« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »

8 posts from October 2011

QuickBooks Time Tracker and Time and Billing Being Discontinued


If you currently use either:

  • QuickBooks Time Tracker or
  • QuickBooks Time and Billing

Both of these applications are being discontinued as of December 1, 2011, so the race is on for your business to find a replacement!


If you read the Intuit announcement about these applications being discontinued, you may be led to believe that you MUST choose the eBillity option as your replacement.

That is NOT true - you are able to select from any of the time and billing solutions that integrate with QuickBooks.


ClickTime Logo
I have recently gotten to know the sales and management team of ClickTime and have been highly impressed with their solution to the time tracking and expense reporting needs of small businesses.

The ClickTime solution integrates seamlessly with your QuickBooks data file, so there is no double data entry involved. Their software is not installed on your local computers or network. Rather, it is accessed via a secure site on the internet. This means you don't have to wear an IT hat to install it or maintain it. They take care of all that for you.

I'll be writing more about ClickTime in future posts to help you develop a better understanding of how it works. But I know that you are pressed for time right now to find a quality alternative to the QuickBooks Time Tracker and Time and Billing applications and wanted to get this information to you.

A 30 day free trial of ClickTime is readily available for you to take a test drive.


The Intuit Marketplace also provides a list of other alternatives to the QuickBooks Time Tracker and Time and Billing Products. As with any other software purchase, due diligence is essential to ensure that the solution fits your needs and expectations.


Feel free to post a comment below to let our community know of your experience with the ClickTime Time and Billing Solution that integrates with QuickBooks.



Did You Know There is a Built-in Calculator and Adding Machine in QuickBooks?

Ever need to do a quick calculation while working in QuickBooks?

A couple of soltions to the rescue if you don't have easy access to your adding machine...


If you click on Edit (in the menu bar), then Use Calculator, QuickBooks gives you just what you need:

Calculator in QuickBooks


Neatly tucked away within EACH amount field in QuickBooks is the ability to use a handy adding machine. Accessing it is easy - just tap the = key to activate it as shown below (the = key was activate in the amount column at the bottom of the write checks window):

Adding Maching Tape


Feel free to post a comment about your favorite shortcut in QuickBooks so our community can learn about it!




Duplicate Your QuickBooks Templates With Ease

Did you know that you can easily make a copy of an existing QuickBooks template (i.e. invoice, quote, sales, order, etc.)?

Let's say that you have customized an invoice template and gotten it just right. Then, you have a customer that needs just a few tweaks to this template when you create their invoices. Instead of starting the whole customization process again, take the shortcut. Here's how....

  • Click Lists, then Templates
  • Locate the template you want to make a copy of and click on it to highlight it
  • Click on the Templates box in the lower left hand corner, and then click the Duplicate option
  • From there, you will have the option to select what type of template you are creating, as shown in the screen shot below:
  • Just make your selection and click OK

BONUS - Note that you can take an existing template of one type (invoice for example) and duplicate it to another type (sales order for example). You don't always have to duplicate an invoice template to an invoice template. This is a fast and easy way to get your quotes, sales orders, and invoices all looking the same within your QuickBooks!



QuickBooks Online Training Videos Now Available

You're invited to learn more about QuickBooks and bookkeeping with my online training videos.

The video library contains the following right now (more to be added later):

  • The Accidental Bookkeeper: Part 1 - "Bookkeeping Basics"
  • The Accidental Bookkeeper: Part 2 - "Handling Tricky Transactions"
  • The Accidental Bookkeeper: Part 3 - "Understanding the Results of Your Hard Work"
  • Customizing Reports in QuickBooks
  • Tracking Purchases with Your Credit Card in QuickBooks
  • How to Use the Budgeting Tools in QuickBooks
  • Tracking Jobs and Projects in QuickBooks

Each video can be viewed as often as you like for as long as you like. You can even download the entire video file to your computer if you prefer that option too.

Build your QuickBooks knowledge from the comfort of your home or office!



Hidden Bonus When Entering Transactions in QuickBooks

You may not have noticed it, but tucked off to the right side of the screen when entering transactions in QuickBooks is a tab that says "Transaction"

I recently ventured into that area for the first time and came across some pleasant surprises. Here is a screen shot of this area:

Nestled inside this area are three very helpful pieces of information:

  1. Summary information - who created the transaction, who changed it, etc. The "View" link takes you directly to the audit trail report for that transaction.
  2. Related transactions - a list of any transactions that are tied to this one (payments for invoices, etc.). The "History" link takes you to a very handy history report so you can see everything going on.
  3. Notes - This is the real find for me! Instead of being forced to enter specific information only in the Memo section, you have the ability to enter and track all sorts of details about THIS specific transaction!


This pane of information can only be found in QuickBooks 2011 and newer versions.

(Update: Apparently, this information is NOT available in anything other than the Accountants Edition of QuickBooks 2011. It is definitely available in Pro, Premier and Enterprise 2012.)

This was a great find for me!

Will it change the way you enter transactions in QuickBooks? Let me know your thoughts about this functionality in the comment box below.




QuickBooks 2012: New Inventory Center Feature

The Enterprise and Premier editions of QuickBooks 2012 have a great new feature - the Inventory Center.

Just like the Customer, Vendor and Employee Centers that were introduced way back in QuickBooks 2006, the Inventory Center is designed to organize and display information about your inventory parts and assembly items.

WHAT THE INVENTORY CENTER LOOKS LIKE (click image for larger view)

Inventory Center 2012

Let's review the layout of the Inventory Center:

  • On the left hand side, you see your list of inventory items and assemblies. Note - non-inventory parts, services, and other entries in your item list do NOT appear here.
  • In the upper part of the screen, some great new stuff:
    • The ability to enter notes that are specific to that item
    • The ability to attach an image of the item. Note - at this time, this is the only place an image can be used. It can't be carried into an invoice, quote, etc.
    • An improved document management capability to attach other important information (specs, MSDS sheets, etc.) directly to the item in QuickBooks. Note - you can also use the SmartVault document management system if you don't care for the QuickBooks system.)

The Inventory Center has all the other features you have come to know in the other QuickBooks centers - the ability to filter various transactions, run commonly used reports with one click, sort out your active vs. inactive list entries and more.


My "What's New in QuickBooks 2012" guide will help you better understand the new features in QuickBooks 2012.

My "Frequently Asked Questions about Upgrading QuickBooks" guide will provide the insight you need to commonly asked questions about upgrading.




Can I Set My Own Invoice Number Sequence in QuickBooks?

If your business has a desire to use their own invoice numbering sequence, QuickBooks can help with that (up to a point...).

By default, the very first invoice you create in QuickBooks will have the number 1 associated with it. From there, QuickBooks simply adds +1 to the number to get the next invoice number. For many businesses, that game plan works like a charm.

However, let's say that your business wants to start (or modify) their invoicing with the number 5000 instead of the number 1. Tackling that need is easy to do.


If you want to start your own sequence, here are the steps to follow...

  • Create the invoice as normal
  • Before you save it, go to the invoice number box, erase what is there and enter what you want it to be. In the example below, the invoice number 5000 has been entered. Once you save this, the next invoice number will be 5001, etc.

DOUBLE-BONUS! This same process works with quotes, sales orders and purchase order numbers in QuickBooks. Each one of these forms runs on their own unique numbering, so if you wanted to start your sales orders with the number A1000, just follow the steps above and enter A1000 for the sales order number.


If your business is trying to use a more complicated scheme, QuickBooks may have some trouble.

Example - if you want your invoice number (or quote #, etc.) for salesman 1 to be 1-1000, etc. and for salesman 2 to be 2-1000, QuickBooks will only add one to the last number that was typed into the invoice number box. This will require you to manually look up and enter an invoice number each time so that this type of sequence works for you.

Key Consideration - with the many ways that QuickBooks provides to look up and find information, setting up a complicated numbering system like this example really is not necessary. In fact, it really gums up the works for no good reason that I know of. What I usually find is that these types of approaches are carryovers from really old accounting software that didn't allow the easy lookup of information.

Are there situations you have where you need a specialized numbering scheme beyond what QuickBooks provides? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.




Can I Delete Customers in QuickBooks?

When teaching QuickBooks workshops, I find this question seems to be on the mind of many QuickBooks users.

When it comes to an answer about deleting customers, there are several different scenarios to consider. Let's walk through them:

  • Scenario #1 - the customer (or job) you want to delete has no history (invoices, payments, quotes or anything else that references their name) of any kind on their account. If that is the case, QuickBooks will allow you to delete the customer entry. To do so, simply highlight the name in your customer list and either right click and choose Delete Customer:Job or click Edit in the menu bar and choose Delete Customer: Job.
  • Scenario #2 -the customer (or job) has activity of any type associated with it, even if it is just one transaction. If that is the case, QuickBooks will NOT allow you to delete the customer from your customer list.

    If you try to delete one in this scenario, you will see a screen that looks like this:

    Note the option to "Make Inactive" on this screen. This is the choice you will want to make. It is the next best thing to actually deleting the customer from your list, but that entry doesn't actually vanish. Instead, the customer in question becomes invisible on the list, but all of their QuickBooks history remains intact (and that is a good thing - otherwise, your accountant may begin to develop a heart condition!).

The advantage of making a customer inactive (and the same concept works with vendors too!), is that you don't have to scroll through that name every time you call up the customer list. It is tucked away out of sight, but available should the need arise.


If the need arises to re-activate a customer (they decide to place another order, etc.), just head to your customer center and click the All Customers option at the top of the list. Any and all customers (or jobs) that have been made inactive will appear with an "X" next to them as shown below:

Simply click on the "X" to make the customer (or job) active again, and then return the view for your customer list to Active Customers by going to the drop down box at the top of the list again.


To the surprise of many QuickBooks users, there is indeed a limit to the number of customers you can have in your QuickBooks data file.

Unfortunately, there is no early alert system when you are approaching this maximum, so be aware of it.

KEY POINT - even if you make a customer inactive as discussed above, it still counts toward the customer limit! So don't be confused by that.

If your business needs a bigger customer list than that offered in QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier, you can easily move into QuickBooks Enterprise.