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.
What you need to know about Windows 10 and QuickBooks® 

I know that many of you are wondering if you should upgrade to the new Windows 10 operating system. It has been hard to ignore the constant reminders of this FREE upgrade. Every time we turn on our computers, there it is, asking us to Upgrade Now. Some of us have even had a surprise automatic installation of the newest operating system while we were sleeping!

Microsoft is offering this software for free until the end of July 2016, after which they are going to charge a fee – currently starting at $149 per system for the Home Edition – they have not yet released any pricing for the Professional versions of the software. If you are currently running Windows 8/8.1, then you may wish to consider the update to Windows 10, but please read further.

At New Business Directions, LLC, we have decided to stay with the Windows 7 platform and not to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft will still be issuing updates for Windows 7 until 2021 but will not offer any phone or online support for the product.

There have been many issues with the installation of Windows 10 especially in a networked environment and the software needs a lot of tweaking to network correctly and play with other devices – such as printers. We see no real advantage to updating to Windows 10 and we have found it to actually hinder some programs from running properly, specifically QuickBooks and Point of Sale.

If you do decide to upgrade to Windows 10, we will gladly assist in the installation to smooth the transition. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
TSheets Pros
The New Business Directions Team is bringing the #1 employee-rated and requested Time Tracking Software to you. Sondra Love, Wayne Kukuruza, and Rhonda Rosand, CPA have recently joined the 6000+ TSheets PRO community by participating in an exclusive TSheets PRO certification course accredited by CPAacademy.org.

So what exactly is TSheets? TSheets is a time tracking and scheduling software designed for businesses that track, manage, and report time. TSheets provides the alternative to paper timesheets and/or punch cards to simplify human resource and data processing roles for companies of all sizes.

But here’s the best part, TSheets fully integrates with QuickBooks by syncing accurate timesheets to your QuickBooks file and eliminating manual, duplicate time entries. Tracked and approved time can now be easily exported to either QuickBooks® Online or Desktop with just one click. Management can then use their favorite tools within QuickBooks to process payroll, calculate job costing, and create invoices in a more simplified work flow.

TSheets is also a scheduling software making it faster and easier to build and share schedules with employees, assign jobs, and alert shifts while increasing profitability and improving communication. In other words, we want to keep your workforce running like a well-oiled machine.

Oh, and have I mentioned their amazing customer service department? The TSheets team who’s behind the product is just as amazing as the software itself. Customer service team is passionate about their customers and provides exceptional support in times of need. They make your entire TSheets experience FUN and might even give you a smile or two.

Are you ready to sign up? To find out more about TSheets, email sondra@newbusinessdirections.com or give us a call at (603) 356-2914.
Sondra Love and Rhonda Rosand, CPA of New Business Directions, LLC took to the sky last week to attend the 8th annual Scaling New Heights 2016 conference at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort located on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

This year’s theme was “epic” designed as the epic conference to empower small business advisors to develop and sustain the epic practice that distinguishes itself and embraces the key differences that separate ProAdvisors around the good, the great and the “epic.”

Sessions
The four-day conference kicked off each morning with Power Breakfast Sessions followed by main stage presentations with keynote speakers such as Daymond John of Shark Tank, Joe Buissink of Canon Explorer of Light, and author Mike Michalowicz of Profit First. In between general session, attendees dispersed around the conference center into rooms where cutting edge training sessions were being held. Training sessions were broken down into 5-tracks for Practice and Professional Development, Practice Growth, In-Depth QuickBooks Training, ProAdvisor Certification Training and QB Integrated Apps.

If you were fortunate enough to attend, Rhonda Rosand, CPA taught a 100-minute informative training session titled Successful Implementations from Initial Contact through Ongoing Support on Sunday, May 22nd. As the evenings came around, networking sessions were held consisting of ICB Bookkeeper’s Symposium, the Woodard Network Social hosted within Atlantis’ stunning marine life exhibit, The Dig and of course, the infamous TSheets dance Party on TSheets Tuesday.


Sondra’s Take on Vendors
 In between training, I was able to visit the exhibit ballroom which held over 90 vendors, some of which were very familiar. I came across software I use everyday to make my work flow run smoothly and now I am able to put a face to the product. For example, SmartVault allows me to access files anywhere, anytime and from any device. I also have the capability to securely share files with clients and our team.

While at Scaling New Heights, I learned the importance of technology and how it relates to strengthening our firm and supporting our clients.

The advanced level training will allow us to continue to assist our clients in streamlining the process of making money and creating order out of chaos. We would like to thank all of the members of the Woodard Group for another successful event at Scaling New Heights and look forward to next years’ conference in Orlando, FL.

Rhonda

New Business Directions, LLC is pleased to announce the recognition of Rhonda Rosand, CPA as an Insightful Accountant Top 100 ProAdvisor for 2016. This will be Rosand’s third consecutive year receiving the award out of tens of thousands of ProAdvisors in the country.

Leading Top 100 ProAdvisors leverage the ProAdvisor Program to better serve their clients, grow their own business, deliver great client service, and increase their knowledge and understanding of the Intuit ecosystem.2016_top100-2016This years award ceremony will take place at the Scaling New Heights 2016 conference at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas.

Congratulations Rhonda!

  Say goodbye to Winter and hello Spring! The seasons are changing before our eyes and you’ve probably heard a few remarks about tax/mud season, upcoming Summer plans and of course everyone’s favorite thing to do; Spring cleaning. Okay, maybe it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to do but here is some helpful advice for Spring cleaning your QuickBooks file.

It’s not hard to see when your home needs a good cleaning but QuickBooks company file errors are harder to recognize so here are a few errors to watch for:

  • Performance problems
  • Inability to execute specific processes
  • Occasional program crashes
  • Missing data (accounts, names, dates)
  • Refusal to complete transactions
  • Mistakes in reports
Figure 1: If some transactions won’t go through or QuickBooks shuts down when you click on the save button, you may have a corrupted company file.
Be Proactive

One thing you can do on your own is to start practicing good preventive medicine to keep your QuickBooks company file healthy. Once a month or so, perhaps at the same time you reconcile your bank accounts, do a manual check of your major Lists.

Run the Account Listing report (Lists, Chart of Accounts, and Reports). Ask yourself: Are all of your bank accounts still active? Do you see accounts that you no longer use or which duplicate each other? You may be able to make them inactive or merge duplicates. Be very careful here. If there’s any doubt, leave them there. Do not try to fix the Chart of Accounts on your own. Let us help or speak with your tax preparer. Do not make accounts with balances inactive.

Figure 2: You might run this report periodically to see if it can be abbreviated.

If there are Customers and Vendors that have been off your radar for a long time, consider removing or making them inactive – once you’re sure your interaction with them is history. Same goes for Items and Jobs. Do not remove customer jobs with balances. Go through the other lists in this menu with a critical but conservative eye.
 

A Risky Utility

One of the reasons QuickBooks files get corrupt is simply because they grow too big. That’s either a sign of your company’s success or of a lack of periodic maintenance. QuickBooks does contain some built-in tools to be run occasionally to minimize your file size. QuickBooks contains a Condense Data utility that can do this automatically. But just because QuickBooks offers this tool doesn’t mean that you should use it on your own.

The program’s documentation for this utility contains a list of warnings and preparation steps a mile long. We recommend that you do not use this tool. Same goes for Verify Data and Rebuild Data in the Utilities menu. If you lose a significant amount of company data, you can also lose your company file. It’s happened to numerous businesses.

Figure 3:  Yes, QuickBooks allows you to use this tool on your own. But if you really want to preserve the integrity of  your data, let us help.

The best thing you can do if you notice problems like this cropping up in QuickBooks – especially if you’re experiencing multiple ones – is to contact us. We understand the file structure of QuickBooks company data, and we have access to tools that you don’t. We can analyze your file and take steps to correct the problem(s).

The Alternatives

Your copy of QuickBooks may be misbehaving because it’s unable to handle the depth and complexity of your company. It may be time to upgrade. If you’re using QuickBooks Pro, consider a move up to Premier. And if Premier isn’t cutting it anymore, consider QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.

There’s cost involved, of course, but you may already be losing money by losing time because of your version’s limitations. All editions of QuickBooks look and work similarly, so your learning curve will be minimal.

Also, try to minimize the number of open windows that are active in QuickBooks. That will improve your performance. And what about your hardware? Is it getting a little long in the tooth? At least consider adding memory, but PCs are cheap these days. If you’re having problems with many of your applications, it may be time for a hardware upgrade.

We Are Here for You

We’ve suggested many times that you should contact us for help with your spring cleanup. While that may seem self-serving, remember that it takes us a lot less time and money to take preventive steps with your QuickBooks company file than to troubleshoot a broken one.

Now open those windows and doors, go outside and enjoy the upcoming Spring weather!

The New Business Directions team is pleased to announce our newest QuickBooks® Online ProAdvisor!

Sondra Love has successfully completed the requirements to earn her QuickBooks® Online SL_proadvisor_online_22016 certification. This training will allow Sondra to provide assistance to businesses setting up, navigating and troubleshooting their QuickBooks® Online software.

New Business Directions, LLC specializes in QuickBooks® consulting and training services, coaching small business owners, and providing innovative business solutions.

To learn more about New Business Directions, LLC and QuickBooks®, please call (603) 356-2914 to schedule an appointment or visit our website.

Rhonda Rosand, CPA has successfully completed the requirements to earn her designation for the twelfth consecutive year as a Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor. 

Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisors are CPA’s, accountants and other professionals who have completed comprehensive QuickBooks® training courses and met the annual testing requirements in order to become certified as experts in QuickBooks®. The courses are designed for accounting professionals and consultants who have a solid understanding of accounting principles.

An accounting professional since 1986 and a Certified Public Accountant since 1992, Rhonda is a one-of-a-kind, live-your-dreams business coach and trainer. She has real-world business experience, well-honed problem-solving skills and an enthusiastic, energetic, can-do attitude. She believes that a successful business stays that way not only by managing its finances well, but also through a proactive plan that includes marketing, strong customer service and long range planning. “Today it is not enough to have a good advisor who works with you once a year”, says Rosand. “The best approach is to actively manage all aspects of your business, all year long.”

Rhonda Rosand, CPA is the owner of New Business Directions, LLC.She specializes in QuickBooks® consulting and training services, coaching small business owners and providing innovative business solutions.

To learn more about New Business Directions, LLC and QuickBooks®, or to schedule an appointment, please call (603)356-2914, email rhonda@newbusinessdirections.com or visit the website at www.newbusinessdirections.com.


QuickBooks 2016
offers some new features that we are excited to share with our fellow accounting professionals. Batch Delete/Void Transactions and enhanced Statement Writer Support are two of the latest features available to Accountants only. Sorting on Item Custom Fields and Auto Copy Ship to Addresses are features only available in Premier (including Accountant) and Enterprise versions of the software.

Batch Delete/Void Transactions
We are cautiously excited about this new feature as it could prove to be quite dangerous in the wrong hands. Fortunately, Intuit realized that and only made the tool available in the Accountant and Enterprise versions of the software and in the Accountant Toolbox in the Pro and Premier versions.

It works for Invoices, Bill and Check transactions, but not for Credit Cards Charges or Deposits, at this time. It is also not available for Payroll or Sales Tax Transactions. The columns can be sorted by Entered Date, Modified Date or Transaction Date as well as by Payee, Type, Number, Account or Amount.

Any other transactions that are linked to the transaction to be voided/deleted are highlighted for you to be aware and to address them as well, if need be. For example, voiding a Bill-Check does not void the related Bill.

Batch Void Delete Snipit
I am hopeful that Intuit will improve this feature and add the ability to work with Credit Card Charges, as I have seen many occasions where these were imported to the wrong account or even twice to the same account. As with any tool of this nature, we recommend a backup before and to Void instead of Delete.

Statement Writer Support for Microsoft Office
I do not prepare financial statements, but for those who do and for those who use the QuickBooks Statement Writer, it is essential to have the integration with Microsoft Word and Excel. With QuickBooks 2016, we have this integration with the Accountant and Enterprise versions of the software. However, we still do not have support for the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365.

Sorting on Item Custom Fields
In prior versions, we had the ability to sort on the Customer and Vendor Custom Fields, but not on the Items Custom Fields – those fields were mostly notational and not very reportable.

In QuickBooks 2016 Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise, Intuit introduced this feature which will allow sorting on Inventory Valuation and Inventory Stock Status reports as well as the Inventory Price List. This will save countless hours of exporting to Excel and creating Pivot Tables to gather the required information.

Item Report Sort Snipit
Auto Copy Ship to Addresses

For Contractors and Retailers who order materials or goods to be shipped directly to the job site or customer, QuickBooks 2016 – Premier, Accountant and Enterprise, has the ability to populate the Customer address in the Ship To Address directly from an Estimate or Sales Order, simply by selecting the Drop Ship to Customer checkbox when creating a Purchase Order.

Drop Ship Snipit

 

QuickBooks 2016 Desktop was recently released and there are a few new features that you will want to take a look at to see if it has something worth upgrading for.

Bill Tracker
The Bill Tracker is similar to the Income Tracker in the Customer Center that was released as a new feature in QuickBooks 2014 and improved with QuickBooks 2015. The Bill Tracker is located in the Vendor Center and allows a Snapshot View of Purchase Orders, Open Bills, Overdue Bills and Bills that have been paid in the last 30 days. Transactions can be managed from this area and batch actions can be taken to print or email and to close Purchase Orders and Pay Bills.


This Fiscal Year-to-Last Month
In the past, we had choices for date ranges on financial reports of This Fiscal Year or This Fiscal Year-to-Date as well as This Month or This Month-to-Date, none of which worked well for month-end reporting purposes. We now have This Fiscal Year-to-Last Month which allows us to print our financial reports as of the end of the Last Month, through which accounts are typically reconciled. This will allow us to Memorize Reports with the correct date instead of saving with a Custom Date that needs to be changed each time.


Bulk Clear “Send” Forms
Sales Receipts, Invoices, Estimates and Purchase Orders all have an Email Later check box and it’s a “sticky” feature, meaning that once selected, it remembers for future transactions. In the past, we would accumulate many documents in the queue to be sent later and if we wished to clear the queue, it would have to be done individually. With this release, under the File menu, Send Forms, we can now Select All and click Remove.


Label Printer Support
QuickBooks 2016 has the ability to print continuous feed labels and we can select from any of the Names Lists as well as by Customer or Vendor Type and by Zip Code.


Enhanced Rebuild/Verify
QuickBooks 2016 allows you to View the Errors and shows links to Knowledgebase Articles about the errors encountered. This saves a lot of time hunting and pecking through the Notepad QBWIN.log for the specific details about the error.

Streamline Company File Upgrade 
Intuit tells us that the Upgrade process is supposed to be faster. I have not noticed a difference in the time it takes to upgrade from a prior year version of the software. My advice – no matter what –
do a Backup!
Unless you see something in these changes that has been an issue for you in the version you are using now, there is no real reason to upgrade. If Intuit stays true to form, the 2013 version of QuickBooks will be sunsetted in May of 2016 at which time those users will be required to update if they wish to continue using any of the integrated services such as online banking, merchant services, payroll and email from within the program.