Monday, September 24, 2012

QuickBooks: QuickBooks Online or Desktop?


This is an ongoing question which comes down to personal preference and actual need….

Where QuickBooks Desktop is Better than QuickBooks Online

There are a few features that QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise have that QuickBooks Online does not.
  • Sales Orders
  • Inventory Assemblies
  • Progress Invoicing
  • Receiving Partial Purchase Orders
  • Item Receipts
  • Balance Sheet by Class
  • Budget v Actuals for Jobs
 With QuickBooks Enterprise and the optional Advanced Inventory feature:
  • Serial Number/Lot Number Tracking
  • Multiple Warehouse Locations

  • QuickBooks Statement Writer (in the accountant's edition)

Where QuickBooks Online is Better than QuickBooks Desktop

What many people don’t know about are the features that QuickBooks Online does better than Desktop.
  • Invoice/Sales Receipt Automation
While Desktop has memorized transactions, they still have to be sent to the customer manually. QuickBooks Online's counterparts, - recurring transactions - can be set up to be emailed automatically to the customer and the QuickBooks Online user/owner can be copied on each one. Many monthly clients are set up this way. How?  a fee is established, the client signs an engagement letter/contract and credit card authorization form, then each month on the specific date, a Sales Receipt is created and the card is charged. Copies of the sales receipt are sent to the customer and sender.

Delayed customer charges/billing
Desktop has unbilled time and expenses, but again, the user still has to manually go in and bill the customer for them. In QuickBooks Online , you can turn on a preference to tell QuickBooks Online to do this automatically – either any time activity is assigned, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. QuickBooks Online can remind the user to do it or automatically create an invoice for the unbilled time and expenses and depending on your preference, either tell the user via a message on the home page or not tell the user.
  • Activity Log
Desktop has the Audit Trail, which tells us when a transaction was created, modified, or deleted. QuickBooks Online has the activity log. The activity log shows when a user logs in, logs out, edits a customer, vendor, item, account. It shows when a third party add on accesses the data, when bank transactions are downloaded and when those transactions are matched or added to registered.

Automatic email reporting
Memorize a report in QuickBooks Online , add it to a group, then set that group to be emailed to yourself, your bosses or your accounting clients on a regular basis.

Bank transactions automatically downloaded nightly
In Desktop, the process of downloading bank transactions into QuickBooks has to be initiated manually, and if doing this for others, the password is needed. In QuickBooks Online, the client can set up the connection, and QuickBooks Online goes out each night and automatically pulls in the transactions. There’s no need to have the client's user name or the password of the financial institution.
  • QBO has Class AND Location tracking
Desktop has class tracking, the ability to track different profit centers, but QuickBooks Online adds one more layer with Location tracking. You can now track specific information (customer type / job type... ) with the classes, and also by Location (such as zip code areas).
Other pieces of the puzzle in determining what edition would best suite your specific needs include:  Who needs to access the data (how many users)? From where do they need to access it? What is the budget?  Are there special considerations to review such as inventory control.

QuickBooks: Organizing Memorized Reports

I am a believer in Memorize as much as possible – including reports. But, if your reports are not in an order or titled in a way that makes sense – you will spend just as much time looking for a report as you may in creating it from scratch. 

Here are some thoughts.

Set up your customized groups

-       Weekly Reports
-       Monthly Reports
-       Special Reports

If you want to create these so they are at the top of the list… put an “AAA” or something in front of them. QuickBooks works in alpha order.

Now, for the reports themselves, remember that consistency works best and helps you to remember – so follow this example for something that may be in Weekly and/or Monthly reports:

-       Weekly sales – Rep A
-       Weekly sales – Rep B
-       Weekly sales – Rep C

Monthly commission report
-       Commission – Rep A
-       Commission – Rep B
-       Commission – Rep C

QuickBooks: How to Correct a Vendor Bill Posted to an Incorrect Payment

Here's the scenario: A bill was posted to a credit card charge in error (via enter credit card charges).  It was also linked to an invoice to a customer & the customer invoice has been paid. We realized that the vendor bill should have been paid through the bank account (debit card) instead of the credit card.
How can I make the change from the credit card register to the bank register without messing up the customer invoice? Any thoughts on the simplest way to do this without creating an ugly audit trail?

Write a check from the bank with the "Expense" going to the Credit Card. This will show up as a payment in the CC window. Just clear the "charge" and "payment" when reconciling - they cancel each other out.

Don't bother marking it billable to a customer. You already did that and you were paid. It doesn't really matter that a check was used and a credit card charge was recorded for the billable piece. The customer still paid the bill. You are just correcting a misposting.

Your transactions will show in the audit trail - but so what? It is an error you fixed. Every single QB file you will ever have will have corrections. If you never see a "fix" aka a "perfect" file, that would cause me concern!!

QuickBooks: Standard Text Editing Shortcuts

These are the standard text editing keys we all know and love (at least, you should all know these by now) for most Windows programs. I’ll repeat them here for completeness. These work while you are in a data field – note that some of these keys have a different (but similar) effect if you are not clicked on a data field, but have selected a transaction window.

Undo typing or changes made in field
Cut (copy the selected text to the clipboard and remove it from the field).
Copy the selected text to the clipboard
Paste text from the clipboard to the field
Delete a character to the right
Delete a character to the left
Go to the first character in the field
Go to the last character in the field
Ctrl-Right Arrow
Move to the next word in a current text field
Ctrl-Left Arrow
Move to the previous word in a current text field

QuickBooks: Know What Version Before Opening!

“Hello, Is there a way to know which version (year) a QB file is before opening it? I’m a small bookkeeper working with several clients, and they have different versions of QuickBooks (2010, 2011, and now 2012).  I don’t want to open a data file in the wrong year.”

In your windows explorer file, right click on the QBW file and click Properties. Then click on QuickBooks tab. This should give you the version of QuickBooks. This works with backups and company files. The only time that you are likely to run into a problem is if you are running windows and the backup/file is MAC. 
Here is a good tip for keeping them straight on your computer so you don’t have to wonder each time:  put their QuickBooks data files in a file with the year - so if they are using QuickBooks 2010, they go into a folder titled QB2010 clients, the 2011 into a folder titled QB2011 clients and same for 2012 and so on.. Then, if you  try to open a 2011 file using your 2012 software...#1 - it isn't in the list and #2 - it will say, "… are you SURE you want to do this".