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8 posts from June 2012

Building Better Business Finances: The QuickBooks Income and Expense Graph

Did you know that QuickBooks offers some helpful financial graphs in addition to the various financial reports?

One of my favorites is the Income and Expense Graph.

Easily located by clicking Reports > Company and Financial > Income and Expense Graph, you get an easy-to-read overview of your income and expenses as shown in the example below (click the image for a larger view):

Income and Expense Graph BBB

You can quickly change the dates to be displayed as well as show the graph by customer or class (if you are using the QuickBooks class feature).

Hover over any area of the graph and you'll see the magnifying glass appear. From there, you can quickly double-click down into the next level of details relating to your finances. You can drill all the way down into the original source documents (i.e. invoices, checks, bills, etc.) from the graph too.

Toward the bottom of the graph, you can choose to show either income or expenses within the pie chart.

You can print the graph, but QuickBooks does not provide the ability to export it to Excel like you can with other reports, nor can it be saved as a PDF.

So, which way do you prefer to review your income and expenses - the report view with the data or the graphical way?




Can I Change the Font or Colors in My QuickBooks Reports?

If you ever have the need to increase the font size on a QuickBooks report or modify the color settings, there are options for that.

Nestled inside the "Modify Report" button that shows up in the upper left hand corner of each report you will see a tab that says Fonts & Numbers. Click it, and a screen like this will appear:

Fonts and Numbers Options

Let's take a closer look at the options here:

  • The left hand side of the screen will allow you to change the font for various portions of the report (i.e. column and row labels, etc.).
  • The upper right hand side of the screen gives you some formatting options relating to negative numbers on reports (let's hope that does not include your profit and loss report!!)
  • The lower right hand side offers the ability to format the look and feel for the numbers that appear on a report (i.e. don't show cents).

If you don't like the changes you have made to a particular report, just click the Revert button and the report will return to what it looked like originally.

Remember - once you have the report formatted just as you like it, click the "Memorize" button at the top of the report. This will take a picture of the report as you have it, so you don't have to fuss with the formatting options the next time you run the report.




QuickBooks: What If I Have a Customer and Vendor With the Same Name?

As you have discovered, you cannot have a customer and vendor with the same name in your QuickBooks.

Good news! There is a very easy workaround for this!

In this instance, I'm referring to the box at the top of the customer screen (shown below) and the same box at the top of the vendor screen:

Customer Name Box

Because of how the QuickBooks database stores and indexes information, these names can't be the same, even if you do business with someone that is both a customer and a vendor.

Here's the workaround...

  • Add a -C at the end of the name for the customer
  • Add a -V at the end of the name for the vendor

By doing this, QuickBooks will think they are two different entries and you can proceed to save them with ease.

There are many other variations of this approach of course. As long as just one character is different between the customer version of the name and the vendor version of the name, QuickBooks will allow you to add it to the appropriate list.




QuickBooks: How Do I Create an Open Estimate Report?

Tired of searching the report list to locate an "Open Estimate" report in QuickBooks?

Here's an easy way to make it happen, as you won't see this report anywhere in the report choices...

  • Open your Customer Center
  • Click the Transactions tab in the upper left hand part of the screen
  • Click the Estimates open in the list of Transactions - once you do that, all estimates that have been created in QuickBooks appear
  • Click the Filter by box at the top of the screen and choose "Open Estimates"
    Open Estimate Screen Shot

  • Right click in the screen and click View as Report and you'll then get the information from the screen into the standard QuickBooks report format, where it can easily be filtered, printed or exported into Excel...
    Open Estimate Report




QuickBooks Reports to Help Your Purchasing Department

QuickBooks contains a number of reports that your purchasing department might find very handy.

Here is a list of them...

By Vendor:

  • Purchases by Vendor Summary - shows the total dollars spent with each vendor for whatever date range you want to see.
  • Purchases by Vendor Detail - takes the purchases by vendor summary report and "explodes" it to show a transaction by transaction breakdown by vendor.

By Item:

  • Purchases by Item Summary - a report that recaps the quantity and dollars spent for each unique inventory part, non-inventory part, etc.
  • Purchases by Item Detail -breaks down the detail from the purchases by item summary report to show a transaction-by-transaction listing of each purchase for each item.

By Purchase Order:

  • Open Purchase Orders - a recap on a purchase order by purchase order basis that shows all orders still awaiting items to be received.
  • Open Purchase Orders Detail - takes the open purchase orders report and provides a line by line listing of each of the line items on these orders.
  • Open Purchase Orders by Job - recasts the open purchase orders report to list them by job/project instead.

To access any or all of these reports, click Reports (in the menu bar), then Purchases.


The above reports are all available in newer, US versions of QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise.

If you don't see them, you are likely using an older version of QuickBooks (older than 2011) or a non-US version of the software.




QuickBooks 2013: Will it Only Work with Windows 7?

Just peering into the crystal ball for a moment...

Crystal BallWhat if Intuit decides that QuickBooks 2013 will no longer work with Windows XP and only work with Windows 7?

UPDATE: QuickBooks 2013 is here!


As we know, old technology has to be phased out at some point in time. Windows XP is well over 10 years old now.

Just like Windows 98, Windows Me (ugh!), Windows NT and Windows 2000 before it, QuickBooks working with Windows XP may be next to hit the scrap heap.


Is your business still running Windows XP systems or have you migrated everything to Windows 7?

Should Intuit draw the line in the sand with the 2013 version and not make it compatible with Windows XP?

I welcome your thoughts in the comment box below.




SnagIt and GoToMeeting: Great Tools for QuickBooks Consultants and Small Businesses

I wanted to share two technology tools with you that have absolutely simplified my business, and I hope they do for you too...


SnagIt is a quick, easy, and very inexpensive way to:

  • Take a photo of your computer screen, including long webpages.
  • Create quick demo videos to share with anyone. 
  • Enhance images with stamps, text, and effects.
  • Organize your screen captures with easy auto-storing and tagging features.
  • Share your images and videos to presentations, social media sites, and more

I use it extensively for the screen shots throughout my web sites and also use a sister product called Camtasia Studio for building my QuickBooks training videos.


With gas running $4 a gallon, we're all looking for ways to trim our transportation costs.

GoTo Meeting allows you to do just that.

Instead of hopping in the car or taking a financial hit to buy an airline ticket, GoToMeeting allows you to remotely connect with your customers, prospects, vendors and all others in your circle of business.

You can quickly and easily create a conference call, share a video, PowerPoint or spreadsheet. I use it as my training platform to share QuickBooks and allow my clients to work with me one-on-one to solve QuickBooks problems.


Feel like sharing the secret of your favorite tech tool?

Our community welcomes your comments - just post them in the box below!



QuickBooks Disaster Avoided - Carbonite Saves the Day!

Have you recently checked to make sure your QuickBooks backups are working as you think they are? If you haven't, I encourage you to do so right away.

Here is a great story of exactly how things are supposed to work out as a result of being proactive about backing up QuickBooks information...


I received a call recently from a client that was in the midst of a dreaded technology meltdown (if you haven't had one, you will - it is just a matter of when).

The hard drive on her PC had just crashed and she had dropped off her computer at the local Staples repair depot. They indicated her computer would be ready for a return to action the next day.

But wait...

Her computer was the one where the company QuickBooks data resided - both of her office mates connected to her computer to access QuickBooks.

Now what were they supposed to do? Was it time to freak out?


The next step was easy. All we did was restore the copy of their QuickBooks file from Carbonite to another computer in the office, and then we got the other two computers connected to it on a temporary basis until the main computer was returned.

It took about 10 minutes for the QuickBooks file to be restored and another 5 minutes to connect the office computers to it.

Once her computer was returned the next day, we returned everything back to the way it was before the crash. Simple. Easy. Hassle-free.

Best news of all - no QuickBooks data lost and disaster avoided!


How much is your QuickBooks data worth?

I KNOW it is worth hundreds of times more than the $59/year fee for Carbonite.

So what are you waiting for?

Here's hoping you avoid the potential disaster of not having your QuickBooks backed up!

Protect your files with Carbonite Online Backup   _____________________________________________________________________________