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6 posts from December 2011

Are QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier Files Compatible?

As a quick recap, here are the three different versions ("flavors" as I like to call them) of the QuickBooks desktop product line:

BONUS - Download my free guide that lets you see the key differences between these versions of QuickBooks at a glance.

DATA COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN THESE VERSIONS

Keep this list handy - it will simplify things immensely as you evaluate your options:

EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS WORKS:

Your business currently uses Pro, but find your QuickBooks data file is getting too big and you want to move to Enterprise.

Once you purchase Enterprise, there is a built-in utility that automatically converts your existing QuickBooks Pro data to the Enterprise format. All of this happens the very first time you go to use Enterprise. In most cases, unless there is some type of trouble with the data file, this transition is very easy and causes no disruption to your business.

So, as you can see, moving between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier is indeed possible to do.

In most cases, once a business has moved into the Enterprise version, there is no need for them to ever move back into the Pro or Premier versions.

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Great Tool for Analyzing Inventory in QuickBooks

PLEASE NOTE: This software is no longer available. For inventory management software that integrates with QuickBooks, please visit the ACCTivate web site.

 

Many of my clients that work with inventory in QuickBooks have been looking for better ways to manage that inventory.

They want to see information about sales trends by item and dollars, potentially overstocked and understocked items and items that may need to be reordered.

Great news - there is an add-on program for QuickBooks that can help simplify your ability to manage and optimize your inventory in QuickBooks.

EZ ANALYTICS TO THE RESCUE

The video below provides a quick overview of how EZ Analytics can be used to simplify the inventory management and analysis in your business.

 

Built by the same team behind ACCTivate - the advanced inventory package for QuickBooks, EZ Analytics focuses on some of the areas of inventory management that QuickBooks doesn't.

NEED SOMETHING EVEN MORE POWERFUL?

If your business needs even more functionality when it comes to inventory and order management (i.e. bar coding, serialization and lot tracking, landed costs, multi-location tracking and other advanced inventory concepts), you'll want to take a closer look at the full ACCTivate suite of advanced inventory software for QuickBooks.

NEED HELP MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL?

I know that inventory can be a real pain. If you need some help figuring things out when it comes to your inventory, click the contact button below. We can connect to discuss things further.

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Could it be - more than 2 contacts in QuickBooks?

I recently noticed a new button within the Customer Center in the 2012 editions of QuickBooks . This button had actually been staring back at me for over two months, as I didn't expect it to be there.

It says - "More Contacts"

More Contacts QB 2012

Could it be the ability to add more than two contact names to a customer in QuickBooks?

The answer is yes - almost. 

THE NEW "MORE CONTACTS" BUTTON IN QUICKBOOKS 2012

From what I can see, this option exists in Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2012.

Once you click the button, a screen like the one below appears (click image for larger view):

More Contacts Detail Box

You can store up to five fields of information for this contact. For the first time, I am seeing the ability to store Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other details about each contact you enter. But again, you are limited to just the five fields - you choose what information to store in each field as you can see by the drop down box in the screen shot above.

AND NOW THE BAD NEWS

Ok, so I clicked "Save and Close" to enter the contact above and the information is retained.

I go back and click the More Contacts button to try and add more - can't do it.

Huh?

There is no button to "Add New" - my only option is to delete the contacts I entered the very first time I was on this screen.

Am I missing something? Were you able to go back and add more contacts later?

I am hopeful that this is just a programming bug that will be fixed in an upcoming update to QuickBooks 2012.

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Having the ability to store more details and more contacts within QuickBooks has been a desired enhancement for a long time. The More Contacts box seems to be the first step in making this happen. Let's see how Intuit works with it in the coming weeks.

Please post a comment below about your experience with this new feature in QuickBooks 2012.

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Mark a Transaction as Pending in QuickBooks

QuickBooks has a very handy feature that will allow you to put invoices, credit memos and sales receipts in a pending status. You know - the sale or credit memo is almost ready to be issued, but not quite.

For example, let's say that you have prepared an invoice for a customer, but there is a delay in them picking up the merchandise. You're not ready to finalize the invoice just yet, but you don't want to post it to their account either and start the timer going on their payment.

Solution - mark it as pending instead!

HOW TO MARK AN INVOICE, CREDIT MEMO OR SALES RECEIPT AS PENDING

Simply create the document as you normally would, and before you click Save and Close or Save and New, click on Edit in the menu bar (or you can right click inside the body of the document too) and choose "Mark as Pending", and then save it as normal. It will look like this:

Pending Transactions

To take the document out of pending mode, either click Edit in the menu bar and choose "Mark as Final" or right click on the document and make the same selection.

PERFECT APPLICATION OF THIS CONCEPT

Most businesses will not give a customer credit for something until the item is actually returned to them (for good reason!). In this case, the business could create a credit memo to serve as the authorization of the return and simply mark it "Pending" until the items are received. Once they come in, pull up the credit, mark it as final and issue the credit for the return.

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Stop QuickBooks from automatically applying customer payments

Do you find yourself constantly making changes on the receive payments screen in QuickBooks?

Wish there was a way to get QuickBooks to stop automatically assigning customer payments to invoices?

Good news!

There is an easy fix for this.

HEAD OVER TO THE PREFERENCES AREA

To make this problem go away, click Edit (in the menu bar), then Preferences, then Payments. (In older versions of QuickBooks, the Payments preference does not exist. You'll need to go to the Sales and Customer preferences area instead).

From there, you will want to uncheck the box that says "Automatically Apply Payments" and click OK as shown in the screen shot below:

Automatically Apply Payments

Once you do that, you will want to manually select which invoices are being paid each time you enter a customer payment. QuickBooks will no longer automatically assign the payment to the invoices.

ALERT: If you don't manually apply payments to invoices, QuickBooks will simply create a credit memo on the customers account for the value of the payment. This is not a habit you want to get into either.

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Accountants: Your opinion on the cash vs. accrual question for small businesses?

Since I don't do taxes (other than my own), I find the annual debate about keeping the books on a cash vs. accrual basis quite interesting.

My understanding of these methods is pretty simple:

  • For the ongoing financial management of the business, the accrual basis is the way to go
  • For tax reporting purposes, the cash basis is the way to go (under the assumption that the business is not forced by the tax laws to use the accrual method of course). Why would you ever want to file your taxes on income you had not yet received?

In doing some QuickBooks consulting work recently, I have come across two accountants that insisted that filing the business taxes on the accrual basis is the preferred way to go (again, these businesses were not forced to choose this option).

NOT TO BE CONFUSED

For businesses that are using QuickBooks, my thought is that they choose "accrual" as their default method of reporting for running reports during the year.

Then, at tax time, their accountant does the "magic conversion" of the accrual values into their cash basis equivalents. But this magic act only happens once per year at tax time. The rest of the year, the business owner focuses on accounts receivable, accounts payable and other financial report data produced on the accrual basis.

WHAT AM I MISSING?

Do you insist your clients file their business taxes on an accrual basis? If so, what are the advantages to them of doing it that way?

Weigh in with your opinion in the comments box below. Thousands of small business owners eagerly await your insight!

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