How to customize the settings on your QuickBooks desktop
- Desktop View
How to Turn on the Reminders Feature When Opening a Company File
- Click on Edit
- Click on Preference
- Click the picture of Reminders from the list that appears
- Make sure a check mark is in the box marked “Show Reminders list when opening a company file”
- Click the OK button
Password Protecting QuickBooks
To password protect your QuickBooks data file click on Company in the menu bar, then Set Up Users. From here, you can assign a password for the main (Administrator) account in QuickBooks. You can also set up user accounts, passwords, and different levels of access if you have multiple people using your QuickBooks file. Make sure you keep your newly created password in a safe place (just in case you forget it!)
How To Setup QuickBooks to Share with Another Computer
To allow the sharing of your QuickBooks file, your best option is to have a computer network in place. This network will provide the foundation for you to then share the file between two or more computers. You can have either a wired or wireless network within your office.
It is also possible to take a backup copy of the QuickBooks file from one computer and restore it to a second computer to allow sharing of the information. However, I don’t recommend this if both computers will be entering QuickBooks data. If you do this, you won’t know who has the most recent copy of the data file, and things can get messed up quite easily. Your best bet is to talk to a local computer consultant about a network for your home or office.
How to Set Up Accounts for Contractors that will be given 1099s.
The first thing you must do is tell QuickBooks that you will be issuing 1099s. Click on Edit (from the menu bar), then Preferences. Scroll down until you find the picture that says “Tax:1099” and click on it. On the Company Preferences tab, answer yes to the question about the issuance of 1099 forms, then follow the rest of the instructions on this screen.
Next, you’ll need to identify those vendors who are eligible to receive a 1099. Click on Vendors, then Vendor List. Double-click on the first vendor in the list, then the “Additional Info” tab. In the lower left hand corner, put a check mark in the box that says “vendor eligible for 1099” and enter their tax ID number they have provided. Repeat this process for any vendors that need to receive a 1099.
Finally, to run the 1099’s and related information, click on Reports, then Vendors, then either of the 1099 reports. Verify the data, correct if necessary, and print your 1099’s all within QuickBooks.
It’s important to review this topic with your accountant to ensure you are collecting the proper information and preparing the 1099 forms correctly for your business.
Getting QuickBooks Ready for Tax Preparation
Seems like you just finished doing your taxes, and here they come again. Whether you prepare them yourselves, hand them off to an accounting professional, or send data to a tax preparation product, QuickBooks can help you get ready.
Here’s how. This is not a comprehensive list of tasks you’ll need to undertake to prepare for taxes. Rather, it’s an overview of QuickBooks’ most tax-specific tools. QuickBooks supports many business tax forms, including the 1040, 1120, and 1065, and the steps outlined here apply to all small business tax filers using QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Enterprise.
Look Professional With Customized QuickBooks Forms
One of the many ways that QuickBooks makes your life easier is its ability to create business forms for all of the financial transactions your company produces. You simply fill in the blanks or choose data from drop-down lists, and QuickBooks generates a document you can e-mail or send. Only problem is, sometimes the pre-formatted default forms don’t include all the fields you need. Further, they look rather, well, plain. This being October, you might want to add a Halloween-centric logo, for example. Fortunately, QuickBooks is flexible. Using simple tools, you can modify the prefab forms that are included with the program to add a logo or other graphics and indicate which fields you would like to have appear.
Tune Up Your Business Plan with QuickBooks
Do you have a business plan? If you don’t, even if you’re a sole proprietor, you should.
Business plans can be a good barometer for the health of your finances as a way to gauge whether or not you’re on the right path. If you don’t have a business path (or if yours is less than organized or polished), you can use QuickBooks’ tools to create or fine-tune one. We’ll show you how to use these tools to get the job done quickly and easily.
7 Ways to Use QuickBooks to Manage Collections
In these trying economic times it’s more important than ever to keep a close rein on your accounts receivable. Seemingly no one is immune to sudden changes in financial circumstances, so be sure to monitor your outstanding invoices closely. There’s an inverse relationship between the age of an invoice and your ability to collect on it, but fortunately QuickBooks can help you manage your credit risk:
Go Back to School With QuickBooks’ Educational Tools
We know. When you first cracked your copy of QuickBooks, you wanted to dive in and start generating invoices. Fortunately, QuickBooks is intuitive enough that you were able to do just that. And its help system is so robust that you were able to get procedural questions answered quickly and easily.
But there’s a lot to be said for backing up a bit and taking advantage of the myriad educational tools that QuickBooks offers. Even if you’ve been using the program for months, you may want to explore them. You’ll not only save time with the help system, but you may find better ways of performing tasks.
Sales Orders in QuickBooks: Why? When? How?
There aren’t that many different types of forms to keep straight in QuickBooks, but you likely don’t use all of them. You probably use invoices and purchase orders frequently, and may fill out the occasional sales receipt, credit memo, or estimate.
But what about sales orders? You may find that they could make your bookkeeping more accurate and easier. There are only a few situations where they’re needed, but they’re the appropriate form to use at those times.
Preparing Purchase Orders Precisely
Part of the reason for QuickBooks’ success is its exceptional flexibility. By allowing users to turn features and preferences on and off, the same software can be used by a wide variety of business types and sizes.
In some cases, the default settings that QuickBooks supplies will work fine for your company. This is not necessarily true in the case of purchase orders, since the whole inventory procurement process is so complex, and users can have such a diverse range of needs.
How to Create a Progress Invoice from an Estimate
The U.S. economy may be picking up, but your customers are probably still being very careful with expenditures. If your company’s finances will allow it, you can help them out on sizable jobs by using progress invoicing, also known as partial billing or progress billing.
You could, of course, simply create invoices for smaller chunks of the job as they come. A smarter way is to build estimates for the entire job or sequential phases so your customer can see the big picture. You can still use progress invoicing to start collecting funds one segment at a time.
Receiving Inventory With or Without Bills in QuickBooks
You’re probably happy to see couriers delivering inventory items you’ve ordered since it means you can ship to customers, but recording the new stock means yet
QuickBooks’ tools can help with this, but you need to be sure you’re using the right forms. There are two different ones that you’ll use, depending on whether or not you’ve received a bill.
QuickBooks’ Custom Fields: An Overview
The beauty of QuickBooks is that it can be used for so many different kinds of businesses. Its smart design lets realtors and retail shops, plumbers and plastic surgeons use it to track income and expenses, pay bills and invoice customers, and to run those all-important reports.
But Intuit knows that QuickBooks can’t — and shouldn’t — tailor itself to individual business types (except in the industry-specific versions). So its structure and tools are somewhat generic and as universal as possible.
That’s where custom fields come in. You can simply use them for your own informational purposes, but QuickBooks also lets you create and add fields to your existing customer, vendor, employee and item records and forms, and use them as filters in reports.
Do You Need a More Robust Version of QuickBooks?
If QuickBooks were just one product, its appeal would be more limited than it is. Because there’s an entire family of Windows desktop software applications (as well as five online versions and a Mac edition), the QuickBooks family has found a home in millions of small businesses, and it remains the market leader.
Though QuickBooks versions themselves are not scalable (able to expand as your business grows), you can move up to a more sophisticated edition when you outgrow your current version.
But how do you know whether it’s time to upgrade or whether you’re just not stretching your current version to its fullest capabilities? We can help you determine that, and we’ll help you move into a more appropriate edition when/if that occurs.
Customize Reports, Make Better Business Decisions
Do you remember why you started using QuickBooks? You may have simply wanted to produce sales forms and record payments electronically. Gradually, you expanded your use of the software, perhaps paying and tracking bills through it and keeping an eagle eye on your inventory levels. Certainly, you’ve run at least some of the pre-built report templates offered by all versions of QuickBooks since their inception.
QuickBooks’ automation of your daily bookkeeping tasks has undoubtedly served you well. But that’s merely limited use; now it’s time to take advantage of QuickBooks’ greatest strength: customizable reports.
One of the rewards for diligently entering all of your accounting information is a better grasp of your company’s financial performance to date. That insight ultimately leads to better business decisions that can contribute to your future growth and success.
Creating Item Records in QuickBooks
Whether you’re selling one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will: (i) Ensure that your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing, (ii) Provide the information you must know about your inventory levels, and, (iii)Help you make smart decisions about reordering.
You’ll start this process by making sure that your QuickBooks file is set up to track inventory. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Items & Inventory. Click the Company Preferences tab and click in the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are activated if there isn’t a check in the box already. Here, too, you can ask that QuickBooks warn you when there isn’t enough inventory to sell. Click OK when you’re finished.
Preventing Data Theft in QuickBooks
Thanks to the internet, privacy has been on the wane over the last few years. We assume that our addresses and phone numbers are public information, thanks to sites like Switchboard and 411.com. We hope that our dates of birth are private (though the number of birthday wishes on Facebook makes that doubtful), and we assume that our Social Security numbers are hard to get.
Your customers trust you enough to provide you with additional private information, like credit card numbers. And you’ve seen what an uproar occurs when major corporate entities like Target and Home Depot get hacked.
Your small business may not have hundreds of thousands of customer information files, but you can still be targeted by external hackers and even your own employees. Are you taking measures to ensure the security of that data stored on your hard drive and/or in the cloud?
Customize Forms for a More Professional Image
You probably don’t get as many paper forms in the U.S. Mail as you used to. But when you do, do you draw conclusions about the business that sent them based on what their forms look like?
Whether or not you think you do, most people make judgements on businesses based on collateral materials. You might notice that there’s no company logo, or that there are unnecessary blank fields. Maybe the print is very light or blurry, and there’s no message at the bottom thanking you for your business and your payment.
How you present yourself on paper does matter. There’s a lot of competition out there, and you need to use all of the tools available to you to stand out. QuickBooks provides one way to do so with its simple forms customization features.
Use QuickBooks Custom Fields to Improve Insight
If you’re using QuickBooks, you probably know that you’re complying with the rules of double-entry accounting. The software is designed such that you can be compliant with these requirements without even being aware of it. You’re dealing with invoices and purchase orders, bank account reconciliation and bill-paying and payroll, not debits and credits and journal entries. QuickBooks does the double-entry part in the background.
Setting Up User Access in QuickBooks
If you ever did your bookkeeping manually, you probably didn’t allow every employee to see every sales form and account register and payroll stub. Most likely, you established a system that allowed staff to work only with information that related to their jobs. Even so, there may have been times when, for example, someone pulled the wrong file folder or was sent a report that he or she shouldn’t have seen.
QuickBooks helps prevent this by setting virtual boundaries. You can specify which features of the software can be accessed by employees who work with your accounting data. Each employee receives a unique username and password that unlocks only the areas he or she should be visiting.
Make QuickBooks Your Own: Specify Preferences
QuickBooks was designed to be used by millions of businesses. In fact, it’s possible to install it, answer a few questions about your company and start working right away.
However, we strongly suggest you take the time to specify your Preferences. QuickBooks devotes a whole screen to this customization process. You can find it by opening the Edit menu and selecting Preferences.
Creating Reports in QuickBooks
Reports are your reward for all that hard work you put in entering records and transactions in QuickBooks. Sure, you can always find individual invoices, sales receipts, and customers by using the software’s search tools, but in order to make smart business decisions, you need to be able to see related subsets of the information you so carefully entered in neat rows and columns.
You’ve probably created at least some basic reports in QuickBooks. You may have, for example, wanted to see who’s late paying you, or whether you have unpaid bills. You might need to know your stock levels, or which purchase orders are still unfilled. You certainly want to keep a close eye on whether you’re making or losing money.
Anatomy of a QuickBooks Inventory Item
When you started your business, maybe you were able to keep track of your inventory by peering in the closet or your garage. As it grew, that simply took too long. But you became tired of running out of stock because you didn’t have time to constantly check its levels, and you forgot about items that did not sell and were tucked away in a corner.
You need inventory-tracking. QuickBooks can help you create thorough records for each product you sell. It keeps track of how much you have on hand and warns you when your stock is running low. And its reports tell you what is selling and what is not, so you can make better, smarter purchasing decisions.
How to Enter Bills in QuickBooks
You may have noticed recently that business bill-paying is undergoing a transition. While some paper bills still come via the U.S. Mail, you may also be getting some of those bills via email. Sometimes, you might get a reminder email, but then must go to the vendor’s site to make a payment.
How do you keep track of it all, so you don’t miss any due dates? You could record them on a calendar, but you’d still have to go back to the actual bill to retrieve the amount. But where is it? Is it online, in your email inbox, in a file folder, or pinned to the corkboard on the wall?
QuickBooks can organize this unpleasant process, saving time and helping you avoid confusion. Here’s how it works.
Need to Create Estimates? QuickBooks Can Help.
You don’t need to be a car repair shop or an HVAC technician to present prospects and customers with estimates. In fact, there may be many times when an unexpected estimate–or bid, or proposal–will land you a job you didn’t necessarily expect.
Of course, the bottom line is the meat of your estimate, the price you’re willing to accept for your work performed. It’s your job to determine that. But let QuickBooks do what it does best: provide intuitive, efficient tools for creating and modifying estimates.
Options for Receiving Payments in QuickBooks
One of the reasons we like QuickBooks is because it uses language and processes that are familiar to small business people. Instead of using the term “accounts receivable,” it has a menu label that says Customers and menu items that use phrases like Create Invoices and Receive Payments. You would have to go into the Chart of Accounts to find standard accounting terminology and we never recommend that you do that without consulting with a QuickBooks professional first.
Yet when you’re doing customer-related tasks, you’re following a traditional accounts receivable workflow, a series of steps that completes a sales cycle, like Estimate | Invoice | Payment | Deposit. QuickBooks keeps it simple for you and doesn’t often force you into unfamiliar territory.
One of the more pleasant elements of accounts receivable is the process of receiving customer payments. There’s more than one way to do this, and it’s very important that you use the correct way in each situation.
Issuing Credit Memos and Refunds in QuickBooks
QuickBooks is very good at helping you get paid by your customers. It comes equipped with customizable invoice templates for billing customers and sales receipts for recording instant sales. It supports online payments, so you can accept debit or credit cards and electronic checks. It simplifies the process ofÂ recording payments and itÂ offers reports that let you keep track of it all.
There are times, though, when you have to issue a payment to a customer. QuickBooks provides forms that allow that transfer of funds: credit memos and refunds. Do you know when and how they should be used? Here are the basics:
Setting up Sales Taxes in QuickBooks
Next to payroll, state sales taxes represent probably the most complex element of your accounting tasks. QuickBooks can help with the mechanics, but there is a lot you need to learn before you can start charging and paying them. Here is an example: