Tuesday, October 30, 2012

GoldMine : Realigning Territories to work around a Hurricane

After all this is over, roads will be closed, bridges out, a mess. How should we move our "road warriors" to other locations in the country until things are sorted out?

Easily done with the help of GoldMine’s “Territory Realignment” function.

First, create a group or filter that will provide you with the contact records you want to reassign.

From the main menu, go to Tools | Data Management | Territory Realignment.

Select the applicable group or filter and click Next. In the next screen you will be able to update two contact fields and record ownership. To realign the territory, choose the third set of fields and change Owner to the appropriate user.

The next screen enables you to reassign activities from one user to another – for example, if Bob Smith leaves your company, you may want to reassign his appointments etc to his successor, Jane Doe. You can choose a date range and the types of activities you want to reassign as needed.

Click Finish and GoldMine will do the rest.

GoldMine : Watching Hurricanes and Inboxes

I'm not sure which is more potentially dangerous and costly; Hurricane Sandy or a GoldMine Inbox that is Too Full. The reason I say this is because I'll often get the following tech support call;

"My e-mail is disappearing from GoldMine".

Unlike Outlook and those of it's ilk, GoldMine actually wants us to do something with our downloaded e-mail messages. Reply to Them, Delete Them, File Them. GoldMine doesn't care as long as it's something to get it out of the Inbox.

The reason is this; your GoldMine Inbox is getting larger every day, and some day it will come up against how many messages it can display properly. The average limit is somewhere around 2000 (or so-ish). It seems to be a little different for each installation. When you get to this "limit", nothing is LOST, but you won't be able "to find" newly downloaded e-mails as they are not displayed.

What's happening is GoldMine can only draw so many items in the Inbox list. And if you start deleting things out of desperation, you'll find that for every "old" e-mail you delete, a "new" one takes it's place in the list.

To fix this, you will need to Reply, Delete or File a bunch of stuff in your Inbox. Since replying isn't exactly practical, you may feel free to Delete or File. Deleting does just what it says. Filing takes the message out of the Inbox and puts it into the Client's History Tab.

To do this;

1. From within your Inbox, select the items you wish to File by CTRL-Clicking or Range Selecting using SHIFT-Click.

2. Right click on your selected items and select "Fast File".

3. GoldMine will now attempt to file away all the selected messages. I say "attempt", because you will need to do this operation (typically) in 100 message "chunks". I find that trying to Fast File a few hundred at a time can take a little longer than it should.

GoldMine : Keeping Occupied when there's Nothing to Do

Housekeeping. Ugh. There is a reason why we never do this unless there is no other option; it's not fun. But when the Internet is out, power is down at work and, say, a hurricane is brewing, it's a good way to pass the time.

So... Let's identify all the records in GoldMine with no History!

The easiest way to do this is with an SQL Query. The idea is to;

  a. Run a Query against Contact History
  b. Add records to a GoldMine Group based on the Query Results
  c. Profit(??)

Seriously, it is always a good idea to weed out records without history once in awhile. So we start by;

1. Select Tools | SQL Query from the top level menu.

2. Let's start by pasting in the following query;


3. Hit the "Query" button. The SQL Query window will now display all the records that have NO history. You can also navigate to any of the records by clicking on it. This query essentially is asking "who out of all my Contacts has NO ROWS in the History table?".

You could also modify the Query to only return records where there is no history in 2012 like this;


4. Once rows are returned by an SQL Querty, we can create our Group. Select Tools | Groups from the top level menu.

5. In the Top half of the Groups window, right click and select "New"

6. Give the Group a friendly name, like "Contacts without History"

7. Make sure "Build the Group" is checked and hit Ok

8. Select "SQL Query Records", Next, Next then Finish.

9. You'll notice your Process monitor come up and add records to the Group based on your Query.

Now that these folks are a GoldMine Group, they enjoy all the functionality that offers. Want to update their Customer Type to "Discarded"? Use Tools | Data Management | Global Replace. Want to outright Delete them (not highly recommended)? Use Tools | Data Management | Delete Records. E-mail a template, schedule some calls, all based on the Group.

Try it!

GoldMine : Warning Clients of an Impending Service Outage

Ah, the business life. Phone calls, e-mails, meetings, lunches, and hurricanes. If your work week has been anything like mine, most of your clients are at home sandbagging their front porches. So how do you communicate to your customers that you'll be going home to bail out the basement for the next few days?

GoldMine Mail Merging, that's how. Ordinarily used for drip-marketing, there is no reason why this can't be used to send out any kind of notification you want.

1. The first step is creating an e-mail template to send. Something along the lines of "We'll be closed for the next few business days; for emergencies call, etc".

See link below;


2. Once your template is created, you are ready to send using the E-mail Merge tool. (Tools | E-mail Merge)

3. On the Template tab, select the Template you wish to send. (If you created the Template under your GoldMine username, you may need to drop down the "User" list and select yourself.)

4. On the Recipient tab, select the Filer or Group that should get the E-mail template sent to them by selecting "All Contacts in the Following Filter or Group".

5. Under "Delivery", it is always a good idea to select "Queue for Delivery" instead of "Send now". This allows you to send the e-mails "after" they are merged. (Go to your Outbox, right click and "Send all")

I wish I saw more folks using this for regular communication instead of pure marketing. Try it!

GoldMine : Queuing E-mails Whilst a Hurricane is Brewing

It's hard to imagine the Internet, just a scant twenty years ago, was as prone to outages as my iPhone service is when I'm indoors. Nowadays, it's more like the [land line] telephone service; you can count on it pretty much all the time. So in those unthinkable instances where we find ourselves without the ability to send e-mail, surf the web or (gasp) read the news online, what is one to do?

One of the nicest things about e-mail in GoldMine is the ability to Queue messages for later sending. The "Queue" button is directly to the right of the "Send button" on the top toolbar of the E-mail center. It looks like a little envelope with a tiny clock on it.

When you Queue a message instead of Sending it, it ends up in your Outbox. When I'm without Internet, I'll reply to all my (downloaded) e-mails by Queuing them. Then, when Internet comes back online, I can simply go my Outbox, right-click on my list of emails and select "Send All".

Pro Tip : This is also a good idea to use when mass e-mailing to a Filter or Group. Queuing instead of Sending gives you that last chance to abort the sending if something should happen to be amiss with the message.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

QuickBooks: Tracking Timesheet Hours vs. Hours Invoiced

I’m looking for a report that I can use to compare hours reported on timesheets (hours that have been paid out) and the hours that have been invoiced/ paid for.

I’ve also noticed it’s possible to add time to timesheets that have already been billed.  Is there a way that I can prevent this from happening?
Thanks for your help.

The following reports should give you the information that you want: 
The Time by Job Detail Report which is available in all versions (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise).  You access it from the Reports menu -> Jobs, Time & Mileage.  If you don’t see a Billing Status column, click the Customize Report button and on the Display tab, check Billing Status. Once the Billing Status column has been activated you can tell if the time is billable, not billable, or has been billed.

If you are using the Premier Contractor or Enterprise Contractor versions, check out the Billed/Unbilled Hours by Person and Job Report; access it from the Reports menu -> Contractor Reports.  This report is very easy to read as it has columns for Billed, Unbilled, and Not Billable.

As you noted, it is possible to add more hours to a timesheet after you’ve created paychecks and after you’ve pulled unbilled time into customer invoices.  This feature has its good and bad points. It’s great if you discover that you didn’t enter all of an employee’s time and shorted him/her in their paycheck and want to get those missed hours into your job costing reports.
As for preventing someone’s ability to enter time after the fact, in Pro or Premier you can edit various user accounts and on the Time Tracking window, set their status as No Access – this means the user in question would not be able to access any of the time tracking functions at all – including the ability to create reports (so you do want to be careful with these settings).  Another approach is to set a closing date password after you’ve pulled billable time into Invoices.  That way, you would be the only one who could modify any existing timesheet entries by providing the closing date password.

QuickBooks: Bank Reconciliation Shortcut

Bank Reconciliation Shortcut

If you have a large number of checks, deposits and autopay/debit transactions, here is a quick way to reconcile your bank statement ---

  •  Select multiple checks/deposits in one fell swoop.
  •  Sort the screen – hide tx after statement date / by check number (and then resort for the next transaction type as you review the bank statement
  •  Left click on the first check that has cleared, and hold down the left mouse key and drag the mouse down to the next missing check number, according to the bank, and release.
  •  As you go down the list, all the transactions will be selected.

CAUTION! If you only look carefully at the beginning and ending numbers, you could miss some very important clues to some problems! For example, if the series starts with 6559 and ends with 6759, you may be tempted to find the beginning and the end, and select all in between. But, there could be some missing checks (Heaven forbid!) that weren’t entered into QuickBooks or there could be duplicate check numbers that will throw your bank reconciliation off.

QuickBooks: Employee Expense Reimbursement

From time to time, our employees have to purchase things for the company using their own funds, most often by using their personal credit card. I am a new Office Manager, and I see that the prior bookkeeper put the expense reimbursement through the payroll rather than giving them the employee a check. This feels very wrong to me. I don’t want to continue doing it this way if it is wrong. Can you tell me which way is correct?

Handling employee reimbursements for business related expenses, including mileage, should NOT be run through payroll in QuickBooks.
When an employee uses his/her own money to pay for a business related expense, it is money that they have loaned the company. The company should account for those expenditures in the same manner in which they would if the company had made the expenditures themselves. The employee reimbursement should be correctly assigned to the appropriate expense or cost of goods sold accounts in QuickBooks.
Recording the reimbursements in QuickBooks can be accomplished by using either the Write Checks window or the Enter Bills window. It is important to remember that if your company has an operating bank account and a payroll account, be sure to use the operating account for expense reimbursements.

QuickBooks: Posting Transactions – Date Sensitivity

QuickBooks automatically prefills the date field in every transaction and report you create. In many cases, the date that QuickBooks prefills is not the date you want or need.  Therefore, you should always verify that the date specified by QuickBooks is the correct date for the particular transaction or report.
 Additionally, you should verify that you are not posting transactions to a date in a period that has been “closed”.  Unfortunately, QuickBooks allows users to post new transactions to a prior period if they have access to change or delete transactions recorded before the closing date.
Report Dates
Every QuickBooks report automatically specifies a default date range each time the report is created. You should always verify that the default date range is correct.
You can change the date range by:

  • Selecting a different preset date range (e.g., today, this month, this fiscal quarter, this fiscal year-to-date, last fiscal year, etc.) from the “Dates” drop-down list at the top of the report.

  • Entering a time period not specified by one of the preset date ranges in the “From” and “To” fields at the top of the report, by entering the dates manually or by clicking the calendar symbol to the right of the dates and then clicking the arrows on the calendar to select the applicable month and year and then clicking on the applicable day.

NOTE:  You should click the “Refresh” button at the top of the report after changing the date range.
You can choose a personal preference that automatically refreshes reports. To turn this preference on, select “Preferences” from the “Edit” menu. Select the “My Preferences” tab under “Reports & Graphs” and then select “Refresh automatically.”
Check Dates 
QuickBooks allows users to pay bills or write checks on a particular day but not print the checks until a subsequent day.  When you print the check on a later date, QuickBooks automatically prints the payment date specified in the “Pay Bills” window or the date specified in the “Write Checks” window as the check date.

To print the date that the check is actually being printed you can select “Preferences” from the “Edit” menu and then select “Checking” from the “Preferences” scroll box. You should then check the “Change check date when check is printed” box in the “Company Preferences” tab.