57 posts categorized "Tools and Tips for Small Businesses"

Spreadsheet Type Calculations within QuickBooks?

Have you ever needed to make additional calculations within a QuickBooks form, but found it limiting?

For example, if you have tried to:

  • Total shipping weights on an invoice
  • Total or subtotal columns on a purchase order, sales order, or invoice
  • Add line numbers to a packing slip or invoice
  • Calculate a running total on a bill of lading

or any other type of calculation beyond quantity x rate, you've likely found QuickBooks to be rather frustrating!

ENTER FORMCALC SST

  FormCalc SST Logo

The FormCalc SST add-on for QuickBooks can help you extend the functionality of QuickBooks to handle the above scenarios (and many more too!).

The SST stands for Superior Spreadsheet Technology, and what it means for you is that you can literally add spreadsheet like calculations to the following QuickBooks forms:

  • Invoices
  • Sales Orders
  • Quotes/Estimates
  • Purchase Orders
  • Credit Memos
  • Sales Receipts

HOW FORMCALC SST WORKS

Setting up calculations involves taking a "snapshot" of the QuickBooks form (Invoice, etc.) you want to work with, then entering spreadsheet formulas in it. From there, you will save the FormCalcSST template.

When ready, you then simply use a series of "hot keys" that will then call up the template you have created and put to work on a form within QuickBooks.

FormCalc SST can also enhance your QuickBooks by offering:

  • Text handling and calculations
  • Column totals and subtotals
  • Date and time math
  • The use of custom field, headers and footers in calculations
  • Results and text formatting
  • "Mini-spreadsheet" features

WORKS WITH PRO, PREMIER OR ENTERPRISE VERSIONS

Regardless of which desktop version of QuickBooks you have (Pro, Premier or Enterprise), FormCalc SST can plug right in and get to work so you can get more done in less time every day.

A 30 day free trial of the software is available for you to try before you buy.

If you don't need as much horsepower as FormCalc SST offers, you can easily choose the core FormCalc product,

FormCalc Logo

This is the original application in the FormCalc series.

Are you already using FormCalc SST or FormCalc in your business? Would love to hear from you and learn more about what things it is handling for you!

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POOF! There went $100,000....

It was mid-afternoon, and the controller did a quick check of his e-mail to see if anything came in.

An e-mail from the CEO had arrived, so he opened it.

The e-mail contained instructions to send a wire transfer of $100,000 to cover a deposit for a deal the CEO was working on.

Knowing that the CEO was regularly involved in various transactions, the controller picked up the phone and called their bank to get the wire transfer underway to avoid any delays with the deal in progress.

The process with the bank was pretty simple, as wire transfers were sent regularly.

A couple hours later, the controller got a call from the CEO about another matter, and the controller confirmed with the CEO that he had sent the wire transfer he requested.

"What wire transfer?" said the CEO

"The wire transfer you e-mailed me about earlier this afternoon", said the controller

"I didn't send you any e-mails asking for a wire transfer to be made", said the CEO.

Silence followed.

Hauntingly dead silence.

The controller just realized he had been scammed by a well crafted and well executed e-mail.

Even worse, the funds had already left the bank.

Never to be seen again.

To repeat - never. to. be. seen. again.

Poof. There went $100,000!

Does this sound like some fiction to you?

Sadly, it is true. Very, very true!

View some additional real-life social engineering losses here.

BUILDING THE CASE FOR CYBER INSURANCE

The scenario above falls into what is being called "social engineering losses" by those in the insurance world.

In fact...

“We have seen social engineering losses for a number of our clients ranging from small business to publicly traded companies.   This is becoming common and businesses need to be sure to validate each transaction carefully.   Insurance is now available for this situation, however it is not automatically included on most policies and must be added by endorsement. Check with your insurance advisor to see if you have this coverage”  Lou Antonelli, Vice President, Practice Leader Risk Consulting, Oswald Companies

Whatever it is being called, it could mean a substantial loss to your business, just as the $100,000 was to the business above. That money is long gone, and isn't coming back any time soon.

Social engineering losses are just one form of cyber insurance coverage, as are system damage, system business interruption, cyber crime, multimedia liability and a host of other potential issues.

As businesses get ever more interconnected, it's essential to talk with your insurance agent to determine if this type of coverage is a good idea for your business. I've had that conversation with my agent recently, and I hope you take the time to do so as well...

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES ON CYBER INSURANCE

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Using the QuickBooks Cash Flow Projection Tool

Little known, but quite helpful, the desktop versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier and Enterprise) have a built-in cash flow projection tool.

Learn how to project your business cash flow in QuickBooks for a 6 week period with the video tutorial below:

WHAT ARE YOU USING FOR CASH FLOW PROJECTIONS?

If you're not using the QuickBooks cash flow projector, I'm curious as to what app or program you may be using to see how the upcoming cash flow looks for your business. Are you using Excel? PlanGuru? Something else?

INTERESTED IN TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS FINANCES?

If so, you may be interested in learning more about my "Beyond QuickBooks: Making Sense of Your Numbers" program. Designed to help you feel a lot more confident and capable when it comes to managing the profitability of your business!

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The Jobber App for Your Mobile Service Business

If you visit your customers to provide your services, need to handle scheduling, keep track of customer information, invoicing, billing, and more, then Jobber is for you.

Jobber was designed and built specifically for mobile service companies - and it was built exceptionally well!

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TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT JOBBER FEATURES

Let's take a peek under the hood at the Jobber application, and review the features found there that can help simplify and streamline your service business...

Scheduling - Whiteboards and Google Calendar can only take you so far. Speed up your scheduling with Jobber’s map view by assigning jobs to employees using the smartest route. Our job scheduling wizard can easily create complicated recurring job schedules. Jobber's drag-and-drop calendar covers all scheduling scenarios such as month, week, and daily views. Includes:

  • Job scheduling wizard
  • Ability to view map routing
  • Drag and drop calendar
  • Route optimization and website integration are available as add-ons

CRM - All of your client’s past jobs, quotes, invoices, and payments are easily searchable. Access the information anywhere with iOS and Android Apps. Capabilities include:

  • E-mail client reminders
  • Client history and search
  • Quoting
  • Custom fields and tags
  • Texting client reminders (additional fee applies)

EVEN MORE JOBBER FEATURES...

Team Management - Assign tasks and jobs to your employees and keep up-to-date on their progress with the Jobber Field app. Employees can track their time, add notes and attachments to visits, and Jobber can automatically create GPS waypoints throughout their day Capabilities include:

  • Tasks and time-tracking
  • GPS tracking
  • Team assignments
  • Text message of arrival notifications (additional fee applies)

Easy invoicing and payments

  • Sync with QuickBooks Online or Xero (additional fees apply for accounting sync)
  • Batch invoicing
  • Expense tracking and E-Payments from customers (additional fees apply)

 

GET YOUR FREE TRIAL AND A $75 CREDIT

Jobber is rated at 4.5 starts out of 5 in the Intuit App Center - feel free to explore what others have said about it and how it has helped their business.

Jobber offers a completely free trial of their software, and no credit card is required. Use my link to sign up for your free trial, and you'll also receive a $75 credit toward your paid service.

Are you currently using Jobber for your service business? Feel free to add your comments to the conversation in the box below!

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A Simple Way to Sell Products or Services on Your Existing Web Site with Shopify

Trying to find a new revenue stream for your business?

Looking to sell products or services from your web site?

Does the thought of "adding e-commerce functionality" to your web site give you a headache and keep you from moving forward?

Shopify-Money-728x90

CONSIDER THE SHOPIFY BUY BUTTON

Here's the good news...

Selling products or services on your existing web site doesn't require an IT specialist or an expensive web designer.

In fact, all you need is a Shopify Buy Button.

HOW THE BUY BUTTON WORKS WITH SHOPIFY

As easy as 1-2-3...

Step 1 - Decide which products or services you want to sell on your web site

Step 2 - Grab the "embed code" that Shopify automatically creates for you to present them exactly as you want. Customize the colors to match your existing site

Step 3 - Copy and paste the code into your web site

This adds a mobile friendly and secure shopping experience to your site. All the power of Shopify in a single button.

BEYOND THE BUY BUTTON...

Adding the Buy button opens the door to a complete suite of tools that Shopify also offers their customers, including:

  • Integration with QuickBooks desktop (via Webgility) or directly into QuickBooks Online
  • Easy order tracking - notifications of orders received via e-mail or mobile
  • Shipping integration with all major carriers if desired
  • Analytics tools - assess sales and other metrics via the handy dashboard
  • Fully mobile - you can easily run the business from your phone or tablet

THE BUY BUTTON WON'T BREAK THE BANK

Adding the Shopify Buy Button to your existing web site runs just $9 per month. Other Shopify plans are also available to allow you to build your own online store and add even more features if desired - those start at $29 per month.

Shopify offers a free 14 day trial, with no credit card required so you can see for yourself how the Buy button and other features might work for you.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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Tired of the Hassle in Using the Accountants' Copy Feature of QuickBooks?

This post was shared by Chris Wise from CoralTree, the makers of Qbox...thanks Chris!

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Trying to find a better way of getting QuickBooks information to your accountant (or if you're an accountant, to get information from your client)?

Many accountants and small businesses become exceptionally frustrated when trying to share QuickBooks files using the Accountants Copy.  To avoid the frustration related to the reduced functions of this type of file, you can use a resource like Qbox.  Qbox is one of the fastest growing QuickBooks desktop file sharing/collaboration resources available due to its security, simplicity, affordability, and high level of customer support. 

QBox Flowchart

If you are looking for a way to share a QuickBooks desktop file with a client or shared user in a remote location, Qbox provides an effective solution.  Unlike other traditional file sharing options, Qbox has unique controls that prevent the creation of conflicted copies and file corruption.

Accountants and small businesses appreciate that each Qbox user has their own local copy of the QuickBooks file and experience the performance of their local environment when entering transactions.

As an accountant or bookkeeper, you can access all of your clients from one simplified access point called the Qbox Explorer.  You work on your client’s files at any time regardless of whether or not your client’s computer is turned on. 

Screen shot of the Qbox Explorer:

QBox Console

Using Qbox, your files are always backed up in the cloud and available to download should anything happen to a user’s computer.  Additionally, Qbox keeps 20 copies (versions) of files in the cloud at all times so in the event of a corrupted file, a user can “roll back” to their preferred instance of the file. 

If you are frustrated with the limited capabilities of an Accountants Copy, using Qbox, you always have access to the working QuickBooks file. All of the Desktop functions are available to a Qbox user and you can print and/or back up locally if you so choose. 

Click here to learn more about Qbox and start your free 30-day trial today...

 

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Procurify: Online Purchasing Management for QuickBooks

Has your business outgrown the purchasing module found within QuickBooks desktop software?

Looking for ways to streamline the purchasing process?

Need to add an approval process to your purchasing management? (not found in QuickBooks!)

Have people in different locations and all they need is access to purchasing (and not the entire QuickBooks package)?

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INTRODUCING PROCURIFY

Procurify is an add-on application to the desktop versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier and Enterprise). By "add-on", I mean it is a separate piece of software that connects to QuickBooks and syncs information between the two programs.

It can bring a lot of functionality to your business that is not found within the basic purchase order module of QuickBooks.

Here is the suggested Procurify workflow...

  1. Request - electronically submit new purchase requests using your web browser or mobile device (notice - this doesn't have any mention of the staff person needing access to QuickBooks?)

  2. Approve - create automated approval routing based on your business needs. Establish direct lines of communication between the right people.

  3. Create the PO - Procurify automatically tracks, manages and organizes your purchase orders in one place. Instantly deliver approved requests for PO creation.

  4. Receive the items - intuitive and easy to understand interface lets you accurately document received items through your web browser or mobile device. 

  5. Set up to pay your vendor - enable complete transparency throughout your purchase order workflow. Keep on top of payments and eliminate duplicate or unnecessary spending.


EMPOWERING YOUR STAFF

Procurify helps simplify operations across all the functional areas of your business:

  • Buyers - funnel all of your purchase requests from all locations into a single, easily managed bucket. We facilitate the internal back-and-forth communication, allowing requesters to check the status of their orders at any time. Improve supplier relationships and standardize the goods you buy.

  • Operations - get through purchase approvals faster. Reduce the amount of bottlenecks and improve efficiency for your operations. Define and structure each role within your organization’s purchasing process with complete clarity.

  • Finance - establish and easily ensure enforcement of controls and policies (IE. use purchase orders, ensure approvals, three way matches), while not increasing your headcount. Empower people to stay accountable to their budget, by giving them real time information instead of monthly reports. (Visibility into spending in real time)

  • IT - Gain full adoption organization wide by implementing tools which are easy to learn and fun to use. Procurify worries about the infrastructure and security and reduces the load on your team and it integrates with select tools, and seamlessly passes data between them.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Be sure to tap into all of these additional resources that are available to learn more about Procurify and how it can benefit your business or organization.

NEED HELP TYING IT ALL TOGETHER?

My consulting practice specializes in helping businesses retain their investment in QuickBooks as their core accounting package, while extending the features and functionality through various add-on packages. Tap into my 30+ years of accounting, finance, inventory, and QuickBooks experience.

If you would like to discuss Procurify or other QuickBooks add-ons in more detail, please contact me.

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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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Grab a Screenshot and Help Troubleshoot QuickBooks Problems

Is QuickBooks misbehaving on you at times?

Want to grab a quick picture of your computer screen and capture an important message being displayed?

GRAB A SCREENSHOT TO HELP!

As a QuickBooks consultant, there are many times where it is invaluable for me to see what exactly is being displayed on a screen so I can help a client understand what is happening with QuickBooks (or to guide them to a resolution of a question).

There are several ways to grab a snapshot of what is appearing on your computer screen to help with the diagnosis of a problem or to get more information on an area of concern (not just with QuickBooks, but with any program for that matter!).

Options to consider:

  • Take a picture of the screen with your smartphone
  • Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard (don't panic if the printer doesn't kick in automatically - it won't!). From there, open Microsoft Word (or any other word processor) and click Edit > Paste to paste an image of the screen or just right click your mouse and Paste the image in.
  • Use the Windows Snipping Tool - found by clicking the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Snipping Tool. Once you do that, a screen like this will appear  - just follow the instructions from there:

    Windows Snipping Tool
  • My favorite solution - invest the $49.95 in a copy of SnagIt software from TechSmith. Hands down, this has been one of the best investments I have made for my business toolkit. I use it multiple times each and every day. The features and options that have been packed into this little gem of a program are simply amazing to me. They offer a free trial of the software of course, so you can "try before you buy".

DO YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATE IDEA?

If you are grabbing screenshots in a way different from those outlined above, feel free to share your insights on how you're doing it!

 

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