QuickBooks Reminders Prevent Problems

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

QuickBooks Reminders Prevent Problems

Preserve your relationships with customers, vendors, and others by setting up reminders in QuickBooks.

How many calendars do you maintain? Many businesspeople have more than one. Maybe you use a web-based or desktop application like Google Calendar or Outlook for meetings, task deadlines, travel dates, etc. Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) might have another. Perhaps you still have a paper calendar as backup.

But where do you keep track of bills that need to be paid, invoices that have to be sent, inventory items that must be ordered, etc.? Do you include that information in your general business calendar(s) and hope they don’t get lost in the shuffle?

QuickBooks has a better solution. The software contains a dedicated set of tools that automates the process of setting up and displaying reminders. Once you’ve created them, they can be the first thing you see when you open QuickBooks in the morning.

Warning: If you do not launch QuickBooks frequently, consider tracking your critical accounting tasks using a different method.

Getting a Head Start

QuickBooks lets you specify exactly when you want to receive reminders of upcoming activities. To set this up, open the Edit menu, then click Preferences, and then Reminders | Company Preferences.

Note: If you want QuickBooks to display your reminders every time you launch the software, click on the My Preferences tab and make sure that the box in front of Show Reminders List when opening a Company file is checked. If it isn’t, click in the box.

QBC 1115 image 1_zpsbljfajsnFigure 1: QuickBooks provides personalization tools for your reminders.

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Accounting for Time in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Accounting for Time in QuickBooks

If you sell services to your customers, you’ll need to understand how to use QuickBooks’ time-tracking features.

Small businesses that sell products have to do a constant balancing act. Keep too much inventory on hand, and you’re sitting on potential profits. If you don’t order enough and you run out, your customers may go to a competitor. QuickBooks provides tools and reports that can help you manage this ongoing challenge.

Selling time and services is a different story. There’s no real inventory tracking involved — except in terms of knowing how much manpower you have available at any given time. But just like you wouldn’t want customers to walk off with merchandise they haven’t bought, you don’t want any billable minutes or hours to be ignored. Both scenarios eat into your profits.

Gone are the days when you had to count on employees to fill out detailed timecards and hope that they remembered to document everything. QuickBooks can help ensure that you’re getting paid for all time and services rendered.

Building Your Records

Before you can ask employees to start tracking the hours they put in, you need to create a record for every time-based activity so that QuickBooks knows how much to charge when billable time is entered. The software creates and stores these in the same way it builds records for physical inventory items.
Start by clicking on the Items & Services icon on the home page (or go to Lists | Item List). Click the down arrow next to Item in the lower left of the screen that appears, and then select New from the menu (or right-click in the main part of the screen and select New).

QBC%201015%20image%201_zpsimzb3vdtFigure 1: Once you’ve created a record for a service item, you can use it throughout QuickBooks.

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How QuickBooks Helps You Accelerate Receivables

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

How QuickBooks Helps You Accelerate Receivables

Getting paid by your customers in a timely fashion is one of the biggest challenges of being a business owner. QuickBooks can help in several ways.

You’re meeting your sales goals. Keeping inventory balanced. Making sure that every billable hour gets invoiced. Taking advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming.

But you can’t control how quickly your customers pay you.

You can, though, use QuickBooks’ tools to:

  • Make it easier for customers to remit their payments,
  • Remind customers about unpaid balances, and
  • Keep a close eye on unpaid invoices.

Customer Payment ScreenFigure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from customers in multiple forms. Accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to speed up your receivables.

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Receiving Payments in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Receiving Payments in QuickBooks

It’s probably one of your favorite QuickBooks activities. Be sure you understand the mechanics of recording payments.

There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond to customer emails.

But it’s likely that one activity takes precedence when you see that it needs to be done: recording payments. While you’re probably very careful with this process, it’s critical that your actions here are accurate. If they’re not, you could either lose money that you’ve earned or anger customers by requesting payments they’ve already made. (more…)

Why You Should Be Using Mobile Apps with QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Why You Should Be Using Mobile Apps with QuickBooks

Intuit discontinued its own QuickBooks mobile app a while back, but there’s still plenty of processing power available for your smartphone or tablet.

In days gone by, running a company was a 40 hour per week proposition. You might have taken work home some evenings or gone into the office on weekends.

Those days are over, thanks to the internet and mobile technology. This fundamental change in the way we do business means that it’s now hard to get away from work.  Your smartphone and tablet are usually within easy reach, and they’re always tempting you to check in. (more…)

Preventing Data Theft in QuickBooks

The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter

Preventing Data Theft in QuickBooks

Be proactive about the security of your QuickBooks company file, and you’ll be less likely to encounter data theft.

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? (more…)