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Quick Books Receivables

Keeping Up With Receivables: Know Who Owes You

QuickBooks Online provides numerous ways for you to know which customers owe you money–and who is late.

There are so many financial details to keep track of when you’re running a small business. You have to make sure your products and services are in good shape and ready to sell. You have to stay current with your bills. Orders need to be processed as quickly as possible, as do estimates and invoices. And you may have numerous questions from customers and vendors that must be addressed.

Your number one priority, however, is ensuring that your customers are paying you. Whether you accept credit cards or bank transfers or issue sales receipts for cash and checks, you need to always know where you stand with incoming payments. “Are my receivables current?” should be a question you’re asking yourself or your staff frequently.

QuickBooks Online offers numerous ways to know whether you’re being paid for your products and/or services and who might be falling behind. That information is critical to your understanding of how your receivables are stacking up against your payables. You should be able to gauge whether you’re making a profit, staying even, or losing money. Here’s a look at the tools you can use.

Learning When You Launch QuickBooks Online provides a good overview of your current cash flow as soon as you log into the site and see your two-pronged Dashboard. The first thing you see when you click the Business overview tab is a cashflow forecast that goes up to 24 months. Other content includes a profit and loss graph and charts showing expenses, income (including open and overdue invoice totals), and sales. Your account balances are there,too.

This is helpful data, but it’s broad. To get far more detailed information, hover your mouse over Sales in the toolbar and select All Sales. The horizontal bar across the top displays dollar and transaction totals for estimates, unbilled activity, overdue (invoices), open invoices, and (invoices) paid last 30days.When you click one of the bars, the list changes to show only that particular set of transactions.

Quick Books Receivables1

The table of transactions is interactive. That is, there’s an Action column at the end of each row. Click the down arrow next to any of the activity listed there, and you’ll see a menu of options. Depending on the status of each, these options include commands like Receive payment, Send reminder, Print packing slip, Send, and Void.

Running Reports

The Sales Transactions page provides more of your receivables nuts and bolts than the Business overview screen does. But to get the most in-depth, customizable, comprehensive view of who owes you, you’ll need to run reports. Click Reports in the toolbar and scroll down to Who owes you.

There are three columns here. You’ll land on Standard, which is a complete list of all of the pre-formatted reports that QuickBooks Online offers. Click Custom reports to see the reports you’ve customized and saved. Management reports opens a list of three reports that can be viewed by a variety of date ranges: Company Overview, Sales Performance, and Expenses Performance. You can view, edit, and send these, as well as export them as PDF and Microsoft Word files.

There are five reports listed under Who owes you that you should be creating on a regular basis. How regularly? That depends on the size of your business. The greater your sales volume, the more frequently you should run them.

When you select A/R Aging Summary, you’ll see at a glance which customers have current balances and those that are 1-30, 31-60, 61-90, and 91+ days past due. A few customization options appear at the top, like Report period, Aging method, and Days per aging period. To really zero in on the precise data set you want, click Customize. The panel that slides out from the right contains option in several areas: General, Rows/ Columns, Aging, Filter(by customer),and Header/Footer.

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QuickBooks Online helps you target the data set that you want. There are four other reports that can help you track your receivables:

Open Invoices displays a list of invoices that still contain a balance.

Unbilled Time tells you about any billable time that hasn’t been invoiced.

Unbilled Charges lists billable charges that haven’t been invoice.

Customer Balance Summary simply provides all open balances for you customers.

These are all very simple reports that you shouldn’t have any trouble customizing and running. They can give you a complete picture of where your receivables stand. But there are other reports that will require our help. These are standard financial reports that should be created monthly or quarterly, including Statement of Cash Flows, Profit and Loss, and Balance Sheet. You’ll need these critical financial statements if, for example, you’re applying for a loan or trying to attract investors. Please let us know if you want us to run and analyze these so you can get a detailed, comprehensive view of your financial health.

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QuickBooks Jobs

Creating Items and Jobs in QuickBooks, Part 2

Now that you’ve created some Items and Jobs in QuickBooks, what can you do with them? Last month, we talked about creating Item and Job records in QuickBooks. You can think of a Job as a project your company is doing for a customer, like a marketing campaign or a series of landscaping tasks. Once you set one up, you can assign all related transactions to it and eventually gauge its profitability.

We went over the steps required for managing Item and Job information. These actions allow you to:

Create Product and Service Records (Lists | Item List | Item | New)that make up each Job.

Create the Jobs themselves(Customers | Customer Center | New Customer & Job |New Customer or Add Job).

This month, we’re going to explain how you can use Jobs in QuickBooks to keep track of all the income and expenses attached to each one.

You can assign expenses like products you purchase, billable time, mileage, overhead (ask us how you can calculate this), freight charges, postage, etc., to specific Jobs. And of course, you’ll want to assign payments received to Jobs.

Creating Billable Time Entries

If you are using QuickBooks Payroll and you’re going to be tracking hours for an employee so that he or she will be paid for their time, make sure the worker is set up for this first. Go to Employees | Employee Center and double-click the name of the employee. Click Payroll Info and check the box in front of Use time data to create paychecks, then click OK to close the window. When you want to enter hours worked on a specific Job, open the Employees menu again. Click Enter Time |Time |Enter Single Activity. Complete the fields in this window as pictured below.

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You can create a record of billable time that will be used to both pay the employee and invoice the customer in this window.

If you don’t see the Enter Time option in the Employees menu, you haven’t turned on time-tracking in QuickBooks. Go to Edit | Preferences | Time & Expenses and click Company Preferences. Click the Yes button under Do you track time? There are other options in this window. You can mark all time entries as billable, for example, and set a Default Markup Percentage. If  you want to move time and expense entries into customer invoices automatically, check the box in front of Create invoices from a list of time and expenses. When you’re done, click OK.

Questions on this window?  Just ask us.

Assigning Jobs to Other Transactions Any transaction in QuickBooks that can be assigned to a customer can be assigned to a job. In all cases, be sure to assign the Job itself, not just the customer. And where appropriate, there will always be a Billable column or checkbox. Here are some examples of the transactions you can use:

Checks. This one’s easy. When you write a check, simply assign it to a CUSTOMER:JOB, whether it’s for Expenses or Items.

Sales Receipts. Say you’re doing a one-off task like tree and shrub trimming(as part of a larger Job)and the customer wants to pay you on the spot. In this case, you’d create a Sales Receipt. Go to Customers | Enter Sales Receipts. Select the CUSTOMER: JO Band fill out the rest of the fields, then save the transaction.

Bills. If you’ve ordered items to use for a specific Job and enter/pay the bill in QuickBooks, be sure to attribute it to the CUSTOMER:

JOB. Credit Card Charges. If you put an expense for a Job on a credit card, be sure to select the CUSTOMER:

JOB when you enter it in QuickBooks. Invoices. It’s likely that you’re going to invoice customers for multiple transactions that you’ve assigned to a Job–that’s the reason you’re setting it up as a Job in the first place. There are at least four ways to do this.

Start an invoice at the beginning of the Job and keep adding products and services and expenses to it until you’re ready to bill the customer. This is probably the least elegant way to do it, since you’ll have to keep remembering the invoice number, for one thing.

Enter your billable items as individual entries as you go along. When you’re ready to bill the customer, open an invoice form and select the CUSTOMER | JOB. This window will open:

QuickBooks Jobs

When you create an invoice for a customer who has outstanding billable time and expenses, QuickBooks will display this window.

Open the Customers menu and click Invoice for Time & Expenses. QuickBooks will display a list of Time, Expenses, Mileage, and Items. You select the date range and template type, and the software will create an invoice for the transactions you check.

Use Progress Invoicing. Enter products and services on an estimate, and you’ll be able to invoice them in batches. We can show you how to do this.

Of course, you’ll eventually want to know how profitable all your Jobs are so you can adjust as needed. QuickBooks can help you determine this, and we’d be happy to show you how. Let us know if you want to schedule a session to talk about this–or about any other element of QuickBooks.

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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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Paid Upfront

How Do You Manage Vendors in QuickBooks?

In these days of supply chain issues, you need to keep track of your vendors. QuickBooks has this covered.

If you buy and resell products, or if you need to purchase materials to create your own items, good management of your company’s vendor records is critical. Maintaining a physical card file is way too inflexible. You can’t find or edit individual records quickly or easily. They get lost, or they’re illegible because you’ve updated the cards too many times.

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tax time smoother

Billing Customers for Time and Expenses in QuickBooks Online

Sometimes, you have to spend money on your customers. Make sure you’re billing them for it.
Usually, money flows from your customers to your business. But there may be times when you have to
purchase items for a job whose costs will eventually be reimbursed. Or you, or an employee, might spend time providing services for customers and get paid for those hours by your company before you receive payment from the responsible party. If you’re a sole proprietor with no payroll and no reserves, of course, you just have to wait to be paid for your work.

In the first two cases, you’re spending money upfront that will eventually be paid back. In all three cases,
QuickBooks Online calls these billable expenses and billable time, and it does a good job of tracking these transactions – much better than if you were scribbling notes on a receipt or a paper timecard.

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Keep Up with Payables: Entering Bills in QuickBooks

Did you resolve to pay bills on time in 2021? Here’s how QuickBooks can help.

Managing your paper bills manually is a dangerous practice. It’s too easy to lose them, for one thing, and it’s impossible to keep all of those vendors and amounts in your head. Even if you keep them in a safe place, how do you track their due dates? You can write them on a paper calendar, but it’s easy to miss them considering everything else that is probably scribbled there.
So what’s the solution? You need a system that will keep you from paying bills late, which can lead to finance charges and bad relationships with your vendors.

QuickBooks provides that. You can enter bills as they come in and designate them as paid when you send the check or authorize a credit card payment or bank transfer. Besides making these records available, the software offers other way

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