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10 posts from September 2009

QuickBooks: Is it Easy to Move from Pro to Premier or Enterprise?

So you've read through the information about QuickBooks 2010, and are considering the decision to move out of QuickBooks Pro and into one of their more advanced versions, either Premier or Enterprise.

MovingDay

However, you might be holding back because you think it may be one more technology hassle your business doesn't need to deal with.

Good news - making the move out of Pro into Premier or Enterprise is very easy to do. After all, Intuit loves it when you stay in the QuickBooks family of products.

I've put together a chart that will help you understand your options in transferring your existing QuickBooks data:

Note: When I mention Premier, I am also referring to the Manufacturing and Wholesale, Contractor, Non-Profit, Retail and Professional Services editions of Premier as well.

  • Moving from Pro to Premier: No problem. Data transfers easily.
  • Moving from Pro to Enterprise: No problem. Data transfers easily.
  • Moving from Premier to Enterprise: No problem. Data transfers easily.

Along the same lines, if you have decided to downsize into a lower cost version of QuickBooks, here is what you need to know:

  • Moving from Premier to Pro: No problem. Data transfers easily.
  • Moving from Enterprise to Premier: PROBLEM - will require the assistance of the QuickBooks data services team.
  • Moving from Enterprise to Pro: PROBLEM - will require the assistance of the QuickBooks data services team.

In addition, if you are currently using the Online Edition of QuickBooks, you can also move your data into Pro, Premier or Enterprise. However, you will need to enlist the help of the Online data transition team for this process. This is a one-time transfer out of the Online Edition and into Pro, Premier or Enterprise.

In very rare cases, even if the chart above indicates there should be no problem moving, a problem may arise. That indicates there is a "structural problem" with your QuickBooks data file that needs to be ironed out before the move can be completed. Most often, using the verify and rebuild utilities within QuickBooks can resolve that headache.

RELATED POSTS:

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Need help with QuickBooks?

Contact Scott before you do something bad to your QuickBooks, like take a hammer to it...

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QuickBooks 2010: Will I Lose My Data if I Upgrade?

Now that QuickBooks 2010 has been released, many businesses will be considering whether to upgrade or not.

Praying for Help

One of the key concerns that stops many businesses from taking advantage of a new version of QuickBooks is the fear that their existing QuickBooks data will not transfer into the new version.

There is a lot of worry that the business will have to spend hours or days rekeying critical data if they move into the new QuickBooks version.

Good news - The process of moving your data from an older version to a newer one is easy and seamless!

Here is a quick overview of how your data would be upgraded into QuickBooks 2010:

  1. First and foremost, make a backup copy of your QuickBooks data using the File > Save Copy or Backup command.
  2. You then install QuickBooks 2010 on all computers in the office. (Bonus tip: be sure to download and install ALL QuickBooks updates during this process too).
  3. Then, open QuickBooks 2010 and then try to open your existing QuickBooks data file. A window like this appears:

    Uograding QuickBooks Data File - Step 1

  4. Once you put a check in the "I understand that my company..." box and click the Update Now button, another window appears asking you to make a backup copy of your data:

    Uograding QuickBooks Data File - Step 2

  5. Click Ok in the window above, follow the windows to make another backup (I know, you just made one a few minutes ago, but you can never have too many backup copies!), and then another window appears:

    Uograding QuickBooks Data File - Step 3

  6. As long as you were successful in making your backup copies earlier, simply click the "Yes" button and let QuickBooks get to work on upgrading your data. While that is happening, this window will appear:

    Uograding QuickBooks Data File - Step 4

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • You will NOT be able to work in QuickBooks while this upgrade is happening
  • The length of time it takes to complete this process depends on several variables, including the size of your QuickBooks data file, the processing horsepower of your computer, etc.
  • In very rare cases, a problem within your data file will not allow it to upgrade to the newer version, and additional assistance will be required from QuickBooks support.

Naturally, if looking at the screens above makes you break out in hives, enlist the help of a QuickBooks specialist to take care of this process for you. Once they finish, you will have seamlessly and painlessly migrated to QuickBooks 2010.

RELATED POSTS:


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Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise.
Connect with Scott at Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today!

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Should I Void or Delete to Fix a Problem in QuickBooks?

Ever run into the situation where you entered a transaction twice in QuickBooks? Don't worry - these brain cramps happen to all of us periodically.

QuestionMark


The question then becomes - how do I get rid of the duplicate transaction?

While your first thought might be to delete the transaction, that choice is NOT your best one. Let me explain...

Whenever you have a situation where something has been duplicated, the best practice in addressing it is to VOID the transaction, NOT delete it.

Let's say you have entered the check below twice into your register:

Voided Check

If you right click on the check (as shown above using QuickBooks 2009), or click Edit in the menu bar, you will find the options to either Delete Check or Void Check. (if you use an older version of QuickBooks, you will not see the Delete Check as a right click option)

Either way, be sure to choose the Void Check option. By choosing the "Void" option, you leave the transaction intact within QuickBooks - the only thing that changes is that the amount of the transaction is reset to $0.

Why is the Void option better?

  • It keeps your outside/tax accountant sane. If you delete a transaction, it is completely gone from QuickBooks (other than a record in the audit trail being created). Your outside accountant normally creates workpapers and reports based on your QuickBooks data. In many cases, they use those numbers on an ongoing basis. If you delete a transaction that affects one of those numbers, you've immediately introduced heart palpitations and created a "Tums Moment" for them, as their numbers won't match because the transaction doesn't exist any more.

    Granted, even if you void the transaction, their numbers won't match. However, it's a LOT easier for them to deal with something that is voided than it is with something that is deleted.
  • You can include a helpful note on a voided transaction. The fact that QuickBooks retains all the other details of the transaction allows you to add a note for future reference as to why this transaction was voided. Deleting does not allow for that option. See my example below (double click on it to enlarge the picture):
   

Voided Check with Comment


BEST PRACTICE: Every transaction entry screen (invoice, bill, check, credit card, etc.) in QuickBooks has the option to Void or Delete. Choose Void - your outside accountant will hug you for making this choice!

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Find QuickBooks confusing?

Fight back and end the confusion - contact Scott Gregory, a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. Connect with Scott at Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today!

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QuickBooks 2010: New Features


QuickBooks 2010 is here!

What new and enhanced features and excitement are built into this new release of Pro, Premier and Enterprise?

  • Fully Integrated Document Management

    Electronically “paperclip” your documents to QuickBooks
    transactions to stay organized and save time. Organize
    receipts, contracts, statements and more by attaching
    electronic or scanned files to any customer, vendor,
    employee, account, or transaction

    • Store receipts, statements and more online (in the internet cloud) for easy sharing
    • Easily attach documents to any customer, vendor, employee, account or transaction
    • Scan dozens of documents at one time – simply insert blank pages in between and QuickBooks creates individual files
    • Keep important documents at your fingertips and backed-up online
    • Streamline collecting and matching documents from clients to specific transactions
  • Rapidly Add or Edit Multiple List Entries from One Spreadsheet View

    Save time by entering and editing your customers, vendors, item, or account information in bulk. You can even copy and paste data from other spreadsheets.

  • Redesigned Report Center

    Get the insights you need to make more profitable business decisions. Now it’s easier than ever to find just the report you need to understand how your business is doing — and spot opportunities to cut costs and boost profits. You can also tag your Favorite Reports to instantly access the reports you rely on most.

  • Customize Your Company Snapshot

    Stay on top of your business from a single screen, with data presented just the way you want it. Choose at-a-glance reports that are most crucial for managing your business. New report options include yearly expense and income comparison, detailed expense and income breakdown, and a top customer list.

  • New: Favorites Menu
    Create shortcuts and get there faster. Get one-click access to your everyday tasks using the Favorites Menu
    • Add shortcuts directly to specific functions
    • Personalize favorites for each user
    • Access the Favorites Menu from anywhere in the QuickBooks

  • Improved! Installation Enhancements
    Get up and running quickly and easily. Installing QuickBooks 2010 is easier
    than ever for both new users and upgrades with our installation improvements.
    • Simplify installation choices with a New Installation Manager
    • Choose from Express and Custom installation options
    • Reduces installation steps for upgraders by copying existing configuration

  • Improved! Clean Up Company Data
    Reduce the size of your QuickBooks file. Maximize efficiency with the Clean Up
  • Create a Consistent, Customized Look Across All Your Business Forms

    Ensure that your invoices and other forms get the attention they deserve. Access new FREE professional designs that you can customize for your business. Create a distinctive look and apply it across all your invoices, statements and other forms all at once.

Additional new features found in QuickBooks Enterprise 2010 only:

Additional Custom Fields with Improved Reporting

You know better than anybody what business data you need to track and how you want to use it. More custom fields have been added for customers, vendors, employees and items so you can capture, track and report on the custom data you need. Set custom fields to accept certain formats such as date, phone number, or select from list to reduce data input errors and improve the quality of your data output. Plus use advanced filtering and sorting to run reports on the custom field information you care about.  Exclusive to QBES!


I'll have more details available on the new QuickBooks 2010 release soon!

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Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise.

Contact Scott @ Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today for help with your QuickBooks issues and concerns.


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QuickBooks and Windows 7: What to Expect

Update to Post: QuickBooks 2010 is available for sale. See what's new and save 20%.

QuickBooks 2010 and Windows 7 are on the way. Technology marches on and we stagger along with it!Computer Frustrationl

The question of the day is - will QuickBooks work with Windows 7?

The answer is - it depends (seriously!).

Here's the scoop from the QuickBooks support site...

"QuickBooks 2010 is compatible with Windows 7. QuickBooks 2009 and older versions may install on Windows 7 successfully, however, Intuit's Technical Support of Windows 7 is limited to QuickBooks 2010 products only."

In addition, issues relating to QuickBooks not opening and Google desktop crashing when using QuickBooks 2007, 2008 or 2009 with Windows 7 have been identified. Intuit indicates these problems will be fixed in QuickBooks 2010.

Conclusion:

Unless you really like inflicting a lot of pain on yourself over a long period of time, if you are planning on moving to Windows 7, you will want to budget for an upgrade to QuickBooks 2010 as well.

Otherwise, if you phone QuickBooks support with a problem running QuickBooks 2009, 2008, 2007 or older on Windows 7, the first thing you will be told is "they can't help you."

Save up to 20% on your QuickBooks upgrade when the time comes.

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QuickBooks driving  you nuts?

Scott Gregory has been helping businesses make sense of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise for over 10 years. Contact Scott @ Bottom Line Accounting Solutions.

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5 Tech Tools for QuickBooks Users

These tech tools can really simplify the daily life of your business:ToolBox

  1. Mozy Online Backup - this tech tool will help you avoid becoming a statistic. What statistic is that you ask? The one that tracks how many businesses have suffered a loss of critical data (including the all-important QuickBooks company file) because their data backup plans were either non-existent or significantly flawed.

    In fact, at a workshop I presented last week, one of the participants was rather depressed because she was the victim of this very problem. Their server had crashed and they had no usable backup. Those are days you just want to crawl in a closet and hide.

    Mozy Online Backup can help you avoid this problem by automating your backup process AND getting your data stored securely offsite. I use it in my business - for less than $99 a year, I have a 10 gigabyte secure data vault to protect my critical digital files. What's your backup plan?

  2. SmartVault - how many times have you said it would be nice to attach the customers' purchase order to their invoice in QuickBooks? Or attach photos and drawings to a customer estimate in QuickBooks? SmartVault can make this happen - easily.

    SmartVault is add-on software for QuickBooks that allows you to quickly attach any type of digital file to a transaction (think invoice, estimate or vendor bill), list entry (think customer), or employee record (think W-4 and other employment paperwork).

    You simply scan in the documents directly to the appropriate area within QuickBooks or use the centralized inbox for scanning and attaching later. In addition, all of your documents are accessible via the internet at any time. Pricing plans for SmartVault start at $19 per month, and this link can save you 10% off your monthly charges.

  3. GoToMyPC - Unfortunately, I have seen it too many times. A business owner or their bookkeeper makes a copy of their QuickBooks data file to take home. They work on it at home, but forget to bring it back to the office. Then work continues in the QuickBooks file at the office and now the files are completely out of whack, as there is no way to synchronize the QuickBooks data at that point. GoToMyPC helps a business avoid this disaster.

    It is a tool that allows you to connect to your office computer from ANY other computer that has an internet connection. The set up is just a couple of minutes - once that is done, you have total access to each and every program, document, e-mail or other file on your office computer, even though you may be hundreds of miles away (or just around the corner at home). In this scenario, you don't have to have QuickBooks installed on the computer you are sitting at nor transfer any data files. Everything you do is happening on the desktop of your office computer, just as though you were sitting right in front of it.

    There is absolutely no need to have an IT department to get going with GoToMyPC. They offer a monthly subscription fee and also provide a discount if you purchase multiple months of service at a time. Use this link to get a free test drive of GoToMyPC.

  4. Results CRM (Customer Relationship Management) - my guess is that your business would love to have more than the two contact fields provided in QuickBooks to track customer and prospect information. I would also guess that your business would like the ability to have some easy-to-use tools to do some targeted marketing beyond the ability to just print labels in QuickBooks.

    If your business has been looking for ways to enhance their CRM capabilities while not busting the budget, you'll want to take a closer look at the Results CRM add-on for QuickBooks. Since it is an add-on, you still keep your core QuickBooks accounting system in place. In addition, you then take your customer relationships and marketing activities to an entirely new level using the Results CRM tools and the data syncs seamlessly between the two programs.

    Results CRM also has some advanced functionality relating to contact management, scheduling and calendar management, and product and pricing management.

    This link provides you with a direct contact to Results CRM so you can get a first hand look at the software.

  5. Xpanded Reports for QuickBooks - as I have mentioned in earlier posts, the reporting features within QuickBooks are getting old and tired. They are in need of an overhaul.

    If your business has been looking for ways to generate reports directly out of QuickBooks without having to be an Excel whiz, Xpanded Reports may be just what you need.

    Built using the familiar QuickBooks interface, Xpanded Reports can unlock your QuickBooks data in ways that the built-in QuickBooks reports can't. They provide a free 30 day trial and free e-mail support for the product as well.

I hope you find these tech tools a great addition to your office and QuickBooks.

Have a tool that you can't live without? Please post a comment below so everyone can benefit!

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Need help with QuickBooks?

Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise accounting software. Connect with Scott @ Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today.

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A CRM Solution for QuickBooks: Upcoming Webinar

Are you tired of:

  • Having just two contact name fields in QuickBooks?
  • Not being able to easily use QuickBooks customer lists for targeted mailings?
  • Not being able to track detailed activities with leads, prospects, and customers?

Look no further...

I'd like to introduce you to Results CRM (Customer Relationship Management) - a terrific add-on software product for QuickBooks.

You're invited to a very special free webinar. Join Naseem Saab, the President of Results Software on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 from 11 - 11:30am ET for a quick tour through Results CRM.

See for yourself how to take your customer and lead management to the next level.

Click here to register for the Results CRM webinar - you'll be glad you did! (there is no cost to attend!)

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Why Do YOU Dislike QuickBooks?

I have to admit, I am VERY intrigued...

While watching tweets flutter by, and after reading various blog posts, I couldn't help but notice a fair number of comments being posted such as "QuickBooks Stinks" and "I Hate QuickBooks" (among other comments that can't be printed here).

Man Yelling at Computer

My question is WHY? These tweets and posts never elaborate on the specific reasons behind those thoughts and feelings about QuickBooks.

That's really too bad.

TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY

If you have these feelings about QuickBooks, I urge you to take a moment and elaborate on the WHY behind them by posting a comment below.

Here's why...

  • I can put together some future blog posts to help clear up issues of confusion or frustration you may be experiencing within QuickBooks. Your input can certainly help me and the thousands of other certified QuickBooks experts out there better understand your trouble spots with the software.
  • We can coordinate the submission of a product enhancement request (or more than one) if there is a feature or function within QuickBooks that is lacking, desired, or simply not user-friendly.

With this type of feedback, it's possible to get the insight behind the tweets and posts and understand what's on your mind. I know that Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, monitors this blog as well, and this will be great feedback for them too.

Granted, your QuickBooks situation may be too far gone to offer any insight. However, my hunch is that there are some common themes behind these posts and tweets.

A BONUS

Between now and September 30, 2009, I am going to do a random pick of one comment that has been submitted and reward that person with a $25 Amazon gift e-card. I really appreciate you taking the time to post a comment.

Your comment may just pay dividends down the road...

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Network Troubleshooting Tool for QuickBooks

Thank you Intuit!Doctor_XRay

They recently released a network diagnostic tool that can help diagnose various problems that businesses may encounter when working with QuickBooks in multi-user mode.


This tool works with QuickBooks 2008 and 2009 only (Pro, Premier and Enterprise) and computers that are running Windows XP or Vista. There is no charge to download and use it on your network.


TIP: If terms like ping, TCP/IP and firewall give you nightmares, enlist the help of a QuickBooks Specialist or IT expert to work with this tool and your network.

Once you are ready to dig in, simply download the network diagnostic tool and install it on the computer where your company file is stored. This is usually a server in most multi-user environments.

A window like this appears (click on the image for larger size):

Network Diagnostic Tool for QuickBooks 

As you can see, there are LOTS of geeky things here to help diagnose QuickBooks troubles on your network.

In running it on my network, it worked flawlessly and provided some excellent feedback about the operation of QuickBooks within that environment.

If you need some help and insight to understand the various results, make sure to visit the QuickBooks network diagnostic tool help page.

In addition, you can e-mail or upload the log files created by the diagnostic tool if you are working with the QuickBooks support group to try and resolve QuickBooks network issues.

This tool is a great addition to the resources that are available to keep QuickBooks running smoothly in your business!

Feel free to post a comment below if this tool has helped resolve a QuickBooks or network problem in your business.

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Need help with QuickBooks?

Connect with Scott Gregory @ Bottom Line Accounting Solutions. He is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise software.




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Duplicate Customers or Vendors in QuickBooks? Solution: Merge Them

No matter how meticulous you are with your QuickBooks data file, it is going to happen eventually - the appearance of duplicate listings in your customer or vendor lists.Copier

In fact, if your QuickBooks data file is like many I have seen over the years, it is chock full of duplicate listings. This is especially true if you are a heavy user of online banking in QuickBooks and download your transactions.

Keep in mind that the more duplicates you have in these lists, the more you have to sort through them when scrolling to find the desired customer or vendor for a transaction.Every extra scroll you have to make adds up over the course of a year - more scrolling equals less vacation time for you!

A little housekeeping may be in order to tidy up your lists and make them more user-friendly. Let me explain how to make the duplicates disappear:

  • Your first choice in this situation would be to try and delete the unwanted customer or vendor directly from the list. If there is no activity associated with their account, QuickBooks will quickly and easily let you delete the duplicate entry. No harm done in that case.

    But what if you can't delete the entry?

  • You could certainly consider the idea of making the customer or vendor inactive. Simply choose the targeted listing, right click on it, and select "Make Inactive". However, keep in mind that even inactive names count toward your list limits in QuickBooks.

A Better Solution - Merge Them

Under the assumption that the duplicate names are really the same entity, QuickBooks has the ability to "merge" the names together.

Here is an example:

Let's say that I have a customer in my customer list called A B C Co. and also a customer called ABC Company. In reviewing the details of both accounts, I see that they are indeed the same entity. I don't know why two listings were created for them, but that doesn't matter at this stage.

I prefer to have the customer ABC Company remain in my list after the merge is done (although I could just as easily choose A B C Co. as the name to remain in the list).

So, here's what I do:

  1. I go to the account that I want to remove/merge out of - in this case, the account called A B C Co and right click on it. I then choose Edit Customer: Job
  2. I then go to the top box in the customer account, remove what is there leaving everything else below it, and then type in ABC Company. You must type the exact listing in this box of the name of the account you are merging into - in this case, I have chosen to merge into the ABC Company account.
    Duplicate Customer Listing  
  3. Once I click on OK, I then get the following notice from QuickBooks - if you don't see this box, it means you have not typed in the name EXACTLY as it appears in the account you are merging into (including spaces, dots, dashes, etc.):
    Merged Customer Warning  
  4. At this stage, I would click on Yes, meaning I want to merge them together. Once that process is done, I will only have one listing in my customer list called ABC Company!


WARNINGS:

  • The merge process can NOT be undone. Once it is completed, the histories of both accounts will merge together into the "surviving" account. The only way to undo this is to restore from a backup file, so be sure this is an action you want to take.
  • The merge process must be done in single user mode.
  • You have to merge one account at a time. There is no capability to do a "mass merge" within QuickBooks.


This process is really easy once you have done it once. It is a great tool to have available to keep your lists free of duplicate names.

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QuickBooks making you crazy?

Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. Connect with Scott at Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today!


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