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9 posts from October 2010

QuickBooks Enterprise 2011: New Advanced Inventory Features

Today's post is from my guest, Robert Lockard. Robert is a copywriter for FishBowl inventory.

QuickBooks 2011 Unveils New Inventory Management Features

Have you heard about QuickBooks Enterprise 2011’s new Advanced Inventory feature? Inventory management has been QuickBooks’ Achilles heel for a long time, but that is starting to change.

QuickBooks users can now pull up a snapshot of each customer’s and vendor’s transaction history to find trends in purchases and deliveries. They can use this information to make smart decisions on inventory levels and supply chain management.

In addition, users can adjust the quantity of inventory on hand more easily, thanks to QuickBooks 2011’s user-friendly inventory adjustment feature. This is helpful for manufacturers, healthcare providers and other organizations that often work with leftover materials that can be recovered after a job is done.

Another important feature, which is only offered in the QuickBooks Enterprise Edition, allows users to track their products between multiple locations. Growing companies with more than one warehouse or retail location will find this feature particularly useful.

Probably the most exciting new feature in QuickBooks 2011 is the search function. Like Google, QuickBooks Search lets you quickly find the report or information you’re looking for by typing in the right keywords.

QuickBooks 2011 is a step in the right direction for businesses looking for strong inventory management.

Editor's note: If your business requires more inventory functionality than QuickBooks delivers, you will want to be sure to evaluate FishBowl Inventory as a potential solution.

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QuickBooks 2011: Improved Inventory Adjustment Screen

Continuing with the "what's new in QuickBooks 2011" theme...

If you use QuickBooks to track inventory, you'll be pleased to know that some improvements to the adjustment screen have been baked into the 2011 version.

Let's review them:

  • The upper left hand corner of the screen now clearly lists an "Adjustment Type" option. In prior versions, if you wanted to adjust the value of your inventory, you had to search out the "adjust value" check box in the lower part of the adjustment screen. Now your choices are more clearly visible and easy to choose from.
  • You can now manually select what items to add to the adjustment screen via the "Add Multiple Items" button. Once that window is open, it is easy to search for inventory by name, description and other fields. Naturally, there is a select all button to add all your inventory to the adjustment screen, but in many cases, that is far more information than is needed.
  • There is a new recap section of the screen that shows the "Item Info after Adjustment" so you can quickly and easily verify the impact of your adjustment on a particular item - no need to jump over to the item list to verify the correct results.

The screen shot below provides a visual so you can see the new layout of the Adjust Inventory screen (double click the image for a bigger view):

  Inventory Adjustment QB 2011

Intuit has done a really nice job making this screen more user-friendly and easier to use.

If you use this screen frequently, what other things would you like to see in future editions to make it even easier to work with?

Please take a moment and post your comments in the box below.

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QuickBooks 2011: New (and Better!) Search Function

The 2011 versions of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise have a powerful new button packed inside.

A new Search button makes an appearance and it adds a very helpful dimension to finding things within your QuickBooks data.

The traditional "Find" options are still available, but you may not use them nearly as much in the future once you give the Search button a test drive. Located either via icon in the icon bar or via Edit > Search, once activated, a search box will appear. A sample box is below:

Search Option in QuickBooks 2011

In this example, I typed in the last name of a customer (Andres) and hit Enter. QuickBooks will then dig into the data and find anything that matches that name. Note that there are not only invoices showing, but a link to the main customer account as well. If you hover over any entry, notice that additional options appear. If I hover over the customer listing, I am able to open the customer record, edit the customer or create an invoice as shown below:

  Search Option Details

DON'T FORGET THE SEARCH PREFERENCES

There is a new set of preferences relating to how the search function behaves inside QuickBooks.

Located via Edit > Preferences > Search > Company Preferences, you have the ability to choose:

  • Whether the search data is updated automatically (and how frequently) or manually
  • How many search results to display per page

Search Preferences

To me, this is a terrific new feature with a tremendous amount of value to it.

What's your take on the new Search feature in QuickBooks 2011? Feel free to scroll down and post your comments below!

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QuickBooks 2011: New E-Mail Options Available

QuickBooks 2011 adds new e-mail capabilities for you!

Older versions of QuickBooks forced you to use Outlook, Outlook Express or the QuickBooks mail servers to e-mail documents like invoices, statements etc.

No more...

The 2011 edition now permits you to connect with your web-based e-mail service (think Hotmail, GMail, etc.) to launch your important documents into cyberspace. This new functionality is found in QuickBooks Pro 2011, QuickBooks Premier 2011 and QuickBooks Enterprise 2011. Of course, you can still choose from Outlook, Outlook Express or the QuickBooks e-mail servers if you like.

You will find this new feature tucked away via Edit > Preferences > Send Forms > My Preferences. A window like this will appear for the easy addition of your e-mail provider:

Web Mail Accounts

BONUS: If you currently use the QuickBooks e-mail servers to send your e-mail, the use of web-mail (or Outlook) also does this - it gets you out of the forced QuickBooks upgrade cycle every 3 years! Since you are not tied into QuickBooks external services that way, your upgrade becomes optional, not mandatory. Naturally, if you still use QuickBooks payroll or other Intuit products, you may still be subject to the mandatory 3 year upgrade.

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QuickBooks 2011: Now Has a Remit to AND a Ship To Address

The new versions of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2011 contain a new feature that businesses have been watching and waiting for.

Finally, QuickBooks now has a remit to address field for every vendor!

Purchasing departments across the country will be rejoicing at this news indeed! No longer will they have to create "work arounds" because QuickBooks only let them store one address for a vendor. That problem is gone with QuickBooks 2011.

QuickBooks 2011 now refers to these as the "billed from" and "shipped from" addresses as shown in the screen shot below:

Remit to Address Graphic

I know many of you (and I include myself in this group too!) have been asking Intuit to make this change for a while. It's finally here!

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QuickBooks Pro 2011: New Limit on the Maximum Number of Users

In QuickBooks Pro 2011, Intuit has slipped in a pretty signficant change relating to how many people can use it at the same time.

Back in QuickBooks Pro 2010 and earlier versions, a business could have up to 5 users connected to the QuickBooks data file at the same time.

That has changed with QuickBooks Pro 2011...

The new limit on the number of users is now 3. If a business upgrades to QuickBooks Pro 2011, they will only be able to have 3 users connected to the QuickBooks data file, NOT 5 as in previous years.

OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

If your business wants to upgrade to the newest version of QuickBooks, here are the recommended options:

  1. Upgrade to QuickBooks Premier 2011 - it is still possible to have up to 5 simultaneous users in the 2011 Premier version of QuickBooks.
  2. Upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise 2011 - Enterprise is the most powerful version of QuickBooks. It keeps the same core functionality as QuickBooks Pro and Premier, but it allows for a much bigger data file, ten times more customers and vendors and other benefits. Of course, the price tag for Enterprise scales up as well.

I've written a guide that helps you understand the key differences between QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. In many cases, if you have the need for 5 users, the economics would actually favor the Enterprise version.

Questions about your options here? Click the Contact Scott button below and I'll try to help.

Have a comment about what Intuit has done with this new limitation in QuickBooks Pro 2011? Please scroll down and leave a comment below.

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QuickBooks 2011: Closing Date No Longer Impacts Sales Orders, Purchase Orders or Estimates

QuickBooks 2011 brings you a long-awaited benefit!

For years, businesses that have been using the Closing Date feature of QuickBooks (and yours should be if it is not!) have been scratching their heads.

They have been perplexed because QuickBooks would not allow them to modify the following:

  • Sales orders
  • Purchase orders
  • Estimates

without following the Closing Date rules. In many businesses, all of that was far too much hassle, so they completely turned off the Closing Date feature.

QUICKBOOKS 2011 TO THE RESCUE

Inside the closing date setup in QuickBooks 2011, a new check box exists where your business can exclude sales orders, purchase orders and estimates from the restrictions of the closing date (click on the image to increase size):

Closing Date w_o Sales Orders

This is a great (and much needed) enhancement to QuickBooks. Since none of these transactions post any information to your financial reports, there is no need to have the closing date restrict them.

Sales and purchasing departments everywhere will be rejoicing this news!

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QuickBooks 2011: New On Screen History

One of the new features of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2011 that is sure to boost your productivity is the on screen history for customers and vendors.

Found on select transaction screens (i.e. create invoices and purchase orders), you now have the ability to see pertinent data about a customer or vendor without leaving the transaction screen.

The screen shot below of the on screen history for a customer at the time of invoice entry shows you just how functional this is (click the image for a larger view):

On Screen History

In this example, you can quickly see:

  • Summary information about the customer such as phone, fax, e-mail, open balance and quick links to the details.
  • Recent transactions and quick links to them
  • Notes about the customer and a quick link to edit them

If you prefer not to see this history, just click the arrow that says "Hide History" and the window collapses to the right of the screen for access in the future.

Kudos to Intuit for adding this new functionality to the critical transaction processing screens within QuickBooks.

As my motto goes - "less clicks = more vacation time". This new feature will certainly help meet that goal!

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QuickBooks 2011: New Features and Functionality

WHAT'S NEW IN QUICKBOOKS 2011?

Qb_boxshot_with_badge

QuickBooks 2011for Windows is packed with many new features that may be of interest to your business or accounting firm. Here is a quick overview of these new features:

  • Batch invoicing lets clients create a template once and invoice many customers at once
  • Quickly prioritize customers with the new Customer Snapshot
  • Quickly locate any account, report or invoice in QuickBooks Search

BUT WAIT, THERE ARE MORE NEW FEATURES IN QUICKBOOKS 2011:

  • Convenient access to customer or vendor's balance and transaction history
  • Stay on top of receivables and email collection notices with Collections Center
  • Send invoices and estimates right from business Yahoo!, Gmail or Hotmail account
  • Keep track of vendors' remittance addresses with a convenient new field
  • Mark which invoices have been paid with the Paid Date stamp

IF YOU ARE USING QUICKBOOKS ENTERPRISE

In addition to the new features listed above, QuickBooks Enterprise 2011 offers you:

  • Track balance sheet by class (some limitations do apply)
  • Create custom reports with ODBC-compliant applications using a new direct connection to the QuickBooks database
  • Work in two company files at one time (some limitatons do apply)
  • Track the quantity and value of inventory in multiple locations with Advanced Inventory

MORE DETAILS ON THE WAY

Once I get an opportunity to better understand these new features, I'll be posting updates to the blog to give you the latest insight and tips on QuickBooks 2011.

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