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8 posts from June 2013

Building Better Business Finances: The QuickBooks Collections Report

Tucked inside the report menus of QuickBooks, you'll find the collections report.

I find this report to be quite helpful when it comes to managing your accounts receivable on a regular basis. In fact, I like to call it the "dialing for dollars" report, since it provides all the information needed to make those calls on overdue accounts.

To access the QuickBooks collections report for your accounts receivable, click Reports > Customers and Receivables > Collections Report. You'll see a report that looks like this sample (click the image for a larger view):

Collections Report

Once you pull up the report, you will find:

  • Customer name, phone number, invoice information - including creation date, due date and days overdue.
Everything you need to be informed when picking up the phone to get the status of overdue invoices!

Now that you have the necessary information, it is just a matter of scheduling time for your collection activities. Remember, every dollar you have in accounts receivable is a dollar that isn't working hard within your business!





How to Print Picking Lists in QuickBooks

I am often asked - can I print pick lists in QuickBooks?

The answer is - most definitely.

In fact, depending on the version of QuickBooks you are using, you may even have two options for printing them.


If you are using the Pro version of QuickBooks, the picking list can be printed from the create invoice screen.

If you are using the Premier or Enterprise editions of QuickBooks, the picking list can be printed from either the create sales order OR the create invoice screen - your choice.

The picking list is really just another "version" of either the invoice or sales order. In fact, you'll find them in the list of templates (Lists > Templates). You simply jump between these versions of the templates to print out what you need for the particular order at hand.

The screen shot below shows where to find the picking list template when using sales orders (it is in the same location when using invoices):

Picking List

Bonus: You can customize your picking lists in QuickBooks just like you can do with an invoice. Add your logo, add or delete columns or fields, change the fonts or other customizations are just a click away.





My QuickBooks Inventory List is Not Sorted Right - Help!

Just like the contents of the filing cabinets in your office, the "digital filing cabinet" that stores your QuickBooks inventory list can get out of order too.

Here's the good news - the fix for a misbehaving inventory list is easy once you know how to do it.

A few things to clarify before proceeding:

The sample inventory list below is being displayed in what QuickBooks calls the "hierarchical view", where sub-items are "indented" under the main/parent item:

Inventory List - Hierarchical View

This same list can be displayed in "flat view" so that all the items line up flush with the left side of the list:

Inventory List - Flat View

You can easily control which view you see by visiting the Item button in the lower left hand side of the item list.


NOTE: The Pro and Premier versions of QuickBooks require you to be in single user mode to do this. Enterprise allows the re-sort to be done in multi-user mode.

Regardless of the type of view you have for your inventory list, the process of re-sorting it is exactly the same. Simply open your inventory list, click View (in the menu bar at the top), and then Re-sort List.

A big, scary message appears about QuickBooks returning the list to its' original order...

Inventory List - Resort

Answer "OK" to this and your list will be resorted. The default is by type (i.e. service, inventory part, non-inventory part), then by name within the type.

That's all there is to it!




Setting Default Classes in QuickBooks

QuickBooks Enterprise 2013 has a new feature that will allow you to set default classes for one (but not all) of the following:

  • Items
  • Accounts
  • Names (customers and vendors)

Note that this feature is NOT available in the Pro or Premier versions of QuickBooks.

Here is a short video to show you how this new feature works and help you work more efficiently in QuickBooks...


What new feature would you like to see appear in QuickBooks 2014? Post your comments in the box below!




How to Use the Customer Type Field in QuickBooks

Looking for a way to run a sales report by a certain type of customer in QuickBooks?

Maybe you want to put together a mailing list in QuickBooks for certain customers?

Using the "Customer Type" field is one way to help you accomplish either of the above as well as segment your different types of customers for future reference as well.

My video below walks you through the setup and use of the "Customer Type" field in your QuickBooks file:






Bill.com and QuickBooks - Cash Flow Forecast Window and Options

Looking for a cash flow forecast for QuickBooks?

Consider linking your QuickBooks to Bill.com. This combination can bring you a dynamic cash flow projection tool that updates every time there is a change in your QuickBooks data.


The screen shot below provides an excellent recap of just how this tool can help you keep an eye on your cash for the next three months (click the image for a larger view):

  Bill dot com Cash Flow


Over 175,000 businesses have discovered how the Bill.com solution can simplify their business.

It is easy to see just how Bill.com works. Get a free trial today - no credit card is required. I am using it in my business, and I hope you find it valuable for yours.





The End of the Road for QuickBooks Desktop Version?

Cloud Computing

Just a couple of observations to share as an independent QuickBooks consultant from out here in the cheap seat section of the Intuit ballpark...

To me, the handwriting is on the wall that there will come a time (my hunch is sooner rather than later) that we hit the end of the road for the desktop versions of QuickBooks (meaning the Pro, Premier and/or Enterprise editions) and a migration to the online version of QuickBooks is mandated (or a move to a completely different package such as Xero is made).

Why do I think this?

  • Have you visited the main QuickBooks web site lately? The home page makes absolutely ZERO reference to the desktop versions of QuickBooks. It has been this way for a number of months now.

    In fact, if you were a first time visitor to the site, you'd likely not even know there were any other versions of QuickBooks available. You have to click through one or two levels of the site to even get to the full listing of QuickBooks products.

  • A 2012 interview with Intuit CEO Brad Smith revealed the following nugget of knowledge - "QuickBooks owns 91-92% of the small business software marketplace. Between 2005-2007, we dedicated 75-80% of our engineering resources to desktop and a much smaller percentage was dedicated to the Cloud. Today those percentages have reversed—75-80% of our engineering resources are invested in Cloud development. I think this clearly represents our focus and our commitment to moving online."

    The significance of this comment can't be understated - it means the development of new features and functionality in future desktop versions is signficantly underweighted in the portfolio of software products compared to the features that may be added to the online version in the months ahead.

    The release of QuickBooks 2013 sheds some light on this shift in priorities - other than the overhaul to the "look and feel" of the interface, the 2013 version was really lacking in the addition of other significant improvements in functionality (and many of those that were added required users to pay extra to get them in the Advanced Inventory module!).

Granted, because the installed base of the desktop versions of QuickBooks is so large, this shift isn't going to happen in the next few months. However, knowing the ever increasing speed of change in the world of technology, the dawning of an online only world for QuickBooks software may be here sooner than you want it to be.

Maybe I'll be retired by then...


What is your take on the future evolution of the QuickBooks product line based on your vantage point?

Have you had experience with the online version of QuickBooks to see how it compares/differs from the desktop versions?

I welcome your feedback in the comment box below!




Can I Remove the Home Screen in my QuickBooks?

Many QuickBooks users are very comfortable using either the menu bar, the icon bar or some combination of both. Because of that, they rarely ever need the "Home" screen to appear.

If this describes you, there is good news! It is possible to tell QuickBooks not to open the Home screen automatically.

Here's how:

Click Edit > Preferences > Desktop View, and uncheck the "Show Home page when opening the company file" as shown below:

Home Screen in QuickBooks

To easily get the Home screen back, you can click Company > Home Page in the menu bar or simply click the Home icon in the icon bar.