Rhonda Rosand, CPA has successfully completed the requirements to earn her designation for the ninth 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. She specializes in QuickBooks® consulting and training services, coaching small business owners and providing innovative business solutions.

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

It’s generally a good idea to keep overhead costs low so that your business profits will be higher. This is especially true with items that are easily commoditized and fairly standardized, such as utilities and rent. But there are times when increasing expenses pays off nicely, and here are five areas to consider so you can reap the rewards.

1. Training

Whether it’s for you or your staff, good training can pay back for years to come. Learning new skills, no matter what our crafts are, will keep our businesses from becoming stagnant. Implementing what we learn will help us grow.

You might get training to increase the mastery of your chosen profession. You might also want to consider general business skills, including technology, marketing, finance, and leadership. Just about everyone can benefit from learning more about project management, communications, and negotiations, to name a few more.

You might also want to consider “human performance” skills such as public speaking. Whatever you choose, training is always a great investment that pays back big dividends.

2. Tools

Without the right tools, the same task can take double the time. It’s a great idea to provide your employees with the most powerful computers and software on the market. The cost of labor outweighs the costs of the computers, so it makes sense to load employees up with the best tools you can. An employee with a slow computer, through no fault of their own, is not giving you their best, and that will cost money in lost productivity.

The same thing goes for owners. You can spend your time fighting with a machine or getting a ton of work done. I’m pretty sure the latter is more profitable.

3. Accounting

The most successful companies we work with invest in accounting services in five areas: accounting technology, accurate bookkeeping, thorough reporting, tax minimization, and professional consulting. When we see business owners cutting corners in any of these areas, it usually costs them more money in the long run to clean up the problems that result.

An up-to-date accounting system minimizes maintenance and troubleshooting costs.   Making sure the bookkeeping and reconciliations are done properly is essential for compliance reporting and decision-making. A robust set of reports allows a business owner to make smart decisions about running their business, and minimizing taxes helps you keep more of what you make.

Since accountants see thousands of financial reports in their careers, they have developed an eye for opportunities that a business owner may not see. Bringing an outside perspective into your business is a good investment that can help you discover great opportunities in your business.

4. Marketing

Whatever you do in your business, you are helping others. You are sharing a skill you have that your clients either don’t have or don’t choose to do for themselves.   Being a best-kept secret doesn’t help you share your gifts and talents.

Marketing can help you get the word out to people who need your services but might not know about you. Developing great marketing materials will help you communicate what you do as well as receive fair compensation for what you do. It almost always makes sense to invest in this area of your business.

5. Employee Perks and Benefits

Keeping employees passionate about your vision and motivated to be productive is  a continuing task. One way to do that is to provide employee benefits and perks that make it attractive for employees to work for you.


There are many ways to invest in your employees. Good health insurance, personal time off, extra vacation time, education reimbursement, flex time, and working from home are just a few of the many options you can choose from to enhance employees’ working environments.

Measuring the Payoff

We can help you measure your return in any of these areas; as always, please let us know how we can help.

If you used small business accounting products in the early days, you know how frustrating it was to print checks correctly from your software. Pre-printed checks weren’t cheap, and you probably printed at least a few that didn’t line  up right or were otherwise unusable.

Figure 1: The Write Checks window in QuickBooks 2013.

Printing checks from QuickBooks has gotten easier, and online banking has made this task less of a necessity for many businesses. But when you do print checks, precision is still required.

So to minimize frustration, save time and money, and ensure that everything will be in order when your checks are processed at the bank, it’s important that you use the tools that QuickBooks offers appropriately. If you’ve been having trouble with check-printing or you’re considering attempting it, keep these tips in mind:

  1. First, be sure you are creating standard checks, not paychecks. Go to Banking | Write Checks or click the Write Checks icon on the home page.
  2. QuickBooks offers a few options for check creation. Click Edit | Preferences | Checking | My Preferences. Here, you can specify a default account for the  Write Checks function. Click Company Preferences for additional options.Figure 2: Check the boxes here to activate options.

3. You can customize the appearance of your checks. Click File | Printer Setup |Check/PayCheck. Specify printer options and check style, change the fonts in some fields, designate a partial page printing style (using the envelope feed) and add your company’s name and address, logo and a signature image.

Figure 3: The Printer Setup window provides access to your output options.

4. Be sure that your printer has enough toner before you begin a job.

5. If you print a lot of checks, consider dedicating one printer to that task. But secure your blank checks. Don’t leave them in the printer.

6. Does your printer process pages in reverse order, last page first? This can cause problems when you’re printing multiple checks. You have several options here. You can:

  • Modify your printer’s property settings in Windows and/or consult your printer documentation
  • Load the paper to accommodate reverse printing or
  • Alter the check numbers in QuickBooks. Go to Lists | Chart of Accounts and open the correct checkbook register to change them. (This option is the least elegant and most risky, and not something you want to do on a regular basis. Let us help you with your printer setup if you can’t resolve the problem.)

7. QuickBooks supports batch printing. If you’re writing multiple checks that you’ll want to print later, click the Print Later or To be printed link (depending on yourversion of QuickBooks). When you’re ready, you can either select File | Print Forms | Checks or click the Print Checks link on the home page. Both will open this window:

Figure 4: Uncheck any items you don’t want printed to remove them from the batch job.

  1. Printing a batch of checks and realize that you’ve set something up wrong? Hit the
    Esc key to halt it.
  2. Double-check to make sure that your numbers match before you launch a print   job. Compare the number in the First Check Number field to the number of thefirst check queued up in the printer.
  3. Ruin a check or an entire page of them? If your accounting protocol allows you toskip check numbers, just start over by changing the First Check Number so thatit corresponds with the starting number on a fresh batch of check blanks. If not, you’ll have to create a check for each one that was ruined, choosing a name and account and an amount of $0.00. Then void the check(s). (Click Banking | Use Register and select the account. Highlight the transaction(s), select the editoption and void. Do not delete them.

Check-printing can be tricky, but it must absolutely follow the rules. Let us know if you get stuck or want some guidance upfront – or if you want to switch to online banking and bill-pay.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2013 version of QuickBooks.

Depending on your location, you’re probably starting to see early signs of spring. The nicer weather and signs of new life seem to make people want to spruce up their surroundings.

Now would be a good time, too, to clean up your accounting environment. Some of your screens may be unnecessarily cluttered. And your QuickBooks® company file probably needs attention, too.

So here are some suggestions for streamlining QuickBooks®. You’ll have a tidier workspace, and you’ll save time and frustration.

Make a Clean Start

Intuit did a great job of giving QuickBooks’ home page a fresher, more “open” look in its 2013 versions. But does everything really need to be there? Could you simplify it a bit? There are several things you can do, including:

  • Minimize icons. That pretty graphical process map on the home page is great for quick access to frequently-used actions. Some of them must remain there if they’re related to activities you do (i.e., Invoices has to stay if you use Estimates), but you can remove some of the ones you don’t use. Go to Preferences | Desktop View | Company Preferences. You’ll see this:

Figure 1: You can turn off some of the feature icons on your home page.

Some of the options have been grayed out because they support other processes. To remove an active feature icon like Inventory, click on it. In the window that opens, uncheck the box next to Inventory and purchase orders are active (you can also modify options here).

Figure 2: Clicking the checkbox next to Inventory and purchase orders are active grays out the other options and removed related feature icons from the home page.

To reduce the number of feature icons even more, go to the Finance Charge, Jobs & Estimates, Payroll & Employees, Sales & Customers, Sales Tax and Time & Expenses. QuickBooks® removes the related icons and reroutes the process map on the home page.

More Time-Saving Tweaks

  • Don’t allow multiple windows to open in your work area. Tired of seeing all of those overlapping open windows on your desktop? Open the View menu and select One Window. All of your open windows remain active in the background. To return to one of them, open the Window menu and select the one you want to move to the front (Window | Close All returns you to a blank work area).
Figure 3: Your Icon bar can be your fastest route to often needed screens – if you modify it to only contain the functions you use, in order of importance. You can also change the labels to make them more meaningful to you.
  • Trim down your icon bar. Seems like a minimal change, but it’s one of those things that can add unnecessary moments of frustration throughout the day (Where’s the Calendar!). Click View | Customize Icon Bar.
  • Customize columns in Lists. You probably work in QuickBooks’ Lists often, but are you spending too much time tracking down the right information? Customize their columns so your registers contain only what you usually need (and add additional ones if it’s helpful). Open a list, right-click anywhere within it and select Customize Columns to modify the display (resize column widths by placing your cursor on the vertical set of dots between labels and dragging).
Figure 4: When you customize your columns in Lists, you’ll find what you’re looking for faster.
  • Hide inactive names and items. Highlight an item, right-click and select Make Item Inactive. Open the Item menu in the lower left and click Hide Inactive Items (this action won’t delete them). This should be done with Customers, Vendors, Employees and Items to keep them manageable.

Internal Cleaning

These may all seem like cosmetic changes, but you will save time and frustration over the long run. The most critical spring cleaning task is company file analysis and maintenance. We can handle this for you. QuickBooks® can slow down and start generating error messages when the data file becomes unwieldy. Preventing file corruption before it crashes your system is a lot faster and less expensive than a reconstruction project.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2013 version of QuickBooks.

What is Cloud Computing?

By now, we’ve all heard about the subject of Cloud Computing. Working in the Cloud simply means that you are accessing servers, software and technology via the internet.

It’s something that most of us are already using on a daily basis when we access our bank accounts and pay our credit card bills online; or when we use Facebook and other social media websites.

That’s the infamous Cloud – you access it with a browser from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection and you log in to use applications that you do not own and that are stored elsewhere to retrieve your data.

Hosting QuickBooks®

Many businesses are looking for an online solution for their QuickBooks® software but are hesitant to move to QuickBooks® Online because it does not have the full functionality of the Desktop versions of the software that we’ve all become familiar with.

A great option for those who want to move to the cloud but don’t want to change everything all at once is to have their licensed QuickBooks® Desktop software hosted by an Intuit Authorized Hosting Provider.

The average cost of hosting is approximately $50/month/user for basic setup and storage space, plus the cost of the software. The following is a list of certified secure data centers with proven reliable up-times:

 Cloud 9 Real Time

Coaxis International

InsynQ, Inc.

My Own ASP

Right Networks

Uni-Data & Comm., Inc.





Real Time Data Services




WY Technology

Infinitely Virtual


Many of these providers are also licensed to rent QuickBooks® licenses for currently supported versions of the software which is quite cost-effective.


The hosting service provider installs and manages the QuickBooks® software and the company data files on their cloud-based servers. They install the software, update it and maintain it and provide system maintenance, redundant servers, improved security, virus protection and managed data backups.

It’s the full version of your licensed QuickBooks® software hosted on a secure server that users can access anytime, anywhere – remotely and simultaneously with proper licensing. There’s no data conversion and no retraining of users because it’s the same software that they have already been using.

There is no more dealing with Accountant’s Copies and Transfer Files at year end for your tax preparer, as access can be provided to outside professionals to seamlessly share data and collaborate with the business.

You are not required to upgrade to the newest version of the software each year in order to use hosted services, as long as the version is still supported by QuickBooks®, you do not have to upgrade.

If you aren’t satisfied with the hosting service, you can move to a different hosting vendor or you can move back to your desktop – you’re not tied in – it’s your data and your software.


There are a number of areas of the QuickBooks® application which are designed directly in conflict with the concept of a hosted, shared application service model, making QuickBooks® hosting a fairly complicated business.

Installing the correct application licensing levels and multiple editions of the product, allowing individual user settings for printers and forms, and even providing multi-user access are areas where some service providers fall short.

In addition, not all hosting service providers support additional third party applications that integrate with the QuickBooks® software and there may be issues with hardware integration, e.g. scanners, bar code readers and so forth.The biggest drawback of all – no internet, no access.


Hosting QuickBooks® can be a great solution for many businesses. It is best to spend some time in advance choosing the right hosting provider; one that best fits your business needs. If you need help, please call us.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2013 version of QuickBooks.