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Posts by Rich Blakemore

QuickBooks Mileage

How QuickBooks Online Helps You Track Mileage

With gas prices so high, you need to track your travel costs as closely as possible. Consider getting a tax deduction for your business mileage.

If you drive even a little for business, it’s easy to let mileage costs slide. After all, it’s a pain to keep track of your tax-deductible mileage in a little notebook and do all the calculations required. If you do rack up a lot of business miles, you probably forget to track some trips and end up losing money.

QuickBooks Online offers a much better way. Its Mileage tools include simple fill-in-the-blank records that allow you to document individual trips. You can either enter the starting point and destination and let the site calculate your mileage and deduction or enter the number of miles yourself.

If you use QuickBooks Online’s mobile app, it can track your miles automatically as you drive (as long as you have the correct settings turned on). Here’s a look at how all of this works.

Setting Up

To get started, click the Mileage link in QuickBooks Online’s toolbar. The screen that opens will eventually display a table that contains information about your trips, but you need to do a little setup first. Click the down arrow next to Add Trip in the upper right corner and select Manage vehicles. A panel will slide out from the right.  Click Add vehicle.

 

You’ll need to supply information about your vehicles before you can start entering trips. You’ll need to supply the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Do you own or lease it, and on what date was the vehicle purchased or leased and put into service? Do you want to have your annual mileage calculated by entering odometer readings or have QuickBooks Online track your business miles driven automatically? When you’re done making your selections and entering data, click Save.

Entering Trip Data

You can download trips as CSV files or import them from Mile IQ, but you’re probably more likely to enter them manually. Click Add Trip in the upper right corner. In the pane that opens, you’ll enter the date of the trip and either the total miles or start and end point. You’ll select the business purpose and vehicle and indicate whether it was a round trip. When you’re done, click Save. The trip will appear in the table on the opening screen, and your current possible total deduction will be in the upper left corner, along with your total business miles and total miles.

If you want to designate a trip as personal, click the box in front of the trip in that table. In the black horizontal box that appears, click the icon that looks like a little person, then click Apply. Now, the trip will appear in the Personal column and will not count toward your business tax-deductible mileage.

Personal Trips Can Count, Too

If you use your vehicle(s) for personal as well as business purposes, tracking some of those miles can also mean a tax deduction. For tax year 2022, you can deduct 18 cents per mile for your travel to and from medical appointments. Note: Medical mileage is only deductible if medical exceeds a certain percent of AGI. Be sure to check with the IRS yearly tax code, as they update the mileage amounts annually.

And if you do volunteer work for a qualified charitable organization, the miles you drive in service of it can be deducted at the rate of 14 cents per mile. You can also claim the cost of parking and tolls, as long as you weren’t reimbursed for any of these expenses. Obviously, the IRS wants you to keep careful records of your charitable mileage, and QuickBooks Online can provide them.

QuickBooks Online doesn’t track these deductions, but you’ll at least have a record of the miles driven.

Auto-Track Your Miles

The easiest way to track your mileage in QuickBooks Online is by using its mobile app. You can launch this and have it record your mileage automatically as you’re driving. Versions are available for both Android and iOS, and they’re different from each other. They also have more features than the browser-based version of QuickBooks Online, like maps, rules, and easier designation of trips as business or personal.

In both versions, you’ll need to click the menu in the lower right corner after you’ve opened the QuickBooks Online app and select Mileage. Make sure Auto-Tracking is turned on. Your phone’s location services tool must be turned on, too. There are other settings that vary between the two operating systems. You can search the help system of either app to make sure you get your settings correct if the onscreen instructions aren’t clear enough.

Of course, you won’t see the fruits of your mileage deductions until you file your 2022 taxes. But you can factor these savings in as you’re doing your tax planning during the year. Please let us help if you’re having any trouble with QuickBooks Online’s Mileage tools, or if you have questions with other elements of the site.

 

 

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Creating Items

Creating Items and Jobs in QuickBooks, Part 1

JUNE 2022

Does your company do projects or jobs for customers? Let QuickBooks keep all related data in one place.

Before QuickBooks came along, tracking jobs or projects for your business probably involved file folders and paper invoices and bank statements and lots of sticky notes. You hoped that you didn’t forget to bill a customer or record a payment. And calculating the profitability of a job was quite a challenge.

QuickBooks makes these tasks easy. You can attach multiple jobs to customers and assign expenses to them when you enter a purchase. You can also assign estimates and invoices to specific jobs, then
do the same when payments come in. QuickBooks allows you to create individual records for each job based on all this data, and run reports that gauge profitability and unbilled costs, for example.

Transaction and reports templates are all ready for you to fill with your own data, but if you haven’t yet created records for the products and services you sell to complete your jobs, we suggest you do so before you start building your first one. You’ll need to be able to add those sales to your records. We’ll start there.

Creating Item Records – It’s always a good idea to make your item records as comprehensive as possible. But it’s especially important when you’re going to be creating and tracking jobs. We’ll create a service that might be used by a landscaping service as an example.

To get started, open the Lists menu and select Item List. Click the down arrow next to Item
in the lower left so you can familiarize yourself with the options available there. Click New.

In the window that opens, select Service from the drop – down list that opens below Type. Give your service an Item Name/Number and click the box if it will be a Subitem of another account.

Before you can start building job records, you should create records for the products and services that will be used for them. If you’re using a version of QuickBooks that says Enable under Units of Measure
and you want to designate one, click the button and walk through the wizard to define it. If you’re using a version of QuickBooks that doesn’t offer it, d0n’t worry about it. Enter a brief Description
in the appropriate field and then a Rate.

Open the list in the Tax Code field and select either Tax or Non. You may want to meet with us before you start creating items to go over the Tax Code and Account fields, or the question about assemblies or contractors – especially if you’re new to QuickBooks. They have to be correct, and you may have more questions if you have to create records for inventory parts, as this process is more complicated.
If you’re sure of the information you entered here, though, click OK.

Creating Jobs – To start creating jobs, you need to open the Customers menu and click Customer
Center. The Customers & Jobs tab on the left should be highlighted. Click the down arrow next to the field in the upper left and select New Customer & Job if you need to create a customer record first. If you already have a customer record, click once on the customer’s name in the list and then click

Add Job. Either way, you’ll see a window like the one displayed below when you click the Job Info
tab.
Creating Items

At the very top of this screen, above the window, you’ll see a field for Job Name, which you’ll need to enter. If this is a new customer, there won’t be an Opening Balance[dollar amount] As Of
[Date].

If the customer owes you money from previous work, you’ll need to supply the balance owed, which you can find by looking in the Balance Total column back in the Customer Center’s customer list.

You’ll enter a Description, of course. If your company offers a variety of summer landscaping packages, you might want to be more specific (like Weekly and Monthly Summer Landscaping ) so you can differentiate among them.

You need to consider what kinds of Job Types you want to create. Click the down arrow in that
field and select .

Job Types provide a way for you to categorize different jobs. Select your Job Status from the drop –
down list, and then choose your Start Date and Projected End Date using the calendars provided. Yo
u’ll eventually be able to fill in the End Date field. When you’re done, click OK. Your new job will appear in the Customers & Jobs list, under the related customer.

Next month, we’ll talk more about how jobs are used in QuickBooks. If you have questions before then, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want you to get the most you can out of the software and
are happy to help you learn new features.

SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS – Have you explored QuickBooks’ Jobs feature? You can create records for jobs and keep related transactions in one place. Jobs in QuickBooks are like mini- projects. You can add them to customer records and track their total financial activity. Before you can create Jobs in QuickBooks, you must add records for products and services. We can help you get started. Once you’re tracking
Jobs in QuickBooks, you can run reports that automatically gauge their profitability. Ask
us about this.

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Too Many Transactions in QuickBooks

Too Many Transactions in QuickBooks Online? Create Rules

Too Many Transactions in QuickBooks Online? Create Rules

It’s important to categorize transactions, but it takes time. If every day brings several dozen into QuickBooks Online, you can automate this process.

One of the cardinal rules of accounting is this: Go through your new transactions every day. If you wait until there are too many of them, you’re likely to give them short shrift. You may miss problems, just as you might skip categorizing some of them because it simply takes too long.

But correct categorization is essential. Your income taxes and reports will not be accurate if you fail to assign the right category to all of your transactions. QuickBooks Online makes this easy.The site also provides a way for you to accelerate the process by automating it. It allows you to create Rules. That is, if a transaction contains a specific piece of information, a name or an amount, QuickBooks Online allows you to indicate how it should be categorized. This kind of automation will save you time and may even prevent errors–as long as you use it carefully. Here’s how it works.

Defining Your Rules

We’ll use an easy example to explain how QuickBooks Online’s Rules work. Let’s say your shipping cost shave started to increase lately, and you want to make sure you’re seeing any UPS transactions that go above a specified dollar amount, and that they’re categorized accurately. Hover your mouse over Transactions in the toolbar and click on Banking(assuming you’re downloading your bank transactions). Select an account to work with by clicking on it, and make sure the For review bar is highlighted.

Click on a transaction to open it. (If you’ve never explored what you can do with a downloaded transaction, study this box carefully while you’re there, and contact us with any questions.) On the bottom line, you’ll see a link labeled. Create a rule. Click on it, and a panel slides out from the right, as pictured below:

Too Many Transactions in QuickBooks

The upper half of the Create rule panel

This portion of the Create rule panel is fairly self-explanatory. Give your rule a descriptive name(we entered UPS 25 Plus) and indicate whether it should be applied to Money in or Money out. If you want to select a specific bank account or card, click the down arrow in the field to the right and select it. Otherwise, choose All bank accounts. Next, decide whether a transaction has to meet Any of the conditions you’re going to specify or All of them. In this case, we want All.

Now you have to describe the conditions under which a transaction will be affected. We want transactions whose Description Contains The UPS Store. We also want to identify purchases from The UPS Store whose total is more than $25. So you’d click+ Add a condition. In the row that opens, click the down arrow in the Description field and select Amount. Click the down arrow again in the next field and choose Is greater than. The final field in the row should contain 25.00.

You could keep adding conditions, but that’s all we need for this rule. You can click Test rule if you want to find out how many transactions in your For review list would meet your specifications.

Next, you want to Assign attributes to the transactions selected. Your options here are Transaction type, Category, Payee, Tags, Class, and Memo. The first two are required and the third is recommended. The last three are optional. If you want QuickBooks Online to automatically confirm transactions this rule applies to, click the Auto-confirm button so it’s showing green. If you choose this option, your matching transactions will be modified to meet your criteria and moved directly into the Categorized queue. You won’t see them in For review. So consider this carefully.

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