Preferences in QuickBooks
 
Before you start entering data, make sure QuickBooks is set up appropriately for your company.
 
QuickBooks was designed to serve the needs of millions of small businesses. To do that, it had to include the tools and processes suitable for a wide variety of companies. Intuit recognized that every organization is unique, so your copy of QuickBooks can be customized in ways that make it work best for  you
and  your company.
You could just dive in and start adding records and transactions, but we recommend you do some setup first. If you don’t, you may run into some issues later, such as finding that some features you need haven’t been turned on or that QuickBooks is simply not doing some things the way you do. The good news is that you can change many of these.
 
Getting There
QuickBooks refers to these options as Preferences. You’ll find them by opening the Edit menu
and selecting Preferences.
  
To start customizing QuickBooks so it works best for you, open the
Edit menu and choose Preferences.
 
As you can see, the left vertical pane contains a list of Preferencetypes. Click on any of these to change the option screens to the right. Click both the tabs labeled My Preferences and Company Preferences to make sure you see everything that’s displayed for each type (sometimes one will have no choices).
Critical Areas
We recommend that you look through all of QuickBooks’ Preferences and change any that don’t fit your company. Some simply have to do with the way QuickBooks displays information and how it functions, but others have direct impact on your accounting work. As always, we’re available if you have questions here and when in doubt, check wth your tax preparer to be sure.
There are many that you will probably want to visit. They may have numerous options, but here’s some of what you can establish in each:
  • Accounting. Do you want to use account numbers & classes?
  • Checking. Which accounts should QuickBooks automatically use for tasks like Open the Pay Bills, Open the Make Deposits, and Open the Create Paychecks?
  • Finance Charge. Will you be assessing finance charges on late payments from customers? What’s the interest rate, minimum finance charge, and grace period?
  • Items & Inventory. Do you want inventory and purchase orders to be active?
  • Multiple Currencies. Does your company do business using other currencies?  This preference is NOT reversible, it cannot be turned off once it is turn on – be sure that you  know this!
  • Payments. Can customers pay you online? What methods can they use?
  • Payroll & Employees. Will you be processing payroll   using QuickBooks?
  • Sales & Customers. Do you want to use sales orders? How should QuickBooks handle invoices when there are time and costs that need to be added?
  • Reminders.  Ask QuickBooks to track critical dates and tasks and remind you of them.
You can see why it’s important to study QuickBooks’ Preferencesearly on. It’ll help you avoid unnecessary roadblocks and ensure that your company’s needs are reflected well in the software.

If there is a period of time between when your customers receive your goods or services and when they pay for them, then several things are true:

  • You have a balance in Accounts Receivable on your balance sheet that represents how much customers owe you
  • You have an invoice process that you follow
  • You have granted credit to customers
  • You may have some that don’t pay as quickly as you’d like them to

Each invoice you send should have payment terms listed.  A payment term is the period of time you expect the invoice to be paid by the customer.  Your payment terms should be set by you, not your customers!

Payment terms are always measured from the invoice date and define when the payment should be received.  Here are some common payment terms in accounting terminology, and then in English.

Net 30
Payment is due 30 days from the invoice date.

2/10 Net 30
Payment is due 30 days from the invoice date.  If you pay the invoice in 10 days, you can take a 2% discount off the total amount of the invoice as an early pay discount incentive.

Due Upon Receipt
Payment is due immediately

If you use Net 30 or Due Upon Receipt, then you may want to change your terms to get paid faster.  When people see Due Upon Receipt, sometimes they translate it into “I can take my time.”  A more specific term spelled out such as Net 7 or Net 10 will actually get you your money faster than Due Upon Receipt.

Do you have issues with people paying you late?  If so, you might want to set consequences.  Consider adding a line on your invoice that provides interest charges if the payment is late.  Utility companies do it, and so do many businesses.  A common percentage to charge is 1% – 2%, however, some states have laws that limit you to 10% or another percentage.

The wording would be something like this:

“Accounts not paid within __ days of the date of the invoice are subject to a __% monthly finance charge.”

You will also need to make sure your accounting system can automatically compute these fees.

If you have questions about payment terms, your invoicing process, or your accounts receivable, please reach out.

QuickBooks Desktop Series 

Instructed by

 Rhonda Rosand, CPA and Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor


 All Courses are FREE!

Courses will be held in the 

 Community Room at Granite State College

Networking 8:30AM – 9AM 

Course 9AM – 11AM 


 
QuickBooks Set Up 
Do It Right the 1st Time!
2/28/17

Whether you are starting from scratch or starting over, there is a right way and several wrong ways to set up a QuickBooks file. Learn how to do it right the first time and save yourself the headaches! Topics covered: accounts and items, users and permissions, customers/jobs/vendors, and class tracking.

Retail/Point of Sale
Cash Register to QuickBooks
3/21/17
 
Regardless if your business is running off a fancy Point of Sale system or a basic cash register, there is a method to entering the fine details. Learn how to get the data from your cash register to QuickBooks. Topics covered: point of sale/retail workflow, Z tapes and end of day reports, sales receipts and invoices, and items & mapping.
Construction
Job Costing – Estimates – Reports 
4/18/17
 
Are you a residential or commercial contractor? Are you performing specialty services for your customers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, let us help ensure that you have a handle on your costs and know where you stand. Topics covered: customers/jobs, items and mapping, estimates and invoicing, and job costing reports.
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Thank you to our Sponsors:

Supported in part through funding by the Community Development Microenterprise Block Grant.
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Positive Pay is a service offered by banks that is designed to reduce fraudulent check-cashing against your account.  If you are writing checks on your bank account (as opposed to using ACH transactions), then the positive pay service, which usually has an extra charge, may be beneficial.

When you activate positive pay, you must send a file of checks that you have written to the bank.  The bank will not cash those checks against your account unless they match by check number, dollar amount, and account number.  Your file may also include the date of the check and sometimes the payee.  Some banks are also able to match payee, but not all of them, so be sure to ask about this.

If there is a mismatch among checks presented for payment, the check will be treated as an exception item and your company will be notified.   A representative of your company will let the bank know whether to pay or exclude the exception check.

Positive pay helps to deter a couple of types of fraud:

  • Checks where someone has changed the amount
  • Stolen blank check stock, even if you don’t know about it being stolen

Positive pay is not designed to prevent the type of fraud that occurs when checks are written to a ghost vendor and erroneously approved by management.

If you use positive pay, you should separate the file creation process from the person who actually writes and/or signs the checks.  This will give you better internal control.

The main challenge with positive pay is making sure the bank receives the file of checks before they are presented for payment, including any manual checks written.  Another issue is the extra cost, although some banks offer this service at no extra charge.

For companies worried about check fraud, consider looking into positive pay with your local bank.

It’s always a huge relief to many people who get their taxes done early. That gray cloud of stress that nags at you to get it over with can be gone in a matter of weeks instead of months.
The  deadline  is right around the corner, and here are a few tips to cross that task off your to-do list way before spring.
 
1. Catch up on your books.
If your books are behind, the first step is to get everything recorded so that your tax return will be accurate. With automated bank feeds and data entry automation, this is easier than it’s ever been before. If you have cash transactions or receipts lying around that your accountant doesn’t know about, be sure and get those pulled together so nothing is left out.
 
2. Make year-end changes.
Some companies may need additional year-end adjustments, and now is the time to make them. These include items such as loan balances if the interest adjustment has not been booked every month, depreciation and amortization, accounts receivable write-offs, accrual vs. cash basis adjustments, and possibly clean-up work. Have your accountant help you with these items.
 
3. Double-check vendor documents.
If you hire contractors and sent them 1099s, make sure you have the proper onboarding documents for these individuals which includes a W-9. You may also want to have a workers compensation certificate from them in order to avoid paying it yourself.
4. Note deadlines.
Get clear on the deadlines for your corporate, franchise tax, individual and any other tax returns that are required. Even though you might hire someone to complete and file your return, you’ll want to make sure the deadline has been met.
 
5. Stay organized.
As you receive your 2016 tax documents, keep them all together in a special place. Download them or scan them in and keep them all in one folder. If your tax accountant has a client portal, upload them as soon as you get them.
Your tax accountant appreciates getting your information as early as possible. The sooner you get the documents to them, the sooner the whole process can be complete. Even if you owe money and want to file at the last minute, you can still be complete with the process except for the filing which can be deferred.
Try these tips to reduce tax stress this winter and spring. And, as always, if we can help you with any of this, please reach out.