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7 posts from February 2014

Building Better Business Finances: The Profit and Loss YTD Comparison Report

Looking for a report in QuickBooks that shows your revenue and expenses for the current month in one column and the year-to-date figures in a separate column?

The Profit and Loss YTD Comparison report is the one for you.

Click Reports > Company and Financial > Profit and Loss YTD Comparison and you'll then see a report that looks like this:

You can add additional meaning to this report by choosing the Customize Report in the upper left corner and selecting options such as % of income, etc.

This report gives you a quick reading on how your numbers are stacking up in the current period and for the entire year so you can make adjustments to your plans as needed.




Can I Create a "Price Book" in QuickBooks?

Over the years, I have worked with many businesses that rely on a "price book".

These books are usually well-worn compilations of everything the business sells, and the selling prices for those items. Sometimes, there is additional information included in the book such as descriptions, measurements, and more.

Many times, these price books are compiled in Excel or some other place outside of QuickBooks.


Assuming that the needs of your business are rather basic in this regard, then QuickBooks can easily provide one.

Here is how I would create it:

  • Click Reports > Lists > Item Listing - a report of all active items in your QuickBooks item list will appear.
  • Click the Customize Report button in the upper left hand corner of the report, where you will see the following:
    • Display - here is where you can select the columns that you'd like to see in your book/report
    • Filters - here is where you can select what shows up in the book/report - for example, all inventory parts, all non-inventory parts, etc.
    • Header/Footer - here is where you can rename this item list report to something more meaningful, such as "ABC Company Price Book"
    • Fonts and Numbers - this is where you can change the font style, size and much more

Using all of the above options, here is how a sample price book could look in QuickBooks:

Naturally, you can export this report to Excel as well for even more customization if desired. Once you create this report, be sure to memorize a copy so you have easy access to this same report in the future and don't have to rebuild it from scratch!




Can I Sort my Check Register Different Ways in QuickBooks?

The good news - yes, you can sort your check register in QuickBooks!

Here's how...

Open your check register as normal (CTRL + R is your keyboard shortcut to get you there), and then take your gaze to the lower left hand portion of the screen as shown below:

The default sort method is date of transaction, then type of transaction, then the transaction number or reference.

As you can see, there are a number of other ways to see your banking details. These same sort options apply to any balance sheet account in QuickBooks (asset, liability or equity) that has a register associated with it.

In case you were curious, the "1-Line" option just above the sort by box simply condenses each line of the register into one line instead of multiple lines.




Converting Quotes to Sales Orders in QuickBooks - Why Can't I Choose?

Here is an interesting observation about QuickBooks...

  • If you convert a quote/estimate into an invoice, you DO have the ability to pick and choose which items are carried over into the invoice, as shown on the screen below:

  • If you convert a quote/estimate into a sales order (Premier and Enterprise editions are the only ones that recognize sales orders), you DO NOT have the ability to pick and choose which items are carried over. All you see is this:


Unfortunately, there aren't any that I know of other than copying the entire quote into the sales order, then manually deleting the unwanted lines within the sales order or simply creating a new sales order from scratch and manually entering just the desired lines being ordered.

For those businesses that prepare quotes containing many line items, this can be a pain if the customer doesn't order all the items on the quote.

Sure would be nice to include the same option to "pick and choose" when converting from a quote to a sales order as we see in moving from a quote to an invoice.

Maybe we'll see this appear as a new feature in QuickBooks 2015? Time will tell...




Having Trouble Sending Big Batches of Customer Statements in QuickBooks?

I have recently received several messages from businesses that are having trouble when sending out a large volume of customer statements in QuickBooks.

Several of the concerns relate to:

  • Being blacklisted from their ISP due to large batches of e-mail being sent
  • Having the ability to pick and choose different groups of customers for which to send batches of statements
  • Poor performance of QuickBooks when sending a large volume of statements


Your feedback and suggestions are welcome about your experiences with any of these issues relating to customer statements in QuickBooks. Our community is interested to hear how you have been dealing with them.


Is is time for your business to move away from the concept of even sending statements at all? Here are my thoughts from a few years ago - and they still ring true today.



What is a Pending Build in QuickBooks?

If you are a manufacturer or distributor that builds finished goods or creates kits/assemblies as finished products, you'll want to learn more about the pending build feature in QuickBooks.

First, a quick refresher - the "build assembly" screen in QuickBooks is designed to:

  • Add a new quantity of the assembly item into stock once the build is completed
  • Remove the quantities of raw materials and other components from the assembly from stock once the build is completed.


Keep in mind that timing is everything when it comes to building assemblies.

What if it takes two weeks in order to finish production of an assembly item, yet you actually build the assembly in QuickBooks the first day that you send the order to the shop floor?

Unfortunately, QuickBooks doesn't know anything about build times or lead times - in the example above, you'll see an increase in your finished goods and a decrease in your raw material parts up to two weeks ahead of when the assembly item is actually produced.

Might this mess up your inventory information during that two week period? It is certainly possible that could happen!


One simple click may remove a lot of frustration when it comes to your inventory in QuickBooks...

When you have the "build assembly" screen open, click on Edit in the menu bar, then "Mark Build as Pending". You'll see a stamp appear to tell you it is in "pending" mode as shown below:

Pending Build Screen Shot

By putting the build in "pending" mode, QuickBooks is then able to see the demand for the various parts inside of the assembly. This demand then flows into important reports such as the inventory stock status. Note the "for assemblies" column in the screen shot below - this is a great way to know how much of a given part is required based on open orders for assemblies:


If your business needs even more functionality than QuickBooks provides in the areas of manufacturing and distribution, you can evaluate the add-ons that plug into QuickBooks, such as ACCTivate and FishBowl Inventory.




Corrupted Credit Card Information Being Reported in QuickBooks Files

Are you seeing messages within your QuickBooks that relate to problems or damage to customer credit card data?

Credit CardsIf so, you're not alone. Many of these reports have surfaced within the 2013 edition of QuickBooks Enterprise, but I'm not sure if that is the only version that has had this trouble.

Several clients of mine have experienced it and I have read about other instances of it happening in several of the QuickBooks newsletters I follow.

Shannon Tucker, an expert with QuickBooks data files, has written an article that addresses this issue and Bill Murphy, another QuickBooks expert, has put together his thoughts too.


Intuit has put together a support article that outlines the various steps you can take to work through this issue.

Keep in mind that you have options beside the Intuit Data Services to help you with this problem. Many of my clients have used Shannon's QuickBooks Data Recovery services, and have been quite pleased with the turnaround time and the results.

This may be one of those ongoing problems in QuickBooks (like the problems with memorized reports) that doesn't get completely resolved. Only time will tell...