Use QuickBooks’ Tools — and Common Sense Procedures — To Prevent Financial Fraud

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 Laptop and Padlockthey 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.

Set Up User Permissions In QuickBooksFigure 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.

Journal Entry ScreenFigure 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

Setup Custom Fields In QuickBooksFigure 3: Anyone in your company who has access to accounting data should have a background check.

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 me a call or email. I am here to be your partner.

 

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , | Comments Off on Use QuickBooks’ Tools — and Common Sense Procedures — To Prevent Financial Fraud

Is 2013 The Year You Finally Go Mobile With Financial Data?

Using QuickBooks Mobile, you’ll improve business relations, put out fires before they start and unchain yourself from your office computer.

 

There are only a few reasons why you wouldn’t be using QuickBooks Mobile on your smartphone. Maybe you don’t have a smartphone. Or when you’re out of the office, you don’t want to be available for accounting work. Or you might not think that it has enough features to make it worth using.

While the first two reasons are matters of personal preference, the third just isn’t true. QuickBooks Mobile automatically – and almost instantly – synchronizes the data from your desktop or laptop computer copy of QuickBooks. While it’s only focused on sales, not payables or payroll, you can manage receivables quite nicely whether you’re in a customer’s office or at a trade show or community event – or sitting on the couch at home.

QuickBooks Mobile

Figure 1: You can see this screen no matter where you and your smartphone are (the recently-upgraded Android version is pictured here).

Countless Scenarios

There are numerous situations where you might want to access, add or edit customers, estimates, invoices, sales receipts or payments when you’re not near the PC where QuickBooks is installed, like these:

• You do a half day of onsite training and your client wants to pay you cash right then to qualify for a discount. You can record the payment and email a sales receipt.
• You’re on the road and you want to see how well your bookkeeper is managing receivables. QuickBooks Mobile displays three views: recent activity, today and upcoming.
• You’re with a client who would like to give you a check to get current, but he or she can’t find the invoice. Rather than calling your office and sitting on hold until someone has time to look, you can pull up the form on your smartphone to discuss it.

Record a payment using QuickBooks Mobile App

Figure 2: You can record sales receipts and payments on your smartphone – even schedule appointments that move to your Google calendar.

The Perils of Payroll

QuickBooks Mobile doesn’t support payroll, but Intuit Online Payroll does. Like QuickBooks Mobile, the app itself is free (of course, you have to pay for the service itself). You can view the most recent payroll run and employee information, as well as preparing, previewing and approving the current payroll.

Neither app is available yet for the iPad, though QuickBooks Online is.

Intuit Online Payroll App

Figure 3: Missed your flight and afraid you’ll miss the current payroll run, too? Intuit Online Payroll gives you access from your Android or iPhone.

Paper or Plastic?

If you’ve been in business for very long and still don’t accept credit cards, you have an idea of how many sales you’ve lost. And QuickBooks Mobile won’t let you do so, anyway. You’ll need to get a merchant account from Intuit Merchant Service for QuickBooks (fees apply). A merchant account allows you to accept plastic through QuickBooks itself, your web browser, your web storefront – and on your smartphone or iPad.

To do so, you’ll need to apply for a merchant account and download Intuit’s free GoPayment app. You can either swipe cards on the free mobile reader or type numbers in. Your customers sign their names on the surface of your mobile device, and you can print or email a receipt.

Accept credit cards with your smartphoneFigure 4: You’ll need to get acquainted with the Intuit Merchant Service Center to work with credit card payments.

It would be nice if those credit card payments were just instantly zapped into the right places in QuickBooks, but alas, it isn’t so. You’ll need to do some setup and processing both within QuickBooks and in the online Intuit Merchant Service Center. We can help you with setup and your initial transactions to make sure all of your payments get through and are deposited and/or credited correctly.

I think you’ll find that once you start using all of the mobile payment services that Intuit offers, you’ll wonder what took you so long.

If you have questions about QuickBooks features, send me a message.  I love to help!

 

 

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Is 2013 The Year You Finally Go Mobile With Financial Data?

Do you have months or years of bank statements that need to be entered into QuickBooks?

Using a third party QuickBooks application, I can import your bank statements into QuickBooks at hyper speed. It works like this –

You send me a backup of your QuickBooks data file and the bank statements that need to be input as a .pdf file. The application reads the bank statement and enters all the information into a spreadsheet like form. I edit and review the information and it is sync’ed right into QuickBooks.

 

I don’t need online access to your bank accounts, I am not outsourcing the data entry to a foreign country. It’s so fast, easy and safe! I can work with any bank or credit card statement.

For more information give me a call or send me a message today!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Do you have months or years of bank statements that need to be entered into QuickBooks?

Say Good-Bye to 2012 and Ready QuickBooks for 2013

I hope you’ll be ringing out a successful financial year at month’s end. In any case, here’s what you should know about preparing for 2013.

Happy New Year ImageEnd 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 (I can help you with the advanced activities) but I’ll just hit the highlights here.

• Reconcile, reconcile, reconcile. Yes, I know it’s not one of your favorite chores, but I 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.

Begin Reconciliation Screen Shot

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. I will 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.

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.

• Run income tax reports. As you know, QuickBooks lets you assign tax lines to tax-related transactions. Use the Income Tax Preparation Report and the Income Tax Summary Report. Let me know about any errors or omissions.

• 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. I 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? I can troubleshoot to find the problem and clean it up. I’m 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.

Create Backup Screenshot

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.

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

P.S. It’s not too early to think about taxes, so let me know if you want to get a jump on planning and preparation in January.

 

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Say Good-Bye to 2012 and Ready QuickBooks for 2013

Program Costs $200, Why Do I Have To Spend So Much To Get It Setup?

I found this wonderful quote in a Linked In Group –

I recently worked with someone who had made a total mess of their QuickBooks. The banker saw the financials were screwed up and told the client. The client had no idea that the balance sheet was wrong. She hired me to fix it, and was shocked at the price (I gave her the lowest rate possible, just to help her out). She was shocked it was going to “take so long” to correct at $X per hour…….

Here’s the kicker: the client cannot receive any more SBA loan funds until the books are corrected. And guess what? The client has no money to pay for consultants to fix the problem. All this is the result of someone who “thought they knew what they were doing”.

My take: most small business owners are not bookkeepers, or even administratively gifted. On top of that, only a very few smart ones know to “value” the advice and help of an accounting professional (during the start up phase, and long after) as we can keep them out of trouble.

QuickBooks is great at selling software. We professionals need to be great at selling the value of our services. I, like others, tend to take the value of my expertise for granted. But as soon as I step in the door and start working with someone’s QB mess, I am quickly reminded of just how valuable my services are in the marketplace. I need to keep that in mind when I am pricing services for a client, and deciding which client I wish to assist.

Thanks for the wonderful insights.

Semone B.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Program Costs $200, Why Do I Have To Spend So Much To Get It Setup?

Are You Defining Items in QuickBooks Correctly?

Create item records in QuickBooks carefully, and QuickBooks will return the favor by running useful, accurate reports.

Clearly-defined items result in precise reports.

Figure 1: Clearly-defined items result in precise reports.

Obviously, you’re using QuickBooks because you buy and/or sell products and/or services. You want to know at least weekly — if not daily — what’s selling and what’s not, so you can make informed plans about your company’s future.

You get that information from the reports that you so painstakingly customize and create. But their accuracy depends in large part on how carefully you define each item. This can be a laborious process, but it’s a critical part of QuickBooks’ foundation.

QuickBooks’ Item Lineup

You may not be aware of all of your options here. So let’s take a look at what you see when you go to Lists | Item List | Item | New:

Service. Simple enough. Do you or your employees do something for clients? Training? Construction labor? Web design? This is usually tracked by the hour.

Inventory Part. If you want to maintain detailed records about inventory that contain up-to-date information about value, quantities on hand and cost of goods sold, you must define these items as inventory parts. Before you start creating individual records, make sure that QuickBooks is set up for this purpose. Go to Edit | Preferences | Items & Inventory | Company Preferences and select the desired options there, like this:

Bookkeeping Guru November Newsletter Image 2

Figure 2: QuickBooks needs to know that you’re planning to track at least some items as inventory parts.

Inventory Assembly. Just what it sounds like; it’s sometimes referred to as a Bill of Materials. Do you sell items that actually consist of multiple individual products, services and/or other charges (though you may also sell the parts separately)? If you’re planning to track the compilations as individual units, then you must define them as assemblies.

Non-Inventory Parts. If you don’t track inventory, you can set up items as non-inventory parts. Even if you do track inventory, there may be times when you’ll want to use this designation. For instance, you might sell something to a customer that they asked you to obtain, but you don’t plan to stock it. In that case, QuickBooks only records the incoming and outgoing funds.

Bookkeeping Guru November 2012 Newsletter Image 3

Figure 3: The New Item window looks a bit intimidating, but it’s critical that you complete it thoroughly and correctly. I can help you get started.

Other Charges. This is a catch-all category for items like delivery charges or setup fees. You can’t designate a unit or measure here; they’re just standard costs.

Groups. Unlike assemblies, these are not recorded as individual inventory units. Use this designation when you sell a combination of items together frequently but you don’t want them tracked as one entity.

Discount. This is a fixed amount or a percentage that you subtract from a subtotal or total.

Payment. Normally, you would use the Receive Payments window to record a payment made. But if your customer has made a partial or advance payment upfront, use this item to subtract it from the total when you create the invoice or statement.

Bookkeeping Guru November 2012 Newsletter Image 4Figure 4: Use the Payment item to record an upfront remittance.

Sales Tax Item. One sales tax, one rate, one agency.

Sales Tax Group. If a sale requires two or more sales tax items, QuickBooks calculates the total and displays it for the customer, but the items are tracked individually.

Additional Actions

The Item menu provides other options for working with items. You can:

• Edit or delete

• Duplicate

• Make inactive

• Find in transactions and

• Customize the list’s columns.

Let me know if you’re not confident about items you’ve already created or if you’re just getting started with this important QuickBooks feature. Some extra work and attention upfront can save you from hours of back-tracking and frustration – and from reports that don’t tell the truth.

 

 

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on Are You Defining Items in QuickBooks Correctly?

QuickBooks 2013 Gives You A Reason To Upgrade

Tired of QuickBooks’ cramped, claustrophobic screens and uneven interface? You’ll be pleased to see the 2013 version.

You chose QuickBooks for a variety of reasons, a major one being its simplicity and usability.

But the software is more than 20 years old now, and hundreds of features have been added over the years. QuickBooks looks old, tired and in need of a makeover.

Not anymore. Intuit has totally redesigned the program’s interface and navigational tools, providing a more consistent, streamlined, state-of-the-art look and feel. For the first time in a few years, there’s a compelling reason to consider moving up.

The QuickBooks 2013 Home Page

 

Figure 1: The QuickBooks 2013 home page.

Clean, Efficient, Customizable

What Intuit heard from customers was that they wanted a clean, simple experience. They wanted QuickBooks optimized for efficiency, and they wanted to be able to customize quickly.

So Intuit built a brand new interface, one that offers:

  • An across-the-board, consistent look and feel
  • A minimal learning curve, aided by familiar software conventions
  • A clearer, more obvious workflow.

QuickBooks’ 2013’s dramatic changes are evident from its first screen. The home page has been cleaned up, and many icons removed (with their functions available elsewhere). But the interactive flowchart graphic is still there, along with icons for other commonly-used features.

You can still use the software’s standard drop-down menus. But you now have a choice between the old horizontal Icon Toolbar and a new vertical navigational panel (or neither of the latter two). You can customize the new panel to give you quick access to the functions and reports you use most often, saving time and unnecessary clicking.

The New Navigation Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: The new vertical navigational panel can be customized to display the icons you want.

Familiarity, and Clear Signals

Whether you just handle a subset of your company’s financial data or you’re the only one working with QuickBooks, your workflow will be faster and more intuitive.

QuickBooks 2013 uses colors and other visual cues to provide helpful hints and speed up your work. If the same option occurs within more than one screen, it’s always the identical color. When you’re completing an invoice, for example, the Save & New button is a bright blue color, as it is on many other screens. The Save & Close and OK icons are the same shade within the forms and records where they occur.

Color is also used to signify related actions in the new navigational Ribbon, a familiar interface convention that replaces the mismatched icons that used to be displayed at the top of transaction forms. In QuickBooks 2013, the icons for related tasks are the same color, and the graphics themselves are much cleaner and well-positioned.

QuickBooks 2013 New Navigational Ribbon

Figure 3: QuickBooks 2013’s new navigational Ribbon is designed to accelerate workflow.

A Pleasure to Use

No area of QuickBooks remained untouched in this massive overhaul. Every screen has been modified to enhance readability and speed. Fonts look larger and clearer, and the overall design is more aesthetically pleasing.

So besides making your accounting chores zip along faster, the new look and navigation have a positive psychological effect: It’s simply more enjoyable and less frustrating to interact with QuickBooks 2013. Its more modern, attractive look has a lot of appeal.

There are a few new things under the hood in this new version – it’s not just an interface update. For example, customer and vendor records are more flexible and thorough. You can attach to-do’s to them, assign multiple contacts and store more contact options, like Facebook addresses and Twitter handles.

Contact records in QuickBooks 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4: Contact records in QuickBooks 2013 are more readable and thorough.

Starting Fresh

There are other changes that will make your work life easier, like one-click access to both the Intuit App Center (where you’ll find hundreds of integrated QuickBooks add-ons) and your most often-accessed reports.

The last few versions of QuickBooks have been rather ho-hum in terms of new usability and functionality. But I encourage you to seriously consider upgrading to QuickBooks 2013. I’d be happy to help you get up and running with it. Together, I can take a fresh look at your workflow to see if you and QuickBooks can build a better accounting experience.

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on QuickBooks 2013 Gives You A Reason To Upgrade

QuickBooks Can Do Much More Than You Think

No, you’ll never max out all of its features, but here are some tips on tools that extend QuickBooks’ usefulness – and save you time.

You’ve undoubtedly created reports that were so lengthy that you got tired of scrolling up and down to find totals for each individual section. QuickBooks lets you collapse and expand reports to see primary totals only, but this command affects the entire report.

If you want to just collapse a section or two, here’s how you do it. As an example, go to Reports | Company & Financial | Balance Sheet Standard. In QuickBooks 2012, you’d click the Excel button (your version may say Export). Indicate that you want to create a new worksheet and click Advanced. This window opens:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1: The Advanced Excel Options window displays the formatting tools you can carry over from QuickBooks and the features in Excel that you want to be active.

Make sure that Auto Outline (allows collapsing/expanding) is checked, then click OK and start the export. When your report opens as an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll notice that there is a series of vertical lines to the left of your data, and a group of numbers that corresponds to them running above horizontally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: Excel’s Auto Outline feature adds tools to the left of your data that let you collapse and expand subsections.

To collapse a section so that only the totals show, click on the minus (-) sign next to the line that should remain (in this example, it’s Total Checking/Savings). Do the same for Total Accounts Receivable and Total Other Current Assets. Then scroll down and do the same thing for the other asset subtotals. Here’s what you’ll see:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3: As you can see, the minus (-) signs have turned into plus (+) signs, which allows you to expand the rows back to their original states.

Auto Outline is a very useful feature, but there’s more than one way to implement it. And its availability and operation can vary in different versions of both Excel and QuickBooks. I can help you master this, as well as other QuickBooks-to-Excel tools.

Hidden Gems

Here are some other less-commonly-used QuickBooks features that you may want to try:

• Getting ready to send an invoice but want to check a related transaction from the same job a few months ago? You could use the Find tool, which is a seriously underused feature that can often answer a question quickly. But that takes a few clicks. Instead, just hit Ctrl + L, and that Customer/Job screen pops open in the Customer Center. Click Ctrl + E from that screen to see the Edit Job dialog box.

CTRL+Y on transaction screens opens the Transaction Journal, which shows you the behind-the-scenes debits and credits. If the Account column is truncated, click and drag the little diamond symbol to the right.

• QuickBooks offers numerous helpful payroll reports, but it also transfers your data into Excel for more comprehensive views of your employee compensation information over customizable date ranges. Go to Reports | Employees & Payroll | Summarize Payroll Data in Excel and More Payroll Reports in Excel.

Figure 4: Summarize Payroll Data in Excel is actually a series of reports, available by clicking this navigational bar at the bottom of the screen.

• Allowing multiple windows in QuickBooks and tired of clicking the little x repeatedly to start with a clean slate? Click Window | Close All. This drop-down menu also displays the list of open windows; click on one to go there.

• There may be no more frustrating task than reconciling your bank accounts. If you’re using online banking, consider doing this more than once monthly. Also, don’t let QuickBooks do an automatic adjustment for a considerable discrepancy unless it was a mistake made by a financial institution: Click the Undo Last Reconciliation button and try to find the error. And don’t forget about the Leave button. You may do better attacking it later.

• If you occasionally need to enter a transaction for an entity that isn’t a customer, vendor or employee, go to Banking | Other Names List. You can add, edit and delete these, as well as converting them to customers, vendors or employees.

There’s more than one way to do a lot of things in QuickBooks. I can tell you about more, and evaluate your workflow to see how else I can improve your accounting experience.

 

Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off on QuickBooks Can Do Much More Than You Think

QuickBooks Payroll Runs: Easy, Fast, Accurate

If you’ve already set up your QuickBooks employee and company payroll files, the hard part’s over.

It’s not just a catchy ad slogan: It’s true. Unless you have dozens of employees or numerous exceptions each payday, you can literally process a payroll run in just a few minutes using the employee compensation tools in QuickBooks.

No matter which version of desktop QuickBooks you’re using, payday chores are similar. Even if you’ve subscribed to Full Service Payroll and are having most of the work done by Intuit, you still have to enter the number and type of hours worked for each pay period.

If you’re doing payroll manually or through a payroll service, you might be surprised at how quickly and easily your payroll tasks can be completed once you’ve finished entering information about your company and its employees, taxes and deductions.

A Simple Process

When you get a reminder that it’s time to run payroll, go to Employees | Pay Employees and choose Scheduled Payroll to get to this window:

Figure 1: No matter how many payrolls you’ve run, it’s important to verify that these dates are correct.

When you click Start Scheduled Payroll, a new screen displays your employee list in a spreadsheet grid. By default, QuickBooks displays several columns, including Employee, Regular Pay and Sick Hourly; you can opt to include others, like Employee Number. If you hide columns that contain information, that data will still be used in paycheck calculation.

Then:

• Verify that the information at the top of the screen is correct (Payroll Schedule, Bank Account, etc.).

• Make sure that all employees to be paid have check marks next to their names.
• Enter the number of hours worked for each hourly employee, placing them in the correct pay type column.

Select one and click Open Paycheck Detail to see a complete breakdown of compensation and withholding — all calculated automatically by QuickBooks based on your setup data — within the Preview Paycheck screen. Close the window when finished.

Figure 2: The Preview Paycheck screen shows the numbers behind the check amount.

Checking Your Work

If you’re satisfied that everything is correct, click Continue. In the next screen, you’ll verify Payroll Information again and check a box to indicate whether checks will be printed or handwritten (you can assign a starting check number to the latter). QuickBooks displays a grid containing each employee’s total gross pay, total taxes and deductions, net pay, employer taxes, contributions and total hours. The Direct Deposit field will be checked if the individual is signed up.

If you’re at all unsure that your payroll information is correct, you can click Finish Later. Otherwise, select Create Paychecks.

The Final Step

QuickBooks will then display your results:

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3: Once you’ve previewed and approved a payroll, you can simply click to print any paper checks and pay stubs.

Check the box at the bottom of this window next to Do not advance the dates of this payroll schedule in the Payroll Center if you still have employees to process for this run. If the box isn’t checked, QuickBooks will change the dates in the Pay Employees window to reflect your next pay period.

When you select Print Paychecks or Print Pay Stubs, the selection window opens. You can toggle among views of Paychecks, Direct Deposit or Both. Select the ones you want to dispatch and click Print or E-Mail. You’ll have the option to reprint any checks if you need to; otherwise, click OK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4: Click Preferences in the print selection window to customize paycheck vouchers and pay stubs.

No Room for Errors

Sounds simple, and it is – as long as your setup was error-free. As you well know, you can’t make mistakes running payroll or you’ll initiate a whole series of incorrect numbers, making employees, benefits providers and government agencies unhappy.

So do not proceed if something doesn’t look right; QuickBooks always gives you an out. And let me know how I can help with setup, taxes or payroll runs – or anything in between.

Posted in Newsletter | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on QuickBooks Payroll Runs: Easy, Fast, Accurate

What is QuickBooks Data File Setup?

Creating a Customized QuickBooks Data File.

When setting up a QuickBooks data file, there is much more involved than simply running the setup interview and inputting basic list information. To setup the file properly you must enter beginning account balances for your Balance Sheet (and, in a mid-fiscal year setup, your income statement), enter prior period monthly financial information (if you want comparative reporting to the previous fiscal year during your first year of QuickBooks use), link your sales items on sales forms to the correct accounts and account types, enter open invoices (customers), unpaid bills (vendors), open purchase orders, open estimates and open sales orders. When these forms are partially received/paid/billed, the process becomes especially tricky.

The way you enter open invoices and unpaid bills also varies depending on whether you report on the cash or accrual basis. If applicable, you must also setup inventory counts and values and setup payroll (employees and paycheck calculating information).

Importing List Information from Other Databases.

If you use another accounting software solution now and/or if you have customer, vendor, inventory part and other list information stored in almost any computer database (e.g. Excel, Access, Outlook, etc.), I can almost certainly import that information into QuickBooks. Doing so will save you countless hours of data entry and will increase the accuracy of your setup.

Why should I seek assistance with Data File Setup?

Each step in the setup process includes many options, and there are pitfalls to avoid. For example, certain reports will be impacted unless you set up certain fields in a particular way.

Most Small Businesses Don’t Have a Good Track Record Setting up QuickBooks without Help.

In my experience, very few accurate QuickBooks setups result when the business owner does not seek the help of a qualified QuickBooks consultant. When I have to clean up the file due to various setup mistakes, the file modification is much more complex and can be QuickBooks ProAdvisor Logomuch more costly to the small business owner than if I am involved in the process from the beginning.

Installing QuickBooks Financial Software on Each QuickBooks User’s Workstation.

If more than one person will use the same QuickBooks file, the installation also involves networking QuickBooks for multi-user access. To network the file, you will need to connect (network) your workstations so that they can share files

Installing QuickBooks Financial Software on Each QuickBooks User’s Workstation.

If more than one person will use the same QuickBooks file, the installation also involves networking QuickBooks for multi-user access. To network the file, you will need to connect (network) your workstations so that they can share files.

If You Want Help Setting Up Your QuickBooks Data File

Call me or email me to set up a time.  Remember the old adage “Well Begun is Half Done”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on What is QuickBooks Data File Setup?