Getting Ready for Payroll in QuickBooks Online

February 26, 2018 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
Getting Ready for Payroll in QuickBooks Online
Taking on your company’s payroll with QuickBooks Online? Knowing what you’re up against ahead of time will make your setup tasks much easier
Payroll is probably the most complex element of small business accounting. Not only are you directly responsible to your employees, but you also have to make sure you’re handling everything related to benefits and payroll taxes correctly.
Whether you’re switching from a manual system to QuickBooks Online, or you’ve just hired your first employee, you’ll soon discover that the site can make your payroll-related tasks much more organized and accurate – speeding up the process tremendously.
But before you start getting ready for your first payroll run, you have a lot of setup work to be done. Be sure to leave yourself time before those first paychecks are expected.
Our Purpose Here
We’ll provide some step-by-step instruction, but initially, we just want you to see what information you’ll need to have available and how QuickBooks Online handles it. This is not meant to be a payroll setup tutorial.
Building a Backbone
There’s no particular order set in stone for your payroll preparation tasks, although you will need to provide some background information about your company and its policies before you can start creating employee records.
QuickBooks Online doesn’t walk you through the steps required. It does though display a page with links to all of the data you’ll have to enter. Click the gear icon in the upper right, and then click Payroll Settings. You’ll see this screen:


QuickBooks Online’s 

Payroll Settings screen displays links to the pages where you’ll manage your setup tasks.

You would have entered information about your Contact Information and Work Locations (under the Business Information heading) when you first signed on to QuickBooks Online. At the same time, you would have been exposed to the Chart of Accounts, which already has accounts designated for payroll. You can see them by clicking Preferences | Accounting, but please do not customize these. If modifications are needed, we’ll do them for you.
Payroll Policies
How often will you pay your employees? Go up to the Payroll heading in the upper left and click on Pay Schedules. Click Create and open the drop-down list next to Pay Period to select the frequency desired. Then enter the date for the first payroll you’ll run in QuickBooks Online and the end date for the period that it covers. Click the box below if you want this to be the default setting for all employees. Then click OK to return to the previous page.
Open the Vacation and Sick Leave Policies window. If you don’t yet have accrual rules for these paid days off, let us help you here. It’s complicated. When you’re done, click the back arrow to return to the Pay Policies window and select Deductions/Contributions. Are you offering benefits like health insurance? You’ll need to have your paperwork and information handy before you start completing this section.

Before you can pay employees, you’ll need to have entered information about the benefits you offer so you can withhold dollars for them.
Click the plus sign (+) in front of Add a New Deduction/Contribution and complete the fields here, then click OK. You’ll assign these deductions to employees on their individual records in QuickBooks Online. If there are any Employee Garnishments needed (like child support), click the down arrow next to Add Garnishment for and select the worker from the list. You’ll provide details for these in the window that opens. This information was most likely provided to you by the agency requesting it. When you’re done, click OK.
Taxes and More
If you’re new to payroll and have never dealt with payroll taxes before, you’re going to need our help getting this complicated element set up correctly. Even if you have, we’d recommend that you let us work with you. QuickBooks Online does a good job of providing guidance here, but failure to submit payroll taxes (or pay them incorrectly) can lead to penalties and fines – or worse.
There are other setup tasks you’ll need to complete, like:
  • Connecting your payroll bank account to QuickBooks Online.
  • Creating employee records.
  • Setting payroll production preferences.
Setup is by far the most challenging part of processing payroll in QuickBooks Online. Once that’s done, you’ll just be entering hours and making modifications. Please do connect with us if you’re planning to take this on, and we’ll make sure you get a good start.

Customize QuickBooks Online Using Settings

January 30, 2018 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
You can start using QuickBooks Online the first time you sign in. However, your tasks will be easier and faster, if you customize it for your company.
QuickBooks Online was designed to be used by a variety of business types; that’s one reason why it’s such a popular small business accounting website. It was built to be versatile. That is, whether you sell hard drives or you service HVAC systems, you can customize it to “fit’ your company.
This is why your first order of business when you start using QuickBooks Online should be to click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner. The window that opens displays links to all of the site’s options – a collection of choices that’s called “Preferences” in desktop QuickBooks.


When you click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner of QuickBooks Online, this window containing the site’s many options will open.

Global Settings
The first screen you should visit is Account and Settings. This page is divided into five sections, accessible by clicking on one of the tabs below:
Company -Your company’s name and contact information appears here, as well as identifying details like the tax form you file, as well as your industry.
Sales -You can do a lot of customizing here that will affect your company’s selling activities. For example, you can specify preferred invoice terms and delivery method, and indicate whether to turn on features like:
  • Shipping
  • Custom fields and transaction numbers
  • Discounts
  • Quantity and price/rate
  • Inventory quantity on hand
You can also access the site’s tools for customizing the design and layout of your sales forms (invoices, receipts, etc.).
Expenses -You’ll toggle expense-related tools on and off here. You can choose to, for example, track expenses and items by customer and make them billable. Will you be using purchase orders? What will your default bill payment terms be?
Payments -Here, you’ll be able to set up a merchant account so you can accept credit cards and bank transfers from customers through QuickBooks Online. If you already have a merchant account, you can connect it here.
Advanced -There’s a good reason why this section is named “Advanced.” You may not be familiar with some of the concepts here, like “closing books” and specifying default accounts for items like Markup. We can go over these things with you and help you make decisions.
Other entries in this list are easier to complete, though you may still want some guidance. Will you support multiple currencies? Automatically apply credits and invoice unbilled activity? Make individually-tracked time activities billable to customers?
Other Preferences
There are many other areas in this window that you’ll want to explore before you start processing a lot of transactions in QuickBooks Online. If more than one person will have access to the site (we’ll assume you’re the Administrator), you must click on Manage Users. Here, you can set limits of what other employees can access. Click New on the screen that opens to launch this mini-interview, and follow its instructions:


You can restrict users to specific areas of QuickBooks Online.

Other preferences you should look at include:
  • Chart of Accountsonly to familiarize yourself with the accounts that make up the backbone of your accounting data. You’ll use these in transactions. Please do not make any changes here without talking to us.
  • All Lists – to see what’s available here, like Classes, Recurring Transactions, and Payment Methods.
  • Products and Services – to start building records for the items and services you sell. If you carry inventory and have never worked with a website that helps you manage it, please let us go over these concepts with you.
  • Budgeting – if you plan to create a budget. QuickBooks Online contains a tool that will accommodate this critical task.
  • Audit Log – if multiple people will be using QuickBooks Online. It tracks all activity by date and user.
QuickBooks Online is easy to use, but there’s a lot to learn upfront about customizing it to meet your company’s accounting needs. It’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at first. Let us help you get through those early days of use.  Connect with us, so we can walk you through the basics.

Using QuickBooks Online’s Customer Records

December 30, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Your customers are your company’s lifeblood. Are you managing those relationships carefully? Here’s how QuickBooks Online can help.

If you’ve been in business long enough to remember tracking your customers manually, you probably remember what a nightmare it was. Maybe you had a card file and paper folders – and lots of sticky notes and calendar notations.

Unless you had an unusually effective organization system, it was probably difficult to find historical transactions when customers called with questions, for example, and you may have experienced cash flow problems because it was hard to keep up with invoices and statements and payments.

If you’re already using QuickBooks Online, you know those days are over. But have you explored all the customer relationship management tools available to you on the site?

Thorough Records

The core of any good customer-tracking system is a comprehensive set of individual profiles. QuickBooks Online offers thorough, flexible record templates for just that purpose. Click Sales in the main toolbar, then the Customers tab at the top of the screen. To create a new customer record, click New Customer off to the right to open the Customer Information window.

Note: If you have your customer database in an existing Excel or .CSV file, you should be able to import it. QuickBooks Online provides instructions for this.

You can create a profile for each customer in the Customer Information window.

You’ll need to enter a lot of the information yourself here, mostly contact details. A down arrow next to a field indicates that there’s a drop-down list of options available.

The lower left quadrant of the screen contains a series of tabbed information windows. Click on each to enter what you can about each customer’s:

  • Address – both billing and shipping
  • Notes – any that you’d like to enter
  • Tax info – exemption details and default tax code (if taxable)
  • Payment and billing – preferred payment and delivery method, payment terms, and opening balance
  • Attachments – any files pertaining to this customer that you want to include

When you’re done, click Save. Your new record will appear in your list of customers. You’ll be able to toggle back and forth between the details you just entered and a list of their transactions.

Working with Customers

You can always add new customers as you go along, but it’s a good idea to enter records for all of them before you start creating transactions. It will save time down the road, and their accessibility will help with other accounting tasks.

When you click on Sales | Customers now, you’ll see something like this:

Your Customers page contains a list of customers with links to related activities. It also provides a color-coded row of bars that represent the status of invoices and estimates.

The Customers page consists of many elements. The main section displays a table of your customers. Click on one to open the page containing the Transaction List and Customer Details.

On this screen, though, you’ll only see columns for Customer/Company, Phone, Open Balance, and Action by default; click the gear icon in the upper right if you want to include more columns here. When you click on the down arrow next to a field in the Action column, a drop-down list will display the options available for that customer, like Receive payment, Send reminder, and Create Statement.

A series of colored bars runs across the top of the screen. Each represents the current status of a specific transaction type: Estimates, Unbilled Activity, Overdue, Open Invoices, and Paid Last 30 Days. Click on any of these to open a list of pertinent transactions.

You can do all of these activities elsewhere in QuickBooks Online, but it’s convenient to be able to work directly from the Customers screen, too. The fewer clicks, the better.

Call on Us

Did you make a resolution to start using QuickBooks Online this year? The site was built for use by business managers, not accountants, but it can still be a little daunting at first. We’re always available to take your questions and help you with setup and/or daily implementation. Connect with us if you need assistance.

Working with Downloaded Transactions in QuickBooks Online

December 1, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Downloading transactions into QBO is the easy part. You still have work to do once they’re on board.


Its ability to download financial transactions is one of the five best things about QuickBooks Online. Without it, you’d spend a lot of time on tedious data entry, verifying which checks and deposits had cleared and entering new ones.


Instead, you can easily connect to your bank and bring in all your activity from the previous hours or day. QuickBooks Online stores this neatly in a register and provides tools for you to further describe and classify each transaction.


Setting Up the Connection


Haven’t connected your financial institution to QuickBooks Online yet? It’s easy. Click the Banking link in the toolbar, then Add Account in the upper right. The Find your bank window opens. Start entering the name of your bank, credit card company, or service like PayPal in the blank field. A list of potential matches will drop down; you simply select the one you want. A window like this will open:
All you need to do to start downloading transactions into QuickBooks Online is select your financial institution and enter the User ID and Password you use to connect directly to the site.
You will have to go through some security procedures, and then QuickBooks Online will download 90 days of transactions (you can shorten this if you’d like). You’ll also be asked which QBO account should receive the transactions. After a few minutes, the register for that account will appear, displaying the transactions you just downloaded.


Warning: The mechanics of connecting to your bank and downloading your first batch of transactions may sound easy, but if everything is not absolutely clear to you as you’re going through the process, please contact us sooner rather than later.


Working with Transactions


Once you’ve downloaded a set of transactions, you’ll want to look at them. Again, click the Banking link in the navigation toolbar. Your accounts will appear in small boxes at the top of the page, along with two balances: the one that came from the financial institution and the one in QuickBooks Online. Select the one you want by clicking on it, and its register will open.


Tip: QuickBooks Online generally updates your accounts once daily. If you want to launch a manual update at any time, click on Update in the upper right corner.


Let’s look at one downloaded transaction to see what you can do with it. Make sure the For Review column is highlighted above the register. Select a transaction by clicking on it. A window like this will open below it:
QuickBooks Online does more than simply download financial transactions: It lets you define them in greater detail.
There are several options here, including:
  • Add to register. If you’re satisfied with the information as is, just click the Add button to the right (not pictured here).
  • Split. If you want to split the amount/category (Supplies, Tools, etc.)/class of a transaction, click Split (also off to the right and not pictured). A window will open to let you specify that.
  • Assign categories. QuickBooks Online may automatically make assignments to obvious categories, which you can change if incorrect. You can also click the down arrow to the right of that field and select your own from the list.
  • Bill an expense to a customer. Did you purchase something that needs to be billed to a customer? Click in the box under Billable and select the correct one from the drop-down list that opens.
  • Find matches. This can get complicated, and we recommend you let us work with you on it. Let’s say you entered an invoice in QuickBooks Online, and an income item for that exact amount gets downloaded from your bank. QBO will assume that those two “match,” and display them in the In QuickBooks column. You can click Undo if this is incorrect. But you can also click Find match in the transaction window, and QBO will open a list of possibilities.
As you can see from browsing the lists of downloaded transactions, there’s a lot to learn here. We’d be happy to get together and walk you through your first explorations of these powerful features.


Are You Using QuickBooks Online’s Mobile App?

October 1, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Are You Using QuickBooks Online’s Mobile App?


Even if you don’t travel for work (but especially if you do), you should explore what QuickBooks Online’s mobile app has to offer.


You already know how convenient it is to be able to access your company’s financial data from any desktop or laptop computer that has an internet connection. Still, there are times when you’d like to be able to complete some of your accounting tasks without firing up a full-blown browser and logging on to QuickBooks Online.


If you haven’t yet tried out the site’s companion mobile app, you might be surprised at how much you can actually accomplish on your smartphone. Take a look at the app’s main menu (with a partial view of the Activity screen to the right):


You can’t do everything on QuickBooks Online’s smartphone app that you can do in the browser-based version, but there’s a surprising amount of functionality here.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed in with your QuickBooks Online user name and password, you’ll see a home page divided into two vertical sections; you can toggle back and forth between them. One is your Dashboard, which displays current account balances and a graph showing an abbreviated version of your Profit and Loss report, as well as a graphical summary of paid and unpaid invoices. Click on Activity to see a list of your most recent actions and transactions.


Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper left of the screen, and the app’s main menu slides out. As pictured in the image above, this interactive list also serves as the app’s primary navigation tool. Any data that you’ve entered in the browser-based version (as well as anything you add here) will appear in list form when you click on an entry here. To add customers, invoices, sales receipts, etc., click on the + (plus) sign. You can also enter new transactions from each individual list screen.


Adding Transactions


If you’ve worked with mobile apps at all, you know that the user interface is different from what you see in full versions of applications accessed through a browser. QuickBooks Online’s app, though, is exceptionally easy to understand and use – perhaps even easier than the browser-based QBO.


Take the app’s New Expense screen, for example. At the top of the page is a camera icon. Click it to take a picture of a receipt. You can also enter the total manually in a field to the right. Below that are three buttons representing Credit, Check, and Other, so you can indicate how you paid for the purchase.
You’ll describe the expense by clicking on links that contain labels like:
  • Who did you pay?
  • What kind of expense is this?
  • Who was it for?
When you click on one, the app opens your list of related data. So, Who did you pay? opens your list of Payees. You can select one or add a new one. Click on the Billable button if the expense can be charged to a customer, and click Add a Split if you need to separate some of the items. There’s also room to add a Ref # and Memo. When you’re done, click Save to add it to your main QuickBooks Online file.


Viewing Existing Information


 Besides entering data in the QuickBooks Online app, you can look up 
existing information.


You can just as easily find records and transactions you’ve entered either in the browser-based version of QuickBooks Online or on the app. You can follow the journey of an invoice as pictured in the screen shot above. QBO even prompts you to complete steps you haven’t taken. Click on the pencil icon in the upper right, and you can edit the data that appears on that screen.


Warning! Editing transactions that have been processed is risky. If you’re making errors that need correcting, we can help you determine when this is safe.


The QuickBooks Online app can also provide quick overviews of customer activity, with links to actions.
You may never need to access your QuickBooks Online data remotely on your smartphone. If you do, though, we can help you get set up with the site’s companion app so you’ll learn how they work together.


What Is a Vendor Credit, and How Do You Record One?

September 1, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
What Is a Vendor Credit, and How Do You Record One?
Whether you’re getting a vendor credit for a refund or a return, you can record it in QuickBooks Online.
When you’re dealing with your company’s vendors, you’re probably accustomed to money flowing in one direction: theirs. Maybe you send them purchase orders and they send you invoices. Or they send you bills and you pay them. Or you walk into a store and buy something your business needs.

Sometimes, though, vendors owe you money. Probably the most common scenario is a return of merchandise, products that you’ve sent back to the supplier for any of a variety of reasons. You may be issued a credit of some kind simply because you’ve been a loyal customer, and a vendor wants to reward you. You might also get a rebate for an item you bought.

In these cases, you’ll enter a Vendor Credit in QuickBooks Online, which you can apply the next time you buy something from that supplier. Usually, the process is pretty straightforward, but sometimes situations arise that may make it hard for you to know how to record a vendor credit accurately. We can help if this happens.

Simple Steps
Let’s start with a simple example. Let’s say you received a shipment of pens that you’d planned to use as promotional items for your salespeople. The ink on some of the pens had gotten smudged, so your company email address printed on them was illegible. The supplier issued you a credit of $50.00 for future purchases, and sent you a reference number to use.



It’s easy to complete a

Vendor Credit  form in QuickBooks Online for a simple credit. But other situations are more complicated.



Here’s how it would work. Click the + (plus) sign in the upper right corner of the screen and select Vendors | Vendor Credit. A screen like the partial one pictured above would appear. These are the fields you would need to complete:

Vendor – Click the down arrow in the field in the upper left corner and select the correct vendor, or + Add New.

Payment date – Change the default date if it’s not correct.
Ref no. – Enter a reference number if applicable.

Under Account details, click in the field under Account, and open the drop-down list by clicking the down arrow on the right. Select the account you used when you created the original expense. Enter a Description and the Amount of the credit.

You can add a Memo in the box at the bottom of the screen if you’d like, and select any Attachments to include from your file directories. Otherwise, click Save and close or Save and new.

Additional Input
There’s much more to the Vendor Credit screen that you didn’t need to consider for this example. The row where you entered Account, Description, and Amount contains several additional fields that you may need to complete in some cases. They are Billable,    Markup %, Tax, Customer, and Class. If you’re not sure when these fields are required, ask us to go over these concepts with you.

There’s also another section under Account Details you may need to address: Item Details (click the arrow to open if necessary). You would only enter information here if you’re returning items to a vendor. Fields displayed there include Product/Service, Qty (quantity), Rate, and Sales Amt (amount). We don’t recommend that you do this the first time on your own; let us help.

Using Your Credit
How do you redeem this credit? QuickBooks Online reminds you to use it.



QuickBooks Online records your
Vendor Credits and reminds you that they’re there when you go to pay that vendor again.


The next time you enter a transaction that involves-or will involve-sending that vendor some money, you’ll see a record of that credit to the right of the Check or Expense screen, for example. In the image above, a small box has opened as soon as the vendor’s name was selected. You can Add that credit to the current transaction or Open it if you want to see the original screen.

Not everyone uses Vendor Credits. Some businesses find workarounds. But we recommend you at least understand when and how they’re used so your bookkeeping is accurate and precise. We’d be happy to spend some time with you going over your financial relationship with vendors, and how QuickBooks Online helps you document it.

7 Best Practices for QuickBooks Online

July 26, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
7 Best Practices for QuickBooks Online
Even if you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a long time, it’s good to step back and evaluate your actions.
“Best practices” aren’t enforceable rules. They’re simply guidelines businesses commonly follow in one area or another. If you’re in retail, for example, one best practice might be to always ask customers checking out if they found everything they were looking for. This serves two purposes: It conveys a feeling of concern for the customer’s shopping experience, and it may also lead to increased sales.
QuickBooks Online has many best practices, some of which may serve multiple purposes, including these:
  • They keep your company data safe and clean.
  • They provide insight on your financial status.
  • They save time.
  • They can lead you to better relationships with customers and vendors.
Are any or all the following common practices for your business?
Reconcile accounts regularly.

One of QuickBooks Online’s most useful features is its ability to connect to your financial institution’s websites and download cleared transactions. QuickBooks Online also offers tools to help you keep your accounts reconciled online, like you used to do every month when your paper statement came. Reconciling accounts can help you uncover errors. It gives you a truer picture of your cash flow, and it improves the accuracy and timeliness of some reports.

It’s not a particularly pleasant process, but you should be reconciling your accounts regularly in QuickBooks Online. 
We can help.
Clean up your lists.
Some lists in QuickBooks Online aren’t overly lengthy. You don’t have to worry about, for example, Payment Methods, Terms, or Classes. Your lists of customers and vendors, products and services, on the other hand, can grow unwieldy over the years. This means it can take more time than it should to scroll through lists when you’re using those entities in transactions. It also puts unnecessary stress on your company file. If you can’t delete any, at least make them inactive.
Never leave QuickBooks Online open when you leave your work area.
This goes for everyone, even people who work alone and don’t access their company files away from their work areas. The obvious reason is to keep someone else from getting in and authorizing payments, for example, or otherwise compromising your financial information. It also protects the integrity of your data file in case your internet connection suffers some kind of outage.
Keep track of 1099 vendors.
Whether your company uses 10 vendors or a hundred or more, you may have to supply at least some of them with an IRS Form 1099 at about the same time you’re preparing W-2s for employees. Your 1099-related tasks will be much easier if those individuals and/or companies are earmarked. If you think vendors might need 1099s when you create their records in QuickBooks Online, click in the box to the left of Track payments for 1099 in the lower right corner. Not sure? Ask us.
Classify everything with care. Every time you have to create a record or transaction where categories are involved (i.e., Classes, Customers and Vendors, Territories), check and double-check that you’ve assigned them the correct classification. Errors here can result not only in problems with daily workflow, but your reports will not be accurate. A related best practice: Create a meaningful group of Classes, and use them faithfully. They’ll help you make better business decisions.


To create your list of Classes, click the gear icon in the upper right and select All Lists | Classes | New.
View reports on a regular basis.
There are some advanced financial reports in QuickBooks Online that we should be creating for you on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly. These include Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. The mechanics of creating them aren’t difficult, but analyzing them is. You should be running reports on your own at frequencies that you think would be helpful, like A/R Aging Detail, Unpaid Bills, and Sales by Class Detail.
If you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a while, you could probably come up with your own list of best practices. If you’re new to the site, consider scheduling some time with us to go over more of them. Develop good habits from the start, and there won’t be nearly as much need for troubleshooting down the road. 

Receiving Payments in QuickBooks Online

July 1, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Receiving Payments in QuickBooks Online

It’s perhaps one of your favorite activities in QuickBooks Online: recording money that comes in. Are you doing it right?

Your days of matching paper checks to paper invoices are over. QuickBooks Online excels at keeping your accounts receivable organized. No more digging through piles of forms and hand-stamping PAID on your customer bills and statements. No more trying to write small enough in your register so you can identify the origins of deposits.

You do, though, need to know how to get to payment screens—there are multiple ways—and which form to complete for each remittance. Here are the three types you’ll deal with most often.

Receive payment on an invoice

When payment comes in on an invoice, you can get to the right screens in any of several ways.

Click the + (plus) sign in the upper right corner. Under Customers, select Receive Payment. In the upper left of the window that opens, select the correct customer by clicking the down arrow at the end of that field to open the list

Make sure the Payment date is correct. Open the Payment method list and select from Cash, Check, Credit card, etc. If there’s a Reference no., like a check number, enter it in that field. The default value for Deposit to is Undeposited Funds. Leave that active, and enter the Amount received in that field.


QBO June 17When you select a customer’s name in the Receive Payment window, a list of unpaid invoices will appear at the bottom.

If the customer has multiple outstanding invoices, QuickBooks Online will put a check mark in front of the oldest one(s). You can change this if you need to by clicking to uncheck the box and clicking in the box in front of the correct one.

Tip: If you want to isolate invoices from a specific date range, click the arrow next to Filter.

When you’ve specified where the payment(s) will go, add a memo and/or attachment if you’d like and select either Save and close or Save and new in the lower right corner.

You can also record payments on invoices from other screens in QuickBooks Online. For example, click Transactions in the left vertical navigation bar and select Sales to open the list of sales transactions. At the far right end of every line that contains an unpaid invoice, you’ll see a link to Receive payment. Click it, and the payment screen will open with the name and amount already filled in. Another option: With an invoice open, click Receive payment in the upper right corner.

Receive payment at the time of the sale

When a customer pays you immediately for products and/or services, there’s no need to create an invoice. You’d instead use a sales receipt. Click the + sign in the upper right and select Sales Receipt under Customers.

Tip: If you click the small diagonal arrow when it appears next to an option, the site will open the screen in a separate window.

Fill in the fields at the top like you did on the Receive Payments screen.


QBO June 17(2)

Complete the lower half of the sales receipt by selecting the products and/or services sold from the drop-down lists. Then click the links at the bottom of the screen to print or email the receipt.

Receive a down payment or retainer

If a customer gives you money as part of a down payment or a retainer for work to be done or products to be delivered, you can enter it on the Receive Payment screen without connecting it to an invoice. If you’re prepared to create a record of the specific charges, though, you can use an invoice form and categorize the payment as a deposit.

There are other ways to receive payments from customers in QuickBooks Online, like creating credit memos or using a mobile payment device. However you do it, your bookkeeping needs to be precise, or you’ll run into problems down the road. If this is a topic that creates some uncertainty, we can go over the whole concept with you and outline your options. You work too hard for your money to risk applying it incorrectly –or worse, losing it to an accounting error.

Recording Simple Expense in QuickBooks Online

May 22, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Recording Simple Expenses in QuickBooks Online

Tracking even the little expenses is important.

How does most of the money you owe individuals and companies get disbursed? Do you print checks, or write them by hand? Use credit cards? Pay online through your bank’s website?

Keeping track of your outgoing funds can be challenging, since there are so many ways to complete those transactions. But it’s important that all expenses are recorded correctly and consistently, to keep your company file accurate. In addition, so many of your expenses are tax- deductible. You don’t want to miss any of them.

But when do you enter and pay bills using QuickBooks Online bill-paying screens? In what situations would you use a purchase order? Why would you record a purchase on the dedicated expense screen? These are all questions we can answer for you. If you’re new to QuickBooks Online or simply puzzled by your options here, we’d be happy to schedule some time to go over these purchase issues.


Setting Up the Site

QBO 0617 image 1How you set up these preferences depends on your company’s individual structure and needs.

We can help you determine the answers that are right for you.


Before you start recording expenses, you’ll need to make sure that your site settings match what you need. Click on the gear icon in the upper right, then Your Company |Account and Settings| Expenses to see what we mean. Most of these options will turn columns on the Expense screen off or on (though you can change them for individual transactions). As for the Track billable expenses and items as income preference, that’s something we can discuss when we go over this topic.

Billable or Not?

Let’s say you need to buy some landscaping tools for your business that you’ll use with multiple customers. One of your customers has asked you to purchase some additional tools for her own use. This is how you could record your purchases on that trip. You’d click the + sign in the upper right, then select Expense. Click the down arrow in the payee field and select the name of the store (or add it if it’s not there by clicking + Add new).

In the field to the right, you’ll select the source of the money you’ll be paying. Choose the name of the Checking account from the drop-down list.

Note: Even if you’re using a credit card for this purchase, the money will ultimately come out of your checking account. So be sure to choose the correct option here.

Make sure the date is correct, and choose the Payment method that you’re using to complete the purchase at the store.


QBO 0617 image 2This is the portion of the Expense screen where you’ll enter the actual details of your purchase


Click in the field under ACCOUNT to display a list of categories and click the correct one. In the DESCRIPTION field, enter descriptive text about the item – enough that it will be recognizable when you see it later. Type in the AMOUNT of the item. Since you’re buying these tools for company use, you can’t bill them to an individual customer. Click in the TAX field if necessary.

However, you’re buying the second item for a specific customer. You’ll click in the BILLABLE field to create a checkmark and add your company’s MARKUP PERCENTAGE in that field. Open the drop-down list in the CUSTOMER column and select the correct one. Choose a CLASS if you use them and save the transaction.

When you look at that customer’s transaction list, you’ll see an entry for a Billable Expense Charge. You can click Start invoice if you want to bill for this one item. If not, you’ll see this charge in the vertical column to the right the next time you create an invoice for that customer.

QuickBooks online mobile app

QuickBooks online mobile app

Mobile Expenses App

QuickBooks Online has a companion mobile app that lets you—among other things—track expenses when you’re away from your computer.

As you can see in the image above, you’ll be able to enter the details of your expenses manually. Click on the camera icon in the upper left, and you can take a picture of a receipt and attach it to the transaction. The next time you log into QuickBooks Online, you’ll see the expense with the photo file attached.

QuickBooks Online can simplify the entry and tracking of expense data, but as we said, it’s important to enter purchases in the right places – and to categorize them correctly. We’re ready to work with you on expenses when you are.

Need to Set Up Users in QuickBooks Online?

April 1, 2017 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Your employees probably don’t need access to every corner of QuickBooks Online. Here’s how to set limits.

One of the best attributes of QuickBooks Online is that multiple users can access it without having software installed on their PCs. No more paying up front for a boxed copy that you’ll store on your hard drive. You just pay a monthly subscription fee.

Unless you assign specific access rights to your users, though, they’ll be able to see and do everything that you see and do on the site. You undoubtedly trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them, but it’s just good business practice to restrict individuals to their specific work areas. You probably did the same thing if you ever ran a manual accounting system.

QuickBooks Online makes this easy. Once you’ve set up individuals for a specific set of screen permissions, that’s all they’ll see when they log in with their user names and passwords. Here’s how it works.

Several Levels

Click the gear icon in the upper right of the QuickBooks Online screen, then select Manage Users under Your Company, then click New. This mini-interview will open.

QBO 0417 image 1

QuickBooks Online’s mini-interview will walk you through the steps required to assign access rights to employees.

As you can see, four access levels are supported. You’ll probably select Regular or custom user most often because you can drill down and set permissions at the screen level. The Company administrator is you, of course, unless you’ve assigned this role to someone else. The user at this level has access to everything.

You can also let someone see Reports only, with the exception of payroll reports and those that contain contact information about customers, vendors, and employees. If you have employees who submit time sheets but don’t otherwise work in QuickBooks Online, you can let them in to do Time Tracking only.

Tip: There’s a fifth option here. You can grant us access to your QuickBooks Online company data, making it easier for us to monitor and troubleshoot your accounting information. Let us know if you want to take advantage of this.

Paring Down Access

Click the button in front of Regular or custom user if it’s not already highlighted, and then click Next. This third screen in the mini-interview deals with Customers and Sales and Vendors and Purchases Access Rights. Click All or None if appropriate.

QBO 0417 image 2

This screen in the mini-interview helps you restrict user access in Sales and Purchase areas.

If you’re allowing Limited access in these two areas, be sure to read the fine print explaining what is and isn’t allowed. When you’re satisfied with your selection, click Next. On the next screen, you’ll set administrative rights for that user by indicating whether he or she can manage other users’ access rights and work with your subscription status and other company information.

You’ll supply the individual’s email address and name on the following screen. This will be used to send an email inviting the user to sign in using an existing Intuit Business Services user name or one he or she creates. Click through the next screen and click Finish when you’re done. The mini-interview will close, and you’ll be back at the Manage Users page.

Your User Overview

The Manage Users page displays a list of all users who have been invited or are active.

QBO 0417 image 3

The Manage Users screen

The table here lists all users’ names, email addresses, access rights, billable standing, and status. If you haven’t received a response to an invitation (Invited), you can click the Resend button to issue another email. When he or she responds, Invited changes to Active. Click on a row to highlight an individual, and you can Edit or Delete him or her, and see an audit log of Activity.

You or your appointed Master Administrator should set up access rights before any new employee is admitted to QuickBooks Online. Let us know if you’re having trouble with this element of the site, and if you’d like us to join your list of active users. It’s a lot easier for you and us if we can get in there and see what problems you’re having — and resolve them.

Next Page »

  • Conference News

    Cindy and Pete at the Sleeter Conference with Annie Terry, Intuit Program Manager, Developer Relations at Intuit

  • Want Free QuickBooks Tips?

    Sign up for our Email Newsletter

  • Our Certifications & Memberships

    Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certified Sleeter Consultant

  • Connect with Us on Social Media

  • What Clients Say

    "With Cindy's advice, I have found several better ways to do tasks in QuickBooks that save me time and aggravation. And her quick and thorough turnaround on my monthly reconciliations and various other tasks has given me a bit of my life back! She is a significant member of my professional service provider team. I can highly recommend her."