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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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Another warning sign: You can't backup in QuickBooks. It either hangs or errors out. But since you can do all your other day-to-day QB functions, it's tempting to just keep going. That can bite you down the road. Better to find out why it's failing and resolve it asap.

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