Wednesday, April 24, 2013

QuickBooks: Duplicate and Outstanding Transactions

How often have you had to review accounts that have an obviously overstated balance – or do you have a recurring problem with duplicate invoices to your customers, or do you periodically review your Open Purchase Orders report only to discover that many of them should already have been closed? If you do, don’t think you are alone… I find that many users duplicate efforts. So, let me show you how to resolve these problems in QuickBooks.

Linking Transactions

QuickBooks works best when transactions are converted from one status to another, instead of entering transactions separately – that is – Linked. Improperly linked transactions can result in transactions that either stay open indefinitely, or that end up being duplicated. Here are just a few potential scenarios:

Items are marked as billable on a Bill, and then the pre-existing Sales Order is converted into an Invoice. Later, someone notices the outstanding item on the “Unbilled Costs by Job” report, and creates a second Invoice.

Items are marked as billable on a Bill, and then an Invoice is created from the Unbilled Costs by Job report. No one converts the pre-existing Sales Order into an Invoice, which results in it staying open indefinitely.

Enter an Item Receipt and then later, separately, enter the Bill without using Enter Bill for Received Items. This results in overstated inventory (both quantities and costs), as well as creating an Item Receipt that stays open indefinitely.

Enter a Bill and then use Write Checks instead of Pay Bills, which leaves the Bill open indefinitely. At some point, it’s likely that the Bill will be paid, resulting in a duplicate Check being issued.

QuickBooks provides many great reminders along the way to help minimize these kinds of errors. We’re all familiar with pop-up warnings – be sure to read them and think about what it is asking – then make an informed choice. However, there are “speed users” out there that have long since stopped paying attention to the warnings, and thus errors are made.

Finding Outstanding Transactions
QuickBooks reports will help locate many of the duplicates. Listed is a summation of some of the more common that will help.  

Reports -/- Inventory -/-Pending Builds
Reports -/- Purchasing -/-Open Purchase Orders
Reports -/- Vendors & Payables -/-Unpaid Bills Detail
Reports -/- Sales -/-Pending Sales

Reports -/- Sales -/-Open Sales Orders by Customer (or) Item.
Reports -/- Customers & Receivables -/- Unbilled Costs by Job
Reports -/- Customers & Receivables -/- Open Invoices

Correcting as needed based on the situation

To close/cancel open transactions
Open the original transaction by double-clicking it from the report.

For Sales Orders or Purchase Orders, you can mark individual lines as closed, or you can mark the entire transaction as closed using the checkboxes.

For other transactions, you can either void or complete the transaction by selecting Edit -/- Void, or Edit -/- Mark as Final from the menu bar.

Occasionally, you may also need to delete individual lines or even entire transactions. These functions are also performed from the Edit menu. To cancel billable costs, open the original transaction and unmark the “Billable” checkbox.

To fulfill/complete any open transactions
Open the original transaction by double-clicking it from the report.

Next, convert it to the next status by clicking the Create button.

To complete billable costs, using information from the Unbilled Costs by Job report, go to Customers -/- Create Invoices, enter the customer’s name and choose Select outstanding billable time and costs to add to this invoice.


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