We asked users how their using QuickBooks saved them money. There seemed to be one common theme: I can do my books in-house. Here’s what some of them said:

“Quickbooks saves me money because it is so easy (and support is good) that my wife was able to figure it out.  Now I don’t have the expense of an additional bookkeeper.”

“Quickbooks is so easy to use that I do not have to hire an accountant to keep my firm’s accounting and financial data.”

“QuickBooks saves my business money by allowing me to do a lot of things that I would have had to pay a CPA for.  I do all of our payroll and payroll taxes.  This also saves us money by not requiring a payroll service that so many businesses use.”

“As a tiny business, payroll is my one of my largest expenses.  QuickBooks allows me do my own payroll and taxes to cut out the expensive middle man.”

(Sometimes it’s not a bad idea, though, to farm out just the payroll part and do the rest of books in-house. Depends on your experience and training.)

“I do not have to pay for a accountant to do my business paperwork each month”

(Yep, and you can run the reports — and change the reports — anytime you want.)

“I can actually do and manage my own accounting without depending on an outside accountant. This might not sound sweet to accountants but it is what it is as QB is easy, friendly to use.”

(You can do the main data entry and reporting, and just use outside accountants for periodic reviews and adjustments as needed.)

“When used in conjunction with a quickbooks professional bookkeeper it means the high-end accountant cannot justify charging me for work that is already done.”

(Right. Divide the labor for most cost-effective results.)

“When I need to get data to my tax accountant to prepare my income taxes, for corporate, franchise and personal, all I need to do is hand over a copy of my Quickbooks file.  It saves me hours of filling out my accountants questionaires and it saves me fees for time charges my accountant would normally charge to get the answers to the information he needs.   When providing an estimate of what it will cost to do my taxes, my accountant always asks, ‘Will you have a Quickbooks file available?’   It is a big savings!”

“Quickbooks is so easy to run I am not only Joe the contractor, electrician and yes the plumber but I can be my own Secretary and Accountant too. Amazing software. QuickBooks is the perfect name.”

(Joe, you’re a talented guy!)

RELATED: What Do People Love Best About QuickBooks?

 Thank you, QuickBooks users, for sharing your thoughts with us.

 

It’s just common sense that there shouldn’t be many deleted transactions in your QuickBooks file.

If there are a lot of deleted transactions, then it could mean that a lot of mistakes are being made, or someone is trying to hide something. There could be other explanations too, but usually they would not be good news either.

So how can you check and see what has been deleted?

Fortunately, there is a report just for that. It’s called the “Voided/Deleted Transaction” report. It comes in summary and detail formats. You access it by clicking the Reports / Accountant and Taxes menu.

When you run the report, it will show you transactions that have been voided or deleted. It will break that out by the user, so you can see what transactions each user has deleted/voided. It shows the type of transaction and the date the transaction was deleted. Below that, the report shows a kind of audit trail of the original transaction.

Here’s an example. Click on it to enlarge.

Deleted or voided transactions will show up under the headings for the original user, and the user who deleted or voided the transaction. In the example above, Anna both wrote a check to Chris Markley and then deleted the check.

You can change the date range for shown transactions, or click the Customize Report button to add filters to the report.

Have you had issues with deleted or voided transactions in your office? Feel free to share your story with your reply.

hiredNot having a good accountant/bookkeeper may not break your business, but having one on your team sure helps!  A good accountant can have a HUGE impact on your bottom line.

Because they handle your money, choosing one is a big decision and should not be taken lightly.  Take your time — if you are feeling pressure to decide, this may not be the person or firm for you.

To help you along, here are a few questions to ask the prospective accountant (or accounting firm).

1.  How many years has the accountant been in business? With the constant changes in the tax laws and accounting reporting requirements, someone with a minimum of 5 years experience is ideal since you want a business/firm that has been around and won’t go under on you.  You don’t want a fly-by-night operation that’s here today and gone tomorrow.

2.  How many years of experience does the accountant have? Again, a minimum of 5 years is ideal…however, industry specific experience of 2-3 years is a good start.

3.  What industry are they proficient in? Depending on your industry, this question could be vital. You want an accountant/bookkeeper who knows the red flags for your industry as well as what to look for when reviewing your financial statements & taxes for errors.

4.  What is their response time and communication style? Response time should ideally be within 24-48 hours as a business courtesy; however, communication style is up to you. You should lean toward someone that communicates via similar media/channels as you. For example, if you are proficient and comfortable with email/Instant Messenger communication, but your accountant is not…you may have an impasse regarding responsiveness. So keep communication channel preference in mind.

5.  What is the size of the firm? This only matters in terms of services needs and responsiveness. If you are looking for a “one-stop shop” for bookkeeping, accounting, payroll and taxes… someone that only does bookkeeping is not going to be for you in terms of service.

If you need quick turnaround for certain items, a 20+ person firm may not be for you. On the other hand, if you need 20 financial reviews done simultaneously, a 2 person firm may not be for you in terms of responsiveness.

BONUS – What is your comfort level/rapport with them? This isn’t necessarily a question to ask the prospect but rather something you should ask yourself prior to signing a services agreement. You want to have a certain level of comfort with them, after all, they will be handling your business’ money & financial affairs… so if something just doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it.

Having the answers to these questions is a good foundation for making this decision…If you need help or you have questions, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.

________________________________________________________________

About The Guest Blogger:  Joyce M. Washington, CPA

Joyce is a CPA who has spent the better part of almost 20 years honing her craft as an accountant with various companies in the Greater Baltimore-Washington, DC area – growing, mentoring and managing accounting teams. It’s this experience that she brings to services and training programs, including QuickBooks Basics.

Website:  http://www.thecommoncents.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/thecommoncents

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/thecommoncents

Bookkeeping is a little like physics – there are unbreakable rules. So to paraphrase one of them, “For every debit, there is an equal and opposite credit.” But in QuickBooks, that is not always obvious. The “implied side” of a transaction is not staring you in the face most of the time.

The balancing side of every transaction is there nonetheless, so that your general ledger zeroes out and your financial statements work as they are supposed to.

Where do you find the implied side of the transactions? Sometimes you want to know (or confirm) what the offsetting entry is behind the scenes. That’s where the Transaction Journal comes into play.

You can simply run the Reports / Accountant and Taxes / Journal report. It will show every transaction within the reporting date range (which you can change) and it will break out the debits and credits of every transaction into columns for the accounts that are affected.

In this example (which I split into different lines for viewability), Mr. Teschner made a payment against his customer account. You see the split in the Journal report: Checking account 10100 was debited (increased) by $5,000 and Accounts Receivable account 11000 was credited (decreased) by $5,000.

Example of Journal Report in QuickBooks

You can change the dates on this report to focus on a particular date or date range, or you can click Customize Report / Filters to limit the Journal report’s output to particular accounts you wish to see.

A faster way to pinpoint one particular transaction is to pull up the customer, vendor, employee, etc. in its respective Center.

Let’s say you want to see the implied side of an invoice that posted to a particular customer.

Go the Customer Center and click on the customer you want. You’ll see the customer’s transaction in the right-hand pane.

In this example, let’s say you want to see all the debits and credits associated with invoice 1024, the last transaction in the listing.

You just right-click on that transaction, and select “View Transaction Journal”, like this:

Journal transaction detail

A new window will pop up with the debits and credits for that specific transaction. Here’s the rightmost columns of information in the window:

Viewing the transactions journal in QuickBooks

Nice! This is faster and easier than running the big Journal report and filtering down to this level. You see that the implied side of the transaction is listed first: accounts receivable. That’s the implied side of the invoice transaction.

This is a pretty obvious example. But in cases where you’re not sure what the offsetting debit or credit was, you have ways to find out.

In traditional accounting (and traditional accounting software) you ‘close the books’ at the end of a year. How do you do that in QuickBooks? Short answer: You don’t.

Right or wrong, QuickBooks keeps your accounting data around more or less permanently. You can run the QuickBooks archive/condense/clean up command (the naming of it differs across versions) but that has limited results. You can have your file supercondensed. But otherwise, your transaction history sticks around pretty much forever.

That’s a good thing for running historical reports whenever you want.

The potential for problems, however, comes through the ability to add, change, or delete entries made in a prior year — after you have already filed your company’s taxes. Definitely a no-no.

So how can you avoid that? It’s easy. Use the Set Closing Date and Password command in QuickBooks. That will more or less lock down your prior years’ information so that it cannot be altered without your controlled permission.

With your company file open in QuickBooks, click Edit / Preferences. Select the Accounting preference in the left pane. Then click the Company Preferences tab. You’ll see this:

QuickBooks company preferences screen

Click the button at the bottom called Set Date/Password. Here’s what you’ll see:

QuickBooks Set Closing Date and Password screen

This screen represents powerful accounting control for you.

At the Closing Date prompt, enter the date at which you want to restrict any changes (e.g. December 31 of the previous year).

Enter a password that is unique for this purpose (don’t recycle a user’s password here). Reason? If anyone tries to make a change to a transaction in a “closed” year, they won’t be able to do so without knowing this special password.

If you don’t create a password here, anyone who tries to enter or change a transaction prior to the closing date will get a warning, but will still be able to make the entry. You are leaving the door open to all kinds of problems if you don’t create a password here.

There is a checkbox to exclude sales orders, estimates, and purchase orders from the closing date limitation. Why? Well, those kinds of entries aren’t actually accounting transactions — they don’t post to your general ledger or subledger account balances, so changing them doesn’t change your financial reports. You may or may not want to check the box, depending on your accounting control policies and how you handle those kinds of pre-transactions in your business.

Close the books in QuickBooks? Not really. But that doesn’t mean you can’t control the the books.

quickbooks training optionsYou’re new on the job, and that job includes using QuickBooks. You have some bookkeeping experience, but you’re wondering if it’s enough!

There are some things you can do to get up to speed with your new bookkeeping assignment, and none are very expensive:

* Read a book or watch a DVD. There are several books out there that QuickBooks-using readers rate highly. Some of the most popular are QuickBooks for Dummies, QuickBooks: The Missing Manual, and QuickBooks: The Official Guide. They’re available on Amazon. A DVD training course, QuickBooks Essentials LiveLessons, also gets good marks.

* Take a class. Lots of community colleges offer beginning or intermediate level classes on QuickBooks. They are sometimes scheduled for the evenings or weekends, so you can work them around your job. If you live in a larger city, there may be training classes or seminars offered by professional trainers (these are usually more expensive, though.) A listing of some available local classes can be found here.

* Participate in a live QuickBooks training webinar. QuickbooksUsers.com will be hosting a series of live online training events for QuickBooks users starting in September.

To be informed of upcoming QuickbooksUsers.com workshop topics and dates, enter your email address below and click “Sign me up”, or just shoot us an email at info@quickbooksusers.com and let us know of your interest.


Sign up to keep informed on upcoming Live Online Workshops for QuickBooks

Email


You want to keep good books? Then read a good book.

There are good training resources available for beginning and advanced users of QuickBooks. Here are some of the highest rated ones on Amazon:

QuickBooks 2011, the Missing Manual, by Bonnie Biafore. 720 pages. Pogue Press. 4.7/5 Stars on Amazon. Great balance between instructions on specific features and basic accounting advice.

Running QuickBooks 2011 Premier Editions: The Only Definitive Guide to the Premier Editions, by Kathy Ivens. 608 pages. CPA911 Publishing. 5/5 Stars on Amazon. Tips, tricks, shortcuts, and workarounds to unleash the full power of the Premier editions.

QuickBooks 2010 Solutions Guide for Business Owners and Accountants, Laura Madeira. 528 pages. Que Publishing. 4.5/5 Stars on Amazon. For intermediate to advanced users, this guide helps you use QuickBooks to understand where your business is currently, and where it’s going.

This last one is not a book, but it is a great do-it-yourself training resource: QuickBooks Essentials LiveLessons (Video Training): For All QuickBooks Users [DVD-ROM], by Laura Madeira. 1 DVD. Published by Que Publishing. 4.4/5 Stars on Amazon. This training DVD has 18 lessons to help walk you through every essential QuickBooks skill.

These resources cost under $30, but can fill in some of the gaps in your QuickBooks knowledge.

quickbooks jobs employmentGot QuickBooks skills? There are jobs out there for you.

Our QuickBooks Jobs Forum lists dozens of job openings every month for people with QuickBooks skills. Those listings consist of permanent part-time or full-time jobs requiring a background in QuickBooks. (There are other places to find temp or contract jobs; see below.)

In 2010, the average pay for data entry work was $10-15 per hour. Supervisory positions and ones requiring stronger accounting backgrounds were seen in salary ranges up to $40K per year.

Forum job listings peaked in 2010 in October with 105 listings. Most of the listings were in the US, but some were in Canada or the UK or elsewhere.

If you want to use your QuickBooks skills in a temporary position, check out the listings on accountemps.com and jobing.com. Some of the most popular sites for short-term contract positions are elance.com, donanza.com, and freelancer.com.

If your company has several bank accounts, you can either stock preprinted checks for each of them, or use blank stock for all of them.

PrintBoss Select is software written especially for QuickBooks users to allow printing of QuickBooks checks on blank stock.

How does it work? It basically takes over the check printing function in QuickBooks. When you print a check from within QuickBooks, PrintBoss Select wakes up, retrieves your bank’s information (including routing number, your bank account number, etc.) and prints a completed check and stub.

The resulting check looks just like a pre-printed check, but it’s generated from your printer. With the help of your MICR toner ink, it prints MICR encoding on the bottom of the check that guarantees the check will successfully pass through the check clearinghouse system.

PrintBoss Select is different from previous versions of PrintBoss in that it supports unlimited bank accounts. So it’s a great money saver if your company has several checking accounts, or if you do the books for many clients — each with their own bank accounts.

The software will also prints deposit slips. Both US and Canadian check formats are supported for use with QuickBooks.

This newest version of PrintBoss also can create Positive Pay Files and ACH payment files.

How about security? You no longer have to securely store (or worry about) pre-printed checks. PrintBoss Select can also print security protected signatures on your checks. And the high-security blank check stock (with watermarks) can not only decrease the chance of fraud, but presents a very professional image for your company.

PrintBoss Select is compatible to print checks for QuickBooks Windows editions. It works with all recent versions of Windows, including Windows 7, and supports terminal services and Citrix.

You can download a free demo of the software and see how it works here.

We have used PrintBoss in-house for years, and vouch for its reliability and quality.