Blogs

What You Should Know About the QBO Mobile App

QuickBooks Online’s (QBO’s) mobile app lacks some features found in the browser-based version, but it provides mobile access to tools you may want on the road.
 Feb 2016 QBO Fig 1
Figure 1: The navigational menu in QuickBooks Online’s mobile app slides out from the left side (iPhone 6+ version pictured here).
 
Why Mobile?
 
Since you can already access QBO on a laptop, why would you need an app that’s missing some of the main site’s functionality?
 
You don’t, necessarily. If your work doesn’t take you out of the office much and you don’t travel for the business, downloading the app may just create one more icon on your smartphone screen that you always see but never open.
 
But you may want to consider using it if you, for example:
  • Want to work at lunch or in a coffee shop on your off hours, 
  • Regularly purchase items or services that you will submit as expenses to your company,
  • Sell something on the spot and want to create a sales receipt,
  • Need to nail down a sale by creating an invoice immediately,
  • Get a question from a customer or vendor about a past transaction, or,
  • Have to look up a price and description for a product or service.
Feb 2016 QBO Fig 2
Figure 2: Using QuickBooks Online’s mobile app, you can create sales transactions wherever you are.
 
Many Limitations
 
QBO’s mobile app is far from a replacement for the browser-based version. It has numerous limitations. For example, there’s no dashboard — no home page that gives you an overview of your finances and provides reminders about tasks that need to be done. Rather, the app opens to Company Activity, a list of the most recent transactions.
 
Customer and vendor records are not quite as detailed, and you can’t view or work with your Chart of Accounts. Some settings can be altered, but not nearly as many as on the main site. There are only two reports available, Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet, which is a tiny percentage of what’s offered online. You can’t enter and pay bills, create purchase orders, or work with payroll. And you can’t check inventory levels.
 
But the app isn’t designed to be a management or everyday tool. You wouldn’t begin your QBO experience with the mobile version; setup and high-level functions like reports, bank reconciliation, and assignment of user roles would be done online by the administrator. There’s a separate application for Intuit’s online payroll, and activities like issuing credits and defining recurring transactions would more likely be done from the office.
 
While they’re laid out differently, the QBO mobile app manages to pack a lot of detail in a small space. It includes the features that a remote worker would most likely need to use. And some of those are quite comprehensive. Forms in the app, for example, lack very little compared to those in the browser-based version, especially those that deal with expenses and payments, which are often done outside of the office.

Feb 2016 QBO Fig 3
Figure 3: The QuickBooks Online mobile app looks different from the browser-based version, but it’s very easy to use, and some screens are quite detailed.
 
Examine Your Workflow
 
The ability to do accounting work on an app away from the office offers convenience and flexibility that browser-based QBO doesn’t. First off, mobile applications show a degree of professionalism and responsiveness to customers and vendors you meet with outside the office. And it keeps you in touch with some of your financial data when you’re on the move.
 
But can using it create problems? Possibly. Data entered in the app shows up in the browser-based version as soon as it’s entered and saved. But you or your administrator wouldn’t necessarily know to look for an onslaught of expenses or invoices, and by the time they’re discovered, there could be some complications. 
 
So if you’re planning to let employees loose on the QBO mobile app and you expect that they’ll use it frequently, it’s best to establish policies ahead of time and ensure that the work that’s done remotely will mesh with the rest of your accounting activities. We can help you prepare for your new mobile capabilities. Call us at 256-337-5200!
 
The “QB Bob Team”
Intuit Premier Resellers
www.qbbob.com
256-337-5200

How to Store Documents/Receipts in QuickBooks

You could call QuickBooks a “green” computer program. It can conserve reams of paper by storing customer and vendor records, for example, emailing transaction forms, and accepting online payments.
 
Most small businesses are a long way from being “paperless offices,” despite the predictions so many people made when PCs became commonplace. Even though you’re making an effort to be as digital as possible with your accounting files, not everyone else is yet. So you still have to deal with paper.
 
And you’re probably still consulting paper documents or stored computer files or scanned images that relate to your accounting data. QuickBooks makes it possible to keep this information close at hand, easily accessible from the software itself.
 
The Doc Center
 
QuickBooks provides a centralized area for managing the documents you want to keep close at hand. The Doc Center contains tools you’ll need to work with your documents. From here, you can:
  • Add them by locating them in your storage device or scanning them in directly,
  • See their details and add to them,
  • Search for them, and,
  • Either remove or detach them.
Jan 2016 QBC Fig 1
Figure 1: You’ll use the tools in the QuickBooks Doc Center to work with the documents you want to have available from within the program.
 
There are probably times when you have supporting documentation for invoices or customer and item records, for example. In these cases, you can attach those background documents to the related QuickBooks forms.
 
Easy Operation
 
It’s not difficult to work with documents in QuickBooks. But if you don’t have much experience working with file attachments or scanning paper forms, we can walk you through the process.
 
To get started, click on the Docs tab in the left vertical pane or open the Company menu and select Documents | Doc Center. You’ll see a screen that looks like the one pictured above.
 
Let’s say you have a special price list you often need to consult. Click the Add icon. A window then opens that contains a directory of all of the folders and files on your PC and any external storage areas. Browse to the pricing document you created earlier and double-click it. QuickBooks will return you to the main Doc Center screen, and you’ll see the name of your file and the time added in the first row of the data table there.
 
Deeper Descriptions
Jan 2016 QBC Fig 2
Figure 2: Once you’ve added files to the Doc Center, you can view and add details or open the original document.
 
Click in the box in front of the file name, and buttons in the lower right of the screen will light up. Click on View Details, and a small window opens. You can enter information in fields here to add a Title, Description, Keywords, and Comments. Click Save & Close when you’re done. Other buttons here let you Open the file or Remove it. 
 
Note: To bring in documents, you can also drag and drop them from Outlook, folders, or your desktop. We can help you learn how to do this.
 
Scan a Document
 
You can also scan documents directly from your scanner into QuickBooks. Click Scan. TheQuickBooks Scan Manager should open and locate your printer or scanner. After you’ve selected it and your other Scan Options, click the Scan button. If you’ve opted to see a preview, that page will appear for your approval. 
 
Click Done, and you’ll have several options for working with the image. When you’ve finished, click Done Scanning and enter any desired descriptive details. Click OK, and theDoc Center will display again with your new scanned document in the list. 
Attach to Forms
Jan 2016 QBC Fig 3
Figure 3: Many QuickBooks forms display the Attach File icon.
If you have supporting documentation for an invoice, for example, you can easily make it available from the form itself. Click the Attach File icon and select your file using the Doc Center’s tools. Once you’ve added an attachment to a form, the icon will display the number of documents that are available there.
 
Your computer’s storage space may be well organized, but you can still waste time trying to hunt down the document you want right when you want it. QuickBooks’ Doc Center can minimize your search time and ensure that important documentation is at hand.
 
The “QB Bob Team”
Intuit Premier Resellers
256-337-5200

QBO Accounts Receivable Reports

Numerous Templates
 
By now we’re sure that you have run one of QuickBooks Online’s accounts receivable reports, A/R Aging Summary, to see a list of past due invoice payments; however, there are many other reports. Familiarizing yourself with them can help you throughout the year, not just in January when you’re trying to put your financials back in order. 
 
To see the whole list, click on Reports in the left vertical toolbar. If the All Reports link is not underlined, click on it. Then click Manage Accounts Receivable.
Jan 2016 QBO Fig 1
Figure 1: This is a partial list of the accounts receivable reports offered in QuickBooks Online. 
 
You probably don’t need to run every report in this group frequently, but there are some that can provide the insight you need when you’re trying to tie up loose ends and prepare for the rest of the year. They include:
  • A/R Aging Detail. The A/R Aging Summary only displays totals for each customer with a past due status. The report divides these into 30-day increments, so you can see how much each customer owes currently, 1-30 days overdue, 31-60 days overdue, etc. A/R Aging Detail divides the report into those same time periods, but it displays every corresponding invoice for every customer, its original due date, amount, and open balance. 
  • Customer Balance Detail. This report doesn’t break out past-due invoices by 30-day increments. It groups outstanding balances by customer. By quickly scanning the Due Dates and Open Balances, you can get a quick snapshot of each customer’s status. Are any payments due soon? Is there a high balance that needs to be addressed?
  • Collections Report. You – or whoever handles collections for your company – should be running this report regularly. You can see which customers have past-due balances and by how many days, which individual invoices are represented, and the total amount owed.
Contacting customers in an attempt to collect past-due payments is probably not your favorite thing to do. Let us know if you want help customizing QBO and using its other tools to minimize late remittances.
 
Seeing the Data You Need
 
QBO’s report templates are constructed to display the data that most business people want to see. You have tremendous control, though, over the columns that appear. Customization options on the site are quite generous.
Jan 2016 QBO Fig 2
 
Figure 2: QuickBooks Online offers countless options for the data that is displayed in its reports. We can help you work with these if you’re new to report customization.
Open the Customer Balance Detail report and click the Customize button in the upper left. There’s very little that you can’t modify in QBO reports. Click on each link in the left vertical navigation tool to get a sense of what’s possible.
 
If you alter the options in a report and think you’d like to run it again in the future with the same modifications but with refreshed data, click Save Customizations in the upper left after you’ve finished making your changes. Type a new name for this modified report in the field provided in the small window that opens. When you want to generate it again, go toAll Reports | My Custom Reports to find it.
 
We strongly encourage you to customize some of your routine reports. This kind of zeroing in on the exact set of data you want can help you evaluate your current financial status — and make better business decisions. Need help? We’re always a phone call away at 256-337-5200.
 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Preparing Your QuickBooks for the New Year

Making a List and Checking It Twice
 
Where to start? Depending on how conscientiously you entered transactions and ran reports, you might need to set some extra time aside in the midst of your other year-end and holiday-related commitments.  Now’s the perfect time for a QB health check. Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule TODAY! 
 
Year End Closing:  Did you instruct QuickBooks to “close your books” at the end of the year? QuickBooks will automatically make year-end adjustments if you entered December 31 as a closing date in Preferences. However, it’s not required, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to doing so. We can help you decide if this is the best decision for your company.
 Dec 2015 QBC Fig 1
Figure 1: If you set a closing date of December 31 in QuickBooks’ Preferences, you need to prepare your company file for this deadline in advance. We can help you get ready.
 
Post Transactions & Payments:  Prior to year end closing, though, there’s another important task you should complete before the end of the year. It’s simple, but not everyone remembers it during the December rush: Ensure you’ve entered all transactions and payments that should be included in your QuickBooks file for 2015.  If anyone else on your staff works in QuickBooks, be certain they know that you’re trying to wrap up the year. If they’re holding anything back because of questions and comments, now’s the time to confer with you.
 
Taxes and Planning:  Have you been planning with your accountant for the 2015 tax year? If you haven’t, or you haven’t been doing so on your own, you need to look at your incoming and outgoing funds for the year before December 31st. Do you need to hold some income and/or expenses that haven’t been recorded until 2016? This kind of question really needs to be resolved now.
Dec 2015 QBC Fig 2
Figure 2: Time is short, but we may be able to help you make some decisions about carrying some 2015 income and/or expenses over to 2016 if it will help reduce your tax obligation.
 
Talk to your accountant now if you think this may be necessary. They can advise you on any situations where you might want to put off — or accelerate — some actions. Is your income running high and your offsetting expenses low? If so, this may be a good time to make a fairly major purchase you’ve been considering like purchasing additional Point of Sale software to add registers for the holiday rush.
 
Maintenance:  How do you back up your QuickBooks company file? On a local drive or in the cloud? How often do you do this? Backing Up your data is critical. Think about what would happen if you lost your customer records or a month’s worth of transactions or multiple payments. Is there a better, safer way to ensure data security? Are there special backup activities you should do at year’s end? This is an area where we can provide guidance.
 
Some companies wait until January to do a physical inventory count. Rather than being surprised in January, you may want to consider doing this now if it’s feasible.
 
And when you think you’ve entered everything, all accounts should be reconciled. QuickBooks makes it easy to do this regularly.

Dec 2015 QBC Fig 3 Figure 3: Before the end of December, you should do a final reconciliation of all accounts for 2015. 

It will be painful to open QuickBooks on January 2 if you don’t feel like you’ve paid extra attention to your finances in December. We can help you ring in the New Year on a more confident note, so schedule your year-end appointments TODAY–call 256-337-5200.
 
Happy Holidays,
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Managing Customer Information in QBO

Entering Customer Information
The easiest way to find the tools to record Customer Information is to simply click the Customers tab in the navigation pane. This will take you to a comprehensive page that will eventually contain a list of your customers. To add a new customer, click New Customer in the upper right corner.
Note: If you already have a database of customers in an Excel or .csv format, you should be able to import it into QuickBooks Online. We can help you with this task.
Dec 2015 QBO Fig 1
 
Figure 1: QuickBooks Online helps you create thorough profiles for each of your customers.
 
You’ll see an empty screen with predefined fields like the one above. Complete as many fields as possible for each customer; you’ll be using this information later in transactions and reports.
 
When you’ve finished, look in the lower left corner, where you’ll see four tabs. You can use the blank screen that opens when you click Notes to enter miscellaneous information. Click on Tax info to supply a Tax Resale No. and select a Default Sales and Use Tax Rate. If you need to set up sales tax and haven’t yet, we can work with you on that.
 
Completing the fields in the screen under the fourth tab, Payment and billing, will save you a lot of time when you start creating transactions. Any of the customer’s current, unpaid obligations should be entered in the field labeled Opening balance…as of. You can also select default (preferred) Terms, payment method (cash? check? credit card?), and delivery method (print or send later). 
 
If you haven’t yet signed up for a merchant account, which lets you accept credit/debit cards and bank transfers, let us tell you what’s involved–call 256-337-5200. You’ll find that invoices are paid faster if a customer can do so electronically. 
 
Viewing and Acting
 
Once you’ve entered information for one or more customers, their names and some additional details will appear in the list that’s displayed when you click on Customers. You’ll see a horizontal colored bar at the top of the screen; this updates you on the status of your sales transactions. Below that is your table of customers.
Dec 2015 QBO Fig 2
 
Figure 2: You can do more than simply access information about each customer from the master page; you can also launch activity and transaction forms.
 
Select a group of customers and click the arrow next to Batch actions, and you’ll be able to send emails or create statements for them. When you’ve created records for multiple customers, the search box will come in handy.
 
Your list can also contain columns for each customer’s email and address; you’d make this change by clicking on the gear icon in the upper right corner. And when you click on the arrow next to Receive payment in the far right column, a drop-down list will display the other activities you can do from there, like creating invoices and sending reminders.
 
Critical Care Required
 
Keep your customer records updated whenever there’s a change. You want every detail of your communications with your customers to be correct — down to the spelling of their street names. Seemingly little things like this can have impact on your customers’ perception of their value to you.
 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Setting Up QuickBooks Reminders

Preserve your relationships with customers, vendors, and others by setting up reminders in QuickBooks.
 
QuickBooks contains a dedicated set of tools that automates the process of setting up and displaying reminders. Once you’ve created them, they can be the first thing you see when you open QuickBooks in the morning.
 
Warning: If you do not launch QuickBooks frequently, consider tracking your critical accounting tasks using a different method.
 
Getting a Head Start
 
QuickBooks lets you specify exactly when you want to receive reminders of upcoming activities. To set this up, open the Edit menu, then click Preferences, and then Reminders | Company Preferences.
 
Note: If you want QuickBooks to display your reminders every time you launch the software, click on the My Preferences tab and make sure that the box in front of Show Reminders List when opening a Company file is checked. If it isn’t, click in the box.
Nov 2015 QBC Fig 1
Figure 1: QuickBooks provides personalization tools for your reminders.
 
As you can see, QuickBooks offers three options for every activity type. It can either display a summary of the tasks that need to be completed, or it can actually list all of them in the Reminders window. And you’ll be able to tell QuickBooks how many days prior to the deadline your reminders should appear. You can also opt not to be reminded.
 
Making modifications in this window is easy. Just click in the appropriate circle next to each task to indicate your preference, and change any numbers in the Remind Me column to tell QuickBooks when it should start showing the reminder.
 
If you didn’t indicate that you wanted the Reminders window to open every time you launch QuickBooks, you can always access it by opening the Company menu and selecting Reminders.
 
Using the List
Nov 2015 QBC Fig 2
Figure 2: Reminders in the left column are current, and those on the right are upcoming tasks.
 
The Reminders list displays items in two columns. Tasks that need to be done on the current day appear on the left (overdue tasks appear in red). The list in the right column consists of upcoming transactions that will need to be processed soon. Each type of activity has a number in parentheses after it; this tells you how many individual tasks are pending. Click on the arrow to see the list, and double-click on any entry to open the actual transaction form.
 
You can add generic to-do items to either column by clicking on the plus sign in the upper right. These will appear along with your other reminders. If you want to modify anything related to your reminders, click on the gear icon in the upper right. This opens the Preferences window again.
 
Recurring Reminders
 
Transactions that repeat on a regular basis (bills, invoices, etc.) can be memorized. If the amount is always the same, create the transaction and enter the amount; if not, just leave that field blank. Click Memorize to open the Memorize Transaction window and click on the button in front of Add to my Reminders List. Open the drop-down list to the right of How Often and select the desired frequency. Make sure that the Next Date is correct. ClickOK
 Nov 2015 QBC Fig 3
Figure 3: QuickBooks can add memorized transactions to your reminders list.
 
Reminders can help prevent serious accounting problems such as cash flow irregularities and overdue payments to vendors. As always, Small Business Solutions is here to provide training and to assist you with everything QuickBooks. Call us today at 256-337-5200 to schedule a QB file health check to get your books in shape before the end of the year.
 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Working with Employee Records in QuickBooks Online

Just the Facts
 
The left vertical toolbar in QuickBooks Online contains a link for Employees. This is where you’ll add and edit staff records. Once you’re set up and have begun running payrolls, the page that this link opens will display your current year’s payroll cost totals. There will also be a list of employees and their pay rates and payment methods; you’ll be able to click on their entries to view and edit their record details.
 
To get started, though, you’ll click on Add Employee. This opens a page that asks for the individual’s:
  • Full name, 
  • Withholding (you’ll enter W-4 information here),
  • Pay frequency,
  • Pay type and amount (multiple options are available here besides salary and hourly),
  • Deductions (retirement, health care, etc.), and
  • Pay method (check or direct deposit).
Nov 2015 QBO Fig. 1
 
Figure 1: QuickBooks Online and its payroll component contain many screens like this that employ common data entry conventions. The mechanics are easy, but 100 percent accuracy is required.
 
Some of these requests for information have a small pencil icon next to them. This means that there are additional screens where you can provide the needed details. In the example above, you’re defining pay types that will be available to the employee, like sick pay and vacation pay.
 
Depending on your company’s benefits, entering deduction information may be the most detailed and time-consuming task. QuickBooks Online first lets you choose between entering a deduction/contribution or garnishment. If it’s health insurance, for example, you’ll have to indicate how much money will be deducted from employees’ earnings each pay period (in dollars or a percentage) and what the company-paid contribution will be (if any). If there’s an annual maximum, you’ll also enter it here, and you’ll indicate whether the premium amount is taxable or pre-tax.
 
A sample check is displayed in the right column of this page. As you enter information, the check will be filled in with the correct amounts. If you don’t have a particular detail at hand, you can save what you’ve done and come back later to finish the record. And you can always return to edit data you’ve supplied.
 
When you’ve completed all of this and clicked Done, you’ll be back at the Employeesscreen. Click on the name of the staff person whose records you just created, and you’ll see something like this:
Nov 2015 QBO Fig. 2
 
Figure 2: Once you’ve created an employee’s record, you can view all of its details and edit it as needed.
 
There will undoubtedly be times when you’ll want to see your employee data in report form rather than clicking through numerous individual records. QuickBooks Online offers several report templates that accommodate this. You’ll click on Reports in the left vertical toolbar, and then All Reports | Manage Payroll. The most relevant here in terms of viewing employee-related information are:
  • Vacation and Sick Leave,
  • Employee Details,
  • Payroll Deductions/Contributions,
  • Workers’ Compensation, and
  • Employee Directory.
Running your first payroll can be daunting. We hope you’ll let us help you prepare for it. Please call us at 256-337-5200 to set up an appointment today.
 
The “QB Bob Team”
256-337-5200

Time Tracking

 Building Your Records
 
Before you can ask employees to start tracking the hours they put in, you need to create a record for every time-based activity so that QuickBooks knows how much to charge when billable time is entered. The software creates and stores these in the same way it builds records for physical inventory items.
 
Start by clicking on the Items & Services icon on the home page (or go to Lists | Item List).  Click the down arrow next to Item in the lower left of the screen that appears, and then select New from the menu (or right-click in the main part of the screen and select New).
Oct 2015 QBC Fig 1
Figure 1: Once you’ve created a record for a service item, you can use it throughout QuickBooks.
 
A list of options will drop down under TYPE. Select Service. Type in the Item Name/Number and click in the box to the left of Subitem of if the time item should be grouped under another. In this example, the relationship is Labor/Removal (labor). U/M Set may not be an option in your version of QuickBooks.
 
Note: If you will be working with subcontractors, let us help you set up these services. It’s a little more complicated.
 
Enter a description for your service and a rate, then click on the drop-down arrow and select a tax rate if appropriate (click on <Add New> to create one on the fly). Select an Account from the list. It should be some kind of income; in this case, it’s Construction Income. Ask us if you have any doubts here. Click OK when you’re done. Now this service will appear in your Item List.
 
Tracking Time
 
When you want to create a record for a work session, click the arrow to the right of Enter Time on the home page and select Time | Enter Single Activity (or open the Customers menu and select the same). Make sure the date for the activity is correct; you can click on the calendar and select if it’s not. Click on the arrow in the field below to select the correct employee.
Oct 2015 QBC Fig 2
Figure 2: You can either start the timer to record an activity’s duration or simply enter it in the box.
 
Click the arrows next to the CUSTOMER:JOB and SERVICE ITEM fields to open those drop-down menus and select the desired options. If you want to time the activity, use the StartStop, and Pause buttons below the duration box, or simply enter the amount of time it took. The CLASS and NOTES fields are optional. 
 
If the time spent is billable, be sure that there’s a check in the box next to Billable in the upper right corner. If it’s not billable, ensure there isn’t a check in the box.
 
Data you enter here will automatically appear on timesheets. You can enter time directly on timesheets by clicking Enter Time | Use Weekly Timesheet.
When you start an invoice for a customer who has accumulated billable time, you’ll see this message:
Oct 2015 QBC Fig 3
Figure 3: If you’ve entered billable time for a customer, this message will appear the next time you create an invoice for him or her.
 
Make sure that your employees understand the importance of documenting every billable minute. Lost time can eat into profits, and that has an impact on everyone in the company. Call us today at 256-337-5200 so we can set up time tracking for you.  Don’t lose another minute of profit!
 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

PC App for QBO

No matter which version of QuickBooks you first used, there may be elements of Windows functionality that you miss in your current QBO version like:
  • The traditional file menus,
  • Keyboard shortcuts, and
  • The ability to open the software and let it stay open all day, minimizing it when you didn’t need it.
The recently released QBO for PC (and Mac) App offers all of those features. It may also be faster than the browser-based version because it loads the whole application at once and keeps the pages cached. It’s free; here’s the download link.
 
A Hybrid Approach
 
Oct 2015 QBO Fig 1
 
Figure 1: The old Windows menus are back in the new QuickBooks app.
 
Getting started is easy. You click the download link and then install the app like you would any Windows or Mac software. When the download is complete, you’ll find a new shortcut icon on your desktop’s home screen. Click on it, and you can either sign into an existing account or register for a new one.
 
The first thing you’ll notice is that it still looks like QBO, but if you look at the upper left of the screen, you’ll see what looks like a series of Windows desktop menus — because it is. These menu options don’t match Windows desktop menus. Instead they’re designed to mirror the navigation tools in QBO. You can use either or both.
 
Note: Windows that open when you click on one of these menu options can act in one of two ways. They can either replace the current window, which is the default in QBO, or they can open in a new window. To change the current setting, open the Window drop-down menu and check or un-check Menu Items Open New Windows.
 
Multiple Updated Windows
 
It’s not difficult to switch screens in the browser-based version of QBO, but it’s time consuming if you need to consult two or more different pages. You would find yourself switching back and forth and probably having to make notes about what you learned from the other screen(s).
 
The new QBO for Windows App makes this process easier and faster. Some navigation links now have a small arrow-in-a-box icon to their right, called a Detach icon. Click on one of those, and the item opens in a new window. Any changes you make in one window are automatically reflected in the other open windows.
Oct 2015 QBO Fig 2
 
Figure 2: Click on the new Detach icon wherever it appears to open the page in a new window.
 
This new functionality isn’t available everywhere in the app. You’ll see the Detach icons when you hover over transaction types by clicking on the + sign at the top of the screen, with the exception of Pay Checks, Single Time Activity, Weekly Timesheets, Pay Bills, and Statements. To open a transaction form in a new window, you must click directly on the icon. You can also open most reports in new windows; the new icons appear when you open a list of them.
 
So if you’re looking at a report that you don’t want to close and you want to enter a related transaction, you’d simply click on the + sign and select the transaction type by clicking directly on the Detach icon. The new window opens; you fill out the form and save it, and you’re back at your report where you can see the new entry in the report. 
 
If you have a transaction open and you want to consult a report, though, you’d need to select it from the Reports menu at the top, after making sure that the Menu Items Open New Windows entry in the Window menu was checked.
 
And if you’re still a fan of keyboard shortcuts and miss them in QBO, you’ll find them active in the app.
Oct 2015 QBO Fig 3
Figure 3: You can use dozens of keyboard shortcuts when you install the new QuickBooks app.
 
Only an Option
 
The QBO for Windows App is totally optional; you can keep using the browser-based version if you prefer. The ability to keep the app running without signing in and out all day may appeal to you — if there’s no chance someone else could access your computer while you’re away from your desk. 
 
You may or may not experience faster performance, depending on your system configuration. The app’s other capabilities are a matter of personal preference. Let us know if you need help working with this new option — or if you have other questions about QuickBooks Online (QBO).
 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Customizing Your QuickBooks (QB) Forms

Want an easy, free way to make your business look more professional and polished? Customize your QuickBooks forms using the QB tools.

Getting Started

To see what forms are available for customization, open the Lists menu and select Templates to open this window:

Sept 2015 QBC Fig. 1
Figure 1: QBs’ Templates window shows you what forms can be customized and provides tools for working with them.
 
Before you try your hand at customizing a form, make a copy to work with first. Highlight Intuit Product Invoice. Click the down arrow next to Templates in the lower left, and select Duplicate. A small window will open, displaying your options. Select Invoice and click OK
 
QuickBooks will then take you back to the Templates window, and you’ll see a new entry labeled Copy of: Intuit Product Invoice. Right-click on it and select Edit Template from the menu that opens. This will open the Basic Customization window.
 
There are two parts to this screen. The editing options for the template you selected will appear on the left, and a preview of your invoice will display on the right. As you make modifications to the template, the preview will change to reflect them.
 
The best, most noticeable thing you can do to customize your invoice is to add a logo. Click the box in front of Use logo, and locate the file in the computer directory that opens. Double-click it. You logo will appear to the left of your company name and address in the upper left corner of the preview.
Sept 2015 QBC Fig. 2
Figure 2: The Basic Customization window displays options for modifying your copy of the Intuit Product Invoice template.
 
You can make numerous changes to your template in this window, like:
  • Selecting a new color scheme,
  • Changing fonts,
  • Deciding how much of your contact information should appear, and 
  • Indicating whether the Print Status Stamp (PAID, PENDING, etc.) should appear where appropriate on your invoices.
Note: You can choose to use the same modified design on multiple types of forms. This is a little complicated–let us help you. Call 256-337-5200 now to set up an appointment.
 
More Customizing Options
 
The changes you just made were fairly superficial. However, QuickBooks offers tools that let you go much further, modifying the actual content of the invoice itself, its columns, and its fields. To get started on this, click the Additional Customization button at the bottom of the screen. The window that opens displays a preview of your invoice on the right side, just like in the previous window.
 
Your customization options appear on the left side, divided into five different sections. You’ll work primarily with three of them for your invoice:
 
Header. This includes all of the information that appears on about the top third of the form, like Bill To, Terms, Due Date, and Project/Job.
 
Columns. What are you billing the customer for? Item, Description, Quantity, Rate, etc. 
 
Footer. What information will you want to enter after you’ve completed the invoice’s product or service content? You’ll likely want fields like Total, Balance Due, andPayments/Credits, perhaps a Message.
Sept 2015 QBC Fig. 3
Figure 3: QuickBooks gives you tremendous control over the content in your forms.
 
As you can see in the above image, QuickBooks lets you choose whether specific fields and columns will appear on your invoices onscreen and/or in print. You can also change field labels if you’d like. And if you have overlapping fields or want to further modify the appearance of the invoice, you can use the Layout Designer. It’s a simple tool, but it requires some design skills.
 

You may not be printing many invoices at all if you’re set up to email them and accept payments online, but your customers, of course, will still see how carefully you’ve crafted your forms, which will feed into their overall perception of you. Let this impression be a good one.  Call us today at 256-337-5200 to set up a forms customization appointment so your businessstands out from the crowd.”

The “QB Bob Team”
256-337-5200

QuickBooks Online (QBO) Sales Tax Tools: The Basics

Are you paying the correct amount of sales tax to the proper agencies?

QuickBooks Online can handle the mechanics for you. Its sales tax tools are quite simple; they help set up both single and combined (up to five) rates. Then when you create invoices and other sales forms, you can select the appropriate rate(s). The tool does the necessary calculations and includes sales tax in the totals. It also keeps a running tally of how much you owe to taxing agencies.

Bear in mind, though, that absolute accuracy is required for this often-confusing process. States have their own individual requirements, and in some geographical areas, you’ll have to charge county and/or municipal sales tax. So before you start entering rates and charging customers, you  should sit down with your accountant and go over issues like:

  • Whether you need a sales tax permit,
  • How to handle sales in other states,
  • What transactions are exempt from sales tax, and
  • How often — and to whom — you submit the money you’ve collected from customers.
Sept 2015 QBO Fig. 1
Figure 1: QBO simplifies the mechanics of charging sales tax, but let us work with you before you start.
 
This element of accounting is so critical that QBO includes a special section devoted to it. To get to the Sales Tax Center, you’d click on Sales Tax in the site’s toolbar. The page that opens will eventually display information about the sales tax you owe for a specific period and recent payments you’ve made.
 
It’s the Related Tasks over to the right that we’ll address first. The Edit sales tax settings link opens a small window that asks whether you charge sales tax. It also wants to know whether you want to specify one rate as your default — the rate that fills in automatically when you enter a taxable item on a sales form — and whether all customers, products, and services should be considered taxable. 
 
Note: Even if you choose a default tax rate, you’ll be able to change it on individual forms as needed.
 Sept 2015 QBO Fig. 2
Figure 2: SBS will review review your site settings with you and ensure all are set up properly.
 
QuickBooks Online will now include a Tax column on sales forms like invoices. After you’ve entered all of your taxable items, you’d look below the line over to the right that says Taxable subtotal. Directly below that is a field where the sales tax rate should appear. 
 
If you’ve created rates and they aren’t showing, you’d click the up-and-down arrow to display the list. Either select the appropriate one or click +Add new. QBO would then multiply the taxable subtotal by your tax percentage and enter the result in the box to the right.
 Sept 2015 QBO Fig. 1

Figure 3: Once you’ve entered all of your items and/or services and you have a taxable subtotal, QBO will calculate the sales tax payable based on the rate selected.

When you want to see the balance of your sales tax obligation(s) to date, you can run three reports designed to display this information:

  • Taxable Sales Summary shows a summary of all of the sales to which you’ve assigned a tax rate in your sales forms
  • Sales Tax Liability Report tells you what you’ve collected in sales tax, as well as what you owe to taxing agencies.
  • Taxable Sales Detail is a more comprehensive version of the Taxable Sales Summary report. Its columns include Date, Transaction Type, Customer, Quantity, Rate,Amount,and Balance.

When sales taxes are due, you will pay them directly from the Sales Tax Center. Its Sales Tax Owed table will display the amounts you owe and to whom. If they’re recorded as a paid bill or a check, they won’t appear in the Recent Sales Tax Payments table.

We can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of correctly setting up your sales taxes from the start or of meeting the deadlines that your local taxing agencies enforce. Call us at 256-337-5200 when you want to start implementing this element of QuickBooks Online (QBO). We’re here to make all things QuickBooks easy for you.

 
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

Accelerating Customer Payments using QuickBooks

You’re meeting your sales goals. Keeping inventory balanced. Making sure that every billable hour gets invoiced. Taking advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming, but you can’t control how quickly your customers pay you.

Below are Three QuickBooks Tools to:

  • Make it easier for customers to remit their payments,
  • Remind customers about unpaid balances, and
  • Keep a close eye on unpaid invoices.
August 2015 QBC Fig. 1 Figure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from customers in multiple forms. Accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to speed up your receivables.

 Tool Number 1 – Process Plastic

You can, of course, offer customers a discount for paying early. That may work in some cases, but accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to be more effective. It also has other positive impacts on your business, including:

A more professional image. What do you think when you purchase goods or services from a business that doesn’t accept credit cards? In 2015, this is unusual. It may make customers wonder why, and you work too hard to preserve your reputation to give anyone reason to question your standing.

Time savings for you. How much time do you spend logging checks and running to the bank with deposits? It’s must faster to simply record a credit card payment.

Convenience and goodwill for customers.  Your customers will appreciate the time that they’ll save, which translates to a feather in your cap.

There are extra costs associated with setting up what’s called a “merchant/payments account.” You’ll have to learn how to set up an account and process payments, but once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to invoice customers in QuickBooks and let them pay immediately by credit card. If you ever have occasion to accept payments out of the office, you’ll be able to use your smartphone or tablet to accept them.

We’d like to see you take this positive step for your business, so let us know when you’re ready. Call us at 256-337-5200 so we can get you a merchant account and help with setup and implementation.

Tool Number 2 – Send Statements

August 2015 QBC Fig. 2 Figure 2: You have a lot of options to choose from when you create statements in QuickBooks.

This may be an area of QuickBooks you’ve never explored. Statements are just what they sound like: detailed summaries of what each customer owes over a period of time that you email or print and send by U.S. Mail.

QuickBooks makes this very easy. Start by either clicking the Statements icon on the home page or by opening the Customers menu and selecting Create Statements. The window above appears, laying out the three steps required:

  1. SELECT STATEMENT OPTIONS. Be sure that the Statement Date is correct. Then indicate whether you want your statements to include transactions within a specified date range or all transactions that are past due by more than a specified number of days.
  2. SELECT CUSTOMERS. You can generate statements for one customer, all customers, or a designated group in between.
  3. SELECT ADDITIONAL OPTIONS. You’ll have several decisions to make here about your statements’ content and appearance. Let us know if you have questions or need training–we’re here to teach you what you don’t know you don’t know–call us at 256-337-5200.

Tool Number 3 – Track Outstanding Receivables

August 2015 QBC Fig. 3
Figure 3: When you create the Open Invoices report, make sure that the Aging and Open Balance columns will display.

As a small business owner/manager, there are certain QuickBooks reports that you should be looking at frequently. One of them, Open Invoices, gives you an instant status update on your outstanding receivables. But it’s important that you set up the report to give you the exact information you need.

Open the Reports menu and select Customers & Receivables | Open Invoices. If you need to change the date range, click the down arrow to the right of the Dates field in the upper left to display your options and choose. Then click Customize Report above that. The window pictured above opens. Grab the scroll bar under COLUMNS and move it down until you see Aging and Open Balance. If there are no check marks in front of them, click in the column to create them.

There are other reports you’ll want to look at regularly as you try to accelerate incoming customer payments, like A/R Aging Summary and A/R Aging Detail. If we’re not already working with you on reports, creating and analyzing the critical financial reports that we should be generating monthly or quarterly, let’s set up a meeting. We can give your copy of QuickBooks a QB Bob Health Check at the same time to ensure that you can keep accepting those payments accurately.


The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200

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PO Box 10053
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 337-5200
info@qbbob.com