTypeStatus (Open, Paid, etc.) and Date (range). Click the arrow to the right of each filter’s label to display your options.

The column labels below these lists will change depending on the transaction type that’s active.

Increased Functionality

The Income Tracker is great for simply viewing groups of transactions; double-clicking on one will open the original form. You can also open them by selecting an action to take. For example, open your estimates list and click on a transaction to highlight it. Then click the arrow next to Select in the Action column at the far right end of the row.

Figure 2: You can modify transactions like estimates from within the Income Tracker.

Figure 2: You can modify transactions like estimates from within the Income Tracker.

If you choose the first option here, QuickBooks opens a small window that asks you whether you’d like to create an invoice for 100 percent of the estimate, a percentage of it, specific items, or percentages of each item. When you make your selection and click OK, a completed invoice form opens, which you can then check over and save.

As you can see above, you can also mark the estimate as inactive, print it, or email it. A great time saver!

Each transaction type supports a different set of actions. In the open invoice action column, as you’d expect, you can click the option to Receive Payment, which opens the Customer Payment window with the customer and amount due already filled in. This can be edited to reflect a different amount, or you can just accept it as is, then save it.

Create New Transactions

You can even create a new transaction within the Income Tracker. Click on the arrow next to Manage Transactions in the lower left corner of the screen and select the form you want.

Figure 3: You can open new transaction screens from within QuickBooks' Income Tracker.

Figure 3: You can open new transaction screens from within QuickBooks’ Income Tracker.

Print Multiple Forms (Batch)

The Income Tracker also provides one of the fastest ways to print multiple forms. Just select the transactions you want to print by clicking in the box in front of them, and then click the arrow next to Batch Actions in the lower left corner.

Edit Transactions

Finally, you can edit transactions from here, too. Either double-click on one or select it and click Edit Highlighted Row in the Manage Transactions menu.

QuickBooks’ Income Tracker doesn’t do anything that can’t be done another way in the program. But it provides an excellent one-glance view of the current state of your receivables movement.

If you’re consistently seeing patterns that you don’t like, call us at 256-337-5200. We can evaluate your receivables process and suggest ways to accelerate it. Even if your sales aren’t increasing, getting that “PAID” stamp on invoices quickly will improve your cash flow and strengthen your confidence as a business manager.

The “QB Bob” Team @ www.qbbob.com

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