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.

Xcentric

Swizznet

Qutera

 NovelAspect 

Real Time Data Services

nGenx

Harborcloud

Proxios

WY Technology

Infinitely Virtual

Skysphere  

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

Benefits

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.

Challenges

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.

Conclusion

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.

You work hard for your money. Strong internal controls can keep it from disappearing unnecessarily.

You trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them. That’s what everyone says as they watch a valued staff member being hauled off in handcuffs. But I trusted him.

Whether your accounting tasks are done on one PC or you have multiple users working on different screens, it’s critical that you make use of all that QuickBooks offers in terms of internal controls. You’ll also need to establish some common-sense rules.

First Stop: Audit Trail

An audit trail is a very large report that displays every addition, deletion and modification of every transaction. In older versions of QuickBooks you could turn it on and off, but it’s permanently on now.

Because of its size, you’ll probably have to use QuickBooks’ filtering tools to zero in on the user and/or date(s) you’re looking for. Go to Reports | Accountant & Taxes | Audit Trail. Click Customize Report | Filters to set up your search.

Your audit trail won’t alert you when someone tries to enter a prohibited area, and it won’t detect changes to lists. Setting up permissions will help (Company | Set Up Users and Passwords | Set Up Users), but you need more than that.

Figure 1: Be especially careful when granting user access to areas that contain customer, vendor and employee information.

Run the Right Reports

Other QuickBooks features can help prevent fraud. Review these reports regularly:

  • Closing Date Exception. Why were those changes necessary?
  • Voided/Deleted Transactions. Is there supporting documentation? Should you be reviewing these daily?
  • Expenses by Vendor Detail. Look for irregularities, especially multiple payments made to a vendor in a short period of time.
  • Check registers. Use the Balance Sheet for this. Go to Reports | Company & Financial | Balance Sheet Standard and customize the report for the correct period and – if necessary – for specific customers, vendors and/or jobs.

Adhere to Best Practices

You undoubtedly implement financial best practices in your personal life. You reconcile your accounts. You don’t give your online banking password to anyone. And you glance through your recently-posted transactions on your financial institutions’ websites.

If your company is large enough that you have multiple accounting employees, you probably can’t be as hands-on as you are at home. But you can still set up internal control procedures.

Figure 2: Debit? Credit? Reverse the transaction? No one should be making General Journal entries but you. It’s easy to err here; talk to us before using this feature.

For example, if your company has grown to the point where you’re removed from the daily workflow, you may still want to have approval rights for some procedures, like bank balance adjustments, refunds and credits, printed checks (you should still be signing them), timesheets and expense reports.

It goes without saying that you should password-protect your QuickBooks company file and change the password regularly, even – and especially – if you’re the entire accounting department. And protect yourself from external fraud. We can do a review of your security procedures and make suggestions.

Reinforce the rules

Know who your employees are (consider running background checks) and, if you can, rotate the duties assigned to accounting staff. If you have only one person managing all of your bookkeeping work, conduct an even more thorough background search: credit, references, criminal activity, etc.

Finally, make sure that all employees understand the definition and consequences of fraud. Let them know about the steps being taken to prevent it, but do some unannounced auditing on your own. Include a session on fraud in orientation and get current staff up to speed. Explain that this is necessary for their protection, too. Make it easy to report fraud anonymously, with no fear of repercussions.

This may seem like a lot of extra tasks in your workday, but imagine the time you’ll lose tracking down fraudulent activity if it occurs. So spend a fraction of that time upfront.

If you have questions on this subject, or anything else Accounting or QuickBooks related, give us a call or email. We’re here to help.

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

We hope you’ll be ringing out a successful financial year at month’s end. Here’s what you should know about preparing for a new year. 

End of the year: QuickBooks has been hard at work for the past 11+ months, recording and tracking and storing all of that financial data that you’ve entered so faithfully.

But when you turn the calendar page and make a new start January 1, your accounting software could use some closure on the year that’s just passed. Here are some actions you can take to ring out the old and ring in the new. There’s more you can do (we can help you with the advanced activities) but we’ll just hit the highlights here.

  • Reconcile, reconcile, reconcile. Yes, we know it’s not one of your favorite chores, but we really like to see all bank and credit card accounts reconciled by the end of the year if at all possible. Void all checks necessary and enter missing transactions.

Figure 1: You can make yourself crazy looking for a nickel when you’re reconciling, but it’s a critical function.

  • Make accrual adjustments. This is complicated, and it only applies if you accrue payroll and liabilities or prepay expenses that are then carried as assets. We’ll need to create journal entries for you.
  • Close your books. This is totally optional. It depends on whether you want to lock 2012 data to everyone except those who have the password and permissions. If you don’t close them, you’ll have easier access to last year’s transaction details. Regardless of what you choose, QuickBooks® will automatically make some year-end adjustments.
  • Do a physical inventory. Then compare this with what QuickBooks® says. Reports | Inventory | Physical Inventory Worksheet.

Figure 2: It’s good to match up your physical inventory count with QuickBooks® occasionally, and the end of the year is as good a time as any.

  • Check W-2 and 1099 data. You can’t create these forms, of course, until after your final 2012 payroll, but you can get a head start. Ask employees to verify their names, addresses and Social Security numbers for accuracy. Also, make sure that your EIN and SEIN are correct, as well as the company address.
  • Clean up, back up. We can monitor the health of your QuickBooks® data file anytime. But year-end is a good time to scrutinize your software’s performance. Has it slowed down, started crashing or returning error messages? We can troubleshoot to find the problem and clean it up. We’re sure you’ve been backing up your file faithfully, but archive all of 2012 and store it in a very safe offsite location – or use Intuit Data Protect for online storage.


Figure 3: Frequent backups are critical, but you should be sure to have a copy of your entire 2012 data file stored somewhere safe.

  • Double-check tax liabilities. If you’re handling your own payroll, look back to see whether all of your payments and filings have been completed.

Thanks for another year

Again, these are suggestions. QuickBooks® does not require you to do any of them. There’s more you can do, and you will need assistance with some of these. So let’s set up a December or early January meeting to get you started right in 2013.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for letting us serve your company in 2012. We certainly appreciate your business, and we’re happy to do what we can to help your business prosper.

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

QuickBooks® provides an Audit Trail feature that allows you to see every change that is made to each transaction in the file.

Each time you edit, void or delete a transaction, QuickBooks® posts the previous condition of the transaction to this report. As a result, QuickBooks® retains both the old data and the new data for the transaction.

In QuickBooks® 2005 and prior, this feature was optional and was available to be turned on and/or off in the Accounting: Company Preferences window. It also caused QuickBooks® to run much slower, especially in a multi-user environment and caused the data file to grow faster.

In QuickBooks® 2006 and beyond, the Audit Trail is always on and there is a much more powerful database that supports much larger files and allows you to track information on the Audit Trail without significant loss of performance.

To view the Audit Trail report, select the Reports menu, select Accountant & Taxes and then select Audit Trail.

As the consultant/accountant, it is best to create a user name for yourself so that QuickBooks® will tag all of your entries and edits with your name. After you work on the client’s data, export the Audit Trail report to Excel and save the details in your files. This allows you to refer back to the work you do at any time in the future.

The Audit Trail tracks transaction data only. It does not track changes to transactions that do not impact their accounting integrity. Specifically, it does not track edits to list items, edits to memorized reports, changes to memorized transaction or edits to user access privileges.

The Audit Trail allows you to determine which transactions the user changed or deleted, which user entered the change or deletion and when the user made the change or deletion. It does NOT tell you why.

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Any information about the transaction that has been changed is highlighted in Bold Italic type in the report. If there are multiple versions of a transaction, the earliest version will have no highlighting, but subsequent versions will highlight each value that differs from the previous version’s value in that field by displaying the value in bold italics. If a line item was added to the transaction, that entire line of the report will be highlighted.

If the Audit Trail Report displays “Unknown User” under the Last modified by column, the user has been deleted.

The Num column displays the user-specified number for each modified or deleted transaction. This field will be blank if a transaction is ready for printing and has not yet been assigned a transaction number.

The State column identifies whether you are looking at the most recent version of a transaction (the Latest) or an earlier version of the same transaction (a Prior). Transactions may have multiple Prior entries listed, but only one Latest.

This Status (Latest or Prior) is automatically assigned by QuickBooks as transactions are added, deleted, or modified. To view the most current version of the transaction, double-click any field in the Latest entry in the report.

By default, the Audit Trail report is sorted by the user who created or last modified the transaction, the transaction type, and the date the transaction was created or last modified.

To make this report easier to use, you may want to filter it. It is feasible to do this from within QuickBooks® by choosing a different date range from the drop-down list. This presents limited results and may not provide the information you need. For best results, you can Export the Audit Trail report to Excel and use the Find command to locate the specific information.

As always, if you have questions or would like more information about the QuickBooks® Audit Trail or any other QuickBooks® feature, please call us, we would be happy to help.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2012 version of QuickBooks.

I was telling a friend of mine about the topic of this months’ newsletter and he said “you’re the expert in QuickBooks® and you make a living from setting it up and cleaning it up and teaching people how to use it – why in the world would you tell people NOT to use it?”

The answer is simple – QuickBooks® is a really great program, it’s relatively low cost and it works well for most small businesses. However, one size does not fit all. It’s like that suit in the back of your closet. If QuickBooks® doesn’t fit, it won’t work and it won’t get used.

Fortunately, QuickBooks® has many solutions in their product line-up and with our expertise and knowledge we can customize and tailor a program specifically for you and your small business.

Data File Sizes and Transaction Limits

What impacts whether you should use QuickBooks® Pro or Premier or the more powerful version, Enterprise Solutions, is the size of your data file today and how that data is expected to grow over the time period for which you want to keep all transaction data in one (1) company data file.

The rate of growth of QuickBooks® company data files varies significantly from company to company. There is no “average” or “typical” data file size, since businesses track different information. How quickly a file grows depends on the number of transactions, the amount of information entered in each transaction and the number of “links” per transaction.

If your business generates more transactions than QuickBooks® can handle, performance may be affected. Technically, QuickBooks® Pro and Premier can handle two billion transactions in a single company file. In practice, however, tasks like running reports and finding transactions can take longer if the file grows too large.

We recommend that QuickBooks Pro and Premier data files should not exceed 200MB and that Enterprise Solutions files should not exceed 300 MB. These are general guidelines, based on several factors. There are no specific maximum file sizes and your system will not come to a crashing halt if you exceed these recommended sizes, however, as the data file grows, the overall performance of the software declines and the risk of data corruption increases.

To see how large your data file is currently, open your QuickBooks® file and press the F2 key. A Product Information box will appear and your data file size will be listed on the left hand side of the screen under File Information.

Item or List Limitations

QuickBooks® also has item limitations – counts that cannot be exceeded. Companies with list requirements that exceed those in the following table are not a good fit for QuickBooks®. This list highlights some of the more important physical limits and it is not an all-inclusive list. These counts are “combined” counts. For example, in Premier, you can have 14,500 customers, vendors AND items combined, not 14,500 per list.

List Name Pro and Premier Enterprise Solutions
Chart of Accounts 10,000 10,000
Names (customers, vendors, employees and other names) 14,500 >100,000
Items (including inventory) 14,500 >100,000
Classes 10,000 10,000
Price Levels 100 750

*For an all inclusive list click here

For companies that require a more robust inventory, we recommend using Enterprise Solutions, QuickBooks® Point of Sale or an add-on software such as  Fishbowl.
To find out how many items your data file is currently using, open your QuickBooks® file and press the F2 key. A Product Information box will appear and your List Information will be shown on the right hand side of the screen – be sure to scroll down to see all of the lists.

User Access Limitations

QuickBooks® limits the number of users who can access the company data file simultaneously. Companies that require more users simultaneously accessing the company data file than QuickBooks® supports are not suited for QuickBooks®.

Inventory Method Limitations

Companies that require an inventory method other than average cost (such as FIFO or LIFO) may want to use QuickBooks® with an add-on software for the inventory feature. Note that an exception is QuickBooks® Online Plus – as of mid-2010 it offers Inventory using the FIFO cost method. Another exception is QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions for 2012 with Advanced Inventory which has a FIFO option as well.

QuickBooks® Product # simultaneous users
Pro 3
Premier 5
Online Plus 5
Enterprise Solutions 30
Online 25

Summary

Although QuickBooks® works quite well for companies of various sizes and across many industries, there are a few situations in which QuickBooks® may not be the best solution.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of the QuickBooks® line of products or if you would like to discuss what solution is best for your small business, please call us.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2012 version of QuickBooks.

If your company has a policy that allows you to give your employees advances on upcoming payroll, you can use QuickBooks® and QuickBooks® Payroll to record the advance, which can then be reimbursed to the company through payroll deductions. We recommend that you document any loans to employees with terms for repayment clearly spelled out and signed by both parties.

Note: This QuickBooks® tip assumes that you have an active QuickBooks® payroll subscription.

First, create an Asset Account to Track the Employee Loan and Repayment

This is a one-time setup task

  • Go to the Lists menu and click Chart of Accounts
  • Click Account at the bottom of the list and then click New
  • Under Other Account Types choose Other Current Asset and then click Continue
  • If you are using account numbers, enter the number in the Numbers field
  • In the Account Name field, enter Employee Advances
  • Click Save & Close

Next, you can either write a regular check (non-payroll) to the Employee for the Advance and post it to the Other Current Asset account Employee Advances or you can pay the Advance through Payroll in which case you will need to create a Payroll Item of the type “addition”.

This is a one-time setup task.

  • Go to the Lists menu and click Payroll Item List
  • Click Payroll Item at the bottom of the list and then click New
  • Select the Custom Setup method and click Next
  • Choose Addition and click Next
  • Enter the name for this addition as Employee Loan
  • Click Next
  • On the Expense Account screen, choose the Other Current Asset account, Employee Advances, that you created in Step 1 for tracking this expense and click Next
  • Select None as the tax tracking type
  • Leave the taxes unchecked and click Next
  • Select Neither in the calculate based on quantity screen and click Next
  • Select Net Pay and click Next
  • Leave the default rate and limit blank and click Finish

Use this addition on the Employee’s paycheck under Other Payroll Items. Enter this amount as a positive number. 

Then, create another Payroll Item of the type “deduction”Again, this is a one-time setup task.

  • Go to the Lists menu and click Payroll Item List
  • Click Payroll Item at the bottom of the list and then click New
  • Select the Custom Setup method and click Next
  • Choose Deduction and click Next
  • Enter the name for this deduction as Loan Repayment and click Next
  • Leave the first two fields blank, then under the Liability account field, choose the Other Current Asset account, Employee Advances, that you created in Step 1 for tracking this expense and click Next
  • Select None as the tax tracking type and click Next
  • Leave the taxes unchecked and click Next
  • Select Neither in the calculate based on quantity screen and click Next
  • Select Net Pay and click Next
  • Enter a default rate and limit if desired and then click Finish

Note: You should only enter a default rate and limit if the rate and limit will apply to everyone using the Payroll Item. The limit may be marked as an annual limit and if so, you will need to manually adjust or remove the amount at the beginning of the calendar year or it will start recalculating.

Use this deduction on the Employee’s paycheck under Other Payroll Items. Enter this amount as a negative number. 

Create a Custom Summary Payroll Report to Track Employee Loan Balances

  • Go to Reports
  • Select Employees & Payroll
  • Select Payroll Summary
  • Click on Customize Report in the upper left corner
  • On the Display tab, choose All Dates
  • Select Payee in the Display Columns by drop-down menu
  • Check % of Row and uncheck Hours and Rate
  • Click on the Filters tab, select Accounts and choose the Other Current Asset account used for the Employee Advances on the drop-down menu
  • Click OK

Manage Employee Loans that will be Repaid over Time on Multiple Paychecks

  • Edit the Employee
  • Change tabs to Payroll and Compensation Info
  • Under Additions, Deductions and Company Contributions select the Loan Repayment Payroll Item
  • Enter the amount to be paid by paycheck in the Amount column as a negative amount.
  • Enter the balance remaining to be paid at this point into the Limit column as a negative amount.
  • Click OK

Note: QuickBooks® will automatically deduct this repayment on each paycheck and will stop the deduction once the limit has been reached.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2012 version of QuickBooks.

Please note that you should rarely need to void a payroll check. Remember that voiding a payroll check is not like voiding other kinds of checks; paychecks have associated tax and other liability calculations and payments that need to be taken into consideration. You are required to amend and file corrected payroll tax returns if you void a paycheck from a previous tax period.

To correctly replace a lost or destroyed paycheck and ensure that your payroll data remains accurate, you need to print a replacement check with a new check number and make a record of the lost or destroyed check.

Find the Paycheck in QuickBooks®

First, open the check register and find the paycheck that was lost or destroyed. In the Banking section on the Home page, click the Check Register icon. If you have more than one bank account, select the appropriate account and click the OK button. This brings up the Check Register where you can search for the lost or destroyed paycheck. You could also search for this check in the Employee Center.

Once you find the original paycheck, make a note of the check number and the net pay amount. You will need these later.

Double-click the entry in the register to open the Paycheck window. Select the To be printed checkbox and click the Print button at the top of the window to reprint the check using the next check number in your numbering sequence. Click Save & Close in the Paycheck window and close the check register.

This is the replacement paycheck that you will give the employee.

The next steps create a record of the lost or destroyed paycheck.

In the Banking section on the Home page, click the Write Checks icon.

    • Use the same check number as the original lost or destroyed check.
    • Make the date the same as the day the check was originally written.
    • Make the check payable to the employee (ignore the message about using the built-in payroll features.)
    • Make the check amount the net payment amount from the original check.
    • Note in the memo line that this check was replaced by the check you reprinted.
    • On the Expenses tab, choose Payroll Expenses in the Account column.

Click Save & Close.

Open the check register again. Find the check you just created, right-click it, and click Void Check.

You should now see the word “VOID” in the Memo field and a check amount of “0.00.” You now have a record in your check register of the lost or destroyed check.

*Please note that clients using the Assisted Payroll service and/or QuickBooks® Payroll with Direct Deposit may need to perform additional steps when reissuing paychecks to Employees.

This article of QuickBooks Tips and Tricks was based on the 2012 version of QuickBooks.