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.
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!

    On November 2nd– 4th, Intuit will be hosting the 2nd annual QuickBooks Connect Conference in San Jose. The conference brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, small business owners, accounting professionals and developers under one roof.

There are three different tracks on the agenda as follows:

Accountant – QuickBooks Connect will help your firm get future ready by challenging you to go further, think differently, and embrace the cloud to properly value the services you provide, grow your firm, and better support your clients. *

Small Business – Whether you’re a company of one or one hundred, come to make your business dream a reality: network with fellow small business owners, entrepreneurs, self employed individuals, startup founders, and Venture Capital leaders to receive personalized advice on maximizing your success. *

Developer – Engage Intuit Developer experts to speed your QuickBooks app integration and successful launch to the QuickBooks ecosystem. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet and network with other developers, accountants and small business owners. *

The mission is to connect, learn and grow throughout a dynamic agenda of main stage and intimate sessions. Key speakers include Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Alba, Brian Lee and Robert Herjavec. Sessions topics include: Here to There: The Accountant’s Journey toward Professional Greatness, Work/Life Harmony, 10 Barriers to Service Excellence and How to Overcome Them, and Cash is King: Tips to Increase Your Cash Flow Today. There will also be speed  mentoring sessions and an entire series of QuickBooks Online training topics.

Rhonda Rosand states, “This will be my second year attending the Intuit conference and I look forward to seeing many familiar faces at the event and I invite you to join me in California for this spectacular training opportunity.”

* – content is taken directly from the QuickBooks Connect Website

 

A couple of years ago, QuickBooks® gave Accounting Professionals a tool just for us – it’s only in the QuickBooks® Accountant and QuickBooks® Enterprise Accountant versions.  It’s called Period Copy and it allows us to extract transactions between a set of dates for a specified period of time and condense transactions outside of the range.

This preserves transactions in the condensed file only for a particular period with entries prior to that period summarized and entries after that period removed.

This is useful for clients with file size and list limit issues as well as for third-party requests of information – not only for audit requests, but also in the event of a business sale, a divorce or legal dispute when you do not need to provide the entire QuickBooks® file.

First thing – BACKUP your data file. You are creating a new file to be issued to a third-party and you do not want to overwrite your working file.

Then under the FILE menu, UTILITIES, CONDENSE DATA –

Accept the prompt that it is ok to lose Budget data.

When it prompts you for what transactions you want to remove, select “Transactions outside of a date range” to prepare a period copy of the company file. Set your before and after dates to include the period you want to keep.

Then when it prompts you how transactions should be summarized, choose “Create one summary journal entry“.

Remove the recommended transactions.

Remove the unused list entries.

Begin Condense.

Once complete, you will have a QuickBooks® data file with only the relevant transactions for a specific period of time and you won’t be disclosing more information than need be.

Both the Desktop and Online versions of QuickBooks maintain an Audit Log showing a history of activity in the file by user.

QuickBooks Online Accountant allows you to see all of your QuickBooks Online accounts listed in one login screen and you can choose which client file to access.

Recently, we have witnessed several cross-overs of usernames in the Audit Logs. For example, you could be working in QuickBooks Online as yourself (the Accountant) on Client A, but the Audit Log shows you logged in as Client B on Client A’s file. If Client A happens to check the Audit Log, this could cause quite an alarm!

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change the username retroactively in the Audit Log. There are, however, ways to fix this if it is happening now, and ways to prevent it from happening in the future.

If you have access to multiple QuickBooks Online companies, review the Audit Log in each company. If you log into QuickBooks Online as yourself, and the Audit Log lists another user’s name, this is where you will need to edit your Username record. To edit your username record in any of your QuickBooks Online company logins, go to https://www.login.quickbooks.com/.

Once logged in, you will see a drop-down menu of QBO companies that you have access to. After selecting the company with the incorrect username, you can edit that username to correct the issue going forward.

When you access a new QBO Company, it is always a good idea to check the Audit Log firsthand to prevent future issues.

We have notified Intuit Support of these Realm issues as have other ProAdvisors, and we are awaiting their solution. In the meantime, you may wish to reach out to your affected clients proactively.

The balance sheet is one of the main financial reports for any business. Among other things, it shows what a company owns, what they owe, and how much they and others have invested in the business. One of the characteristics of a balance sheet is how it separates what you own and what you owe into two categories based on timeframe.

Current and Long-Term

You may have seen the Assets section of your balance sheet divided into two sections: Current Assets and a list of long-term assets that might include Property, Plant, and Equipment, Intangibles, Long-Term Investments, and Other Assets.

Current Assets

Current Assets include all of the items the business owns that are liquid and can easily be converted to cash within one operating cycle, typically a year’s time. The most common types of current assets include the balances in the checking and savings accounts, receivables due from clients who haven’t paid their invoices, and inventory for resale.

Long-Term Assets

The remaining assets are long-term, or assets that cannot easily be converted to cash within a year. Property, Plant, and Equipment, also termed Fixed Assets, includes buildings, automobiles, and machinery that the business owns. You might also see an account called Accumulated Depreciation; it reflects the fact that fixed assets lose their value over time and adjusts the balance accordingly.

Intangible assets are assets that have value but no physical presence. The most common intangible assets are trademarks, patents, and Goodwill. Goodwill arises out of a company purchase. Investments that are not easily liquidated will also be listed under Long-Term Assets.

Current Liabilities

Similarly, liabilities are broken out into the two categories, current and long-term.

Current liabilities is made up of credit card balances, unpaid invoices due to vendors (also called accounts payable), and any unpaid wages and payroll taxes. If you have borrowed money from a bank or mortgage broker, the loan will show up in two places. The amount due within one year will show up in current liabilities and the amount due after one year will show up in long-term liabilities.

Long-Term Liabilities

The most common types of long-term liabilities are notes payable that are due after one year, lease obligations, mortgages, bonds payable, and pension obligations.

Why All the Fuss Over Current vs. Long Term?

Bankers and investors want to know how liquid a company is. Comparing current assets to current liabilities is a good indicator of that. Some small businesses have loan covenants requiring that they maintain a certain current ratio or their loan will be called. The current ratio of your business is equal to current assets divided by current liabilities. Bankers like this amount to meet or exceed 1.2 : 1 (that’s 120%: 100%, although this can vary by industry).

Next time you receive a balance sheet from your accountant, check out your current and long-term sections so that you’ll gain a better understanding of this report.

As Accountants we default to the tried and true – the journal entry – we use the traditional system of accounting to record, adjust and correct all things. A debit here, a credit there and voila, we are done.

Not so in QuickBooks® – Journal entries do not use “Items” and items are the backbone of all the subsidiary reports in QuickBooks®. When you run job profitability reports, the costs recorded by journal entries do not show up on the Profit & Loss by Job reports. This holds true for any item-based reports in QuickBooks®.

QuickBooks® likes to have all transactions start with the source document – a Sales Receipt, an Invoice, a Credit Memo, a Payment Receipt, a Deposit, a Bill, a Credit, a Bill Payment, a Check, a Credit Card Charge, a Statement Charge, an Inventory Adjustment, a Sales Tax Adjustment, a Sales Tax Payment, a Payroll Check or a Payroll Liability Payment.

There are very few reasons to create journal entries in QuickBooks® and they should be limited to non-transactional entries with the exception of outsourced payroll.

If you use a third-party payroll service like Paychex® or ADP, the payroll company sends you reports. To record the numbers from those reports into your company file where you need them, you can use journal entries.

You may also need to enter year-end adjustments for Depreciation, Amortization, Prepaid Expenses, Deferred Revenues, Accrued Payroll and Taxes or to allocate Net Income to Partner Equity accounts. These may be done in the form of journal entries and/or reversing entries.

Otherwise, it’s best to use the source documents. Using the forms allows you to maintain the integrity of the management reports like Sales by Customer or Sales by Item.

You should never make journal entries with Accounts Receivable and/or Accounts Payable accounts. While it may clear out the account to zero, you will notice on your Aging Reports that the fixes live forever in the clients’ QuickBooks® file.

Sources and Targets in Journal Entries

All of that being said; I am convinced that some of you are still going to insist on using journal entries for adjusting Accounts Receivable and/or Accounts Payable in QuickBooks®.

With that in mind, a final word of caution – do not use these particular Balance Sheet accounts that require a Customer or Vendor name to be associated with them as the first line in any journal entry.

The first line in a journal entry is the Source of the transaction. All subsequent lines are Targets of the transaction. When you enter a Source Name, QuickBooks® copies that name into any Target Name that you leave blank.

When you make a journal entry in QuickBooks® with Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable as the first line item and assign a Customer/Vendor Name to that line, each subsequent line uses that Name even if you leave it blank.

For example, let’s say this is the journal entry that you give to your client to enter into their QuickBooks® file to tie out to the year-end trial balance:

This is what QuickBooks does with the transaction behind the scenes:

All lines of the journal entry are associated with the Customer Name “Bill Smith”.

Copying the Source Name creates issues when you filter a report for the Customer: Job Name and the report includes transaction lines that you do not intend; it distorts the report.

To avoid having Customer/Vendor Names incorrectly copied down to the blank lines of an adjustment –

  • Enter the accounts with names on the lower lines of the journal entry after the accounts without names, or
  • Create a dummy name on the Other Names list e.g. “No Name” and enter it on each of the Target lines.