Wednesday, October 9, 2013

7 tips for getting the most out of QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a powerful tool that many small business owners rely on to keep their financial records up to date. But are you getting the most out of your software investment? Here are a few tips to help you increase efficiency and maximize your use of QuickBooks.

Tip #1 - Use QuickBooks on the go with remote access

Intuit (the company behind QuickBooks) understands busy professionals sometimes need to work on the go. Remote access options for QuickBooks have expanded, and you can now log into your file from anywhere – even while meeting with your accountant! Remote access methods include QuickBooks Online, desktop sharing and QuickBooks hosting on the cloud.

Tip #2 - Download data whenever possible

Downloading banking and credit card activity directly into QuickBooks is a huge timesaver, even when factoring in initial set-up time. Downloading data minimizes the chance of human error and records activity quicker than inputting it manually.

Tip #3 - Set a closing date password to protect data

On a regular basis and before you send your QuickBooks file to your accountant for year-end closing,make sure to set a closing date password. This safeguard will prevent users from accidently changing closed data periods by requiring anyone trying to make a change to enter the password in order to save the transaction in QuickBooks.

Tip #4 - Memorize transactions

Are you tired of entering the same transaction every month in QuickBooks? QuickBooks has the capability to memorize recurring transactions (invoices, bills, checks, etc.) and set them for automatic posting daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.

Tip #5 - Use the find feature to locate transactions faster

If you’re looking for a particular invoice, do you open the form and click “Previous” until the form appears on the screen? This can be a long and tedious process. Using the "find" feature is the most efficient way to find transactions in QuickBooks. This tool will search for almost any transaction-level data, depending on your filters.

Tip #6 – Add depth to financial reporting with class tracking

Using class tracking in QuickBooks gives a business one more dimension – a way to categorize and track business activity that is meaningful in your particular company. Assigning a class to transactions allows you to report on each class separately. You should use classes to group transactions into categories that are different from your chart of accounts. As with most features in QuickBooks, planning up front to determine which classes your business needs will make them the most effective.

Tip #7 – Expand functionality with QuickBooks add-ons

Many add-on products are available to expand the functionality of QuickBooks. For example, for QuickBooks Online enables you to receive electronic bills (or scanned paper bills) and pay vendors electronically from your desktop or mobile device, with transactions automatically entered into QuickBooks Online, so you can have a paper-free bill-pay process. Another helpful add-on is Transaction Pro Importer, a web service that makes it easier to import an Excel or CSV data file into QuickBooks Online.