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8 posts from May 2012

QuickBooks: Can I purchase two single user licenses instead of one 2-user license?

This question about QuickBooks licensing recently came in, so I thought I'd share it:

Q: I would like to upgrade to QuickBooks 2012. I can get two full copies of this for less then one copy with two licenses. Can that be done and will the two computers work together the same as if I got the one for 2? I will have two license numbers to put in to start. Would this be legal?

A: Based on my understanding of the QuickBooks licensing agreement, this game plan sounds perfectly legal (and economical!) to me.

Installing a separate, unique license on each of the two computers in question would not prohibit QuickBooks from working in multi-user mode and sharing a company file - that should work just fine.




Tech Tips for Your Small Business

I thought you'd enjoy this series of tech tips and insights to help your small business make smart decisions relating to technology.

These articles are courtesy of Jim Millican at Ashton Technology Solutions:

And two more nuggets of tech knowledge:

Do you have a favorite tech tip? Feel free to share it in the comments box below!



QuickBooks Cash Flow Statement: How do I reassign accounts for this report?

Interesting question came in from a client recently...

"Our bank line of credit account is set up as an "other current liability" in our chart of accounts, so it shows up in the Operating Activities section of our Cash Flow Statement. How do I get it to show up in the Financing Activities section? Isn't that where it should be?"


Small businesses would definitely argue that line of credit activity should show up as a financing activity, since they are relying on the line of credit to finance the business.

Accountants would pull out the textbook and say it is really considered an operating activity and QuickBooks is classifying it correctly.

Good news - you can classify accounts however you like on the cash flow statement. Here's how...

  • Click Edit (in the menu bar) > Preferences > Reports and Graphs > Company Preferences > then click the "Classify Cash" button. A box like this appears:
    Cash Flow Statement Preference
  • As you can see, once you open this box, you can reassign accounts to show up based on your preferences for the QuickBooks Cash Flow Statement.

Should you need to reset it for some reason, just click the "Default" button and this report will return to the default presentation of the accounts.




Make it Easy for Your Customers to Pay You Online (and sync with QuickBooks!)

Want to provide your customers the ability to easily pay your invoices online?

Wish there was a way to securely accept credit card and/or electronic checks from your customers?

Look no further...


I am very pleased to announce that I am now a reseller for Bill & Pay, and am using the service in my own business as well.

Put simply, Bill & Pay is a quick and easy way to allow you to:

  • Create one-time or recurring invoices and allow your customers to pay them automatically on whatever schedule you prefer (weekly, monthly, etc.). Bonus - you can do this completely outside of QuickBooks if you like or easily sync the information with QuickBooks.
  • Allow your customers to quickly, easily, and securely pay your invoices as they go or on a recurring basis with a credit card or via electronic check/ACH.


Here is a short overview of how Bill & Pay works:

  • Create your invoices in QuickBooks, seamlessly sync to Bill & Pay, and then e-mail directly to your customers. (NOTE: You can also do this without the need for QuickBooks).
  • Customer receives invoice online via e-mail
  • Customer makes secure payment online either via credit card (which will be processed via your QuickBooks Merchant Services account) or ACH/electronic check. Landing page where the customer makes the payment is branded with your business information.
  • Payment is processed
  • All payment information is seamlessly synced back into QuickBooks

Bill & Pay is quite easy to set up and use, and your customers will appreciate how easy it is to take care of their invoices with you.

I'll be posting more about Bill & Pay in the coming weeks. Until then, be sure to scoop up your 30 day free trial (and get your set up fees waived!).


Take a closer look to see what Bill & Pay can do to streamline your business.

Get your 30 day free trial by clicking the graphic below. No credit card required.

Bill and Pay LogoYour Invitation Code = BLAS



QuickBooks 2013: 10 Improvements on My Wish List - What's on Yours?

QuickBooks 2013 will be on its' way sometime this fall if the past is any indicator of the future with Intuit.

UPDATE: QuickBooks 2013 is here!

Wish ListLet's cut right to the chase - here is a list of improvements I would sure like to see appear in QuickBooks 2013:

  1. Make the "press Enter key" preference turned on by default! This will help thousands of new QuickBooks users avoid getting instantly frustrated. Unless they know about this magic preference, most users just hit the Enter key assuming it will move them to the next field. Wrong! They lose what they are working on and begin to mutter obscenities under their breath. It doesn't have to be this way.

  2. Set a default class for customers, vendors or items. Why force the need to enter the class manually for each transaction? Many businesses using the class tracking feature of QuickBooks would benefit significantly from this capability! 

  3. Add some early warning notice about list limits and file sizes! As I have found in working with hundreds of QuickBooks users over the last decade, a very small percentage are even aware of the 14,500 list limits in the Pro and Premier versions or QuickBooks. Nor are they aware that there is a point in time when their data file gets too big for itself and causes heartburn and headaches. Needless to say, they get pretty angry when they find out about these limitations of QuickBooks the hard way. Give your users some advance notice about these issues.

    Want to learn more about the list limit and file size concerns? Download my free guide now!

  4. Include the PO number field in the "customize fields" option on the customer screen. When a business is calling about the status of an order, they reference their own purchase order number and don't care what number is being used by QuickBooks to track it. Give businesses the opportunity to easily see that field in this list.

  5. Provide the ability to drilll into open purchase orders related to a customer from the customer center. If a purchase order has been tagged with a customer or job, why not allow that to be cross-referenced in the transaction portion of the customer screen?


And here are five more improvements on my wish list for QuickBooks 2013:

  1. Make it a lot easier to "unhook" the QuickBooks web connector and Intuit Data Protect from a QuickBooks installation. Thousands of businesses have no need for the web connector and thousands more have found a better alternative to the QuickBooks Online Backup service. Don't force them to get into the msconfig option of Windows to make them go away.

  2. Actually display the custom fields that exist for items. Most businesses have monitors that are far bigger than those that came with the TRS-80, so let them take advantage of that and be able to see the item custom fields without having to click.

  3. Allow the "to do" items to be either unique for each user or global for the entire company. Why muck up the list with every to do from every user? A tweak to the setup of to do items would certainly make this area of QuickBooks far more functional.

  4. Revise the report customization tools in QuickBooks. As I said in my wish list for QuickBooks 2012, this area of QuickBooks has received no noticeable improvement that I am aware of for the last ten years. It's time for an overhaul. It is great that third party report customization tools like QQube for QuickBooks exist, but many would benefit from some greater functionality right within this area of QuickBooks.

  5. Overhaul the budgeting features and capabilities in QuickBooks. Somehow, I think this functionality of the software has totally fallen off the map with the developers. We've seen nothing new in this area either for many years. It is well overdue.

These are my suggestions for QuickBooks 2013.

Weigh in with your own wish list in the comments box below!



QuickBooks Company Snapshot: An "Oh Cool" Moment for Your Boss

Here's a good way to keep your boss occupied for a while...

Show them the Company Snapshot feature in QuickBooks! They will have so much to absorb when they see it you won't be hearing from them any time soon.

Accessing the Snapshot feature is easy - click Company (in the menu bar), then Company Snapshot and a window like this appears (click the graphic for a larger display):

Company Snapshot Full Display

Within the Company Snapshot there is easy access to the following nuggets of knowledge:

  • Income and Expense Trends
  • Previous Year Income Comparison
  • Customers Who Owe Money
  • Account Balances
  • Top Customers by Sales
  • Previous Year Expense Comparison

You can easily add more content to the snapshot, such as:

  • Income breakdown
  • Best selling items
  • Top vendors by expense
  • Vendors to pay
  • Reminders

Each of the above tidbits of information can be added, deleted or moved around the snapshot screen with ease. You can even print a copy of the dashboard for those that still like hard copies of things or print it to a PDF file and e-mail it to your boss or management team.

Use the Company Snapshot feature of QuickBooks and hopefully extra credit points from your boss come your way soon!




Will QuickBooks Show Me Estimate vs. Actual for My Jobs?

So how did the profits look on the last job you completed?

Not really sure how it turned out?

It is essential that your business have a solid idea of how your estimated revenues and costs on a job compared to the actual revenues and costs.

QuickBooks can help you do just that with a few built-in reports.


If you need some help with the basics of setting up jobs inside QuickBooks, take a look at my training video on tracking jobs and projects in QuickBooks.

Assuming you have the basics in place and have created an estimate/quote for a job, getting to the report that shows the estimates vs. actuals is easy.

Click Reports > Jobs, Time and Mileage. From there, you'll see a number of reports (which varies based on the version of QuickBooks in use), but everyone will see:

  • Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary report
  • Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail report

The screen shot below is from the Estimates vs. Actuals Summary report (click the image for a larger view):

Estimates vs Actuals

Once here, you can easily drill-down into the details of any value that appears for more information.

If you only want to see the above information for a particular customer or job, select the Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail report option and you will be prompted to choose the specific customer/job in question.


If the concept of estimates vs. actuals appeals to you, but you don't have the time or background to get QuickBooks set up properly, I can help.

I work with businesses all over the United States to help them get QuickBooks working efficiently for their needs.

Please contact me to explore your situation in more detail.




QuickBooks: Create a Report to Show Customer Payments Received

Is it possible to create a report that shows just the payments received from a customer for a certain period of time?


The video below shows you how to quickly and easily create a report in QuickBooks that will recap payments your customers have made: