Let’s start with the dark side.

Three Reasons Why You Don’t Like QuickBooks

1. It’s not exactly right for your business.

No, it’s probably not. QuickBooks is used (by Intuit’s count) by 5 million businesses. None of them are exactly like yours. You have a particular way you like your income statement to look, or a particular thing you want to track in your sales, or a particular formatting you want for your invoice, and QuickBooks doesn’t and can’t do it exactly like that. That is a characteristic of almost all off-the-shelf software.

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The alternative? Industry-specific software, or custom software. Both are many times more expensive than QuickBooks.

2. There are technical glitches.

Yep. In our opinion, there are bugs in QuickBooks. Always have been, always will be. There is no way to write hundreds of thousands of lines of code (purely a guess) with perfect logic, that will anticipate and respond correctly to every possible user action and IT event. My first tech job was as an accounting software quality tester. My second tech job was as an accounting software development code writer. So I’ve seen software quality from different angles, and it’s just hard to write really good accounting code, and perfect code is a mythical beast. We shouldn’t expect unicorn horns and phoenix feathers.

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                     Handling QuickBooks Upgrades and Updates

3. It’s not supported the way it should be.

I guess we all have an opinion about what we should expect of a software company in their support of their product. I hear people express dissatisfaction with Intuit’s sunset policy, the cost of their support plans, and the quality of help received through support staff. (Less complaints about that last issue in the last year or so, it seems to me.) What we’d all like is great support, delivered fast, that’s free. But unless the cost of providing that kind of support were built into the initial product cost, that’s not going to happen. Resources like the Intuit Community and the QuickBooks Forums do offer free support that is often of high quality.

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One Reason Why You Like QuickBooks. Maybe a Lot.

1. It’s a complete, affordable, flexible system.

Between QuickBooks Pro, Premier industry editions, Enterprise Series, Mac, and Online editions, there is a completeness to what QuickBooks can do for small to medium-sized businesses.

RELATED: QuickBooks Comes in Lots of Flavors

 

The price of the software and support is reasonable for what you get (in my opinion). And it’s flexible. You can scale up from Pro to Premier to Enterprise, (and even scale down from Enterprise if necessary), or you can scale over to online editions.

It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot to like.

RELATED: What Users Like and Do Not Like About QuickBooks

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Sometimes your company might have a job that takes months or even years to finish. Do you wait until the job is finished to start invoicing? In most cases, you want to be paid for the work you’ve completed. This process is called progress invoicing. Essentially, you invoice in increments based on an estimate. In this exercise, assume you have already created an estimate for $3,114 for customer Kristy Abercrombie.

  1. First, make sure to turn on the progress invoicing feature. To do this, choose Edit > Preferences and click the Jobs & Estimates icon. Click the Company Preferences tab. In this window, select “yes” below Do you create estimates? and Do you do progress invoicing?
  2. Prepare an invoice based on the Kristy Abercrombie estimate. Click the Create Invoices icon.
  3. Click the Customer:Job drop-down arrow and select the Kristy Abercrombie job.
  4. QuickBooks opens the Available Estimates window.

Now select an estimate to convert it to an invoice. Select estimate number 606.

  1. Click OK.
  2. QuickBooks opens the Create Progress Invoice Based on Estimate window.

Progress Invoicing means you invoice against the estimate in increments until the job or contract is complete. If you choose the first option, Create invoice for the entire estimate, QuickBooks copies all line items and quantities from the estimate to the invoice. The second choice lets you invoice a percentage of the estimate. The third choice lets you specify the items and quantities to transfer from the estimate to the invoice. In this case, select the third option.

  1. Click OK.
  2. Decide which items and quantities to invoice. Select the Show Quantity and Rate and the Show Percentage boxes.
  3. The first four columns show information from the Estimate. The next three columns show anything already invoiced for the job. The last six columns show what you want to charge the customer on this invoice.

To transfer an item to the invoice, enter a Quantity, Amount, or Percentage. In this case, enter 3 quantities. For the first line item, enter 5 for Framing.

10. For the second line item, enter that you installed 5 Frames.

11. For the third line item, enter that you removed 5 Frames.

12. Click OK.

13. QuickBooks opens the Billable Time and Costs window.

14. You can choose to include or exclude existing charges from this customer’s account.  Let’s Exclude outstanding billable time and costs for now.

15. Click OK.

16. QuickBooks copies the selected items to the invoice.  To print the invoice later, select the Print Later checkbox.

17. Click Save & Close.


Today’s tip is a guest post by Tom Dahm from Real World Training, the country’s largest provider of QuickBooks training.

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Have you ever crashed Quickbooks? It ain’t pretty. Here is an often-ignored tip to avoid bringing down QuickBooks on your network. This is not a hardware-based tip, like plugging every network component into a battery backup unit.

This one requires cooperation from every one of your QuickBooks users.

TIP: Close QuickBooks whenever you are going to be gone from your computer for awhile.

Lunchtime, trip to the dentist time, staff meeting time, quitting time…get out of QuickBooks.

Why?  For some reason, if you leave your company open (but inactive) in QuickBooks for a long time, it tends to lose connection with your company data file. So when you come back to your computer and try to resume your work, QuickBooks will often be unresponsive. It may crash. You may get a “Connection Lost” message. You may get a fatal error code. None of these are good.

This has happened to ME…more than once. One time, it corrupted the file so that I had to restore my last good online backup. (Yes, fortunately, I had one.)

The simple prevention is to just log out of QuickBooks when you are going to walk away from your desk for awhile. When you get back, run QuickBooks again, open up your company, and get to work.

You would maybe think that you could leave QuickBooks running indefinitely across your network without problems. That is not so.

So this tip is simply one of making office policy: Before you walk away, close QuickBooks. Easy.

Have you ever lost connection in QuickBooks because of extended inactivity? What happened?

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