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7 posts from July 2010

Win a Full Year of Solo FreshBooks - A $240 Value

It took me a while, but I finally got it...

QuickBooks is simply overkill for many businesses. They don't need a full-blown general ledger and the related complexity to track the finances of their business. But in many cases, it is the only choice that their accountant provides them or the only solution they see when visiting the big box retailers.

THE FRESHBOOKS ALTERNATIVE

Freshbooks125x125-2

I have forged a relationship with the folks at FreshBooks to provide a very viable alternative to those businesses that don't need the horsepower of QuickBooks and that desire to have anytime, anywhere access to their books.

To kick off that relationship, we have put together an opportunity for you to win a full year of their Solo FreshBooks product. That's right - a $240 package could be yours for free!

To enter the contest - all we ask is that you answer a few questions about how you keep informed about ways to keep your business sharp. That's it!

The winning entry will be selected and the winner set up with a full year of the Solo FreshBooks product for free.

Good luck!

Questions about FreshBooks? Give them a call at 877-262-5122.

Last date for entries: Friday, August 27, 2010 @ midnight EDT.One entry per person. Void where prohibited.

 

 

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New App Helps Business Scan Their QuickBooks For Errors and Problems

Two key financial/bookkeeping goals for business owners and managers are:

  1. Minimizing errors and mis-postings in transactions to ensure accurate data and financial reports
  2. Having the right controls in place to minimize potential losses from fraud or theft

As you well know, meeting these critical goals has been much easier said than done!

Until now...

ENTER THE AUDITMYBOOKS APP

Audit My Books

A new app has hit the Intuit Marketplace that was designed precisely with these two goals in mind. More importantly, the app is designed to streamline a process that usually takes hours or days into mere minutes.

AuditMyBooks was built using key insights and advice from Certified Fraud Examiners, CPAs, Certified QuickBooks Consultants and CFOs. This group of experts provided detailed insights on common problem areas and traits when it comes to "monkey-business" going on within the books of a business. This app is designed to help locate them.

Connecting to the AuditMyBooks app is easy - it is all done through the Intuit Workplace App Center. The QuickBooks data file for a business is connected to AuditMyBooks with just a few mouse clicks.

Once connected, the AP Analyzer within AuditMyBooks runs through the QuickBooks data with the intention of identifying potential threats and mistakes.

SPOTLIGHT ON RESULTS

Once the QuickBooks data has been reviewed, a high-level dashboard is presented within AuditMyBooks that neatly summarizes the potential threats and problems discovered within the file.

You can quickly and easily dig into the specific threats and problems identified in the dashboard to zero in on the details behind them. Detailed instructions are provided to explain the tests that were run and what the results are telling you.

BENEFIT TO YOUR BUSINESS - A quick and easy way to scan thousands of transactions and discover patterns and clues to potentially fraudulent transactions as well as simple mistakes that need to be corrected.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR TESTING

AuditMyBooks provides the ability to customize some of the parameters that are used to run the various tests. Want to dial up or down on certain criteria? Not a problem.

You can run the scan of the QuickBooks file on any timetable you like - weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

NOTHING TO INSTALL ON YOUR COMPUTER

Since AuditMyBooks is known as a "software as a service" (SaaS), you rent their software each month. There is nothing to install on your computers or network. You simply create an account, connect your QuickBooks file, run the Analyzer and assess the results.

This app has gotten some really positive reviews, and I encourage you to take a closer look. It may just save you from some signficant losses down the road.

FREE TEST DRIVE: It's a snap to get your free test drive of AuditMyBooks. Just complete the information and set up your account.

Keep in mind that this software is part of a recommended series of steps businesses take with their finances and bookkeeping to protect themselves from errors and fraud. It is NOT guaranteed to uncover fraudulent activities or behavior.

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The "Go To" Button Found in QuickBooks Registers

Tucked away on each register screen  (i.e. Banking > Use Register) within QuickBooks is a "Go To" button. This button provides a handy tool for you to find things within a check register, customer register, etc.

  Go To Button

Once you click the "Go to..." button, you can hunt down information such as payees, amounts, memos and more via selections from this screen:

    Go To Details

You can walk through each transaction matching your search criteria by clicking the Next or Back buttons, and then when done, simply click the Cancel button to clear the screen.

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Voided/Deleted Transactions Report in QuickBooks

Need to quickly find a recap of all transactions that have been voided or deleted in QuickBooks for a particular period of time?

The Voided/Deleted Transactions Reports can be a great resource when trying to figure out just what happened within your QuickBooks file.

Tucked away inside the "Accountant and Taxes" group of reports, you will find the "Voided/Deleted Transactions Summary" and "Voided/Deleted Transactions Detail" reports. 

The summary version of this report provides a recap of the transactions that have been voided or deleted as shown in this screen shot example:

  Voided_Deleted Transactions Summary Rpt

The detail version of this report provides more insight about the specifics of the transaction, as shown in this example:

  Voided_Deleted Transactions Detail Rpt

I recommend reviewing these reports on a regular basis as part of your "best practices" when it comes to managing your finances. Many businesses have uncovered some unpleasant surprises in their bookkeeping by doing just that.

RELATED POST: Using the Audit Trail Report in QuickBooks

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Using the Audit Trail Report in QuickBooks

Audit Trail

Tucked away inside QuickBooks is a very handy report called the Audit Trail Report. 

The QuickBooks audit trail report provides what I like to call a "digital fingerprint" of everything that happens within your QuickBooks file, whether it be good or bad.

For example, it tracks each users entries, modified transactions, voided transactions, and deleted transactions. The QuickBooks audit trail is on by default in all versions 2006 and older. Prior to that, it had to be turned on manually.

To access the audit trail report, click Reports > Accountant and Taxes > Audit Trail report. By default, the report only shows the activity for today. You can easily change that by changing the date range as needed in the upper left hand corner of the report.

Your report will look like this (click the image for a larger version):

  Audit Trail 

Important note - the audit trail is only capturing information about new, deleted, modified and voided transactions. It does not keep track of changes made to the various lists within QuickBooks (i.e. customer list or item list).

I urge business owners to use the audit trail report on a regular basis for two reasons:

  • As a training tool - if a large number of deleted or modified transactions appear within the report, the first question would be why? Is it because the person doesn't understand how to use QuickBooks properly? Or are there other more sinister reasons behind the changes? It's important for the business owner to ask these types of questions.
  • As a control tool - the owner can quickly scan the list of users and transactions processed to ensure that they are only accessing the transactions they have been authorized to. This is a key component of proper internal controls, and the audit trail can provide this information quickly and easily.

As you can see, this audit trail report is quite powerful and a welcome addition to many businesses as they work to keep their accounting records in good order and access to their accounting systems controlled and documented.

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QuickBooks and Office 2010

It's that time again...

Office 2010 has been released and there is some confusion about whether it is compatible with QuickBooks or not.

To date, I have seen no official announcements about QuickBooks compatibility with Office 2010. However, I did come across this link from the QuickBooks support site. Note a couple of important things discussed within the support link:

  • It does not appear that Office 2010 will work with any version of QuickBooks other than 2010.
  • There seem to be some pretty significant issues when it comes to e-mailing documents through Outlook 2010. In many cases, you simply can't e-mail for reasons that have yet to be identified.
In addition, be aware that the QuickBooks sales site makes no mention about compatibility with Office 2010 at all in the "tech specs" area.

At the moment, I would recommend holding off on an upgrade to Office 2010, especially if you are planning on e-mailing any documents out of QuickBooks through Outlook. Hold off that is, unless you like living on the "bleeding edge" of technology and spending hours on the phone with support.

I'll be watching for further updates from Intuit on this issue and do my best to keep you posted.

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Can I Open an Enterprise file in QuickBooks Pro or Premier?

I get this question frequently from businesses that are considering a move from Enterprise to QuickBooks Pro or Premier and also from accounting firms trying to open a clients' Enterprise data file.

The short answer is - no, you can't open an Enterprise file in QuickBooks Pro or Premier.

However...

SOME OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • For businesses that want to make the move from Enterprise to Pro or Premier, there are third party services that can convert a QuickBooks Enterprise data file into the format needed by QuickBooks Pro or Premier. I recommend using the Enterprise downgrade service from QuickBooksUsers.com.

  • For accounting firms that will have an ongoing need to open QuickBooks client files created in Enterprise, consider joining the QuickBooks Pro Advisor program. Your membership in that program includes a copy of QuickBooks Enterprise software (as well as a copy of QuickBooks Premier Accountants Edition). This is a relatively inexpensive way to get updated copies of these versions of QuickBooks every year.

RELATED POST: Understanding the differences between QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise.

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