56 posts categorized "Settings and Preferences in QuickBooks"

Does This Bug You About QuickBooks Too?

Dear QuickBooks:

How come I don't have the ability to pick and choose from a list of e-mail addresses when sending forms such as invoices, purchase orders, etc?

My only options seem to be the "main e-mail" or the "CC e-mail" when it comes to e-mailing forms? Is that right?

You even went so far as to give me lots of space for different contacts and the ability to add a lot of contact e-mail addresses (if you're not seeing the window below, you're using a version of QuickBooks before 2013):

But yet I can't find anywhere to pull these addresses into the transaction or form that needs to be e-mailed.

Maybe we'll see this in QuickBooks 2016?

Here's hoping...

Scott Gregory


If so, immediately head to the Help option in your menu bar, click Send Feedback Online, then Product Suggestion. Let your feelings be known too.



Using Custom Fields in QuickBooks

If you use QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise, you have the ability to add custom fields that can be used in various places to track details unique to your business.

In addition, there are some key differences in how the custom fields function in Pro/Premier vs. how they work in Enterprise.

My video below gives you an introduction and comparison on these key topics so you can put custom fields to work within your QuickBooks (click here for the video also):



Be sure to visit my QuickBooks Enterprise resource center to discover even more functionality within the Enterprise edition and to save 20% on your annual subscription price.



QuickBooks Cost of Goods Sold - Where Does the Number Come From?

I have been fielding many questions lately about the cost of goods sold line on the profit and loss report in QuickBooks.

Time to take a closer look...

For this article, we'll focus on inventory parts and inventory assembly items in your QuickBooks.


When you created your inventory part or inventory assembly item the very first time in QuickBooks, you had to tell it what "COGS Account" (COGS = Cost of Goods Sold) to use. See the example screen shot below:

When this item appears on an invoice or sales receipt in QuickBooks, the instructions above tell it to post to the 50100 - Cost of Goods Sold Account each and every time. No exceptions (your business may only use account names and not numbers - that is just fine).


As we know, for every transaction in QuickBooks, there is not only a ledger account but also an amount that has to post.

Much confusion exists as to where QuickBooks pulls the actual amount that gets posted to the COGS account.

Here's the scoop...

For inventory parts and assembly items, QuickBooks pulls from the value in the "average cost" field to fill in the cost of goods sold amount when the invoice or sales receipt is completed. See the screen shot below:

In the example above, if 2 of this particular item were sold on an invoice or sales receipt, a total of $6 would post to the 50100-Cost of Goods Sold account.

Keep in mind that this is an average cost - it is not a FIFO, LIFO, Standard or Landed Cost.


Many have been mistakenly led to believe that the cost that posts to the COGS account is not the average cost amount, but rather, the amount showing in the generic "Cost" box. See the screen shot below:

This understanding is not true. The generic "cost" box is more of a "management cost" type of box that is either updated manually or when purchase orders are created.


My hope is this brief lesson will help you have a better understanding of the activity that is showing up in the cost of goods sold account on your QuickBooks profit and loss report.

Of course, other transactions such as bills or credit card entries can also post into the COGS account, but understanding how inventory parts and assemblies post will be a big plus to help you manage your business...




Adding a Line Number to QuickBooks Invoices, Sales Orders, Packing Lists, etc.

As you likely know, the various templates within QuickBooks (i.e. sales order, purchase order, invoice, etc.) don't actually track a "line number" for multi-line orders.

The sample screen shot below is what I'm referring to when it comes to line numbers:

The good news is that you have some options to get these line numbers to appear in your QuickBooks.

Option #1 - Customize the template and add the line numbers manually

For the layout shown above, I went in and customized the template. I created a new column marked "line #", and then manually typed in the number as I entered data into the form. Keep in mind you will need to customize each template where line numbers are desired.

Option #2 - Use the QuickBooks add-on called FormCalc SST to have QuickBooks enter line numbers for you automatically.

Take a look at the example of how their software can automate this and many other functions within QuickBooks as well.

Want to purchase FormCalc SST? Use this link for the best pricing.




Today is an Awesome Day to...

Make certain that you click Window > Close All (in the menu bar) at the end of your work day.

Awesome StampThis step will close all open windows automatically (and prompt you to save any work in progress).

In addition, it will allow QuickBooks to start faster the next time you open it, since each of the open windows does not have to be created at startup!



Be sure to get a copy of my free QuickBooks keyboard shortcuts as well!



Adding a Subtotal to QuickBooks Invoices, Sales Orders, Estimates or Purchase Orders

Wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to include a subtotal in a QuickBooks estimate, sales order, invoice or purchase order when needed?

This capability exists within QuickBooks - you just need a little setup work to make it happen.


Here is a sample invoice screen that shows you how this can work within QuickBooks:

Note: I have purposely skipped a line between the line items and subtotal in the sample above for easy viewing. You don't have to skip a line.

See how the insertion of the subtotal adds up the lines directly above it, but nothing above the previous subtotal line?

Pretty cool, huh?


It's actually pretty easy. Click Lists > Item List. Click the Item button at the bottom of the screen, then click New.

In the drop-down list that appears (where you see service, non-inventory part, etc.), select Subtotal, give it a name, and click OK.

From there, simply select this new item whenever you need it, and QuickBooks will automatically take care of the calculation for you...




Don't Like the Big Bar Down the Left Side of Your QuickBooks Screen?

If you have upgraded to any version of QuickBooks 2013 or QuickBooks 2014, the first thing you see when you access your information is that you now have this big icon bar down the left hand side of your screen.

I know - you didn't ask for it to be put there. QuickBooks did it all by itself during the upgrade of your data.

Good news if you want to put it back across the top of your screen...

My video shows you how to quickly tackle this task - enjoy!





Connection Has Been Lost Message in QuickBooks - Why?

Have you seen one of these charming message boxes when working in your QuickBooks?

If so, there are a number of underlying reasons why your connection has been lost.


In many cases, this message appears when using QuickBooks in a network environment, and the computer (either the desktop, laptop or server) goes into "sleep" mode.

Many computers come preset with the hard drives to go into "sleep mode" after 10-15 minutes to save on energy. Unfortunately, QuickBooks does not like it at all if sleep mode kicks in. It interferes with the connection to the QuickBooks database and causes these "connection lost" messages.

In some cases, the internal network card of a computer is also set to go into "sleep mode" after a certain time, and this has also been known to cause the connection to be lost.

You can go into the Control Panel of your computer to find the power settings and turn off sleep mode for the hard disks (it's ok to let the monitor go into power save mode).

You can go into the Device Manager of your computer to find your network card and check the settings there to ensure it is not going to sleep on you as well.


The QuickBooks support site offers some additional details on this "connection has been lost" situation in case the suggestions above don't take care of the problem for you.

Naturally, you don't want to be using QuickBooks in a wireless environment either. QuickBooks is not supported to work in a wireless setup, as these types of messages about lost connections are quite common, as are other potential problems with your QuickBooks database.



Customize Columns in QB 2014 - Checks/Bills/Credit Card screens

Here is a new feature in QuickBooks Enterprise 2014 (not available in Pro or Premier versions) that may pay big dividends for you...

The ability to customize the columns that appear at the bottom of these windows:

  • Write checks
  • Enter bills
  • Enter credit card charges

To access this new feature, just right click anywhere on any of these screens and then click on the "Customize Columns" option. You'll then see a window appear from which you can add, remove or reorganize the columns that appear as shown below:


Be sure to download my "What's New in QuickBooks 2014" guide for more details and insights about this latest version of your favorite software.



QuickBooks Enterprise: Allows for Mandatory Custom Field Entry on Forms or Lists

Ever wish that QuickBooks would offer the option to make it mandatory to fill in a field on a form (such as an invoice) or when entering new information, such as a new customer?

The Enterprise edition of QuickBooks provides a limited solution to this issue. Here's how it works...

When you create a new custom field for a customer, vendor, employee or item, you have the ability to make it a mandatory field entry on either a form (i.e. invoice) or list entry (i.e. new customer). The screen shot below provides a glimpse:

For example, if we make the Contract # field a mandatory field under the "list" column, if we go to enter a new customer and forget to fill in this field, we get a prompt to fill it in as shown below:


I have seen a number of businesses implement these mandatory fields with success, as it helps them ensure that critical data is entered at the right time and in the right place so that somebody doesn't have to chase it down later.


To have the ability to make each field that can appear on a form or list have these options. None of the "regular" fields in QuickBooks have this capability.

For example, if you wanted to make it mandatory for your sales desk to fill in the "ship via" on each sales order form, there is no way to make the existing "ship via" field a mandatory field as shown above, since it is not a custom field.

Maybe this is something we'll see in QuickBooks Enterprise 2015. Or maybe not...


This is just one of the features that exists in QuickBooks Enterprise that does not exist in the Pro or Premier versions. For more details about the Enterprise edition of QuickBooks, stop by my web site.