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11 posts from November 2009

Changing the Color Scheme in QuickBooks

Blog reader Marcy P recently submitted the following question about her QuickBooks:

"How do I change the background on my QuickBooks screen? I heard they have like fall leaves or levi etc."

Thanks for the question Marcy!

A couple of thoughts:

1) To change the colors inside QuickBooks, click Edit > Preferences > Desktop View. Once there, look for the "Color Scheme" option and choose your pattern:

Change Color Scheme

2) You can also change the desktop scheme that Windows uses - this would control the colors, etc. outside of QuickBooks. This is where you might have seen a screen with the leaves pattern you mentioned. To do this, RIGHT click any blank spot on your desktop, click Properties, then click the Desktop tab and make your selection.

Got a quick question about QuickBooks or an idea for a future blog post? Please drop me a line.

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

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QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 2010: Free Guide, Insight and Information

Heard about QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions software, but aren't quite sure what its all about or why it might be the preferred version of QuickBooks for your business?

0212.QB09ES_3D.Enterprise I've created a reference guide that helps answer many of the common questions that are asked about QuickBooks Enterprise 2010:

Download my free QuickBooks Enterprise 2010 guide here

In addition, I've assembled various blog posts (mine and others) that discuss various topics relating to QuickBooks Enterprise software - I hope you find them helpful:


Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you have about QuickBooks Enterprise or any special promotions that may be available if you are ready to purchase it.

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Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Enterprise, Premier and Pro accounting software. He also provides part-time controller services to businesses that need another set of eyes on their finances.

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QuickBooks Replay: A New Tool to Say It and Show It

Find yourself trying to explain something that is happening in QuickBooks, but getting frustrated because words can't explain what a picture could?

Are you a CPA that would like to show your clients how to perform certain tasks within QuickBooks?

Either way, a new solution has been posted to the Intuit Workplace called QuickBooks Replay. In short, this tool is designed to allow you to quickly record a video of what is happening on your screen with QuickBooks (or any software for that matter!) and easily share that video with others. Even better, this software is free!

The process of getting set up with QuickBooks Replay was very simple:

  1. I downloaded the software from the QuickBooks Replay web site.
  2. I installed it on my computer using the installation wizard.
  3. I clicked the big red "Record" button and captured the video below


Once the recording was complete, I had the option to upload the video to my account atYouTube, where you could choose to make the video public or private. Or, I could save it to my local hard drive and simply send it as an attachment via e-mail.

NOTE: The QuickBooks Replay software can be used to capture quick videos of anything going on with your computer, not just QuickBooks issues. It is a perfect tool to help with some of those pesky computer problems and error screens that pop up too!

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Have you downloaded your FREE QuickBooks guides yet? Get them today!

Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise accounting software and a number of QuickBooks add-on software solutions as well.

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QuickBooks Update Scam - Don't Fall for It

There is a bogus e-mail going around (known as a "phishing attack" in geek-speak) that is trying to get you to download an update to QuickBooks software. Don't click on any of the links in this message - they could lead to bad things happening to your computer or network!

Here is a screen shot of what the message may look like:

Bogus E-Mail

This message is just like many others that try and trick you into opening an attachment or downloading software. The messages may look authentic, but have trouble lurking behind them. Similar fake messages have been circulated relating to many banks, the IRS and more. The AntiPhishing Working Group is an excellent resource to help you get educated on these types of messages. Remember, your mouse can be your worst enemy when it comes to protecting your computer - click carefully!

The best way to ensure your version of QuickBooks is updated is to click on Help > Update QuickBooks and follow the steps from there.

In addition, receiving a message like the one below AFTER you start QuickBooks is also an easy way to ensure your QuickBooks software is updated:

QuickBooks Update Notice

If you are using the Online Edition of QuickBooks, all of the updates to QuickBooks are automatically included each time you log in. There would be no need to download any updates at all for the Online Edition.

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Need help figuring out QuickBooks? Contact Scott today and arrange a time to get your questions answered and problems resolved.

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What is a "QuickBooks Add-on"?

I wanted to take a moment and provide some additional insight to this question that pops up quite often when talking to existing QuickBooks users and those who are considering QuickBooks.

Put simply, a QuickBooks add-on is software that was created by a third-party company (not Intuit) that can connect with QuickBooks and add additional functionality in one or more areas.

AN EXAMPLE TO HELP CLARIFY...

If you have used QuickBooks for any length of time, you know that within the customer record, there are only 2 name fields and 2 phone number and e-mail fields. In addition, it is very difficult to do marketing campaigns to print mailing labels or create e-mails based on any product sales criteria without a lot of extra work. 

For some businesses, these limitations are not a problem. For others, the limitations are a big problem. For those businesses, they often go in search of software that contains this additional functionality, but that business also is very interested in retaining the core accounting functionality of QuickBooks.

Enter the Intuit Marketplace for QuickBooks add-on software!

In our example, using the Intuit Marketplace, we can find several "add-on" software packages with extensive customer management features, such as Results CRM. The Intuit Marketplace allows you to search for add-on products by business need or by industry.

PRICING AND FEATURES WILL VARY

The goal of QuickBooks add-on software is to provide the functionality that a business needs but that is either limited or not available in QuickBooks.

The QuickBooks add-on software connects with QuickBooks where necessary to keep the information between the two programs in sync. Some connections are done manually, and others are more automated.

In addition, each company that sells QuickBooks add-on software has their own price lists, warranties, and technical support options that are outside of those offered by QuickBooks. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to add-on software.

DEMOS AND TRIALS ARE AVAILABLE

In many cases, these QuickBooks add-on software vendors provide webinars, trials or demos to help you see just how their software connect and works with QuickBooks, as well as the additional functionality they offer that QuickBooks doesn't.

Before you begin your search in the Intuit Marketplace for add-on software, it is critical to develop a list of the "must have" and "nice to have" features you are looking for. In addition, having some type of budget handy will be exceptionally helpful too.

CONFUSED BY IT ALL?

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the options and choices available to you.

Not to worry - one of the services I offer is a needs analysis to help you develop what is called a "short list" of potential QuickBooks add-on software solutions to review and evaluate.

If you think the functionality of a QuickBooks add-on makes sense, but don't have the time to invest in sorting out the fact from fiction, let's talk further.

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Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise software. Put his twenty-five years of accounting, finance, IT and inventory management skills to work for you.

Contact Scott today!

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Seven Sure-Fire Signs of Trouble in your QuickBooks File

Pull out a sheet of paper and check your responses to the situations below - how many of these problems do you have in your QuickBooks file?Caution Tape

  1. You look at your Profit and Loss Report and just know it isn't correct - as a result of double-clicking around inside the report, you see some expenses posted to income and income posted to expenses and/or other problems that really stand out. Given that your Profit and Loss report is the most critical report your business needs, it is important to get it under control as soon as possible.

  2. You only run a Profit and Loss Report at tax time - my only question is: "Why don't you do this every month?"

  3. You haven't reconciled your bank or credit card accounts in QuickBooks recently (or ever for that matter). Reconciling is a critical step in your accounting system to ensure that QuickBooks is in sync with your bank account. If it isn't, the discrepancies should be ironed out.

  4. You run your Accounts Receivable (A/R) Aging Summary Report and $0.00 appears in the total column - by design, if a customer account has been paid in full, and the payment has been properly posted, the account will not show up at all on this report. If it is showing up, it means the customer payment hasn't been correctly posted to the customer invoice.

  5. You run an A/R Aging Summary Report, and it is littered with incorrect balances over 90 days, credit balances, etc.  - the intent of this report is to keep track of each dollar that is due to your business. If it is cluttered up with incorrect data, it makes the job of tracking and collecting that much harder (and that job isn't easy to begin with!)

  6. Your customer center is still showing customers that aren't active - use the Make Inactive feature to keep your customer list as cleaned up and easy to use as possible. By making select customers inactive, you don't have to scroll through them each and every time you use the customer list - makes things a lot faster that way.

  7. You rarely backup your QuickBooks data - don't gamble with your QuickBooks (and other important) data. Make sure you have a solid backup strategy in place. I use Mozy for all of my backups. It's easy and it's inexpensive - your data is worth it!

These are just a few of the warning signs of potential trouble in a QuickBooks file. Feel free to post your early warning indicator in a comment below so that it may help others avoid potential trouble!

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Download Scott's free QuickBooks guides today.

Connect with Scott for a more detailed review of your QuickBooks issues and concerns.

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QuickBooks Tip: Easily View the Accounting Entry for Any Transaction

Regardless of whether you have entered an invoice, bill, check or credit card transaction, QuickBooks makes it a snap to see exactly how it posted that transaction into your accounting records.

A couple of quick and easy ways to see this information:

  1. While in the transaction, click CTRL + Y
  2. While sitting in the transaction, click the picture in the upper portion of the window that says "Journal"
  3. Click Reports > Transaction Journal

No matter which option you choose, you end up with an easy to read report that shows the complete accounting breakdown of the transaction:

Transaction Journal

No more guessing - use this Transaction Journal report to see exactly what happened with that invoice or other transaction in QuickBooks.

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Download Scott's free QuickBooks guides today!

Scott has over twenty-five years of experience working with accounting, finance, inventory, and QuickBooks issues. Connect with Scott to discuss your issues and concerns.

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Know Anyone Who...

Uses Microsoft Office Accounting for their business bookkeeping?

  • As of November 16, 2009, Microsoft will no longer be offering any upgrades or enhancements to this product. Microsoft indicates that support for current users will continue for up to five years. If they recently purchased Office Accounting, they can return it for a refund. More details about this news announcement at:
 Be a friend and let them know they can save 20% on their purchase of QuickBooks accounting software to replace it.

Uses the Online Edition of Quicken?

  • Aaron Patzer indicates that over the next 6 to 9 months, Quicken Online will be migrated into Mint.com services. More details and insights at:

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Download Scott's free QuickBooks guides today!

Scott is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise accounting software. Contact him today with your QuickBooks questions.

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A Web Based Time Tracking Tool for QuickBooks

Minute7 logo 


If you have been looking for a simple, inexpensive way to track your time and expenses in QuickBooks, you will want to take a look at the Minute7 QuickBooks add-on.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AT YOUR DESK TO TRACK YOUR TIME FOR QUICKBOOKS!

Unlike the time-tracker built into QuickBooks, your employees don't have to be tied to their desktops. Because it is web-based, Minute7 allows your employees to access their timesheets anytime and anywhere.

Minute7 offers controls via their users and permission settings so that you are in control of who is able to see what when it comes to the use of timesheets.

It also allows some advanced time entry reporting so that you can views summaries and reports of all the time your employees and/or vendors have entered. You even have the ability to export the information to Excel for further analysis.

EXPENSE REPORTING TOO

In addition to the time-tracking tools mentioned above, Minute7 also offers your employees the ability to capture their expenses. Once those are entered into the software, they can quickly and easily be imported for invoicing or reimbursement purposes.

PRICING

Minute7 is offering access to their time and expense management software at $4 per user per month and there are no setup fees. Your employees probably waste that amount of money in the first 5 minutes of each day trying to keep track of their time.

In addition, Minute7 offers a 30 day free trial of the software so you can try before you buy.

For a more in-depth look at the features of Minute7, visit their web site.

Already using Minute7? Post a comment below to let others know about your experience with their software.

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Scott Gregory is a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. Connect with Scott to get help with your QuickBooks questions and concerns.

Download his free QuickBooks guides today!



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How To: Turn Off the QuickBooks Coach

You may not realize it, but your QuickBooks home screen may be harder to use that it should be because of the QuickBooks Coach feature being turned on.

Notice in the screen shot below how dark the home screen is - on some older monitors, it can make the screen hard to read:

QuickBooks Coach - On

To see how it looks when it is turned off, click Edit > Preferences > Desktop View and then uncheck the "Show Coach Window and Features". Once you do that, here is what your home screen would look like:

QuickBooks Coach - Off

See how much cleaner the screen looks?

You can always get help and guidance similar to that the Coach feature was offering by clicking on the Help menu within QuickBooks.

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Have you downloaded Scott's free QuickBooks guides yet? Get them today!

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

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