Congratulations to Jennifer Todd, now Certified in QuickBooks Online 2016


Jennifer recently updated her Intuit QuickBooks certifications to include the latest version of Intuit’s Premier cloud-based accounting system QuickBooks Online!  Jennifer has been certified in QuickBooks desktop since version 99 and she also holds certifications in QuickBooks Point of Sale as well as Microsoft Office User Specialist in Excel and PowerPoint!  Contact Jennifer today to get a primer on QuickBooks and find out how the software can best be used to achieve your financial goals!  Interested in learning more about QuickBooks Online? Check out the free test drive here.  Learn more about QBO by visiting their website here! 

Checkout the New QBO App for Desktop!

Do you like QuickBooks Online version but miss some of the desktop version’s features?  Well lucky for you, now you can have both! QuickBooks Online has grown tremendously since its introduction more than a decade ago. It’s not quite as mature as the top-of-the-line desktop versions, but it’s not far behind anymore. No matter which version of QuickBooks you first used, there may be elements of Windows functionality that you miss in the online application, like:

  • The traditional file menus,
  • Keyboard shortcuts, and
  • The ability to open the software and let it stay open all day, minimizing it when you didn’t need it.

The recently released QuickBooks Online for PC and Mac App offers all of those features. It may also be faster than the browser-based version because it loads the whole application at once and keeps the pages cached. It’s free; and here’s the download link. A Hybrid Approach  

Getting started is easy:

  • You click the download link and then install the app like you would any Windows or Mac software.
  • When the download is complete, you’ll find a new shortcut icon on your desktop’s home screen.
  • Click on it, and you can either sign into an existing account or register for a new one.

The first thing you’ll notice is that it still looks like QuickBooks Online – because it is. But if you look at the upper left of the screen, you’ll see what looks like a series of Windows desktop menus – because it is. But the menu options don’t match Windows desktop menus. Instead they’re designed to mirror the navigation tools in QuickBooks Online. The coolest part is that you can use either or both.  Exciting! Note: Windows that open when you click on one of these menu options can act in one of two ways – they can either replace the current window, which is the default in QuickBooks Online, or they can open in a new window.   To change the current setting, open the Window drop-down menu and check or un-check Menu Items Open New Windows. Multiple Updated Windows It’s not difficult to switch screens in the browser-based version of QuickBooks Online but it is time consuming if you need to consult two or three different pages. You find yourself switching back and forth and probably having to make notes about what you learned from the other screen(s).  Thankfully, the new QuickBooks Online for Windows App makes this process easier and faster.  Some navigation links now have a small arrow-in-a-box icon to their right, called a “Detach” icon. Click on one of those, and the item opens in a new window. Any changes you make in one window are automatically reflected in the other open windows.  What a time saver!

Click on the new Detach icon wherever it appears to open the page in a new window. This new functionality isn’t available everywhere in the app. You’ll see the Detach icons when you hover over transaction types by clicking on the + sign at the top of the screen, with the exception of Pay Checks, Single Time Activity, Weekly Timesheets, Pay Bills, and Statements. To open a transaction form in a new window, you must click directly on the icon. You can also open most reports in new windows; the new icons appear when you open a list of them. So if you’re looking at a report that you don’t want to close and you want to enter a related transaction, you’d simply click on the + sign and select the transaction type by clicking directly on the Detach icon. The new window opens; you fill out the form and save it, and you’re back at your report, where you can see the new entry in the report. If you have a transaction open and you want to consult a report, though, you’d need to select it from the Reports menu at the top, after making sure that the Menu Items Open New Windows entry in the Window menu was checked. And if you’re still a fan of keyboard shortcuts and miss them in QBO, you’ll find them active in the app.   

You can use dozens of keyboard shortcuts when you install the new QuickBooks app. Only an Option The QuickBooks Online for Windows App is totally optional; you can keep using the browser-based version if you prefer. The ability to keep the app running without signing in and out all day may appeal to you – if there’s no chance someone else could access your computer while you’re away from your desk. You may or may not experience faster performance, depending on your system configuration and the app’s other capabilities are a matter of personal preference. Let us know if you need help working with this new option – or if you have other questions about QuickBooks Online.  We are here to help!

QuickBooks Tutorial – Setting Up Inventory

If you are using QuickBooks Desktop software to invoice customers or track inventory, you must have a well thought out and properly set up Item List.  Accurate, thorough item records inform your customers and help you track inventory levels correctly.

Whether you’re selling services, one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will:

  • Ensure that your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing,
  • Provide the information you must know about your inventory levels, and,
  • Help you make smart decisions about reordering.

You’ll start the set-up process by first making sure that your QuickBooks file is set up to track inventory.

  • Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Items & Inventory.
  • Click the Company Preferences tab and click in the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are activated if there isn’t a check in the box already. Here, too, you can ask that QuickBooks warn you when there isn’t enough inventory to sell.
  • Click OK when you’re finished.
How to set preferences

Figure 1: You need to be sure that QuickBooks knows you’ll be tracking inventory before you start making sales.

To create your first item:

  • Open the Lists menu and select Item List.
  • Click the down arrow next to Item in the lower left corner of the window that opens and select New.
  • The New Item window opens.

Warning: You must be very precise when you’re creating item records in order to avoid confusing your customers and creating problems with your accounting down the road. Please call us if you want us to walk you through the first few items.

QuickBooks should display the list of options below TYPE. Since you’re going to be tracking inventory that you buy and sell, select Inventory Part. Enter a name and/or item number in the next field. This is not the text that will appear on transactions; it’s simply for you to be able to recognize each item in your own bookkeeping.

How to create an item

Figure 2: Let us work with you if you have any doubts about the data that needs to be entered in the New Item window. It must be 100 percent accurate.

In the example above, the box next to Subitem of has a check mark in it because “Light Pine” is only one of the cabinet types you sell (you can check this box and select <Add New> if you want to create a new “parent” item on the fly).  Leave the next field blank if your item doesn’t have a Part Number, and disregard UNIT OF MEASURE unless you’re using QuickBooks Premier or above.

Fill in the PURCHASE INFORMATION and SALES INFORMATION fields (or select from the lists of options). Keep in mind that the descriptive text you enter here will appear on transaction forms, though customers will never see what you’ve actually paid for items, of course (your Cost, as opposed to the Sales Price).  Also, when using items on an invoice, you always have the option to change the description to exactly what you want your customers to see.

QuickBooks should have automatically selected the COGS Account (Cost of Goods Sold), but you’ll need to specify an Income Account. Please ask us if you’re not sure, as this is a critical designation. The Preferred Vendor and Tax Code fields will display lists if you’ve already set these up.

QuickBooks should have pre-selected your Asset Account which is the “Inventory” account set up to “hold” in stock items available for sale. If you want to be alerted when your inventory level for this item has fallen to a specific number (Min) so you can reorder up to the point you specify in the Max field, enter those numbers there (the Inventory to Reorder option must be turned on in Edit | Preferences | Reminders).

If you already have this item in stock, enter the number under On Hand. QuickBooks will automatically calculate Average Cost of inventory items when the items are used on vendor bills, purchase orders (P.O.s) and checks.  Your inventory items will not be correct if you do not consistently use your items when ordering inventory.  A common error we often see customers make is to post payments for inventory in QuickBooks by simply using the Cost of Goods Sold account or a “Purchases” expense account instead of using the “Items” tab on the bill, credit card charge or check.  When this happens, your quantities get depleted upon sale, but are never increased when purchased.  The moral here is ALWAYS use the items tab on an inventory purchase transaction.

Click OK when you’ve completed all of the fields. This item will now appear in your Item List, and will be available to use in transactions. When you want to create, edit, delete, etc. any of your items, simply open the same menu you opened in the first step here (Lists | Item List | Item).

The Item Menu

Figure 3: The Item menu, found in the lower left corner of the Item List.

Because Inventory Part records are so critical to accurate sales and purchase transactions you must use exceptional care in building them.  Give us a call for a two-hour in-person tutorial.  We can work remotely via teleconference and face-to-face for locals.

New to QBO? Here’s a Quick Primer on the QuickBooks Online Home Page

Here’s an overview of the QuickBooks Online (QBO) home page and what you can access from there.

Many companies have been hesitant to trust their financial data – and that of their customers and vendors – to the internet, despite the fact that solution providers have built sophisticated security systems for this critical information. But you’ve decided that the benefits of online accounting far outweigh its slight risk, and you’re ready to start using QuickBooks Online in 2015. Whether you’re making the transition from a manual bookkeeping system or moving your operations over from the desktop version of QuickBooks, you’ll likely be pleased with the site’s usability, speed, feature-rich set, and convenience – starting with a very effective, aesthetically-pleasing home page.

QBO Income Summary

Figure 1: QuickBooks Online’s home page provides an overview of your company’s finances, including income, as pictured above.

One of the benefits of using online accounting is that it saves time and this is evident when you first sign into the QuickBooks Online platform. You can immediately get a sense of your financial status from looking over the home page. Its individual elements include:

  • A graphic that displays the total dollars that have been billed to customers, the amount that’s past due, and the total paid in the last 30 days.
  • A chart showing where your money has gone in a given time period complete with categories and a display of total dollar figures.
  • Your profit and loss for a customizable date range.
  • Account balances, and
  • A list of your most recent activities on QuickBooks Online.

All of these data areas are interactive  which means you can click on one of the areas to open a screen that displays details for each.

QBO Navigational Tool

Figure 2: This navigational tool helps you move quickly to QuickBooks Online’s task areas. Besides those pictured here, you’ll see Reports, Taxes, and Apps



The left vertical pane of the home page is a navigational tool that takes you to the main screens of QBO’s activity pages. Each has its own navigational tools that should be familiar if you’ve used any kind of software before.








QuickBooks Online offers a navigational tool on the home page that is also carried over to other screens on the site. At the top of each screen is a kind of mini-toolbar that contains three icons:

  • The magnifying glass opens the site’s Search Transactions tool and its Advanced Search.  You can search so many different things – this is a very useful QBO tool!
  • The “+” sign displays the Create window, which contains links to the transactions you can process for Customers and Vendors; to activities related to Employees; and to miscellaneous tasks like Transfers and Statements.  You’ll use the “+” sign any tine you want to add an invoice, check, bill, receive payment, etc.  You will use this button ALL the time!
  • The third icon, which looks something like a clock, opens a list of the most Recent Transactions (this is one of my personal favorites because I’m always having to go back and edit the last thing I just saved).

Finally, in the upper right corner you’ll see a link to QuickBooks Online Help, and a small icon that looks like a gear. Clicking on the latter opens a window that displays your company name and links to four types of tools and data: Settings, Lists, Tools, and Your Company, as shown here:

The Gear Icon

Figure 3: Much of your setup and maintenance tools are accessible by clicking on the small gear icon in the upper right corner of QuickBooks Online.

You’ll click some of these links as you’re readying QBO for use, to perform setup tasks like:

  • Establishing your Company Settings. These used to be called Preferences, and they include specifying your accounting method, defining custom fields, and assigning accounts. The site is pre-populated with defaults, but you can change these.
  • Creating records for your Products and Services.
  • Working with your Payroll Settings, if you use the built-in payroll processing that comes with QBO, and
  • Assigning access limits as you set up and Manage Users. If you have multiple employees using QuickBooks Online, you’ll want to specify what they can and can’t do.

Once you’ve prepared QuickBooks Online to meet your company’s specific data and workflow needs, you’ll occasionally want to get to these links to, for example, set up Recurring Transactions and Reconcile your accounts.

We truly hope you’ll include us in your QuickBooks Online setup process. Although we can log-in and troubleshoot when you have a problem, it’s much wiser to customize QBO from the start.

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