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10 posts from February 2013

Building Better Business Finances: Key Metric - Average Sale Per Invoice

Want an easy way to measure the sales growth of your business?

Consider adding the "average sales dollar per invoice" calculation to your key performance indicators.

How to calculate:

Average Sale Per Invoice = Total sales for the period (i.e. month) / Total number of invoices for the same period (i.e. month)

  • Your total sales can be pulled from your profit and loss report in QuickBooks (assuming the data is accurate of course!)
  • Your total number of invoices can also be pulled from QuickBooks - just go to your Customer Center and click on the Transactions tab in the upper left of the screen. Then click the Invoices option in the list. From there, set the date range to "Last Month", and then click on the "Num" header to sort the list by invoice number. Just subtract the ending invoice number for the period from the beginning invoice number - see the image below:
    Avg Sales by Invoice

    Assuming you are using a +1 numeric sequence for your invoicing, you can quickly calculate how many invoices you created during the month and plug it in. If not, you can export this to Excel and get an invoice count that way too.


Average sales dollar per invoice gives you a simple way to see if your business is selling more via each transaction on average as you start to watch this trend over time.

Did the value go up? Maybe you had a price increase and that is being reflected in your figures. Maybe your sales team is having success with "upselling" while talking to customers (i.e. did you want fries with that too?)

Did the value go down? Maybe you had the same sales amount compared to a prior month, but you simply generated more invoices during the month. If that is the case, your billing department was cranking out more paper and postage, spending more non-value added time on invoicing, etc. Then you can evaluate ways to streamline the billing process.

This metric certainly isn't the only one to use as you manage the business, but it sure provides an easy way to do some trendspotting relating to your sales.


If you'd like to take a deeper look at the information stored in your QuickBooks and get some help interpreting it, please contact me.




Upcoming QuickBooks Training Sessions for You

I welcome you to join us for the following online seminars coming up soon:

  • QuickBooks and Excel - Moving Information In and Out
  • Trying to make heads or tails out of importing or exporting information between QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel?

    Get a handle on how to exchange information between your QuickBooks company file and Microsoft Excel in this content-packed, not-too-technical online seminar.

    Details and Registration (early registration discount ends March 9, 2013)

  • Reconciling Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

    Invest an hour or your time to learn how to use the reconciliation tools within QuickBooks to keep your books clean, organized and up-to-date. Use the practical knowledge from this one-hour online seminar to minimize confusion and inaccuracies in your accounting reports.
        Details and registration (early registration discount ends April 5, 2013)


Tip for Better QuickBooks Performance

Before you close out of QuickBooks at the end of each business day, take one quick, extra step that will save time when you re-open QuickBooks the next day...

Simply click on Window in the menu bar, then Close All.

This one step will close ALL the open windows you have in QuickBooks at one time (a timesaver right there) AND will also help optimize QuickBooks to open faster the next time too. If you are in the midst of entering a transaction when you do this, QuickBooks will ask if you want to save it or not, so no worries about losing anything.




What Costing System Does QuickBooks Use for Inventory?

When it comes to valuing your inventory in QuickBooks, you'll find that it uses a weighted-average costing system.

Keep in mind that two costs are being tracked for your inventory items (and inventory assemblies as well), but only one of them actually posts to your accounting records. Let's take a closer look at the screen shot below of a sample item:

Average Cost and Purchase Cost

  • Average cost - this figure is the one that is used to value your inventory and/or what posts as the cost of goods sold when the item is used on an invoice.
  • Purchase cost - this figure is what appears on purchase orders only. This value is not reflected in the accounting records, since purchase orders do not post to them. The purchase cost is worked into the average cost calculation when the items are received into inventory and the bill to pay the vendor is created.


If your business needs an alternate costing system, such as:

  • FIFO (first-in, first-out)
  • Landed Cost

you will want to explore one of the advanced inventory management packages that integrate with QuickBooks.

Software such as ACCTivate and FishBowl Inventory can provide these alternate costing systems. In addition, they can also handle other inventory tasks that QuickBooks can't, such as bar-coding, serial and lot number tracking, and other tasks common to working with inventory. Both of these packages provide full integration with QuickBooks so that there is no duplication of work or data entry.


In many cases, the tools inside of QuickBooks work very well when it comes to the inventory needs of a business. In others, we have to find an alternate solution.

If you need help making sense of it all, please contact me. We can arrange a time to evaluate the specifics of your situation and determine the best approach.




How to Have Two Company Files Open at the Same Time in QuickBooks

QuickBooks Enterprise has a feature that QuickBooks Pro and Premier do not - the ability to have two company files open at the same time.

Accessing both company files is as easy as clicking a button on the menu as shown below:

Second Company File Menu Option

Once you begin the process of opening a second company file, QuickBooks will let you know that there are some limitations in terms of what can and can't be done in the secondary file when it is open. This screen will appear as a reminder:

Second Company File

This article from the QuickBooks support site provides additional details on the restrictions when using the second company file in QuickBooks.

Interested in purchasing QuickBooks Enterprise for your business? Be sure to contact me - I am a Certified Reseller of Enterprise and will ensure you get unbiased answers to all your questions and the best pricing possible.




Important Notice to Feedburner Users

I'll be making a "behind the scenes" change in the way my blog is distributed very soon.

Impact to you:

  • If you currently get my blog updates via e-mail, there is NO action required on your part. You will continue to get them after the change.
  • However, if you currently are using Feedburner to get your blog feeds, please select another reader for your feeds by February 19 in order to continue receiving my QuickBooks blog updates. You can select from many readers here.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you during this transition period, and appreciate having you as a subscriber.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.




How Do I Revert QuickBooks 2013 Back to Look Like Earlier Versions?

The new user interface in QuickBooks 2013 has brought with it a number of questions.

One of those I hear regularly is "can I make QuickBooks 2013 look like my older version?"

Well, the answer to this is "sort of"...

Suggested actions to consider:

  • Make sure your QuickBooks has the lastest update applied to it, or some of the options below won't be visible. Click Help > Update QuickBooks > Update Now. Let the download complete, restart QuickBooks, and install the update (on all copies of QuickBooks in use!)
  • Click View > Top Icon Bar - this splits the big new icon bar on the left hand side and puts the icons back on the top and the usual account balances and other information down the right hand side of the home screen.
  • Click Edit > Preferences > Desktop View. Each user (if in a multi-user setup) will have the ability to: Switch to colored icons in the top icon bar and/or set the company flag color as shown in the screen shot below:

Make 2013 Look Like Old Version

There may be other changes to the "look and feel" released in the future, but for now, these are really the only options to make QuickBooks 2013 look like an earlier version you were using.




Where is the "To Be Printed" Box for Checks in QuickBooks 2013?

Up through the 2012 edition of QuickBooks, the "to be printed" button on the Write Checks window appeared directly beneath the body of the check.

Not so in the 2013 edition of QuickBooks. Here you will find the "to be printed" box renamed and moved to a new location on the Write Checks window as shown in the screen shot below:

To Be Printed Button in 2013

Good news though - this option still behaves exactly the same as it has in the past. Just a new name and new location for you to batch up your checks and print them later.




How to Print Mailing Labels in QuickBooks

Need to print customer or vendor mailing labels out of your QuickBooks?

Here is how to tackle that project...

Click File > Print Forms > Labels, and this box will appear:

Print Mailing Labels

Once here, you will be able to:

  • Print labels for customers, vendors, employees or other name lists
  • Print labels for certain customer or vendor types
  • Print labels for certain zip codes
  • Sort labels by name or zip code

As an alternative, you can click Reports > Lists > Customer Contact List (or Vendor Contact List), modify the report as you desire, then export that report to Excel and do a mail merge in Word to get your labels too!




Online Bill Payment in QuickBooks with Bill.com

Looking for ways to streamline your bill paying process in QuickBooks?

Wish you could scan in vendor invoices, pay them electronically, and have all the information automatically sync with QuickBooks?

Your solution is at Bill.com.


Check out this short video so you can see how to scan, process and pay your invoices electronically (and sync to QuickBooks too!):




Want to spend less time processing bills, signing and reconciling checks? Here's how (click the image for a larger view)...

Workflow Graphic


Use this link to get a free trial of Bill.com so you can see how it works and how easy it is to simplify your bill-paying process.

I am using this in my business, and am also part of the Bill.com Expert Consultant team. If you have any questions, please contact me and I'll get them answered for you.