« March 2012 | Main | May 2012 »

7 posts from April 2012

Building Better Business Finances: Income by Customer Summary Report

The Income by Customer Summary report in QuickBooks allows you to quickly and easily see the revenue generated by your customers over a given period of time. Here is a sample report (click the image for a larger view):

Income by Customer Summary

Keep in mind that you can hover over any value within this report to quickly and easily drill down and see the transaction details behind it.

Bonus tips for this report:

  • The "sort by" box in the upper right hand corner allows you to sort by default (customer name) or total income by customer.
  • The "columns" box just to the left of the "sort by" box allows you to display the information across a wide variety of date ranges. The screen shot above was shown using the "month" option to easily see a month-by-month look at the revenues by customer.




QuickBooks: Time Tracking Capabilities

Can QuickBooks track employee time?

Indeed, it can.

It can also track time for vendors and subcontractors if you want it to.


If you do not see an icon like this on your home screen (lower left portion):

Time Icon

it will first be necessary to turn on the time tracking preference within QuickBooks.

That is very easy to do. Just click Edit (in the menu bar) > Preferences > Time and Expenses > Company Preferences.  Select "yes" to the "do you track time question" and set the first day of your week.


Once you turn on time tracking in QuickBooks, you have the ability to track it by using either:

  • A weekly timesheet
  • A timer

The weekly timesheet looks like the example shown below (click the image for a larger view):

Weekly Timesheet

Within the timesheet screen, you can tag time by employee or vendor/subcontractor to a customer/job, reference the item/service used, and also keep notes about the time that is being recorded.

If you have your timesheets connected to the QuickBooks payroll service, you can easily move the time into the payroll processing module and create paychecks.

In addition, you can pull the time that has been posted into the timesheets into customer invoices by ensuring the "billable" box is checked.

The QuickBooks Timer screen looks like this:

Timer Screen Shot

Just like the timesheet, you can tag time by employee or vendor/subcontractor to a customer/job, reference the item/service used, and also keep notes about the time that is being recorded. The timer provides start/stop capabilities and is designed to capture one event at a time, while the timesheet will capture an entire weeks' worth of entries.

You can use any combination of timesheet and timer options that work for your business. You're not limited to using just one or the other method.


The above timer and timesheet tools within QuickBooks work just fine if everyone is local and can access QuickBooks in the office.

However, if that scenario doesn't quite fit your operations, you should consider web-based time and expense tracking software that integrates with QuickBooks. This approach also helps you avoid having to purchase a QuickBooks license just to allow your employees to track their time via the weekly timesheet option.

For example, take a test drive of ClickTime to see just how easy it can be to have your employees track their time and expenses while out of the office and have that information download quickly and easily into your QuickBooks company data. No double-data entry needed.ClickTime Logo from Home Screen



QuickBooks: PC vs. Mac - Why the PC Version is Better

Thinking about moving from the PC version of QuickBooks to the Mac?

Wondering what's different between the two versions?

PC vs Mac GraphicYou will want to read this guest post from Greg Patt, the owner of Orange Blossom Press, a QuickBooks user for 13 years, and a "dyed in the wool Macintosh user since its birth in 1984 and the Apple II before that".

Greg and I have had some very interesting exchanges over the years about the PC vs Mac issues with QuickBooks and he has offered to share his perspectives on this ongoing debate.

Here are Greg's thoughts - enjoy!

"OK, I’ll admit it.

We Macintosh users can be a little snobbish.

We think our platform is well, maybe a little easier to use than yours Windows people. Hey, we DID invent the GUI window you know. You got your name Windows from OUR windows! We gave you the mouse! Come on, you know there are some things we can do that you want to do…

But on this topic we want to be with YOU brother!

This time, we want what you have.

What am I talking about? We want the features in our Mac QuickBooks that you have in your Windows version! Heck, we would be happy with half the features you have.

Let’s start at the beginning. There are, count them, five different versions of QB on the Windows side to fit the product to your needs. (QB Pro, Premiere, Enterprise, Accountant & Point of Sale)

How many versions are there on the Mac side? Uh, one.

So we drool over the features that from year to year you get, and we don’t. Like Collections Center for example, that allows you to keep up on your receivables. You got it…uh, we don’t. How about the ability to Invoice multiple customers at once with Batch Invoicing? Nope. Maybe the newest thing, the ability to scan and deposit your checks with Intuit Check Solution for QuickBooks? Sorry, no. How about seeing key customer information at a glance with the Customer Snapshot? That is in even your most basic Windows version. Nadda. What about track and follow up on sales leads with the Lead Center? Nyet. How about create a business plan, track your Balance Sheet by Class, or Forecast sales & expenses? No, no and not a chance.

Not even my favorite one, the ability to send your accountant a file they can work and send back to you to sync with yours as you continue to work on it? What?
Yea, I believe I the tooth fairy too damn it! I guess I should be happy we CAN even export a copy our Windows accountant can even uses huh? Well, remember that when you have to either stop using you QB while your accountant is making updates or just maybe reenter all the transactions you made when they send the updated version back to you.

Well, I bet in the last two releases of the QB for Mac we got something you didn’t!

Oh yea, we can now integrate with Ichat and ICal, our calendar software.

Big whoop! That has pretty much been our feature upgrades for 2011 and 2012 versions. Well, the newer versions ARE more “laid back”. That is market speak for SLOW!

Hey, it isn’t just me. These complaints are posted over and over on the Mac QB chat boards. The responses by the Intuit chat moderator are very professional and polite, “Thank you for your input, we are aware of the issue, I will pass your comments on to the product manager. We have limited resources and have to determine which features our Macintosh customers want.”  I bet she wanted to say, “Hey be grateful we gave you back the Mac version! You know we took it off the market once, we can do it again!”

The best solution by one of the posters to the problem of determining which features Mac users want was my favorite.

Take the QB Windows version box to the product manager and say, “We want this!”

We can only hope, over and over and over again."


Want to see in black and white more of the differences between QuickBooks for PC and QuickBooks for Mac?

Take a look at this great article about opening your QuickBooks file for PC in a Mac from Shelly King at Little Square.

Scroll to the bottom and see the handy list of what IS imported and what is NOT imported when you try to move between the PC and Mac versions of QuickBooks. Whoa - that's a bunch of stuff that does not move from one version to the other.

That information is pretty telling to me - the Mac version of QuickBooks is missing a LOT of functionality found in the PC version.

Will Intuit close the gap in their upcoming release of QuickBooks 2013? Only time will tell on that...


Have you moved from the PC version of QuickBooks to the Mac? Wished you hadn't? Glad you did?

Please share your thoughts on this topic in the box below. Our community would love to hear what you have to say about it!




QuickBooks: Shortcut to the Accounting Behind a Transaction

Don't waste time guessing where a particular transaction in QuickBooks was posted. Get to the details with a few quick and easy shortcuts.

This is especially true with invoices and sales receipts where the accounting detail is not quite as obvious as that found on the write checks or enter bill screens.

For example, let's say that you needed to know what ledger accounts were impacted by the invoice shown below (click the image for a larger view):

Invoice Screen Shot

Once you have the invoice window open (or whatever transaction it is for which you want to know the debits and credits), you can:

  • Click the Journal button at the top of the data entry screen
  • Click Reports > Transaction Journal
  • Press CTRL + Y on your keyboard

No matter which of the options you choose, the transaction detail report will appear and help you understand exactly how the entry posted into your QuickBooks chart of accounts as shown below:

Transaction Journal Report




QuickBooks Enterprise 2012: New "Find and Select Items" Option

I've discovered a neat new feature within QuickBooks Enterprise 2012 that may come in very handy when working with invoices or sales orders.

Called the "Find and Select Items" option, it allows you to quickly and easily select multiple items (whether they be inventory, non-inventory, service, etc.) from your item list in QuickBooks.

The short video below provides a closer look at how the "Find and Select Items" option works:


As mentioned in the video, this feature is only in the Enterprise version and can only be found on the sales order and invoicing screens.




I Need Bar Coding with QuickBooks - What Are My Options?

Search as you may, you won't find any button, preference or menu option that will lead you to barcoding capabilities within QuickBooks.

Even with the Advanced Inventory option available with QuickBooks Enterprise, there is no barcoding built in.


Here are some advanced inventory management solutions that work with QuickBooks and have barcoding functionality available:

Each of the above "add-on" inventory packages for QuickBooks will take your inventory management to a completely new level.

Rapid Inventory is a "cloud-based" solution, while ACCTivate and FishBowl are packages that run on your local computers. Either way, you still retain your existing QuickBooks software for your financial activities. These add-ons then take control of your inventory management and barcoding activities each day, and they seamlessly transfer data into QuickBooks - no double data entry required.


I regularly work with manufacturing, distribution and wholesale businesses and help them sort out their options when it comes to their inventory needs. Please contact me to arrange a consultation to assist your business if you are feeling overwhelmed by the options available to you.




QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts: Write Checks and Use Register

Have you been looking for ways to work more efficiently within QuickBooks?

These two keyboard shortcuts will help with that goal.

Shortcut #1: CTRL + W = Write Checks Window

Instead of fumbling around on the home screen or via the banking menu option, just use this quick keyboard combination to immediately open the Write Checks window.

Shortcut #2: CTRL + R = Use Register

Quickly and easily access the detailed transactions in any of your ledger accounts by taking advantage of this keyboard combination.


Download my free "QuickBooks keyboard shortcuts" guide today and keep it handy. Remember, your goal with QuickBooks is this - less clicks = more vacation time for you!