58 posts categorized "Settings and Preferences in QuickBooks"

Easily Collapse Specific Sections of Reports in QuickBooks

There is a feature inside QuickBooks reports that many businesses are not familiar with, even though they see evidence of it each and every time they run a report.

While I am unsure of the technical term Intuit has assigned to this feature, I'll refer to it as the "collapse" arrow. By clicking this arrow on or off, you have the ability to control just how much detail shows up in your reports.

For this example, we'll use the Profit and Loss Standard (Reports > Company and Financial > Profit and Loss Standard) and focus on the Cost of Goods Sold section to show you exactly what I am referring to.

This first screen shot shows the report as it looks when it is first created - the expanded view showing all the accounts and balances:

Now, I will click the arrowhead - here is what this section of the report now looks like:

See how the "Job Expenses" section of the report has been collapsed down to one number?

This is a great way to get your reports to look just like you want them to!

Just in case you are not seeing the arrowhead above, it means you are using a version of QuickBooks prior to 2013. The feature first became available in QuickBooks 2013.

Pretty handy, eh?




Keeping Two QuickBooks Company Files Open at the Same Time

QuickBooks Enterprise has a very helpful feature that allows you to have two QuickBooks company files open at the same time.

Located within the File menu, you will see the option that says "Open Second Company" as shown in the screenshot below:

This literally allows you to easily jump back and forth between two company files without having to close one and open the other.

Please be aware that there are some limitations within the software of having two files open at the same time. You can review the complete list of these restrictions at the QuickBooks help site.


I have some additional resources to help you better understand the additional functionality offered in QuickBooks Enterprise:



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.