How to customize the settings on your QuickBooks desktop
- Desktop View
How to turn on the Reminders feature when opening a company file
- Click on Edit
- Click on Preference
- Click the picture of Reminders from the list that appears
- Make sure a check mark is in the box marked "Show Reminders list when opening a company file"
- Click the OK button
Password Protecting QuickBooks
To password protect your QuickBooks data file click on Company in the menu bar, then Set Up Users. From here, you can assign a password for the main (Administrator) account in QuickBooks. You can also set up user accounts, passwords, and different levels of access if you have multiple people using your QuickBooks file. Make sure you keep your newly created password in a safe place (just in case you forget it!)
How To Setup QuickBooks to share with another computer
To allow the sharing of your QuickBooks file, your best option is to have a computer network in place. This network will provide the foundation for you to then share the file between two or more computers. You can have either a wired or wireless network within your office.
It is also possible to take a backup copy of the QuickBooks file from one computer and restore it to a second computer to allow sharing of the information. However, I don't recommend this if both computers will be entering QuickBooks data. If you do this, you won't know who has the most recent copy of the data file, and things can get messed up quite easily. Your best bet is to talk to a local computer consultant about a network for your home or office.
How to set up accounts for contractors that will be given 1099s.
The first thing you must do is tell QuickBooks that you will be issuing 1099s. Click on Edit (from the menu bar), then Preferences. Scroll down until you find the picture that says "Tax:1099" and click on it. On the Company Preferences tab, answer yes to the question about the issuance of 1099 forms, then follow the rest of the instructions on this screen.
Next, you'll need to identify those vendors who are eligible to receive a 1099. Click on Vendors, then Vendor List. Double-click on the first vendor in the list, then the "Additional Info" tab. In the lower left hand corner, put a check mark in the box that says "vendor eligible for 1099" and enter their tax ID number they have provided. Repeat this process for any vendors that need to receive a 1099.
Finally, to run the 1099's and related information, click on Reports, then Vendors, then either of the 1099 reports. Verify the data, correct if necessary, and print your 1099's all within QuickBooks.
It's important to review this topic with your accountant to ensure you are collecting the proper information and preparing the 1099 forms correctly for your business.
Spring Cleaning: Personalize and Tidy Up Your QuickBooks Desktop
One of the reasons the QuickBooks line of desktop products has been so successful is because of its clean, simple appearance and efficient navigational tools. But there's room for improvement and personalization. Everyone uses QuickBooks just a little differently. You can create a desktop that meets your specific needs, while maintaining the program's inherent usability. Every desktop version of QuickBooks (except for Simple Start) offers several tools to accommodate your preferences, so we'll show you some of the best.
Getting QuickBooks Ready for Tax Preparation
Seems like you just finished doing your taxes, and here they come again. Whether you prepare them yourselves, hand them off to an accounting professional, or send data to a tax preparation product, QuickBooks can help you get ready.
Here's how. This is not a comprehensive list of tasks you'll need to undertake to prepare for taxes. Rather, it's an overview of QuickBooks' most tax-specific tools. QuickBooks supports many business tax forms, including the 1040, 1120, and 1065, and the steps outlined here apply to all small business tax filers using QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise.
Look Professional With Customized QuickBooks Forms
One of the many ways that QuickBooks makes your life easier is its ability to create business forms for all of the financial transactions your company produces. You simply fill in the blanks or choose data from drop-down lists, and QuickBooks generates a document you can e-mail or send. Only problem is, sometimes the pre-formatted default forms don't include all the fields you need. Further, they look rather, well, plain. This being October, you might want to add a Halloween-centric logo, for example. Fortunately, QuickBooks is flexible. Using simple tools, you can modify the prefab forms that are included with the program to add a logo or other graphics and indicate which fields you would like to have appear.
Tune Up Your Business Plan with QuickBooks
Do you have a business plan? If you don't, even if you're a sole proprietor, you should.
Business plans can be a good barometer for the health of your finances as a way to gauge whether or not you're on the right path. If you don't have a business path (or if yours is less than organized or polished), you can use QuickBooks' tools to create or fine-tune one. We'll show you how to use these tools to get the job done quickly and easily.
7 Ways to Use QuickBooks to Manage Collections
In these trying economic times it's more important than ever to keep a close rein on your accounts receivable. Seemingly no one is immune to sudden changes in financial circumstances, so be sure to monitor your outstanding invoices closely. There's an inverse relationship between the age of an invoice and your ability to collect on it, but fortunately QuickBooks can help you manage your credit risk:
Profit & Loss Report Versus Statement of Cash Flows
If you're like most QuickBooks users, you rely on the Profit & Loss Standard report to monitor how your business is doing. However, you may have overlooked an even more valuable report: the Statement of Cash Flows.
The Profit & Loss Standard (P&L) report is important in its own right, but it only provides partial insight into the health of your business. While the P&L shows what you earned and spent, the Statement of Cash Flows shows you where the cash came from and went to, also known as sources and uses.
As you'll see in this article, you can use the Statement of Cash Flows to determine the how various activities increased or decreased your cash balance during a given report period.
QuickBooks Helps You Navigate Tricky Waters
The price of gasoline is just one of many factors putting pressure on our economy as a whole. Now it's more important than ever to keep a close eye on your company's performance. Many business owners compare financial results to an annual budget. If you don't have your budget in place yet, we'll show you how to get started. Even if you have, we'll show you how to use last year's results as a measuring stick with comparative financial reports. Once you understand these techniques, we'll explain why you should create a monthly appointment with yourself to ensure that your results continue to measure up-and take action if they don't.
TIP: Keep in mind that tough financial years do have a silver lining-you'll likely pay less in income taxes. If revenues are down or expenses are up, don't forget to trim your withholding or estimated tax payments accordingly. Doing so enables you to boost your cash flow now, rather than waiting around on a tax refund next spring.
The QuickBooks Planning & Budgeting menu gives you the ability to create budgets and forecasts. In reality, both features work the same way, so we'll use creating a budget as our example. But which one should you use? You might find it helpful to use the Forecast feature as an alternate budget and as a best-case scenario, while the Budget feature offers a better expectation of reality. Either way, here's how to create a budget in QuickBooks:
1. Choose Company, Planning & Budgeting, and then Set Up Budgets.
2. When the Set Up Budgets window appears, click the Create New Budget button in the upper right-hand corner.
3. Select the year that you'd like to create a budget for (such as 2010 or 2011), select Profit and Loss, and then click Next.
Balance sheet budgeting: QuickBooks offers the ability to create a budget for balance sheet accounts, such as planning for expected levels of cash, inventory, accounts receivable, liabilities, and so on. However, most small business owners find that just a Profit and Loss budget is sufficient for their needs.
4. Most users will choose No Additional Criteria on the next screen. However, QuickBooks does provide the option for a more granular budget that you break down to the customer, job, or class level. Click Next once you make a selection.
5. The next screen asks if you want to start with a blank budget from scratch or if you want to use last year's actual data as a starting point. Most users will find it helpful to use the previous year as a starting point. Click Finish after you make a choice.
Go Back to School With QuickBooks' Educational Tools
We know. When you first cracked your copy of QuickBooks, you wanted to dive in and start generating invoices. Fortunately, QuickBooks is intuitive enough that you were able to do just that. And its help system is so robust that you were able to get procedural questions answered quickly and easily.
But there's a lot to be said for backing up a bit and taking advantage of the myriad educational tools that QuickBooks offers. Even if you've been using the program for months, you may want to explore them. You'll not only save time with the help system, but you may find better ways of performing tasks.
Sales Orders in QuickBooks: Why? When? How?
There aren't that many different types of forms to keep straight in QuickBooks, but you likely don't use all of them. You probably use invoices and purchase orders frequently, and may fill out the occasional sales receipt, credit memo, or estimate.
But what about sales orders? You may find that they could make your bookkeeping more accurate and easier. There are only a few situations where they're needed, but they're the appropriate form to use at those times.
Tracking Bills in QuickBooks, Worth the Effort
Next to payroll, paying bills is probably your least favorite task in QuickBooks. You don't have to use this feature you can keep stacking bills on your desk, scrawling the due dates on a paper calendar, and writing checks.
If you're still operating this way, though, you're missing out on the numerous tools that QuickBooks offers to track your accounts payable, including the ability to:
- Enter bills as they come in
- Set reminders for bills due
- Pay bills easily
- Locate a bill or payment quickly
- Enter bills as (or after) you receive items
- Link bills to purchase orders
- Have instant access to a bill's status
Classes or Types? When To Use Them
QuickBooks' standard reports are critical to understanding your company's past, present, and future. But the program also offers innovative tools that can make them significantly more insightful and comprehensive. QuickBooks offers two simple conventions that let you identify related data: classes and types. Classes are used in transactions. Types are assigned to individual customers, vendors, and jobs. You might use classes to, for example, separate transactions that relate to different departments or locations or types of business. A construction company might want to track classes using New Construction, Remodel, and Overhead. Your customer types might help you isolate groups by characteristics like Industry or Geographical Location.
First, make sure that QuickBooks is set up to use classes. Go to Edit | Preferences | Accounting | Company Preferences. Make sure that Use class tracking is checked. If you want to be prompted for a class designation in transactions, check that box, too. QuickBooks already contains a Type field in customer, vendor, and job records. It's easy to build lists of options for both. To define classes, go to Lists | Class List. In the bottom left corner of the screen, click on Class, then select New from the menu. To create a class, just give it a name and click OK. Let's say that you're a contractor and you want to separate remodeling jobs into room types, like Bathroom or Kitchen. Go through the above steps again. Enter "Bathroom" in the Class Name field and click the box next to Subclass of. Open the list and choose "Remodel." Click OK. Tip: If your class list grows lengthy and you want to tidy it up, you can make classes that you're not currently using inactive by checking the box in this window. It will remain in your QuickBooks records and can be reactivated again.
Putting Classes to Work
Now you can use classes in transactions. Open a blank invoice and select a customer. The Class field will be next to the customer name. If the entire invoice will be assigned to the same class, click the drop-down list and select it. You can also assign separate classes to individual line items: You can assign different classes to individual line items in transactions. Not all invoice templates include a column for classes. You can add this by selecting the invoice form you want to modify and clicking Customize in the toolbar. QuickBooks comes with two reports specially designed for tracking class-based transactions: Profit & Loss by Class and Balance Sheet by Class (both can be found in the Reports menu, under Company & Financial). Of course, you can filter other reports to include a class column. You can also create a QuickReport for individual classes. Go to Lists | Class List and select a report or graph. You can filter by class in QuickBooks reports. Warning! The Balance Sheet by Class report is complicated and may produce unexpected results. Let your ProAdvisor help you work with this one. They can also help you set up a solid class structure.
A Simpler Assignment
Customer, vendor, and job types are a bit less complicated. Job types are especially useful; you can track, for example, profitability and time spent on individual projects. Customer and vendor types can produce output for things like targeted mailings and reports. Creating types is very similar to creating classes. Go to Lists | Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, and select the type you want to work with. You'll follow the same instructions here as you did for classes. Types do not appear on transactions; they're designed for your own internal use, and they're stored in records. Figure 4: Customer, vendor, and job types are specified in their records. Classes and types can be used very effectively in your bookkeeping, but they require a good deal of thought and planning upfront to get accurate, meaningful reports. Let your ProAdvisor know if he/she can assist as you attempt to use these powerful forms of classification.
Get Ready for QuickBooks for 2013!
End of the year. QuickBooks has been hard at work for the past 11+ months, recording and tracking and storing all of that financial data that you've entered so faithfully.
But when you turn the calendar page and make a new start January 1, your accounting software could use some closure on the year that's just passed. Here are some actions you can take to ring out the old and ring in the new. There's more you can do (we can help you with the advanced activities) but we'll just hit the highlights here.
Preparing Purchase Orders Precisely
Part of the reason for QuickBooks' success is its exceptional flexibility. By allowing users to turn features and preferences on and off, the same software can be used by a wide variety of business types and sizes.
In some cases, the default settings that QuickBooks supplies will work fine for your company. This is not necessarily true in the case of purchase orders, since the whole inventory procurement process is so complex, and users can have such a diverse range of needs.
How to Create a Progress Invoice from an Estimate
The U.S. economy may be picking up, but your customers are probably still being very careful with expenditures. If your company's finances will allow it, you can help them out on sizable jobs by using progress invoicing, also known as partial billing or progress billing.
You could, of course, simply create invoices for smaller chunks of the job as they come. A smarter way is to build estimates for the entire job or sequential phases so your customer can see the big picture. You can still use progress invoicing to start collecting funds one segment at a time.
Receiving Inventory With or Without Bills in QuickBooks
You're probably happy to see couriers delivering inventory items you've ordered since it means you can ship to customers, but recording the new stock means yet
QuickBooks' tools can help with this, but you need to be sure you're using the right forms. There are two different ones that you'll use, depending on whether or not you've received a bill.
QuickBooks' Custom Fields: An Overview
The beauty of QuickBooks is that it can be used for so many different kinds of businesses. Its smart design lets realtors and retail shops, plumbers and plastic surgeons use it to track income and expenses, pay bills and invoice customers, and to run those all-important reports.
But Intuit knows that QuickBooks can't -- and shouldn't -- tailor itself to individual business types (except in the industry-specific versions). So its structure and tools are somewhat generic and as universal as possible.
That's where custom fields come in. You can simply use them for your own informational purposes, but QuickBooks also lets you create and add fields to your existing customer, vendor, employee and item records and forms, and use them as filters in reports.
Do You Need a More Robust Version of QuickBooks?
If QuickBooks were just one product, its appeal would be more limited than it is. Because there's an entire family of Windows desktop software applications (as well as five online versions and a Mac edition), the QuickBooks family has found a home in millions of small businesses, and it remains the market leader.
Though QuickBooks versions themselves are not scalable (able to expand as your business grows), you can move up to a more sophisticated edition when you outgrow your current version.
But how do you know whether it's time to upgrade or whether you're just not stretching your current version to its fullest capabilities? We can help you determine that, and we'll help you move into a more appropriate edition when/if that occurs.
Start Planning Now for 2014 Income Taxes
We know that you're in some stage of preparation for your 2013 income taxes. It may seem odd to start thinking about 2014 taxes just now, but actually, this is the ideal time to start planning and making business decisions with their tax implications always in the back of your mind.
As you look at the data that will be entered in your 2013 tax forms, you're likely to come across some expenses that you might have handled differently, or some income that should have been deferred. If you begin your planning process for 2014 while 2013 is still in the works, you can start making smarter, more tax-advantageous business decisions now, instead of late in the year when everyone is rushing to take actions necessary to lower their tax obligation.
Here's how QuickBooks can help you with this new approach.
Spring-Clean Your QuickBooks Company File
After this ridiculously long winter, youâll probably hear few complaints about things like puddles in the street, summer heat and spring cleaning. Most people are eager to throw open the doors and windows, and attack the dirt that the season left behind, both inside and outside of the house.
Itâs not hard to see when your home is dirty. QuickBooks company file errors are harder to detect, but theyâre there, including:
- Performance problems
- Inability to execute specific processes, like upgrading
- Occasional program crashes
- Missing data (accounts, names, etc.)
- Refusal to complete transactions, and
- Mistakes in reports.
Customize Reports, Make Better Business Decisions
Do you remember why you started using QuickBooks? You may have simply wanted to produce sales forms and record payments electronically. Gradually, you expanded your use of the software, perhaps paying and tracking bills through it and keeping an eagle eye on your inventory levels. Certainly, you've run at least some of the pre-built report templates offered by all versions of QuickBooks since their inception.
QuickBooks' automation of your daily bookkeeping tasks has undoubtedly served you well. But that's merely limited use; now it's time to take advantage of QuickBooks' greatest strength: customizable reports.
One of the rewards for diligently entering all of your accounting information is a better grasp of your company's financial performance to date. That insight ultimately leads to better business decisions that can contribute to your future growth and success.
Using Statements in QuickBooks: The Basics
Sending invoices to your customers to bill for products and/or services is probably one of the more enjoyable parts of your job â second only to recording payments received. And thanks to the company file you've built in QuickBooks, creating invoices is generally a very simple process that requires no duplicate data entry.
Creating Item Records in QuickBooks
Whether you're selling one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will:
- Ensure that your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing,
- Provide the information you must know about your inventory levels, and,
- Help you make smart decisions about reordering.