Learn How to Navigate the Homepage of QuickBooks with Rhonda Rosand of New Business Directions, LLC.

What Sales Orders Are and When to Use Them

They’re not as commonly used as invoices. But if you need them, they’re there.

When you want to document sales that you can’t (or won’t) fulfill immediately, but you plan to do so in the future, you can’t create an invoice just yet. This is where sales orders come in.

You may never need to create a sales order for a customer. Perhaps you have a service-based business, or you never run out of inventory. Or you simply don’t enter an order unless you know you have the item(s) in stock.

But if you plan to use sales orders, you must first make sure QuickBooks is set up to accommodate them. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Sales & Customers. Click the Company Preferences tab to open that window.

Before you can use sales orders, you’ll need to make sure that QuickBooks is set up for them.

Sales Orders Are Required for Some Tasks

There are a few situations where you must use a sales order:

  • If you have a customer who orders very frequently, you may not want to create an invoice for absolutely every item. You could use a sales order to keep track of these multiple orders, and then send an invoice at the end of the month.
  • If you’re missing one or more items that a customer wanted, you can create a sales order that includes everything, but only note the in-stock items on an invoice. The sales order will keep track of the portion of the order that wasn’t fulfilled. Both forms will include the back-ordered quantity.

Warning: Working with back orders can be challenging. In fact, working with inventory-tracking itself may be problematic for you. If your business stocks enough of multiple types of items that you want to use those QuickBooks features, let us help you get started to ensure that you understand these rather complex concepts.

Creating a Sales Order

Creating sales orders in QuickBooks is actually quite simple and similar to filling out an invoice. Click the Sales Orders icon on the home page, or open the Customers menu and select Create Sales Orders.

 

A sales order in QuickBooks looks much like an invoice.

Click the down arrow in the field next to Customer: Job and choose the correct one. If you use Classes, select the correct one from the list that drops down, and change the Template if you’ve created another you’d like to use.

Tip: Templates and Classes are totally optional in QuickBooks. Templates provide alternate views of forms containing different fields and perhaps a different layout. Classes are like categories. You create your own that work for your business; they can be very helpful in reports. Talk to us if you don’t understand these concepts.

If the shipping address is different from the customer’s main address, click the down arrow in the field next to Ship To, and either select an alternate you’ve created or click <Add New>. Make sure the Date is correct, and enter a purchase order number (P.O. No.) if appropriate.

The rest of the sales order is easy. Click in the fields in the table to make your selections from drop-down lists, and enter data when needed. Pay special attention to the Tax status. Let us know if you haven’t set up sales tax and need to.

When everything is correct, save the sales order. When you’re ready to convert it to an invoice, open it and click the Create Invoice icon in the toolbar. QuickBooks will ask whether you want to create an invoice for all the items or just the ones you select. You’ll be able to specify quantities, too, in the window that opens.

When you create an invoice from a sales order, you can select all the items ordered or a subset.

As we’ve said, sales orders are easy to fill out in QuickBooks. But they involve some complex tracking, and you may want to schedule a session with us before you attempt them. Better to understand them ahead of time than to try to troubleshoot problems later.

It’s one of your more pleasant tasks as a QuickBooks user: receiving payments from customers. 
Here’s how it works. 
QuickBooks was designed to make your daily accounting tasks easier, faster, and more accurate. If you’ve been using the software for a while, you’ve probably found that to be true. Some chores, of course, aren’t so enjoyable. Like paying bills. Reconciling your bank account. Or anything else that has the potential to reduce the balance in your checking accounts.
The process of receiving customer payments is one of your more enjoyable responsibilities. You supplied a product or service that someone liked and purchased, and you’re getting the
money due you.
Depending on the situation, you’ll use one of multiple methods to record customer payments. Here’s a look at some of your options.
A Familiar Screen
 
If you’re like many businesses, you send invoices to customers to let them know what they owe and when their payment is due. So one of the most commonly used ways to record payments is by using the Receive Payments window. To open it, click the Receive Payments icon on the home page or click
Customers | Receive Payments.
 

You’ll use QuickBooks’ Receive Payments screen when you record a payment made in response to an invoice.
 
The first thing you’ll do, of course, is choose the correct customer by clicking the down arrow in the field to the right of RECEIVED FROM. The outstanding balance from that customer will appear in the upper right corner, and invoice information will be displayed in the table below. Enter the PAYMENT AMOUNT and make sure the DATE is correct. (The next field, REFERENCE #, changes to CHECK # only if the CHECK option is selected.)
Next, you’ll need to ensure that the payment is applied to the right invoices. If it covers the whole amount due, there will be a checkmark in every row in the first column of the table. If not, QuickBooks will use the money received to pay off the oldest invoices first. To change this, click Un-Apply Payment in the icon bar and click in front of the correct rows to create checkmarks.
Several Options
 
You’ll then want to tell QuickBooks what payment method the customer is using. Four options are displayed. The possibilities that are visible here are:
  • CASH
  • CHECK
  • CREDIT DEBIT (A specific card type may be shown here if you’ve indicated the customer’s preferred payment method in his or her record.)
  • e-CHECK
If the desired payment method isn’t included in those four, click the down arrow under MORE. If it’s still not there, click Add New Payment Method. This window will open:
The New Payment Method window
 
Click OK. When you choose your new payment method from the list, a window opens containing fields for the card number and expiration date. Click Done after you’ve entered it, and you’ll be returned to the Receive Payments screen. If you’re satisfied with your work there, click Save & Close or Save & New.
Haven’t gotten set up to accept credit and debit cards yet? We can get you going with a merchant account to make this possible. You’re likely to find that some customers pay faster with this option. Your customers will be able to click a link in an emailed invoice and make their payments.
Instant Sales
Depending on the type of business you have and its physical location, there may be times when customers will come in and buy something on the spot. You’ll need to give them a Sales Receipt. Click Create Sales Receipts on the home page or open the Customers menu and select Enter Sales Receipts to
open this window:
The Enter Sales Receipts window
 
You’ll complete this form much like you entered data in the fields of the Receive Payments window. As you can see, you can print the mail for the customer and/or email it.
After all the hard work you’ve done to make your sales, the last thing you want to do is record a payment incorrectly so it isn’t processed and you don’t get paid. Though QuickBooks makes the mechanics of receiving payments simple enough, you still should understand the entire process involved in getting income into the correct accounts.  We’re available to help with this and any other areas of QuickBooks
You know that QuickBooks saves a lot of time. But have you explored how it does so by memorizing transactions?
 
Your accounting work involves a lot of repetition. You send invoices. Pay bills. Create purchase orders. Generate payroll checks and submit payroll taxes.
Some of the time, you only fill out those transaction forms once. You might be doing a one-time purchase, like paying for some new office furniture. Other times, though, you’re paying or charging the same companies or individuals on a regular basis.
QuickBooks Desktop contains a shortcut to those recurring tasks, called Memorized Transactions. You can save the details that remain the same every time, and use that template every time the bill or invoice is due, which can save a lot of time and improve accuracy. Here’s how it works.
 
Making Copies
To memorize a transaction, you first need to create a model for it. Let’s say you have a monthly bill for $450 that’s paid to Bruce’s Office Machines. You’d click Enter Bills on the home page or open the Vendors menu and select Enter Bills. Fill in the blanks and select from drop-down lists to create the bill. Then click Memorize in the horizontal toolbar at the top of the form.  This window will open.
Before you can Memorize a transaction, you first have to create a model (template) for it.
The vendor’s name will already be filled in on the Memorize Transaction screen. Look directly below that. There are three ways that QuickBooks can handle these Memorized Transactions when one of their due dates is approaching:
  • Add to my Reminders List. If you click the button in front of this option, the current transaction will appear on your Reminders List every time it’s due. You might request this for transactions that will change some every time they’re processed, like a utility bill that’s always expected on the same day, but which has a different amount every month.
  • Do Not Remind Me. Obviously, QuickBooks will not post a reminder if you click this button. This is best used for transactions that don’t recur on a regular basis. Maybe you have a snow-shoveling service that you pay only when there’s a storm. So the date is always different, but everything else is the same.
  • Automate Transaction Entry. Be very careful with this one. It’s reserved for transactions that are identical except for the issue date. They don’t need your approval – they’re just created and dispatched.
Click the down arrow in the field to the right of How Often and select the correct interval. Then click the calendar icon to pick a date for the next occurrence. If you have selected Automate Transaction Entry, the grayed-out lines below Next Date contain fields for Number Remaining and
Days in Advance to Enter.
How Does QuickBooks Know?
Obviously, you’ll want advance warning of transactions that will require processing. QuickBooks lets you specify how many days’ notice you want for each type. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences. Click Reminders in the left vertical pane, then the Company Preferences tab. You can tell QuickBooks whether you want to see a summary in each category or a list or no Reminder. Then you can enter the number of days’ warning you want.
 
QuickBooks lets you specify the content and timing 
of your Reminders.
Working with Memorized Transactions
Once you’ve created some Memorized Transactions, you will undoubtedly need to review them at some point. Open the Lists menu and select Memorized Transaction List to see all the templates for recurring bills, invoices, etc., that you’ve defined. Right-click on one you want to work with, and this menu appears:
The Memorized Transaction List with the right-click 
window open
 
You have several options here. If your list is so long that it fills multiple screens, you can Find the transaction you’re looking for. If you’ve created multiple related transactions, you can save them as a New Group. You can also Edit, Delete, and Enter Memorized Transactions.
Anytime you’re letting QuickBooks do something on its own, it’s critical that you thoroughly understand the mechanics of setting the process up. We’d be happy to go over the whole topic of Memorized Transactions with you, or any other aspect of QuickBooks operations.
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.

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