QuickBooks 2019 For Dummies book cover

QuickBooks 2019 For Dummies

By: Stephen L. Nelson Published: 10-26-2018

QuickBooks 2019 For Dummies is here to make it easier than ever to familiarize yourself with the latest version of the software. It shows you step by step how to build the perfect budget, simplify tax return preparation, manage inventory, track job costs, generate income statements and financial reports, and every other accounting-related task that crosses your desk at work.  

Articles From QuickBooks 2019 For Dummies

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QuickBooks 2019 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 05-02-2022

QuickBooks 2019 makes small-business accounting fast and easy. But your day-to-day business bookkeeping will go even more smoothly if you employ a handful of QuickBooks user interface tricks, editing tricks, and keyboard shortcuts.

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QuickBooks 2019 Online Banking

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

In this article, we start by discussing the QuickBooks online banking and bill payment features and then cover the Intuit PaymentNetwork services, which are pretty cool tools for some businesses. We also briefly review some of the other online services that Intuit provides for QuickBooks users. The Electronic Banking Thing Before we discuss using the QuickBooks online banking and payment services, you need to consider whether these features even make sense for you and your business. Online banking does make sense for some people — maybe even you. Then again, it may be more like the fins on a ’62 Cadillac: cool, but not that cool. So what’s the commotion about? For QuickBooks, online banking includes two parts: online banking itself and online bill payment. Basically, online banking enables you to transmit account transfer instructions to your bank and download (retrieve) account information electronically by using your computer and the Internet. Online bill payment enables you to transmit payment instructions electronically. (You essentially tell your bank to write, stamp, and mail a check so that you don’t have to.) And that, my friend, is about all there is to online banking. A handful of reasons to be cautious about banking online I don’t know whether you should bank online, really, but I’ll share some thoughts with you. And no kidding, I’ve had my reservations over the years about this feature. Is it safe? Is it easy? Is it just another way for a software company and my bank to make more money off me? Here’s my latest thinking on the matter: You ought to use online banking. It is safe, if you don’t share your personal identification number (PIN), and it saves you tons of time. In fact, online banking should allow many business owners to do their books themselves for just a few minutes of work at the end of the week. That being said, I should quickly point out the few flies in the ointment, so to speak: Your bank needs to use the Intuit service. To use the full-blown online banking service, you need to use a bank that has signed up for this Intuit service. Many, many big banks have signed up. More banks sign up all the time, of course, but some haven’t yet. So if your bank hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon — that is, the Intuit bandwagon — you can’t jump on the bandwagon either, at least not as a full-fledged member of the band. To find out whether your bank provides online banking, choose Banking→ Bank Feeds →Participating Financial Institutions. After you’re connected to the Internet, QuickBooks displays a list of the banks that support the Intuit flavor of online banking. It isn’t totally paperless. Although a totally electronic system sounds really efficient and very slick, you need to realize that online bill payment (a key component of online banking) often isn’t that efficient or slick because, to be quite honest, the system isn’t totally electronic. “What the …?” you’re asking. “I thought that was the point.” For better or worse, most businesses are still set up to — and still expect to — receive paper checks with remittance advices. What often happens when you transmit payment instructions is that the bank or online payment service simply prints a check for you. Think about that for a minute. If the bank is printing your check, you still have all the disadvantages of a printed check, including the following: You still need to allow extra time for mailing. You still have the possibility that the check will get lost. You still have the possibility that the check will be misapplied. In other words, the check to pay your power bill might be applied to your neighbor’s account instead. There’s a greater chance for error. What’s more, you have the extra complication of having your bank, rather than you, mucking up all this stuff. It (usually) ain’t free. Worst of all, the bank most likely charges for this service. And so does Intuit. (Remember that banks and software companies think that online banking is a way for them to make money.) You might run into possible vendor confusion. Receiving payments from your bank, as opposed to directly from you, might confuse your vendors. The confusion occurs because the checks that they receive come all bundled up in these cute little envelopes that must be torn along the perforation on just about all sides. And because you can’t send a remittance slip with an online payment, vendors can easily credit your account incorrectly, which can lead to problems. (My power company regularly threatens to turn off the gas to my office because even though my electric and gas charges are included in the same bill, the power company doesn’t like me to send one check via the QuickBooks online bill payment system. It needs two checks: one for the electric bill and one for the gas bill.) One other problem bears mentioning. When you use online banking, you create a complex system without clear responsibilities for problem-solving and technical support. And that means that when you have problems, you can’t always call someone to get help. (No kidding. Just the other day, some poor guy emailed me because his online banking stuff wasn’t working. Intuit blamed the bank; the bank blamed his PC hardware; the PC company blamed Intuit. This guy has a problem that nobody can solve or will solve.) This is important to understand, so let me briefly outline the steps that an online payment might take: You enter the transaction in QuickBooks. You make (or QuickBooks makes) an Internet connection. QuickBooks uses the Internet connection to send the transaction to the bank. The bank receives the transaction information and typically creates a check, which it mails to the person you’re paying. The person you’re paying gets the check (you hope) and credits your account. Five simple steps, right? Wrong. Any of these five steps can go wrong. And if one does, you don’t actually make the payment or transfer, and you won’t know why: Bugs happen. If QuickBooks or your computer has a bug, it might say that you entered and transmitted a transaction when in fact you didn’t. This has happened to me. Ya gotta get online. If your Internet connection doesn’t work or doesn’t work dependably, you can’t send the online transaction. I’ve had problems with online banking at home over a cable-modem Internet connection (storm outages) and at work when using a network and a fiber-optic connection (either an incorrectly configured network or bad hardware). Banks are fallible. If the bank screws up in printing or mailing the check, of course your check won’t get there. QuickBooks lets you enter a five-line address on a check, but the check printed by the bank or online payment service can have only four lines. So QuickBooks just removes the fifth line of the address block. Whenever any of these problems occurs, you won’t know what’s gone wrong — only that something has gone wrong. And you’ll be responsible for solving the problem, even though it may be the fault of your bank, Intuit, your Internet service provider, the telephone company, or somebody else. Making sense of online banking So, what should you do? Let me make a suggestion: If you use a bank that provides online banking, go ahead and try the service. Absolutely! It isn’t very expensive — possibly free or (worst case) only a few dollars per month. If you decide later that you don’t like the service, you can always go back to banking the old-fashioned way. If you use a bank that doesn’t provide online banking services, and you’re really bummed out about it, you can try the online bill payment component of online banking by using the Intuit online bill payment service. Online bill payment is the part where you send instructions to your bank (if it provides the service) or to Intuit to write and mail checks for you. You can use the online bill payment service with any account. In essence, you give Intuit permission to automatically deduct money from your account to make payments for you. Signing up for the service All you need to do to sign up for online banking service is choose Banking→ Bank Feeds→ Set Up Account for Online Services. QuickBooks starts an online application wizard that walks you through the steps to apply for the online banking services. Just follow the onscreen instructions, and voilà! That’s it. Another benefit of being literate. To actually begin transmitting online payments or making account inquiries, you need to complete the application and have that application processed. Note, too, that you can usually complete the application by filling out paperwork from your bank and turning that in. You might not have to use the online application process. Making an online payment Plan to create and send online payments a good week before they’re due. Processing your request and then printing and sending a check takes time for the online bill payment service, and a check that your bank sends doesn’t go through the mail any faster than a check you send yourself. So, don’t expect online bill payment to save you any time compared with sending checks that you print or handwrite yourself. After you sign up for online banking, making payments is easy. Just follow these steps: 1. Choose Banking→Write Checks. You can also click the Write Checks icon on the home screen. If you’ve written checks with QuickBooks before, you probably recognize your old friend the Write Checks window, as shown. 2. Click the Bank Account drop-down menu at the top of the window and then choose the account from which you want to write this check. Choosing the account is a really important step. Make sure that you’re accessing the correct account before you write a check. 3. Select the Pay Online check box on the ribbon. Selecting this check box is another important step. If you don’t select this check box, you aren’t making an online payment; you’re just writing a regular check that you need to print or handwrite. 4. Fill in the check. If the payee appears on one of your name lists, the AutoFill feature fills in the name of the payee in the Pay to the Order Of line after you type a few letters. For online bill payment, you must have the correct address. If the address is incomplete, QuickBooks warns you and asks you to correct it. If you haven’t entered a transaction for this person or party before or added that individual or party to a list, QuickBooks asks you to Quick Add or Set Up the payee name. Do that. By the way, QuickBooks makes you collect more information about anyone you’re going to pay with an online payment. Enter the amount of the check next to the dollar sign and then press Tab. QuickBooks writes out the amount for you on the Dollars line. 5. Fill in the Expenses and Items tabs, if necessary. 6. Click the Save & New button or the Save & Close button to finish writing the check. Click Save & New to write another check, or click Save & Close if you’re finished writing checks for the moment. There you have it. Your check is written, entered in the Checking register, and ready to be sent so that your bank or Intuit can print and mail it. And you thought this stuff was going to be tough, didn’t you? People who have grown accustomed to Quicken, a cousin product of QuickBooks, may want to use the Register window to make online payments. You can use the Register window in QuickBooks, too, although doing so isn’t quite as slick. You enter the payment in the usual way, except that you type the word SEND in the Check Number text box. Transferring money electronically You can electronically transfer money between bank accounts, too, as long as the accounts are at the same bank. (Both accounts, of course, also need to be set for online banking.) Here’s what you need to do: 1. Choose Banking→ Transfer Funds. You see the Transfer Funds Between Accounts window. 2. From the Transfer Funds From drop-down menu, choose the bank account that you’re going to transfer the money from. 3. From the Transfer Funds To drop-down menu, choose the bank account to which you want to transfer the money. 4. Select the account that you want to receive the funds. 5. Select the Online Funds Transfer check box. Doing so tells QuickBooks that you want to make this transfer electronically. (This box doesn’t appear if you’re not set up for online banking.) 6. Enter the amount that you want to transfer in the Transfer Amount field and then fill in the Memo text box. Someday, you might go into the register for the account that you’re transferring money from and wonder where you transferred this money and why. Filling in the Memo line solves this little mystery beforehand. 7. Click Save & Close. The transfer is recorded. After you transmit the transfer instructions, the transfer transaction is posted to your account — maybe not immediately, but as fast as a telephone transfer or an ATM transfer is posted. Changing instructions QuickBooks doesn’t actually send, or transmit, your payment and transfer instructions until you tell it to. This little fact means that you can change or edit your payment instructions (what you enter with the Write Checks window) and your transfer instructions (what you enter with the Transfer Funds Between Accounts window) until you actually transmit them. You edit online payments and account transfers in the same way that you edit regular payments and account transfers. Transmitting instructions After you describe the online payments and account transfers that you want QuickBooks to make, you transmit that information to the bank. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Choose Banking → Bank Feeds → Bank Feeds Center. You see the Bank Feeds window, which identifies the bank account you’ll be working with. 2. From the Financial Institution drop-down menu in the window pane on the left side of the screen, choose the bank to which you’re transmitting payment and transfer instructions. 3. Review the payment and transfer instructions one last time. Take one last peek at the Items to Send list to make sure that any payment and transfer instructions that you’re sending are correct. If you have questions about a particular instruction, click it and then click the Edit button. If you know that a particular payment instruction is incorrect, click it and then click the Delete button. 4. Click the Send/Receive button to transmit the payment and transfer instructions. QuickBooks prompts you to provide a PIN in a cute little dialog box. If you’re transmitting payment and transfer instructions for the first time, QuickBooks probably prompts you to change your PIN. If you don’t have any transactions to send, QuickBooks renames the button Receive Transactions. 5. Review any transactions that the bank tells you about. After QuickBooks makes the connection and sends and receives transactions, QuickBooks updates the information shown in the Online Banking Center window. You can get more information about many of the items listed by clicking them. You can add transactions that QuickBooks downloads from the bank but that aren’t yet in your bank account registers by clicking the Add Transactions to QuickBooks button, which appears at the bottom of the window. 6. Click Close. Hey, when you’re done, you’re done. Message in a bottle Doing all your banking electronically can be a little unsettling when you’re starting out. What if you have a question, for example? All you do is send an email to the bank, asking the people there whatever question you’d normally ask in a telephone call or at the drive-through window. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Choose Banking→ Bank Feeds → Create Online Banking Message. QuickBooks displays the Bank Feeds Message window and fills in the bank name (as long as you use online banking services with only one bank). If you use online banking services with more than one bank, choose the name of the bank to which you want to send a message from the Message To drop-down menu 2. Click the Subject text box and then type a brief description of your message’s subject. I may be telling you something you already know, but most email programs simply display a list of messages that includes the sender, the message subject, and the date. Therefore, the message subject that you use is one of the first bits of message information that the bank folks see. 3. Select the online account that you’re going to discuss in the message. 4. Click the Message text box and then type your message. You’re on your own here. 5. (Optional) Click the Print button to print a copy of your message. 6. Click OK. When you click OK, you add the message to the list of stuff that’s ready to send the next time you go online with your bank. Other online opportunities Intuit provides several other small-business-type online services to QuickBooks users. The company has also arranged for a merchant credit card service, for example; you can apply for this service online and then use it online to receive payments and even get charge authorizations. QuickBooks automatically connects you to its online search marketing service. Some of QuickBooks’ payroll services are very online-ish. If you have questions about the current state of any of these products or services, visit the QuickBooks website and search for the name of the service.

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Basic Budgeting Tips for QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

A budget improves your chances of getting your business wherever you want it to go financially. It gives you a way to “plan your work and work your plan.” In fact, let's stop calling it a budget because that word has such negative connotations. Call it The Secret Plan. Before I walk you through the mechanics of outlining your Secret Plan, I want to give you a few tips. After that, I want to tell you a secret. A very special secret. Here are four ways to increase the chances that your Secret Plan will work: Plan your income and expenses as a team, if that’s possible. For this sort of planning, two heads are invariably better than one. What’s more, although I don’t really want to get into marriage counseling or partnership counseling here, the budget of a business (oops; I mean its Secret Plan) needs to reflect the priorities and feelings of everyone who has to live within the plan: partners, partners’ spouses, key employees, and so on. So don’t use a Secret Plan as a way to minimize what your partner spends on marketing or on long-distance telephone charges talking to pseudocustomers and relatives in the old country. You need to resolve such issues before you finalize your Secret Plan. Include some cushion in your plan. In other words, don’t budget to spend every last dollar. If you plan from the start to spend every dollar you make, you’ll undoubtedly have to fight the mother of all financial battles: paying for unexpected expenses when you don’t have any money. (You know the sort of things I mean: the repair bill when the delivery truck breaks down, a new piece of essential equipment, or that cocktail dress or tuxedo you absolutely must have for a special party.) Regularly compare your actual income and outgo with your planned income and outgo. This comparison is probably the most important part of budgeting, and it’s what QuickBooks can help you with most. As long as you use QuickBooks to record what you receive and spend and to describe your budget, you can print reports that show what you planned and what actually occurred. If you find that you’ve budgeted $1,000 per month for shipping costs, but you discover that you consistently spend twice that amount, you may need to shift some money from your monthly dress-and-tuxedo allowance … unless you like coming in over budget on shipping charges. Make adjustments as necessary. When you encounter problems with your Secret Plan — and you will — you’ll know that part of your plan isn’t working. Then you can make adjustments (by spending a little less on calling the old country, for example). A word to the wise: Don’t gear up your business overhead or your personal living and lifestyle when you have a great year (or even a few great years) in the business. When you have a good year or even a few good years, keep your overhead and expenses modest. Stash the extra cash. If you can, build up some financial wealth that’s independent and apart from your business assets. Contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), for example, or set up a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA for yourself and any employees.

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Track Debit, ATM, and Customer Credit Cards in QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

Debit and ATM cards, when you get right down to it, aren’t credit cards at all. Using a debit card or an ATM card is more akin to writing a check than anything else. Rather than withdrawing money by writing a check, however, you withdraw money by using a debit card. Although a debit card transaction sometimes looks (at least to your friends and the merchants you shop with) like a credit card transaction, you should treat a debit card transaction like you treat a check. In a nutshell, here’s what you need to do: When you charge something to a debit card, record the transaction just like you record a regular check. You may want to enter the transaction number as the check number or in the Memo line so that you can keep track of the transaction. When you withdraw cash by using a debit card, record the transaction as a regular withdrawal (or transfer to a petty-cash account), as though you went to the bank with a withdrawal slip. When you make a deposit through a cash machine by using a debit card, record the transaction just like you record a regular deposit. What about Customer Credit Cards? If you don’t already know this, although your customers probably love to pay you with credit cards, customer credit cards create a headache for you. The reason is that your merchant bank or credit card processor aggregates customer credit card charges and then — maybe on a daily basis or maybe every few days — deposits a big wad of cash in your bank account. The cash represents the sum of the recent credit card charges minus a fee. This all sounds innocuous enough, but here’s an example of how it works. Customers A, B, and C come in on Monday and spend $5, $10, and $15, respectively. Then, on Tuesday, customers D, E, and F come in and spend $10, $50, and $30, respectively. On Wednesday, you don’t sell anything to someone who uses a credit card, but you do see a $105 deposit in your bank account by the credit card company. The problem is that you’re looking at the last two days’ worth of credit card transactions, and you know that they total $120 because that’s the total you sold to customers A, B, C, D, E, and F. So what’s with the $105? Is the missing $15 a service fee? Oh, no, wait. Maybe Customer A called his credit card company and blocked that first $5 charge. Or maybe it was Customer B? If you accept a credit card, you know how this works, right? It’s a royal headache. I think you probably have two reasonable approaches for dealing with this madness: The Good Accountant’s Way: You can record customer credit card payments in the usual way — the way that QuickBooks expects. The Good Accountant’s Way produces nice, accurate records, but at the cost of enormous bookkeeping hassles. Interested in more information? Great! Use the QuickBooks Help command to search QuickBooks online help for the topic recording a credit card payment. The Bad Accountant’s Way: You can just record sales receipt transactions when the credit card company deposits net charges amounts in your bank account. In other words, using the example numbers given in an earlier paragraph, rather than recording individual transactions for customers A, B, C, D, E, and F when the sales occur, you can record a $105 transaction when the credit card company deposits $105 into your bank account. If you know the credit card company’s service charge, you can record that, too, using a journal entry. (You’ll probably want to ask your accountant for help on this.) I should tell you something else. The Bad Accountant’s Way probably isn’t justified unless you’re in a high-volume situation — such as a retail store — and when you’re using a periodic inventory system or when you don’t sell inventory. If you have only a handful of credit card transactions — say, one every few days — or if you’re trying to use a perpetual inventory system, you should use the Good Accountant’s Way.

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How to Track Business Credit Cards in QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

If you want to track credit card spending and balances with QuickBooks, you need to set up a credit card account — if you didn’t already do so in QuickBooks Setup. (By comparison, you use bank accounts to track things such as the money that flows into and out of a checking, savings, or petty-cash account.) Setting up a credit card account in QuickBooks To set up a credit card account, you follow roughly the same steps that you use to set up a bank account: 1. Choose Lists → Chart of Accounts. Or click the Chart of Accounts icon on the home screen. QuickBooks displays the Chart of Accounts window, as shown. 2. Click the Account button in the bottom-left corner of the Chart of Accounts window and then choose New from the drop-down menu. QuickBooks displays the first Add New Account window, which simply displays a list of option buttons corresponding to the different types of accounts QuickBooks allows. 3. Select the Credit Card option. Selecting Credit Card tells QuickBooks that you want to set up a credit card account. I’m sure that you’re surprised. Click Continue. QuickBooks displays the second Add New Account window, as shown. 4. Type a name for the account in the Account Name text box. Why not do it right? Move the cursor to the Account Name text box and then enter the name of your credit card. 5. Type the card number in the Credit Card Acct. No. text box. If you’re creating a general credit card account for more than one card, leave the Credit Card Acct. No. text box empty. While you’re at it, you can describe the card, too. You may want to type Usury! in the Description text box, depending on your card’s interest rate. 6. Click the Save & Close button. QuickBooks redisplays the Chart of Accounts window. Now the window lists an additional account: the credit card account that you just created. Selecting a credit card account in QuickBooks To tell QuickBooks that you want to work with a credit card account, you use the Chart of Accounts window. Choose Lists→Chart of Accounts. After you display the window, double-click the credit card account that you want to use. QuickBooks displays the Credit Card register so that you can begin recording transactions. As an alternative to the Chart of Accounts window, you can click the Enter Credit Card Charges icon in the Banking area of the home screen. Or you can choose Banking →Enter Credit Card Charges.

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How Purchase Orders Work in QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

If you have to order stuff for your business, consider using POs. Create QuickBooks POs even if you order goods by phone or by telegraph or even via the World Wide Web — that is, whenever you don’t request goods in writing. Filling out POs enables you to determine what items you have on order and when the items will arrive. All you’ll have to do is ask QuickBooks “What’s on order, and when’s it coming, anyway?” Never again will you have to rack your brain to remember whether you’ve ordered those thingamajigs and doohickeys. And when the bill comes, you’ll already have it itemized on the PO form. Guess what? Having written all the items on your PO, you don’t have to fill out an Items tab on your check when you pay the bill. Or, if you’re paying bills with the accounts payable method, you don’t have to fill out the Items tab in the Enter Bills window. When the items arrive, all you have to do is let QuickBooks know; the items are immediately added to your inventory list. Use POs for items that you order — that is, for items that you’ll receive and pay for in the future. If you buy items over the counter or receive items that you didn’t order, you obviously don’t need a PO. What you need to do is pay the bill and inventory the items that you just bought. How to customize a purchase order form in QuickBooks 2019 QuickBooks allows you to customize your PO form, working from scratch to create a new PO form or working from an existing PO template. To create a “from scratch” PO form, choose Vendors → Create Purchase Orders, and click the Customize Design button on the Formatting tab of the resulting dialog box. QuickBooks displays an Intuit web page that walks you through the steps to creating your own highly customized form. To customize an existing PO form, choose Vendors → Create Purchase Orders and then click the Customize Data Layout button on the Formatting tab of the resulting dialog box. QuickBooks, in this case, prompts you to make a copy of the purchase order form and then displays the Additional Customization dialog box (not shown), which supplies buttons and boxes that you can use to modify the standard QuickBooks PO form so that the data you want appears and is labeled the way you want. The Additional Customization dialog box provides a Preview area you can use to see what your changes look like and a Cancel button you can click if things get terribly out of hand. Furthermore, the Additional Customization dialog box provides a Layout Designer button, which you can click to open the Layout Designer window. The Layout Designer window allows you to become a true layout artist and make all sorts of changes in your PO simply by moving fields around the page with your mouse. The Manage Templates button, also available on the Formatting tab, lets you choose the PO form you want to customize when you’ve previously created more than one form. How to fill out a purchase order in QuickBooks 2019 Perhaps you’re running low on gizmos, doohickeys, or some other item on your Item list, and you’re ready to reorder these things — whatever they are. Follow these steps to fill out a PO: 1. Choose Vendors → Create Purchase Orders. You could also click the Purchase Orders icon on the home screen, or click the New Transactions area of the Vendor Center and then select Purchase Orders. You see the Create Purchase Orders window, which is similar to the figure shown. Note that the exact details of this window depend on how you customize your PO form. 2. Choose a vendor from the Vendor drop-down menu. Click the down arrow to see a list of your vendors. Click a vendor to see its name and address in the Vendor box. If you can’t find the name of the vendor on your menu, choose Add New from the menu and then fill in the information about the vendor in the resulting New Vendor dialog box. Click OK when you’re done with the dialog box. 3. If you track your inventory by class, choose a class from the Class drop-down menu. The Create Purchase Orders window may not have a Class drop-down menu. If it doesn’t, and you want it to have one, you have to set up QuickBooks to track expenses by class. To do so, open the QuickBooks file in single-user mode as the administrator. Then choose Edit→ Preferences, and click the Accounting icon in the list on the left. (You may also need to click the Company Preferences tab.) Finally, select the Use Class Tracking check box and then click OK. 4. (Optional) Select a Rep, an Expected Date, and a FOB if you’re using them on your PO. You may have to fill in other fields before you get to the item-by-item descriptions at the bottom. Again, these fields may not appear if you haven’t indicated that you want them on your form. 5. Move to the Item column, and start entering the items you’re ordering. Entering the items is the most important part of creating a PO. When you move into the Item column, it turns into a drop-down menu. Click its down arrow to see the Item list. You may need to scroll to the item that you want to enter. A fast way to scroll to the item is to type the first few letters of the item name. If you type the name of an item that isn’t on the Item list, QuickBooks asks whether you want to set up this item. If so, click Set Up and then fill in the New Item dialog box. Enter as many items as you want in the Item column. QuickBooks fills in an item description for you, but you can edit whatever it puts in the Description column, if need be. In the Qty column, indicate how many of each item you need. 6. If you want to, fill in the Vendor Message field — but definitely fill in the Memo field. The Vendor Message field is where you put a message to the party receiving your order. You could write Get me this stuff pronto! No matter what you do, be sure to fill in the Memo field. What you type in this field appears in the Open Purchase Orders dialog box, and this info is the surest way for you to identify what this PO is for. Enter something meaningful that you can understand two weeks, three weeks, or a month from now, when you pay for the items that you’re ordering. At the top of the Create Purchase Orders window is the Print Later check box, which tells you whether you want to print this PO. If you want to print the PO, make sure that this check box is selected. After you print the PO, the check mark disappears from the box. 7. Click Print to print the PO. If this PO is one of many that you’ve been filling out, and you want to print several at once, click the arrow below the Print button and choose Batch from the drop-down menu. Before you print the PO, however, you may want to click the down arrow below the Print button and choose Preview to see what the PO will look like when you print it. QuickBooks shows you an onscreen replica of the PO. I hope it looks okay. You use the History button after you receive the items you’ve so carefully listed on the PO. After you receive the items and record their receipt, clicking this button tells QuickBooks to give you the entire history of an item — when you ordered it and when you received it. As for the other buttons at the top, I think that you know what those are. 8. Click Save & New or Save & Close to record the PO. QuickBooks saves the PO and displays a new, blank PO window in which you can enter another order. How to check up on purchase orders in QuickBooks You record the POs. A couple of weeks go by, and you ask yourself, “Did I order those doohickeys from Acme?” Choose Reports → Purchases → Open Purchase Orders to see a report that lists outstanding POs. Or click the Reports Center, select Purchases in the left column, click the List view button in the top-right corner to get an actual list of purchasing reports, and then click the Open Purchase Orders report. Alternatively, you can use the Report Center carousel to page through the reports in a category. To use the carousel, select Purchases in the left column, click the Carousel view button (next to the List view button), and then click the stack-of-reports image that appears to the left or the right of the picture of the selected report. How to receive purchase order items in QuickBooks After your doohickeys and gizmos have arrived by camel train, you need to record the receipt of the items and add them to your Item list. The first two things to do are to note whether the stuff came with a bill and then decide how you want to pay for it. These decisions are the same ones that you have to make if you receive goods without having first filled out a PO. You record PO items that you receive the same way you record other items you receive: If you pay for PO items with a check, use the Write Checks window. If you receive the PO items without a bill, use the Create Item Receipts window. If you receive the PO items with a bill, use the Enter Bills window. Regardless of the window you’re using, when you select the vendor who sold you the PO items, QuickBooks alerts you that open POs exist for the vendor and asks you whether you want to receive against a PO. Of course you do. (Receive against simply means to compare what you ordered with what you received.) When you click Yes, QuickBooks displays the Open Purchase Orders dialog box, as shown here. Select the PO(s) that you’re receiving against and then click OK. QuickBooks fills out the Items tab to show all the stuff you ordered. If what QuickBooks shows isn’t what you received, you may have to make adjustments.

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How to Set Up Inventory Items in QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

Before you can track your inventory, you need to do two things. First, you need to tell QuickBooks that you want to track inventory. To do this, choose Edit→ Preferences. When QuickBooks displays the Preferences dialog box, click the Items & Inventory icon in the list on the left. Your screen should look remarkably similar to the one shown. (You may have to click the Company Preferences tab first.) Make sure that the Inventory and Purchase Orders Are Active check box is selected and that one of the Warn If Not Enough Inventory to Sell option buttons is selected. Here’s the second thing you need to do: Create an Item list. This list is a description of all items that you might conceivably put on an invoice. In other words, all items that you order and sell belong on the Item list. You should’ve set up your initial Item list during QuickBooks Setup. If you need to add an item to your list, choose Lists→ Item List. Then click the Item button, choose New from the drop-down menu, and fill in the New Item window. After you turn on the inventory stuff and set up (or update) your Item list, you can track your inventory. As you unload items from a truck, receive them in the mail, or buy them from a street peddler, you have to record the items so that QuickBooks can track your inventory. How you record the items and pay for them depends on whether you pay cash on the barrelhead, receive a bill along with the items, or receive the items without a bill (in which case you pay for the items later). And you may have filled out a purchase order (PO) for the items that you’re receiving. If that’s the case, receiving the items gets a little easier. I strongly recommend filling out a PO when you order items that you’re going to receive and pay for later. Record items that you pay for up front Okay, you just bought three porcelain chickens in the bazaar at Marrakesh, and now you want to add them to your inventory and record the purchase. How do you record inventory you paid for over the counter? By using the Write Checks window, of course — the same way you record any other bills you pay for up front. Record items that don’t come with a bill What happens if the items come before the invoice? Lucky you — you have the stuff, and you don’t have to pay for it yet. You do have to record the inventory you just received, however, so that you know you have it on hand. You can’t do that in the Write Checks window because you won’t be writing a check to pay for the stuff — at least not for a while. How do you record items that you receive before paying for them? Read on: 1. Choose Vendors → Receive Items or click the Receive Inventory icon on the home screen, and select the option to Receive Inventory without a bill. You see the Create Item Receipts window, as shown. This window is similar to the Enter Bills window, but it reads Item Receipt. (You see the Enter Bills window again when you receive the bill for items.) 2. Fill in the top part of the window. If you want to record items from a vendor who’s already in the Vendor list, click the down arrow and then choose the vendor. If the vendor is a new vendor, choose Add New from the drop-down menu and then, in the New Vendor dialog box that appears, describe the vendor in detail. When you’re done with the New Vendor dialog box, click OK. 3. Click the Items tab. You need to click the Items tab only if it isn’t already displayed. It probably is. But the computer book writers’ code of honor and a compulsive personality require me to tell you that there’s another tab — the Expenses tab — and you could possibly display it instead. 4. Move to the Item column, and type a name for the item. Notice the down arrow in the Item column. Click it to see the Item list. Does the item that you’re paying for appear on this list? If so, click it. If not, enter a new item name. You see the Item Not Found message box. Click Yes, fill out the New Item dialog box, and then click OK. You may just as well go down the packing slip, entering the items on the Items tab. Make sure that the Items tab accurately shows what’s on the packing slip. And put a brief description of the items in the Memo field because that description may prove to be useful later, when you want to match up your item receipt with the bill. When you finish, the Create Item Receipts window should look something like the preceding figure. 5. Provide quantity and cost, as follows: Qty column: Describe the quantity you received. Cost column: Describe the item unit cost. If the item unit cost you enter represents a change, QuickBooks asks whether you want to update its standard item cost (as stored in the Item list) and whether you want to update your standard price for the item. 6. Click the Save & New button or the Save & Close button to record the items that you just received. The items are officially part of your inventory. The item receipt has been entered on the Accounts Payable register. Not only that, but also, you’re all ready for when the bill comes. Pay for items when you get the bill The items arrive, and you fill out an item receipt. Three weeks pass. What’s this in your mailbox? Why, it’s the bill, of course! Now you have to enter a bill for the items that you received three weeks ago. This job is easy: 1. Choose Vendors→Enter Bill for Received Items. Or, from the home screen, click the Enter Bills against Inventory icon. If you’re in the Vendor Center, click New Transactions and then Enter Bill for Received Items. The Select Item Receipt dialog box appears, as shown. 2. Click the Vendor drop-down menu and choose the name of the vendor that sent you the bill. You see one or more item receipts in the box, with the date you put on the receipt, its reference number, and the memo that you wrote on the receipt. 3. Select the item receipt for which you want to enter a bill and then click OK. The Enter Bills window appears, as shown . Does this information look familiar? It should — it’s the same information that you put in the Create Item Receipts window, only now you’re working with a bill, not a receipt. 4. Compare the Items tab in the window with the bill. Are you paying for what you received earlier? Shipping charges and sales tax may have been added to your bill. You may also need to adjust the price because you may have been guessing when you recorded receiving the items. If so, add to and adjust the original receipt information by using the Items tab. (You can click the Recalculate button to add the new items.) How many days do you have to pay this bill? Is it due now? Take a look at the Terms line to see what this vendor’s payment terms are. Change the payment terms if they’re incorrect by choosing a different entry from the drop-down menu. You want to pay your bills at the best possible time, but for you to do so, the terms in the Enter Bills window must match the vendor’s payment terms. 5. Click Save & New or Save & Close to record the bill. You still need to pay the vendor’s bill, of course. Fair enough. Record items and pay the bill all at once Suppose that you receive the bill when you receive the goods. The items are unloaded from the elephant’s back, and the elephant driver takes a bow and hands you the bill. Here are the steps you follow: 1. Choose Vendors → Receive Items and Enter Bill. Or, from the home screen, click Receive Inventory and then select the Receive Inventory with Bill option there. Or, from the Vendor Center, click New Transactions and then Enter Bill for Received Items. You see the Enter Bills window. You’re familiar with this window, and you know exactly what it is and what it does. If you landed cold turkey on this page by way of the index, you need to know, for inventory purposes, how to record the items you’re paying for. 2. Fill out the top part of the window. This stuff is pretty basic. Choose a vendor from the drop-down menu, and make sure that the vendor’s terms for paying this bill are shown correctly. If this vendor is new, choose Add New. QuickBooks asks you to fill in an information dialog box about the vendor. Do it. Make sure that you fill out the Bill Due line correctly. 3. Click the Items tab, and list all the items that you’re paying for. To see the Item list, move the cursor to the Item column, and click the down arrow that appears. Make sure that the quantity and cost of the items are listed correctly on the Items tab. 4. Click Save & New or Save & Close. QuickBooks adds the items you listed to the Item list and makes them official parts of your inventory. When you sell stuff Maybe you've noticed the similarities between the Items tab in the Enter Bills window and the Quantity/Item Code/Description/Price/Each/Amount box at the bottom of an invoice. QuickBooks uses both for keeping inventory. When you sell stuff, QuickBooks automatically adjusts your inventory. In other words, if you buy 400 porcelain chickens and sell 350 of them, you have only 50 on hand. QuickBooks updates records for this change. No muss, no fuss. Gosh, isn’t this great? No more lying awake at night, wondering whether you have enough chickens or wombats or whatever. The same thing happens when you make cash sales. When you list the items on the sales receipt, QuickBooks assumes that they’re leaving your hands and subtracts them from your inventory. One other neat thing to note about good inventory accounting: In QuickBooks windows that let you enter inventory item quantities (such as the window you use to record an invoice), QuickBooks puts a little button inside the Quantity field. You can click this button to see a dialog box that describes current and future availability of the item. One moral of this story is “Keep a good, descriptive Item list.” The other moral is “Enter items carefully on the Items tab of checks and bills and in the Item/Description/Qty/Rate/Amount box of sales receipts and invoices.”

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Record Your Bills in QuickBooks 2019 the Accounts Payable Way

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

The accounts payable (A/P) way of paying bills involves two steps. The first is a trifle on the difficult side, and the second step is as easy as pie. First, you record your bills. You already might be familiar with using the Expenses tab and the Items tab to record bills. You need to fill out those tabs for the A/P method as well if you want to distribute a bill to accounts, customers, jobs, classes, and items. After you record your bills, you can go on to the second step: telling QuickBooks 2019 which bills to pay. Then QuickBooks writes the checks. You print them. You mail them. To make the A/P method work, you have to record your bills as they come in. That doesn’t mean that you have to pay them right away. By recording your bills, you can keep track of how much money you owe and how much money your business really has. QuickBooks reminds you when your bills are due so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay a bill. When you record bills the accounts payable way, you’re using accrual-basis accounting. How to record bills in QuickBooks 2019 When a bill comes in, the first thing to do is record it. You can record bills through the Enter Bills window or the Accounts Payable register. If you plan to track bills by expense and item, you need to use the Enter Bills window. To record a bill through the Enter Bills window, follow these steps: Choose Vendors → Enter Bills. Alternatively, click the Enter Bills icon in the Vendors area on the home page. The following figure shows the Enter Bills window. You no doubt notice that the top half of this window looks a great deal like a check, and that’s because much of the information that you put here ends up on the check that you write to pay your bill. (If you see the word Credit at the top of the form rather than Bill, select the Bill option button in the top-left corner. You also can use this screen to enter credit memos from vendors.) 2. Select the name of the vendor you’re paying. If you want to pay this bill to a vendor who’s already on the Vendor list, click the down arrow at the end of the Vendor line and choose the vendor. (Then QuickBooks automatically fills the Enter Bills window with as much information as it can remember.) If this vendor is new, QuickBooks asks you to Quick Add or Set Up some information about the vendor: the address, credit limit, payment terms, and so on. You provide this information in the New Vendor window. If you have one or more unfilled purchase orders with the vendor that you select, QuickBooks asks you whether you want to receive against a purchase order. Click Yes if you do or No if you don’t. If you choose to receive against a purchase order, QuickBooks displays the Open Purchase Orders dialog box, as shown. It lists the open purchase orders you’ve recorded. When you select one or more purchase orders to receive against, QuickBooks fills in the items and amounts from these orders for you, which you can modify as necessary. When you finish with the Open Purchase Orders dialog box, click OK to get back to the Enter Bills window. To create a purchase order, which is a record of items you order from vendors, choose Vendors → Create Purchase Orders. When QuickBooks displays the Create Purchase Orders window, describe your order. You print and edit purchase orders, by the way, in the same manner as you print invoices and credit memos. 3. Select the payment terms describing when the bill is due. On the Terms line, open the drop-down menu and choose the payment terms (if the information isn’t already there from when you set up the vendor). 4. (Optional) Enter the vendor’s reference number. If you enter the vendor’s reference number for the bill — probably just the invoice number or your account number — the reference number prints on the voucher that’s part of the printed check. 5. (Optional) Enter a memo to describe the bill. You can enter a note in the Memo text box. The note that you enter appears on the A/P register. 6. Move the cursor down to the Account column of the Expenses tab, and enter an expense account name. Chances are good that you want to enter the name of an expense account that’s already on the chart of accounts. If that’s the case, click the down arrow to see a list of all your accounts. You probably have to scroll down the list to get to the expense accounts. (A fast way to move down the list is to start typing the account name; you go straight down the list.) Click the account that this bill represents. (Most likely, it’s Supplies or something like that.) If you need to create a new expense account category for this bill, choose Add New from the top of the list. You see the New Account dialog box (not shown). Fill in the information, and click OK. What if the money that you’re paying out because of this bill can be split among two, three, or four expense accounts? Simply click below the account that you just entered. The down arrow appears. Click it to enter another expense account, and another, and another if you need to. 7. Tab over to the Amount column, if necessary, and change the numbers. If you’re splitting this bill among several accounts, make sure that the numbers in the Amount column add to the total of the bill. 8. (Optional) Enter words of explanation or wisdom in the Memo column. 9. (Optional) Assign the expense to a Customer:Job. If you plan to be reimbursed for these expenses, or if you just want to track your expenses by job, enter the customer who’s going to reimburse you. Enter an amount for each account if necessary. You can use the down arrow to find customers and then click them. If you do assign a Customer:Job, you also have the option to bill these expenses or items being purchased to the client. To do so, click the Billable column and you should see a check mark now. Next time you invoice this job, you should see the option to add these items to the invoice automatically. 10. (Optional) Assign the expense to a class. You also can track expenses by class by making entries in the Class column. Notice the usual down arrow, and click it to see a list of classes. (You don’t see a Class column unless you told QuickBooks that you want to use classes.) If you want to have QuickBooks track expenses by class, you can set it up to do so. To set up QuickBooks to track expenses, choose Edit →Preferences. When QuickBooks displays the Preferences dialog box, click the Accounting icon, click the Company Preferences tab, and then select the Use Class Tracking check box. If you want, click the Recalculate button to total the expenses. 11. Use the Items tab to record the various items that the bill represents. Click the Items tab. Enter the items you purchased and the prices you paid for them. If you realize after partially completing the bill that the bill does indeed pay a purchase order, click the Select PO button, which appears on the main ribbon of the Enter Bills window. From the Vendor drop-down menu, choose the name of the vendor who sent you the bill. In the list of open purchase orders, click in the column on the left to put a check mark next to the purchase order (or orders) for which you’re paying. Easy enough? Click OK when you’re done; QuickBooks fills out the Items tab for you automatically. 12. Move to the Item column, and enter a name for the item. Notice the down arrow in this column. Click it to see the Item list. Does the item that you’re paying for appear on this list? If so, click that item. If not, choose Add New from the top of the list and fill out the New Item window. 13. Fill in the rest of the rows of items on the Items tab. You can enter all the items you’re purchasing here. Make sure that the Items tab accurately shows the items that you’re purchasing, their costs, and their quantities. If you want to, click the Recalculate button to total the items. 14. Save the bill. Click Save & New to save your record of the bill and then enter another bill. Or click Save & Close to record your bill but not enter another bill. Just as in the case with customer-related windows (like the Create Invoices window), QuickBooks displays historical information about a vendor in the right sidebar. You can toggle between the Vendor and Transactions, run quick reports, and quickly link to previous or outstanding bills, invoices, and other notes on a client you do business with. How to enter your bills in QuickBooks 2019 the fast way You also can enter bills directly in the Accounts Payable register. This method is faster, but it makes tracking expenses and items more difficult. If you want to enter bills directly in the Accounts Payable register, follow these steps: 1.  Choose Lists→Chart of Accounts or click the Chart of Accounts icon on the home page. The Chart of Accounts opens. 2. Open the Accounts Payable account. When QuickBooks displays your Chart of Accounts, double-click the Accounts Payable account in the list. You see the Accounts Payable register window, as shown. The cursor is at the end of the register, ready and waiting for you to enter the next bill. 3. Fill in the information for your bill. Enter the same information that you would if you were filling in the Enter Bills window. In the Vendor text box, click the down arrow and choose a name from the Vendor drop-down menu. If you enter a vendor name that QuickBooks doesn’t recognize, you see the Vendor Not Found message box, and QuickBooks asks you to give information about this new, mysterious vendor. Click Quick Add to have the program collect the information from the register as you fill it out, or click Set Up to see the New Vendor dialog box. You have to select an account name. You can probably find the right one in the Account drop-down menu; if you can’t, enter one of your own. You see the Account Not Found message box, and QuickBooks asks you to fill in information about this new account. If you decide while you fill out the register that you want to be reimbursed for this check or that you want to track expenses and items, click the Edit Transaction button to see the Enter Bills window. When you finish filling in the window, click Save & New. You’re back where you started: in the Accounts Payable window. See the Splits button? This Splits button works the same as the Splits button in the bank account register window. When you click Splits, QuickBooks provides additional rows for inputting expense and class information. 4. When you fill in all the information, click Record. The Restore button, located just right of Record, is there in case you fill out the register but decide that you want to start all over again before you’ve recorded the transaction. Click Restore to clear the information onscreen, and you have a clean slate. How to delete a bill in QuickBooks 2019 Suppose that you accidentally enter the same bill twice or enter a bill that was really meant for the business next door. (Just because you’re tracking bills by computer doesn’t mean that you don’t have to look things over carefully anymore.) Here’s how to delete a bill that you entered in the Accounts Payable register: 1. Locate the bill in the Accounts Payable register by using one of the following methods: If you know roughly what day you entered the bill, you can scroll through the list to find it. The entries are listed in date order. (Select the 1-Line check box to display each bill on one line rather than on two lines to make the scrolling go faster.) If you don’t remember the date, choose the Edit →Find. And now, back to the Accounts Payable register window that you have in progress … 2. Select the bill that you want to delete by clicking anywhere in the bill. 3. Choose Edit →Delete Bill. QuickBooks confirms that you really, truly want to delete the transaction. If you click OK, it dutifully deletes the bill from the A/P register. Remind me to pay that bill, will you? You could tie a string around your finger, but the best way to make sure that you pay your bills on time is to have QuickBooks remind you. In fact, you can make the Reminders message box the first thing that you see when you start QuickBooks. To adjust the QuickBooks reminder options, you must be logged on as the administrator in single-user mode. Then choose Edit→Preferences. When QuickBooks displays the Preferences dialog box, click the Reminders icon in the list on the left and then click the Company Preferences tab to access the dialog box shown here. Make sure that either the Show Summary or Show List option button is selected (you can’t choose Don’t Remind Me and expect to get a reminder) and then give yourself several days’ notice before you need to pay bills by typing a number (10 is the default and usually works well) in the Days Before Due Date text box, located in the Remind Me column. If you select the Show Summary option (the first button to the right of the option), you get a summary of the bills that you owe each time you start QuickBooks. If you select Show List (the second button to the right of the option), you get the details about each bill. You may want to review the Reminders window when you start QuickBooks or open a new company file. The window lists reminders (such as forms you need to print and payments you need to transmit) and tells you which unpaid bills you’re supposed to pay. You can see this list by choosing Company→Reminders. Note that you can also tell QuickBooks to display any reminders when opening the company file. To do this, choose the Edit → Preferences command, click Reminders, click My Preferences, and then select the Show Reminders List when Opening a Company File check box.

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Improve Your Cash Inflow with QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

You need to know how to monitor what your customers owe you and how to assess finance charges. Don’t worry, though. You can track what a customer owes in a couple of ways. Probably the simplest method is to display the Customer Center by choosing Customer → Customer Center. Next, select the customer from the Customers & Jobs list (which appears along the left edge of the window). QuickBooks whips up a page that lists transactions for the customer. It also shows the customer’s contact information. This figure shows the Customer Center information for a customer. You also should be aware that QuickBooks provides several nifty accounts receivable (A/R) reports. You get to these reports by clicking the Reports icon and choosing Customers & Receivables. Or you can choose Reports → Customers & Receivables. QuickBooks then displays a submenu of about a half-dozen reports that describe how much money customers owe you. Some reports, for example, organize open invoices in different groups based on how old the invoices are. (These reports are called agings.) Some reports summarize only invoices or payments. And some reports show each customer’s open, or unpaid, balance. You can print a statement to send to a customer by choosing Customers→Create Statements. Use the Create Statements dialog box to describe which customers you want to print statements for and the date ranges you want the statements to show; then click Print or Email to print or email the statements. Statements are handy ways to remind forgetful customers or clients about overdue amounts. By the way, you don’t need to send statements to everybody for every month. In my CPA practice, I send out statements a couple of times a year to clients with past-due accounts. This friendly reminder always produces a handful of quick payments and awkward apologies. How to assess finance charges in QuickBooks 2019 QuickBooks assesses finance charges on unpaid open invoices without considering any unapplied payments. Accordingly, you’ll want to make sure that you apply any payments and credit memos to open invoices before assessing finance charges. To assess finance charges, follow these steps: 1. Choose Edit → Preferences, click the Finance Charge icon in the list on the left, and then click the Company Preferences tab. To be able to assess finance charges, you first need to set them up. Only the QuickBooks administrator can change the company finance charge settings, and he or she can do so only in single-user mode. QuickBooks displays the Preferences dialog box, as shown. (If you’ve assessed finance charges before, QuickBooks displays the Assess Finance Charges window. You can display the Preferences dialog box and check or edit your finance charge settings by clicking the Settings button in the Assess Finance Charges window.) 2. Enter the annual interest rate that you want to use to calculate finance charges. Move the cursor to the Annual Interest Rate (%) text box, and enter the annual interest rate. 3. (Optional) Enter the minimum finance charge, if one exists. Move the cursor to the Minimum Finance Charge text box, and enter the minimum charge. If you always charge at least $25 on a past-due invoice, for example, type 25. 4. Enter the number of days of grace that you give. Days of grace. That sounds kind of like an artsy movie or serious novel, doesn’t it? Basically, this number is how many days of slack you’re willing to cut people. If you type 30 in the Grace Period (Days) text box, QuickBooks doesn’t start assessing finance charges until 30 days after the invoice is past due. 5. Specify which account you want to use to track the finance charges. Activate the Finance Charge Account drop-down menu, and choose an Income or Other Income type account. 6. Indicate whether you want to charge finance charges on finance charges. Does this statement make sense? If you charge somebody a finance charge, and he or she doesn’t pay the finance charge, eventually, that charge becomes past due, too. So, then what do you do the next time you assess finance charges? Do you calculate a finance charge on the finance charge? If you want to do this — and if state and local laws permit you to — select the Assess Finance Charges on Overdue Finance Charges check box. 7. Tell QuickBooks whether it should calculate finance charges from the due date or the invoice date. Select either the Due Date or Invoice/Billed Date option button. As you might guess, you calculate bigger finance charges if you start accruing interest on the invoice date. 8. Tell QuickBooks whether it should print finance charge invoices. Select the check box titled Mark Finance Charge Invoices “To Be Printed” if you want to print invoices later for the finance charges that you calculate. 9. Click OK. After you use the Preferences dialog box to tell QuickBooks how the finance charges should be calculated, click OK. 10. Choose Customers →Assess Finance Charges or click the Finance Charges icon on the home screen. The Assess Finance Charges window appears, as shown. This window shows all the finance charges that QuickBooks has calculated, organized by customer. 11. Enter the finance charge assessment date. Move the cursor to the Assessment Date text box, and enter the date when you’re assessing the finance charges, which I’m willing to bet is the current date. (This date is also the invoice date that will be used in the finance-charge invoices, if you create them.) 12. Confirm which customers you want to be assessed finance charges. QuickBooks initially marks all the finance charges, which means that it sets up a new invoice for each finance charge. (QuickBooks marks finance charges with a little check mark.) If you want to unmark (or, later, mark) a finance charge, click it. To unmark all the charges, click the Unmark All button. To mark all the charges, click the Mark All button. You can produce a collections report for any of the customers or jobs listed in the Assess Finance Charges window by selecting the customer name and then clicking the Collection History button. 13. Click the Assess Charges button. When the Assess Finance Charges window correctly describes the finance charges that you want to assess, click Assess Charges. You’re finished with the finance-charge calculations and assessments. How to deal with deposits in QuickBooks While I’m on the subject of improving your cash flow, let me briefly mention one other powerful cash-flow technique — and discuss the bookkeeping required for that technique. One easy way to improve your cash flow is to accept or require up-front deposits or retainers from clients or customers before you do the actual work. In other words, before you begin work or order inventory or do whatever is the first step in your business for completing a sale, you collect cold, hard cash. Unfortunately, these customer deposits, as they’re called, create a bit of bookkeeping trouble. The question becomes, basically, how do you record a check or cash deposit for stuff that you haven’t yet done or sold? You have two basic options: The Easy Way: You can record a sales receipt for the service or product. In this way, you count the cash coming into your business, and you recognize the revenue. Note, too, that if the deposit is nonrefundable — and for cash-flow purposes, the deposit should be nonrefundable — you should count the revenue when you receive the deposit if you’re a cash-basis taxpayer. (You probably are a cash-basis taxpayer, but ask your tax adviser if you aren’t sure.) The Precise Way: You can recognize the deposit as a new liability. You do this by creating a journal entry that records the increase in your cash account and that records the increase in your Customer Deposits current liability account. If the deposit is refundable and you’re a cash-basis taxpayer, or if you’re an accrual-basis taxpayer, you probably should use this method. When your sale is completed and invoiced later, use the Customer Deposit item as a minus amount in the sales invoice to move the amount from the liability account and apply it to the invoice balance due.

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How to Correct Sales Receipt Mistakes in QuickBooks 2019

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

If you make a mistake in entering a sales receipt (cash sale) in QuickBooks 2019, don’t worry. Here’s a list of common problems and how to fix them: If the sales receipt is still displayed onscreen: If the sales receipt is still onscreen, you can move the cursor to the box or button that’s incorrect and then fix the mistake. Most of the bits of information that you enter in the Enter Sales Receipts window are fairly short or are entries that you’ve selected from a list. Usually, you can replace the contents of some field by typing over whatever’s already there or by making a couple of quick clicks. If you really messed up and want to start over from scratch, you can click the Clear button. To save a receipt after you’ve entered it correctly, click either the Save & Close button or the Save & New button. If you need to insert a line into the middle of a sales receipt, right-click where you want to insert the line and choose Insert Line from the contextual menu. To delete a line, right-click it and then choose Delete Line from the contextual menu. If the sales receipt isn’t displayed onscreen: If the sales receipt isn’t onscreen, and you haven’t yet printed it, you can use the Next and Previous buttons to page through the sales receipts. When you get to the one with the error, fix the error as I describe in the preceding item. If you make a mistake while editing a receipt, you can click the Revert button to go back to the saved receipt without saving your changes. Note that Clear toggles to Revert after you edit a transaction. Even if you printed the customer’s receipt, you can make the sort of change that I just described. You can page through the sales receipts by using the Next and Previous buttons until you find the receipt (now printed) with the error, for example, and then correct the error and print the receipt again. I’m not so sure that you want to go this route, however. Things will be much cleaner if you void the cash sale by displaying the sales receipt and choosing Edit → Void Sales Receipt. Then enter a new, correct cash-sale transaction. If you don’t want the sales receipt: You usually won’t want to delete sales receipts, but you can delete them. (You’ll almost always be in much better shape if you just void the sales receipt.) To delete the receipt, display it in the Enter Sales Receipts window. (To do so, choose Customers → Enter Sales Receipt and then page through the sales receipts by using the Next and Previous buttons until you see the cash sale that you want to delete.) Then choose Edit → Delete Sales Receipt. When QuickBooks asks you to confirm the deletion, click Yes. If you want to see a list of all your cash sales, choose Edit→ Find. The Simple Find screen appears. Select Sales Receipt from the Transaction Type list box and then click Find. Select the receipt you want to see from the list that appears. If you’re already viewing a sales receipt, choose Edit→ Find Sales Receipts. When you click the Find button, another screen pops up and asks for details of the sales receipt that you’re looking for. Click the Find button in that screen, and QuickBooks gives you a list of your cash sales for the criteria you selected.

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