« July 2012 | Main | September 2012 »

9 posts from August 2012

Building Better Business Finances: The Expenses by Vendor Detail Report

QuickBooks provides a standard report that will help you quickly and easily see each transaction with each vendor for a particular time period.

You can locate this report by clicking Reports > Company and Financial > Expenses by Vendor Detail, and this report appears:

Expense by Vendor Detail

Remember, you can click the Modify Report button to customize this report. For example, you can filter it for a specific vendor, type of transaction, remove or add columns, etc. if desired.




Accounting Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses

The folks at Mavenlink online project management software were gracious enough to put together this handy "accounting 101" cheat-sheet, and I wanted to share it with you...

The Accounting Cheat Sheet
The Accounting Cheat Sheet for Small and Micro-Businesses


Do you need help with QuickBooks or other add-on software for your business? Be sure to contact me - I've been helping businesses like yours sort it all out for over 25 years.



Project Management Software that Integrates with QuickBooks

When it comes to project management, you may find QuickBooks lacking in the features your business needs to succeed.

If you need more than QuickBooks provides, consider Mavenlink - online project management software that integrates with QuickBooks.

Mavenlink Banner

Some very handy features of Mavenlink:

  • Integration with QuickBooks
  • Completely mobile - connect with iPhone, Android or other smartphone
  • Integration with Google Apps
  • E-mail integration

Additional features you'll find in Mavenlink:

  • Online file sharing and storage
  • Project activity stream
  • Project scheduling
  • Task management
  • Centralized dashboard
  • Much more...

Current pricing plans for Mavenlink:

  • Free (for single user)
  • Expert (for small teams) - $29/month via prepaid plan
  • Guru (for medium size teams) - $59/month via prepaid plan
  • Maven (for large teams) - $187/month via prepaid plan

A 30 day free trial of Mavenlink is available so you can see just how well it will handle the project management needs of your business.

Currently using Mavenlink in your organization? Please share your thoughts about it is working out in the comments box below.



QuickBooks Enterprise Conversion to Pro or Premier

Here's the scoop if you are trying to move from QuickBooks Enterprise to either the Pro or Premier versions...

You can't (without some help that is!)


Because of how the Enterprise data is structured, there is no direct path to take that data file and open it in either the Pro or Premier versions of QuickBooks - no matter how hard you try!

(remember - you can easily move from the Pro or Premier versions into Enterprise!)

Here are the options you have...

OPTION 1 - Enlist a third party service

My favorite QuickBooks Enterprise conversion service is provided by QuickBooksUsers.com. They have done an exceptional job helping my clients make the move from Enterprise. They have also provided provided timeless, professional assistance to those suffering from corrupt QuickBooks files and other data file heartburn.

Know that this is a paid service - all third party options are. However, their fees are far less than the ongoing costs of Enterprise.

OPTION 2 - Leave the old file behind and start a new one

In some cases, it may be a better idea just to go ahead and build a brand new QuickBooks data file in Pro or Premier and "start over" again.

You will always have access to your old data in Enterprise (you'll have to keep a copy of Enterprise installed on at least one PC), and then you'll have the future data in the new file.

Ideally, it makes the most sense to start a new file at the beginning of a new fiscal year. This keeps things the cleanest (and your tax CPA will thank you too!). If that doesn't work, start a new one at the beginning of a quarter.

You can easily export customer, vendor, inventory and chart of accounts information from your Enterprise file and import it into the new file. Keep in mind that transactional detail will be left behind in most cases.


Contact me and we can set up a consultation to take a closer look at your situation and assess what the best plan of action may be for your business.



What is QuickBooks Plus all about?

Intuit has been marketing a "plus" version of QuickBooks Pro and Premier for a while.

Let's take a closer look at exactly what that is all about...

QB Pro Plus Box Shot

  • The base software - either QuickBooks Pro or Premier
    • The key difference in the Plus package is that some product features and  enhancements may arrive earlier in Plus than in the traditional package. Since this is a subscription service, Intuit can plug in new features more quickly than waiting for the new version to arrive (i.e. QuickBooks 2013)
  • Mobile access to customer and sales data
    • This is provided using the QuickBooks Mobile app. The normal price of this module if purchased separately is $9.95/month.

  • Online backup of QuickBooks files
    • This is provided using the Intuit Data Protect application. The normal price of this module if purchased separately is $4.95/month to backup just your QuickBooks data or $9.95/month to backup your entire PC (up to 100 GB).
  • Unlimited technical support
  • Automatic upgrades as they are released. No need to purchase the "new" version every year - it is included


Here is where the Pro and Premier Plus versions differ from the traditional QuickBooks Pro and Premier models...

Compare this to the traditional costs of just the core QuickBooks software:

NOTE: The Plus versions require you to pay the amounts shown each year (or month). The traditional versions do not have to be paid every year. Generally, you will purchase a new version of QuickBooks every 2 or 3 years under the traditional model (an upgrade is required every 3 years if you use any of the services connected to QuickBooks such as payroll, credit card processing, etc.)

CRITICAL OBSERVATION - The QuickBooks ProPlus and PremierPlus versions are NOT currently available for multi-user environments.

This "plus" option appears to be Intuit's attempt to get users of QuickBooks into an ongoing payment stream for the software instead of a "buy once, use for several years" approach. The bundling of the added services and quicker product enhancements are provided as incentives for a business to choose the plus model.


Are you currently using one of the Plus versions?

Have an opinion to share on the pros and cons of this approach?

Feel free to post a comment in the box below! I look forward to your feedback on this topic.



QuickBooks: Understanding User Security and Permissions

Need a better understanding of:

  • How to set up user accounts in QuickBooks?
  • How to assign different levels of access to QuickBooks for your staff?
  • The differences in user security and permissions between QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Pro/Premier?

Security Settings
Download my free copy of "Making Sense of User Security and Permission Settings in QuickBooks" today!

Inside this guide, you will find:

  • Step-by-step instructions on setting up user accounts
  • Insights on the various security settings
  • The differences in security between Enterprise and Pro/Premier
  • How to create custom user security rules in Enterprise
  • Much more...




Making Sense of the QuickBooks File Types

Chances are, you've been asked at some point in time to decipher some geek-speak about the different types of files in QuickBooks.

Chances are even better you met that request with a glazed look of confusion!

No need to be confused any longer...

Bookmark this handy listing of the various file types in QuickBooks that the support team at Intuit has put together. It provides an easy to understand overview of each file type/extension and what it means.




Are You Getting the Internet Speed You are Paying for?

While recently working with some clients on their QuickBooks running slow, we also reviewed problems they had with their internet running slowly.

They were pleased to discover that there are ways to easily test the speed of an internet connection to discover if there are problems that need attention. My favorites are:

Each of these services tests your "download speed" and your "upload speed" for data traveling to and from your computer to the internet. I suggest you run these tests over several days to see if there is a pattern to the results. The tests take mere seconds to run.

In most cases, the download speed will be much faster than the upload speed - that is normal.

What is NOT normal is if the results of these tests are well below the speed of service you are paying for each month. Not sure what speed you are paying for? A quick review of your internet bill should provide those details, or a call to customer service will confirm them as well.

Due to some technical issues, you may not get exactly the speeds you are paying for, but your results should be well within 10-20% of your promised speeds.

In one case, the client was suffering from speeds that were 85% less than those promised by their internet provider. They got in contact with the provider, some repairs were made, and the speeds were back to where they were supposed to be.

There may be a number of factors in play that are causing your internet to "run slow", but this is a simple step to take to start figuring out what the problem is. Your IT support group can provide additional insights and solutions if problems are discovered.

Do you have a favorite internet tip or tool to share? Please post it in the comment box below and share it with our community.




What Time Reports are Available in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks provides a number of reports that help summarize the time your employees or subcontractors have entered. Whether the time is entered via the QuickBooks timesheet, built-in timer, or outside timetracking software that integrates with QuickBooks, you have access to these reports (access them by clicking Reports > Jobs, Time and Mileage):

  • Time by Job Summary - each customer/job is listed alphabetically, and then each item used to track time is summarized directly below it. Example report below:
    Time by Job Summary
  • Time by Job Detail - takes the information in the Time by Job Summary report and "explodes" it into a detailed view.
    Time by Job Detail
  • Time by Name - instead of sorting the information by job, QuickBooks displays the time by name and the details of the customers/jobs they have worked on.
    Time by Name Report
  • Time by Item - this report is listed by the item used, and then shows the names below it as you can see in the example below:
    Time by Item Report


The Premier Contractor and Professional services editions of QuickBooks also provide the following reports:

  • Billed/Unbilled Hours by Person
  • Billed/Unbilled Hours by Person and Job
  • Billed/Unbilled Hours by Person and Activity/Item