Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Case For QuickBooks Online

Pros:

These are not listed in any specific order.
  1. More Multiple Simultaneous Users
    1. QBE can have up to 30 users logged in and working at the same time. Priced per user up to 10 and then up to 30.
    2. QBO can have up to 25 active billable users, QBO Essentials comes with 3 users. Plus comes with 5 users; the additional billing levels are 6-10 and 11-25.
    3. In addition, QBO also provides free access to 2 Accountant users and unlimited Reports-only and Time Tracking only users.
  2. No Single User Mode Requirement
    1. QBE requires switching to single user mode for specific functions including backups with complete verification, modification of some preferences, and import/export utilities. This slows down productivity and cause login problems if not switched back to multiuser mode.
    2. QBO is always in multiuser mode, so all users can be logged in simultaneously even when uploading files, importing data, changing company settings, entering time, and running reports.
  3. Automatic Data-encrypted Back-ups
    1. QBO uses technical and administrative security measures such as, but not limited to, firewalls, encryption techniques, and two-factor authentication, among others, to work to maintain the security of your online session and information. Redundant copies of backed up data are maintained.
    2. QBE can only have corruption-free backups when done manually in single user mode. Automatic backups into the cloud are available at an extra cost of $9.99 per month but they are not verified for corruption. The local QBE company file is vulnerable to any network infections such as ransomware that encrypts the data file that can only be unlocked by paying a ransom in bitcoin.  
  4. Not Platform Specific
    1. QBE only works on Windows-based workstations.
    2. QBO is accessible from a PC, Mac, Chromebook or any other web-enabled device.
  5. Mobile: Anywhere, Anytime, and on Any Device
    1. QBO has mobile apps for Android and iOS.
    2. QBE can only be hosted but there is no longer a mobile app.
  6. Connect to 300+ Cloud-Based Apps
    1. QBO can seamlessly connect to other cloud-based solutions.
    2. QBE can integrate with currently 148 solutions reliant on the QuickBooks SDK or QuickBooks Web Connector. The Intuit Sync Manager has been discontinued.

  1. Automatic Bank Transaction Download
    1. QBO automatically downloads transactions for connected bank and credit card accounts for free.
    2. QBE has manual bank feed capability, possibly subject to a bank fee for a direct connection (ability to download transactions manually within QBE), if available.
  2. Automatic Scheduling and Emailing of Sales Receipts and Invoices
    1. Recurring templates can be set up in QBO that automatically charge a credit card or initiate an ACH transaction and then email out a receipt on a set schedule.
    2. Not available in QBE.
  3. Automatic Scheduling and Emailing of Reports
    1. Individual or different groups of reports can be emailed based on different frequencies from QBO automatically.
    2. QBE 17.0 has this capability but it is subject to restrictions, such as Windows run as administrator permissions, single user mode, and QBE not running as a service when setting it up.
  4. Work in Multiple Companies Simultaneously
    1. You can work in more than one QBO account opened up in separate browser windows on the same computer.
    2. QBE can only have 2 different company files open on the same computer but with limited functionality in the secondary one.
  5. Attachments
    1. QBO has the ability to store attachments to transactions, customers, and vendors uploaded locally or linked to photos via the app on mobile devices all within the account.
    2. QBE can only store copies of linked files and only stores them locally in the same directory. There is a risk of files becoming unlinked with file name changes or corruption.

  1. Speed
    1. In my own tests, I am able to log in and start working in QBO faster than logging into a QBE file. Of course, this is relative to QBE file size and age and server/workstation/network performance.
    2. I can switch between QBO accounts faster than changing company files in QBE. I also have the fastest Internet bandwidth available in my area (300+ Mbps with Cox).

Cons:

  1. Access to Backups
    1. QBO doesn’t have the ability to download a backup file of the account’s data.
    2. However, it is possible to download an export file for converting back to QuickBooks for Desktop.
    3. ChronoBooks 3rd party app can continuously back up QBO data and restore a company to any time since being backed up. You can also copy one company over to another.
  2. Reliance on an Internet Connection
    1. A high-speed connection is recommended.
    2. As with any cloud-based software, data access is subject to cellular/internet provider network availability and occasional downtime due to system and server maintenance and events beyond your control. I have only seen QBO go down for an hour or so or have significant slowdowns a few times in the past 3 years using it. This is usually regional and not every account is always affected.
  3. One Account per Company
    1. Unlike with QBE, you have to subscribe to a separate account for each company file.
    2. However, I can provide bundled subscriptions at discounted prices for my clients that have multiple company files.

  1. No Price Levels, Yet
    1. Currently, it’s not possible to have different pricing for the same item for customers.
    2. However, it is a planned update.

  1. Permissions
    1. QBO has only general permissions like QuickBooks Pro/Premier.
    2. QBE has more granular user permissions in terms of what can be viewed/modified.

  1. No Progress Invoicing
    1. The ability to invoice a percentage of select items from an Estimate is not available in QBO.
    2. This is only currently under review as a possible update.

Professional Opinion:

It is very clear that Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, is heading in the direction of being a cloud-based software company. They are putting the majority of their resources into QBO as evidenced by the almost monthly updates with new features that have been requested. QBE is still a profitable revenue stream for Intuit, but the new features are few and far between when a new version is released, which is only once per year. They have also sold off their Quicken desktop product, which was their founding flagship software.

In this day and age, being mobile and access anywhere and at anytime is ubiquitous and will only become more prevalent in the future. QBO eliminates the time and expense of maintaining and fixing technical issues that I have seen over the 10+ years I have supported QBE. And being able to connect to a significant number of apps, only expands its capabilities.

I like to stay on the cutting edge and adopt new technology. It has been almost three years since I migrated from QBE to QBO for my own firm after the newest version of QBO was released and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Catch Up or Start a New File in QuickBooks in Record Time


As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, I have seen all of the "disaster" scenarios, including:

  • A client's computer crashes. The computer's hard drive is toast and they can't recover their QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) company file. To make matters worse, for some reason or another, they don't even have any recent backups.
  • A client using QuickBooks Online (QBO) connects and syncs transactions from a third party POS app. However, deposits are added to income accounts with more detail via downloaded transactions in Banking instead of matching to imported deposits. A duplication of income and a mess of unneeded transactions persist for months to years.
  • A client who never used QuickBooks before gets audited by the IRS. All of the sudden, they need years of data in QuickBooks so that correct financial statements can be generated.
While this news is always heartbreaking for me, it is worse for my client having to make the decision to work with an old backup and catch up or start fresh with a new QuickBooks company file. Or for the QuickBooks Online client to decide between fixing existing data or creating a new account, these are not easy decisions to make.

Fortunately, I have tools that can help my clients no matter what recovery plan we agree upon. Using the Bank Feeds in QBD or the Banking center in QBO, the processes of adding hundreds of historical transactions becomes painlessly feasible. However, some banks may only allow downloading 90 days to 6 months or a year of transactions from their online banking websites. Or they may not even offer a .QBO (QuickBooks Web Connect) file download, the only type that can be imported into QBD. 

The way around this limitation is to use bank statements, either filed paper statements or downloaded PDFs. These can be converted to .QBO files and imported into QuickBooks. Using bank rules, the process of categorizing and adding transactions can be sped up. And with QBO, you can even have bank rules that automatically add hundreds of transactions that match a bank rule. 

For more complex cleanup situations, it is possible to delete hundreds to thousands of erroneous transactions. Or it may be necessary to export certain transactions from one account/file, to be imported into another QBO account or combined with another file. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

QuickBooks Online Price Changes Coming July 2017

QuickBooks Online Price Changes

Price change overview:

Beginning on July 22, 2017, prices will increase for a group of existing QuickBooks Online Plus customers who pay directly for their subscriptions. Customers receiving the price increase will be notified by Intuit via email a minimum of 30 days in advance of the billing change.   

Prices will change as follows:
QuickBooks OnlineMonthlyAnnual
Plus($39 - $48.99) → $50($429 - $538.99) → $540
Plus (6-10 users)($54 - $63.99) → $65($589 - $698.99) → $700
Plus (11-25 users)($84 - $93.99) → $95($914 - $1023.99) → $1,025

How to Avoid Price Changes?

Get your subscription through Go Get Geek!

When you subscribe to QuickBooks Online through us, you get these value-added benefits:
  • No price increases for the lifetime of your subscription
  • Free Setup or Conversion from your existing QuickBooks for Desktop
  • Includes Training to get you up and running quickly
  • Unlimited technical support from an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor
  • Quarterly Reviews of your account to check for errors and put you on track for tax time

Get started:


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hidden Feature: Calculator Within QuickBooks

One of the best tips that I would provide my clients with, that they didn't usually know about before, was the calculator functions within QuickBooks Desktop. When typing any calculator function in a quantity or amount field in a transaction, Add (+), Subtract (-), Divide (/), or Multiply (*), a mini calculator would pop up.


 Adding the next number and then enter would provide the result.



What most people still don't know is that QuickBooks Online (QBO) also has this functionality. While a little calculation window doesn't pop up, you can still use any of the character functions in a quantity or amount field, add a number, and then the TAB key (the Enter key doesn't work here).


You will notice a red error message, "This value is out of range" when entering a number and then the character function. But just enter the next value or number and then TAB and it will calculate the result.


You can even do multiple calculations by inputting another character function, a number, character, number, on so on. It is not until you key the TAB button that it completes the calculation and provides a total.

Monday, June 12, 2017

How To Prepare QuickBooks Payroll for Arizona’s New Mandatory Sick Leave Under Prop 206

On November 8, 2016, Proposition 206: The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act passed. There are two parts to Prop 206: the first is a minimum wage increase, and the second is a mandatory employer-provided sick leave. It is the requirement for private and municipal employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees beginning July 1, 2017. Under Prop 206, all employees must accrue paid sick time at a minimum rate of one (1) hour of paid sick time per every thirty (30) hours worked (not confined to a workweek or pay period). Employers with less than fifteen (15) employees, must provide and allow the use of twenty-four (24) hours of paid sick time per year, while employers with fifteen (15) or more employees must provide and allow the use of forty (40) hours of paid sick time a year.

Employers have 2 options to provide these hours to employees:

  1. On an accrual basis (1 hour of sick time accrued for every 30 hours worked).
  2. Front loading 24 hours or 3 days at the start of the calendar year, anniversary date, or 12 month basis.

To Enter the Accrual into QuickBooks Payroll

Starting July 1, 2017, employees will earn at least 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. That works out to a little more than 8 days a year for someone who works full time. But employers can limit the amount of paid sick leave you can take in one year to 24 hours (3 days).

Minimum Accrual Calculation: 1 hr. divided by 30 hrs. = 0.03333 hours.
Hours are accrued per hour worked using the decimal calculation per hour with a maximum allowed number of hours.
Note: The maximum allowed is the maximum hours at any time. It does not enforce the yearly limit. 
However, if you use a professional time tracking software like TSheets, you can enforce a yearly cap. I highly recommend this software even if you are not using QuickBooks for payroll (works with ADP and other payroll service providers). 





To Front Load the Hours into QuickBooks Payroll

Employers also have the option of front loading the 24 hours (3 days) to their employees at the start of the calendar year, anniversary date, or 12 month basis.


Hours are accrued at the beginning of the year.

Hours are accrued on the anniversary date (hire date).

Hours are front loaded for employees.
The accrual method may be the preferred and more accurate way of allowing employees to earn their sick time for businesses that don't already provide a block of sick hours to be used. For those businesses that already have a sick pay policy where hours are not earned until after a tenure of employment (90 days, 1st year of employment, etc.), it may be better to switch to the accrual method. However, it may also be too difficult to track the amount used and stop the accrual beyond the yearly limit since the payroll service doesn't limit by year.

By front loading hours, the employer risks an employee using up their sick hours and leaving employment before actually earning them. However, by giving employees the maximum amount of hours up front, there is no need to keep track of when accrued hours have maxed out, so this is the easiest method to ensure compliance.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I Made Top 100 QuickBooks ProAdvisor Again for 2017!

I have been named a 2017 Top 100 PROADVISOR by Insightful Accountant, an independent news and information source written specifically for the small business advisor who needs to stay current on the latest news and offerings in accounting technology, including updates from Intuit, Xero, Sage and the hundreds of Add On products serving the small business.
This list recognizes the leading consultants who have embraced the ProAdvisor program and have leveraged it in order to better serve their clients and grow their own business. “We’d like to congratulate everyone who made this year’s list,” said Insightful Accountant Senior Technical Editor, William “Murph” Murphy. “We had several new people join the ranks this year.”


“This is the fourth year of our PROADVISOR awards,” said Insightful Accountant Publisher and Managing Partner, Gary DeHart. “Each year the competition continues to grow and we appreciate the hard work and efforts of all of our winners.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

QuickBooks Online Reconciliation Changes Coming Soon

Within the next few weeks, what has currently been available as only an option in QuickBooks Labs (Gear icon, under Your Company), the QuickBooks reconciliation will become live.

Reconcile - Opening Screen
Reconcile - Opening Screen
The look and layout of all the screens will be totally different.

All transactions can be shown in list format on one page.
All transactions can be shown in list format on one page.

Any changes to transactions already reconciled will trigger a warning the next time an account is reconciled.

Discrepancy Warning
Discrepancy Warning

The Reconciliation Discrepancy report makes it easy to find out what has changed.

Reconciliation Discrepancy Report
Reconciliation Discrepancy Report
I especially like the new Find filter option inside the reconciliation screen.

Find Transaction in Reconciliation
Find Transaction in Reconciliation

And the bigger warnings about reconciling when the difference isn't zero.

Reconciliation Warning about Non-Zero Difference
Reconciliation Warning about Non-Zero Difference

I am so familiar with the current reconcile mode that I have never warmed up to the newer way in QuickBooks Labs. But I think this will be a great improvement for users that may be new to QuickBooks Online or just have a hard time grasping the concept. I will certainly switch to it now so that I can be ready for my clients when they need help.





















Thursday, March 2, 2017

Part 2: How Do You Know If Your QuickBooks Financial Statements Are Correct?


If you track inventory in QuickBooks, you may already know how challenging it is to set up and maintain correct numbers. Typical for businesses that have over a million dollars worth of inventory or that need additional capital or lines of credit, a correct balance sheet is paramount. 


Incorrect setup and erroneous data entry can lead to major problems with the numbers on a profit and loss and balance sheet report.

The total for the Inventory Asset account (the one that QuickBooks uses by default with inventory turned on) on the Balance Sheet (on accrual basis) and the Total Inventory at the bottom of the Asset Value column on the Inventory Valuation Summary reports should be equal.




If they don't match, here are some of the possible reasons why:
  1. One or more inventory items were set up with an account other than inventory asset. This would skew the balance on the Balance Sheet:

    For example, 

    To troubleshoot, go to the Item list | Right click and select Customize Columns and add the COGS Account, Account (Income), and Asset Account.


    Next, make sure that the accounts for each item is of the correct type. In this example, a COGS type account was used instead of the Inventory Asset account for the asset account.



  2. An expense transaction was entered using the Expenses tab and the inventory asset account.
  3. A journal entry was entered using the inventory asset account. Journals should never be used to change the value of this account; only inventory adjustments should be used to change the quantities and/or values of inventory items.

    The two above are harder to troubleshoot to find the discrepancy. Drill down on the inventory asset amount on the balance sheet. Filter by transaction type and select: Check, Bill, Journal. Looking for the amount of the discrepancy also helps, unless there are many transactions that were entered incorrectly.

    If you have the accountant version of QuickBooks or have a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, it is much easier to find using the Reclassify Transactions tool. By selecting "Non-Item-Based" for Show transactions, only transactions that used the inventory asset account without using an item will be displayed.



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How Do You Know If Your QuickBooks Financial Statements Are Correct?

Before sending your Profit & Loss and/or Balance Sheet reports from QuickBooks to your tax preparer or before you file your taxes yourself, you may want to continue reading. 

There are several litmus tests to confirm that what is in your QuickBooks is correct and that your financial statements reflect this.


If you invoice (use Accounts Receivable) your customers out of QuickBooks, then you may want to make sure that the Total Income on your Profit & Loss report on an accrual basis matches your Sales by Customer Summary report.




Sales (Income) should be reflected with transactions only such as invoices, sales receipts, credit memos, and refund receipts (QuickBooks Online only), not using deposits to income or journal entries. To find out where the discrepancy lies, run a profit and loss report by customer or job and compare with the sales by customer summary report totals for each.


Fortunately, QuickBooks Online includes a Not Specified column to make this easier to find.


The culprit: 2 transactions, expenses, that were coded to income accounts.





This is another scenario in Quickbooks Desktop.





In comparing the reports, we find that the dollar amount discrepancy shows up for a Cost of Goods Sold account. Upon further drilling down, an invoice was used, but the item was not set up with an income account.



Once the item is fixed to either an income account or as two-sided (check box above Description checked), this fixes the reports and financial statements.




In my next post, I will show another test, so please subscribe below to get notifications to my blog. Thanks!