Thursday, November 21, 2013

SOS Inventory Saves QuickBooks Online!

I have been very impressed with the development of Intuit's QuickBooks Online product. They are moving very fast in trying to get new users of QuickBooks into the cloud. However, it seems like this offering is geared primarily to service-based industries and companies that need to track inventory will tend to avoid it because it still is missing Sales Orders and Item Receipts, features that those of us that have been using Premier or Enterprise versions of QuickBooks for the Desktop have been used to.

Fortunately, there is an app for that! I have tested SOS Inventory in conjunction with QBO and I must say that it works pretty well. I found it relatively easy to set up and use and I especially like the import and export functionality to get my item list into SOS. Of course, this app syncs with QBO so that all your customers and vendors are already there. You can track serial numbers, lot numbers, and create sales orders with easy to customize templates for emailing and printing. However, there are some caveats!

If you have already been using Products in QBO, it is very important that you turn off "Quantity on Hand (Inventory tracking)" in the Preferences AND you must make all your existing products inactive. This is very important when sending a Bill to QBO when creating an Item Receipt in SOS, as a bill that is sent over from QBO uses the Inventory Asset account under Expenses and does not use the Product. However, if you use existing Products, even though you may have turned off inventory, an item receipt in SOS will send over a bill with both the Product and the Inventory Asset account when selecting a Purchase Order. This will double the value in the Inventory Asset account, which is VERY BAD from an accounting standpoint.

If you are considering using QBO and SOS for the first time, then this wouldn't be a problem, as long as you know how it works. And this is where having your Trusted QuickBooks ProAdvisor help you set this all up would be a very wise investment!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

QuickBooks Billing Solutions Isn't Currently Available Through the Web Browser You're Using. SERIOUSLY?!

For the past couple of months, I have been getting this error when trying to check account activity with Billing Solutions, which opens up in a browser within QuickBooks:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cloud Review: QuickBooks for Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online vs. Xero vs. Method CRM

Everyone keeps talking about the cloud these days, and for the most part, most of my data is in the cloud. I have been hearing a lot about QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero, so I thought I would test them out to see how they compare to QuickBooks for Windows (desktop version, which I'll abbreviate as QBs), which I have been using for almost a decade now. I have used QBO and Xero for several months and there are some similarities and some differences. I was going to put together an extensive spreadsheet to compare the features of both, but this has already been done. What is really interesting to me is their comparison to what I have been using for years, QBs; however, that is like comparing apples to oranges. And going through the hundreds of differences really isn't going to tell you which one is the best, so I'll just give my opinion.

It was very easy to setup QBO by exporting from QBs and importing into QBO. Intuit is probably probably wanting to get rid of QBs in favor of QBO, so I suspect they are going to try to make this process as simple as possible to get people to convert. Overall, QBO has come a long way in improving; however, it still doesn't have all the features of QBs (not that it ever will). I won't go into detail, as I really like this product, but would I give up my QBs to change to it? Probably not, at least not yet. There are only a few programs that I must have on my computer and those are Outlook, QuickBooks, and Quicken. I've looked at and even Office 2013, but I hate their interfaces. There is so much that Outlook 2010 can do that I will hold onto it until something better comes along. And the same goes true for Quicken and QBs. They can do so much and their mobile "apps" are so limited, that I can't part with them.

Xero is very cool, with a very simple way of doing things. For a business that really only needs to code transactions, Xero works very well. They are from New Zealand so a lot of the verbiage is in the Queen's English. This doesn't bother me, but I could see how this would prevent someone from using it. But the data is stored in US data centers, so no worries there. I had a harder time with the trickier transactions that I am used to doing in QBs and there are some simple features that are still missing, such as being able to calculate (as in a calculator) within a data field. While not huge, this is a feature that I use all the time in Quicken and QBs. But of course, this shouldn't be a reason for anyone else not to use it.

And then there is Method CRM. I have been telling my clients about it for years and have nicknamed it, "QuickBooks on steroids." It brings your existing data from QuickBooks (and QBO) into the cloud. And the best thing is that you can fully customize how the program works! This includes custom screens with only the buttons, functionality, and accessibility that only you want your users to see. Even better, you can add other types of data that may have nothing to do with accounting but are more related to how you run your business. Of course, for someone techie like me, this is a plus, but may be be more challenging for others. But the costs of hiring someone like me for the customization is so much cheaper than customizing and training on a full-fledged mid-market solution such as Oracle or SAP. And Method CRM is the most cost-effective way to do accounting in the cloud and act like a mid to high-end market business. So if I am traveling with my Chromebook (all web-based), I may not have my Outlook and QuickBooks (unless I remote into my office computer), but I can still check my e-mail via webmail and still enter QuickBooks data via Method CRM. I am fully aware that eventually in the future there will be no more desktop computers and programs to manage, but until then, I will hang on to my desktop.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Best Free Proactive Live Chat for Websites

While it's seems like web sites are pretty static, it is really cool when you visit a site and someone starts chatting with you. It can be a little startling at first, but I kind of like the idea of someone actively wanting to engage with me. And it just happened that at one point, I actually did have a quick question which was answered promptly without me having to search for it.

With that being said, I was on a quest to find a live chat program that I could easily put on my own web site. I tried several of them, first, one that I had experienced above. It was pretty good, but I couldn't justify paying $40/mo. for the infrequent visitors to my site. I then tried the one that came with my web hosting company, but that one was very technical and looked dated. Finally, I tried a few others but was still disappointed with the technical issues and lack of features for their free accounts.

After many Google searches, I was lucky to come across this comparison of live chat software. I was particularly interested in a free plan, as I was going to be the only agent with a small number of chats per month. I also really wanted to see important information about who was visiting my web site, such as from what url they come from, what pages they were viewing on my own site, and especially, their IP address and location.

The winner: olark! This one really takes the cake and was a breeze to set up on my web site. As a bonus, I was able to use a free IM client, in this case, I am using Pidgin, AND it works on my Android phone using IMO. All were very easy to set up. If I get busy enough, I love it so much that I will probably just start with their Bronze paid plan, which is pretty affordable anyway. I am willing to provide feedback on the ones I've already tried, so feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

QBW32.EXE Fatal Application Exit fixed with R6?

Intuit has released the R6 update for QuickBooks 2013 recently, and I was curious to know if this fixed the random crashes experienced by some of my clients in Enterprise Solutions 2013 in a multi-user environment. It turns out that one client had their problems resolved but another did not. And after reading another blog about this patch, it may be due to additional pushes. But at this point, I would give the green light to those holding out to upgrade to the 2013 version. I personally haven't had any problems and I love the new interface.

Speaking of the interface, they have returned the color scheme options in QuickBooks. The colors aren't the same as the old ones as these are a lot more vibrant. For an eye-popping, show-stopping theme, try the lime green or the pink. 

The list of everything that has changed with R6 is extensive, so here is the full description from Intuit's web site:

What's important about Release 6?
  • Resolved QBW32.EXE Fatal Application Exit error (Unrecoverable Error 02700 80318)
  • Improved performance.
  • Added the ability to change the Company File Color Scheme
  • Added Windows 8 support for the QuickBooks Attach Documents scan manager.
  • Added Monthly payroll item limits.
Known Issue
  • After updating to R6, in certain conditions a manual sync might be required for Enterprise users to be able to use subscriptions like QuickBooks email, Accountants Copy File Transfer, or Advanced Inventory.
Accounts Receivable
  • Terms on sales orders will flow to the invoices created from it.
Add Multiple Items
  • The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window will now refresh if Assembly items are created from the Item list.
Advanced Inventory
  • QuickBooks will now display a "No Site" section on the Inventory Stock Status by Site report, for those transactions without a site selected.
  • Resolved issues that caused barcode scanners to not work if unplugged and then plugged back in while QuickBooks is open.
  • When row shelf bin is turned on, the on-hand quantity of a build assembly will no longer show zero if there are builds that predate inventory transactions.
  • With Advanced Inventory enabled, the QuickBooks verify/rebuild utility will now detect inventory transfers that have all positive quantities in the "from" and "to" quantity fields.
  • Improved multi-user performance for large company files that have the Lot numbers preference enabled.
  • Unit cost has been added to the FIFO Cost Lot History by Item report.
  • QuickBooks will no longer warn when a duplicate lot number is used.
  • With the Multiple Inventory Sites preference enabled, QuickBooks will no longer display a warning when editing a build assembly when the original build quantity is greater than the quantity available.
  • Verify will no longer fail after an inventory transfer is recorded while the Average Cost is negative.
  • Editing the site on a transaction after turning off the Track Bin Location preference, will no longer cause the Verify to fail.
  • Serial Numbers in Stock reports will only show the current quantity of an item.
  • Costs on purchase transactions will no longer display incorrectly when Unit of Measure is enabled.
  • When the sort by option "Date,Type,Number/Ref" is chosen, deposits will now be listed first for transactions created on the same date.
Batch Enter Transactions
  • Batch Enter Transactions' menu item is now accessible under the Company menu for non-accountant versions of QuickBooks Enterprise v13.0.
  • QuickBooks will no longer close when trying to add a ToDo note having more than 500 characters while in multi-user mode.
  • Fixed an issue that caused duplicate employee names to appear when picking one on the Add To Do window.
  • The Item Image window has been re-sized to support lower resolutions.
  • Increased the number of rows visible on the Bins tab in the Inventory Center.
  • All customer information (phone, email, etc.) will be added to any new jobs created for it.
File Operations
  • Resolved issues that prevented QBB files created with QuickBooks for Mac from being opened in QuickBooks for Windows 2013.
Fixed Asset Manager
  • QuickBooks will no longer prompt to allow QuickBooks Fixed Asset Manager access to the QuickBooks company file.
  • Updated payroll help topics.
Intuit Sync Manager
  • This release includes the latest version of Intuit Sync Manager.
  • The Open Form button on the Templates list will now open the template highlighted in the list.
  • When multi-currency is enabled, total values will be reflected properly on a Purchase Order when it is created from an Estimate.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise v13 trial users running R6 will not get Advanced Inventory,QuickBooks Email, and the Accountants Copy File Transfer features enabled by default.
  • The error "LVL_ERROR--Unable to find the section for this mentu item!!!", will no longer appear in the Windows event viewer. This error will only appear in the QBWIN.LOG.
  • QuickBooks will now allow the spacebar to be used to select open Purchase Orders when creating bills.
  • Pressing the "s" key on the Employee Defaults window will act as a hot key to select a Class.
  • Improved performance of the Send Payroll Data workflow.
  • QuickBooks will not prompt to send Direct Deposit for Vendor payments if Direct Deposit for Vendor is not active for the company file.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display the message "You have Direct Deposit checks to send" when there are no checks to send.
  • Monthly payroll item limits are now supported.
  • After a check is voided and sent to Intuit using Direct Deposit, only a Cleared watermark will be displayed.
  • Improved overall PDF performance by resolving issues that prevented the ability to save as PDF.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise max data base cache size has been increased to 512 mb for improved performance.
  • Resolved an issue that caused QuickBooks to close unexpectedly when pressing the F2 button.
  • Resolved an issue that caused QuickBooks to close with the error "QBW32.EXE- Fatal Application Exit".
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 19975 55647' when a company file has My Apps opened on the left navigation pane.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 13968 12568' when opening the Customer Center.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 14854 49054'when opening any invoice by double-clicking from the Open Invoices report, especially on computers running Windows XP SP3.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 13968 12922' when opening the Customer Center in multi-user mode, especially on computers running Windows XP SP3.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 51609' while setting up new users.
  • Resolved an issue that would cause QuickBooks to hang when switching from single user mode to multi-user mode.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 24995' when users minimize/maximize QuickBooks multiple times when the progress bar is on.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 17371 39236' when users use 'Full Screen' mode, especially on computers running Windows XP SP3 or Windows 2003 server.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display 'Unrecoverable error 20888 41171' when users launch any transaction form.
  • Corrected the alignment when printing an Inventory Assembly Bill of Materials report.
  • The "Fit report to" setting now works correctly when printing memorized reports.
QuickBooks Attached Documents
  • Added Windows 8 support for the QuickBooks Attach Documents scan manager.
QuickBooks Online Banking
  • QuickBooks will no longer display the error "There is Not Enough Memory to Complete this Action", when attempting to deactivate an account set up for online banking.
QuickBooks Online Services
  • The Pay Online option on the Write Checks window will now be enabled in company files with multi-currency enabled and running in multi-user mode, only if the base currency is selected to USD.
  • Purchase Orders and Sales Orders without a site now display a quantity on the Stock Status by Site report.
  • Sales description will now show on all reports except for Purchase reports.
  • Non site specific summary reports will now show site data when the report basis is set to Accrual.
  • Clicking the "Revert" button in the Modify Report window, will now set the Zero QOH filter back to the default setting.
  • Sales description will now show on all reports except for Purchase reports.
  • Resolved an issue that caused the word "Overflow" to show on a memorized cash basis custom transaction detail report instead of dollar amounts.
  • QuickBooks will no longer close unexpectedly when running the Review 1099 Vendors report.
  • Resolved an issue that caused QuickBooks to close when opening Inventory items from the Inventory Valuation Summary report.

User Interface
  • Improved support for using QuickBooks with multiple monitors.
  • QuickBooks will no longer display an unrecoverable error while customizing the colored icon bar.
  • Save buttons can now be seen on the Write Checks window when viewing Paychecks and Payroll Liability checks in 1024x768 resolution.
  • Labels are now in all CAPS across transactional forms to improve readability.
  • The Company Information window has been updated to show your Intuit Account, Product Information and subscriptions/services for your company and instance of QuickBooks running, along with the Company Information . You will not be able to edit any of the information except for the Company Information.
  • "Company File Color Scheme” option is introduced in the “Desktop View” preference to allow users to change the color of the title bar and the border of QuickBooks windows for a particular company file, which will help users to differentiate between multiple company files. This preference will be replacing the “Company Color Flag” preference introduced in R4 release. We are offering 14 different “Company File Color Scheme” options to apply on various company files. This is a user level preference, which essentially means that various users connected to the same company file can select different colors.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

QuickBooks 2013: Should you upgrade now?

As an early adopter of new technology, I started using QuickBooks 2013 for my own company file as soon as it came out. I only had  small hiccup when I installed the manual patch for one of the earlier releases and it hosed my Merchant Services, albeit temporarily. I only had to uninstall, revert back to a previous patch, and wait for the automatic update. Sometimes jumping the gun isn't always the best action. 

Since then I've only had a couple Enterprise clients upgrade to the 2013 version, only because we were starting a new company file in the new year and having the "old" data in a previous version is always convenient. For those that haven't upgraded yet, this version has a totally new user interface along with some other cool new features. I have only seen a few glitches in the windows, such as not being able to click on the "Done" button in the adding downloaded transactions into the register window (newer version, side-by-side); however, I have managed by just clicking the Enter key. Other than that, I started getting reports from both clients that their users were getting kicked out of QuickBooks randomly and intermittently.

This was the most common error message during the crashes:

And this one may be related:

These types of crashes are probably the hardest to troubleshoot because they occurred randomly among several users doing all different tasks in QuickBooks. And in my previous searches on Intuit's support web site, I could not find anything particularly related to what was happening to my clients in a networked environment...until recently.

Another good tidbit of information I learned when talking to Intuit support (thankfully, I have Diamond US-based support being an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor) was that this issue was not only identified, but also in "containment." When a KB (knowledge base article) provides you with the option to be notified of updates, it means that development is working on a fix. 

Currently, I am on release R5. I believe they are already beta testing R6 to fix this issue. Therefore, once this nuisance of a problem is resolved, then I see no reason why anyone shouldn't upgrade to 2013. It looks a lot more modern and updated and I was able to learn and navigate around it pretty quickly. And if you are not in a network environment, then you should have no problems upgrading now.