66 posts categorized "Building Better Business Finances"

Online Order Management System and Customer Portal for QuickBooks

Does your business focus on the Business-to-Business (B2B) marketplace?

Want to spend less time on data entry and related non-value added tasks and are looking for one or more of these solutions?

  • An easy way for your customers to enter their own orders, check order status and inventory levels?
  • A solution for your sales reps so that they can enter their own orders so you don't have to?
  • A link between your order system and your warehouse with full shipping integration?

AND have the ability to have all the above automatically sync with QuickBooks desktop software?

If so, you should take a closer look at Now Commerce.

 NowCommerce Logot

CUSTOMER PORTAL

The Now Commerce customer portal feature brings the following possibilities to life for your business and allows your customers to:

  • View real-time pricing and inventory levels
  • Check shipping status
  • View pending orders
  • View account history

This is all done with customized order forms that can be tailored to the specific needs of each customer. These order forms can range from super simple to complicated matrix pricing.

SALES REP PORTAL

The Now Commerce sales rep portal brings many time-saving features into the way sales reps take care of your customers, including:

  • View real-time pricing and inventory levels
  • Check shipping status
  • View pending orders
  • View account history

As well as:

  • Monitor customer activity
  • Set customizable alerts
  • Manage pricing and discounts
  • Only see their own accounts, and not those of other reps

NOW COMMERCE FULFILLMENT PLATFORM

This module provides you the ability to:

  • Share shipping information with your sales reps and customers
  • Electronically transmit shippers from QuickBooks to your third party warehouse
  • Automatically populate QuickBooks with critical shipping data

CHOOSE JUST WHAT YOU NEED

The Now Commerce products are set up in such a way that you can choose just the module(s) you want - if you only want the customer portal, that's all you'd pay for. If you want all three, they can do that as well.

Now Commerce offers a free trial so you can "kick the tires" before making any commitments. In addition, you can watch their video series to get a quick overview of just how these modules work, and the potential savings they can bring your business. You can also take a look at the wide variety of products they have helped their customers sell.

NEED HELP SORTING IT ALL OUT?

B2B businesses are at the core of my consulting practice, especially those in manufacturing and distribution. Feel free to contact me for more information on the Now Commerce set of tools as well as other QuickBooks and inventory concerns you may have.

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Hiding Item Costs in QuickBooks - Can It Be Done?

When it comes to workflows within a business, I've seen a wide variety of them over the last thirty years.

One topic that seems to be entering the conversation with greater frequency these days is the ability to hide the cost of inventory parts, assemblies and kits within QuickBooks.

The reasons for wanting to hide the costs are many and varied, but the desire has been expressed many times.

QUICKBOOKS ITEM SETUP

If we look at a screenshot of the item master, you can see that both the purchase cost (for use on POs) and the average cost (for use with inventory valuations and costs of goods sold) are plainly visible:

QB Item Master Screen Shot

None of the versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier or Enterprise) offer the ability to block users from seeing these cost fields, assuming that the user has been given the permission to work with items and inventory. If they don't have the permissions, naturally they don't see item costs. However, they can't access the items either, and in many cases, that will restrict their ability to do their jobs (i.e. receive inventory, create purchase orders, etc.)

ALL ORDERS BY NUMBERCRUNCHER - AN ALTERNATIVE TO ALLOW INVENTORY COST BLOCKING

If this "cost-blocking" is a must have for your business, that will force you to step outside of the QuickBooks functionality to add-on packages that have it.

One such add-on that does off the ability to hide item costs on purchase and sales transactions is All Orders by NumberCruncher.

The screen shot below shows that it is possible to block cost and/or sales figures at the user level if desired:

NumberCruncher User Setup Cost Block

Feel free to explore All Orders in more detail, and take a free test drive if you like too.

UNDERSTANDING THE ADD-ON CONCEPT

Add-ons (some refer to these as "bolt-ons" or "integrated solutions") such as All Orders are designed to fill in gaps where QuickBooks doesn't do something very well, or doesn't do something at all. 

In the case of All Orders, it is designed to be either a stand alone inventory solution, or it can integrate with QuickBooks desktop versions. If you choose to integrate it with QuickBooks, All Orders will then pretty much take over the "front end" of the business (i.e. purchase orders, inventory management, sales orders, etc.), and then QuickBooks will remain in the picture on the "back end" of the business (i.e. bill paying and financial reporting).

There is plenty of horsepower packed into the All Orders package that will help take your inventory management and related tasks to the next level of tracking and sophistication. Naturally, there is an investment of time and money required to get up to speed on it or any add-on for that matter. The good news - when properly chosen and implemented, the return on investment of these add-ons can be quite good!

RELATED INFORMATION:

 

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Quick Tip for Reconciling Your Bank Account in QuickBooks

Reconciling bank accounts in QuickBooks can take some time.

It can take even more time if you accept credit cards, and your merchant service provider takes the credit card fees out of EACH transaction!

Spend less time on bank reconciliations with the following tip.

LET ME EXPLAIN...

Let's say that you ring up a sale for $100 today and the customer pays via credit card.

When this deposit shows up in your bank statement, does it show up for the full $100? Or does it show up for something like $97.54 because the processor has taken their fee out of it right then and there?

If it is the latter where they are taking out the fees for each transaction, stop what you are doing and call them right now.

Ask to have your merchant service account fees set up on the "gross fees" basis instead of the "net fees" basis.

Under the "gross fees" basis, in the example above, you would see the full $100 being deposited into your bank account (the full "gross amount" is deposited). Your merchant service provider would then just hit your bank account once per month for the total of all the credit card fees for the month, and NOT take them out on a transaction by transaction basis.

Naturally, the merchant service provider normally defaults to the "net fees" basis, since they get paid faster that way. All it usually takes is a phone call to get it switched around!

The big benefit to you? Your $100 deposit will now reconcile on the bank statement in a nano-second!!

 

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History of Items Purchased Report in QuickBooks

Many businesses that carry inventory need to run a purchase history of those items now and then for planning purposes.

If you are one of those businesses, QuickBooks delivers with the Purchases by Item Summary report.

Located by clicking Reports > Purchases > Purchases by Item Summary (there is a detail version too!), you'll unlock a report that looks like this sample (click the image for a larger view):

Purchase by Item Summary Report

Here you can easily pick the range of desired dates, and QuickBooks will then populate the report with the quantity of the item purchased and the total dollars spent on that item as well.

NOTE: This report works just as well for non-inventory parts too!


GETTING A MORE GRANULAR VIEW OF THE PURCHASE HISTORY

Here's a tip if you want to do a more detailed analysis of the purchase history of your items:

On the report above, look for the option at the top of the report that says "Show Columns" and change it to month. Here is how it would look once you do that:

Purchases by Item Summary by Month

In this view, you can see on a monthly basis exactly what is happening with the purchase history of each of your items!

Pair this with the ability to export this report to Excel, you have unlocked a simple yet powerful way to track the purchase history of your inventory and non-inventory items in QuickBooks!

RELATED TOPICS:

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A Super Easy Way to Track Mileage (and a special bonus for you!)

Are you one of the 55 million U.S. workers that can deduct or expense the miles you drive?

If so, the MileIQ app is just for you.

FEATURES OF MileIQ

  • Catch every drive automatically with automatic drive capture
  • Build a comprehensive mileage log
  • One swipe drive classification
  • Additional drive details (vehicles, parking, tolls and notes)
  • Standard and custom trip purposes

EVEN MORE FEATURES OF MileIQ...

  • Vehicles and odometer readings
  • Editable mileage rates and units
  • Work hours and custom drive purposes
  • Email and notification preferences
  • Support for mileage reimbursement and mileage deduction
  • And more!

MileIQ works on Android and Apple platforms and is available in annual, monthly, or limited plans.

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE AND SCORE THIS BONUS!

Download MileIQ for free today so you can see it in action for your needs.

Use this special download link, and your free account will be tagged with a 20% discount if you ever decide to upgrade into the paid version of MileIQ.

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QuickBooks Inventory: Advanced topics and tricks webinar

Does your business use QuickBooks to track inventory?

Want to learn more about some of the advanced features of various QuickBooks versions beyond just setting up inventory parts?

If so, my upcoming webinar is for you.

Here is just a sampling of the topics to be covered:

  • How assemblies work in QuickBooks and how they are different from groups (Premier and Enterprise)
  • How to duplicate parts (Pro, Premier and Enterprise)
  • A review of the unit of measure functionality (Pro, Premier and Enterprise)
  • How the multi-location tracking works (Enterprise with Advanced Inventory)
  • How lot/bin/serial tracking works (Enterprise with Advanced Inventory)
  • Much, much more...

Get more details (and an early bird discount if you want to register!) on this webinar today!

 

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Vertex SMB - A Sales and Use Tax Management Solution for QuickBooks

Do you find your business struggling to manage sales and use taxes?

Looking for a more automated sales and use tax solution that also integrates with QuickBooks?

If so, you may be interested in the Vertex SMB solution.

INSIDE THE VERTEX SMB (small and medium business) SALES AND USE TAX SOLUTION

Here are some of the features of their solution:

  • Calculations and returns in one one place - perform tax calculations and generate PDF ready returns all in one place
  • Use tax calculations - calculate and report use taxes
  • Exemption certificate management - store, update and manage your exemption certificates
  • Sales tax rate files - get the rate files you need for the specifics of your business
  • Works with QuickBooks!

PAY AS YOU GO

Vertex SMB is designed to be easy on the budget - you simply pay for what you use every month. No long term contracts involved - pay for the service monthly.

ABOUT VERTEX

Vertex SMB is the business division of Vertex Inc. dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses. Vertex calculates tax for over 10,000 taxing jurisdictions across the globe and tracks and maintains over 600,000 unique taxability rules across tax types.

LEARN MORE

See how the Vertex SMB sales and use tax solution that integrates with QuickBooks can benefit your business today!

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Understanding and Tracking Inventory in QuickBooks -> A Webinar for You

Join me and take a deep dive into the core inventory functionality within QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise.

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, I'll be hosting a webinar that digs down into the details of what you need to know, including:

  • How to set up and use inventory properly in QuickBooks
  • Figuring out why your current setup isn't working as planned
  • The key differences between inventory parts, non-inventory parts, service items and other charges
  • An understanding of the key inventory reports available to you
  • Much, much more...

We'll be walking through the entire order to shipment process as it relates to inventory in QuickBooks.

For more details and to reserve your spot (be sure to take advantage of the early bird pricing), visit my QuickBooks Inventory Webinar page today!

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Learn How to Get Paid Faster from Your Customers

Want to get paid faster?

Get a better handle on managing your customer accounts receivable?

Funding Gates is offering their Ultimate Receivables Training Management Program in February, and I wanted to be sure you knew about it. Here is your special bonus discount code to save 20% on your registration: ARPRO

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THE ULTIMATE RECEIVABLES TRAINING PROGRAM

The program consists of three key segments:

Part 1: Key Accounts Receivable Metrics

  • Master the A/R ratios that determine the health of your A/R
  • Run and analyze monthly reports and trends
  • Get actionable insights and develop a working game plan

Part 2: Setting Up the Right Receivables Management Process

  • Understand when and how to set the right payment terms and credit limits
  • Learn best practices around invoicing and electronic payments
  • Set up the right tools for managing this critical area

Part 3: Active Receivables Management

  • Flag problematic accounts that need attention
  • Gain the knowledge you and your team need to take action
  • Stay on top of your A/R tasks

WHO IS THIS SESSION FOR?

Anyone can get trained -- whether it’s your staff, your accountant or bookkeeper, get the tools for your team to be super-effective in receivables management. Access your online training program from your home or office; all you need is your computer.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE JUST FOR YOU

Funding Gates is extending a very special discount to you as a reader of my blog - just enter ARPRO at the registration page and you'll save 20% on your registration.

Learn more about the Funding Gates Accounts Receivable Management program and register today to take advantage of their early bird registration discount!

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Merging Files in QuickBooks - Should You? Shouldn't You?

A number of inquiries have come in lately asking about "merging" two or more QuickBooks files together, and whether it could be done or not.

The better question to ask before asking if it could be done is...

"Should it be done?

Should you really merge two QuickBooks files together?"

MERGE VS. IMPORT

To make sure we're on the same page here, let's get a few definitions out of the way first (at least how I see them).

  • Merge - to actually combine ALL the contents of separate QuickBooks files together so that one QuickBooks file remains
  • Import - to selectively choose information (i.e. customers, inventory) and extract it from one QuickBooks file and pull it into another QuickBooks file

TO MERGE OR NOT TO MERGE

Over the years, I've heard many different scenarios where someone wants to merge QuickBooks files together.

To my original question about "should" you merge them?

My answer is a resounding NO.

Here's why I say you should NOT merge QuickBooks files together...

  • There is no direct way to accomplish this - no magic button exists within QuickBooks to merge files
  • The integrity of the file that is being merged into is completely lost - I shudder to think about the consequences of smashing two QuickBooks files together into one (try running historical financial reports after the merge - I think your CPA would have cardiac arrest at that point!)
  • Problems will inevitably surface (customer payments not applied correctly, incorrect bank reconciliations and many more potential headaches)

START A NEW FILE INSTEAD!

If there is a legitimate need to combine the information from two or more QuickBooks files, my suggestion is to create a brand new QuickBooks file as of a certain point in time (i.e. new fiscal year, beginning of a quarter, etc.). Leave the history in the old files for lookup purposes, and put future transactions in the new file. I think this will save you a ton of grief in the long run.

IMPORTING/PULLING INFORMATION INTO A NEW QUICKBOOKS FILE?

There are several ways to pull information from one QuickBooks file or external source to another QuickBooks file, including:

Even though these tools exist, it is still absolutely essential that you understand what they do, how they may impact existing information, and make sure that everyone is on board (including your outside accountant) about how your historical information may or may not change as a result of importing information into QuickBooks.

AGREE? DISAGREE?

You've read my take on merging QuickBooks files.

What's your take? Do you agree? Disagree?

Please drop your comments in the box below (or if you are reading this via e-mail, click the "view in browser" link to get to the comments box)

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