- 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.
- 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.
Figure 3: Before the end of December, you should do a final reconciliation of all accounts for 2015.
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 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
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.
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.
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
Want an easy, free way to make your business look more professional and polished? Customize your QuickBooks forms using the QB tools.
To see what forms are available for customization, open the Lists menu and select Templates to open this window:
- 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.
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 business “stands out from the crowd.”
The “QB Bob Team”
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- 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.
- SELECT CUSTOMERS. You can generate statements for one customer, all customers, or a designated group in between.
- 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
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