Sunday, December 15, 2013

QuickBooks Online New Look

Since it was launched over a decade ago, QuickBooks Online has been easy to use. It’s been quicker and “lighter” than the desktop versions, thanks to its cloud-based platform and a feature set that was more limited than the software at the top of Intuit’s food chain.

Still, Intuit recently did a major overhaul of its online offering, and the results will be startling to anyone who has visited the site even once. Beyond being cleaner, leaner and more intuitive, this totally-rebuilt application sits on an open platform that readies it for users who want a state-of-the-art accounting solution that integrates seamlessly with the other web-based tools they use to run their businesses.

Those companies can access QuickBooks Online and its other business management systems from anywhere via a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet.

You’ll most likely start your day on QuickBooks Online’s dashboard, its home page. As you move on to other elements of QuickBooks Online by clicking on the navigational tabs in the left pane, you’ll see this new emphasis on usability continued. Every screen has been rebuilt so that you’re not hunting around the page, looking for the rather small links to the tasks you want to do

If you just want to get in and create a quick transaction, you can click on the X at the top of the page, which opens a list of links to the most commonly-used ones. Two other links here take you to tools that you’re likely to use regularly. A small icon opens a window containing your most recent transactions. And the magnifying glass gives you access to QuickBooks Online’s Search function.

The new QuickBooks Online also pulls together links that used to be scattered throughout the site. You can easily get to these by clicking the small wheel icon in the upper right corner. From here, you can work with:

· Settings (Company Settings, Chart of Accounts)
· Lists (Products and Services, Recurring Transactions, etc.)
· Tools (Import Desktop Data, Reconcile, Activity Log, etc.)
· Your Company (Your Account, Manage Users, etc.)

This consolidation of important site functions will accelerate your workflow greatly. You use the tabs on the left side of the screen to do your actual accounting work, while all of your other “background” tasks are accessible through one icon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

QuickBooks 2014 Simplifies, Accelerates Common Tasks

If Intuit named its desktop versions of QuickBooks by the version number rather than the year, we’d be in version 20-something by now. QuickBooks, still the preferred software for small businesses, keeps getting smarter in its annual upgrades. Rather than pile on tons of new features in its upgrades, Intuit – for many years – has concentrated on making it easier for you to access the tools and data that are already there.

QuickBooks 2014 is no exception. Its combination of small-but-effective changes makes it easier to get in and do what needs to be done quickly, and then get out and move on to activities that will help build your business.

A Superior View

If you do upgrade to QuickBooks 2014, head first to the new Income Tracker (Customers | Income Tracker). QuickBooks offers numerous reports and other tools for following the progress of your incoming revenue, but this new feature provides the best we’ve seen in the software.

More Descriptive Email
If you regularly send invoices through email, you may have wondered how many of them actually get opened by your customers in a timely fashion. QuickBooks 2014 contains a new tool that makes the details of each invoice available within the body of the email itself.
 Smaller Changes

Intuit has made many small-but-useful features to QuickBooks 2014, all designed to help you work faster and smarter, and simply to support more convenient operations. For example, the Ribbon toolbars on transactions now include a tab or menu that lets you open related reports.
In addition:
·       QuickBooks’ color scheme has been changed.
·       The program runs faster.
·       You can now copy and paste lines within forms.
·       We can communicate with you (and vice versa) via an email window that’s been embedded into the software. This tool even auto-pastes the transaction in question into the email window.
·       There’s been some retooling of online banking (now called “Bank Feeds”), making it more accessible and understandable.

Upgrading to a new version of QuickBooks can be challenging, so we encourage you to let us know if you’d like to explore the process. New functionality and usability that improves your workflow and your understanding of your finances can be worth the time and trouble.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How to receive payments in QuickBooks

There are a variety of methods for receiving payments from customers or one-time receipts.  If you have submitted an invoice to the customer, then you will want to Receive Payment (found on the home page or under the Customers menu).  If the client sends you money before you have invoiced them, you can create a Sales Receipt (also under the Customer menu).  If you are going to be receiving installment payments or a deposit, then you will want to create a payment item for each situation.  Finally, you can go to the Banking menu, select Make deposit and simply record the check information and deposit the funds into the proper bank account at the same time.

For more detailed information on receiving payments, go to for an extended article.