61 posts categorized "Tools and Tips for Small Businesses"

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)?

Procurify_Logo_V_Color

 

 

 

 

 

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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:

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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!

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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!!

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Easily Import and Export Information Between QuickBooks and Excel With Transaction Pro Tools

Ever find that your business needs the ability to import or export information between QuickBooks and Excel?

Of course, QuickBooks natively offers the ability to export any report to Excel, and does offer the ability to import customers, vendors, and items via Excel too.

But if you need more features, functionality, or control over moving information in and out of QuickBooks, you'll want to take a closer look at the Transaction Pro tools from Baystate Consulting.

TRANSACTION PRO IMPORTER AND EXPORTER

Baystate has created both a Transaction Pro Importer tool to take data from Excel or CSV files and import it into QuickBooks. Their Transaction Pro Exporter program moves data the other way - from QuickBooks to Excel or CSV files.

What type of information are we referring to here?

This is just a short list of the information you can move between QuickBooks and Excel:

  • Customer lists, vendor lists, chart of accounts
  • Item lists (including inventory assemblies!), fixed asset lists
  • Groups and price level lists
  • Item receipts, purchase orders, bills, bill payments
  • Sales orders, sales receipts, estimates, invoices
  • Much, much more...

FREE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE

Care to try before you buy? Fully functional demos of both the Transaction Pro Importer and Exporter tools are available (there are limitations on the number of items you can import/export in the trials of course).

I have found the Baystate team to be exceptionally responsive and helpful to customer inquiries, and they have a very helpful support forum as well where folks can exchange ideas and get questions answered.

Hope you find these tools to be great additions to your tool kit...

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


TSheets Adds Employee Scheduling Features

One of the most loved employee time tracking apps for QuickBooks (rated 5 stars!) has recently added some new functionality for tracking employee schedules too.

TSheets Logo New

TSheets now offers you the ability to:

  • Eliminate dry-erase boards and funky Excel sheets
  • Schedule employees by shift
  • Schedule staff by job or task - just drag and drop on the schedule
  • Push notifications to employees by text or e-mail

Naturally, TSheets offers an impressive array of methods to capture your employees time, including:

  • Desktop or laptop computers connected to the internet (you can even work offline and upload when online)
  • Smartphones or tablets (Apple or Android)
  • Text message
  • Even call-in capabilities to record time

And did I mention that they offer GPS time-stamping too?

A 14 day, no risk free trial of TSheets is yours for the asking, so if you need an easy way to track employee time or create employee schedules, visit with them today for a closer look. If you like what you see, use code BLASACCTG and get 10% off the TSheets service.

ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING TSHEETS?

If so, your comments and feedback on how it is working out for you are welcome!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________