101 posts categorized "QuickBooks Reports"

What the heck are the flat and hierarchical list view options in QuickBooks?

Take a closer look at the following screen shots out of a sample QuickBooks item list (could just as easily be a view of the QuickBooks customer/job list):

View #1:

Item List - Indented

View #2:

Item List - Flat View

Feel like you are at the eye doctor?

See any difference? (hope so!!)

"HIERARCHICAL" (INDENTED) VIEW VS. FLAT VIEW

When looking at view #1 above, you are looking at what QuickBooks refers to as the "hierarchical" view of the item list (I like to call it the indented view). Whatever you may call this view, it is visually representing that there is an "item/sub-item" relationship going on here.

In this case, Bath/Vanity Fixture is the main item, so it sits at the top of the list. Below it, you see the subitems, such as item # 5029-03-55. These sub-items show up being indented on the list so you can visually see they belong to the parent item above it.

QuickBooks provides this view (and the corresponding item/sub item or customer/job if looking at customers) so you can easily group similar things together within the list - makes for easier viewing and easier filtering of the list data in many cases.

View #2 represents the "flat" view of the list information. There is no indenting going on - all of the item numbers are showing up "flat" up against the left hand side of the list.

CHANGING THE VIEW DOESN'T CHANGE THE UNDERLYING DATA

You can easily switch from hierarchical to flat view and back by simply right clicking on the list and choosing the view you prefer, as shown below:

Item List Display Options

Keep in mind that the view you choose does not affect the data itself. If you have items/subitems or customers/jobs set up, those relationships will stay just as they are.

AND IN CASE YOU SEE THIS...

If you go to do some searching within your customer/job list, you'll then see the list automatically switched over to the flat view of the information. I'm not sure exactly why that happens, but you can easily reset the view by right clicking inside the customer/job list and resetting it back to hierarchical/indented view.

MORE QUICKBOOKS TIPS FOR YOU

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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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QuickBooks Report Filter Enhancements

If you find yourself using the filter option while working with QuickBooks reports, you'll like this new feature (first appeared in QuickBooks 2015 products):

Check out this screen shot for more details:

Report Filter Updates

Note there is:

  • A new search box to quickly locate a filter
  • An alphabetic sort in the available filter options (finally!)

Sometimes, it's the little things that help, and this would be one of those...

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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What a genius idea! For Dummies book series tackles sales tax

Repost from Avalara.com

Life lessons. They’re never ending. There’s the stuff that you’d like to learn like paddle boarding, pasta rolling, conversational Spanish, and there’s the stuff that you have to learn, like web design, drywall hanging, and programming the DVR. We’re guessing sales tax falls into the latter category. Because, let’s face it, unless you’re a member of Mensa (or a masochist), sales tax is hard. And boring.

But now it doesn’t have to be. Avalara wrote the book on making sales tax easy. No seriously, we did. Okay, we had a little help on the “easy” part from the folks at For Dummies. Yes! That’s right; those massively popular bright yellow and black books that that offer useful instruction on, well, everything.

Odds are you’re familiar with For Dummies. Hard not to be, with more than 1,800 titles to choose from on everything from sushi to sewing to search engines and now (with Avalara’s help) sales tax.

Sales-&-Use-Tax-for-Dummies-120x240

The beauty of these DIY guides is that they take topics that are inherently overwhelming to most of us and condense them down into something digestible. Who doesn’t love that? Sales & Use Tax Compliance for Dummies is a 49-page powerhouse of plain speak on everything sales tax from understanding nexus (the obligation to collect sales tax based on sales activities) to product taxability to proving tax exemption to registration and returns filing. There’s helpful tips to avoid costly mistakes that could led to an audit and practical reasons to consider automated tax software to make compliance easier to manage.

It’s a simple, straightforward look at a not-so-simple problem and a primer on why getting sales tax right is so important—and so hard to do on your own. There’s counsel for businesses of all types and sizes on how to make this process easier and business cases for tax-decisioning software that works right in the financial systems you already use in your business—from QuickBooks for smaller businesses to ERP or ecommerce systems for larger companies with more complex selling structures.

It’s a quick read (and a must read)! Download your free copy of Sales & Use Tax Compliance for Dummies.

Download Now

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How to Get QuickBooks Job Profitability Summary Report to Show the Cost of Inventory Adjustments

Do you track inventory adjustments to jobs or projects in QuickBooks?

If so, have you ever noticed that the cost of those adjustments does NOT show up on the job profitability summary report? (hopefully you noticed that is, or you are having a major "oh crap moment right now!!)

Strange, isn't it? You'd think that if you set up the transaction properly, the information would flow automatically to the report.

A TWEAK TO THE JOB PROFITABILITY REPORT SETTINGS

This support article from Intuit discusses the quick tweak that needs to be made for the inventory adjustment detail to appear on the report.

Once you do that, this vital inventory adjustment information will appear and your job profitability reports will be much more accurate!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

 

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Pending Sales Report for Pending Invoices in QuickBooks

If you choose to use "pending invoices" to track open/unshipped orders in QuickBooks, you'll want to know about the Pending Sales Report.

Located by clicking Reports > Sales > Pending Sales, you can quickly and easily see a list of all your pending invoices in one place, as shown in the sample screenshot below:

WHY NOT USE SALES ORDERS INSTEAD?

During a recent consulting call with a client, we were discussing their use of "pending invoices" to track open orders.

I asked them why they weren't using sales orders for this purpose. They indicated they didn't really know about the sales order functionality in QuickBooks (Premier and Enterprise versions), so didn't think to use them.

Once we reviewed the sales order process, they immediately saw many benefits to this approach over the use of pending invoices, including:

  • The ability to see open sales orders both by customer and by item
  • The ability to see inventory demand on sales orders appearing on the inventory stock status report
  • The ability to use the sales order fulfillment worksheet to visualize and prioritize shipments

If your business has a need to track open and unshipped/unfilled orders, I definitely recommend the sales order approach over the pending invoice approach.

Download my guide that discusses how to use sales orders in QuickBooks today.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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Adding Subtotals to Invoices, Sales Orders, Quotes, and Purchase Orders in QuickBooks

The Enterprise version of QuickBooks (starting with the 2015 version) brings a very helpful new feature to you...

You now have the ability to add subtotals to the following columns on invoices, sales orders, quotes and purchase orders in QuickBooks:

  • Amount
  • Quantity
  • Price
  • Cost

As a special bonus, you can add a subtotal to custom fields that you have created your items as well.

HERE'S HOW TO ADD SUBTOTALS...

Head over to your items list (Lists > Item List), click the Item button at the bottom, then click New.

From the dropdown list that appears, choose Subtotal.

Give this subtotal a name and choose what you would like to subtotal from the list that appears. Here is an example screenshot:

Subtotal Item

NEED EVEN MORE CALCULATIONS?

For many businesses, this new feature will save a bundle of time and help avoid tedious manual calculations.

In the event your business needs even more calculations to be done within various QuickBooks transactions, you will want to check into the FormCalc add-on for QuickBooks.

RELATED INFORMATION:

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It's Not You - QuickBooks Does Not Allow A/R and A/P in the Same Journal Entry

Ever get frustrated trying to create a journal entry to both accounts receivable and accounts payable at the same time in QuickBooks?

Can't do it.

No matter how hard you try or how many times you say please.

For whatever reason, the journal entry screen can only handle one A/R or one A/P account each time.

It's not you...

ADDITIONAL QUICKBOOKS RESOURCES

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New Feature in QuickBooks 2015: The Insights Dashboard

A new feature in QuickBooks 2015 called "Insights" is proving to be quite popular with those looking for a quick and easy "dashboard" view of their business.

The Insights screen sits just off the home screen, and looks like this:

Insights Tab Snapshot

FEATURES OF THE INSIGHTS SCREEN:

The following snippets of information can be turned on and off via the "gear" icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen:

  • Profit and loss
  • Previous year income comparison
  • Top customers by sales
  • Income and expense trend
  • Business growth
  • Net profit margin
  • Previous year expense comparison

Even better, all of the graphical elements that appear on the Insights screen have full drill-down capabilities so you can see the specific details behind a value.

You can also print the contents of the Insight screen or save it as a PDF as well.

If you are so inclined, you can even launch the create invoice or enter bills screens directly from the Insights page.

ADDITIONAL QUICKBOOKS TIPS:

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Avoid This Common Mistake with Inventory Adjustments in QuickBooks

Ah yes...

Inventory - the ongoing pain in the side (or elsewhere) for many businesses.

Here is a simple trick to avoid making the pain any worse in your business when it comes to making adjustments to your inventory in QuickBooks...

  • Do NOT use the "Inventory Asset" account (or whatever balance sheet account is set up to track inventory) on the Adjust Inventory screen. I repeat - do NOT.

Let me explain...

When you are in the Adjust Qty/Value screen of QuickBooks, the inventory asset account is already being impacted by the entry you make. If you set up your adjustment screen like this example:

You will be both increasing and decreasing the value of your inventory asset account for the value of these 605 items that are being adjusted. The screen itself is already adjusting the inventory account by default, and by you selecting the "Inventory Asset" account in the adjustment account box, you are adjusting the inventory account all over again.

So in effect, you have increased and decreased the inventory asset account for a net result of $0. Bad idea...

A BETTER WAY...

Same entry as above, with a different adjustment account:

In this entry, since the count of the item went down, the value of the inventory asset account will decrease automatically (what we want) and you will then be recording the value of this decrease into a new account called "inventory adjustments" which I recommend setting up as a cost of goods sold type of account.

All is well and your accountant will be smiling!

RELATED INFORMATION:

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