I am happy to announce that I have beat the statistics and have completed my 5th year in business! This has also been my best year so far, beating out my previous years' gross profit, and there are still 2 months to go!
So I definitely want to thank all my clients for their business and my colleagues that have helped me. I have special gratitude for Joe Woodard and Doug Sleeter and their associates and Intuit for making my business even possible.
As I look to the future, I have finally put together a new web site that is simple and clean. I can't believe it only took just a couple of days using easy technology that I already had at my fingertips (actually my web host), but just didn't know about it. With that being said, as we move more and more into the cloud, I will continue offering many solutions that will help businesses become more efficient and productive.
I am currently working on an amazing eCommerce product called ??? that syncs online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay and many web site shopping carts with QuickBooks and makes shipping a breeze. For manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, I can help with domain registration, web hosting, web site design, shopping cart integration and more.
And with the latest release of QuickBooks 2013 and its new look and my continued work pushing my QuickBooks clients into the cloud, I will have much more to talk about, so stay tuned!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
There are a lot of changes, enhancements, and fixes in this release. You can wait until the automatic update or install now for the following:
Available in Premier Plus, Pro Plus and QuickBooks Accountant with PAP
|Advanced Inventory (Available in Enterprise Solutions Only)||
|Email Sales Forms and Statements||
|Enhanced Inventory Receiving (Available in Enterprise Solutions Only)||
|Excel (Send reports to Excel)||
|Intuit Payment Network||
|Name History on Transactions||
|New User Setup||
|Price Markup and Markup preferences
(Available in Enterprise Solutions Only)
|QuickBooks Attached Documents||
|QuickBooks File Manager||
|QuickBooks Merchant Services||
Posted by Brett Barry at 2:42 PM
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Using any Web-capable PC and this merchant service tool, you can accept credit cards wherever you are.
We've talked about how Intuit Merchant Services for QuickBooks lets you accept credit cards from within QuickBooks. But you can also use your Intuit merchant account to process credit cards from any computer that has Internet access, whether you're at a customer's location or convention or special interest fair. Once you're back at your office PC, you can use this free feature to move sales into QuickBooks and apply them to invoices.
To get started with Virtual Terminal Plus, log on to the site and sign in using your Intuit login. On the Set up payment page, enter the transaction details (or swipe the card using the optional card reader, $69.95; this will lower your discount rate).
Figure 1: Swipe the customer's credit card using the optional card reader or manually enter the details here.
After the payment is processed and approved, you can print customer and merchant copies of the receipt.
Moving Payments Into QuickBooks
Integration between Virtual Terminal Plus and QuickBooks itself is quite good. Simply open the Customer Payment screen from the home page or the Customers menu. Under Manage Payments in the left vertical pane, click Get online payments. The Intuit QuickBooks Merchant Service window opens, giving you three options: Recurring Payments, Mobile Transactions and Virtual Terminal Plus.
Figure 2: This window displays payments available to download.
The first time you download completed credit card sales from Virtual Terminal Plus, QuickBooks automatically uploads your customer list to the site (you may want to take this step before you begin making remote sales). New online customers are added to QuickBooks, and the lists are synchronized with every subsequent download.
Then the site displays a list of transactions that have been processed and matches them to outstanding invoices (you can also create an invoice here). To ensure that this setting is correct, click Edit payment preferences from the Customer Payment screen. And to see a report of the transactions you've added, go to Reports | Merchant Service Reports or Reports | Customers & Receivables | Online Received Payments.
Simple Tools, Complex Process
If you close sales away from the office, the ability to accept credit cards through Virtual Terminal Plus is likely to increase your receivables. Intuit has made this process easy with its tools and integration, but the overall management of credit card sales should not be taken lightly. We can help you get started and troubleshoot along the way.
Posted by Brett Barry at 9:39 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
These three web-based apps – accessible via your smartphone -- provide mobile access to QuickBooks data.
Accounting in the cloud is closer than you might think. In fact, it's here, in some cases. QuickBooks Online, of course, is entirely cloud-based, but it does not yet offer all of the features found in Intuit's top-of-the-line products, Premier and Enterprise.
In the meantime, Intuit itself, as well as third-party developers, have built online apps that fill in some of the gaps. These add-on solutions exist on websites, but they can collect data and synchronize it with desktop QuickBooks. So can that iPhone or Android that's sitting on your desk right now.
Many Mobile Applications
To find these apps, go to the Intuit App Center and click on All Apps. There are dozens of them, arranged by category (Billing and Invoicing, Customer Management, Inventory Management, Apps by Intuit, etc.).
Your first stop should be at Intuit's QuickBooks Connect (this is the name of the online application that you'd use on a remote PC or laptop; the name of the smartphone app is QuickBooks Mobile). This app gives you easy access to your customer and sales data when you're away from your office.
Figure 1: QuickBooks Mobile, shown here on the Android operating system, gives you sales tools when you're away from desktop QuickBooks.
Remote Sales Tools
Whether you're working in web-based QuickBooks Connect or on a smartphone, your data and transaction options are similar. QuickBooks Connect has a few more features, like an Item List and Customer Center, but both let you:
· Access multiple company files
· View, add, and edit customers, estimates, invoices, and sales receipts, using QuickBooks' custom templates
· E-mail these forms to customers
QuickBooks Mobile and QuickBooks Connect use the Intuit Sync Manager – located on the desktop where QuickBooks is installed -- to keep data current everywhere. That computer must be running for syncs to work.
Figure 2: You can create and e-mail invoices from QuickBooks Mobile.
Prices start at $9.95/month for one user; a 30-day free trial is available.
Manage Travel Expenses
Concur Breeze grabs the data you need (customers, employees, jobs, etc.) from QuickBooks to record expenses on the road. You can enter charges directly into a form or snap a picture with your phone – it'll be attached to your expense report. These charges are then sent to a report template that thoroughly documents the charge, letting you specify variables like the trip purpose, travel policy type, project and client. The status of your approval and payment are also included here.
You can send travel itineraries from your free TripIt Pro account and credit card charges directly to an existing expense report to accelerate the process. And once an expense report is approved, money can be moved automatically from the designated company bank account to an employee's account. $8 per month per user; free 30-day trial.
Figure 3: Concur Breeze provides mobile expense management.
If your company has employees or contractors who work remotely and submit hours for approval, consider eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks. After it pulls in customers, service items, and employees from QuickBooks, you can invite workers to track their time on their smartphones by either entering it manually or using the timer, and then sync it with the online application.
Mobile workers can use the application in offline mode; entries are uploaded when they reconnect. Prices start at $10/month for Admin and one user.
Figure 4: eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks is a great companion app for remote workers.
The Cloud = Convenience And Accessibility
Synchronization – especially across three or more devices – is a simple concept whose implementation can be not-so-simple. We can help you determine which apps make sense for you and get them up and running.
Integrated, web-based applications accessed by whatever computing device happens to be nearby are the essence of cloud-based accounting. Intuit and its companion mobile apps offer the convenience and accessibility that the Internet is making possible.
If you need help with any of these applications, or questions about “the cloud”, please email or call us. We are your partner in building a successful business.
Posted by Brett Barry at 9:07 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
The last few years have probably taken a toll on your accounts receivable. A bad economy can result not only in slow sales, but in slow customer payments.
Make it easy for your customers to pay, and it's likely they'll pay faster. You can accomplish this simply and cost-effectively through the Intuit Payment Network. If you're using QuickBooks 2010 or later and are willing to spend 50 cents per payment received to get that money in your bank account faster, consider electronic invoicing.
When you sign up for the Intuit Payment Network (no setup fee or monthly charges), you'll be able to include a link in your invoices that takes customers to a secure site where they can enter their bank account or credit card information to pay the invoice.
First, though, make sure that QuickBooks is set up for this service. Go to Edit | Preferences. Click on Payments, then the Company Preferences tab. Check the two boxes below Enable online payment via Intuit Payment Network and enter the email address that you want to use (only the administrator can activate these preferences).
Figure 1: Make sure that QuickBooks is set up for electronic invoicing.
Just like online banking
Once you've completed this and Intuit has notified you that your account is active, the rest is equally easy. When you create an invoice, the box in the lower left of the screen next to Show online payment link on invoices will be checked. Just fill out the invoice like you normally would and save it.
When you send these invoices, they'll include a short paragraph telling customers that they can remit payment online, with a link taking them to the web page:
Figure 2: Customers who pay bills online will recognize this process.
Once customers transmit their payments, the funds will move into your bank account within a day or two, minus the 50-cent service charge on bank account payments or 3.25 percent of the transaction amount for credit cards. QuickBooks versions differ on the process for updating your file.
Intuit offers numerous ways to accept payments on your PC or mobile device. We can help you select the right one(s) and get your cash flow moving in a more positive direction.
Posted by Brett Barry at 2:46 PM
Monday, March 5, 2012
April 15 is getting uncomfortably close.
QuickBooks, of course, can't do your taxes for you. But it helps you lay some of the groundwork. Following up on last month's column on customizing reports, we'll look at the program's tax-related reports and its powerful report-filtering options.
But first, you'll need to make sure that this output will be accurate.
Describe your company accurately
Your tax entity setting should have been established when you first set up QuickBooks, but verify that you've specified the correct one. Go to Company | Company Information. Your Report Information is in the lower left corner. Click the arrow next to Income Tax Form Used to see what's active.
Figure 1: Make sure that QuickBooks is set up for the correct tax entity.
QuickBooks automatically assigns some of your accounts to their matching lines on the 1040 and assorted forms and schedules; this is called tax line mapping. So when you create tax reports, related transactions will be grouped by these designations.
This can be a real time-saver – as long as you've specified the correct entity. If:
· This setting is incorrect
· You're starting a business and don't know which to choose…
… please contact us. If you switch entities, your existing tax line mapping will disappear and will have to be reassigned.
Dedicated tax reports
Many of QuickBooks' general financial reports provide tax-related information. But there are some that specifically relate to the numbers that will go on your return. Go to Reports | Accounting & Taxes | Income Tax Preparation. Here's an excerpt of what you'll see:
Figure 2: QuickBooks automatically assigns many accounts to the appropriate tax form lines, based on your specified tax entity.
Here, QuickBooks shows you which tax lines have been pre-assigned to your accounts. You can specify a tax form line for unassigned accounts, but this is something you should not attempt on your own. This report, though, will give you an idea of how useful your report output will be and where you'll need our assistance.
Other reports provide tax-related data. You can access them by going again to Reports | Accountant & Taxes and clicking:
· Income Tax Summary. This displays totals for each tax line that's relevant to your particular tax entity. Double-click on any number, and the Tax Line By Account report appears, detailing every transaction related to every tax-related account (you could add a column for Tax Line in Display options and make this quite a useful report).
· Income Tax Detail. This lists all individual transactions by tax form/schedule line assignment.
Paring it down
Some tax reports can be very lengthy; you may want to filter them to look at various "slices."
Click Customize Report | Filters:
Figure 3: This window displays a powerful set of filtering options.
The options listed under Choose Filter are available on other reports; they help you set up incredibly complex searches using multiple filters.
Let's say you want a report that displays your installation labor costs on new residential construction from the last year (you could also throw other variables in). You'd simply choose the filters from the left pane and then select related options in the next pane (usually a list). You'd want to also click on the Display tab to make sure that the appropriate columns appear.
QuickBooks reports can shave time off of tax preparation, and filtered views help you scrutinize your data in quite creative – and very useful – ways. The program's boilerplate reports have their place in simple examinations of your financial status, but filters are potent tools. They can facilitate the kind of deep analysis that helps you make critical business decisions.
If you have questions on this or any other QuickBooks feature, call or email us. We’re your partner and we’re here to make your business better.
Posted by Brett Barry at 3:49 PM