Tuesday, May 29, 2012

QuickBooks: User Reports

Q:  Which report should I use to see which user made changes to an employee file?  An employee was made inactive in error.

A:  Reports provide transactional information.  Making an employee inactive is not a transaction; therefore, there is no report that will provide this information.

QuickBooks: Creating a Budget

I have a client that has a fiscal year 8/1 – 7/30.  We would like to create a budget now. How do I do this?

I’m glad to hear you are creating a budget!  It is important to know that all budgets must be account-based. You can create budgets for either Profit and Loss accounts or Balance Sheet accounts by fiscal year.
To do this task
  1. Go to the Company menu, choose Planning & Budgeting, and then click Set Up Budgets.
Note: If a budget currently exists, the most recent budget will be displayed in the Set Up Budgets window.
  1. Click Create New Budget.
  2. Choose the fiscal year for the new budget, and choose Profit and Loss (income and expense) or Balance Sheet accounts.
If you choose Profit and Loss, you can specify additional criteria of either Customer:Job or Class, if class tracking has been turned on.
  1. Choose whether you want to create the budget from scratch or from the previous year's actual data.
·         Create the budget from scratch
You manually enter amounts for each account that you want to track.
·         Create the budget from the previous year's actual data
QuickBooks automatically enters the monthly totals from last year for each account in the budget.
  1. Click Finish to create the new budget.

Now you will see the budget in the reports menu.  Did you know that you can create variance reports also which show the actual vs. budget to help with ongoing decisions. I encourage you to create one at least every quarter.

QuickBooks: Format and Memorize

When I run my Customer Open Balance report I have to drag the diamonds to change the column widths since they are not wide enough.  I run this report on a weekly basis and I have to change the column width every time.  Is there a way to permanently change the column widths?  

Yes. The next time you run your Customer Open Balance report, format the column width to your liking and memorize the report.  Going forward you should use the Memorized Report and it will have the correct column width each time, all you have to do is change the date.

QuickBooks: Petty Cash Payment

I wrote a check to petty cash to pay a vendor in cash.  I want to show this payment on his 1099.  How will I do that?

If your Petty Cash account is set up as a bank account then the check that you wrote to petty cash would show as a withdrawal from your operating bank account and a deposit to your petty cash.  When you give the cash to the vendor, you should write a “check” out of your Petty Cash account to the vendor.  The cash that you give the vendor will then show as a payment to the vendor.  Since your 1099s would use the expense categories as long as this payment was properly expensed it will show up on the report.

QuickBooks: Keyboard Shortcuts for Entering Dates

Once you are in the date field:
Pressing the T key takes you to today's date, then + or - to advance or regress the date
Pressing the M key takes you to first day of the month;
Pressing the H key takes you to the last day of the month;
Pressing the Y key takes you to the first day of year;
Pressing the R key takes you to the last day of year;
Pressing the W key takes you to the first day of week;
Pressing the K key takes you to the last day of week.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Am I Ready for CRM? How Much Can I Afford?

In my travels and life as a CRM guy, I hear it a lot.  “We’re just not ready to invest in a CRM (software that tracks everything that’s been done with prospects, leads, customers, etc.).  We don’t have the time, the money, the staff, [fill in the blank here].”   I’m going to use this opportunity to start a series of articles where I address each of these items and others.  The bottom line here is that you’re never ready.  I equate the jump to CRM to becoming a homeowner – you’re never really going to be ready, but one day it will sneak up on you and you’ll have to find the means as you’ve outgrown the apartment (or your parents place).  As with CRM, these needs jump out at different times, some much sooner than others (was never huge on living at home personally).

This article I will touch on cost, only as I’m always sensitive to budget constraints and there’s no better comparison between homes and CRM – how much can I afford?  Good news here is that you’ll actually see the return on your investment much sooner than buying a house.  Like houses though, CRM’s come in all shapes and sizes, different prices, and needs – can you move right in or do will we need some construction?  This of course allows you to find the home/CRM that works best for you and best fulfills your needs.  There are starter CRM packages out there for the new owners as well as the expert packages that have been saving a long time (yup, I’m going to beat this house theme into the ground).  In either case, after careful analysis (and some help) you should be able to find the package that is right for you and meets your needs.  Consider the experts Realtors for your CRM.

To battle the cost idea, an example comes to mind which happened to one of my favorite clients.  He had some hesitation to the cost of implementing a CRM package, but knew he needed to do something.  The costs were daunting – new server (this happened to be an on premise package), software licensing, training time, consulting costs for configuration, import of data, etc.  However, we created workflows in his CRM to automate some of the tasks that he was really bad at.  Essentially, he was bad at following up with clients and he knew this – he needed something/someone to do it for him.  We created a simple process to automate an email for those that had an overdue balance, sending out an automatic email in the morning, nothing huge, just a friendly reminder.  He told me two weeks later that the single process of sending an email to those clients had single handedly paid for all of his CRM costs including my time with him, his server, and licensing.  People appreciated the friendly follow up, didn’t realize that they owed a balance, but more importantly, they wanted him to come back out and do some more work for him.  Why I love the follow up with any system is that you’re reminding clients that you’re still there which in further reminds them of other needs they may have.

Will this example above be what happens to everyone?  I wish, but unfortunately no.  However, the returns will come.  Better tracking of sales and what’s coming in the pipeline, never losing track of the communications between you and your customers, being able to market directly to the right clients based on interests, industry, or existing products – all these items may not have a solid dollar amount to track against your investment, but it is there.  As with your old apartment, you’re going to outgrow that yellow pad of paper with all your “to-do’s” and you’re going to simply need something more to move you to the next step.

Friday, May 11, 2012

GoldMine : Customizing Columns in the Search Center

Did you know that you can add columns to your Search Center? You have the ability to customize the columns you see in the Search Center. By default, you will see the Company, Contact, City and Phone1 fields.

To add columns to the Search Center; (this is on a per-user basis)

1.  Open your Search Center by clicking the "Search" button from the toolbar.

2. Click the "Columns" button from the upper right hand side of the Search Center.

3. Click on the "Column Selection" button.

4. To add columns, simply select them on the left hand side, then use the "forward" button ("->") to add it to the right hand side.

5. You can also control the order of these columns by using the "Up" and "Down" buttons on the right hand side.

6. Ok your way out.

GoldMine : Using User Groups

Did you know that you can create User Groups in GoldMine? This makes it easy when scheduling items for multiple people, or defining Field Security for groups of users.

To set up your Groups;

1. Log into GoldMine as MASTER or equivalent.

2. Select Tools | User Groups from the top level menu.

3. To create a new group, click the "New" button. Give the Group a short but friendly name, like "Admin" or "Sales", hit Ok.

4. To add users to the newly created Group, select the Group from the left hand side, then click "Members Setup".

5. Simply add members to your Group by double-clicking them from the left-hand side. You will see them move to the right-hand side, identifying them as part of the Group.

6. When finished, Ok your way out.

Pro Tips : Some uses of Groups you may not have thought of; create a empty Group to provide another category for your Filters or Contact Groups. Be creative; don't be afraid to create the occasional User Group or User to accommodate organizational problems.  

GoldMine : Using Time Abbreviations

Did you know that when Scheduling an item in GoldMine, you can use abbreviations in the "Time" field? For instance;

1. Select Schedule | Call from the top level menu.

2. In the "Time" field, try using the following abbreviations;

  - 8a is 8:00 a.m.
  - 4p is 4:00 p.m.
  - 700 is 7:00 a.m.
  - 1700 is 5:00 p.m.

Try it! A lot of folks use this approach versus using the Time control (opened by clicking on the grey arrow within the "Time" field).

Note: Those who are using GoldMine 8.x and above no longer need to struggle with the Time Control as was provided in earlier versions. You may simply drop down the "Time" field picklist and select your favorite time of day in half hour increments.

GoldMine : Using read only fields

It is very often that we only want to allow a particular user or set of users to edit a specific field in GoldMine. On a per-field basis, we can lock down both the Read and Update rights. To do this;

1. Enter Screen Design mode by right-clicking on the Contact Record and selecting "Screen Design".

2. Single click the field in question to select it. Right-click on the field and select Properties.

3. Click on the "Security" tab.

4. Check the box next to either (or both) "Read rights" and "Update rights".

5. For each box, use the drop down list to select the User or User Group that will have either Read or Update access to the field. Ok your way out.

All users will need to restart their GoldMines to affect the change in Field Security. Each checked box (Read and Update) acts as you would expect; preventing either the Reading or Updating of the field in question.

GoldMine : Setting the default area code

Did you know that you can set the default area code to use when entering in a seven digit phone number? GoldMine comes configured with the default area code of 310. To change this;

(this is a per-user setting, and must be repeated for each user that wants to change the default area code)

1. Select Tools | Options from the top level menu.

2. Click on the Telephony tab.

3. Change the "Local Area Code" to the desired area code.

4. Restart GoldMine.

Now, when you enter in a seven digit phone number, GoldMine will automatically provide the default area code.

MSCRM 2011: Automatically filling the Name Field of a Custom Entity through Javascript.

When you create a custom entity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the "Name" field of the entity is a required field. If this field serves no useful purpose for your system, it could just be an extra field that needs to be populated in order to save a new record. This field can be set to be not required BUT it cannot be taken off the form therefore it would be a benefit to auto populate it through Java Script.

You could easily auto populate that field with a static value; however, since this field shows up (and is required) in many of the system views and well as the Lookup field on related forms, this is probably not the best option. A better option might be to have some javascript automatically populate it with some information from the record that is relevant. In this example we will populate the name field with the name of an Account chosen from a Lookup field and the current Date/Time that the new record was created/modified. This will make the Name field useful while satisfying CRM's requirement for wanting the field populated with some value.

Below find the instructions for populating the name field in a custom entity “Daily Bookings” with an Account chosen from a Lookup field and the current date then concatenated to that value:

* Task 1 – Create a new JavaScript Library
* Go to Settings, Customizations, Customize the System.
* Click New from the toolbar and select Web Resource from the list.
* Enter the following Information in the New Web Resource Dialog:
* Name= “SetName”
* Display Name= “Set Name”
* Type= “Script (Jscript)”
* Click the Text Editor button
* Paste the following script in to the source dialog.

function SetName(){
var lookupField = Xrm.Page.getAttribute("new_accountid");

// Retrieve the Current Date

var Now = new Date();

// Convert the Date to a String

 var StringNow = Now.toString();

// Set the Name         

Xrm.Page.getAttribute("new_name").setValue(lookupField.getValue()[0].name + "-" + StringNow);

* Click OK
* Click Save and Close

* Task 2 - Attach JScript function to onLoad event handler
* Next we need to setup the event handlers on the Daily Bookings form.
* Click on the Entities.
* Select Daily Bookings in the entity list and then click OK.
* When the Daily Bookings appears in the list of available entities in your solution, expand the Daily Bookings node and then expand the Forms node.
* In the forms grid, double-click Information form type Main
* Now that you are in the form editor we need to attach the event handler to the Form onLoad event.
* Click Form Properties in the ribbon to bring up the dialog.
* Click the Form Libraries Add button.
* In the lookup dialog select the “Set Name” web resource and Click OK
* In the Event Handler section Click Add.
* In the Handler Properties dialog do the following: Function = ” SetName”, Check Enabled, Check Pass execution context as first parameter
* Click OK, to close the Handler Properties dialog
* Click OK, to close the Form Properties dialog

* Task 3 - Publish changes and see the results
* While still in the Customizations, Click Publish All Customizations in the top toolbar of the Solution Explorer.
* Close the Solutions explorer

Now when a Daily Bookings entity is created or modified, the name field will be auto-populated.

MSCRM 2011: Mapping fields from Lead to Contact and Account Entities when Lead is Qualified and Converted.

A client recently asked “How can we map additional/custom fields from a Lead to a Contact or an Account when a Lead is converted?”

Leads in Microsoft Dynamics CRM represent potential customers that can be qualified or disqualified based on criteria set by your organization. After you work with a lead record and determine whether or not the potential customer fits your lead qualification criteria, you convert the lead. When you convert the lead, you specify whether or not the lead is qualified or disqualified.

When you qualify the lead, you can create one or more of the following record types: Account, Contact, or Opportunity.
Your business process should indicate which of the records to create. For example, if your organization sells to businesses, you will probably want to create both an account and a contact. If your organization sells to individual consumers, you might not want to create an account. Likewise, you might not always want to create an opportunity when you qualify a lead. You might determine that a lead fits your qualification criteria but that an immediate sales opportunity does not exist.

When you qualify a lead, you can select a check box to open the newly created records, which will open the new account, contact, or opportunity records created during the lead conversion process so that you can work with them right away, saving yourself a few clicks.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM will populate data fields in the account, contact, and opportunity records you create from a qualified lead, based on the mapped data fields. For example, the website and phone number fields are automatically mapped. If there are custom fields that are created on the Lead and Contact/Account/Opportunity, you can map these fields when the relationship between the Lead and those entities is created when the lead is converted. For example, suppose you keep track (via a picklist) on what service a lead is interested in and you would like to also have that information on the Account record. The custom picklist field for “preferred service” would need to be created on the Lead and the Account entities. Below are the detailed instructions for mapping that custom field from a Lead to an Account when a Lead is converted:

* Go to Settings on the Sitemap

* Click Customization

* Click Customize the System

* Click on Entities.

* Double-click on Lead.

* Click 1:N Relationships in the left navigation

* Double-Click on the row – contact_originating_lead with the Primary entity value showing Lead and the related entity value showing Contact.

* Click Mappings in the left navigation pane.

* Click New.

*Select the “Preferred Service” field in the Lead Source Entity Attributes list on the left and the corresponding “Preferred Service” field in the Account Target Entity Attributes list on the right.

*Click OK.

The mapping will now automatically be complete when a Lead is converted and an Account is created. The same process can be performed to map fields from the Lead to a Contact and Opportunity.