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9 posts from July 2008

Use the QuickBooks Adding Machine

QuickBooks accounting software has a built-in adding machine to simplify the entry of checks and credit card statements that require various calculations.

To access this built-in tool (available in all version of QuickBooks at least back to 2004), simply tap the = sign on your keyboard while sitting in any QuickBooks field where you would enter a number (i.e. check amount, invoice total, etc.). You will get a screen that looks like this:

Since the cursor appears AFTER the zeros, you'll want to get in the habit of hitting your backspace key a couple of times to remove the 0.00 that appears (I wish QuickBooks would fix that!!). Once you do that, type in your number, and use +, -, * or / for your data entry needs.

QuickBooks running slow or does it take forever to run a report? You may need QuickBooks Enterprise software - same easy-to-use screens you are used to, but much more horsepower to make things run faster!

 

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Tired of resizing your windows in QuickBooks?

If you're like me, you get really tired of having your windows in QuickBooks open to half size, third size, etc., right?

Here is a quick fix for that problem - click on Edit, then Preferences, then choose the "Desktop View" preference. Once there, click "One Window" under the View option, then click OK.

From now on, the hassle of working with funny size windows should cease!

QuickBooks running slow or does it take forever to run a report? You may need QuickBooks Enterprise software - same easy-to-use screens you are used to, but much more horsepower to make things run faster!

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Looking for Ideas on how to Improve QuickBooks

Looking for an opportunity to sound off and share your likes and dislikes about QuickBooks? Now you have the perfect opportunity (and a chance to win a free QuickBooks consultation too!)

Simply visit my "Sound Off on QuickBooks" web page and share your thoughts on the two simple questions posted there.

2 entries will be drawn at random the winners will receive a free hour of QuickBooks consulting (a $125 value)! Hurry - this contest closes on September 30, 2008!

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Upcoming QuickBooks Classes

My class schedule for the fall at Lakeland Community College has just been finalized, and here is the agenda:

  • QuickBooks - Level 1: Tuesday, September 16, 2008; 6-8:30pm
  • QuickBooks - Level 2: Tuesday, September 23, 2008: 6-8:30pm
  • QuickBooks - Level 3: Tuesday, September 30, 2008: 6-8:30pm
  • QuickBooks - Understanding Inventory: Tuesday, October 7, 2008: 6-8pm

Visit my web site for more details on these classes and for direct links on registering for them with Lakeland Community College.

QuickBooks running slow or does it take forever to run a report? You may need QuickBooks Enterprise software - same easy-to-use screens you are used to, but much more horsepower to make things run faster!

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Closing a sales order in QuickBooks

So you have a number of sales orders showing up on your "Open Sales Order" report (located in the Report Center by clicking Sales > Open Sales Order") that shouldn't be there? Here is an easy way to get rid of those that should be closed:

  • Open the sales order that needs to be closed
  • Click the "Closed" box at the bottom of the sales order screen found here:
    Closed_sales_orders_2 
  • Click "Save and Close"

That's all there is to it. Repeat these steps for any other sales orders that need to be closed, and take the rest of the day off!

QuickBooks running slow or does it take forever to run a report? You may need QuickBooks Enterprise software - same easy-to-use screens you are used to, but much more horsepower to make things run faster!

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Changing Dates Easily in QuickBooks

Here are some really cool shortcuts to help you change dates within QuickBooks quickly and easily (remember, it is faster to use the keyboard than it is to use a mouse when doing heavy data entry!):

  • +     Moves the date forward one day
  • -     Moves the date back one day
  • M    Changes the date to the beginning of the current month
  • H    Changes the date to the end of the current month
  • Y     Changes the date to the beginning of the current year
  • R    Changes the date to the end of the current year
  • W   Changes the date to the beginning of the current week
  • K    Changes the date to the end of the current week

Notice the pattern? W = first of the Week, K = last of the weeK, M = first of the Month, etc. Pretty cool, isn't it?

Trying to figure out QuickBooks Undeposited Funds? Get the insight you need today!

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QuickBooks Chart of Accounts - Predefined Options within QuickBooks

When you are creating your QuickBooks company data file using the Easy Step Interview, QuickBooks will create a chart of accounts for you. The entries in the chart of accounts are determined by your answer to the questions during the interview, especially the question about the type of industry you are in:

Ez_step_interview_type_of_industr_2  

Further along in the interview, you have a few additional questions that will help shape the balance of the entries that appear in your chart of accounts.

IMPORTANT TIP: It is ok to use one of these predefined chart of accounts as a starting point. BUT - make sure you consult with a QuickBooks professional or your accountant to create a simple yet effective chart of accounts for your specific business needs. In many cases, businesses are trying to use a chart of accounts that is far too complicated for their needs. This leads to confusing and misposting of important business data within the accounting system.

Previous posts on the QuickBooks chart of accounts:

Chart of Accounts - Income and Expense
Chart of Accounts - Liabilities and Equity
Chart of Accounts - Assets

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QuickBooks Chart of Accounts - Income and Expense

Our review of the QuickBooks chart of accounts is almost complete. We've worked through the assets, liabilities and equity sections so far. This post will provide insight on the income, cost of goods sold and expense sections of the chart.

First, the income section - income is the money your business makes when you sell products or services to your customers. In many cases, there will be only one income account in the chart of accounts called "Income from Customers", and that is perfectly fine. Other businesses will have more than one account, with each one providing more insight into where the revenue from the business is coming from. For example, it might list "Income from Products", "Income from Labor", and "Income from Warranties" or something similar.

Bonus Tip - You do NOT want to have a separate income account in your chart of accounts for EACH product or service you sell! All that does it make things far too complicated for your needs - your "Sales by Item Summary" report will provide the details you need relating to the specific sales of products and services.

Cost of Goods Sold - if your business does not work with inventory, this type of account in the QuickBooks chart of accounts won't mean anything to you. In fact, you can just skip it.

However, if you do track inventory, you will want to have at least one cost of goods sold account. The purpose of this account is simply this - to capture the direct costs of the items you sell that are showing up in the income section as mentioned above. In our example, you could have a "Cost of Goods Sold - Products" account that tracks the cost related to the "Income from Products" account suggested earlier.

Expense - This category allows you to set up categories to track the money flowing out of your business. Travel, office supplies, and legal/professional fees are perfect examples of various types of expense accounts listed in the chart of accounts of many businesses.

Other Income/Other Expense - These account types are designed to be "catch alls" for any income or expenses that don't fit elsewhere in your chart of accounts. Use these options sparingly - chances are pretty good that you can find a fit into an existing account and not use these "other" types. A classic example of an "Other Income" account is something called "Gain on Disposal of Asset".

Keep it Simple!

There is no need to have a long and complicated chart of accounts (even if your accountant says you need one!). All that does is increase the likelihood of mistakes and misclassification of transactions in QuickBooks. A short, compact chart of accounts should provide all the information your business needs to help you understand what you own (assets), what you owe (liabilities), what is left over (equity), what you made (income) and what you spent (expenses).

My next post will talk about the predefined chart of accounts listings that QuickBooks provides when you start a new company data file.

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QuickBooks Chart of Accounts - Liabilities and Equity

Keep that CPA visor on for just a while longer! In my previous post, I explained the difference between the various types of accounts withing the asset section of the QuickBooks chart of accounts. This post will give you some additional insight on the liabilities and equity section.

Let's begin...

  • Accounts Payable - Just like the accounts receivable section, unless your business has really, really specific needs, you will only have one account in your chart of accounts with a type of Accounts Payable. This is the account that tracks how much you owe to your vendors and suppliers.
  • Credit Card - If you use a Visa, MasterCard or other credit card to purchase supplies, products or for any other expenses of the business, you'll create this type of account. By setting up an account as this type, it then allows you to use the "Enter Credit Card Charge" feature of QuickBooks. That is a great way to simplify your credit card tracking.
  • Other Current Liability - Any account of this type in your chart of accounts relates to a debt your business has that is due to be paid off in less than a year. A great example of an "other current liability" is the Sales Tax Payable account. That is definitely due within a year!
  • Long Term Liability - The direct opposite of an "other current liability". Any account of this type should be for a debt the business owes that is due in more than one year. Example - your SBA loan that is a five year loan. This would be a "long term liability".
  • Equity - Keep in mind that the traditional "accounting equation" (sorry - had to pull that phrase out of the accounting 101 textbook) is assets - liabilities = equity. Equity is what is left over - the owners share of the business. QuickBooks provides several accounts of type "equity" when you created your data file for the first time. Retained Earnings and Opening Balance Equity are two accounts that appear as "equity" accounts. Your best bet is to consult your tax preparer to see if there are other equity accounts that need to be created for your business.

Keep in mind that you want your chart of accounts to be as simple yet as informative as possible. This is not a case where having the most entries in your chart of accounts list wins any prizes!

For more QuickBooks tips and insight, visit my newsletter archives today.

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