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4 posts from March 2014

My Nominees for the QuickBooks Hall of Shame

This month, I'm going to break from my traditional "Building Better Business Finances" post.

Instead, I'll stop for a moment to make my nominations for the top entries into the QuickBooks Hall of Shame

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP!

I've seen a lot (and I mean a LOT) over the last fifteen years in working with over one thousand small businesses and their QuickBooks.

Some of the things I have seen during that time have simply boggled my mind, so I thought it appropriate to share them with you in the hopes you can avoid them in your business...

THE HALL OF SHAME NOMINEES

  • QuickBooks bank balance: $3.6 million. Actual bank balance: $15,500. Guess they were using the same accounting rules the federal government does?
  • QuickBooks bank balance: ($888,000). Actual bank balance: $18,500. Can you imagine the overdraft fees on that account under the QuickBooks method?
  • QuickBooks reconciliation discrepancies account balance for 12 months: $480,000. This is enough to give every accountant in the country an irregular hearbeat.

  • QuickBooks sales tax payable account balance: $279,000. Actual sales tax balance due: $179. That state tax agency was sure bummed out not to be getting as much as they thought.
  • Doing the accounts receivable in QuickBooks and the accounts payable in Peachtree - then asking the question: "how come it takes so long to get my information ready at tax time"?
  • And of course this one - any and all businesses that either don't back up their QuickBooks database at all, or think they are covered by backing it up to an external drive that sits on top of the same computer where the QuickBooks database is located. Seriously? A $59 investment in Carbonite is the cheapest insurance policy your business can have against data loss and business interruption.

BAD BOOKS ARE KILLING SMALL BUSINESSES

Sadly, I believe the "do it yourself" accounting experiment is failing at thousands of small businesses across the country. It isn't just as easy as "writing a check" or "creating an invoice".

The hall of shame examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the adage "bad information = bad decisions". In fact, I've written about this problem extensively in my book "Your Bookkeeping Stinks".

Or course, these problems can be found in businesses using other accounting software as well. It's just that QuickBooks has such a huge market share (I belive in the 90+%?) that their product (and the unusual results within) is seen so often.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE HALL OF SHAME?

Do you have a story to share about horrors you've seen in QuickBooks? Thoughts to share on the success or failure of "do it yourself" bookkeeping? Continue the dialogue and post your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Go paperless. Bill.com mails your invoices for you, via email or the Post Office, so no more hassles with printing, postage and mailing. As your online payments come in, Bill.com makes your deposits for you. No more filing, and no more trips to the bank.
  • Bill.com reminds your customers a few days before payment is due, and follows up when payments are overdue with an automatic series of messages you can customize and schedule.
  • Bill.com gives your customers a choice of their favorite ways to pay online, via credit card, PayPal or direct from their bank. So paying you is easier and more convenient than ever. You can even set them up with auto-pay.

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Packages that integrate with QuickBooks start at just $29 per month. Getting paid electronically costs $.49 (that's correct - just 49 cents to have your deposits automated for you). Credit card payments are charged normal merchant fees (probably less than you are paying now). Having Bill.com prepare a mailed copy of your invoice for you runs $1.49 per invoice (less than the cost of your staff doing it for sure).

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QUESTIONS?

I have been using Bill.com in my practice for over a year now, and would be happy to discuss it in more depth with you. It has really simplified and automated things for me in both the accounts receivable and accounts payable areas of my business.

Just drop me a line to get the conversation going or visit Bill.com to see if it is right for you.

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Illegal and Pirated Copies of QuickBooks

Ouch!

That is about all I have to say to this missive that was in my mailbag recently...

"We went to register our version of Quickbooks 2013 and also found out it was a pirated copy.  My son purchased off Ebay.  Here is my question - I am his mother and I just spent almost a month entering info into his Customer database - and this was a LOT of data, and now we have no way of getting this info back, right?

Pirated SoftwareThis "pirated" version as on his one computer running Vista.  Now he is going to purchase another version for Mac to be installed on another pc, which he uses a lot. 

He chose to put the pirated version on a laptop he doesn't use, thereby giving me time to enter all of his customers often as I could get over to his house.  In the end, my question is.....was all of this work in vain? 

Must I put 800 customers into the new version all over again?  This is just mind boggling and I am wondering if this info can be recovered or is it a total bust?

I know he really feels bad but I am the one who did all the work.  I am just beside myself thinking of the time spent on this customer database.   I knew I should have used Excel or a Word program that I have used all my working life.  Aren't there safeguards against this type of pirated copies?

Sorry, I am just really upset.  Anyone out there to help?  I am also furious this type of thing happens on Ebay but I suppose they have millions of other problems.  Anyway, any ideas?"

THE GOOD AND THE BAD NEWS

So the good news is - since QuickBooks actually creates a database that is separate from the program, all of the work she did should have been safe and easily transported to a legal copy of QuickBooks.

The bad news is - she is likely SOL when it comes to getting any type of refund or compensation for the bogus software.

AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS...

STICK TO AUTHORIZED SOURCES WHEN BUYING QUICKBOOKS

I know, the pricing you're seeing on EBay seems too good to be true. As you can see above, it was. In her case, it will cost a lot more to make it right.

Get it right the first time and purchase through authorized vendors or resellers of QuickBooks. As an authorized affiliate, you can always count on getting authentic QuickBooks software on my web site.

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Is there funny business going on in your QuickBooks? Find out with these two reports

Sadly, a number of stories have been in the news about businesses being scammed by their bookkeepers through their misuse of QuickBooks and other accounting software (and other devious tactics).

Given that, I think it is a great time to review two of the key reports QuickBooks provides to help business owners and managers stay on top of their information:

  • The Audit Trail report - a comprehensive way to see all the transactions in QuickBooks for a day, week, month or other time period. This report tells you what the original transaction looked like, how it might have been changed, if it was deleted, and who did what with it. One of the biggest scams I have read is where the check is issued to one vendor to pay personal bills, but then the check is modified with the name of a regular vendor so that nobody would know what happened based on a casual review of the check register.
  • The Voided/Deleted transactions report - this report focuses just on those transactions that are either completely voided or deleted from QuickBooks. It is always a good idea to have insights into why these types of transactions may be occuring in your books.

Unfortunately, none of the versions of QuickBooks have the ability to track who makes changes to list entries (i.e. customers, vendors, or inventory), but the reports above can sure help provide insight into all the transactions that are being recorded in QuickBooks.

Naturally, these two reports are just part of a system of internal controls your business should have in place to minimize the possibilities of fraud and/or other scams from costing you a lot of money.

WANT TO SEE REAL EXAMPLES OF SCAMS IN MOTION?

These may help increase your interest in knowing more about your QuickBooks:

You get the idea...

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