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Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800

Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800

 

U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support, maybe the most usually utilized medium in Get Quickbooks technical support written work, is frequently seen as an unremarkable authoritative undertaking. Be that as it may, for the non-local English talking innovation proficient, U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support gives a chance to advance research facility exercises inside a Get Quickbooks technical support association. Fruitful explanation additionally implies more prominent access to comparable associations abroad. By the by, when writing in the working environment, innovation experts are frequently compelled to depend on business U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support materials inferable from the absence of a more reasonable reference. This article looks at the Get Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support of fifty-two Chinese innovation experts at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (Hsinchu, Taiwan) over a one year time frame. In view of those perceptions, five basic sorts of Get Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support are distinguished: Get Quickbooks technical support participation, Get Quickbooks technical support visits abroad, Get Quickbooks technical support visits from abroad, Get Quickbooks technical support preparing, and asking for data.

There are several features and benefits of QuickBooks Technical Support where it entails keeping a record of your business details. Adequate funding for your business will require precise records as incorrect or inadequate records will land you in trouble and interfere with the successful running of your business.Quickbooks enterprise support will be beneficial for your business in four ways- Easily Accessible, Integration, Check Signing and Customization.

Five Common Types of Get Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support The Get Quickbooks technical support U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support of fifty-two Chinese innovation experts at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (Hsinchu, Taiwan) was gathered and broke down finished a one year time span. Their U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support was arranged into the accompanying five classifications:

1. Get Quickbooks technical support Cooperation U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support including Get Quickbooks technical support collaboration regularly incorporates trading data, looking for innovation licensors, making ready for innovation exchanges, proposing how to continue with Get Quickbooks technical support collaboration, asking for investment in/or accreditation by a global body, and detailing the present status of related exercises. Basic examples in U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support identified with Get Quickbooks technical support collaboration incorporate the accompanying:

a. Expressing the association’s goal of looking for participation. Just expressing the association’s want to shape an agreeable association with another association evades future perplexity. Illustrations are given underneath:

I’d get a kick out of the chance to propose an innovative data trade between our two associations with respect to ecological contamination counteractive action squander minimization. We are looking for potential licensors of the Autoclaved Lightweight Concrete (ALC) item innovation for nearby producers in Taiwan, ROC. Notwithstanding our in-house R&D, we are additionally thinking about how possible it is of innovation exchange, from a remote organization, of an innovation that is prepared for (or near) commercialization and that is as of now under patent insurance. We are presently associated with an apparatus box advancement program and are looking for remote accomplices who are equipped for creating gear boxes or who can take part in an agreeable Get Quickbooks technical support program with car producers in the R.O.C. We are restless to grow enduring agreeable associations with makers, for example, yours. We perceive that the proceeded with accomplishment of our work relies upon our sharing and trading background with comparable associations.

b. Giving foundation data about the association (e.g., mission, real exercises, and accomplishments). Giving foundation data about the association enables the other party to know whether the two gatherings’ interests and mastery are perfect. Cases are given underneath:

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Our association, Mechanical Industry Research Laboratories (MIRL), is an auxiliary of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) set up by the legislature of the Republic of China (ROC). One of our missions is to help the nearby modern part by redesigning innovation levels. One of our procedures is to permit innovation from abroad. The test comes about produced so far in this venture have just been most useful in Taiwan’s natural insurance work.

c. Giving proposals on the best way to start collaboration. Cases are given underneath:

I am anticipating hearing your thoughts or recommendations with respect to this data trade opportunity. I might likewise want to orchestrate a ten-day Get Quickbooks technical support visit to your association this up and coming May as the underlying stride of our participation. In the event that you are occupied with authorizing this innovation, please send the previously mentioned data to the above address for assessment. Promote dialog, or a conceivable visit by individuals from ITRI to your generation office, would appear to be the fitting following stage. I propose that ABC Corporation send a Get Quickbooks technical support master to UCL before the finish of July and give an introduction, with respect to the item improvement of this innovation, to our researchers and Get Quickbooks technical support staff. If it’s not too much trouble let me know whether there are any zones of normal intrigue you might want to examine.

d. Complimenting the accomplishments and notoriety of an association. Truly recognizing or complimenting the other party’s achievement in a specific innovation communicates the association’s goal to contribute toward and additionally gain from the collective relationship. Illustrations are given beneath:

Your organization has a long convention of giving extraordinary building TP (e.g., Noryl) that has different properties and fantastic quality. ABC Corporation is perceived as the worldwide pioneer in creating, delivering, and showcasing  medication conveyance framework. ABC’s Biotechnology Group has built up some fascinating items that we might want to comprehend in more detail before achieving the authorizing stage. Detail Rite 2300 is an incredible hostile to static polymer that mixes well with different thermoplastics and can be utilized as a part of ESD applications. We trust that this lasting hostile to static plastic has a solid market potential, particularly in light of the developing gadgets industry in Taiwan.

e. Portraying the reason(s) for Get Quickbooks technical support collaboration. More than only endeavoring to depict the association’s goals, the author should diagram particular designs or portray what has been accomplished up until now. Cases are given underneath:

Another office is to be set up in Taiwan to configuration, create and deliver auto transmission parts. Consequently, we are looking for accomplices for Get Quickbooks technical support collaboration through authorizing and joint wander assentions. We are presently associated with a rigging box improvement program and are looking for outside accomplices who are fit for creating gear boxes or who can participate in a helpful Get Quickbooks technical support program with car producers in the R.O.C.

2. Get Quickbooks technical support Visits Abroad

U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support including Get Quickbooks technical support visits abroad ordinarily incorporates proposition for Get Quickbooks technical support visits, points of discourse, affirmation updates, changing dates or schedules, lodging housing and transportation, communicating thankfulness for cordiality amid stay, tolerating solicitations, and declining solicitations. Basic examples in U.S.A GET 800 Quickbooks technical support identified with Get Quickbooks technical support visits abroad incorporate the accompanying:

a. Proposing the visit and laying out preparatory points of interest. A Get Quickbooks technical support visit ought to be seen as a method for fulfilling an association’s need (e.g., data trade, short instructional classes, or general comprehension of their operations). Points of interest, for example, time and exchange themes ought to likewise be incorporated. Cases are given underneath:

It would be greatly valued on the off chance that you could orchestrate me to watch your generation line amid my stay at ABC on March 19, 1993. I might want to visit the Special Carbon Division (or the Get Quickbooks technical support Center) of ABC Corporation/Massachusetts amid the up and coming excursion. Educator Liu from the Virginia Institute of Technology prescribed that we visit your eminent establishment and discover an opportunity to talk about our needs with you, and in addition to learn of your own related encounters. We perceive that guaranteeing proceeded with achievement of this program relies upon our watching and understanding comparative work in different nations. At this stage, I might want to organize a visit to your nation. I am distinctly inspired by going by Dr. Jones and his staff to learn of all the operational perspectives required with this program.

b. Clarifying the motivation behind the visit. An immediate articulation of what the author expects amid the Get Quickbooks technical support visit may avoid perplexity about what the other party is capable or willing to give. Illustrations are given underneath:

We have to upgrade our insight into carbon dark as far as the science, portrayal, and preparing application (e.g., ESD assurance, wire and link, covering and UV insurance). Such information would likewise profit our clients, a considerable lot of whom are producers. Reason: to comprehend and assess fruitful cases and the present status of the Japanese color industry as for innovation, hardware, and data on modern waste minimization. Visits to compressor framework organizations that produce frameworks for warm pump or vapor recompression would be similarly advantageous. Data with respect to the assortment of accessible warmth pump frameworks would likewise be very valuable for future advancement of such frameworks in Taiwan.

c. Lauding the association’s accomplishments. Supplementing another association on its accomplishments is not just great advertising. It additionally gives the association a clearer thought of what your desires will be when and in the event that you visit their offices. Cases are given underneath:

Squander minimization is a worldwide pattern, and your nation as of now has much involvement around there. Also known, ABC Corporation has the assets expected to create great quality differing carbon blacks.

d. Stressing the helpful idea of the visit. The Get Quickbooks technical support visit ought to be depicted as far as a particular point of view. It is not just your association that stands to profit. A Get Quickbooks technical support visit can likewise clear up the normal interests and capacities of the two associations. This may make ready for future synergistic exercises. The accompanying Examples are given:

I trust this visit will reinforce the ties of participation that quandary our associations. In light of these worries, we are anticipating teaming up with your association sooner rather than later. We seek this visit will open entryways after

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QuickBooks 2016
Bonnie Biafore
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The book that should have been in the box®
QuickBooks 2016: The Missing Manual
by Bonnie Biafore
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Printed in the United States of America.
Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA
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ISBN-13: 978-1-491-91789-3
[QG]
iii
Contents
The Missing Credits …………………………………. xi
Introduction ………………………………………. xv
What’s New in QuickBooks 2016. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv
When QuickBooks May Not Be the Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii
Choosing the Right Edition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii
Accounting Basics: The Important Stuff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxi
About This Book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiii
About the Outline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiv
The Very Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxv
About→These→Arrows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvi
About the Online Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvi
Safari® Books Online. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvii
Part One: Setting Up QuickBooks
CHAPTER 1: Creating a Company File …………………………….. 3
Opening QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Choosing a Start Date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Creating a Company File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Converting from Another Program to QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Opening an Existing Company File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Modifying Company Info. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
CHAPTER 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks………………………. 25
Menus and the Icon Bar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
The Home Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
The Insights Tab. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Working with Windows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
CHAPTER 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts ……………………… 39
Acquiring a Chart of Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Planning the Chart of Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Creating Accounts and Subaccounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Working with Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
iv Contents
CHAPTER 4: Setting Up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors ……………. 59
Working with the Customer Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Creating Customers in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Creating Jobs in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Working with the Vendor Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Creating Vendors in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Working with Customers, Jobs, and Vendors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Managing Leads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
CHAPTER 5: Setting Up Items …………………………………… 93
What Items Do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
When You Don’t Need Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Should You Track Inventory with Items?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Planning Your Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Creating Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Service Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Product Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Other Types of Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Working with Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
CHAPTER 6: Data Entry Shortcuts for Lists ……………………….. 117
Adding and Editing Multiple Records. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Importing Customer, Vendor, and Item Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
CHAPTER 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists …………………. 133
Categorizing with Classes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Price Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Customer and Vendor Profile Lists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Fixed Asset Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Managing Lists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Part Two: Bookkeeping
CHAPTER 8: Tracking Time and Mileage…………………………. 157
Setting Up Time Tracking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Entering Time in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Running Time Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Tracking Mileage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Generating Mileage Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
CHAPTER 9: Paying for Expenses ………………………………. 177
When to Pay Expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Viewing Payables with Bill Tracker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Entering Bills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Contents v
Recording a Deposit to a Vendor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Handling Reimbursable Expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Paying Your Bills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Writing Checks Without Entering Bills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Producing Checks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Paying Using Other Payment Methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Recording Vendor Refunds and Credits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
Running Expense-Related Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
CHAPTER 10: Invoicing…………………………………………. 217
Choosing the Right Type of Form. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Sales Forms and Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Creating Invoices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Creating Batch Invoices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
Deposits, Down Payments, and Retainers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Invoicing for Billable Time and Costs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Invoicing for Backordered Products. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Selling Products on Consignment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
Estimating Jobs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Creating Progress Invoices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Handling Customer Refunds and Credits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Modifying Invoices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
CHAPTER 11: Producing Statements …………………………….. 295
Generating Statements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295
CHAPTER 12: Transaction Timesavers ……………………………. 307
Printing Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
Emailing Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
Memorizing Transactions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Finding Transactions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329
CHAPTER 13: Managing Accounts Receivable …………………….. 339
Receivables Aging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340
Receiving Payments for Invoiced Income. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Applying Credits to Invoices When You Receive Payments. . . . . . . . . . . . .352
Discounting for Early Payment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Correcting Misapplied Customer Payments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Applying Finance Charges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Cash Sales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363
Making Deposits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
vi Contents
CHAPTER 14: Bank Accounts and Credit Cards ……………………. 377
Entering Transactions in an Account Register. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378
Handling Bounced Checks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Transferring Funds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Reconciling Accounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393
Managing Loans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405
CHAPTER 15: Doing Payroll …………………………………….. 415
Getting Started with Payroll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416
Intuit Payroll Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
Recording Transactions from a Payroll Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
Paying Yourself. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
CHAPTER 16: Making Journal Entries…………………………….. 427
Balancing Debit and Credit Amounts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 428
Some Reasons to Use Journal Entries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
Creating Journal Entries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
Checking Journal Entries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434
Reclassifications and Corrections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
Recording Depreciation with Journal Entries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
Recording Owner’s Contributions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438
CHAPTER 17: Performing Year-End Tasks ………………………… 441
Checking for Problems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 441
Viewing Your Trial Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447
Generating Financial Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 448
Generating Tax Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 464
Sharing a Company File with Your Accountant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 466
1099s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 472
Closing the Books for the Year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 476
Part Three: Managing Your Business
CHAPTER 18: Keeping Track of Financial Tasks……………………. 481
Tracking To-Dos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482
Adding Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 485
Reminders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 487
Your Financial Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490
CHAPTER 19: Managing QuickBooks Files………………………… 493
Switching Between Multi- and Single-User Mode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 493
Backing Up Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495
Restoring Backups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505
Sending Company Files to Others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507
Contents vii
Verifying Your QuickBooks Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511
Condensing Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 514
Cleaning Up After Deleting Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518
CHAPTER 20: Managing Inventory ………………………………. 521
Following the Inventory Money Trail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 522
Setting Up Inventory Items. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523
Purchasing Inventory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
Selling Inventory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 537
Running Inventory Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 538
Working with the Inventory Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 543
Performing a Physical Inventory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 544
Adjusting Inventory in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 546
CHAPTER 21: Working with Sales Tax ……………………………. 551
Setting Up Sales Tax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 551
Producing Reports of the Sales Tax You Owe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 558
Paying Sales Tax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559
CHAPTER 22: Budgeting and Planning …………………………… 563
Types of Budgets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 564
Ways to Build Budgets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 564
Creating Budgets in QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 565
Creating Customer:Job or Class Budgets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 568
Filling in Budget Values. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 570
Creating and Copying Budgets with Excel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 573
Running Budget Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 576
CHAPTER 23: Tracking Finances with Reports and Graphs …………. 581
Finding the Right Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 582
Running Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 586
Adding Comments to Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 590
Printing and Saving Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .592
Customizing Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 596
Memorizing Reports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608
Swapping Reports Between Company Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 610
Part Four: QuickBooks Power
CHAPTER 24: Banking Online with QuickBooks …………………… 615
Setting Up Your Accounts for Online Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 616
Exchanging Data with Your Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619
Banking Online Using Express Mode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 623
Banking Online Using Classic Mode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632
viii Contents
CHAPTER 25: Configuring Preferences to Fit Your Company ……….. 639
Preferences: The Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 640
Accounting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 641
Bills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 644
Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645
Checking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645
Desktop View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 649
Finance Charge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 652
General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 654
Integrated Applications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 658
Items & Inventory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 659
Jobs & Estimates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 660
Multiple Currencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 662
Payments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 662
Payroll & Employees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 663
Reminders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 665
Reports and Graphs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 665
Sales & Customers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 668
Sales Tax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 670
Search. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 670
Send Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 671
Service Connection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 673
Spelling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 674
Tax: 1099. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 674
Time & Expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 675
CHAPTER 26: Integrating QuickBooks with Other Programs ……….. 677
Mail Merge to a Word Document. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678
Synchronizing Contacts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 683
Working with Other Apps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 686
Exporting QuickBooks Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 691
Importing Data from Other Programs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 697
CHAPTER 27: Customizing QuickBooks ………………………….. 701
Customizing the Home Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 702
Fast Access to Favorite Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 706
Customizing the Company Snapshot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 712
Customizing Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 714
CHAPTER 28: Keeping Your QuickBooks Data Secure ……………… 723
Setting Up the Administrator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 724
Creating QuickBooks Users. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 728
Restricting Access to Features and Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 731
Contents ixhttp://quickbooksenterprise.kinja.com/888-565-3199quickbooks-enterprise-support-solutions-h-1796012116http://www.apsense.com/article/quickbooks-enterprise-support-phone-number.html
Part Five: Appendixes
APPENDIX A: Installing QuickBooks……………………………… 737
Before You Install. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 737
Installing QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 739
Activating QuickBooks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745
Setting Up QuickBooks on a Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745
Where to Store Your Company Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 746
APPENDIX B: Help, Support, and Other Resources ………………… 749
QuickBooks Help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 749
Intuit Community. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 751
Other Kinds of Help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 755
Other Help Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 755
QuickBooks Training. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 756
APPENDIX C: Keyboard Shortcuts
APPENDIX D: Working with Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Services
APPENDIX E: Using Intuit e-Invoicing
APPENDIX F: Tracking Time with the Standalone QuickBooks Pro Timer
APPENDIX G: Advanced Form Customization
APPENDIX H: Working with Multiple Currencies
APPENDIX I: Setting Up Existing Records in a New Company File
NOTE  Appendixes C–I are available from this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds. (To learn about
the Missing CD page, turn to page xxvii.)
Index…………………………………………….. 759

THE MISSING CREDITS xi
The Missing Credits
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated with math in its practical
and more esoteric forms. As an engineer and project manager,
she’s thorough and steadfastly attentive to detail but redeems
herself by using her sick sense of humor to transform these sleepinducing
subjects into entertaining reading. She writes about accounting
and project management. Her books NAIC Stock Selection
Handbook and Successful Project Management won major awards
from the Society of Technical Communication and APEX Awards for
Publication Excellence (but the raves she receives from readers mean much more
to her).
Bonnie is also the author of O’Reilly’s Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual,
Personal Finance: The Missing Manual, and Online Investing Hacks. She has recorded
numerous courses on QuickBooks, project management, Microsoft Project, and other
software for Lynda. As a consultant, she manages projects for clients, provides
training, and wins accolades for her ability to herd cats.
When not chained to her computer, she hikes and cycles in the mountains near her
home in Colorado, walks her dogs, hangs upside down in aerial dance classes, and
cooks gourmet meals. Her novel, Fresh Squeezed, features hit men, stupid criminals,
and much political incorrectness. You can learn more at Bonnie’s website,
bonniebiafore, or email her at bonnie.biafore@gmail.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAMhttps://medium.com/@Lizamario/1-888-565-3199-support-for-quickbooks-enterprise-import-bank-transactions-into-quickbooks-online-18af5a0e9d96
Dawn Schanafelt (editor) is an assistant editor at O’Reilly Media. When not beading,
running, or reading, she spends time enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Email: dawn@oreilly.
Melanie Yarbrough (production editor) is a production editor and vendor coordinator
at O’Reilly Media. In her free time, she’s teaching herself to code, draw, and
decorate cakes. She wishes she had more free time. Email: myarbrough@oreilly.
Michael Cobb (tech reviewer), a writer and editor on Intuit’s QuickBooks Desktop
team, enjoys jamming Texas blues on guitar, drinking way too much coffee, and
exploring the world with his gorgeous wife and rambunctious son. Email: michael_
cobb@intuit.
xii THE MISSING CREDITS
Bob Russell (proofreader) is a longtime resident of New Hampshire, where he takes
every opportunity to ski during the winter and simply get outdoors the rest of the
year. He’s also a former musician who now gets his musical kicks watching and
listening to his daughters play. Email: bob.russell@octalpub.
Bob Pfahler (indexer) is a freelance indexer who indexed this book on behalf of
Potomac Indexing, LLC, an international indexing partnership. Besides the subject
of computer technology, he specializes in business, management, biography, and
history. He can be reached at bob.pfahler@hotmail.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
No O’Reilly book that I author can go to print without me acknowledging the awesome
team at O’Reilly. Dawn Schanafelt is editor extraordinaire. She can spot potential
points of confusion in my writing from a mile away and usually comes up with
a wonderfully clear alternative. If she’s stumped, she asks for clarification in a way
that even a diva (oh, I so hope I haven’t become one) wouldn’t mind. She stays on
top of details so they’re taken care of before anyone even thinks to ask. She kept me
company via email as we both worked weekend after weekend to complete this book.
My thanks also go to Melanie Yarbrough and the rest of the O’Reilly folks for shepherding
my book through the production process. There’s nothing like curling up in
a comfy chair with a glass of wine and a great book index. My thanks to Bob Pfahler
for making this book’s index special. I am grateful for the eagle eye of proofreader
Bob Russell for wrangling punctuation, capitalization, and ungainly sentences into
submission. Michael Cobb is indispensable as my technical go-to guy. He made
sure my explanations make sense, my instructions are accurate, and answered the
questions I couldn’t.https://magic.piktochart.com/output/23165144-quickbooks-enterprise-support
THE MISSING MANUAL SERIES
Missing Manuals are witty, superbly written guides to computer products that don’t
come with printed manuals (which is just about all of them). Each book features a
handcrafted index and cross-references to specific pages (not just chapters). Recent
and upcoming titles include:
Access 2013: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
Creating a Website: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by Matthew MacDonald
CSS: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by David Sawyer McFarland
Dreamweaver CC: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland and Chris Grover
Excel 2013: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
FileMaker Pro 13: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman
Flash CS6: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
THE MISSING CREDITS xiiihttps://sites.google.com/view/texas-tx/how-quickbooks-enterprise-is-best-for-small-business-industryhttps://sites.google.com/view/texas-tx/quicken-vs-quickbooks-enterprise-support-country-for-united-states-usa
Galaxy S5: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
HTML5: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by Matthew MacDonald
iMovie: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Aaron Miller
iPad: The Missing Manual, Sixth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer
iPhone: The Missing Manual, Ninth Edition by David Pogue
iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual by Craig Hockenberry
iPod: The Missing Manual, Eleventh Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer and David Pogue
iWork: The Missing Manual by Jessica Thornsby and Josh Clark
JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by David Sawyer McFarland
Kindle Fire HD: The Missing Manual by Peter Meyers
Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
Office 2013: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner and Matthew MacDonald
OS X El Capitan: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Personal Investing: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by Lesa Snider
Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider
Photoshop Elements 13: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage
PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by Brett McLaughlin
Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, El Capitan Edition by David Pogue
Windows 10: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
WordPress: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by Matthew MacDonald
Your Body: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Your Brain: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
For a full list of all Missing Manuals in print, go to missingmanuals/library.
html.

xv
T
housands of small companies and nonprofit organizations turn to QuickBooks
to keep track of their finances. And over the years, Intuit has introduced various
editions of the program to satisfy the needs of different types of companies.
Back when milk was simply milk, you either used QuickBooks or you didn’t. But now,
when you can choose milk from soybeans, nuts, rice, and cows—with five different
levels of fat—it’s no surprise that QuickBooks comes in a variety of editions (which,
in some cases, are dramatically different from their siblings) as well as six industryspecific
editions. From the smallest of sole proprietorships to burgeoning enterprises,
one of these editions is likely to meet your organization’s needs and budget.
QuickBooks isn’t hard to learn. Many of the features that you’re familiar with from
other programs work the same way in QuickBooks—windows, dialog boxes, dropdown
lists, and keyboard shortcuts, to name a few. And with each new version, Intuit
has added enhancements and features to make your workflow smoother and faster.
The challenge is knowing what to do according to accounting rules, and how to do
it in QuickBooks. This book teaches you how to use QuickBooks and explains the
accounting concepts behind what you’re doing.
What’s New in QuickBooks 2016http://quickbooksenetrprise2017.page.tl/
Despite the fluctuating size of the tax code, accounting and bookkeeping practices
don’t change much each year. The changes in QuickBooks 2016 are mostly small
Introduction
xvi QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
WHAT’S
NEW IN
QUICKBOOKS
2016 tweaks and subtle improvements, but some of them might be just what you’ve
been waiting for:
• Updating a QuickBooks file to a new QuickBooks version. The steps to updating
a company file (page 21) have been streamlined in QuickBooks 2016. When
you open a company file in a new version of QuickBooks, you log in as usual,
choose the location where you want to store you file, and click Update Now.
QuickBooks takes over, backs up your file, and then updates it.
• Bill Tracker. If you’re a fan of Income Tracker (page 340), you’re in for another
treat. The new Bill Tracker feature provides an expense-oriented dashboard
that shows what’s going on with unbilled, unpaid, and paid bills. As with Income
Tracker, Bill Tracker’s table lists the transactions that contribute to its dashboard’s
high-level numbers. You can select transactions in the table to perform billrelated
tasks, such as converting purchase orders to bills, paying bills, and so on.
• Updated Insights tab. In one of the mid-year releases of QuickBooks 2015,
the Home window’s Insights tab (page 31) added three graphs. The Net Profit
Margin graph compares your company’s net profit margin for this year and
last year for the date range you specify. The Business Growth graph compares
your total income over different time periods; on the graph’s right, you see
the change in total income in dollars and as a percentage. The Previous Year
Expense Comparison graph compares the current year’s expenses to those for
previous years. You can also save the Insights tab to a PDF file by clicking the
down arrow to the right of the printer icon, and then choosing Save As PDF.
• This Fiscal Year-to-Last Month date range. This new date range spans the
first day of your fiscal year to the last day of the previous month. This option is
available from date-related menus for reports and graphs.
• Comment attributions in reports. QuickBooks 2015 introduced the ability to
add comments to reports, so you could provide feedback or ask questions.
But what if several people add comments to a report? In QuickBooks 2016,
the Comments pane shows which QuickBooks user created or modified each
comment on a report. That way, you know who to contact to answer questions
or clarify comments.https://http-www-quickbooksenterprisesupport-org.puzl.com/
• Column-search feature in the Modify Report dialog box. When you want to
customize the columns that appear in a report, in the Modify Report dialog box’s
Search Columns box (on the Display tab), start typing the name of the field you
want to find. As you type, the drop-down list filters to display fields that match
the letters you’ve typed so far. When you see the field you want, just click it.
• Removing multiple emails in the Send Form window. In the Send Forms
window (File→Send Forms), you can remove multiple emails from the queue.
To do that, in the checkmark column (the leftmost column in the table), you
simply turn off the emails’ checkmark boxes, and then click the Remove button
below the table.
Introduction xvii
CHOOSING THE When QuickBooks May Not Be the Answer RIGHT EDITION
When you run a business (or a nonprofit), you track company finances for two reasons:
to keep your business running smoothly and to generate the reports required
by the IRS, SEC, and anyone else you have to answer to. QuickBooks helps you
perform basic financial tasks, track your financial results, and manage your business
to make it even better. But before you read any further, here are a few things you
shouldn’t try to do with QuickBooks:
• Work with more than 14,500 unique inventory items or 14,500 contact
names. QuickBooks Pro and Premier company files can hold up to 14,500 inventory
items and a combined total of up to 14,500 customer, vendor, employee,
and other (Other Names List) names. (In the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
edition of the program, the number of names is virtually unlimited.)
• Track personal finances. Even if you’re a company of one, keeping your personal
finances separate from your business finances is a good move, particularly when
it comes to tax reporting. In addition to opening a separate checking account
for your business, you should also track your personal finances somewhere else
(like in Quicken). If you do decide to use QuickBooks, at least create a separate
company file for your personal financial info.
• Track the performance of stocks and bonds. QuickBooks isn’t meant to keep
track of the capital gains and dividends you earn from investments such as
stocks and bonds. Of course, companies invest in things like equipment and
office buildings, and you should track investments such as these in QuickBooks.
However, in QuickBooks, they show up as assets of your company (page 49).
• Manage specialized details about customer relationships. Lots of information
goes into keeping customers happy. With QuickBooks, you can stay on top of
customer activities with features like to-dos, notes, reminders, and memorized
transactions. You can also keep track of leads before they turn into customers.
But if you need to track details for thousands of members or customers, items
sold on consignment, project progress, or tasks related to managing projects,
a customer-management program or a program like Microsoft Excel or Access
might be a better solution.
NOTE  Some third-party customer-management programs integrate with QuickBooks (page 687).
Choosing the Right Edition
QuickBooks comes in a gamut of editions, offering options for organizations at both
ends of the small-business spectrum. QuickBooks Pro handles the basic needs of
most businesses, whereas Enterprise Solutions (the most robust and powerful edition
of QuickBooks) boasts enhanced features and speed for the biggest of small
xviii QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CHOOSING THE
RIGHT EDITION
businesses. On the other hand, the online editions of QuickBooks offer features that
are available anytime you’re online.
WARNING  QuickBooks for Mac and QuickBooks Online both differ significantly from the Windows version
of the program, so this book isn’t meant to be a guide to the Mac version or QuickBooks Online. Likewise, features
vary in the desktop editions for different countries; this book covers the U.S. version.
This book focuses on QuickBooks Pro because its balance of features and price
makes it the most popular edition. Throughout this book, you’ll find notes about
features offered in the Premier edition, which is one step up from Pro. (Whether
you’re willing to pay for these additional features is up to you.) Here’s an overview
of what each edition can do:
• QuickBooks Online Simple Start is a low-cost online option for small businesses
with very simple accounting needs and only one person running QuickBooks
at a time. It’s easy to set up and use, but it doesn’t offer features like entering
bills, managing inventory, tracking time, or sharing your company file with your
accountant, and you can download transactions from only one bank (or credit
card) account.
• QuickBooks Online Essentials allows up to three people to run QuickBooks
at a time and lets you connect to as many bank or credit card accounts as you
want. As its name suggests, it offers essential features like automated invoicing,
entering bills, and controlling what users can access.
• QuickBooks Online Plus has most of the features of QuickBooks Pro, but you
access the program via the Web instead of running it on your PC. Up to five
people can access your data simultaneously.
• QuickBooks Self-Employed is an online edition that’s designed for freelancers
and independent contractors. It helps you pay estimated quarterly taxes,
categorize your expenses to match those on your Schedule C tax form, and
track your self-employment income and expenses.
• QuickBooks Online apps let you run QuickBooks Online on your computer and
other devices. For example, you can run the QuickBooks Online Windows App
(:quickbooks.intuit/accountants/resources/features-quickbooksapp)
or QuickBooks App for Mac to run QuickBooks Online on your computer
without opening a browser window. Or you can download apps from iTunes or
Google Play to run QuickBooks Online on your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
NOTE  These online editions let you use QuickBooks anywhere, on any computer, tablet, or smartphone,
so they’re ideal for someone who’s always on the go. They’re subscription-based, so you pay a monthly fee to
use them. Although a year’s subscription adds up to more than what you’d typically pay to buy a license for
QuickBooks Pro, with a subscription, your software is always up to date—you don’t have to upgrade it or convert
your company files to the new versions you install.
Introduction xix
CHOOSING THEhttp://www.apsense.com/user/quickbooks2017https://www.plurk.com/Quickbooks2017
RIGHT EDITION • QuickBooks Pro is the workhorse desktop edition. It lets up to three people work
on a company file at a time and includes features for tasks such as invoicing;
entering and paying bills; job costing; creating estimates; saving and distributing
reports and forms as email attachments; creating budgets; projecting cash
flow; tracking mileage; customizing forms; customizing prices with price levels;
printing shipping labels; and integrating with Word, Excel, and hundreds of other
programs. QuickBooks Pro’s name lists—customers, vendors, employees, and
so on—can include up to a combined total of 14,500 entries. Other lists, like the
chart of accounts, can have up to 10,000 entries each.
NOTE  QuickBooks Pro Plus is a subscription product that costs a little more than the one-time license fee you
pay for QuickBooks Pro, but QuickBooks Pro Plus offers mobile access, unlimited phone support, online backups,
and always-up-to-date software. Similarly, QuickBooks Premier Plus is the premier version of the subscription
product.
• QuickBooks Premier is another multiuser edition (up to five simultaneous users).
It can handle inventory items assembled from other items and components,
generate purchase orders from sales orders and estimates, apply price levels
to individual items, export report templates, produce budgets and forecasts,
and work with different units of measure for items. Plus, it offers enhanced invoicing
for time and expenses, and includes a few extra features like reversing
journal entries. When you purchase QuickBooks Premier, you can choose from
six different industry-specific flavors (see the next section). As with the Pro
edition, Premier can handle a combined total of up to 14,500 name list entries.
• Enterprise Solutions is the edition for midsized operations. It’s faster, bigger,
and more robust than its siblings. Up to 30 people can access a company
file at the same time, and this simultaneous access is at least twice as fast as
in the Pro or Premier edition. The program’s database can handle more than
100,000 names in its Customer, Vendor, Employee, and Other Names lists. It
can track inventory in multiple warehouses or stores and produce combined
reports for those companies and locations. And because more people can use
your company file at once, this edition has features such as an enhanced audit
trail, more options for assigning or limiting user permissions, and the ability
to delegate administrative functions to the other people using the program.
And if you subscribe to Enterprise Solutions Platinum, you can use Intuit’s
Advanced Inventory subscription service to value inventory by using first in/
first out (FIFO) valuation.
TIP  You don’t have to pay list price for QuickBooks. Your local office supply store, Amazon, and any number
of other retail outlets usually offer the program at a discount. (If you buy QuickBooks from Intuit, you pay the full
price, but you will also have 60 days to return the program for a full refund.) In addition, accountants can resell
QuickBooks to clients, so it’s worth asking yours about purchase and upgrade pricing. QuickBooks ProAdvisors
(you can find a local one by going to :proadvisor.intuit/find-a-proadvisor/search.jsp) can get you up to
a 40 percent discount on QuickBooks Pro or Premier, and you’ll have 60 days to return the program for a refund.
xx QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CHOOSING THE
RIGHT EDITION
The QuickBooks Premier Choices
If you work in one of the industries covered by QuickBooks Premier, you can get
additional features unique to your industry. (When you install QuickBooks Premier,
you choose the industry version you want to run. If your business is in an industry
other than one of the five options, choose General Business.) Some people swear
that these customizations are worth every penny, whereas others say the additional
features don’t warrant the Premier price. On the QuickBooks website (:quickbooks.intuit/premier),
you can tour the Premier features to decide for yourself.
Or you can purchase QuickBooks Accountant, which can run any QuickBooks edition,
from QuickBooks Pro to the gamut of Premier’s industry-specific versions.
NOTE  QuickBooks’ Accountant edition is designed to help professional accountants and bookkeepers deliver
services to their clients. It lets you run any QuickBooks edition (Pro or any of the Premier versions). It also lets
you review your clients’ data and easily correct mistakes you find, transfer an accountant’s copy to your client,
design financial statements and other documents, process payroll for clients, reconcile clients’ bank accounts,
calculate depreciation, prepare clients’ tax returns, and work on two company files at a time.
Here are the industries that have their own Premier editions:
• The General Business edition has Premier goodies like per-item price levels,
sales orders, and so on. It also has sales and expense forecasting, the Inventory
Center, more built-in reports than QuickBooks Pro, and a business-plan feature.
• The Contractor edition includes features near and dear to construction contractors’
hearts: job-cost and other contractor-specific reports, the ability to
set different billing rates by employee, and tools for managing change orders.
• Manufacturing & Wholesale is targeted at companies that manufacture products.
Its chart of accounts and menus are customized for manufacturing and
wholesale operations. You can use it to manage inventory assembled from
components and to track customer return merchandise authorizations (RMAs)
and damaged goods.
• If you run a nonprofit organization, you know that several things work differently
in the nonprofit world, as the box on page xxi details. The Nonprofit edition
of QuickBooks includes features such as a chart of accounts customized for
nonprofits, forms and letters targeted to donors and pledges, info about using
the program for nonprofits, and the ability to generate Statement of Functional
Expenses 990 forms.
• The Professional Services edition (not to be confused with QuickBooks Pro)
is designed for companies that deliver services to their clients. Unique features
include project-costing reports, templates for proposals and invoices, billing
rates that you can customize by client or employee, and professional service–
specific reports and help.
Introduction xxi
ACCOUNTING
BASICS: THE
IMPORTANT
STUFF • The Retail edition is customized for retail businesses. It includes specialized
menus, reports, forms, and help, as well as a custom chart of accounts. Intuit
offers companion products that you can integrate with this edition to support
all aspects of your retail operation. For example, QuickBooks’ Point of Sale
product tracks sales, customers, and inventory as you ring up purchases, and
it shoots that information over to your QuickBooks company file.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Nonprofit Dilemma
I’m doing the books for a tiny nonprofit corporation. I’d really
like to avoid spending any of our hard-raised funds on a special
edition of QuickBooks. Can’t I just use QuickBooks Pro?
You may be tempted to save some money by using QuickBooks
Pro instead of the more expensive QuickBooks Nonprofit edition,
and you can—if you’re willing to live with some limitations.
As long as funding comes primarily from unrestricted
sources, the Pro edition will work reasonably well. You’ll have
to accept using the term “customer” when you mean donor or
member, or the term “job” for grants you receive. Throughout
this book, you’ll find Notes and Tips about tracking nonprofit
finances with QuickBooks Pro or Premier (the General Business
edition—not the Nonprofit edition).
However, if you receive restricted funds or track funds by
program, if you use QuickBooks Pro, you’ll have to manually
post them to equity accounts and allocate them to accounts in
your chart of accounts, because the program doesn’t automatically
perform these staples of nonprofit accounting. Likewise,
QuickBooks Pro doesn’t generate all the reports you need to
satisfy your grant providers or the government, although
you can export reports (page 694) and then modify them
in a spreadsheet program. In that case, QuickBooks Premier
Nonprofit might be a real timesaver.
Accounting Basics: The Important Stuff
QuickBooks helps people who don’t have a degree in accounting handle most accounting
tasks. However, you’ll be more productive and have more accurate books
if you understand the following concepts and terms:
• Double-entry accounting. The standard method for tracking where your money
comes from and where it goes. Following the old saw that money doesn’t grow on
trees, money always comes from somewhere when you use double-entry accounting.
For example, as shown in Table I-1, when you sell something to a customer,
the money on your invoice comes in as income and goes into your Accounts
Receivable account. Then, when you deposit the payment, the money comes
out of the Accounts Receivable account and goes into your checking account.
(See Chapter 16 for more about double-entry accounting and journal entries.)
NOTE  Each side of a double-entry transaction is either a debit or a credit. As you can see in Table I-1, when
you sell products or services, you credit your income account (because your income increases when you sell
something), but debit the Accounts Receivable account (because selling something also increases how much
customers owe you). You’ll see examples throughout the book of how transactions translate to account debits
and credits.
xxii QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
ACCOUNTING
BASICS: THE
IMPORTANT
STUFF
TABLE I-1 Following the money through accounts
TRANSACTION ACCOUNT DEBIT CREDIT
Sell products or
services
Accounts Receivable $1,000
Sell products or
services
Service Income $1,000
Receive payment Checking Account $1,000
Receive payment Accounts Receivable $1,000
Pay for expense Office Supplies $500
Pay for expense Checking Account $500
• Chart of accounts. In bookkeeping, an account is a place to store money, just
like your real-world checking account is a place to store your ready cash. The
difference is that you need an account for each kind of income, expense, asset,
and liability you have. (See Chapter 3 to learn about all the different types of
accounts you might use.) The chart of accounts is simply a list of all the accounts
you use to keep track of your company’s money.
• Cash vs. accrual accounting. Cash and accrual are the two different ways
companies can document how much they make and spend. Cash accounting is
the choice of many small businesses because it’s easy: You don’t show income
until you’ve received a payment (regardless of when that happens), and you
don’t show expenses until you’ve paid your bills.
The accrual method, on the other hand, follows something known as the
matching principle, which matches revenue with the corresponding expenses.
This approach keeps income and expenses linked to the period in which they
happened, no matter when cash comes in or goes out. The advantage of this
method is that it provides a better picture of profitability because income and
its corresponding expenses appear in the same period. With accrual accounting,
you recognize income as soon as you record an invoice, even if you don’t
receive payment until the next fiscal year. And you recognize expenses as soon
as you record a bill, even if you don’t pay the bill until the next year.
• Financial reports. You need three reports to evaluate the health of your company
(they’re described in detail in Chapter 17):
• The income statement, which QuickBooks calls a Profit & Loss report (page
448), shows how much income you’ve brought in and how much you’ve
spent over a period of time. This QuickBooks report gets its name from
the difference between income and expenses, which results in your profit
(or loss) for that period.
• The balance sheet (page 455) is a snapshot of how much you own and how
much you owe. Assets are things you own that have value, such as buildings,
equipment, and brand names. Liabilities are the money you owe to others
Introduction xxiii
ABOUT THIS
BOOK
(like money you borrowed to buy one of your assets, say). The difference
between your assets and liabilities is the equity in the company—like the
equity you have in your house when the house is worth more than you owe
on the mortgage.
• The statement of cash flows (page 458) tells you how much hard cash you
have. You might think that a profit and loss report would tell you that, but
noncash transactions—such as depreciation—prevent it from doing so. The
statement of cash flows doesn’t include noncash transactions; it shows
only the money generated or spent operating the company, investing in
the company, or financing.
About This Book
QuickBooks Help provides a healthy dose of accounting background and troubleshooting
tips. If you don’t find the answer you need in the program’s “Have a
Question?” window (page 746), the Intuit Community—which lets you ask peers
and experts for answers (page 751)—or by searching with keywords, where do you
turn next?
This book provides lots of real-world examples, and you can search for topics in its
index. In addition, with this book, you can mark your place, underline key points, jot
notes in the margin, or read about QuickBooks while sitting in the sun—stuff that’s
hard to do when reading on a screen.
This book applies to the U.S. Windows version of QuickBooks Pro and Premier.
(Because the Mac version of the program differs significantly from the Windows
one, this book won’t be of much help if you have QuickBooks for Mac. For the same
reason, this book doesn’t cover QuickBooks Online. Versions for other countries
differ from the U.S. version, too, primarily in how you work with payroll and taxes.)
In these pages, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for using every QuickBooks
Pro feature, including progress invoicing (page 283), making journal entries (page
428), writing off losses (page 391), handling customer refunds (page 287), and so
on. If you’re just starting out with QuickBooks, read the first few chapters as you set
up your company file. (If you’re switching to QuickBooks from another accounting
program, Online Appendix I guides you through starting a new company file with
existing financial data.) After that, go ahead and jump from topic to topic depending
on the bookkeeping task at hand. As mentioned earlier, you’ll also learn about some
of the extra bells and whistles in the QuickBooks Premier edition. (All the features
in QuickBooks Pro—and in this book—are also in Premier.) To keep you productive,
this book evaluates features to help you figure out which ones are most useful and
when to use them.
xxiv QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
ABOUT THE
OUTLINE
NOTE  Although each version of QuickBooks introduces new features and enhancements, you can still use this
book if you’re using an earlier version. Of course, the older your version of the program, the more discrepancies
you’ll run across.
QuickBooks 2016: The Missing Manual is designed to accommodate readers at every
technical level. The primary discussions are written for people with beginner or
intermediate QuickBooks skills. If you’re using QuickBooks for the first time, read
the boxes titled “Up to Speed,” which provide the introductory info you need to
understand the current topic. On the other hand, people with advanced skills should
watch for similar boxes labeled “Power Users’ Clinic,” which include tips, tricks, and
shortcuts for more experienced QuickBooks wranglers.
About the Outline
This book is divided into five parts, each containing several chapters:
• Part One, Setting Up QuickBooks, explains how to set up QuickBooks based
on your organization’s needs. These chapters cover creating a company file and
setting up accounts, customers, jobs, vendors, invoice items, and other lists.
• Part Two, Bookkeeping, follows the money from the moment you rack up
time and expenses for your customers and add charges to a customer’s invoice
to the tasks you have to perform at the end of the year to satisfy the IRS
and other interested parties. These chapters describe how to track time and
expenses, pay for things you buy and other expenses, bill customers, manage
the money that customers owe you, manage your bank accounts, and perform
other bookkeeping tasks.
• Part Three, Managing Your Business, delves into the features that can help
you make your company a success—or even more successful than it already
is. These chapters explain how to keep track of the financial tasks you need to
perform, manage QuickBooks files, keep your inventory at just the right level,
work with sales tax, build budgets, and use QuickBooks reports to evaluate
every aspect of your enterprise.
• Part Four, QuickBooks Power, helps you take your copy of the program to
the next level. You’ll learn how to save time and prevent errors by downloading
transactions; boost your productivity by setting the program’s preferences to
match the way you like to work and integrating QuickBooks with other programs;
customize the program’s components to look the way you want; and—most
important—set up QuickBooks so your financial data is secure.
• Part Five, Appendixes, provides a guide to installing and upgrading QuickBooks
and a reference to helpful resources.
Introduction xxv
ABOUT→
THESE→
ARROWS
NOTE  You can find seven bonus appendixes online at this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals.
com/cds: Appendix C: Keyboard Shortcuts, Appendix D: Working with Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Services, Appendix
E: Using Intuit e-Invoicing, Appendix F: Tracking Time with the Standalone QuickBooks Pro Timer, Appendix G:
Advanced Form Customization, Appendix H: Working with Multiple Currencies, and Appendix I: Setting Up Existing
Records in a New Company File.
The Very Basics
To use this book (and QuickBooks), you need to know a few basics. This book assumes
that you’re familiar with the following terms and concepts:
• Clicking. This book includes instructions that require you to use your computer’s
mouse or trackpad. To click means to point your cursor (the arrow pointer)
at something on the screen and then—without moving the cursor—press and
release the left button on the mouse (or laptop trackpad). To right-click means
the same thing, but you press the right mouse button instead. (Clicking usually
selects an onscreen element or presses an onscreen button, whereas rightclicking
typically reveals a shortcut menu, which lists some common tasks
specific to whatever you right-clicked.) To double-click means to click the left
button twice in rapid succession, without moving the pointer. And to drag means
to move the cursor while holding down the left mouse button for the duration
of the time you’re moving the cursor.
When you’re told to Shift-click something, you click while pressing the Shift
key. Related procedures, like Ctrl-clicking, work the same way—just click while
pressing the specified key.
• Menus. The menus are the words at the top of your screen: File, Edit, and so
on. Click one to make a list of commands appear, as though they’re written on a
window shade you’ve just pulled down. Some people click to open a menu and
then release the mouse button; after reading the menu choices, they click the
option they want. Other people like to press the mouse button continuously as
they click the menu title and drag down the list to the desired command; only
then do they release the mouse button. Both methods work, so use whichever
you prefer.
• Keyboard shortcuts. Nothing is faster than keeping your fingers on your
keyboard to enter data, choose names, trigger commands, and so on—without
losing time by grabbing your mouse, carefully positioning it, and then choosing
a command or list entry. That’s why many experienced QuickBooks fans
use keyboard shortcuts to accomplish most tasks. In this book, when you read
an instruction like “Press Ctrl+A to open the Chart of Accounts window,” start
by pressing the Ctrl key; while still holding it down, type the letter A and then
release both keys.
xxvi QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
ABOUT THE
ONLINE
RESOURCES About→These→Arrows
Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you’ll find sentences
like this one: “Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Customer Type List.”
That’s shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to navigate three
nested menus in sequence, like this: “At the top of your screen, click the Lists menu.
On the Lists menu, point to the Customer & Vendor Profile Lists menu item. On the
submenu that appears, choose Customer Type List.” Figure I-1 shows the menus
this sequence opens.
Similarly, this arrow shorthand also simplifies the instructions for opening nested
folders, such as Program Files→QuickBooks→Export Files.
FIGURE I-1
Instead of filling pages
with long and hardto-follow
instructions
for navigating through
nested menus and
nested folders, the arrow
notation is concise and
just as informative.
For example, choosing
Lists→Customer
& Vendor Profile
Lists→Customer Type List
takes you to the menu
item shown here.
About the Online Resources
As the owner of a Missing Manual, you have more than just a book to read. Online,
you’ll find tips, articles, and additional content that helps you stay current with QuickBooks
changes that occur after this book is published. You can also communicate with
the Missing Manual team and tell us what you love (or hate) about the book. Head
over to missingmanuals, or go directly to one of the following sections.
Introduction xxvii
SAFARI® BOOKS
ONLINE Missing CD
This book doesn’t have a CD pasted inside the back cover, but you’re not missing
out on anything. Go to missingmanuals/cds and click the “Missing CDROM”
link for this book to download five additional appendixes. If Intuit releases
significant QuickBooks enhancements or new features after this book goes to print,
you’ll also be able to download files with the full scoop on those new offerings. And
so you don’t wear down your fingers typing long web addresses, the Missing CD
page offers a list of clickable links to the websites mentioned in this book.
Registration
If you register this book at oreilly, you’ll be eligible for special offers—like
discounts on future editions of QuickBooks: The Missing Manual. Registering takes
only a few clicks. To get started, type :oreilly/register into your browser
to hop directly to the Registration page.
Feedback
Got questions? Need more information? Fancy yourself a book reviewer? On our
Feedback page, you can get expert answers to questions that come to you while
reading, and you can share your thoughts on this book. To have your say, go to
missingmanuals/feedback.
Errata
In an effort to keep this book as up to date and accurate as possible, each time we
print more copies, we’ll make any confirmed corrections you’ve suggested. We also
note such changes on the book’s website, so you can mark important corrections
into your own copy of the book, if you like. Go to :tinyurl/QB16errata to
report an error or view existing corrections.
Safari® Books Online
Safari® Books Online (:safaribooksonline) is an on-demand digital library
that lets you easily search over 7,500 technology and creative reference books and
videos to find the answers you need quickly.
With a subscription, you can read any page and watch any video from our library
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and benefit from tons of other time-saving features.

Setting Up QuickBooks
PART
1
CHAPTER 1:
Creating a Company File
CHAPTER 2:
Getting Around in QuickBooks
CHAPTER 3:
Setting Up a Chart of Accounts
CHAPTER 4:
Setting Up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors
CHAPTER 5:
Setting Up Items
CHAPTER 6:
Data Entry Shortcuts for Lists
CHAPTER 7:
Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists

3
CHAPTER
1
A company file is where you store your company’s financial records in QuickBooks,
so it’s the first thing you need to work on in the program. You can
create a company file from scratch or convert records that you previously
kept in a different small-business accounting program, Quicken, or even another
edition of QuickBooks like QuickBooks for Mac.
If you’re new to bookkeeping, another approach is to use a file that someone else
created. For example, if you’ve worked with an accountant to set up your company,
she might provide you with a QuickBooks company file already configured for your
business so you can hit the ground running.
This chapter begins by explaining how to launch your copy of QuickBooks. Then, if
you need to create your company file yourself, you’ll learn how to use the QuickBooks
Setup dialog box or the EasyStep Interview to get started (and find out which other
chapters explain how to finish the job). If you’re converting your records from another
program, this chapter provides some hints for making the transition as smooth as
possible. Finally, you’ll learn how to open a company file, update one to a new version
of QuickBooks, and modify basic company information.
Opening QuickBooks
Here are the easiest ways to open QuickBooks:
• Desktop icon.Double-click the desktop shortcut that QuickBooks created
during installation.
Creating a Company File
4 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
OPENING
QUICKBOOKS • Windows taskbar. The fastest way to open QuickBooks is to click its icon on
the Windows taskbar, shown in Figure 1-1—but first you have to put it there.
To do that in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, right-click the QuickBooks desktop
icon and then, on the shortcut menu that appears, choose “Pin to Taskbar.” If
you’re still using Windows 8 (not 8.1), pinning the QuickBooks desktop icon to
the taskbar takes a few more steps: Point the cursor at the screen’s upper-right
corner to display the Charms menu, click the Search icon (the magnifying glass),
type quickbooks in the Search box, and then press Enter. When you see the
QuickBooks icon, right-click it, and then choose “Pin to Taskbar.”
FIGURE 1-1
Windows’ taskbar keeps your favorite icons near at hand. The taskbar
is easy to reach, because program windows don’t hide it the way they
do desktop shortcuts. You can rename desktop icons, as was done
here. To do that, right-click the icon, and then, on the shortcut menu,
choose Rename. Type the label you want to use, and then press Enter.
• Start menu. You can also launch QuickBooks from the Start menu. In Windows
7, click Start→QuickBooks Pro 2016 (or QuickBooks Premier 2016).
If QuickBooks isn’t already listed in the Start menu, choose Start→All
Programs→QuickBooks→QuickBooks Pro 2016 (or QuickBooks Premier 2016).
In Windows 8, point the cursor at the screen’s upper-right corner to display the
Charms menu, click Start, and then click the QuickBooks icon on the screen’s
right. And in Windows 8.1, you can right-click the QuickBooks desktop icon and
choose “Pin to Start.”
The first time you launch QuickBooks, you’re greeted by the QuickBooks Setup dialog
box, whose sole purpose is to help you create a company file in one way or another.
The rest of this chapter explains how to create a company file, and then how to
open company files you create. After that, you’ll be ready to dive into bookkeeping.
NOTE  After you create your company file and set up accounts, vendors, customers, and other QuickBooks
lists, your setup is almost complete. Online Appendix I, “Setting Up Existing Records in a New Company File,”
guides you through the rest of the steps for setting up your financial records: defining account opening balances,
entering open transactions like unpaid bills and invoices, recording year-to-date income and expenses, verifying
your records, and so on. Download Appendix I from this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/
cds.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 5
CHOOSING A Choosing a Start Date START DATE
To keep your entire financial history at your fingertips, you need to put every transaction
and speck of financial information in your QuickBooks company file. But you have
better things to do than enter years’ worth of checks, invoices, and deposits, so the
comprehensive approach is practical only if you just recently started your company.
The more realistic approach is to enter your financial data into QuickBooks starting
as of a specific date and, from then on, add all new transactions to QuickBooks.
The date you choose is called the start date. (The start date isn’t something that
you enter in a field in QuickBooks; it’s simply the earliest transaction date in your
company file.) You should choose it carefully. Here are your start date options and
the ramifications of each one:
• The day you start your company. If you just started your business, the startdate
decision is easy: it’s the day you start your company.
• The last day of the previous fiscal year. If your business has been running
for a while, the best approach is to fill in your records for the entire current
fiscal year. To do that, use the last day of your company’s previous fiscal year
(or December 31, if you use the calendar year) as the company file’s start date.
That way, the account balances on your start date are like the ending balances
on a bank statement, and you’re ready to start bookkeeping fresh on the first
day of the fiscal year.
Yes, you have to enter checks, credit card charges, invoices, payments, and
other transactions that have happened since the beginning of your fiscal year
(see online Appendix I available from this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds), but that won’t take as much time as you think. And
you’ll regain those hours when tax time rolls around, as you nimbly generate
the reports you need to complete your tax returns.
If more than half of your fiscal year has already passed, the best approach is
to be patient and postpone your QuickBooks setup until the next fiscal year.
(Intuit releases new versions of QuickBooks in October or November each year
for just that reason.) But waiting isn’t always feasible. In cases like that, go with
the next option in this list.
• The last day of the previous fiscal period. The next best start date is the last
day of the previous fiscal quarter (or fiscal month, at the very least). Because
your company file won’t contain a full year’s worth of detail if you go this route,
you might have to switch between QuickBooks and your old filing cabinets to
prepare your tax returns and look up financial information.
6 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE Creating a Company File
Keeping books requires accuracy, attention to detail, and persistence—hence the
customary image of spectacled accountants scanning row after row of numbers.
QuickBooks can help you keep your books without ruining your eyesight—as long
as you start your company file with good information. If you want to practice with
QuickBooks, you can experiment with a sample file, as the box below explains.
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Experimenting with a Sample File
You don’t have to use your real company file to test out QuickBooks
features you’ve never used. The program comes with a
couple of sample files: one for a basic product-based business,
and one for a basic service-based business. And if you have
QuickBooks Premier, you can experiment with several other
sample files for more specialized pursuits like contracting,
consulting, manufacturing, and so on.
To experiment with QuickBooks features before you put them
into production, in the No Company Open window, click “Open a
sample file,” and then choose the one you want. (To display the
No Company Open window, you have to close any open company
files by choosing File→Close Company [or File→Close
Company/Logoff if there’s more than one user set up for the
file]. If the QuickBooks Setup dialog box is open, close it, too.)
Don’t try to use one of these sample files as your actual
company file. They come with accounts, customers, vendors,
and transactions (such as checks, invoices, and purchase
orders). Besides, QuickBooks sets “today’s” date in these
files to 12/15/2020 which makes transactions later than you
or your vendors would like (although you can edit the values
in date boxes).
QuickBooks makes it easy to create a company file from scratch. (The box on page 7
tells you how to find someone who can help you create one.) You can opt for a short
and sweet process, which asks you for the bare minimum of info before it creates
your file. Or you can use a wizard that guides you through the process with a series
of questions that takes about 15 minutes to answer. The questions cover the basics
of creating and customizing a company file to fit your business. QuickBooks needs
to know some company information, the industry you’re in, and the features you
want to use. The program then sets your preferences and creates a few accounts
(like basic income and expense accounts and your checking account). The box on
page 16 lists additional setup tasks you need to perform to flesh out your company
file—and where in this book to learn more about those tasks.
Options for Creating a Company File
You can create a company file in several ways, and the QuickBooks Setup dialog
box—which opens automatically the very first time you start QuickBooks—is your
ticket to all of them. If you don’t see this dialog box, choose File→New Company (or
click “Create a new company” in the No Company Open window). The dialog box
takes up most of the screen, so you can stay focused on creating your company file.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 7
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
UP TO SPEED
Getting Help Creating a New Company File
The proud owners of brand-new businesses face a dilemma:
They have more important things to do than muddle through
setting up company files in QuickBooks, but money is usually
as short as free time. If you don’t know much about bookkeeping
or accounting, a few hours of an accountant’s time
is a worthwhile investment when you’re getting started in
QuickBooks. You’ll not only save untold hours, but you’ll
also know that your books are set up properly. Accountants
well versed in QuickBooks can create a flawless company file
without breaking a sweat.
If you plan to do without an accountant but you want some help
setting up your company file, you can choose Help→Find A
Local QuickBooks Expert. By answering a few questions on the
Intuit QuickBooks Find-a-ProAdvisor website (:tinyurl.
com/find-qbadvisor), you can locate someone in your area
who can help you get started.
The three basic approaches to creating a company file are covered by the QuickBooks
Setup dialog box’s two buttons:
• Start Setup. This button is in pole position because it’s the best option if this is
your first time creating a company file. If you go this route, QuickBooks launches
QuickBooks Setup and asks for a few bits of info at a time before moving to each
new screen. If you stop filling in information before QuickBooks creates your
company file, the program won’t save any of the values you entered. So make
sure you have at least 15 minutes to complete the first set of steps. Instructions
for the basic setup begin on page 8.
• Advanced Setup. If you’ve been around the QuickBooks block before, click
the Other Options button and then choose this entry to launch the EasyStep
Interview window, which asks for more information on each screen than the
Start Setup approach does. If you need help during the process, you can always
click the “Get answers” link at the top right of the window. You can also use
Advanced Setup to go back and modify info you entered previously, whether
you entered it using QuickBooks Setup or the EasyStep Interview. (The instructions
for the EasyStep Interview begin on page 9.)
• Other Options. The other entries on this button’s drop-down menu cover the
rest of the bases. You can use it to open an existing company file or convert
existing records that are in Quicken or another accounting program (page 16)
for use in QuickBooks.
NOTE  If you use QuickBooks Accountant edition, you can create a company file from an existing file by
choosing File→“New Company from Existing Company File.”
Whether you use QuickBooks Setup or the EasyStep Interview, you tell QuickBooks
the basic 411 about your company, such as its name and tax ID. (If any of the fields
confuse you, try clicking the “Help me choose” links or help icons (a white question
8 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
mark within a blue circle) to the right of the text boxes in the QuickBooks Setup dialog
box, or the “Get answers” link in the upper-right corner of the EasyStep Interview
window.) The next section has the full scoop on the information you need to provide.
Using QuickBooks Setup
When you click Start Setup in the QuickBooks Setup dialog box, the program gets
you going as quickly as possible by asking for the minimum amount of info (you
can fill in the details later). To use it, choose File→New Company and then, in the
QuickBooks Setup dialog box, click Start Setup. The “Glad you’re here!” screen
appears, and you can begin entering info. This section explains what the program
needs to know to create your company file.
On the “Glad you’re here!” screen, shown in Figure 1-2, you need to cough up only a
handful of answers, but these responses are the foundation of many of the preferences
that QuickBooks sets:
• Business Name. Type the name you want to appear on invoices, reports, and
other forms. (QuickBooks also uses the name you type here to name your
company file.) Later on, you can specify your company’s legal name (page 22).
• Industry. Start typing your industry in this box (as shown in Figure 1-2) and
see if QuickBooks finds a match. If not, to the right of this field, click “Help me
choose” to see all your options. If you don’t see an obvious choice in the Industry
list, scroll to the bottom and choose either General Product-based Business or
General Service-based Business.
FIGURE 1-2
QuickBooks’ list of industries
is robust, so chances
are good you’ll find one
that’s close to what your
company does. You can
start typing an industry
like cater, and the
program displays options
that match what you’ve
typed so far, such as the
industry “Restaurant,
Caterer, or Bar” shown
here. Or you can click the
“Help me choose” link to
see all the industries the
program offers.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 9
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
Choose your industry carefully. QuickBooks adjusts its preferences and chart
of accounts based on your choice to match how your business operates. For
example, the program creates income and expense accounts for your type
of business and automatically turns on features like sales tax and inventory if
your industry typically uses them. If QuickBooks makes assumptions you don’t
like, you can alter your preferences (Chapter 25) and accounts (page 47) later.
• Business Type. The tax form you use depends on the type of business entity
you have. This drop-down list contains the most common types, from sole
proprietorships and partnerships to corporations and nonprofits. When you
select a type, QuickBooks assigns the corresponding tax form to your company
file. After you finish creating your company file, you can see the tax form the
program selected by choosing Company→My Company, which brings up the
dialog box shown in Figure 1-7 (page 22). The Income Tax Form Used box at the
bottom of that dialog box lists the tax form for your company type.
• Employer Identification Number (EIN). This box is for the federal tax ID
number you use when you file taxes. You don’t have to enter it now, but you’ll
need it come tax time. You’ll use a federal EIN if your company is a corporation
or partnership, you have employees, or fit a few other criteria (go to irs.
gov to see if you need an EIN). Otherwise, your tax ID is your Social Security
number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).
The Business Name, Industry, and Business Type boxes are the only ones that QuickBooks
requires. After you fill them in, the Create Company button becomes active.
However, you might as well fill in the remaining boxes with your business address
and telephone number.
Click Create Company to open the QuickSetup dialog box, and then navigate to the
folder where you want to save your file. QuickBooks automatically fills in the “File
name” box with the business name you typed and sets the “Save as type” box to
QuickBooks Files (*.QBW, *.QBA). Click Save to create your company file. A Working
message box appears to show QuickBooks’ progress in creating your file; you’ll
know it’s finished when the “You’re all set!” screen appears. Click the Start Working
button at the bottom right to open the file in QuickBooks.
Using the EasyStep Interview
The EasyStep Interview also guides you through the setup process, but it gives you
more control over setting up your company file than QuickBooks Setup’s basic approach
does. For example, you can provide more info about your company up front
and choose which features to turn on.
To access the EasyStep Interview, choose File→New Company and then, in the
QuickBooks Setup dialog box, click the Other Options button, and then, from the
drop-down menu, choose Advanced Setup. The “Enter your company information”
10 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
screen appears. As you enter the following info, click Next to proceed to each new
screen:
• Name and contact info. The first screen wants to know the name of your company,
its legal name, its tax ID, and your contact info. The “Company name”
field is the only one that’s required—you can fill in the other fields later on as
described on page 21.
• Industry. On the “Select your industry” screen, choose the industry closest to
yours. That way, most of the settings the program chooses will be what you want.
• Type of company. On the “How is your company organized?” screen, select the
option for your business type. This setting determines which tax form, accounts,
and tax form lines you’ll use to prepare your business tax return.
• First month of fiscal year. When you start a company, you choose a fiscal
year. On the “Select the first month of your fiscal year” screen, QuickBooks
automatically sets the “My fiscal year starts in” box to January because so many
businesses stick with the calendar year for simplicity. If you start your fiscal year
in another month, choose it from the drop-down list.
• Administrator password. The administrator can do absolutely anything in your
company file: set up other users, log in as other users, and access any area of
the company file. Although QuickBooks lets you click Next and skip right past
the “Set up your administrator password” screen, this is no time for shortcuts,
as the box below explains. Type the password you want to use in both the
“Administrator password” and “Retype password” boxes, and then keep the
password in a safe but memorable place. (Page 724 explains how to change
the administrator name and password.)
UP TO SPEED
Safe Login Practices
Don’t even think about having everyone who works with a
company file share one login. You don’t want everyone to
have access to payroll data, and you wouldn’t know which
person to fire if you found any less-than-legal transactions
in the file. Even if you run a small business from home, an
administrator password prevents the chimney sweep from
swiping your business credit card number. Chapter 28 has
much more about keeping your QuickBooks files secure, but
here are some password basics:
• Choose a password that’s at least eight characters long
and is a combination of letters and numbers.
• Passwords are case sensitive, so make sure that Caps Lock
isn’t turned on by mistake.
• Type the password in both the “Administrator password”
and “Retype password” boxes. If you copy and paste the
password from one box to the other, you could copy a typo
and not be able to open the company file you just created.
If you forget the administrator login and password or lose the
piece of paper they’re written on, you won’t be able to open
your company file without some fancy footwork, so keep a
record of them someplace safe. If you’ve tried everything and
your administrator password is still missing in action, see page
726 to learn how to reset it.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 11
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
CREATING YOUR COMPANY FILE
After you set the administrator password and click Next, the “Create your company
file” screen appears. (If you’re new to QuickBooks, click the “Where should I save
my company file?” link, which opens a Help Article dialog box that explains the pros
and cons of storing company files in different places.)
When you’re ready to create the file, on the “Create your company file” screen,
click Next to wrap up the creation process by specifying the filename and location.
QuickBooks opens the “Filename for New Company” dialog box, which is really just
a Save As dialog box. Navigate to the folder where you want to store your company
file. QuickBooks automatically sets the “File name” box to the company name you
entered, and the “Save as type” box to “QuickBooks Files (*.QBW, *.QBA).” Here are
some guidelines for naming and saving your company file:
• If you want to call the file something other than the company name you entered
earlier in the interview, simply type a new name in the “File name” box. For example,
you may want one that’s shorter or that better identifies the company’s
records within.
• Consider storing your company file in a folder with the rest of your company
data so that it gets backed up along with everything else. For example, if you’re
the only person who uses QuickBooks, you could create a Company Files folder
inside your Documents folder. See page 747 for more about choosing a location
for company files.
When you click Save in the “Filename for New Company” dialog box, QuickBooks
may take a minute or so to create the new file. In the meantime, a message box
with a progress bar appears. When the company file is ready, the “Customizing
QuickBooks for your business” screen appears. Click Next to dig in.
TIP  At this point, the progress bar in the left margin of the EasyStep Interview window is depressingly short
because you still have to do the bulk of the company file setup. If you need a break before continuing, at the
bottom of the window, click Leave. The next time you open that company file, the EasyStep Interview continues
where you left off.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR COMPANY FILE
Click Next on the “Customizing QuickBooks for your business screen” to see a series
of EasyStep Interview screens that ask questions about your business. Your answers
to these questions help QuickBooks decide which features to turn on, what to include
on your Home Page, and so on. The interview displays “(recommended for
your business)” next to the options that are typical for a company in your industry,
as shown in Figure 1-3.
12 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
FIGURE 1-3
The EasyStep Interview
sticks to the basics, so
you’ll have more setup
to do later. As you step
through the screens in
this section, make a list
of the features you’re
turning on (and the
corresponding page
numbers in this book) for
reference. If you decide
to change any of these
settings later, Chapter 25
tells you how.
Here are some guidelines for answering the questions on the various screens:
• The What do you sell? screen is where you tell QuickBooks whether you offer
services, products, or both. When you choose one of these options, the program
figures out which types of income accounts you need. If you select “Products
only” or “Both services and products,” another screen later in the interview asks
whether you want to track inventory.
• The Do you charge sales tax? screen has only two options: Yes and No. If you’re
one of the unfortunate souls who has to navigate the rocky shoals of sales tax,
select Yes. If you don’t charge sales tax, select No. For detailed instructions on
dealing with sales tax in QuickBooks, see Chapter 21.
• On the Do you want to create estimates in QuickBooks? screen, choose Yes or
No to turn the estimate feature on or off. If you prepare quotes, bids, or estimates
for your customers and want to do so in QuickBooks (page 277), select Yes.
NOTE  If you use QuickBooks Premier, the “Tracking customer orders in QuickBooks” screen appears, asking
whether you want to use sales orders to track backorders (page 260) or other orders that you plan to fill at a later
date. QuickBooks Pro doesn’t include sales orders.
• The Using statements in QuickBooks screen is where you tell the program
whether you generate statements to send to customers (page 295). For example,
your wine-of-the-month club might send monthly statements to its members.
Or if you’re a consultant, you could send invoices for work performed and then
send a statement that summarizes the fees, payments, and outstanding balance.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 13
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE • The Using invoices in QuickBooks screen appears only if you chose No on the
“Do you want to create estimates in QuickBooks?” screen. (If you chose Yes on
that screen, QuickBooks automatically turns on the invoicing feature.) Select
Yes to tell the program that you want to use invoices, which you probably do
because invoices are the most flexible sales forms (page 218). If you answer No
(if, for example, you own a restaurant), QuickBooks jumps to the “Managing
bills you owe” screen.
• If you answer Yes on the “Using invoices in QuickBooks” screen, the Using
progress invoicing screen asks whether you invoice customers based on the
percentage you’ve completed on a job. See page 283 to learn why (and how)
you might use this feature.
• The Managing bills you owe screen asks whether you plan to write checks
to pay bills immediately (select No) or enter bills in QuickBooks and then pay
them later (select Yes). You can read about bill preferences on page 644 and
payment preferences on page 662.
TIP  Entering bills in QuickBooks (page 182) requires more steps than simply writing checks without entering
the bills in QuickBooks, but there’s a benefit to the extra effort: The program can remind you when bills are due
or qualify for timely payment discounts, and it can keep track of the total you owe.
• The Tracking inventory in QuickBooks screen is where you tell the program
whether you keep track of the products you have in stock. This screen provides
a few examples of when to track or bypass inventory, and page 96 has info
about how to decide whether tracking inventory makes sense for your business.
• Tracking time in QuickBooks is ideal if you bill by the hour or pay people based
on the number of hours they work. In that case, select Yes on this screen to track
the hours people work and create invoices for their time. Chapter 8 explains
how to set up time tracking.
• The Do you have employees? screen is where you specify whether you want
to use QuickBooks’ payroll and 1099 features. If you do, select Yes and turn on
the appropriate checkbox(es). If you use non-Intuit services to run payroll or to
generate contractors’ 1099s, select No.
When you click Next on the “Do you have employees?” screen, you see the “Using
accounts in QuickBooks” screen, and the progress bar indicates that you’re almost
done with the interview. Click Next to set these final options:
• The Select a date to start tracking your finances screen summarizes what
you learned about start dates on page 5. To start at the beginning of this fiscal
year (which QuickBooks can figure out using the current calendar year and the
starting month you select), choose the “Beginning of this fiscal year: 01/01/15”
option. (The year you see listed depends on the current calendar year.) If you’ve
decided to start on a different date, select the “Use today’s date or the first day
of the quarter or month” option instead. You can then type or choose any date
you want in the box, such as the last day of the previous fiscal period.
14 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE • The Review income and expense accounts screen (Figure 1-4) lists the accounts
typically used by companies in your industry.
FIGURE 1-4
QuickBooks places a
checkmark in front of the
accounts that are typical
for your industry. Click
an empty checkmark
cell to add an account
that the program didn’t
select, or click a cell with
a checkmark to turn that
account off. You can also
drag your cursor over
checkmark cells to turn
several accounts on or off.
When you click Next, you see a bright orange—but premature—“Congratulations!”
You still have a few more steps to complete before you can open your company file.
Click “Go to Setup,” and then read the next section.
Adding Details to Your Company File
After you create your company file with the EasyStep Interview, you’ll see the “Get
all the details into QuickBooks” screen, which is where you can perform additional
steps, such as adding people you do business with, items you sell, and bank accounts.
If you want to dive into your work without QuickBooks’ help on these steps, at the
bottom right of the window, click Start Working and jump to page 25. If you want
step-by-step guidance through these processes, click the Add buttons in these
sections (if your lists already contain people and items, you’ll see Add More buttons
instead):
• Add the people you do business with. Adding these folks is a snap. Click the
first Add button, and then you can import names from your email program
(Outlook, Yahoo, or Gmail), paste data from an Excel workbook, or enter info
manually. If you select one of the import options and then click Continue, you’ll
see a table with the names from your email program, as shown in Figure 1-5.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 15
CREATING A
COMPANY FILE
FIGURE 1-5
Initially, QuickBooks
selects the Skip option
(the far-left column) for
all the names. That way,
you can select the option
in the Customer, Vendor,
or Employee column for
each name you want
to import to designate
whether it’s a customer,
vendor, or employee. You
can also select a cell with
info in it (like a name or
an email address) to edit
the info within it.
• Add the products and services you sell. When you click the Add (or Add More)
button in this section, you first choose either the Service or “Non-inventory
part” option, because you fill in different fields for each type of item. Select the
Service option to set up services you sell or the “Non-inventory part” option
to create products you sell (see page 95 to learn about products you keep in
inventory), and then click Continue. Fill in the names, description, and prices,
and then click Continue again to save your items.
• Add your bank accounts. For bank accounts, you fill in the account name, account
number, opening balance, and opening balance date.
TIP  If you’re in the middle of entering names, products and services, or bank accounts and want to get
back to the “Get all the details into QuickBooks” screen, click Cancel. You can return to this screen at any time by
choosing Company→Bulk Enter Business Details.
Whether you finish or skip these additional steps, click Start Working to jump to
the Home Page, which includes icons for the features that QuickBooks turned on
during setup.
16 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CONVERTING
FROM
ANOTHER
PROGRAM TO
QUICKBOOKS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
What’s Next?
Now that I’ve created my company file, what do I do next?
Whether you used QuickBooks Setup’s basic approach or the
EasyStep Interview, quite a bit of the setup process is complete—but
you aren’t quite done. If you need guidance for the
rest, look no further than the book in your hands. Here are the
ways you can flesh out your company file:
• Set up your users and passwords: See page 728.
• Review and/or change the preferences that QuickBooks
set: See Chapter 25.
• Set up or edit the accounts in your chart of accounts: If
you haven’t set up all your accounts yet, you can create
them now. See page 47.
• Create items for the products and services you sell: See
Chapter 5.
• Define accounts’ opening balances and enter year-to-date
records: Online Appendix I describes how to get your
financial records jump-started; download it from this
book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds.
Page 438 explains how to record your initial contribution
of cash or assets to your company.
• Set up sales tax: See Chapter 21.
• Set up 1099 tracking: See page 472.
• Sign up for Intuit QuickBooks Payroll Service: See online
Appendix D.
Converting from Another Program to
QuickBooks
If you launched your small business from your basement and kept your records with
Quicken Home & Business, your accountant has probably recommended that you
make the leap to QuickBooks. Or maybe you used another accounting program like
Peachtree or Small Business Accounting and have decided to move to QuickBooks.
Or perhaps you’re switching from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks for Windows.
Whatever your situation, this section tells you how to prep your file for a smooth
conversion and bring it over into QuickBooks for Windows.
Converting from Quicken Home & Business
Quicken doesn’t report your business performance in the way that most accountants
want to see, nor does it store your business transactions the way QuickBooks does.
Bottom line: You have to prep your Quicken file before you convert it to QuickBooks.
CLEANING UP YOUR QUICKEN FILE
To make the conversion proceed as smoothly as possible, some cleanup of your
Quicken file is in order. For example, record overdue scheduled transactions and
send online payments before you convert your Quicken file. Also, in Quicken, delete
accounts you no longer need, because after they’re in QuickBooks, you can’t
delete them if they contain any transactions. And make sure that customer names
are consistent and unique.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 17
CONVERTING
FROM
ANOTHER
PROGRAM TO
QUICKBOOKS
QuickBooks doesn’t support repeating online payments, so you also have to tell
Quicken to delete any repeating online payments you’ve set up. In addition, you
need complete reports of your past payrolls because Quicken payroll transactions
don’t convert to QuickBooks.
Intuit publishes a detailed guide to help you prepare for a Quicken conversion. Go
to :tinyurl/pu6vntq and follow the instructions there.
CONVERTING YOUR QUICKEN FILE
When your Quicken file is ready for conversion to QuickBooks, you have two options
in QuickBooks:
• Choose File→New Company. In the QuickBooks Setup dialog box, click Other
Options, and then choose Convert Quicken Data.
• Choose File→Utilities→Convert→From Quicken.
NOTE  If you cleaned up your Quicken file but you run into conversion problems in QuickBooks, check the
QuickBooks company file for errors by choosing File→Utilities→Verify Data, as described on page 511. Another
potential solution is to remove transactions prior to the current fiscal year in Quicken before converting the file.
FINE-TUNING YOUR CONVERTED QUICKEN DATA
Now that your Quicken data is resting comfortably in a QuickBooks file, you might
think you’re ready to begin using QuickBooks. However, there are some postconversion
steps you should take to get your newly minted company file into shape:
• Enter your company information in QuickBooks. Info like your company’s
legal name and address, federal Employer Identification Number, and business
type don’t come over with your Quicken data. See page 21 to learn how to add
them to your company file.
• Set up your bank feeds in QuickBooks. Page 619 tells you how to get your
QuickBooks bank accounts and your real-world bank accounts talking.
• Change Quicken names to QuickBooks customers, vendors, and employees.
When you convert from Quicken to QuickBooks, QuickBooks adds all the
converted names to its Other Names List. See page 142 to learn how to move
these names to other lists.
TIP  If your Quicken data file has tons of names, an easy way to convert them is to export them to a spreadsheet
and then import them using QuickBooks’ Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature (page 118).
• Set up Accounts Payable in QuickBooks. If your Quicken file contained unpaid
bills, simply write checks (page 202) to pay them in QuickBooks. After your
vendor balances are zero, you’re ready to enter new bills in QuickBooks. When
you record your first bill, the program automatically adds a new account called
Accounts Payable to your chart of accounts.
18 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
OPENING AN
EXISTING
COMPANY FILE Converting from QuickBooks for Mac
Moving a file from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks for Windows is mainly about
getting the file into a QuickBooks for Windows format. To do that, simply create a
backup of the file in QuickBooks for Mac, and then restore that backup (page 505)
in QuickBooks for Windows.
Converting from a Non-Intuit Program
To convert files created in other accounting programs, like Peachtree or Small Business
Accounting, you have to download a conversion tool from the Intuit website.
In QuickBooks, choose File→Utilities→Convert, and then choose the program you
want to convert from. In the browser window that opens, scroll down to the “Are
you ready to convert your data?” section, click the “Convert from Peachtree, Microsoft
SBA, & Microsoft Office Accounting” link, and then click the Download button
that appears. In the File Download dialog box that opens, click Save to download
QuickBooksConversionToolSetup.exe to your computer.
Opening an Existing Company File
After you’ve opened a company file in one QuickBooks session, the next time you
launch the program, it automatically opens that same company file. If you keep the
books for only one company, you might never have to manually open a QuickBooks
company file again.
But if you’re an irrepressible entrepreneur or a bookkeeper who works on several
companies’ books, you can open another company file in QuickBooks anytime, and
the program automatically closes the previous one. Because QuickBooks stores
data in a database, you don’t have to save a company file before you close it. (And
if you use QuickBooks Accountant edition, you can have two company files open
at the same time, as the Tip that follows explains.) The following sections describe
the different ways to open a company file.
TIP  With QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Enterprise, you can have two company files open at the
same time, although the second file that you open has some restrictions. (To learn about these restrictions, search
QuickBooks Help for “second company.”) To open a second company file, choose File→Open Second Company,
and your computer launches a new instance of QuickBooks. In the new window, double-click the name of the
file you want to open. The second company file opens with the text “(Secondary)” after the company name in
the title bar of the QuickBooks window. (In the first QuickBooks window, the text “(Primary)” appears after the
company name.)
Opening a Recently Opened Company File
If you work on more than one company file, you may frequently switch between
them. The easiest way to open a recent file is to choose File→Open Previous Company,
and then choose the file you want to open, as shown in Figure 1-6. If the Open
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 19
OPENING AN
EXISTING
COMPANY FILE
Previous Company submenu doesn’t list the file you want, follow the steps in the
next section instead.
FIGURE 1-6
To open a company
file you’ve worked on
recently, click it in the
Open Previous Company
submenu.
If the No Company Open
window (not shown
here) is visible, you
can open a recent file
by double-clicking its
filename in that window’s
list. (Opening a sample
file is the only task the No
Company Open window
performs that you can’t
also perform via the File
menu.)
Opening Any Company File
Sometimes, a company file you want to open falls off the recent-file list. (The box on
page 20 explains how to tell QuickBooks how many files to include on the File→Open
Previous Company submenu.) Say your bookkeeping business is booming and you
work on dozens of company files every month. Or maybe you want to update a file
from a previous version of QuickBooks (see the box on page 21). Here’s how to open
any company file, no matter how long it’s been since you last used it:
1. Choose File→“Open or Restore Company.”
If the No Company Open window is visible, you can click “Open or restore an
existing company” instead.
2. In the “Open or Restore Company” dialog box, select the “Open a company
file” option, and then click Next.
QuickBooks closes your current company file and then opens the “Open a
Company” dialog box.
3. Navigate to the folder with the company file you want and double-click
the file’s name.
You can also click the filename and then click Open.
20 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
OPENING AN
EXISTING
COMPANY FILE
4. If the QuickBooks Login window appears (which it will if you’ve assigned a
password to the Administrator user account or set up multiple users), type
your user name and password.
If the Administrator is the only user, the Password box is the only one that appears.
But if you have more than one user for the company file, both the User
Name and Password boxes appear.
5. Click OK.
QuickBooks opens the company file, and you’re ready to keep the books.
NOTE  Backup files are the answer to the adrenaline rush you get when you do something dumb with your
company file, when your hard drive crashes, or when a plume of smoke wafts up from your computer. To learn
how to create or restore backup files, see pages 495 or 505, respectively.
ORGANIZATION STATION
Fast Access to Several Companies
If you work on several sets of company books at the same time,
choosing File→Open Previous Company is the quickest way to
hop between company files.
Out of the box, QuickBooks lists up to 20 companies on this
submenu (it lists them starting with the most recent). If you
work with fewer companies, the submenu may have company
files that you’d rather forget. You can change the number of
companies QuickBooks lists on this submenu to match the number
of companies you work with. With a clever workaround,
you can also clear out old entries that you don’t want to see.
Here’s how to change the number of companies on the Open
Previous Company submenu:
1. Make sure you have a company file open, and then choose
File→Open Previous Company→“Set number of previous
companies.”
2. In the “Set Number of Previous Companies” dialog box,
type the maximum number of companies you want to see
on the submenu, and then click OK.
3. To clear old entries off the menu, change the number of
entries to 1, and then click OK. After you do so, QuickBooks
lists only the most recent company file, clearing all the
others off the list.
4. If you want to see more than one company, reset the number
of entries again, this time to a higher number. Now, when
you open another company file, it will appear on the list.
Opening a Portable Company File
A portable file is a special type of file that makes QuickBooks company files compact
so you can email them more easily. These files take up less space because they don’t
contain other files related to your company file, like letters, templates, logos, and
images. A portable file also doesn’t contain a transaction log (.tlg file), which Intuit
Technical Support can use to restore transactions if your file is damaged in some way.
Opening a portable file is similar to opening a regular company file:
1. Choose File→“Open or Restore Company.”
The “Open or Restore Company” dialog box opens.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 21
MODIFYING
COMPANY INFO
2. Select the “Restore a portable file” option, and then click Next.
The Open Portable Company File dialog box opens. QuickBooks automatically
sets the “Files of type” box to “QuickBooks Portable Company Files (*.QBM).”
3. Navigate to the folder with the portable file and double-click its filename.
QuickBooks opens the file.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Updating a QuickBooks File
How do I update a company file to the newest version of
QuickBooks?
If you’ve used a previous version of QuickBooks, your company
file is set up to work with that version. When you upgrade to
QuickBooks 2016, the program has to make some changes to
your company file.
After you update a company file, your coworkers won’t be able
to open it until you install QuickBooks 2016 on their computers.
So to prevent work disruptions, plan to upgrade all copies of
QuickBooks and the company file during downtime.
Fortunately, updating a company file is easy: All you have to
do is open it in the new version of QuickBooks and follow the
onscreen instructions. Here are the steps:
1. In your new version of QuickBooks, choose File→“Open
or Restore Company.”
2. In the “Open or Restore Company” dialog box, select the
“Open a company file” option, and then click Next.
3. In the “Open a Company” dialog box, double-click the
company file you want to update. If you see the User Name
and Password box, enter your user name and password.
4. In the Update Your QuickBooks Company File dialog box,
click the “Change this default location” link if you want
to save the backup copy that QuickBooks creates in a
different folder. Click the “Change this” button, and then,
in the Browse For Folder dialog box, choose the folder
you want to use. Click OK to close the Browse For Folder
dialog box, and then click OK to return to the main screen
of the Update Your QuickBooks Company File dialog box.
5. Click Update Now. QuickBooks first creates a backup copy
of your company file, and then updates the company file.
A progress bar shows how far it’s gotten.
6. When you see Hooray! in the Update Your Company
File dialog box, click Done to open the updated file in
QuickBooks. Keep in mind that this process could take a
while if your company file is large.
Modifying Company Info
When you use the basic setup process or the EasyStep Interview, QuickBooks gets the
basic facts about your company in small chunks. But after you create your company
file, you can easily view and edit any of this information. Here’s how:
1. Choose Company→My Company or click the My Company entry in the icon
bar (page 26).
The My Company window opens. As shown in Figure 1-7 (background), your
company info appears on the left and info about your copy of QuickBooks
appears on the window’s right. Apps, services, and subscriptions that you’ve
signed up for (like accepting credit cards, payroll, and so on) appear below
your company info. Other products that Intuit would like to sell you appear at
the bottom of the window.
22 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
MODIFYING
COMPANY INFO
2. To edit your company info, click the edit icon at the window’s top right (it
looks like a pencil).
The Company Information dialog box opens with your company information
grouped into several categories (see Figure 1-7, foreground).
FIGURE 1-7
Some bits of company
information change more
often than others. For instance,
you might relocate
your office or change your
phone number, email
address, or website address.
But stuff like your
company’s legal name
and address, federal
Employer Identification
Number, and business
type (corporation, sole
proprietorship, and so on)
usually stays the same.
3. To edit your company’s contact info, in the Company Information dialog
box, click the Contact Information category on the left, and then make the
changes you want.
This category includes fields for your company address, phone number, email
address, and website.
4. To change your company’s legal name and address, click the Legal Information
category.
Remember, your company’s legal name and address are the ones you use on
federal and state tax forms.
Chapter 1: Creating a Company File 23
MODIFYING
COMPANY INFO
5. To edit the tax identification number you use, click the Company Identification
category.
This category includes the federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) and
Social Security Number (SSN) fields. Fill in (or edit) the one that you use for
your company.
6. To specify info for reports you generate, click the Report Information
category.
You can specify the starting month for both your fiscal year and your tax year.
In addition, this category is where you set the tax form you use for your company
tax return.
7. If you have payroll, click the Payroll Tax Form Information category and
make the changes you want.
You can fill in the name, title, and phone number for the person who prepares
and signs your company payroll forms; this way, QuickBooks can fill those fields
in automatically when you use an Intuit payroll service.
8. When you’re done editing, click OK.
The Company Information dialog box closes. Click the X at the top right of the
My Company window to close it, too.

25
CHAPTER
2
You have more than enough to do running your business, so you don’t want
bookkeeping to take any more time than necessary. QuickBooks’ icon bar
(which comes in two flavors: left and top) offers shortcuts to your favorite
features. Each version of the icon bar has its pros and cons, so you have to decide
which one you prefer (or you can hide them). This chapter shows you how to access
QuickBooks’ features from both the menu bar and icon bars.
Another way to get your accounting done quickly and efficiently is by accessing features
via the QuickBooks Home Page. This page not only provides a visual roadmap
of the bookkeeping tasks you perform regularly, but it also gives you quick access
to tasks and information related to vendors, customers, and employees, along with
the features and overall financial info you use most often. Click an icon on this page
and the corresponding window or dialog box appears, such as Chart of Accounts,
Item List, Write Checks, or everyone’s favorite—Make Deposits.
This chapter explains how to access Vendor, Customer, and Employees Centers that
open when you click the corresponding buttons in the Home Page’s panels. (The
Inventory Center, which is available in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, is described
on page 543.) You’ll also see how to review your company’s finances using
the Home window’s Insights tab and the Company Snapshot window.
During a rousing bookkeeping session, you might end up with several QuickBooks
windows open at the same time. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to switch between
open windows, navigate window ribbon menus, and adjust the size of drop-down
menus and columns within windows.
Getting Around
in QuickBooks
26 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
MENUS AND
THE ICON BAR Menus and the Icon Bar
The menu bar at the very top of the QuickBooks window (Figure 2-1) is a convenient
way to launch different activities. It’s handy because it’s always visible and serves
up every feature the program has to offer.
FIGURE 2-1
Every feature in QuickBooks
is always within
reach via the menu bar.
Choose a top-level menu
like Customers (as shown
here), and then choose an
entry from the drop-down
menu or a submenu.
For one-click access to
your favorite features, use
the left icon bar (visible
here) or top icon bar, both
of which you can customize
to include the features
and reports you use the
most (page 706).
The View menu is the place to go to choose between two versions of the icon bar:
top and left. After shortcut menus (which you display by right-clicking things) and
keyboard shortcuts (which you can read about in online Appendix C, available
at missingmanuals/cds), the icon bar is the fastest way to launch your
favorite features. As page 706 explains, you can customize the icon bar to add
features, memorized reports, and windows you open often—and remove features
you don’t use.
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 27
MENUS AND
THE ICON BAR
The left icon bar (View→Left Icon Bar), shown in Figure 2-2, appears the first time
you launch QuickBooks 2016.
FIGURE 2-2
The left icon bar
includes three sections
that help you
access your favorite
features.
The unlabeled
middle section
contains categories
like My Shortcuts
and View Balances.
When you click an
option in this section,
the top section
displays the entries
for that category,
like the shortcuts
shown here.
The bottom section
contains links to
other products and
services that Intuit
offers, such as payroll
and merchant
credit card services.
The categories in the middle section of this icon bar determine what’s displayed in
its top section. Here’s what the entries in the middle section of the left icon bar do:
• My Shortcuts. This category, which appears at the top of the left icon bar
whenever you launch QuickBooks, includes features that most people use
28 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
THE HOME
PAGE
frequently. But you can keep your favorites within easy reach by adding other
features you use all the time and getting rid of shortcuts you don’t use: simply
click Customize Shortcuts at the bottom of the My Shortcuts section (you may
have to scroll to see it) or right-click anywhere within the section except on the
My Shortcuts heading, and then click Customize Shortcuts on the shortcut menu.
NOTE  The shortcuts in the My Shortcuts list are the same ones you see as icons if you display the top icon bar.
• View Balances. When you use the left icon bar, the Home Page doesn’t display
account balances on its right side as it does when you use the top icon bar. To
see your account balances at the top of the left icon bar, click this category.
(Page 705 explains how to customize which account balances you see.)
• Run Favorite Reports. Clicking this category lists the reports that you’ve flagged
as your favorites (page 584). The reports you see are the same ones that appear
when you choose Reports→Favorite Reports (the Favorite Reports menu item
appears only if you have at least one favorite report—see page 587) or display
the Report Center’s Favorites tab.
• Open Windows. If you turn on the preference to use multiple windows (page
649), you can click this category to see a list of open windows at the top of the
left icon bar. Click a window’s name to make it active. This category displays
the same windows you see if you choose View→Open Window List.
TIP  The left icon bar takes up a couple of inches on the left side of the main QuickBooks window, so it’s
more useful if you have a widescreen monitor. With older and smaller monitors, you’ll have trouble fitting the
left icon bar and your transaction windows onscreen at the same time. In that case, the menu bar, top icon bar,
and Home Page (which you’ll learn about in a sec) are ready to assist you.
The top icon bar (View→Top Icon Bar) has been around for years. If you haven’t
graduated to a large, widescreen monitor, this icon bar is both convenient and
space-saving. It sits just below the menu bar and displays your favorite features as
icons with brief identifying labels. Click an icon, such as Home, Calendar, or Bill, and
the corresponding feature launches.
TIP  If you really need more space, you can hide either icon bar by choosing View→Hide Icon Bar.
The Home Page
The QuickBooks Home Page (Figure 2-3, background) is a slick way to work through
your company’s bookkeeping tasks in the right order. (If it isn’t visible, display it by
choosing Company→Home Page or clicking Home in the left icon bar’s My Shortcuts
section.) Vendors, customers, and employees each have their own panel on the Home
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 29
THE HOME
PAGE
Page, and the various arrows show how bookkeeping tasks fit together so you can
follow your money from start to finish. The bookkeeping tasks for each group are
laid out like breadcrumbs you can follow. However, each company is different, so you
don’t have to use every icon you see. This section outlines the tasks you can perform
from each panel and where to find detailed instructions elsewhere in this book.
FIGURE 2-3
If a feature you use
doesn’t appear on the
Home Page, choose
Edit→Preferences→
Desktop View, and then
click the Company Preferences
tab (foreground).
For example, if you want
to enter sales receipts,
turn on the Sales Receipts
checkbox, as shown here.
Some features (like
Estimates and Sales Tax)
have their own section
of preferences. At the
bottom of the Company
Preferences tab, the Related
Preferences section
includes links you can
click to jump to the corresponding
preferences.
The settings you chose when you created your company file determine what initially
appears on the Home Page. Depending on your choices, you’ll see several panels—
Vendors, Customers, Employees, Company, and Banking—that each contain various
icons. For example, if you told QuickBooks that you invoice customers and send statements,
the Customers panel includes icons for invoicing and preparing statements. Or
if you run a one-person shop with no employees, you won’t see the Employees panel.
TIP  The Home Page appears each time you log into a company file. If you prefer to keep the Home Page
hidden, choose Edit→Preferences→Desktop View, click the My Preferences tab, and then turn off the “Show Home
page when opening a company file” checkbox. After that, when you want to see the Home Page, simply choose
Company→Home Page or click Home in the left icon bar.
30 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
THE HOME
PAGE
Here’s what each panel on the Home Page offers:
• The Vendors panel has icons for accessing vendor-oriented features like purchase
orders, bills, sales tax, and so on. (Chapter 9 describes how to work with
purchase orders and bills, and Chapter 21 explains how to handle sales tax from
start to finish.)
• The Customers panel is the place for customer-oriented features like invoices,
statements, sales receipts, and so on. (Chapter 10 describes how to work with
invoices, estimates, sales orders, refunds, and customer credits. Chapter 11 covers
creating statement charges and statements. And Chapter 13 explains how
to receive payments and create sales receipts for cash sales.)
NOTE  In Figure 2-3, the Invoices and “Enter Bills and Pay Bills” checkboxes are grayed out; that’s because
these features were turned on automatically based on how this particular company file was set up. QuickBooks
turns on some settings automatically based on other settings you chose. For example, if you turn on the estimates
feature (as in Figure 2-3), the program automatically turns on invoices, because you can convert estimates you
create into invoices.
• The Employees panel has icons for entering time (see Chapter 8) and, if you
turn on payroll in QuickBooks, recording payroll (Chapter 15).
• The Company panel is on the right side of the Home Page. The two icons in this
panel that you’ll probably click most often are Chart of Accounts and Items &
Services, which open the Chart of Accounts (page 47) and Item List (page 101)
windows, respectively. Click Calendar to review transactions and to-dos in the
Calendar window (page 490).
If you track inventory, click the Inventory Activities icon and then choose a
feature, such as Adjust Quantity/Value On Hand, which lets you change the
quantity and value of your inventory (page 546). If you use QuickBooks Premier
or Enterprise, click Inventory Center to open a window similar to the Customer
Center except that it focuses on the status of—and transactions involving—your
inventory items (page 543). If you’re interested in using QuickBooks’ mobile
app, click the QuickBooks Mobile icon, and a browser window will open to the
QuickBooks Mobile sign-up page.
• The Banking panel is a one-stop shop for banking tasks. Whether you visit this
panel frequently or rarely depends on how you like to record transactions. For
example, you can click the Write Checks icon to open the Write Checks window
(page 198) or simply press Ctrl+W to do the same thing. (Or, if you like to record
checks in a check register window, you might prefer to click the Check Register
icon instead.) Similarly, clicking the Enter Credit Card Charges icon opens the
Enter Credit Card Charges window (page 208), though you can also record credit
card charges directly in a credit card account’s register (page 378).
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 31
THE INSIGHTS
TAB
Clicking the Record Deposits icon opens the “Payments to Deposit” window so
you can record bank deposits (page 371). The Reconcile icon opens the Begin
Reconciliation dialog box so you can reconcile your QuickBooks records to
your bank statement (page 393). And the Print Checks icon opens the “Select
Checks to Print” dialog box so you can choose the ones you want to print and
send them to a printer loaded with blank checks.
NOTE  If you use the left icon bar (View→Left Icon Bar), you can see account balances by clicking View
Balances in the icon bar’s middle section. (See page 26 for more about the icon bar.)
If you use the top icon bar (View→Top Icon Bar), the top-right part of the Home Page shows account balances.
Below those is a “Do More with QuickBooks” section that includes a few links to additional services that Intuit
offers. You also see a Backup Status section that tells you when your last backup ran and includes info about
the Intuit Data Protect backup service (page 501). If any of these sections are collapsed, click the section’s down
arrow to expand it. Click a section’s up arrow to collapse it.
The Insights Tab
Starting in QuickBooks 2015, the Home window has two tabs at its top left. Clicking
the Home Page tab displays the Home Page described in the previous section.
Clicking the Insights tab displays a dashboard that provides a 50,000-foot view of
your company’s financial status (Figure 2-4). You can change date ranges and click
various parts of the dashboard to get a closer look:
• Graphs. Initially, the tab’s top panel displays a Profit & Loss graph (shown in
Figure 2-4) in which monthly income is represented by green bars above the
horizontal axis and monthly expenses appear in blue below the axis. The black
line hopping from month to month is your monthly profit. To change the graph’s
date range, choose the range you want from the drop-down list at the graph’s
top left. To view other graphs, click the left and right arrows on either side of
the top panel.
32 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
THE INSIGHTS
TAB
FIGURE 2-4
You can scroll through
several graphs that show
high-level financial status
by clicking the left or
right arrow in the tab’s
top panel.
The Income section is a
mini version of Income
Tracker (page 340), which
you can open by clicking
one of the section’s bars.
Click an expense category
to run a report about your
expenses. And you can
open the Create Invoices
or Enter Bills windows by
clicking the links circled
here.
TIP  To choose which graphs appear in the top panel, at the top right of the tab, click the Customize icon (it
looks like a gear). In the “What do you want to see?” drop-down menu, turn view checkboxes on or off to show
or hide them, respectively. Other graphs you can choose include Prev Year Income Comparison, Top Customers
by Sales, Income and Expense Trend, Business Growth, Net Profit Margin, and Prev Year Expense Comparison.
• Income. This section at the tab’s bottom left looks like the bars in the Income
Tracker window—and for good reason. After you scan the open and overdue
invoice totals, you can click one of these bars to open Income Tracker, already
filtered to show the income category you clicked. For example, if you click the red
Overdue bar, Income Tracker opens and lists your customers’ overdue invoices.
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 33
WORKING WITH
WINDOWS • Expenses. The Expenses section in the tab’s bottom right shows where you
spend the most money. Choose a date range in the drop-down list to display
expenses for that period. To view the transactions that contribute to expense
totals, click an expense category in the Expenses list or click the corresponding
section of the pie chart.
NOTE  The Insights tab is like a modern, more focused version of the Company Snapshot feature (which you
might be familiar with from previous versions of QuickBooks); it offers a handful of the graphs that people use
the most. However, if you rely on numerous Company Snapshot’s graphs (it has 20), that feature is still available.
Page 712 explains how you can customize it.
Working with Windows
You can have any number of windows open within QuickBooks at the same time—
whether you display only one full-size window at a time or keep several in view
simultaneously. This section explains how to work with multiple windows, regardless
how many you can see at once.
The main QuickBooks menu bar follows the classic style that’s been around for years.
However, many of QuickBooks windows have switched to a ribbon (which is similar
to the ribbons in Microsoft programs). In this section, you’ll learn what ribbons offer
in QuickBooks. You’ll also find out how to adjust the size of some window elements
like drop-down menus and table columns.
Switching among Open Windows
If you tend to work on one bookkeeping task for hours on end, you can set QuickBooks
up to display one full-size window at a time by choosing View→One Window.
That way, when you open additional windows, they get stacked on top of one another
so you see only the last one you opened. If, on the other hand, you flit between bookkeeping
tasks like a honeybee in an alfalfa field, you probably want to display several
windows at a time. QuickBooks can do that: just choose View→Multiple Windows.
Either way, you have several ways to choose the window you want to see:
• In the middle section of the left icon bar, click Open Windows as shown in
Figure 2-5. Then, in the top section of the left icon bar, click the name of the
window you want.
• If you use the top icon bar, you can see a list of open windows by choosing
View→Open Window List. Then, in the list, simply click the name of the window
you want to work with.
• On the menu bar, choose Window, and then choose the name of the one you
want to see.
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WINDOWS
FIGURE 2-5
You can switch to another
window by clicking the
Window menu at the top
of the screen and then
choosing the window you
want to display.
When you have multiple
windows open, the
Window menu includes
entries for arranging
them, such as Tile Vertically
and Cascade.
• If you display several windows at a time and you can see part of the window
you want, simply click it to bring it to the front.
QuickBooks also gives you several ways to adjust the window you’re looking at.
You can use the buttons in its upper right to minimize, maximize, or close it. You
can reposition windows by dragging their title bars or resize them by dragging their
edges and corners.
Supermax View
When you want to see as much information as possible in a transaction window, such
as Enter Bills, Supermax view is just the ticket (see Figure 2-6). To switch a transaction
window to Supermax mode, at the window’s top right, click the four-headed arrow.
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 35
WORKING WITH
WINDOWS
FIGURE 2-6
Supermax view hides the
menu bar, the icon bar,
and the ribbon at the
top of the transaction
window. It also hides
the transaction history
panel on the window’s
right side. You can restore
or hide the ribbon and
transaction history panel
by clicking the appropriate
icons at the window’s
top right (labeled).
This view does several things so you can see more of the data-entry lines:
• Hides the QuickBooks menu bar and (if you use it) the icon bar.
• Minimizes the ribbon at the top of the transaction window.
• Fills the entire QuickBooks window with the transaction window you Supermaxed.
• Hides the transaction history panel on the window’s right side.
To revert to regular window mode, click the icon that looks like a square with an
arrow pointing to its lower left (labeled in Figure 2-6). When you revert to regular
window mode, the menu bar, icon bar, and feature panel at the top of the transaction
window all reappear.
Transaction Window Ribbons
You’re probably accustomed to the ribbons in Microsoft programs as well as many
others. Although QuickBooks doesn’t have a ribbon for its main menu, many transaction
windows include a ribbon with two or more tabs, as shown in Figure 2-7.
When QuickBooks switched to ribbons, it pulled features that had been scattered
throughout the window up onto the ribbon, such as the Print Later and Email Later
checkboxes, so they’re easier to find.
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FIGURE 2-7
The tabs that appear in
the ribbon depend on
which transaction window
you’ve opened. The Main
tab is home to the basic
activities you perform for
the transaction at hand.
To access the features on
other tabs, simply click
the tab you want.
The tabs that appear depend on the transaction window you have open. Here’s
what the various tabs offer:
• Main tab. This tab is the workhorse; it includes a Find feature (page 334) and
icons for creating, saving, deleting, and managing transactions in various ways.
You can also tell QuickBooks to print or email the transaction now or later. You’ll
find other handy features on the Main tab, such as “Add time/costs” for sales
receipts and invoices or Refund/Credit for invoices.
• Formatting tab. The Enter Sales Receipts and Create Invoices windows both
include a Formatting tab where you can choose the template (page 717) to use
for the transaction; check spelling; and insert, delete, copy, or paste lines within
the window’s table.
• Send/Ship tab. This tab comes in handy when you want to email info or choose
the shipping company for products you’re sending to customers.
• Reports tab. You’ll see different reports on this tab depending on the transaction
window that’s open. For example, the Reports tab in the Create Invoices
window includes reports like View Open Invoices and Sales By Customer Detail,
whereas the Reports tab in the Enter Bills window has reports like Open Purchase
Order Detail and Unpaid Bills Detail.
• Payments tab. The Enter Sales Receipts window includes the Payments tab.
If you haven’t signed up for credit card processing with Intuit, this tab has one
icon: Add Credit Card Processing. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see icons for
recording your customer’s payment.
Chapter 2: Getting Around in QuickBooks 37
WORKING WITH
WINDOWS Resizing Drop-Down Lists and Columns
Throughout QuickBooks, you can resize drop-down lists to change their heights and
widths. This comes in handy, for example, when you want to see your customers’
full names in a Customer:Job List drop-down list or view more accounts in an account
drop-down list so you don’t have to scroll as much to locate the account you
want. You can also resize columns in transaction windows’ tables so you can read
more of those columns’ contents. For example, you might widen the Memo column
on the Expenses tab in the Enter Bills window while narrowing the Amount column.
Here’s what you do:
• To resize a drop-down list, open it, and then put your cursor over the dots in
the list’s lower-right corner (circled in Figure 2-8). When the cursor changes to
a two-headed arrow, drag to adjust the list’s width and height.
• To change the widths of columns in a table, place your cursor over the vertical
dots between two column headings (also circled in Figure 2-8), and then drag
left or right to shrink or widen the column to the left.
FIGURE 2-8
Resizable drop-down lists
include a triangle made
of dots below their scrollbars
(circled, left). When
you put your cursor over
these dots, it changes
to a two-headed arrow,
which is your cue that
you can drag to resize the
drop-down list.
The same technique
works with the vertical
dots between columns
in a table (circled, right):
Place your cursor over the
dots, and then drag left or
right to resize the column
to the left.

39
CHAPTER
3
I
f you’ve just started running a business and keeping your company’s books, all
this talk of accounts, credits, and debits might have you flummoxed. Accounting
is a cross between mathematics and the mystical arts; its goal is to record and
report the financial performance of an organization. The end result of bookkeeping
and accounting is a set of financial statements (page 448), but the starting point
is the chart of accounts.
In accounting, an account is more than a real-world account you have at a financial
institution; it’s like a bucket for holding money used for a specific purpose. When
you earn money, you document those earnings in an income account, just as you
might toss the change from a day’s take at the lemonade stand into the jar on your
desk. When you buy supplies for your business, that expense shows up in an expense
account that works a lot like the shoebox you throw receipts into. If you buy
a building, its value ends up in an asset account. And if you borrow money to buy
that building, the mortgage owed shows up in a liability account.
Accounts come in a variety of types to reflect whether you’ve earned or spent
money, whether you own something or owe money to someone else, as well as a
few other financial situations. Your chart of accounts is a list of all the accounts you
use to track money in your business.
Neophytes and experienced business folks alike will be relieved to know that you
don’t have to build a chart of accounts from scratch in QuickBooks. This chapter
explains how to get a ready-made chart of accounts for your business and what to
do with it once you’ve got it. If you want to add or modify accounts in your chart of
accounts, you’ll learn how to do that, too.
Setting Up a Chart
of Accounts
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A CHART OF
ACCOUNTS
NOTE  Industry-specific Premier editions of QuickBooks include a chart of accounts, an Item List, Payroll
items, and preferences already tuned to your industry (such as construction, manufacturing, nonprofit, professional
services, or retail). The industry-specific editions also have features unique to each industry, like the Contractor
edition’s enhanced job costing. These features may save you time during setup and in your day-to-day bookkeeping,
but you have to decide whether you want to spend a few hundred dollars more than the QuickBooks
Pro price tag to get them.
Acquiring a Chart of Accounts
When you create a new QuickBooks company file and choose an industry (page
8), the program automatically sets up the chart of accounts with accounts that are
typical for that industry. For example, if you choose a product-oriented industry,
you’ll see an income account for product or parts income, whereas a service-oriented
business gets an income account for service or labor income. If your company is
like many small businesses, the chart of accounts that QuickBooks creates includes
most of what you need.
If you want to customize your chart of accounts to mirror your company’s needs,
the easiest—although probably not the cheapest—way to get a chart of accounts
is from your accountant. Accountants understand the accounting guidelines set
by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB—pronounced “faz bee”), a
private-sector organization that sets standards with the SEC’s blessing. When your
accountant builds a QuickBooks chart of accounts for you, you can be reasonably
sure that it includes all the accounts you need to track your business and that those
accounts conform to accounting standards. If you’re a business owner and want a
specific account or want to see your business financials in a particular way, ask your
accountant what type of accounts to use and how to set them up.
NOTE  Don’t worry—getting an accountant to build a chart of accounts for you probably won’t bust your
budget, because the accountant won’t start from scratch. Many financial professionals maintain spreadsheets of
accounts and build a chart of accounts by importing a customized account list into QuickBooks. Or they may keep
QuickBooks company files around to use as templates for new ones.
If you don’t want to pay an accountant to create a chart of accounts for you, how
about finding one built by experts and available at no charge? A quick search on
the Web for “QuickBooks chart of accounts” returns links to sites with predefined
charts of accounts. For example, in the not-for-profit world, the National Center for
Charitable Statistics website includes downloadable QuickBooks files that contain
the Unified Chart of Accounts for nonprofits (known as the UCOA); see :nccs.
urban.org/projects/ucoa.cfm. You can download a QuickBooks backup file of a
nonprofit company file, complete with a chart of accounts (see page 505 to learn
how to restore a backup file), an .iif file that you can import into QuickBooks, or a
backup file for the Mac version of QuickBooks.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 41
ACQUIRING
A CHART OF
ACCOUNTS
NOTE  If you have an Excel spreadsheet with your company account information, you can import that info
directly into your company file. Page 127 has the full story on importing from Excel.
If you run a restaurant, you can go to rrgconsulting/restaurant_coa.htm
and download a free .iif file with a restaurant-oriented chart of accounts that you
can import into QuickBooks, as explained in the next section.
Importing a Chart of Accounts
If you download an .iif file with a chart of accounts, you can import that file into a
QuickBooks company file. Because you’re importing a chart of accounts, you want to
create your company file with basic info about your company and as few accounts as
possible in the chart of accounts list. Here’s how you create a QuickBooks company
file with bare-bones information and then import a chart of accounts from an .iif file:
1. Choose File→New Company and then, in the QuickBooks Setup dialog box
that opens, click Start Setup.
If you see a screen that asks for your email address and password, enter the
email address and password for your Intuit account, and then click Continue.
2. On the “Glad you’re here!” screen, enter your company’s name, type, and
contact info. In the Industry box, enter Other/None, and then click Create
Company.
QuickBooks creates your company file and then displays the “You’re all set!”
screen in the QuickBooks Setup dialog box.
3. To close the QuickBooks Setup dialog box, click Start Working.
You can also close the QuickBooks Setup dialog box by clicking the X in the
window’s upper-right corner.
4. Choose File→Utilities→Import→IIF Files.
QuickBooks opens the Import dialog box and sets the “Files of type” box to
“IIF Files (*.IIF).”
5. Navigate to the folder that contains the .iif file you want to import, select
the file, and then click Open.
A message box appears that shows how the import is progressing. If all goes
well, QuickBooks then displays a message box that tells you that it imported
the data successfully; click OK.
If QuickBooks runs into problems with the data in the .iif file, it tells you that it
didn’t import the data successfully. In that case, you have to open the .iif file in a
text editor or Excel and correct the account info. (You can see what information
QuickBooks expects by exporting an account list, as described on page 691.)
To admire your new chart of accounts, on the Home page, in the Company panel,
click Chart of Accounts (or press Ctrl+A). Now that your chart of accounts is in place,
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you can add more accounts, hide accounts you don’t need, merge accounts, or edit
the accounts on the list. The rest of this chapter explains how to do all these things.
Planning the Chart of Accounts
A chart of accounts is a tool for tracking your company’s finances at a relatively
high level—it helps you produce financial statements and prepare your business tax
returns. When setting up your chart of accounts, bear in mind that it will be easier
to work with if you keep the number of accounts to a minimum. This section helps
you figure out which accounts you need and provides guidelines for naming and
numbering them.
Do You Need Another Account?
QuickBooks offers several features—including items, jobs, and classes—that can
provide details about your company’s performance without you having to add additional
accounts. So before you create an account, think about whether another
feature can track the information you want instead. Here’s a brief description of
what each feature does and when to use it:
• Accounts. When you create transactions in QuickBooks, the program allocates
money to accounts in your chart of accounts. Then, when you run a Profit &
Loss report (page 452), you see financial results by account. So create a new
account if you want to see a particular pool of money broken out in your financial
reports. For example, add an income account for services you’re offering
in addition to your product sales.
NOTE  Subaccounts (page 50) are an option if you want to break one category into several smaller pieces,
such as divvying up travel expenses into airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals.
• Items. In QuickBooks, items track details about what you buy and sell. For example,
you might create dozens of items for each specific service you provide,
such as cutting down trees, cutting logs, chipping wood, splitting wood, and
hauling trash. However, each of those items can be assigned to the same services
income account. Chapter 5 provides the full story on items.
• Jobs. If you work on different projects for the same customer, you can create
separate jobs for each project (page 73). That way, you can assign invoices to
specific jobs and track income by job. You can also track job expenses by making
items, time, or other expenses billable to specific jobs.
• Classes. If your business is broken into segments—such as regions, business
units, or partners in a partnership—you can turn to classes (page 134). You
can assign a class to each transaction, such as an invoice or bill, which lets you
track income and expenses across accounts, customers, vendors, and more.
For example, if you create a class for each business unit in your company, you
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 43
PLANNING
THE CHART OF
ACCOUNTS
can assign the appropriate class to each transaction you record. Then a Profit
& Loss by Class report (page 455) will produce an income statement for each
business unit.
Naming and Numbering Accounts
Account names and numbers make it easy for accountants, bookkeepers, and
company employees to find the accounts they need. In addition, with standardized
naming and numbering, you can compare your company’s financial performance
with others in your industry. This section suggests some rules to follow as you set
up naming and numbering conventions.
If you accept the accounts that QuickBooks recommends when you set up your
company file, they already have assigned names and numbers, as shown in Figure
3-1. You might think this lets you off the hook. But by taking the time to learn standard
account numbers and names, you’ll find working with accounts more logical
and understand more of what your accountant and bookkeeper say.
FIGURE 3-1
Accounts that QuickBooks
adds to your chart of accounts
during setup come
with assigned names
and numbers, as you can
see here.
To open the Chart of
Accounts window, press
Ctrl+A. If you don’t see
account numbers in this
window, page 45 tells you
how to display them.
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ORGANIZING ACCOUNT NUMBERS
Account numbers are initially turned off when you create a new company file in
QuickBooks (page 45 explains how to display them), and you don’t have to use
them. However, account numbers make it easier for your bookkeeper or accountant
to work with your financial records. This section explains the typical numbering
convention that financial folks use.
Companies reserve ranges of numbers for different types of accounts, so they can
identify the type of account by its number alone. Business models vary, so you’ll
find account numbers carved up in different ways depending on the industry. Think
about your personal finances: You spend money on lots of different things, but
your income derives from a precious few sources. Businesses and nonprofits are
no different. So you might find income accounts numbered from 4000 to 4999 and
expense accounts using numbers anywhere from 5000 through 9999 (see Table 3-1).
TABLE 3-1 Typical ranges for account numbers
RANGE ACCOUNT TYPE
1000–1999 Assets
2000–2999 Liabilities
3000–3999 Equity
4000–4999 Income
5000–5999 Cost of goods sold, cost of sales, job costs, or general expenses
6000–7999 Expenses, overhead costs, or other income
8000–9999 Expenses or other expenses
NOTE  Most businesses use the same account-numbering scheme up until the number 4999. After that, things
can differ because some companies require more income accounts, but in most businesses, expense accounts are
the most numerous.
Account numbering conventions don’t just carve number ranges up for account
types. If you read annual reports as a hobby, you know that companies further compartmentalize
their finances. For example, assets and liabilities get split into current
and long-term categories. Current categories include anything that’s expected to
happen within the next 12 months, such as a loan that’s due in 3 months; long-term
categories represent anything beyond 12 months. Typically, companies show assets
and liabilities progressing from the shortest to the longest term, and the asset and
liability account numbers follow suit. Here’s one way to allocate account numbers
for current and progressively longer-term assets:
• 1000–1099. Immediately available cash, such as a checking account, savings
account, or petty cash.
• 1100–1499. Assets you can convert into cash within a few months to a year,
including Accounts Receivable, inventory assets, and other current assets.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 45
PLANNING
THE CHART OF
ACCOUNTS • 1500–1799. Long-term assets, such as land, buildings, furniture, and other
fixed assets.
• 1800–1999. Other assets.
Companies also break expenses down into smaller categories. For example, many
companies keep an eye on whether their sales team is doing its job by tracking sales
expenses separately and monitoring the ratio of sales to sales expenses. Sales expenses
often appear in the 5000–5999 range. QuickBooks reinforces this standard
by automatically creating a Cost of Goods Sold account numbered 5001. (You can
create as many Cost of Goods Sold accounts as you need to track expenses that
relate directly to your income, such as the cost of purchasing products you sell as
well as what you pay your salespeople.) Other companies assign overhead expenses
to accounts in the 7000–7999 range, so they can assign a portion of those expenses
to each job performed.
TIP  When you add new accounts to your chart of accounts, increment the account number by 5 or 10 to leave
room in the numbering scheme for similar accounts you might need in the future. For example, if your checking
account number is 1000, assign 1010 or 1020 to your new savings account rather than 1001.
In QuickBooks, an account number can be up to seven digits long, but the program
sorts numbers beginning with the leftmost digit. So if you want to categorize in excruciating
detail, slice your number ranges into sets of 10,000. For example, assets
range from 10000 to 19999; income accounts span 40000 to 49999, and so on.
NOTE  Because QuickBooks sorts accounts by number, beginning with the leftmost digit, account 4100020
appears before account 4101.
VIEWING ACCOUNT NUMBERS
If you want to see or hide account numbers in QuickBooks, here’s how to turn them
on or off:
1. Choose Edit→Preferences→Accounting, and then in the Preferences dialog
box, click the Company Preferences tab.
You have to be a QuickBooks administrator (page 724) to open this tab.
2. Turn on the “Use account numbers” checkbox to show account numbers.
To hide them, turn off this checkbox.
3. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.
With this setting turned on, account numbers appear in the Chart of Accounts window,
account drop-down lists, and account fields. In addition, the Add New Account
and Edit Account windows display the Number box so you can add or modify an
account’s number.
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ACCOUNTS
NOTE  Turning off the “Use account numbers” checkbox doesn’t remove account numbers you’ve already
added; it simply hides them in the spots mentioned earlier. You can see them again by turning on the checkbox
again. However, you can’t add account numbers to any accounts you create while the checkbox is turned off. If
you create an account anyway, you can then edit it (page 55) to add an account number after you turn on the
“Use account numbers” checkbox.
CHOOSING GOOD ACCOUNT NAMES
Account names should be meaningful, both to you and your accountant (or bookkeeper).
In addition, your accounts should be unique in name and function because
you don’t need two accounts for the same type of income, expense, or financial
bucket. For example, if you consider advertising and marketing two distinctly different
activities, create an account for each. But if advertising and marketing blur in
your mind, create one account with a name like “Marketing & Advertising.”
NOTE  Because accounts represent high-level categories, stick to names that summarize the income or
expense, such as Service Income and Product Income. Accounts and names like Tom’s Consulting, Dick’s Consulting,
and Harry’s Consulting are too specific—and might cause confusion if Rosie takes over Harry’s work.
QuickBooks does its part to enforce unique account names. Say you try to create a
new expense account named Postage, but an account by that name already exists.
QuickBooks displays the message “This name is already in use. Please use another
name.” What QuickBooks can’t do is ensure that each account represents a unique
category of money. Without a naming standard, you could end up with multiple
accounts with unique names, each representing the same category, as shown by
the following names for accounts used to track postage:
Expense-postage
Postage
Postage and delivery
Shipping
If you haven’t used QuickBooks before, here are some rules you can apply to help
make your account names consistent:
• Word order. If you include the account type in the name, append it to the end
of the name. You’ll spot “Postage Expense” more easily than “Expense Postage.”
• Consistent punctuation. Choose “and” or “&” for accounts that cover more
than one item, like “Dues and Subscriptions.” And decide whether to include
apostrophes, as in “Owners Draw” or “Owner’s Draw.”
• Spaces. Decide whether to include spaces for readability or to eliminate them
for brevity; for example, “Dues & Subscriptions” vs. “Dues&Subscriptions.”
• Abbreviation. If you abbreviate words in account names, choose a standard
abbreviation length. If you go with four-letter abbreviations, for example, “Postage”
would become “Post.” For a three-letter abbreviation, you might use “Pst.”
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 47
CREATING
ACCOUNTS
AND
SUBACCOUNTS
WARNING  QuickBooks won’t enforce your naming standards. So after you set the rules for account names,
write them down so you don’t forget them. A consistent written standard encourages everyone (yourself included)
to trust and follow the naming rules. Also, urge everyone to display inactive accounts (page 56) and scan the
chart of accounts for synonyms to see if such an account already exists before creating a new one. These rules
are easier to enforce if you limit the number of people who can create and edit accounts (page 733).
Creating Accounts and Subaccounts
As the box on page 49 explains, different types of accounts represent dramatically
different financial animals. The good news is that every type of account in
QuickBooks shares most of the same fields, so you need to learn only one accountcreation
procedure.
If you look closely at the chart of accounts list in Figure 3-1, you’ll notice that accounts
fall into two main categories: those with balances and those without. If you’re
really on your toes, you might also notice that accounts with balances are the ones
that appear on the Balance Sheet report. (Accounts without balances appear on
the Profit & Loss report.) To learn more about financial statements and the accounts
they reference, see Chapter 23.
Creating an Account
After you’ve had your business for a while, you won’t add new accounts very often.
However, you might need one if you start up a new line of income, take on a mortgage
for your new office building, or want a new expense account for the subcontractors
you hire to manage your workload.
Creating accounts in QuickBooks is simple. Before you can create an account, you
have to open the Chart of Accounts window. Here are a few ways to do that:
• Press Ctrl+A (which you can do from anywhere in the program).
• At the top right of the Home Page, in the Company panel, click Chart of Accounts.
• In the menu bar, choose Lists→Chart of Accounts.
The Chart of Accounts window works much like other list windows. For example, you
can sort the account list by different columns or drag accounts in the list to different
locations. (See page 152 to learn how to sort and rearrange lists.)
TIP  You can create accounts on the fly by choosing <Add New> in any Account drop-down list. Suppose you
create a new Service item (in the Item List window, press Ctrl+N) and want a new income account to track revenue
for that service. In the New Item dialog box, scroll to the top of the Account drop-down list and then choose <Add
New>. In the Add New Account window that appears, fill in the various fields, and then click Save & Close. Back in
the New Item dialog box, QuickBooks displays the new account in the Account field, and you can finish creating
your item.
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ACCOUNTS
AND
SUBACCOUNTS
Once you’ve opened the Chart of Accounts window, here’s how to create an account:
1. Press Ctrl+N to open the Add New Account window.
Alternatively, on the menu bar at the bottom of the Chart of Accounts window,
click Account→New. Or right-click anywhere in the Chart of Accounts window,
and then choose New from the shortcut menu. No matter which method you
use, QuickBooks opens the Add New Account window shown in Figure 3-2.
2. Select the type of account you want to create, such as Bank for a bank account,
and then click Continue.
The Add New Account window lists the most common kinds of accounts. If
you don’t see the type you want—Cost of Goods Sold, for example—select
the Other Account Types option, and then choose from the drop-down menu
visible in Figure 3-2.
FIGURE 3-2
If you aren’t sure which
type to choose for your
new account, read the
box on page 49.
When you select one of
the options here, a description
with examples
of that type of account
appears on the right side
of the window. Click More
to read a Help topic that
explains when to use that
type of account.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 49
CREATING
ACCOUNTS
AND
SUBACCOUNTS
UP TO SPEED
Making Sense of Account Types
QuickBooks’ account types are standard ones used in finance.
Here’s a quick introduction to the different types and what
they represent:
• Bank. Accounts that you hold at a financial institution,
such as a checking, savings, money market, or petty
cash account.
• Accounts Receivable. The money that your customers
owe you, like outstanding invoices and goods purchased
on credit.
• Other Current Asset. Things you own that you’ll use
or convert to cash within 12 months, such as prepaid
expenses.
• Fixed Asset. Things your company owns that decrease in
value over time (depreciate), like equipment that wears
out or becomes obsolete.
• Other Asset. If you won’t convert an asset to cash in the
next 12 months and it isn’t a depreciable asset, then
it’s—you guessed it—an other asset. A long-term note
receivable is one example.
• Accounts Payable. This is a special type of current liability
account (money you owe in the next 12 months) that
represents what you owe to vendors.
• Credit Card. Just what it sounds like: a credit card account.
• Other Current Liability. Money you owe in the next 12
months, such as sales tax and short-term loans.
• Long-Term Liability. Money you owe after the next 12
months, like mortgage payments you’ll pay over several
years.
• Equity. The owners’ equity in your company, including
the original capital invested in the company and retained
earnings. (Money that owners withdraw from the
company also shows up in an equity account but reduces
the value of the account.)
• Income. The revenue you generate through your main
business functions, like sales or consulting services.
• Cost of Goods Sold. The cost of products and materials
that you originally held in inventory but then sold. You
can also use this type of account to track other expenses
related to sales, such as commissions and what you pay
subcontractors to do work for your customers.
• Expense. The money you spend to run your company.
• Other Income. Money you receive from sources other than
business operations, such as interest income.
• Other Expense. Money you pay out for things other than
business operations, like interest.
• Non-posting Account. QuickBooks creates non-posting
accounts automatically when you use features such as
estimates and purchase orders. For example, when you
create an estimate (page 277), you don’t want that money
to appear on your financial reports, so QuickBooks stores
those values in non-posting accounts.
3. In the Number box in the upper right of the Add New Account window (Figure
3-3), type the account number you want to use in the chart of accounts. (If
you don’t see the Number box, flip to page 45 to learn how to display it.)
If you keep the Chart of Accounts window in view while creating accounts,
you can review the account numbers for similar types of accounts. That way,
you can give the new account a number that’s 5 or 10 higher than an existing
account number;that way the new one snuggles in with its compatriots in the
chart of accounts.
4. In the Account Name box, type a name for the account.
See page 46 for tips on standardizing account names.
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NOTE  If you create an account and don’t see one of the fields mentioned here, it simply doesn’t apply to
that account type.
5. If you want the account to be a subaccount, turn on the “Subaccount of”
checkbox. Then, in the drop-down list, choose the account that you want
to act as the parent.
As the box on page 52 explains, subaccounts are a good way to track your
finances in more detail. In the chart of accounts, subaccounts are indented
below their parent accounts to make the hierarchy easy to see, as shown at
the bottom of Figure 3-1.
NOTE  If you’ve turned on QuickBooks’ multiple currency preference (page 662), the Currency box appears
below the “Subaccount of” checkbox. Online Appendix H (available from this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds) explains how to set up and work with multiple currencies in QuickBooks.
FIGURE 3-3
The Bank account type includes
every account field
except Note as well as a
few fields that you won’t
find in any other account
type, such as Bank Acct.
No. and Routing Number.
If you want QuickBooks
to remind you to order
checks, in the “Remind
me to order checks when
I reach check number”
field, type the check
number you want to use
as a trigger. And if you
want the program to open
a browser window to
an Intuit site where you
can order supplies, turn
on “Order checks I can
print from QuickBooks.”
If you get checks from
somewhere else, just
reorder checks the way
you normally do.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 51
CREATING
ACCOUNTS
AND
SUBACCOUNTS
TIP  When you use subaccounts, QuickBooks displays both the parent account’s name and the subaccount’s
name in the Account fields throughout the program, which often makes it impossible to tell which account a
transaction uses, as you can see in Figure 3-4 (top). If you want to see only the lowest-level subaccount in Account
fields, head to the Accounting section of the Preferences dialog box, click the Company Preferences tab, and then
turn on the “Show lowest subaccount only” checkbox (see page 642).
FIGURE 3-4
Top: In Account fields
and drop-down lists,
QuickBooks combines
the names of parent
accounts and their
subaccounts into one long
name, as you can see
in this travel example.
In many instances, only
the top-level account is
visible unless you scroll
within the Account field.
Put the pointer over the
Account cell you want
to expand to display the
entire account name, as
shown here.
Bottom: When you turn
on the “Show lowest subaccount
only” preference,
the Account field shows
the subaccount number
and name instead, which
is exactly what you need
to identify the assigned
account (in this case,
Airfare).
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UP TO SPEED
Adding Detail with Subaccounts
Say your company’s travel expenses are sky-high and you want
to start tracking what you spend on different types of travel,
such as airfare, lodging, and limousine services. Subaccounts
make it easy to track details like these. Subaccounts are nothing
more than partitions within higher-level accounts (called
parent accounts).
When you post transactions to subaccounts only (not their
parent account), your reports show the subtotals for the subaccounts
and a grand total for the parent account, such as the
Travel account (number 6336, say) and its subaccounts Airfare
(6338), Lodging (6340), and Transportation (6342), for example.
Subaccounts also come in handy for assigning similar expenses
to different lines on tax forms. For example, the IRS doesn’t
treat all travel expenses the same: You can deduct only half of
your meal and entertainment expenses, whereas other travel
expenses are fully deductible. For this reason, you might create
“Meals and Entertainment” as a separate subaccount within
the Travel account.
6. To add a description of the account, fill in the Description box.
For instance, you can define whether a bank account is linked to another account
or give examples of the types of expenses that apply to a particular expense
account. The Description field can hold up to 200 characters, which should be
more than enough.
7. If you see a field for an account number—such as Bank Acct. No., Credit Card
Acct. No., or simply Account No.—type in the number for your real-world
account at your financial institution (checking account, savings account,
loan, and so on).
If the account type you chose in step 2 doesn’t include a field for an account
number, you see the Note field instead, which you can use to store any additional
information you want to document about the account.
8. For a bank account, in the Routing Number box, type your bank’s routing
number.
This is the nine-digit number in the funny-looking font at the bottom of your
checks.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 53
CREATING
ACCOUNTS
AND
SUBACCOUNTS
9. To associate the account with a tax form and a specific line on that form, in
the Tax-Line Mapping drop-down list, choose the entry for the appropriate
tax form and tax line.
If you haven’t specified the tax form that your company files with the IRS, the
Tax-Line Mapping field is set to <Unassigned>. See page 21 to learn how to
choose a tax form for your company.
If QuickBooks hasn’t assigned a tax line for you, you can scan the entries in the
drop-down list for a likely match. If you don’t find an entry that seems right or
if QuickBooks tells you the one you chose isn’t compatible with the account
type, your best bet is to call your accountant or the IRS. You can also get a hint
of an appropriate tax line for the account you’re creating by examining one of
QuickBooks’ sample files (page 6).
To remove a tax line from an account, in the drop-down list, choose <Unassigned>.
NOTE  Below the Tax-Line Mapping field, you may see the Enter Opening Balance button. It’s easy to figure
out the opening balance for a brand-new account—it’s zero—so you can ignore this button. If you’re setting up
QuickBooks with accounts that existed prior to your QuickBooks start date, those accounts do have opening balances.
Even so, clicking the Enter Opening Balance button isn’t the best way to specify an opening balance for
an account you’re adding to your company file. The box on page 54 explains how to specify opening balances
for all your accounts in just a few steps. Online Appendix I (available from this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds) provides a detailed look at defining opening balances by recording transactions.
10. Click the Save & New button to save the current account and create another
one.
To save the account you just created and close the Add New Account window,
click Save & Close instead. Click Cancel to discard the account-in-progress and
close the Add New Account window.
11. If the Set Up Bank Feed dialog box appears, click Yes if you want to set up
a bank account for online services.
When you click Yes, QuickBooks’ windows close while you go through the setup
process. (See Chapter 24 to learn about online services and QuickBooks.)
If you want to set up Bank Feeds later—or never—click No.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Doing Opening Balances Right
When I add an account to my company file, can I just click the
Enter Opening Balance button and type the balance I want to
start with in the Opening Balance field? That seems the most
logical place for it.
You can, but your accountant may not be too happy about it.
Filling in the Opening Balance field from the Add New Account
window (or in the Edit Account window, for that matter) automatically
adds that balance to the Opening Bal Equity account,
which accountants consider sloppy bookkeeping. Instead, they
usually recommend creating a journal entry from your trial
balance for most of your accounts. (To see what an opening
balance journal entry looks like, head to page 433.)
The three exceptions are your Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts
Payable (AP), and bank accounts. Because QuickBooks
requires customer names and vendor names in journal entries
that contain AR and AP accounts, you’re better off creating
invoices and bills to define your AR and AP opening balances.
With bank accounts, you can enter your previous reconciled balance
in the journal entry and then bring the account up to date
by recording all the transactions since your last reconciliation.
If you work with an accountant, ask her how she’d like you to
enter opening balances—or better yet, have her do it for you.
Whoa! What’s a journal entry? What’s a trial balance?
Here’s the deal: Journal entries (page 428) are mechanisms
for moving money between accounts—on paper, that is. A
trial balance (page 447) is a report (from your accountant or
your old accounting system) that lists all your accounts with
their balances in either the Debit or Credit column. In the days
of paper-based ledgers, bean counters totaled the Debit and
Credit columns. If the totals weren’t equal, the accountant
had to track down the arithmetic error. Happily, QuickBooks’
digital brain does the math for you, without errors. But it’s up
to you to set up the opening-balance journal entry properly
in the first place.
If you look at the trial balance on the first day of your fiscal
year, it’s quite simple—it includes balances only for your balance
sheet accounts, not income and expense accounts. You
can use these values to fill in a journal entry to assign all your
accounts’ opening balances: First, set the journal entry’s date
to the last day of the previous fiscal year; that way, you can
start fresh for your current fiscal year. Next, for each account
except your AR and AP accounts, add a line in the journal entry
with the account name and the balance from your trial-balance
report in either the Debit or Credit column. Finally, create
invoices and bills to define the opening balances for your AR
and AP accounts.
Working with Accounts
From time to time, you might need to modify your accounts to, for example, change
an account’s name or description. If you no longer need an account, you can hide
it to keep your chart of accounts list tidy. On the other hand, if you created an account
by mistake, you can delete it. And merging accounts comes in handy if you
find several accounts that represent the same thing. This section describes how to
make all these changes to accounts.
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 55
WORKING WITH
ACCOUNTS Modifying Accounts
If you stick to your account numbering and naming conventions, you’ll have few
reasons to edit accounts. But just in case, the Edit Account window lets you tweak an
account’s name and description, adjust its number to make room for new accounts,
and change its level in the chart of accounts hierarchy.
You’re not likely to change an account’s type unless you chose the wrong one when
you created the account. If you do need to change the account type, back up your
QuickBooks file first (see page 495) in case the change has effects that you didn’t
anticipate. Also, note that QuickBooks has several restrictions on changing account
types. You can’t change an account’s type if:
• It has subaccounts.
• It’s an Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable account. (You also can’t change
other types of accounts to AR or AP accounts.)
• QuickBooks automatically created the account, like Undeposited Funds.
To modify an account, in the Chart of Accounts window, select the account you want
to edit, and then press Ctrl+E or click Account→Edit Account. In the Edit Account
window that appears, make your changes, and then click Save & Close.
Hiding Accounts
If you create an account by mistake, you can delete it (you’ll learn how in a sec).
However, because QuickBooks drops your financial transactions into account buckets
and you don’t want to throw away historical information, you’ll usually want to hide
accounts that you don’t use anymore instead of deleting them.
Records of past transactions are important, whether you want to review the amount
of business you’ve received from a customer or the IRS is asking unsettling questions.
When you hide an account in QuickBooks, the account continues to hold your
historical transactions, but it doesn’t appear in account lists, so you can’t choose it
by mistake with a misplaced click. For example, you wouldn’t delete your Nutrition
Service income account just because you’ve discontinued your nutrition-consulting
service to focus on selling your new book, The See Food Diet. The income you earned
from that service in the past needs to stay in your records.
Hiding and reactivating accounts (Figure 3-5) can also come in handy if QuickBooks
created a chart of accounts for you based on the industry you chose during setup
(page 10). If the chart of accounts it created includes accounts you don’t think you
need, simply hide those accounts for the time being. That way, if you find yourself
saying, “Gosh, I wish I had an account for the accumulated depreciation of vehicles,”
the solution might be as simple as reactivating a hidden account.
56 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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FIGURE 3-5
Top: To hide an account,
in the Chart of Accounts
window, right-click the
account and choose Make
Account Inactive from
this shortcut menu. The
account and any subaccounts
that belong to it
disappear from the list.
Bottom: To reactivate a
hidden account, first display
all your accounts by
turning on the “Include
inactive” checkbox at the
bottom of the Chart of Accounts
window. When you
do that, QuickBooks adds
a column with an X as
its heading and displays
an X in that column for
every hidden account in
the list. To un-hide an
account, click the X next
to its name.
If the account has
subaccounts, QuickBooks
displays the Activate
Group dialog box; there,
click Yes to reactivate
the account and all its
subaccounts.
Deleting Accounts
You can delete an account only if nothing in QuickBooks references it in any way. An
account with references is a red flag that deleting it might not be the right choice. If
you try to delete such an account, QuickBooks displays a message box telling you
it can’t delete the account and recommends making it inactive instead. If that isn’t
enough to deter you, the sheer tedium of removing references to an account should
nudge you toward hiding the account instead. If you insist on deleting an account,
here are the conditions that prevent you from doing so and what you have to do to
remove these constraints:
Chapter 3: Setting Up a Chart of Accounts 57
WORKING WITH
ACCOUNTS • An item uses the account. If you create any items that use the account as an
income account, expense account, cost of goods sold account, or inventory asset
account, you can’t delete it. You have to edit the items to use other accounts
first, as described on page 114.
• The account has subaccounts. You have to delete all subaccounts before you
can delete the parent account.
• Payroll uses the account. You can’t delete an account if your payroll setup
uses it.
• A transaction references the account. If you created even one transaction that
uses the account, either edit that transaction to use a different account or hide
the account if you want to keep the transaction the way it is.
• The account has a balance. An account balance comes from either an opening
balance transaction or other transactions that reference the account. You remove
an account balance by reassigning all the transactions to another account.
To reassign transactions, in the Chart of Accounts window, double-click the account’s
name. For accounts with balances, QuickBooks opens a register window where you
can select a transaction and then edit it. For accounts without balances, QuickBooks
opens an Account QuickReport window. To edit a transaction that appears in this
report, double-click the transaction. QuickBooks then opens a window related to
that transaction (for instance, the Write Checks window appears if the transaction
is a check). Edit the transaction to use a different account.
After you’ve removed all references to the account, in the Chart of Accounts
window, select the account you want to delete, and then press Ctrl+D or choose
Account→Delete Account. QuickBooks asks you to confirm that you want to delete
the account; click OK.
Merging Accounts
Suppose you find multiple accounts with the same purpose—Postage and Mail
Expense, say—lurking in your chart of accounts. No problem! You can merge the
accounts into one and then remind everyone who creates accounts in QuickBooks
about your naming conventions. (If you haven’t gotten around to setting up naming
conventions, see page 46 for some guidelines.)
TIP  Before you merge accounts, see what your accountant thinks. There’s no going back once you’ve merged
two accounts—they’re combined for good. And QuickBooks’ audit trail (page 441) doesn’t keep track of this kind
of change.
QuickBooks sweeps all the transactions from the account you merge into the account
you keep, so you can merge accounts only if they’re the same type. (As an
experienced manager, you can imagine the havoc that merging income and expense
accounts would cause in your financial statements.) In addition, accounts must be
at the same level in the chart of accounts; in other words, they both have to be
58 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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ACCOUNTS
parent accounts or subaccounts. To move an account to another level, in the Chart
of Accounts window, position your cursor over the small diamond to the left of the
account’s name. When the cursor turns into a four-headed arrow, drag to the left or
right so that the account is indented the same amount as the other account.
NOTE  If you find two accounts with similar names but different types, those accounts might not represent
the same thing. For instance, an expense account named Telephone Ex. probably contains your monthly telephone
service costs, while an asset account named Telephone Eq. might represent the money you invested in a big
telephone switch that your mega-corporation owns. In this situation, the accounts are different types and should
be separate, although more meaningful names and descriptions would help differentiate them.
Here’s how to eliminate an extraneous account:
1. Switch to single-user mode, as described on page 493.
You have to be in single-user mode to merge accounts. Be nice to your fellow
QuickBooks users by making these changes outside of working hours. If you
have to merge accounts during the workday, remember to tell your coworkers
they can log into the program after you’ve switched the company file back to
multi-user mode.
2. Press Ctrl+A to open the Chart of Accounts window. Then, in the chart of
accounts list, click the name of the account you want to eliminate, and then
press Ctrl+E.
The Edit Account window opens.
3. In the Edit Account window, change the account number and name to match
the values for the account you want to keep.
As long as you get the letters and numbers right, QuickBooks takes care of
matching uppercase and lowercase for you.
If you don’t remember the number and name of the account you’re keeping,
drag the Chart of Accounts window and the Edit Account window so you can
see both at the same time. (If QuickBooks won’t let you do that, you might have
the One Window preference turned on; see page 649 to learn how to change
your settings to display multiple windows.)
4. In the Edit Account window, click Save & Close, read the message informing
you that the account number is in use and asking whether you want to
merge the accounts, and then click Yes.
In the chart of accounts list, the account you renamed disappears, and any
transactions for that account are now associated with the account you kept.
59
CHAPTER
4
You may be fond of strutting around your sales department proclaiming,
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something!” As it turns out, you can
quote that tired adage in your accounting department, too. Whether you sell
products or services, the first sale to a new customer often initiates a flurry of activity,
including creating a new customer in QuickBooks, assigning a job for the work,
and the ultimate goal of all this effort—invoicing your customer (sending an invoice
for what you sold that states how much the customer owes) to collect some income.
The people who buy what you sell have plenty of nicknames: customers, clients,
consumers, patrons, patients, purchasers, donors, members, shoppers, and so on.
QuickBooks throws out the thesaurus and applies one moniker to every person or
organization that buys from you: customer. In QuickBooks, a customer is a record
of information about your real-life customer. The program takes the data you enter
about customers and uses it to fill in invoices and other sales forms with your customers’
names, addresses, payment terms, and other info.
Real-world customers are essential to your success, but do you need customers in
your QuickBooks company file? Even if you run a primarily cash business, creating
customers in QuickBooks could still be a good idea. For example, setting up QuickBooks
records for the repeat customers at your store saves you time by automatically
filling in their information on each new sales receipt.
If your business revolves around projects, you can create a job in QuickBooks for
each project you do for a customer. To QuickBooks, a job is a record of a real-life
project that you agreed (or perhaps begged) to perform for a customer—remodeling
a kitchen, designing an ad campaign, or whatever. Suppose you’re a plumber
and you regularly do work for a general contractor. You could create several jobs,
Setting Up Customers,
Jobs, and Vendors
60 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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THE CUSTOMER
CENTER one for each place you plumb: Smith house, Jones house, and Winfrey house. In
QuickBooks, you can then track income and expenses by job and gauge each one’s
profitability. However, if your company doesn’t take on jobs, you don’t have to create
them in QuickBooks. For example, retail stores sell products, not projects. If you
don’t need jobs, you can simply create your customers in QuickBooks and then move
on to invoicing them or creating sales receipts for their purchases.
Even before you start receiving payments from customers, you’re going to do business
with vendors and pay them for their services and products. The telephone
company, your accountant, and the subcontractor who installs Venetian plaster in
your spec houses are all vendors. The information QuickBooks needs about vendors
isn’t all that different from what you specify for customers.
This chapter guides you through creating and managing customers, jobs, and vendors
in QuickBooks. It also helps you decide how to apply the program’s customer, job,
and vendor fields to your business.
ALTERNATE REALITY
Tracking Donors for Nonprofits
For nonprofit organizations, any individual or organization that
sends money is a donor, but the term “donor” doesn’t appear
in most QuickBooks editions. The Premier Nonprofit edition of
the program mentions donors, pledges, and other nonprofit
terms, but QuickBooks Pro and other Premier editions focus
single-mindedly on customers, so you may have to get used to
thinking “donor” whenever you see “customer” in QuickBooks.
Likewise, a job in QuickBooks is the equivalent of a contract
or grant. If you need to report on a grant or contract, add a
separate job for it to the customer (er, donor) who donated
the funds.
Entering members or individual donors as separate customers
can max out QuickBooks’ customer name limit or make the program
run slowly. The Enterprise Solutions edition of QuickBooks
can handle a larger number of customers, but most nonprofits
would choke at that edition’s price tag. To solve this dilemma,
create customers in QuickBooks to represent generic pools,
such as donors and members. For example, create a customer
called Unrestricted and then post all unrestricted donations to
that customer. Then keep the details of your donor and member
names in a separate donor database, spreadsheet, or program
designed specifically for nonprofits.
Working with the Customer Center
The Customer Center (Figure 4-1) is a one-stop shop for customers and jobs; you
can create, modify, and view their records, as well as create transactions for them.
QuickBooks gives you four easy ways to open the Customer Center window:
• From anywhere in the program, press Ctrl+J.
• On the QuickBooks Home Page, at the top of the Customers panel, click
Customers.
• On the QuickBooks menu bar, choose Customers→Customer Center.
• In the icon bar, click Customers.
Chapter 4: Setting Up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors 61
WORKING WITH
THE CUSTOMER
CENTER
FIGURE 4-1
To create a new customer
in the Customer Center,
click New Customer &
Job→New Customer. To
view a customer’s details
and transactions, on the
Customers & Jobs tab on
the left side of this window,
click the customer’s
name. If the Transactions
tab is selected instead,
you’ll see a New Customer
button on the Customer
Center menu bar; clicking
it opens the New
Customer window.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the customer- and job-related tasks you can
perform within the Customer Center:
• Create a new customer or job. In the Customer Center toolbar at the top of
the window, click New Customer & Job. In the drop-down menu, choose New
Customer to create a new customer record (page 64), or choose Add Multiple
Customer:Jobs to add several customers.
• Add a job to an existing customer. Select the customer in the Customers &
Jobs tab on the left side of the Customer Center, and then click New Customer
& Job→Add Job (page 74).
• Find a customer. You can filter the list in the Customers & Jobs tab to show
active customers, only customers who owe you money (customers with open
balances), and so on, simply by choosing an option in the tab’s unlabeled dropdown
list (it’s initially set to Active Customers). Choose Custom Filter to specify
criteria for the customers you want to see. To search for a specific customer,
type part of the customer’s name in the tab’s second unlabeled box, and then
click the Find button (it has a magnifying glass on it). The Find button then
changes to an X, which you can click to clear the value in the Find box and
redisplay the complete list.
• Review a customer or job record. When you select a customer or job on the
Customers & Jobs tab, the right side of the center displays the basic 411 about
that customer or job. In the Customer Information (or Job Information) section,
62 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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CENTER
shown in Figure 4-2, you can get directions to its location, look at key information
like the open balance for the customer or job, attach electronic documents
to the record, or run reports about the customer or job.
FIGURE 4-2
To open or edit a customer’s
or job’s record,
in the Customers & Jobs
tab, select the customer
or job so it appears in the
Customer Information (or
Job Information) section,
as shown here. To edit
it, click the Edit button
labeled here. To see more
info about the selected
customer or job, click the
Transactions, Contacts, To
Do’s, Notes, or Sent Email
tabs at the bottom right
of the window.
To see transactions for
all customers, click the
Transactions tab on the
left side of the window.
• Review a customer’s or job’s status. Suppose you want to look at a bar graph
of sales you’ve made to a customer by time period, review the items that customer
buys the most, and then scan a customer’s recent invoices and payments.
First, select the customer in the Customers & Jobs tab. Then, on the right side
of the Customer Center, click the Customer Snapshot link to open the Company
Snapshot window (page 343) to the Customer tab.
• Edit a customer or job. To open the Edit Customer or Edit Job window, in the
Customers & Jobs tab, right-click the name of a customer or job, and then choose
Edit Customer or Edit Job, respectively. Or select a customer or job, and then
click the Edit button labeled in Figure 4-2.
• Create transactions for a customer or job. If you’re reviewing a customer’s or
job’s transactions and realize you forgot to record an invoice or other transaction,
you can easily create transactions right from the Customer Center window.
Select the customer or job in the Customers & Jobs tab and then, in the window’s
toolbar, click New Transactions and choose a transaction type from the
drop-down menu, such as Estimates, Invoices, or Receive Payments. The items
in this menu are the same as the icons in the Customers panel on the Home
Page and open the corresponding window to record that type of transaction.
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customer or job. When the Customers & Jobs tab is displayed on the left side of
the window, the bottom right of the Customer Center includes tabs for transactions,
contacts, to-dos, notes, and sent emails. If you click the Transactions tab
at the bottom right of the window, you’ll see a table with the transactions for
the customer or job you selected in the Customers & Jobs tab. You can filter
these transactions by type (estimates or invoices, for example), status, and
date. Double-click a transaction in the list to open a window with details about
it. Click the Contacts, To Do’s, Notes, or Sent Email tabs to create, edit, or view
contacts, to-dos, notes, or emails for the selected customer.
• Review transactions for all customers. When you click the Transactions tab
on the left side of the window and then click a type of transaction (such as Estimate,
Invoices, or Received Payments), the right side of the window displays
transactions of that type for all customers. Depending on the type you choose,
you can filter these transactions by status (such as open or overdue), payment
method, and date.
• Print or export customer information. When you click the Customers &
Jobs tab on the left side of the window, you can print, copy, import, or export
customer info. In the center’s toolbar, click Print to print customer information
(page 153) or click Excel to import or export customer and job info (page 691).
If you click the Transactions tab on the left side of the window instead, you can
print or export customer transactions.
Creating Customers in QuickBooks
Alas, you first have to persuade customers to work with your company. But once
you’ve cleared that hurdle, creating those customers in QuickBooks is easy. (The box
on page 60 describes how to use QuickBooks customer records to set up donors
for nonprofits, and the box on page 65 provides some hints on keeping customers
straight in QuickBooks.) The program offers several methods for creating customer
records:
• QuickBooks Setup. When you’re getting started with the program, you can use
the QuickBooks Setup dialog box to quickly import piles of customer, vendor,
and employee information from your email program or by copying and pasting
data from Excel, as described on page 14. To return to the QuickBooks Setup
dialog box’s “Get all the details into QuickBooks” screen at any time (page 14)
to add more records, simply choose Company→Bulk Enter Business Details.
• One at a time. The New Customer window is perfect when you land a new customer
and need to add their info to your QuickBooks company file. It lets you
create one customer at a time, although you can create several records in a row
without closing the window. The next section (page 64) describes how to create
customers with this window and explains what each customer field represents.
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TIP  If you don’t add customers very often, you can create a customer record when you create that customer’s
first invoice or sales receipt: In the invoice’s or sales receipt’s Customer:Job box (page 224), type the customer’s
name, and then press Tab to move to the next field. When you do that, the Customer:Job Not Found dialog box
appears. To add the new customer to the Customer:Job List without filling in any other info, click Quick Add.
Alternatively, click Set Up to open the New Customer dialog box, where you can fill in as many fields as you want.
If you typed a nonexistent customer name by mistake, click Cancel.
• Copying data. You can also create customers in batches. With the Add/Edit
Multiple List Entries feature (page 118), you can paste data from Excel or copy
values from customer to customer.
• Importing data. This method is ideal when you have scads of customer records
to set up. After you create a map between QuickBooks’ fields and fields in another
program, you can transfer your customer info as described on page 127.
Creating a New Customer
Here’s the short and sweet method of creating one customer in QuickBooks:
1. In the Customer Center toolbar, click New Customer & Job→New Customer
(or press Ctrl+N).
The New Customer window opens (Figure 4-3).
FIGURE 4-3
Although the Opening
Balance box beckons
from below the Customer
Name field here, it’s
better to leave it blank.
The box on page 67
explains the best way
to define a customer’s
opening balance, and the
following sections explain
what’s on each of this
window’s tabs (Address
Info, Payment Settings,
and so on).
2. In the Customer Name field, type a unique name or code for this customer,
following the naming convention you’ve chosen (see the box on page 65).
This is the only field you have to fill in—the rest are optional.
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3. To save this customer’s record and close the New Customer window, click OK.
To discard what you entered and close the window, click Cancel instead.
WORD TO THE WISE
Making Customers Easy to Identify
In QuickBooks, the Customer Name and Vendor Name fields
don’t show the names that appear on invoices or bills. Instead,
they’re like a code that uniquely identifies each customer or
vendor so you can tell them apart.
If you own a small company, you’re not likely to mistakenly
create multiple records for the same customer or vendor. Your
Customer and Vendor lists are short, so you can probably
remember all the people and companies on them. Even so,
it’s a good idea to define a standard for names.
Consistent naming can help you avoid having multiple records
for the same customer or vendor by preventing you from
creating slightly different values in the Customer Name or
Vendor Name field. For example, you could end up with three
customer records in QuickBooks all representing the same
real-world customer, such as Cales’s Capers, Cales Capers, and
CalesCapers. The same holds true for vendors.
QuickBooks doesn’t enforce naming conventions. So after
you define rules that work for your business, you have to
be disciplined and apply those rules each time you create a
new customer or vendor. (You’re free to use alphanumeric
characters and punctuation in names.) Here are a few of the
more common naming conventions:
• The first few letters of the customer’s or vendor’s company
name, followed by a unique numeric identifier. This
standard is easy to apply and differentiates customers
or vendors as long as their names don’t all begin with
the same words. For example, if the companies you
do business with aren’t imaginative, your names could
end up as Wine001, Wine002, and Wine003. But if the
companies are Zinfandels To Go, Merlot Mania, and
Cabernet Cabinet, this system works nicely.
• For individuals, the person’s last name followed by a
comma, his first name, and then a numeric ID to make the
name unique. Although unusual names such as Zaphod
Beeblebrox render a numeric ID unnecessary, using this
standard ensures that all names are unique.
• The actual company name with any punctuation and
spaces omitted. Removing spaces and punctuation from
company names helps eliminate multiple versions of the
same name. If you choose this convention, using capital
letters at the beginning of each word (called camel
caps) makes the names more readable. For instance,
Icantbelieveitsyogurt is a headache waiting to happen,
but ICantBelieveItsYogurt looks more like its spaced and
punctuated counterpart.
• A unique alphanumeric code. Customer:Job drop-down
menus and reports sort entries by the values in the
Customer Name field of customer records. (Vendor dropdown
menus and reports sort by the Vendor Name field.)
Codes like X123Y4JQ use only a few characters to produce
unique identifiers, but they’re also so cryptic that they
make it difficult to pick out the name you want in dropdown
lists, or to sort reports in a meaningful way. Stick
with using part of the company name (at the beginning
of the name, since names appear alphabetically) unless
you have hundreds or thousands of customers or vendors.
TIP  If you buy from and sell to the same company or individual, you probably already know that you can’t
use the same name in the Customer, Vendor, Employee, and Other Names lists. If a customer is also a vendor, you
need two records for that company or individual—and they have to have different names. The solution? Add text
to the Customer Name and Vendor Name fields to identify which list the record belongs to, such as “Tek Turner
(Cust)” in the customer record’s Customer Name field and “Tek Turner (Vend)” in the vendor record’s Vendor
Name field. Fortunately, QuickBooks doesn’t care if the other fields in the customer and vendor records contain
the same info.
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The box below tells you how to prevent your QuickBooks Customer:Job List from
growing out of control.
The New Customer (and Edit Customer) windows group info onto several tabs so
it’s easier to find the fields you want to fill in. The contact and address info is all on
the first tab, Address Info. All the fields related to payments are on the Payment
Settings tab. The Sales Tax Settings tab contains fields for sales tax, so you can skip
it entirely if you don’t sell taxable goods. The Additional Info tab holds a few miscellaneous
fields like customer type, sales rep, and any custom fields you’ve created.
You’ll learn about the Job Info tab on page 74. The next several sections step you
through each tab and the fields on each one.
TROUBLESHOOTING MOMENT
How Many Names?
If you’re a big fish in the small-business pond, you might bump
up against limitations on the number of names you can add to
your QuickBooks company file. In QuickBooks Pro and Premier
editions, the maximum number of names you can have in the
Customer, Vendor, Employee, and Other Names lists combined
is 14,500. Here are a few techniques you can use to avoid maxing
out your name lists:
• Conserve names. Be frugal with names by creating one
customer or vendor to represent many individual sales
or purchases. For example, you can aggregate all your
cash sales under a single customer named Cash Sales.
Or you can combine all your meal expenses by using a
single vendor named Meals. Just keep in mind that, by
doing so, you can’t produce reports by individual names.
However, you can store a customer’s name in the Bill To
field in sales forms or in the Memo field in a bill, check,
or credit card charge.
• Keep an eye on how many names you have. Press F2
anytime to call up the Product Information window so
you can view the number of entries you have in each list.
They appear in the List Information box on the right side
of the window.
• Upgrade. If there’s no getting around your company’s
gluttony for names, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
lets you add more than 100,000 names, although Intuit
warns you that the program might not run as quickly as
the number of names increases.
ENTERING CONTACT INFORMATION
If you plan to bill your customers, ship products to them, or call them to make them
feel appreciated, address and contact information is important. You record this info
on the New Customer window’s Address Info tab. Here’s a guide to what you enter
on this tab:
• Company Name. Unlike the Customer Name field, where you enter whatever
name or code you want to use to identify this customer, this field is where
you enter the customer’s name as you want it to appear on invoices and other
forms you create. QuickBooks automatically copies what you type here into
the Invoice/Bill To box below.
• Full Name. To address invoices, letters, and other company communications,
enter the primary contact’s salutation or title, first name, middle initial, and last
name in the appropriate fields here. QuickBooks automatically copies what you
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type in these fields into the Invoice/Bill To fields. You can also fill in the Job Title
box with this person’s title.
NOTE  After you create a customer, you can add additional contacts for that customer in the Customer Center.
Page 72 tells you how.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Opening Act
Should I add an opening balance for new customers?
Since the Opening Balance field is always visible at the top
of the New Customer window (Figure 4-3), you might think
you should fill it in. But you’re actually better off skipping it.
Entering an opening balance as of a specific date is a shortcut
that eliminates having to create the invoices that generate the
customer’s current balance. But that shortcut comes at a price:
If customers haven’t paid, then you might have a hard time
collecting the money they owe you, especially if you can’t tell
them what services and products you delivered, how much they
cost, the invoice numbers, and when the invoices were due. And
when your customers do pay, you can’t accept those payments
against specific invoices to track your Accounts Receivable. In
addition, QuickBooks creates a new account in your chart of
accounts called Uncategorized Income and creates an invoice
that increases (debits) your Accounts Receivable account and
increases (credits) your Uncategorized Income account by the
amount of the opening balance you enter.
The best way to record a customer’s balance is to create
QuickBooks invoices for the invoices the customer hasn’t paid
yet (called “open invoices”). That way, you’ll have complete
documentation of those sales, the corresponding balance in
your Accounts Receivable account, and credits to the correct
income accounts. (To learn about recording customer open
balances, download online Appendix I from this book’s Missing
CD page at missingmanuals/cds.) Also, you can
then apply the payments that come in to settle those invoices.
TIP  The Address Info tab has additional fields for contact information, including four phone numbers, two
email addresses, the company’s website, and a field labeled “Other 1.” If you look closely, you’ll notice that the
labels for these eight fields have down arrows on them, so you can set these fields to any of 24 contact-related
fields, such as Home Phone, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, URL 1, and Skype ID.
• Invoice/Bill To. QuickBooks uses the address you enter in this box on invoices.
To edit this address, click the Edit button to its right (it has a pencil icon on
it). Then, in the Edit Address Information dialog box, fill in the street address,
city, state, country, and postal code, or paste that info from another program.
QuickBooks automatically turns on the “Show this window again when address
is incomplete or unclear” checkbox, which tells the program to notify you when
you forget a field like City or when the address is ambiguous. For example, say
you fill in the Invoice/Bill To box with “Santa Claus, North Pole.” If you then click
Copy>> to use that address as a shipping address, QuickBooks opens the Edit
Address Information dialog box so you can flesh out the address with a street,
city, and arctic postal code.
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TIP  You can quickly enter addresses and contact info for all your customers by importing data from another
program (page 127) or by using QuickBooks’ Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature (page 118).
• Ship To. If you don’t ship products to this customer, you can skip this field. If
the billing and shipping addresses are the same, click Copy>> to replicate the
contents of the Invoice/Bill To field in the Ship To field. (The greater-than symbols
on the button indicate the direction that QuickBooks copies the address—left
to right.) Otherwise, click the + button to this field’s right, and then fill in the
Add Shipping Address Information dialog box.
TIP  You can define more than one ship-to address for a single customer, which is perfect if that customer
has multiple locations. To add another ship-to address, click the + button to the field’s right, and then fill in the
Add Shipping Address Information dialog box. Once you’ve added shipping addresses, you can choose the one
you want from the Ship To drop-down list. When the shipping address you use most often is visible, turn on the
“Default shipping address” checkbox below the Ship To field to tell QuickBooks to pick that address automatically.
Click the Edit button (the pencil icon to the field’s right) or the Delete button (the trash can icon) to modify or
remove a shipping address, respectively.
ENTERING PAYMENT INFORMATION
The Payment Settings tab (Figure 4-4) is the place to indicate how the customer
pays and how much credit you’re willing to extend.
FIGURE 4-4
Several of the fields on
this tab use QuickBooks’
lists. To jump directly to
the list entry you want,
in any text box with a
drop-down list, type the
first few characters of
the entry. QuickBooks
selects the first entry that
matches what you’ve
typed and continues to
reselect the best match as
you continue typing. You
can also scroll to the entry
in the list and click to
select it. If the entry you
want doesn’t exist, click
<Add New> to create it.
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You can use the following fields to specify the customer’s payment info:
• Account No. Account numbers are optional in QuickBooks. Large accounting
programs often assign unique account numbers to customers, which reduces
the time it takes to locate a customer’s record. In QuickBooks, the Customer
Name field works like an identifier, so you’re best off reserving the Account No.
field for an account number generated by one of your other business systems.
• Payment Terms. What you select here represents the payment terms the customer
has agreed to. The entries in this drop-down list come from the Terms List
(page 144), which QuickBooks uses for both payment terms for your customers
and the ones you accept from your vendors. Out of the box, this list includes
several of the most common payment terms, such as “Due on receipt” and Net
30, but you can choose <Add New> at the top of this list to define additional
payment terms. If you leave this field blank in a customer’s record, you have to
choose the payment terms every time you create an invoice for that customer.
NOTE  QuickBooks’ payment terms are more than just labels. If you use terms like “1% 10 Net 30” and the
customer pays within 10 days, the program is smart enough to calculate a 1 percent discount on the customer’s
balance.
• Preferred Delivery Method. Choose E-mail, Mail, or None to identify the
method that your customer prefers for receiving information. If you choose
E-mail, QuickBooks automatically turns on the E-mail checkbox when you
create forms (such as invoices) for this customer. The Mail method represents
snail-mailing your customers’ info. When you choose that option, you’re on
your own: QuickBooks doesn’t change any settings for you. Choose None if you
typically print documents and mail them the old-fashioned way. You can’t add a
new entry to the Preferred Delivery Method list, so if you use carrier pigeons to
correspond with your incarcerated customers, you’ll just have to choose None
and remember that delivery method.
• Preferred Payment Method. Choose the form of payment that the customer
uses most frequently. This drop-down list includes several common ones, such
as Cash, Check, and Visa, but you can add others by choosing <Add New>. The
payment method you specify automatically appears in the Receive Payments
window (page 347) when you choose this customer. If a regular customer pays
with a method different from the one you chose here, you can simply select
that method in the Receive Payments window.
• Credit Card Information. For credit card payments, you can specify the customer’s
card number, the name on the card, the billing address, the Zip/postal
code, and the expiration date. (You can enter only one credit card number for
each customer.)
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NOTE  If you store customer credit card numbers in QuickBooks, turn on the Customer Credit Card Protection
feature (choose Company→Customer Credit Card Protection, and then click Enable Protection). That way, the
program helps you comply with credit card industry security requirements (page 727). For example, any user
who views complete credit card information has to create a complex password. In addition, QuickBooks doesn’t
let you store the card’s security code (the three-digit number on the back of the card) because doing so violates
your merchant account agreement and PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards.
• Credit Limit. This is where you can specify the amount of credit that you’re
willing to extend to the customer. If you do, then QuickBooks warns you when
an order or invoice exceeds this customer’s credit limit, but that’s as far as it
goes—it’s up to you to reject the order or to ship your products COD. If you
don’t plan to enforce the credit limits you assign, then don’t bother entering a
value in this field.
• Price Level. More often than not, customers pay different prices for the same
product. Just think about the labyrinth of pricing options for seats on airplanes,
for instance. In QuickBooks, price levels represent discounts or markups that you
apply to transactions. For example, you might have one price level called Top20,
which applies a 20 percent discount for your best customers, and another price
level called AuntMabel that extends a 50 percent discount to your Aunt Mabel
because she fronted you the money to start your business. (Page 138 explains
how to define price levels.) Once you create a price level, you can tell QuickBooks
to apply it to every transaction for a customer by choosing it in this box.
NOTE  Intuit e-Invoicing (introduced in QuickBooks 2015 R4) is the new and improved online payment
subscription service. It replaces the Online Payment service available in previous versions of QuickBooks. If you
want to email invoices to customers and receive payments electronically, head to online Appendix E (available
from this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds) for the full scoop on Intuit e-Invoicing.
SPECIFYING SALES TAX INFORMATION
The Sales Tax Settings tab appears whether or not you turn on QuickBooks’ Sales
Tax preference (page 670). However, if sales tax isn’t turned on, the fields on this
tab are grayed out. If the customer pays sales tax, choose Tax in the Tax Code dropdown
list. Then, in the Tax Item drop-down list, choose the option that specifies the
tax rate the customer pays. (Chapter 21 tells the whole story of setting up, charging,
and remitting sales tax.)
SPECIFYING ADDITIONAL CUSTOMER INFORMATION
The New Customer window’s Additional Info tab serves up a few fields that let you
categorize your customers. Here are the fields and some ways to use them:
• Customer Type. You might want to classify customers so you can send customized
communications to each type or determine which types are the most
profitable. (Turn to page 82 to learn how to set up customer and job types
and different ways to use them.) Once you’ve set up customer types, you can
categorize a customer by choosing from this drop-down list, which displays the
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entries from your Customer Type List, such as government, health insurance,
or private pay, if you run a healthcare company.
• Rep. Choosing a name in this field links a customer to a sales representative,
which is helpful if you want to track sales reps’ results. But reps don’t have to be
sales representatives: One of the best ways to provide good customer service
is to assign a customer service rep to each customer. When you choose <Add
New> here to create a new Rep entry (page 141), you can select existing names
from the Employee List, Vendor List, or Other Names List, or add a new name
to one of those lists to use as a rep.
• Custom Fields. QuickBooks offers 15 custom fields, which you can use to store
important info that QuickBooks doesn’t include fields for out of the box. Because
custom fields don’t use drop-down lists, you have to type your entries and take
care to enter values consistently. The box below has more about custom fields.
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Defining Custom Fields for Lists
QuickBooks’ customer, vendor, employee, and item records
include lots of fields you can fill in, but those fields may not
cover all the information you need. For example, you might
want to note which branch office supports a customer. Or for
employees, you could track whether they participate in your
company’s community service program.
QuickBooks’ answer to this issue is custom fields. After you
create a custom field and apply it to a list, QuickBooks adds
the custom field’s label and a text box to the Additional Info
tab (Figure 4-5, background). You have to type your entries
in custom field boxes each time; there’s no drop-down list or
a way to compare it with text you entered in other records.
So it’s up to you to make sure that your data entry is correct
and consistent.
To set up a custom field, follow these steps:
1. In the appropriate New or Edit window (New Customer or
Edit Vendor, for example), click the Additional Info tab.
2. Click the Define Fields button. The “Set up Custom Fields
for Names” dialog box (Figure 4-5, foreground) opens.
3. In one of the 15 Label cells, type a name for the field.
4. If you’re associating a custom field with a customer,
vendor, or employee record, click the cell for the
appropriate list (Cust, Vend, or Empl) and QuickBooks
puts a checkmark there. For example, if the Region custom
field applies to both the Customer:Job List and the Vendor
List, you’d want checkmarks in both the Cust and Vend
columns. You can associate up to seven custom fields with
the Customer:Job List, Vendor List, or Employee List. To
create a custom field or assign one to an item, in the New
Item or Edit Item window, click Custom Fields. The Item
List can have up to five custom fields associated with it.
5. Click OK. QuickBooks adds your custom field to the
appropriate Additional Info tab.
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FIGURE 4-5
The “Set up Custom Fields
for Names” dialog box
(which opens when you
click Define Fields in a
New or Edit window for
customers, vendors, or
employees) lets you create
up to 15 custom fields.
To associate a custom
field with a customer,
vendor, or employee, click
the corresponding cell
in the field’s row in the
table. You can associate a
custom field with one or
more types of names; for
example, with both customers
and employees.
NOTE  The New Customer window also includes a Job Info tab, which (not surprisingly) has fields for jobrelated
information. If a customer hires you to do more than one job, skip the Job Info tab, since you’ll create
separate jobs to track that info, as described on page 73. On the other hand, if you don’t track jobs, you could use
this tab’s Job Status field to store the overall status of your work for the customer, although a contact-management
or project-management program is probably more useful.
Adding More Customer Contacts
When you create a customer, you can specify information about one contact (typically
the primary contact) on the New Customer window’s Address Info tab (page
66). After you finish creating the customer’s record, you can then add more contacts
to it. For example, you might add contacts for the person who handles day-to-day
billing questions, the employee who resolves shipping issues, and the person to
contact if you need to escalate a problem. You can also edit or delete contacts as
the people you deal with change offices or transfer to new jobs.
When you select a customer in the Customer Center’s Customers & Jobs list, you
see contact info for that customer on the right side of the window. Here’s how you
add more contacts to the customer’s record:
1. Click the Contacts tab in the window’s lower-right pane (Figure 4-6).
The Contacts table appears, listing the existing contacts for the selected customer.
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2. To add a new contact, click Manage Contacts at the bottom of the pane, and
then choose Add New to open the Contacts window.
The Contacts dialog box opens.
3. Fill in the boxes, such as Job Title, First Name, Last Name, and so on. In the
Contact Type drop-down list, choose Primary Contact, Secondary Contact,
or Additional Contact.
The fields in the Contacts dialog box are a subset of those on the New Customer
window’s Address Info tab. They include Job Title and Name fields, as well as five
other fields that are initially set to Work Phone, Work Fax, Mobile, Main Email,
and Additional Email. If you contact the person via Skype or LinkedIn instead,
click the field label and then choose the appropriate type of contact info from
the drop-down list to switch the customer field associated with that box.
4. Click “Save and New” to add another contact or “Save and Close” to close
the window.
FIGURE 4-6
To add another
contact, click Manage
Contacts→Add New, as
shown here.
Anytime you want to see
information about one of
the additional contacts
you’ve created, select the
contact in the Contacts tab
visible here, and then click
Manage Contacts→Edit
Selected Contact. To
delete the selected
contact instead, click
Manage Contacts→Delete
Selected Contact.
Creating Jobs in QuickBooks
Project-based work means that your current effort for a customer has a beginning
and an end (even if it sometimes feels like the project will last forever). Whether
you build custom homes or custom home entertainment systems, you can use
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QuickBooks’ job-tracking features to analyze financial performance by project
(known as job costing).
Suppose you want to know whether you’re making more money on the mansion
you’re building or on the bungalow remodel, and the percentage of profit you made
on each project. As long as you create jobs for each project you want to track,
QuickBooks can calculate these financial measures.
NOTE  If you sell products and don’t give a hoot about job tracking, you can simply invoice customers for
the products you sell without ever creating a job in QuickBooks.
In QuickBooks, jobs cling to customers like baby possums to their mothers. A QuickBooks
job always belongs to a customer. In fact, if you try to create a job before you
create a customer, you’ll see a message box telling you to create a customer first.
Both the New Customer and Edit Customer windows include tabs for customer info
and job info. So when you create a customer, in effect, you create one job automatically,
but you can add as many as you need. This section explains how.
Creating a New Job
Because jobs belong to customers, you have to create a customer (page 64) before
you can create any of that customer’s jobs. Once the customer exists, follow these
steps to add a job to the customer’s record:
1. In the Customer Center’s Customers & Jobs tab, right-click the customer you
want to create a job for, and then choose Add Job from the shortcut menu.
You can also select the customer in the Customers & Jobs tab and then, in the
Customer Center toolbar, choose New Customer & Job→Add Job. Either way,
the New Job window opens.
2. In the Job Name box, type a name for the job.
This name will appear on invoices and other customer documents. You can type
up to 41 characters in this box. The best names are short but easily recognizable
to both you and the customer.
QuickBooks fills in most of the remaining job fields with the information you
entered for the customer associated with this job. The only time you have to
edit the fields on the Address Info, Payment Settings, and Additional Info tabs
is when the information on these tabs is different for this job. For example, if
materials for the job go to a different shipping address than the customer’s,
type the address in the fields on the Address Info tab.
3. If you want to add info about the job type, dates, or status, click the Job
Info tab and enter values in the appropriate fields.
If you add job types (page 82), you can analyze jobs with similar characteristics,
no matter which customer hired you to do the work. Filling in the Job Status
field lets you see what’s going on by scanning the Customer Center, as shown
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in Figure 4-7. If you want to see whether you’re going to finish the work on
schedule, you can document your estimated and actual dates for the job in the
Date fields; see the box on page 76 for more about these fields.
NOTE  To change the values you can choose in the Job Status field, modify the status text in QuickBooks’
preferences (see page 661).
4. After you’ve filled in the job fields, click OK to save the job and close the
New Job window.
FIGURE 4-7
When you select a job
in the Customer Center
(jobs are indented below
their customers), the Job
Information section of
the window displays Job
Status, Start Date, Projected
End, and End Date
(if you’ve added values
to those fields). To edit
info you’ve entered for a
job, double-click the job’s
name in the Customers &
Jobs tab to open the Edit
Job dialog box or click the
Edit button (its icon is a
pencil) to the right of the
Job Information heading.
TIP  You can create a new job for a customer right in the Create Invoices window or the Enter Sales Receipts
window. To do so, in either window’s Customer:Job box, type the name of the existing customer, type a colon,
and then type the name of the job. When you press Tab or click in another field, the Customer:Job Not Found
message box opens. To simply add the new job to the Customer:Job List, click Quick Add. To open the New Job
window so you can enter detailed job info, click Set Up instead. Or click Cancel to close the message box without
creating a new job. (This shortcut works only if you haven’t filled in the Job Info tab of the customer’s record. If
the customer’s Job Info tab already has data in it, then you’ll have to create the job using the New Job window.)
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Specifying Job Information
The fields on the New Job (and Edit Job) window’s Job Info
tab are optional—you can invoice a customer for a job even if
every one is blank. However, both the Job Status and Job Type
fields can help you analyze your business performance, past
and future. Although QuickBooks provides terms in the Job
Status drop-down list; you can customize the list to use your
own statuses by adjusting the Jobs and Estimates preferences
described on page 661.
Here’s a guide to the Job Info tab’s fields and how you can
put them to use:
• Job Description. Here’s where you can type a detailed
description to remind you about the work in case the
job’s name doesn’t ring any bells.
• Job Type. If you categorize your jobs, choose the job type
(page 82) from this drop-down menu.
• Job Status. This field can indicate trends in your business.
If several jobs are set to Pending status, for example, a
resource crunch might be in your future.
• Start Date. Set this field to your projected or actual start
date.
• Projected End. If you’ve estimated when you’ll complete
the job, select that date here.
• End Date. When you complete the job, set this field to
the date you actually finished up. By comparing the
actual end date with your projection, you can improve
future estimates or change how you work in order to
finish jobs on time.
Working with the Vendor Center
Whether you purchase products and services to run your company or to sell to your
customers, the Home Page’s Vendors panel steps you through purchasing and paying
for those goods and services; these steps are described in detail in Chapter 9.
The Vendor Center (Figure 4-8) is the best place to create, edit, and view what’s going
on with your vendors and vendor-related transactions. To open it, click the Vendors
button at the top of the Home Page’s Vendors panel or choose Vendors→Vendor
Center. Here are some of the things you can do there:
• Create a new vendor. In the Vendor Center toolbar at the top of the window,
click New Vendor→New Vendor and the New Vendor window opens so you
can create a new vendor record, as described on page 79. If you click New
Vendor→Add Multiple Vendors instead, QuickBooks lets you create several
vendors in one window (page 118).
• Find a vendor. If you have a bazillion vendors, you can shorten the vendor list
that you see in the Vendors tab on the window’s left side. The tab’s unlabeled
drop-down list is initially set to Active Vendors. If you want to see active and
inactive vendors alike, click the field and choose All Vendors instead. If you’d
rather see only the vendors you owe money to, choose “Vendors with Open
Balances.” Choose Custom Filter to specify exactly the criteria you want.
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To do a quick search of vendor records, type part of a vendor’s name in the
Vendors tab’s second unlabeled box, and then click the Find button, which has
a magnifying glass on it. (The Find button then changes to an X, which you can
click to clear the value in the Find box and redisplay the full list.)
• Review a vendor’s record. When you select a vendor on the Vendors tab, basic
info about that vendor appears at the window’s top right, as shown in Figure 4-8.
FIGURE 4-8
The Vendor Center puts
all vendor-related tasks
in a single window. When
you choose a vendor in
the list on the left, the
Vendor Information pane
on the right displays info
about that vendor. Click
the Open Balance link
(circled) to see the transactions
that contribute
to your balance with that
vendor. You can even click
the Map or Directions
links to find out how to
get to your vendor.
• Edit an existing vendor’s record. To change a vendor’s record, on the Vendors
tab, right-click the vendor’s name, and then choose Edit Vendor; or, on the right
side of the Vendor Center, click the Edit button (its icon looks like a pencil tip).
Either way, the Edit Vendor window opens with the same fields you filled in
when you created the vendor’s record (page 79).
• Create transactions for a vendor. In the Vendor Center toolbar, click New Transactions
to display a drop-down menu of vendor-related features like Enter Bills,
Pay Bills, and Receive Items. (These do the same thing as the icons in the Home
Page’s Vendors panel.) If you need to review and record several transactions for
the same vendor, this drop-down menu is a real timesaver. After you select the
vendor in the Vendors tab and then choose an entry on this drop-down menu,
the corresponding transaction window opens with that vendor already selected.
• Review and manage transactions, contacts, to-dos, notes, and emails for a
vendor. When the Vendors tab is displayed, the bottom-right part of the Vendor
Center displays tabs for transactions, contacts, to-dos, notes, and sent email.
When you select a vendor in the Vendors tab, the Transactions tab at the bottom
right of the Vendor Center lists that vendor’s transactions. To see a specific
kind of transaction, in the Show drop-down list, choose a type, like Bills or Bill
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Payments. The Filter By drop-down list lets you restrict the transactions in the
table by their status, so you can find out which purchase orders are still open
or whether any bills are overdue. To track down transactions within a specific
date range, choose an option from the Date drop-down list. (The options in
this menu are the same as the ones available in report windows; see page 598.)
TIP  To view a transaction in its corresponding window, double-click it in the Transactions tab’s table.
Click the Contacts, To Do’s, Notes, or Sent Email tab to create, edit, or view
contacts, to-dos, notes, or sent email for the selected vendor.
• Review transactions for all vendors. When you click the Transactions tab on
the left side of the window (not the one on the bottom right) and then click
a type of transaction, such as Bills or Bill Payments, you’ll see transactions of
that type for all vendors on the right side of the window. You can filter these
transactions by status (such as open or overdue), by date, and, if you use multiple
currencies, by currency.
• Print or export vendor information. When you click the Vendors tab on the
left side of the window, you can easily print, copy, import, or export vendor
info. In the Vendor Center toolbar, click Print to print vendor lists, vendor info,
or vendor transactions. Click Excel to paste, import, or export vendor info and
transactions (page 135). If you click the Transactions tab on the left side of the
window instead, you can print or export transactions.
• Prepare vendor letters. When the Vendors tab on the left side of the window
is selected, click Word in the Vendor Center toolbar to create letters to vendors
(page 678).
Creating Vendors in QuickBooks
The methods for creating vendor records are similar to those for creating customers:
• One at a time. The New Vendor window lets you create one vendor at a time,
although you can create several records in a row without closing the window.
Page 79 describes how to create vendors with this window and explains what
each field represents.
• Copying data. You can also create multiple vendor records with the Add/Edit
Multiple List Entries feature (page 118), which lets you paste data from Excel or
copy values from vendor to vendor.
TIP  You can create a vendor record when you create that vendor’s first bill (page 182). Simply choose <Add
New> in the Enter Bills window’s Vendor drop-down list.
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QUICKBOOKS • Importing data. This method is another fast way to create oodles of vendor
records. After you create a map between QuickBooks’ fields and the fields in
another program, you can transfer all your vendor info, as described on page 127.
Creating a Vendor
You create a new vendor from the Vendor Center window by pressing Ctrl+N or, in
the Vendor Center menu bar, by clicking New Vendor→New Vendor. Either way, the
New Vendor window opens.
Many of the fields in this window should be familiar from creating customers in
QuickBooks. For example, the Vendor Name field corresponds to the Customer
Name field, which you might remember is actually more of a code than a name. Use
the same sort of naming convention for vendors that you use for customers (see
the box on page 65). And, as with customer records, you’re better off leaving the
Opening Balance field blank and building your current vendor balance by entering
the bills they send.
The following sections explain how to fill out the rest of the fields in a vendor record.
ADDRESS INFO
If you print checks and envelopes to pay your bills, you’ll need address and contact
information for your vendors. The New Vendor window’s Address Info tab has fields
for the vendor’s address and contact info, which are almost identical to customer
address and contact fields, so see page 66 if you need help filling them in.
PAYMENT SETTINGS
The fields related to payments reside on the Payment Settings tab. Here are the
fields and how you fill them in:
• Account No. When you create customers, you can assign account numbers
to them; when it’s your turn to be a customer, your vendors return the favor
and assign an account number to your company. If you fill in this box with the
account number that the vendor gave you, QuickBooks prints it in the memo
field of checks you print. Even if you don’t print checks, keeping your account
number in QuickBooks is handy if a question arises about one of your payments.
• Payment Terms. Choose the payment terms that the vendor extended to your
company. The entries in this drop-down list come from the Terms List (page
144), so they’re the same as for customers.
• Print Name On Check As. QuickBooks automatically fills in this box with whatever
you enter in the vendor’s Company Name field on the Address Info tab.
When you print checks, QuickBooks fills in the payee field with the contents
of this box, so to print a different name, simply edit what’s in this box. For
example, say you hire subcontractors and fill in the Company Name field with
last names followed by first names. You can then fill in this box with first name
followed by last name so the payee on a check appears the way people’s names
are usually written.
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from a building supply store), type that value in this box. That way, QuickBooks
warns you when you create a purchase order that pushes your credit balance
above this limit.
• Billing Rate Level. If you use the Contractor, Professional Services, or Accountant
edition of QuickBooks, this is another list that lets you set up custom billing
rates for employees and vendors. Billing rates let you price the services you offer
the same way a Price Level helps you adjust the prices of products you sell. Say
you have three carpenters: a newbie, an old-timer, and a finish carpenter. You
can set up a Billing Rate Level for each one based on experience. Then, when
you create an invoice for your carpenters’ billable time, QuickBooks automatically
applies the correct rate to each carpenter’s hours.
TAX SETTINGS
QuickBooks keeps the two sales tax–related fields on the Tax Settings tab. Here’s
what they do:
• Vendor ID. You have to put the vendor’s Employer Identification Number (EIN)
or Social Security number in this field only if you plan to create a 1099 for this
vendor.
• Vendor eligible for 1099. Turn on this checkbox if you’re going to create a
1099 for this vendor (page 472).
NOTE  When you hire subcontractors to do work for you, you have them fill out a W-9 form, which tells
you the subcontractor’s Taxpayer Identification Number. Then, at the end of the year, you fill out a 1099 tax form
that indicates how much you paid them, which they use to prepare their tax returns. See page 468 to learn how
QuickBooks can help with 1099s.
ACCOUNT SETTINGS
When you write checks, record credit card charges, or enter bills for a vendor, you
have to indicate the expense account to which you want to assign the payment.
The Account Settings tab of the New Vendor (and Edit Vendor) window lets you
tell QuickBooks which accounts you typically use. But there’s an easier approach to
filling in expense accounts than selecting accounts on this tab: telling QuickBooks
to automatically recall your previous transactions. That way, when you record a bill,
check, or credit card charge for a vendor, the program creates a new transaction
using the total amount and the accounts you chose on the previous transaction.
Page 656 explains how to set the “Automatically recall last transaction for this
name” preference.
ADDITIONAL INFO
This tab is rather sparse—it contains only one field: Vendor Type. However, if you
associated custom fields with your vendors, as described on page 72, then you’ll
see those fields, too. Here’s what these fields do:
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VENDORS • Vendor Type. If you classify vendors or generate reports based on their types,
choose an entry in this drop-down list or choose <Add New> to create a new
type in the Vendor Type List (page 149). For example, if you assign a Tax type
to all the tax agencies you remit taxes to, you can easily prepare a report of
your tax liabilities and payments.
• Custom Fields. If you want to track vendor information that isn’t handled by
the fields that QuickBooks provides, you can add up to seven custom fields
here (see the box on page 71). Say your subcontractors are supposed to have
current certificates for workers’ comp insurance, and you could be in big trouble
if you hire one whose certificate has expired. If you create a custom field to
hold the expiration date for each subcontractor’s certificate, you can generate
a report of these dates.
Working with Customers, Jobs, and
Vendors
After you create customer, job, and vendor records, you might have to come back
to add more data or change what’s already there. For example, you can add contact
info as you gather it over time. Or you may decide to categorize customers, jobs,
and vendors, which is handy for slicing and dicing your financial performance to
analyze income, expenses, profitability, and so on.
Because customers, jobs, and vendors come and go, eventually your Customer:Job
List and Vendor List will become cluttered with people and organizations you no
longer do business with. Hiding these obsolete names keeps your lists focused. Of
course, if you create records by mistake, you can delete them. You can also merge
records to, for example, combine the records of two companies that merged in real
life. This section explains how to perform all these modifications.
Modifying Customer, Job, and Vendor Information
You can edit customer, job, and vendor records at any time after you create them.
For example, you might change address and contact info, increase a credit limit, or
shorten payment terms.
QuickBooks gives you a few ways to open the edit windows for these records (Edit
Customer, Edit Job, and Edit Vendor). Here are your options:
• Edit a customer or job. In the Customer Center (choose Customers→Customer
Center), on the Customers & Jobs tab, double-click the customer or job you
want to tweak. Alternatively, right-click the customer or job, and then choose
Edit Customer:Job from the shortcut menu. You can also select the customer or
job you want to edit, and then press Ctrl+E or, on the right side of the Customer
Center, click the Edit button (its icon looks like a pencil).
• Edit a vendor. In the Vendor Center (choose Vendors→Vendor Center), on the
Vendors tab, double-click the vendor you want to modify. You can also right-
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click the vendor and then choose Edit Vendor from the shortcut menu. Another
method is to select the vendor in the list and then press Ctrl+E or, on the right
side of the Vendor Center, click the Edit button (its icon looks like a pencil).
NOTE  If you want to modify multiple customer, job, or vendor records at once, see page 118.
When you edit these records, you can make changes to all the fields except Current
Balance. QuickBooks calculates that value from the opening balance (if you provide
one) and any unpaid invoices for that customer or job (or unpaid bills for a vendor).
Once you create a customer, job, or vendor record, QuickBooks modifies its current
balance when you create transactions like invoices (page 223), credit memos (page
288), bills (page 182), journal entries (page 431), or payment discounts (page 191).
WARNING  Unless you’ve revamped your naming standard (page 65), don’t edit the value in a record’s name
field (Customer Name, Job Name, or Vendor Name). Why? Because doing so can mess up things like customized
reports you’ve created that are filtered by a specific name; such reports aren’t smart enough to automatically
use the new name. So if you do modify a Customer Name, Job Name, or Vendor Name field, make sure to modify
any customizations to use the new name.
Categorizing Customers, Jobs, and Vendors
If you want to report and analyze your financial performance to see where your
business comes from and what you spend your money on, categorizing your
QuickBooks customers, jobs, and vendors is the way to go. For example, customer
and job types can help you produce a report of kitchen remodel jobs that you’re
working on for residential customers. With that report, you can order catered dinners
to treat those clients to customer service they’ll brag about to their friends. If
you run a construction company, knowing that your commercial customers cause
fewer headaches and the work you do for them is more profitable than residential
jobs is a strong motivator to focus future marketing efforts on commercial work.
Similarly, you might categorize vendors to track what you spend with companies
versus individual contractors or to classify vendors by geographic location. (Page
135 explains other ways to analyze your business.)
You can add and assign customer, job, and vendor types anytime. If you don’t have
time to add types now, come back to this section when you’re ready to learn how.
UNDERSTANDING CUSTOMER, JOB, AND VENDOR TYPES
Business owners often like to look at the performance of different segments of their
businesses. Say your building-supply company has expanded over the years to include
sales to homeowners, and you want to know how much you sell to homeowners
versus professional contractors. In that case, you can make this comparison by using
customer types to designate each customer as a homeowner or a contractor, and
then total sales by Customer Type, as shown in Figure 4-9. Job types and vendor
types work similarly. For example, job types could help you evaluate the profitability
of new construction, remodeling, and maintenance work. As you learned on page 70,
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categorizing a customer, job, or vendor is as easy as choosing from the Customer
Type, Job Type, or Vendor Type lists.
FIGURE 4-9
The Sales by Customer
Detail report initially totals
income by customer.
To subtotal income by
customer type (in this
example, government,
professional, and so on),
click Customize Report
in the report window’s
button bar. On the Display
tab of the Modify Report
dialog box that appears,
choose “Customer type”
in the “Total by” dropdown
list (labeled), and
then click OK.
Types are yours to mold into whatever categories help you analyze your business.
A healthcare provider might classify customers by their insurance, because reimbursement
levels depend on whether a patient has Medicare, uses major medical
insurance, or pays privately. A clothing maker might classify customers as custom,
retail, or wholesale, because the markup percentages are different for each. And a
training company could categorize customers by how they learned about the company’s
services. This flexibility applies to job and vendor types, too.
NOTE  The Class Tracking feature is a powerful way to categorize results. Classes are particularly potent
because of their ability to cross income, expense, account, customer, job, and vendor boundaries (which types
can’t do). To see whether classes can help you analyze your business, turn to page 134.
If you create a company file by using an industry-specific edition of QuickBooks or
you select an industry when creating your company file (page 8), QuickBooks fills in
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the Customer Type, Job Type, and Vendor Type lists with a few types that are typical
for your industry. If your business sense is eccentric, you can delete QuickBooks’
suggestions and replace them with your own entries. For example, if you’re a landscaper,
you might include customer types such as Green Thumb, Means Well, and
Lethal, so you can decide whether orchids, cacti, or Astroturf are most appropriate.
TIP  A common mistake is creating customer types that don’t relate to customer characteristics. (The same
holds true for job types and vendor types.) For example, if you provide several kinds of services—like financial
forecasting, investment advice, and fortunetelling—your customers might hire you to perform any or all of those
services. So if you classify your customers by the services you offer, you’ll wonder which customer type to choose
when someone hires you for two different services. Instead, go with customer types that describe the customer
in some way, like Corporate, Individual, and Government.
Here are some suggestions for using customer, job, and vendor types and other
QuickBooks features to analyze your business in different ways:
• Customer business type. Use customer types to classify your customers by
their business sector, such as Corporate, Government, and Small Business.
• Nonprofit “customers.” For nonprofit organizations, customer types such as
Member, Individual, Corporation, Foundation, and Government Agency can help
you target fundraising efforts.
• Job type. Jobs are optional in QuickBooks, so job types matter only if you track
your work by the job. If your sole source of income is selling chocolates in your
store, jobs and job types don’t matter—your relationship with your customers
is one long run of selling and delivering products. But for project-based businesses,
job types add another level of filtering to the reports you produce. If
you’re a writer, then you can use job types to track the kinds of documents you
produce (Manual, White Paper, and Marketing Propaganda, for instance) and
filter the Job Profitability Report by job type to see which forms of writing are
most lucrative. (Page 603 describes how to filter reports.)
• Vendor type. Use vendor types to categorize vendors in different ways, such
as by industry, location, or type of company.
• Location or region. If your company spans multiple regions, offices, or business
units, classes can help track business performance. See page 134 for info.
• Services. To track how much of your business comes from each type of service
you offer, set up separate income accounts or subaccounts in your chart of accounts,
as outlined on page 47.
• Products. To track product sales, create one or more income accounts or subaccounts
in your chart of accounts.
TIP  Create income accounts for broad categories of income, such as services and products. Don’t create
separate accounts for each service or product you sell; instead, you can use items to track sales for each service
and product, as described in Chapter 5.
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VENDORS • Expenses. To track expenses, create one or more expense accounts or subaccounts
in your chart of accounts.
• Marketing. To identify your income based on how customers learned about
your services, enter this info in a custom field (page 71). That way, you can create
a report that shows the revenue you’ve earned from different marketing
efforts—and figure out which ones are worth the money.
CREATING A VENDOR, CUSTOMER, OR JOB TYPE
You can create these types when you set up your QuickBooks company file or at
any time after setup. See page 142 to learn how to create customer, job, and vendor
types and subtypes. Here’s how to see the different type lists:
• Customer types: Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Customer
Type List.
• Job types: Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Job Type List.
• Vendor types: Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Vendor Type
List.
Hiding Records
Hiding customers, jobs, and vendors isn’t about barricading them in a conference
room when the competition shows up to talk to you. Because QuickBooks lets you
delete these records only in very limited circumstances, hiding them helps keep your
lists manageable and your financial history intact.
Although your work with a customer, job, or vendor might be over, you still have
to keep records about your past relationship. But old records can clutter up your
QuickBooks lists, making it difficult to select the people and companies you still work
with. The solution is to hide old records, which also removes those names from all
the lists that appear in transaction windows so you can’t select them by mistake.
Hiding old records is better than deleting them because QuickBooks retains the
historical transactions for those customers, jobs, and vendors so you can reactivate
them if you renew the relationship.
To hide a customer or job, in the Customer Center’s Customers & Jobs tab, right-click
the customer or job and then, from the shortcut menu, choose Make Customer:Job
Inactive. The customer and any associated jobs disappear from the list. Figure 4-10
shows you how to unhide (reactivate) customers.
To hide a vendor, in the Vendor Center’s Vendors tab, right-click the vendor and
then, from the shortcut menu, choose Make Vendor Inactive.
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FIGURE 4-10
To make hidden customers visible again and reactivate their records, in
the drop-down list at the top of the Customers & Jobs tab, choose All
Customers, as shown here.
When you do that, QuickBooks displays an X to the left of every inactive
customer in the list. Simply click that X to restore the customer to
active duty.
Deleting Records
You can delete customers, jobs, or vendors only if there’s no activity for them in
your QuickBooks file. If you try to delete a record that has even one transaction associated
with it, QuickBooks tells you that you can’t delete that record. In that case,
you can still hide the customer, job, or vendor, as described in the previous section.
If you created a customer, job, or vendor by mistake and the record has no transactions
associated with it, here’s how to delete it:
1. In the Customer Center, on the Customers & Jobs tab (or in the Vendor
Center, on the Vendors tab), select the customer, job, or vendor you want
to delete.
2. Press Ctrl+D (or choose Edit→Delete Customer:Job or Edit→Delete Vendor.)
If the customer, job, or vendor has no transactions, QuickBooks asks you to
confirm that you want to delete the record; click OK. If you see a message stating
that you can’t delete it, read the previous section (page 85) to learn how
to hide the record instead.
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VENDORS Merging Records
Suppose you remodeled buildings for two companies run by brothers: Morey’s City
Diner and Les’ Exercise Studio. Morey and Les conclude that their businesses have
a lot of synergy—people are either eating or trying to lose weight, and usually doing
both. To smooth out their cash flow, they decide to merge their companies into
More or Less Body Building and All You Can Eat Buffet. Your challenge: to create one
customer in QuickBooks from the two businesses, while retaining the jobs, invoices,
and other transactions that you created when the companies were separate. The
solution: QuickBooks’ merge feature, which works the same way whether you’re
merging customers, jobs, or vendors.
TIP  Here’s another instance when merging can come in handy: If you don’t use a standard naming convention
(page 65 offers several easy conventions), you could end up with multiple customer records representing one
real-life customer, such as Les’ Exercise Studio and LesEx. You can merge these doppelgangers into one customer
just as you can merge two truly separate companies into one.
When you merge records in QuickBooks (customers, for example), one customer
retains the entire transaction history for the two original customers. In other words,
you don’t so much merge two customers as turn one customer’s records into those
of another. If you want to merge two customers’ records into one, the secret is to
rename one customer to the same name as another. Likewise, if you want to merge
two jobs’ or vendors’ records into one, you rename one job or vendor to the same
name as another.
NOTE  There’s a catch to renaming customers: The customer you rename can’t have any jobs associated with
it. So if there are jobs associated with the customer you want to rename, you have to move all those jobs to the
customer you intend to keep before you start the merge. Your best bet: Subsume the customer with fewer jobs
so you don’t have to move very many. (If you don’t use jobs, then subsume whichever customer you want.)
To merge customer, job, or vendor records with a minimum of frustrated outbursts,
follow these steps:
1. If you work in multi-user mode, switch to single-user mode for the duration
of the merging process.
See page 493 to learn how to switch to single-user mode and then back to
multi-user again after the merge is complete.
2. Open the Customer Center or Vendor Center.
To open the Customer Center, in the Home Page’s Customers panel, click Customers.
To open the Vendor Center, in the Home Page’s Vendors panel, click
Vendors.
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WORKING WITH
CUSTOMERS,
JOBS, AND
VENDORS
3. If you’re going to subsume a customer that has jobs associated with it, on
the Customers & Jobs tab, position your cursor over the diamond to the left
of the job you want to reassign. If you’re merging jobs or vendors instead,
jump to step 6.
Jobs are indented beneath the customer to which they belong.
4. When your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the job under the
customer you plan to keep.
As you drag, the cursor changes to a horizontal line between two arrowheads,
as shown in Figure 4-11, left.
FIGURE 4-11
Left: When your cursor
changes to a four-headed
arrow, drag within the
Customers & Jobs tab
to move the job. As you
drag, a horizontal line
between two arrowheads
shows you where the job
will go when you release
the mouse button.
Right: After reassigning
all the jobs to the
customer you intend to
keep, you can merge the
now-jobless customer
into the other. When the
merge is complete, you
see only the customer
you kept.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each job that belongs to the customer you’re going
to subsume.
If the customer has hundreds of jobs, moving them is tedious at best—but move
them you must.
Chapter 4: Setting Up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors 89
MANAGING
LEADS
6. For a customer or job, on the Customers & Jobs tab, double-click the name
of the customer or job you want to subsume. For a vendor, on the Vendors
tab, double-click the name of the vendor you want to subsume.
You can also edit a record by selecting its name on the Customers & Jobs or
Vendors tab and then, on the right side of the Customer or Vendor Center,
clicking the Edit button (the pencil icon). Depending on the type of record you
selected, the Edit Customer, Edit Job, or Edit Vendor dialog box opens.
7. In the edit dialog box, edit the Customer Name, Job Name, or Vendor Name
field to match the name of the record you intend to keep, and then click OK.
QuickBooks displays a message letting you know that the name is in use and
asking if you want to merge the records.
8. Click Yes to complete the merge.
In the Customer or Vendor Center, the record you renamed disappears and any
balances it had now belong to the remaining entry, as shown in Figure 4-11, right.
Managing Leads
Suppose you attend a tradeshow and return to your office with a stack of leads. If
you want to turn those leads into new sales, you usually have a host of to-dos, like
following up on the questions that prospects asked, sending out more info about
your products and services, or simply taking the next step in your sales process. The
information you collect about leads is similar to that for customers, but leads aren’t
customers—yet. If your lead-tracking needs are simple, QuickBooks’ Lead Center
can help you track prospects while you’re trying to turn them into customers. Then,
if your persuasion pays off, you can transform leads into customers in QuickBooks.
To work with leads, open the Lead Center by choosing Customers→Lead Center. The
Lead Center looks a lot like the Customer Center with a few exceptions. The Leads
list on the left shows the leads’ names and status. And because leads don’t have
transactions, the tabs at the bottom of the Lead Center focus on to-dos, contacts,
locations, and notes.
NOTE  The Lead Center’s features aren’t as powerful as the ones you find in market-leading customer
relationship management (CRM) programs. For example, you can’t send an email to a lead from the Lead Center
or create an estimate for a lead. But if your leads are scribbled in a notebook or listed in a spreadsheet, the Lead
Center can help you organize them—and because it’s built into QuickBooks, it doesn’t cost extra.
If you need more sophisticated lead-tracking tools, QuickBooks integrates with Salesforce, a major CRM provider.
You can learn about this program in the Lead Center window by clicking the “Learn about Salesforce” button to
the right of the Lead Information heading.
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LEADS
Here are some of the actions you can perform with leads:
• Create a new lead. In the Lead Center toolbar, click New Lead. In the Add Lead
dialog box, name the lead. The Status field lets you classify leads as Hot, Warm,
or Cold, so you know which ones to focus on first. The Company tab contains
fields for info such as company name, telephone number, email address, website,
and main address. (You can add other addresses if the company has several
locations.) The Contacts tab lets you add contact info for people in the company.
The first contact you enter is designated the Primary Contact, but you can add
other contacts by clicking the Add Another Contact button.
NOTE  After you create a lead, you can add more contacts or locations to it by double-clicking it on the left
side of the Lead Center to open the Edit Lead dialog box.
• View leads. Like the Customer Center, the Lead Center lists your leads on the
left side of the window. The list shows the leads’ names and status. You can
filter the list by choosing an entry from the drop-down menu above the lead
list. For example, choose Active Leads to see all the leads you’re working on,
or choose Hot to filter the list for all your most promising leads.
• Search leads. If your sales team is prolific, your lead list could be quite long.
You can search for specific leads by typing part of the lead’s name in the unlabeled
text box above the lead list and then clicking the magnifying glass icon.
QuickBooks filters the list to show all the leads that contain the text you typed.
• Edit a lead. After you create a lead, you can view its information and edit it.
Simply double-click the lead in the list on the left side of the Lead Center.
• Create a to-do. To add a to-do for a lead, select the lead in the Lead Center’s
list. Next, click the To Do’s tab at the bottom right of the Lead Center, and then
click To Do at the bottom of the tab. (See page 482 to learn how to create different
types of to-dos.) The To Do’s tab shows info about that lead’s to-dos,
including the type of to-do, its priority, when it’s due, and whether it’s complete.
• Add notes. To add notes about a lead, first select the lead in the Lead Center’s
list. Next, click the Notes tab at the bottom right of the Lead Center, and then
click Add Notes. In the “Note For [lead]” dialog box, type the information you
want to record. For example, you might specify the particular products or services
that lead is interested in or her budget. When you add a note, QuickBooks
automatically records the date you wrote it. To filter the notes by date, choose
a time period in the Notes tab’s Date drop-down list.
Chapter 4: Setting Up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors 91
MANAGING
LEADS • Convert a lead to a customer. Leads are stored in a separate list from your
customers. When you turn a lead into a customer in real life, you can easily do
the same in QuickBooks. Simply right-click the lead in the Lead Center’s list and
choose “Convert to a Customer” in the shortcut menu (or click the “Convert
this Lead to a Customer” button in the Lead Center’s upper right). QuickBooks
asks you to confirm this action, because you can’t undo it. When you click OK,
the lead disappears from the Active Leads list. You can see the leads you’ve
converted to customers by choosing Converted Leads from the drop-down
list at the top left of the Lead Center. Although you can still view converted
leads in the Lead Center, you can no longer edit them there. They now appear
as customers in the Customer Center, and you can edit them there as you do
other customers (page 81).
• Import leads. To import information about several leads, in the Lead Center
toolbar, click Import Multiple Leads. The Import Leads dialog box that appears
lets you type values into a table, but you can also copy and paste information
from an Excel spreadsheet like you do in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries
window (page 118).

93
CHAPTER
5
Whether you build houses, sell gardening tools, or tell fortunes on the Internet,
you’ll probably use items in QuickBooks to represent the products
and services you buy and sell. But to QuickBooks, things like subtotals,
discounts, and sales tax are items, too. In fact, nothing appears in the body of a
QuickBooks sales form (such as an invoice) unless it’s an item. You can also use
items to fill in the bills and other purchase forms you record. Now that you’ve got
your chart of accounts, customers, jobs, and vendors set up in QuickBooks, it’s time
to dive into items.
This chapter begins by helping you decide whether your business is one of the few
that doesn’t need items at all. But if your organization is like most and uses business
forms like invoices, sales receipts, and so on, the rest of the chapter will teach you
how to create, name, edit, and manage the items you add to forms. You’ll then learn
how to use items in invoices and other forms in the remaining chapters of this book.
What Items Do
For your day-to-day work with QuickBooks, items save time and increase consistency
on sales and purchase forms. Here’s the deal: Items form the link between what you
sell (and buy) and the income, expense, and other types of accounts in your chart of
accounts. When you create an item, you describe what the item is, how much you pay
for it, how much you sell it for, and the accounts to which you post the corresponding
income, expense, cost of goods sold, and asset value. You also create items for
other stuff you add to sales forms, like discounts, shipping charges, and subtotals.
Setting Up Items
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WHAT ITEMS
DO For example, say you charge $75 an hour for the bookkeeping service you provide,
and you want that income to show up in your Financial Services income account. In
that case, you’d create an item for bookkeeping and associate it with that income
account. That way, when you add the item to a sales form, QuickBooks automatically
multiplies the price per hour by the number of hours to calculate the full charge and
then posts the income to your Financial Services account.
Items make it easy to look at your company’s finances from different perspectives.
You can set up your chart of accounts based on the accounts you want to show
on your financial statements (page 448), which usually represent broad financial
categories. Items, on the other hand, let you track income and expenses to the
level of detail you want. For example, you might set up two income accounts: one
for services and one for products. However, you can create items for every type of
service and product you sell.
When it’s time to analyze how your business is doing, items shine. QuickBooks
has built-in item-based reports that show the dollar value of sales by item or the
number of inventory units you’ve sold. (To learn how to use inventory reports, see
page 534. Other item-based reports are described throughout this book.) You can
work out which accounts to assign items to on your own or with the help of your
accountant (a good idea if you’re new to bookkeeping), and then specify those
accounts in your items, as shown in Figure 5-1. QuickBooks remembers these assignments
from then on.
FIGURE 5-1
If you had to enter item
details each time you
added an entry to an
invoice, you’d be bound
to make mistakes. But
by setting up an item
using this window, you
can make sure you use
the same information
on sales and purchase
forms each time you sell
or buy that item. (When
the inevitable exception
to the rule arises, you can
edit the item info that
QuickBooks fills in on the
sales form.)
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 95
SHOULD
YOU TRACK
INVENTORY When You Don’t Need Items WITH ITEMS?
Without items, you can’t create any type of sales form in QuickBooks, including
invoices, statements, sales receipts, credit memos, and estimates. But if you don’t
use sales forms, you don’t need items. Not many organizations operate without
these forms, but here are a few examples of ones that do:
• Old Stuff Antiques sells junk—er, antiques—on consignment. Kate, the owner,
doesn’t pay for the pieces; she just displays them in her store. When she sells
a consignment item, she writes paper sales receipts. She deposits the money
customers hand over into her checking account and writes checks to sellers for
their cut of the proceeds.
• Tony owns a tattoo parlor specializing in gang insignias. He doesn’t care
how many tattoos he creates and—for safety’s sake—he doesn’t want to know
his customers’ names. All Tony does is deposit the cash he receives upon completing
each masterpiece.
• Dominic keeps the books for his charity for iceberg-less penguins. The
charity accepts donations of money and fish, and it doesn’t sell any products
or perform services to earn additional income. He deposits the monetary donations
into the charity’s checking account and enters each deposit in QuickBooks.
He keeps track of the donors’ contributions and his frozen fish inventory in a
spreadsheet.
Should You Track Inventory with Items?
If your business is based solely on selling services, you can skip this section. But if
you sell products, keep reading to understand your options.
You can handle products in two ways: by stocking and tracking inventory or by
buying products only when work for your customers requires them. The approach
you use affects the types of items you create in QuickBooks.
If you buy products specifically for customers, you need items, but you don’t have to
track the quantity on hand. In this case, you create Non-inventory Part items, which
you’ll learn about shortly. For example, caterers prepare meals for various types of
events, so they usually purchase the materials and food they need for a specific job
and charge the customer for those goods. Because caterers don’t keep food in stock,
they don’t have to track inventory and can therefore use Non-inventory Part items.
On the other hand, grocery stores sell the same kinds of food products over and
over. These businesses purchase goods and store them in their retail spaces, selling
them to their customers each day. These goods can be set up as Inventory Part items
(page 519) in QuickBooks. When you use the program’s inventory feature, QuickBooks
keeps track of how many products you have on hand, increasing the number
as you purchase them and decreasing the number when you sell them to customers.
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SHOULD
YOU TRACK
INVENTORY
WITH ITEMS?
So, before you start working with items in QuickBooks, you actually have two inventory
decisions to make. First, should you track inventory? And second, should
you track inventory in QuickBooks? Read on to learn how to make these decisions.
Because tracking inventory requires more effort than buying only the materials
you need, use the following guidelines to determine whether your business should
track inventory:
• Track inventory if you keep products in stock to resell to customers. If your
company stocks faux pony placemats to resell to customers, those placemats
are inventory. By tracking inventory, you know how many units you have on
hand, how much they’re worth, and how much money you made on the placemats
you’ve sold.
On the other hand, the faux pony mousepads you keep in the storage closet for
your employees are business supplies. Most companies don’t bother tracking
inventory for supplies like these, which they consume in the course of running
their business.
• Track inventory if you want to know when to reorder products so you don’t
run out. If you sell the same items over and over, keeping your shelves stocked
means more sales (because the products are on hand to sell as soon as an order
comes in). QuickBooks can remind you when it’s time to reorder a product.
• Don’t track inventory if you purchase products specifically for jobs or customers.
If you special-order products for customers or buy products for specific
jobs, you don’t need to track inventory. After you deliver the special order or
complete the job, your customer has taken and paid for the products, and you
simply have to account for the income and expenses you incurred.
• Don’t track inventory if you rent equipment to customers. If you receive
income from renting or leasing assets you own, you can show the value of the
for-rent products as an asset in QuickBooks and the rental income as a Service
item (page 104), so you don’t need Inventory Part items.
Your business model might dictate that you track inventory. However, QuickBooks’
inventory-tracking feature has some limitations. For example, it lets you store only
14,500 items, max. How can you tell whether QuickBooks’ inventory fits the bill? If
you answer yes to any of the following questions, QuickBooks isn’t the program to
use to handle the products you sell:
• Do you sell products that are unique? In the business world, tracking inventory
is meant for businesses that sell commodity products, such as electronic
equipment, and stock numerous units of each product. If you sell unique items,
such as fine art or compromising Polaroid photos, you’d eventually hit QuickBooks’
14,500 item limit. For such items, consider using a spreadsheet to track
the products you have on hand.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 97
SHOULD
YOU TRACK
INVENTORY
WITH ITEMS?
TIP  Here’s one way to handle unique products using QuickBooks: When you sell your unique handicrafts,
record the sales in QuickBooks using generic Non-inventory Part items. For example, use an item called Oil Painting
on the sales receipts for the artwork you sell and put more specific information about the painting in the sales
receipt’s Description field.
• Do you manufacture the products you sell out of raw materials? QuickBooks’
inventory can’t follow materials as they wend through a manufacturing process
or track inventory in various stages of completion.
NOTE  QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise editions can track inventory for products that require some assembly.
For instance, if you create Wines from Around the World gift baskets using the wine bottles in your store,
you can build an Inventory Assembly item (page 522) out of wine and basket Inventory Part items. The box on
page 528 explains another way to track assembled inventory.
• Do you value your inventory using a method other than average cost? QuickBooks
Pro and Premier calculate inventory value by average cost. If you want to
use other methods—like last in/first out (LIFO) or first in/first out (FIFO)—you
can export inventory data to a spreadsheet program and then calculate inventory
cost there (page 694). Or you can upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise Platinum,
which includes Intuit’s Advanced Inventory subscription feature.
• Do you use a point-of-sale system to track inventory? Point-of-sale inventory
systems often blow QuickBooks’ inventory tracking out of the water. If
you forgo the QuickBooks inventory feature, you can periodically update your
QuickBooks file with the value of your inventory from the point-of-sale system.
NOTE  If you like the point-of-sale idea but don’t have a system yet, consider Intuit’s QuickBooks Point of
Sale, an integrated, add-on product for retail operations that tracks store sales, customer info, and inventory.
Head to :pointofsale.intuit for details.
You don’t have to use the QuickBooks inventory feature if you don’t want to.
For example, if you perform light manufacturing, you can track the value of your
manufactured inventory in a database or other program. You can then periodically
add journal entries (page 431) to QuickBooks to show the value of in-progress and
completed inventory.
If you do opt to use QuickBooks to track inventory, Chapter 20 shows you how,
from first step to last.
TIP  The answer to your inventory dilemma could be an add-on program that tracks inventory and keeps
QuickBooks informed. One of the best is FishBowl Inventory (fishbowlinventory).
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PLANNING
YOUR ITEMS Planning Your Items
Setting up items in QuickBooks is a lot like shopping at a grocery store. If you need
only a few things, you can shop without a list. Similarly, if you’re going to use just a
few QuickBooks items, you don’t need to write them down before you start creating
them. But if you use dozens or even hundreds of items, planning your Item List can
save you lots of frustration.
NOTE  If you jumped straight to this section, now is the time to go back and read page 95, which helps you
decide whether to use items that represent services, inventory, or non-inventory products.
By deciding how to name and organize your items before you create them in QuickBooks,
you won’t waste time editing and reworking existing items to fit your new
naming scheme. Read on to learn what you should consider before creating items.
Generic or Specific?
Conservation can be as important with QuickBooks’ items as it is for the environment.
QuickBooks Pro and Premier can hold no more than 14,500 items, which is a problem
if you sell unique products, such as antiques, or products that change frequently,
such as current clothing styles for teenagers. Once you use an item in a transaction,
you can’t delete that item, so you could end up with lots of items you no longer
use. By planning how specific your items will be, you can keep your Item List lean.
For instance, a generic item such as Top can represent a girl’s black Goth T-shirt one
season and a white, poplin button-down shirt the next. Generic items have their limitations,
though, so use them only if necessary. For example, you can’t track inventory
properly when you use generic items. QuickBooks might show that you have 100
tops in stock, but that doesn’t help when your customers are clamoring for white
button-downs and you have 100 black Goth T-shirts. In addition, the information
you store with a generic item won’t match the specifics of each product you sell.
So, when you add generic items to an invoice or a sales form, you’ll have to edit a
few fields, such as Description or Price, as shown in Figure 5-2.
Naming Items
Brevity and recognizability are equally desirable characteristics in item names. Short
names are easier to type and manage, but they can be unintelligible. Longer names
take more effort to type and manage but are easier to decipher. Decide ahead of
time which kind of name you prefer and then stick with it as you create items.
QuickBooks encourages brevity because it limits item names to 31 characters (including
spaces). If you sell only a handful of services, you can name your items the same
things you call them. For instance, for a tree service company, names like Cut, Limb,
Trim, Chip, and Haul work just fine. But if your Item List runs into the hundreds or
thousands, some planning is in order. Here are factors to consider when naming items:
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 99
PLANNING
YOUR ITEMS
FIGURE 5-2
QuickBooks automatically
fills in fields like Description
and Price (or Rate, as
shown here) with values
you’ve saved in item
records. But you can edit
those fields when you
add an item to an invoice
or bill, whether you use
generic or specific items
to describe what you sell.
Just click a field in a form,
select the text you want
to change, and then type
the new value.
• Aliases. Create a pseudonym to represent the item. For a carpet company,
“Install standard” could represent the installation along with vacuuming and
hauling waste, whereas “Install deluxe” could include the standard installation
plus moving and replacing furniture. You can include the details in the item’s
description.
• Sort order. In the Item List window (Lists→Item List), QuickBooks sorts items
first by type and then in alphabetical order by name. So if you want your items
to appear in some logical order in drop-down lists (like an invoice item table),
pay attention to the order of characteristics in your item names. For example, if
you created “Deluxe install” and “Standard install” Service items, other Service
items beginning with the intervening letters of the alphabet would separate
them in drop-down lists. By naming your installation items “Install deluxe” and
“Install standard” instead, they’ll show up in your Item List one after the other.
• Abbreviations. If you have to compress a great deal of information into an
item name, you’ll have to abbreviate. For example, suppose you want to convey
all the things you do when you install a carpet, including installing tack strips,
padding, and carpet; trimming carpet; vacuuming; and hauling waste. That’s
more than the 31 characters you have to work with. Poetic won’t describe it, but
something like “inst trim vac haul” says it all in very few characters. The box on
page 100 suggests two other ways to identify complicated items.
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YOUR ITEMS
POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Other Ways to Identify Items
If you want to keep item names lean but still include detailed
information, look to these two item features:
• Descriptions. Items have fields for both names and
descriptions. When you create an invoice, you choose the
item’s name from a drop-down list, but the invoice that
the customer sees shows the item’s description. So you
can keep your item names brief by putting the details in
the Description field, which, for all practical purposes, can
hold an unlimited amount of text.
• Group. Instead of creating one item that represents
several phases of a job, you can create separate items
for each phase and then create a Group item (page 110)
to include those phases on an invoice. For instance, create
one item for installing tack strips, padding, and carpet,
and then create additional items for vacuuming, hauling,
and moving and replacing furniture. Then create a Group
item that contains all the individual Service items included
in a carpet-installation job. That way, when you add that
Group item to an invoice, QuickBooks adds each Service
item to a line on the invoice. A Group item isn’t limited to
just Service items, though; it can include other types of
items, such as Non-inventory Part, Inventory Part, and
Other Charge items.
NOTE  Construction companies in particular can avoid long hours of item data entry by using third-party
estimating programs. Construction-estimating programs usually include thousands of entries for standard construction
services and products. If you build an estimate with a program that integrates with QuickBooks, you
can import that estimate into QuickBooks and then sit back and watch as it automatically adds all the items in
the estimate to your Item List. To find such QuickBooks-integrated programs, go to :marketplace.intuit.
com. On the menu bar, click Find Software→Find Solutions by Industry. Then, on the By Industry tab, choose
Construction/Contractors.
Subitems
If you keep all your personal papers in one big stack, you probably have a hard time
finding everything from birth certificates to tax forms to bills and receipts. If you’ve
got one big list of items in QuickBooks, you’re in no better shape. To locate items
more easily, consider designing a hierarchy of higher-level items (parents) and one
or more levels of subitems, as shown in Figure 5-3. The box on page 101 explains
how to make sure you have items for every purpose.
For example, a landscaping business might create top-level items for trees, shrubbery,
cacti, and flower bulbs. Within the top-level tree item, the landscaper might
create subitems for several species: maple, oak, elm, sycamore, and dogwood. You
can create up to five levels of subitems to represent categories such as size (seedling,
established, and mature, say).
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 101
PLANNING
YOUR ITEMS
FIGURE 5-3
The Item List window’s
Hierarchical View (shown here)
indents subitems, making it
easy to differentiate the items
you use to categorize the list
from the items you actually
sell. To check which view you’re
seeing, click the Item button at
the bottom of the window to
display the menu shown here.
If you work with long lists of
subitems, the parent item might
end up off the screen. To keep
the hierarchy of items visible
at all times, choose Flat View,
wherein QuickBooks uses colons
to separate the names of each
level of item and subitem.
WORD TO THE WISE
Catchall Subitems
When you develop a hierarchy of parent items and subitems,
eventually someone in your company will run across a service
or product that doesn’t fit any of the existing subitems. If you
assign a transaction to a parent item that has subitems, QuickBooks
automatically creates a subitem called “Other” as a catch
basin. For example, if you have a parent item called Security
Services, you’d get a subitem called Security Services-Other.
Catchall items can act as holding pens while you figure out
which specific subitem you should use. They’re also an easy
way to look for transactions that should be reassigned to a
different subitem. For instance, you can create a transaction
by using the Security Services-Other item, and then change the
item in the transaction later (page 293) when you’ve identified
(or created) the correct subitem.
102 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CREATING
ITEMS Creating Items
The best time to create items is after you’ve created your accounts but before you
start purchasing goods from vendors or invoicing customers. Each item links to an
account in your chart of accounts, so creating items goes quicker if you can choose
existing accounts.
You can create items while you’re in the midst of creating an invoice, but you’ll find
that creating items goes much faster when you create several at once. How long it
takes to create items depends on how many you need. If you sell only a few services,
a few minutes should do it. On the other hand, construction companies that need
thousands of items can save hours of data entry by importing items from third-party
programs (see page 687).
NOTE  This section shows you how to create items one at a time. To learn how to quickly create multiple
items, jump to page 118.
Each item type has its own assortment of fields, but the overall process of creating
an item is the same for every type. With the following procedure under your belt,
you’ll find that you can create many of your items without further instruction. (If
you do need help with fields for a specific item type, read the sections that follow
to learn what each field does.)
1. On the QuickBooks Home Page, click Items & Services (or choose Lists→Item
List) to open the Item List window.
When you first display the Item List, QuickBooks sorts the entries in it by type.
The sort order for the item types isn’t alphabetical, as you can see in Figure
5-4—it’s the order that types appear in the Type drop-down list. You can change
the Item List’s sort order by clicking a column heading.
2. Press Ctrl+N or click Item→New.
QuickBooks opens the New Item window and selects Service in the Type dropdown
list. (You’ll learn about the various item types starting on page 104.)
3. To create a Service item, just press Tab to proceed with naming the item. To
create any other type of item, choose it in the Type drop-down list.
Some item types won’t appear in the list if you haven’t turned on the corresponding
feature. For example, the Inventory Item type doesn’t appear unless
you’ve turned on inventory tracking.
4. In the Item Name/Number box, type a unique identifier for the item.
For example, if you opt for long and meaningful names, you might type Install
carpet and vacuum. For a short name, you might type Inst Carpt. See page 98
for guidelines on naming items.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 103
CREATING
ITEMS
FIGURE 5-4
QuickBooks lists items
by type and then in
alphabetical order within
each type.
You can change the list’s
sort order by clicking a
column heading. If you
click the heading again,
QuickBooks toggles the
list between ascending
and descending order.
To return the list to being
sorted by type, click the
diamond to the left of
the column headings
(circled), which appears
anytime the list is sorted
by a column other than
Type.
5. To make this item a subitem, turn on the “Subitem of” checkbox, and then
choose the item that you want to act as the parent.
If the parent item already exists, simply choose it from the “Subitem of” dropdown
list. To create the parent while creating the subitem, choose <Add New>
at the top of the “Subitem of” list, and then jump back to step 3 to begin the
parent-creation process.
NOTE  Subitems and parents have to be the same type. However, you can’t create subitems for Subtotal,
Group, or Payment items.
6. Complete the other fields as described in the following sections for the type
of item you’re creating.
QuickBooks will use the info you enter to fill in these fields on sales and purchase
forms. For example, it uses the sales price you enter here on invoices when you
sell some units. If the sales price changes each time, simply leave the item’s sales
price field (which is labeled Rate, Price, or Sales Price depending on the type of
item and the item’s settings) set to zero. That way, QuickBooks doesn’t fill in a
price, so you can type one in each time you sell the item. (Even if you set a value
for an item, you can overwrite it whenever you use that item on a sales form.)
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NOTE  You have to assign an account to every item, whether it’s a parent item or not.
7. If you have additional items to create, click Next to save the current item
and start another. If you want to save the item you just created and close
the New Item window, click OK.
If you’ve made mistakes in several fields or need more information before you
can complete an item, click Cancel to throw away the current item and close
the New Item window.
Service Items
Services are intangible things you sell, like time or the output of your brain. For
example, you might sell consulting services, Internet connection time, haircuts, or
tarot card readings. In construction, services could represent phases of construction,
which makes it easy to invoice customers based on progress and to compare
actual values with estimates.
Suppose you run a telephone answering service. You earn income when your customers
pay you for the service. You pay salaries to the people who answer the phones,
regardless of whether you have two service contracts or 20. For this business, you
earn income with your service, but your costs don’t link to the income from specific
customers or jobs.
On the other hand, in some companies, such as law practices, the partners get paid
based on the hours they bill, so the partners’ compensation is an expense associated
directly with the firm’s income. Services that you farm out to subcontractors work
similarly. If you offer a 900 number for gardening advice, you might have a group of
freelancers who field the calls and whom you pay only for their time on the phone.
In these scenarios, you still earn income for the service you sell, but you also have to
pay the law-practice partners or the subcontractors who do the work. The partners’
or subcontractors’ cost relates to the income for that service.
The mighty Service item single-handedly manages all types of services, whether
you charge by the hour or by the service, with or without associated expenses.
Conveniently, QuickBooks displays different fields depending on whether a service
has costs associated with income. This section describes the fields you fill in when
creating Service items.
Service Items Without Associated Costs
Here’s how the fields in the New Item window work when you’re creating a Service
item that doesn’t include purchasing services from someone else (that is, when you
leave the “This service is used in assemblies or is performed by a subcontractor or
partner” checkbox turned off, as shown in Figure 5-5):
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 105
SERVICE ITEMS • Description. Type a detailed explanation of the service in this box. This text
appears on invoices and sales forms, so use terms that your customers will
understand.
FIGURE 5-5
If a service doesn’t have
costs directly associated
with it, you define only
its description, rate,
tax code, and income
account.
• Rate. Type how much you charge customers for the service. You can enter a
flat fee or a charge per unit of time. For example, you might charge $9.95 per
call, charge by the minute, or charge $200 for unlimited calls each month. When
you add the item to an invoice, QuickBooks multiplies the quantity by the sales
price to calculate the total charge.
If the item’s cost varies, leave the Rate set to 0; you can then enter the price
when you create an invoice or other sales form. If the rate is often the same, fill
in the most common rate. Then, when you add the item to an invoice, you only
need to modify the rate when you want to use a different amount. For services
that carry a flat fee, use a quantity of 1 on your invoices.
NOTE  QuickBooks multiplies the rates by the quantities you add to sales forms. Be sure to define the rate in
the same units (by hours or days, for example) so that QuickBooks calculates your income and expenses correctly.
• Tax Code. Most Service items are nontaxable, so you’ll choose Non here more
often than not. (This field appears only if you’ve turned on the sales tax feature,
as described on page 551.)
• Account. Choose the income account to which you want to post the income
for this service, whether it’s a catchall income account for all your services or
one you created specifically for this type of service.
Service Items with Associated Costs
If you sell services that have associated costs, such as when you hire someone else
to perform those services, you have to set up the Service item to include those costs.
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SERVICE ITEMS The key to displaying the fields you need to fill in is the “This service is used in assemblies
or is performed by a subcontractor or partner” checkbox, which is turned
on in Figure 5-6. In addition to the basics like Item Name/Number and “Subitem of,”
here are the fields you fill in when an item does have associated costs:
• Description on Purchase Transactions. Type in the description that you want
to appear on the purchase orders you issue to subcontractors or vendors and
the bills you record in QuickBooks to go with the ones you receive from vendors.
FIGURE 5-6
If subcontractors or partners
perform the service
and get paid for their
work, a Service item has
to contain information for
both the sales and purchase
transactions. In that
case, turn on the “This
service is used in assemblies
or is performed by a
subcontractor or partner”
checkbox to display the
fields shown here.
• Cost. Enter what you pay for the service, which can be an hourly rate or a flat
fee. For example, if a subcontractor performs the service and receives $175 for
each hour of work, type 175 in this field. If the cost varies, leave this field set to
0; you can enter the actual cost when you create a purchase order.
• Expense Account. Choose the account where you want to post what you pay
for the service. If a subcontractor does the work, choose a Cost of Goods Sold
account or an expense account for subcontractor or outside consultants’ fees.
If a partner or owner performs the work, choose a Cost of Goods Sold account
or an expense account for service-related costs.
• Preferred Vendor. If you almost always use the same vendor for a service,
choose that vendor in this drop-down list. That way, if you don’t select a vendor
when you create a purchase order, QuickBooks selects that vendor when you
add this Service item. However, if you purchase the item from several vendors,
leave this field blank.
• Description on Sales Transactions. This field appears on sales forms like invoices
and sales receipts. QuickBooks automatically copies the text from the
Description on Purchase Transactions box into this field, but if your vendors
use technical jargon that your customers wouldn’t recognize, you can change
the text in this box to something more meaningful.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 107
PRODUCT
ITEMS • Sales Price. Type in how much you charge customers for the service, as you
would in the Rate field for a Service item that you don’t purchase from someone
else (page 105).
• Tax Code. Most Service items are nontaxable, so you’ll choose Non here most
of the time. (This field appears only if you’ve turned on the QuickBooks sales
tax feature, as described on page 551.)
• Income Account. Choose the income account to which you want to post the
income for this service, whether it’s a catchall income account for all services
or one you created specifically for this type of service.
Product Items
Products you sell to customers fall into three categories: ones you keep in inventory,
ones you special order, and ones you assemble. QuickBooks can handle inventory
as long as your company passes the tests on page 96. Likewise, products you purchase
specifically for customers or jobs are no problem. But to handle products you
assemble like gift baskets or gizmos made from widgets, you’ll need QuickBooks
Premier or Enterprise edition (which include Inventory Assembly items [page 526]).
This section describes the three types of product items that QuickBooks offers and
shows you how to fill in the New Item window’s fields for Non-inventory Part items.
See Chapter 20 for the full scoop on creating inventory-related items.
Choose one of these three QuickBooks item types for the products you sell:
• Non-inventory Part. If you purchase products specifically for a job or customer
and don’t track how many products you have on hand, use Non-inventory Part
items. Unlike Inventory Part items, this type has at most two account fields: one
for income you receive when you sell the part, and another for the expense of
purchasing the part in the first place.
• Inventory Part. Use this type for products you purchase and keep in stock for
resale. Retailers and wholesalers are the obvious examples of inventory-based
businesses, but other types of companies like building contractors may track
inventory, too. With Inventory Part items, you can track how many you have,
how much they’re worth, and when you should reorder.
NOTE  You can create Inventory Part items only if you turn on QuickBooks’ inventory feature as described
on page 523.
• Inventory Assembly. This item type (available only in QuickBooks Premier and
Enterprise editions) is perfect when you sell products built from your inventory
items. For example, say you stock wine bottles and related products like corkscrews
and glasses, and you assemble them into gift baskets. With an Inventory
Assembly item, you can track the number of gift baskets you have on hand as
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ITEMS
well as the individual inventory items that go into them. You can also assign a
different price to the gift basket than the total of the individual products.
Non-Inventory Part Fields
You’ll need Non-inventory Part items if you use purchase orders to buy supplies
or other products that you don’t track as inventory. For example, suppose you’re
a general contractor and you buy materials for a job. When you use Non-inventory
Part items, QuickBooks posts the cost of those products to an expense account
(or Cost of Goods Sold account) and the income from selling them to an income
account. You don’t have to bother with an inventory asset account because you
transfer ownership of these products to the customer almost immediately. (See
page 249 to learn how to charge your customer for these reimbursable expenses.)
The good news is that Non-inventory Part items use all the same fields as Service
items (page 104), although there are a few subtle differences you need to know. Take
the following disparities into account when you create Non-inventory Part items:
• This item is used in assemblies or is purchased for a specific customer:job.
This checkbox goes by a different name than the one for Service items, but its
effect is the same. Turn it on when you want to use different values on purchase
and sales transactions for items you resell. When this checkbox is on, QuickBooks
displays Purchase Information and Sales Information sections, like the
ones shown in Figure 5-6. For Non-inventory Part items, choose income and
expense accounts you set up specifically for products.
If the Non-inventory Part item is for office supplies (or other items you don’t
resell) that you want to place on a purchase order, then leave this checkbox off
because you won’t have sales values. Read on to find out what happens when
you turn off this checkbox.
• Account. If you don’t resell this product, leave the “This item is used in assemblies
or is purchased for a specific customer:job” checkbox turned off, and you’ll
see only one Account field. QuickBooks considers the account in this field the
expense account for the purchase.
• Tax Code. This field works exactly the same way as it does for a Service item.
Choose Non if the products are nontaxable (like groceries), and Tax if they’re
taxable. (This field appears only if you’ve turned on the QuickBooks sales tax
feature, as described on page 551.)
TIP  Many companies don’t bother with purchase orders—forms that record what you order from a vendor—
when buying office supplies. But if you want to track whether you receive the supplies you bought, you can create
purchase orders for them (page 528). Then use Non-inventory Part items for supplies you add to purchase orders
but don’t track as inventory. (Purchase orders are non-posting transactions [page 528], so they don’t affect the
balances in your accounts.)
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 109
OTHER TYPES Other Types of Items OF ITEMS
If a line on a sales form isn’t a service or a product, read this section to figure out
the type of item you need. (Chapter 21 covers setting up Sales Tax items.)
Other Charge
The Other Charge item type is aptly named because you use it for any charge
that isn’t quite a service or a product, like shipping charges, finance charges, or
bounced-check charges. Other Charge items can be percentages or fixed amounts.
For example, you could set up shipping charges that are the actual cost of shipping,
or calculate shipping as a percentage of the product cost.
If customers hold back a percentage of what they owe until you complete their jobs
satisfactorily, create an Other Charge item for the retainer (the portion of your fee
that the customer doesn’t initially pay). Then, when you create the invoice, enter a
negative percentage so QuickBooks deducts the retainer from the invoice total. When
your customer approves the job, create another invoice, this time using another Other
Charge item named Retention, to charge the customer for the amount she withheld.
TIP  Progress invoices (page 283) are another way to invoice customers for a portion of a job. They’re ideal
if you invoice the customer based on the percentage of the job you’ve completed or on the parts of the job that
are complete.
Other Charge items can be linked to expenses—or not. Here are your options:
• A charge linked to expenses. For Other Charge items, the checkbox for hiding
or showing both purchase and sales fields is labeled “This item is used in assemblies
or is a reimbursable charge.” Turn on this checkbox when you want to
set the Cost field to what you pay and the Sales Price field to what you charge
your customers. You’ll see the same sets of fields for purchases and sales as
you do for Service and Non-inventory Part items.
• A charge without associated expenses. You can create charges that don’t
link directly to expenses by leaving the “This item is used in assemblies or is a
reimbursable charge” checkbox turned off. You can then create a percentagebased
charge, which is useful for calculating shipping based on the value of
the products being shipped. With the checkbox turned off, instead of the Cost
and Sales Price fields, you see the “Amount or %” field. If you want to create a
charge for a specific amount (like the value for a country club’s one-time initiation
fee), type a whole or decimal number in this field, as shown in Figure 5-7.
To create a percentage-based charge, type a number followed by “%,” such as
10%, in this field instead.
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NOTE  When you add a percentage-based Other Charge item to an invoice, such as shipping, QuickBooks
applies the percentage to the previous line in the invoice. So if you want to apply the Other Charge percentage to
several items, then add a Subtotal item (explained next) to the invoice on the line above the Other Charge item.
FIGURE 5-7
To create a percentagebased
charge, type a
number followed by
“%” in the “Amount or
%” field.
To set a dollar value
instead, type a number
without the percent
symbol, as shown here.
Subtotal
You’ll need a Subtotal item if you discount only some of the items on a form or
calculate shipping based on the value of the order. You need to create only one
Subtotal item in QuickBooks, because a Subtotal item does just one thing: totals all
the amounts of the preceding lines up to the last subtotal or the beginning of the
invoice. That means you can add more than one subtotal to an invoice. For example,
you can use one Subtotal item to add up the services you sell before applying a
preferred-customer discount, and a second Subtotal item for product sales when
you have to calculate shipping.
Because you can’t change a Subtotal item’s behavior, Subtotal items have just two
fields: Item Name/Number and Description. You can type any name and description
you wish in these fields, but in practically every case, Subtotal says it all.
Group
Group items are great timesavers, and they’re indispensable if you tend to forget
things. As the name implies, a Group item represents several related items you often
buy or sell together. Create a Group item that contains items that always appear
together, such as each service you provide for a landscaping job. That way, when
you add the Landscaping Group item to an invoice, QuickBooks automatically adds
the Service items for the various phases, such as Excavation, Grading, Planting,
and Cleanup. You can also use a Group item to show or hide the underlying items,
which is useful when you create fixed-price invoices (page 236) and don’t want the
customer to see the underlying details.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 111
OTHER TYPES
OF ITEMS
Here’s how you fill in the fields in the New Item window for a Group item:
• Group Name/Number. Type a name for the group that gives a sense of the
individual items within it, such as Security Package.
• Description. Type the description that you want to appear on sales forms.
• Print items in group. To show all the underlying items on your invoices, turn on
this checkbox. Figure 5-8 shows an invoice that prints all the items in a group
(top) and what an invoice looks like when you leave this checkbox turned off
(bottom).
FIGURE 5-8
Top: If you turn on the
“Print items in group”
checkbox when you
create a Group item
(Security Package, in this
example) and then add it
to an invoice, QuickBooks
lists the individual items
it contains.
Bottom: If you leave the
“Print items in group”
checkbox turned off,
you’ll see the individual
items in the Create Invoices
window, but the
invoice you print to send
to the customer will list
only the Group item itself,
along with the total price
for all the items in the
group.
• Item. To add an item to a group, click a blank cell in the Item column, shown in
Figure 5-9, and then choose the item you want. You can also create a new item
by choosing <Add New> from the drop-down list.
• Qty. Group items can include different quantities of items, just like a box of
notecards usually includes a few more envelopes than cards. For each item in
the group, type how many you typically sell as part of that group. If the quantity
of each item varies, type 0 in the Qty cells. You can then specify the quantities
on your invoices after you add the Group item.
Discount
As you know, a discount is an amount you deduct from the standard price you
charge, such as a volume discount, customer-loyalty discount, or sale discount.
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OF ITEMS
QuickBooks’ Discount item calculates deductions like these. Discount items deduct
either a dollar amount or a percentage for discounts you apply at the time of sale.
By using both Subtotal and Discount items, you can apply discounts to some or all
of the charges on a sales form.
FIGURE 5-9
When you work on a Group
item in the New Item or
Edit Item window, the
background of the Description
column is shaded to
indicate that you can’t edit
those cells. That’s because
QuickBooks fills in the
Description cells with the
contents of each individual
item’s Description field. To
edit them, you have to edit
the items themselves (as
described on page 114).
NOTE  Early payment discounts don’t appear on sales forms because you won’t know that a customer pays
early until long after that form is complete. So instead, you apply early payment discounts in the Receive Payments
window, described on page 355.
The New Item window’s fields for a Discount item are similar to those of an Other
Charge item with a few small differences:
• Amount or %. To deduct a dollar amount, type a positive number (whole or
decimal) in this field. To deduct a percentage, type a whole or decimal number
followed by “%,” like 5.5%.
• Account. Choose the account to which you want to post the discounts you apply.
You can post discounts to either an income or expense account. When you
post discounts to an income account, they appear as negative income, so your
gross profit reflects what you actually earned after deducting them. Posting
discounts to an expense account, on the other hand, makes your income look
better than it actually is, but the discounts increase the amount in your expense
account, so your net profit is the same no matter which approach you use.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 113
OTHER TYPES
OF ITEMS • Tax Code. Most of the time, you choose a taxable code in this field (which
appears only if you have the program’s sales tax features turned on) so that
QuickBooks applies the discount before it calculates sales tax. For instance, if
customers buy products on sale, they pay sales tax on the sale price, not the
original price. If you choose a nontaxable code in this field, QuickBooks applies
the discount after it calculates sales tax. You’ll rarely want to do this, though,
because it means you’ll collect less sales tax from customers than you have to
send to the tax agencies.
Payment
When customers send you payments, you can record them in QuickBooks using the
Receive Payments feature (page 347). But if you’re in the middle of creating invoices
when the checks arrive, you can avoid that task by recording those payments right
in your invoices by adding a Payment item. As Figure 5-10 explains, Payment items
do more than just reduce the amount owed on the invoice.
FIGURE 5-10
A Payment item (here,
a check) reduces the
balance on an invoice by
the amount the customer
paid and performs the
same actions as the Receive
Payments feature:
deposits the funds into a
bank account or groups
the payment with other
undeposited funds.
In the New Item window, after you fill in the Type, Item Name/Number, and Description
fields, the remaining Payment item fields are unlike those for other items. These
unique fields tell QuickBooks the method of payment that the customer used and
whether you deposit the funds in a specific bank account or group them with other
undeposited funds. Here are the details:
• Payment Method. Choose a method such as cash, check, or a brand of credit
card. That way, when you choose Banking→Make Deposits (page 371) to make
a deposit and the “Payments to Deposit” window opens, you can filter pending
deposits by payment method.
• Group with other undeposited funds. Choose this option if you want to add
the payment to other payments you’ve received. For example, choose this
option if you save up the checks customers send so you can make one trip to
deposit them all in your bank. That way, when you add this Payment item to
a sales form, QuickBooks adds the payment to the list of undeposited funds.
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To actually complete the deposit of all your payments, choose Banking→Make
Deposits (page 371).
• Deposit To. If payments flow into an account without any action on your part,
such as credit card or electronic payments, choose this option, and then choose
the appropriate bank account in the drop-down list.
Working with Items
Item info changes from time to time: Prices increase or decrease, descriptions change,
or you decide to use different accounts. You can make changes like this anytime.
In addition, you can hide items so only the ones you currently sell appear in item
drop-down lists. And if you created an item by mistake, you can delete it to remove
it permanently. This section explains how to perform all these tasks.
Modifying Items
You can change information about an item even if you’ve already used it in transactions.
The changes you make don’t affect existing transactions, but when you create
new transactions using that item, QuickBooks uses the updated info.
In the Item List window (Lists→Item List), double-click the item you want to edit,
and QuickBooks opens the Edit Item window. Simply make your changes, and then
click OK. If you want to modify several items at once, use the Add/Edit Multiple List
Entries feature (page 118 in Chapter 6) instead.
NOTE  If you change an account associated with an item (like the income account to which sales post), the
Account Change dialog box appears when you save the edited item. This dialog box tells you that all future transactions
for that item will use the new account. If you also want to change the account on all existing transactions
that use the item, consult with your accountant to make sure that change is OK before you click Yes. Click No to
keep the old account on existing transactions that use the item.
Be particularly attentive if you decide to change an item’s Type field. You can change
only Non-inventory Part and Other Charge items to other item types, and you can
change them only into certain other item types: Service, Inventory Part, Inventory
Assembly (available only in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise), Non-inventory Part,
or Other Charge. For example, you can’t change a Non-inventory Part item back once
you change it to an Inventory Part item. To prevent type-change disasters, back up
your QuickBooks file (see page 495) before switching item types.
TIP  The inventory you keep in stock is an asset of your company, but Non-inventory Parts show up simply
as expenses. So if you change a Non-inventory Part item to an Inventory Part item, be sure to choose a date in
the “As of” field that’s after the date of the last transaction that uses the item in its non-inventory guise.
Chapter 5: Setting Up Items 115
WORKING
WITH ITEMS Hiding Items
Hiding items and deleting them are two totally different actions, although the visible
result is the same: QuickBooks doesn’t display the items in the Item List window or
in item drop-down lists, which prevents you from selecting them accidentally and
keeps your Item List more concise. But unlike deleting (which you’ll learn about in
a sec), hiding is reversible: You can switch items back to active status if you start
selling them again. Suppose you hid the item for bell-bottom hip-huggers in 1974.
Decades later, now that ‘70s fashions have become cool again, you can reactivate
that item and use it on sales forms. (Of course, you’ll probably want to edit the cost
and sales price to reflect today’s economy.)
If you’ve sold an item in the past, then the only way to remove it from the Item List
is to hide it—QuickBooks won’t let you delete items that have transactions associated
with them.
Here’s a guide to hiding and reactivating items:
• Hide an item. In the Item List, right-click the item and choose Make Item Inactive
from the shortcut menu. The item disappears from the list.
• View all items, active or inactive. At the bottom of the Item List window, turn
on the “Include inactive” checkbox. (This checkbox is grayed out when all your
items are active.) QuickBooks then displays a column with an X as its heading
and shows an X in that column for every inactive item in the list.
• Reactivate a hidden item. First, turn on the “Include inactive” checkbox to
display all items. Then click the X next to the name of the item you want to
reactivate. When you click the X next to a parent item, QuickBooks opens the
Activate Group dialog box. If you want to reactivate all the subitems as well as
the parent, click Yes; to reactivate only the parent item, click No.
Deleting Items
The only time you’ll delete an item is when you create it by mistake and want to
eliminate it permanently. You can delete an item only if it doesn’t have any transactions
associated with it.
If you erroneously create an item and catch your mistake immediately, deleting the
offender is no sweat. Open the List Item window (Lists→Item List), and then use
one of these methods:
• Select the item, and then press Ctrl+D.
• Right-click the item, and then choose Delete Item from the shortcut menu.
• Select the item, and then head to the main QuickBooks menu bar and choose
Edit→Delete Item.
• At the bottom of the Item List window, click Item→Delete Item.
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TIP  If you delete an item, you have only one shot at undoing the deletion: You can restore the deleted item
by immediately choosing Edit→Undo. If you do anything else in QuickBooks after deleting an item, that item is
gone for good—unless you recreate it from scratch.
If you try to delete an item that’s used in even one transaction, QuickBooks warns you
that you can’t delete it. Say you created an item by mistake and then compounded
the problem by inadvertently adding the item to an invoice. When you realize your
error and try to delete the item, QuickBooks refuses to oblige. Fortunately, it’s pretty
easy to run a report to find the transactions that contain that item, and then replace
it with another item:
1. Open the Item List window (Lists→Item List), and then right-click the item
and choose “QuickReport: [item name]” from the shortcut menu.
QuickBooks opens the Item QuickReport window. Depending on how your
report preferences are set, the Modify Report dialog box might open as well.
2. If the Modify Report dialog box appears, then on the Display tab, choose
All at the top of the Dates drop-down list, and then click OK.
If the Modify Report dialog box doesn’t appear, in the Item QuickReport window,
choose All in the Dates drop-down list.
3. In the report window, double-click the transaction, and then edit the transaction
to remove the erroneous item.
QuickBooks opens the dialog box or window that corresponds to the type of
transaction you double-clicked. For example, if you double-click an invoice,
QuickBooks opens the Create Invoices window and displays the invoice you
chose. In the Create Invoices window’s Item column, click the cell containing
the item you want to delete, click the down arrow in that cell, and then choose
the replacement item from the Item drop-down list.
4. To save the transaction with the revised item, click Save & Close.
The transaction window closes.
5. In the button bar at the top of the report window, click Refresh to update
the report with the change you just made.
You’ll know that you’ve successfully eliminated the item from all transactions
when the Item QuickReport window shows no transactions.
6. To close the report window, click the X at its upper right.
QuickBooks takes you back to the Item List window.
7. In the Item List window, select the item you want to delete, and then press
Ctrl+D. In the Delete Item message box that appears, click OK to confirm
that you want to get rid of the item.
The item disappears from your Item List for good, and you’re ready to get back
to work.
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f you frequently add or edit more than one customer, vendor, or item at a time,
working in a New or Edit window (like New Customer or Edit Item) isn’t only tedious,
but it also takes up time you should spend on more important tasks, like
selling, managing cash flow, or finding out who has the incriminating pictures from
the last company party.
If you set up your company file using the EasyStep Interview, it helps you bring
information in from an email program or Excel (page 14), and you can use that
same window anytime you want to add more customers or vendors (by choosing
Company→Bulk Enter Business Details). Another option is the Add/Edit Multiple List
Entries feature, which you can use to paste data from Excel into QuickBooks when
you’re creating customers, vendors, or items. Or, to edit existing records, you can
filter or search the list in that window to show just the customers, vendors, or items
you want to update, and then paste in Excel data, type in values, or copy values
between records. This chapter shows you how to perform all these tasks.
Then again, you might store info about customers, vendors, and items in other programs
such as a database or word-processing program where you create mailing
labels. If your other programs can create Excel-compatible files or delimited text files,
you can avoid data-entry grunt work by transferring data to or from QuickBooks.
(Delimited text files are simply files that separate each piece of data with a comma,
space, tab, or other character.) In both types of files, the same kind of info appears
in the same position in each line or row, so QuickBooks (and other programs) can
pull the information into the right places. When you want to transfer a ton of data
from another program into QuickBooks, importing is the way to go. By mapping
QuickBooks’ fields to the fields in the other program, you can quickly transfer hundreds
or even thousands of records. In this chapter, you’ll learn about the keywords
Data Entry Shortcuts
for Lists
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file set up to work with QuickBooks. The chapter wraps up by explaining the steps
for importing data into your company file. (Chapter 26 provides the full story on
importing and exporting data.)
Adding and Editing Multiple Records
The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature is a great tool for adding or updating values
in the Customer, Vendor, and Item lists. If you have data in an Excel spreadsheet, you
can paste it directly into a table in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window. The
window’s features for copying or duplicating values between records come in handy
when you need to make changes like updating the billing address for a customer
who sends you job after job. (Typing values into the window’s cells works, too.) And
you can customize the window’s table to show only the customers, vendors, or items
you want to edit and the fields you want to modify.
This feature goes by different names depending on where you find it in QuickBooks.
Choose it in any of these locations to open the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window:
• In the Lists menu, choose Add/Edit Multiple List Entries. When you go this
route, QuickBooks sets the window’s List box to Customers.
• In the Customer Center, click the Customers & Jobs tab, and then in the
Center’s toolbar, click New Customer & Job→Add Multiple Customer:Jobs
or Excel→Paste from Excel. QuickBooks sets the List box to Customers.
• In the Vendor Center, click the Vendors tab, and then, in the Center’s toolbar,
click New Vendor→Add Multiple Vendors or Excel→Paste from Excel.
QuickBooks sets the List box to Vendors.
• At the bottom of the Item List window (page 101), click Item→Add/Edit
Multiple Items or Excel→Paste from Excel. QuickBooks sets the List box to
Service Items.
As mentioned above, if you open the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window from
the Customer Center, Vendor Center, or Item List window, QuickBooks automatically
selects the appropriate list in the List drop-down menu at the window’s top left. You
can switch lists by choosing Customers, Vendors, Service Items, Inventory Parts, or
Non-inventory Parts from this drop-down menu.
TIP  If you set up jobs for customers, the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window’s table includes rows for both
customers and jobs. The Name column contains the customer’s name for a customer row and the job’s name for
a job row. Usually, you can spot job rows by looking at the Company Name field, since all jobs for that customer
will have the customer’s Company Name value listed here.
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To paste data from Excel in a jiffy, take a minute to get the columns in the Add/Edit
Multiple List Entries window’s table in the same order as the columns in your Excel
spreadsheet. (Or, if you’re an Excel whiz, you may prefer to rearrange the columns
in your spreadsheet.) You can customize the table in QuickBooks by clicking Customize
Columns in the window’s upper right to open the Customize Columns dialog
box shown in Figure 6-1.
FIGURE 6-1
In addition to adding and
removing columns, the
Customize Columns dialog
box (foreground) also lets
you change the position
of a column by selecting
it in the Chosen Columns
list and then clicking
Move Up or Move Down.
If you completely mangle
the columns, click Default
to restore the original
ones.
When you click OK, the
Customize Columns
dialog box closes, and
the changes you made
are reflected in the table
(background).
Here are the table customizations you can make:
• Add a column. Select the field you want in the Available Columns list, and then
click Add. The field jumps over to the Chosen Columns list.
• Remove a column. Select a field in the Chosen Columns list, and then click
Remove. The field moves back over to the Available Columns list. You can’t
remove required fields like Name; QuickBooks grays out the Remove button if
you select a required field in the Chosen Columns list.
• Reorder columns. In the Chosen Columns list, select the field you want to move
to a different position in the table, and then click Move Up or Move Down to
move the field up or down in the list. Moving a field up in the list positions the
field farther to the left in the table; moving it down in the list pushes the field’s
column farther to the right in the table.
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In addition to customizing the columns in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window’s
table, you can also control which records the table displays. For example, editing
entries is easier if you filter the list to display only the ones you want to edit. Here
are some ways to control what you see in the table:
• Filter the entries. The View drop-down menu includes several choices for
filtering the list. Choose the Active entry (Active Customers, Active Vendors,
Active Service Items, and so on) if you want to make changes to only active
records in your company file. Choosing the Inactive entry (Inactive Customers,
Inactive Inventory Items, and so on) displays only records that you’ve set to
inactive status (page 85).
Because QuickBooks doesn’t save the changes you make in the Add/Edit Multiple
List Entries window until you click Save Changes, you can filter by Unsaved
Customers (or Unsaved Vendors or Unsaved Items) to see all the entries you’ve
edited but haven’t yet saved.
Choosing the entry that ends in “with errors” displays only entries that contain
invalid values, like a vendor type or tax code that doesn’t exist in your company
file. If you click Save Changes when there are records with errors, QuickBooks
automatically filters the list to the “with errors” view so you can see what you
need to correct before you can save your changes. Page 126 explains how to
spot and fix errors.
To filter the list to your exact specifications, choose Custom Filter, and then fill
in the dialog box shown in Figure 6-2 (foreground). For example, if you want to
divide your government customers into local, state, and federal groups, you can
filter the list to show only records with “Government” in their customer fields.
To clear a custom filter or the search criteria you typed in the Find box (explained
next), simply click the red X to the right of the Find box.
NOTE  QuickBooks is quite literal in its searches, so the entries you see in your search results exactly match
what you specified in your custom filter or typed in the Find box. For example, if you type New York, QuickBooks
displays customer records that contain that exact phrase, but not ones that use the abbreviation NY. Or if you
type (555) to look for the 555 area code, records that don’t have parentheses around the area code won’t show
up.
• Find entries. Typing a word, value, or phrase in the window’s Find box is similar
to applying a custom filter to the list, except that QuickBooks searches all fields.
For example, if you type 555 in the Find box and then click the Search button
(which has a magnifying glass on it), QuickBooks displays records that contain
555 anywhere, whether it’s in the company name, telephone number, address,
or account number field.
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FIGURE 6-2
In the Custom Filter dialog
box, you can type a word,
value, or phrase to look
for, and specify the fields
you want QuickBooks to
search.
For example, type cia in
the For field and set the
“in” drop-down list to
“All common fields” to
find customers with “cia”
in fields like Name, Company
Name, and so on.
After you search for one value, you can search for something else within the
results from the first search. For example, you could do an initial search for
customers with “Texas” in their addresses, and then search within those results
to zero in on customers whose company names contain “LLC”. To do so, type
the second search value in the Find box, turn on the “Search within results”
checkbox, and then press Enter or click the Search button (the magnifying glass).
• Sort the list entries. To sort the entries in the table, click the column heading
for the field you want to sort by, and QuickBooks sorts the records in ascending
order (from A to Z or from low to high numbers). Click again to sort in descending
order. When the table is sorted by the values in a given column, a small
triangle appears to the right of that column’s heading. The triangle points up
when the column is sorted in ascending order and down when the values are
sorted in descending order.
Adding or Editing List Entries
Whether you want to add new entries or edit existing ones, the Add/Edit Multiple List
Entries window offers several handy options. You can type in values or use features
like Copy Down to copy values between records. If your data is in an Excel spreadsheet,
pasting the info from Excel into the table is a breeze. (When you want to add
a new record, you first have to click the first empty row at the bottom of the list.)
This section explains how to enter data directly in the table or paste it from Excel.
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ENTERING DATA DIRECTLY IN THE TABLE
For an edit here and a new entry there, the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries table helps
take the tedium out of data entry. Here are the various ways to enter values in records:
• Type values in cells. This method is straightforward: Click a cell and make
your changes. When you click a cell that already contains data, the program
automatically selects the cell’s contents so you can start typing to replace the
existing value. You can also use common editing techniques like dragging to
select text or clicking to position your cursor in the text.
• Copy and paste data within the table. You can also copy and paste data from
one cell in the table to another. For example, if a customer with several jobs has
relocated its main office, you can copy values from Bill To cells and paste them
into the cells for the customer’s jobs. When you copy and paste data within the
table, you can copy only one cell at a time. Right-click the cell you want to copy
and then choose Copy on the shortcut menu. Then right-click the cell into which
you want to paste the data and choose Paste on the shortcut menu. Keyboard
shortcuts work, too: Press Ctrl+C to copy a cell and Ctrl+V to paste the copied
data. If you want to move the data from the original cell to a new home, use
Ctrl+X to cut the data rather than copy it.
TIP  If you want to copy several cells in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries table, it’s quicker to make the
changes in an Excel spreadsheet and then paste the data from Excel into the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries table
(page 123).
• Duplicate a row. To create a new record that has many of the same values as an
existing record, right-click a cell in the existing row, and then choose Duplicate
Row from the shortcut menu. The new record appears in the row below the
original and contains all the same values as the original record, except that the
value in the first field begins with “DUP” to differentiate it from the original.
First, edit the Name cell to reflect the new name. Then edit the cells in the row
that have different values.
• Copy values down a column. You can quickly fill in several cells in a column
by using the Copy Down feature. Because this feature copies data into all cells
below the one you select, it’s important to first filter the list (page 126) to show
only the records you want to change. Then right-click the cell you want to copy
down the column and choose Copy Down from the shortcut menu. QuickBooks
copies the value in the selected cell to all the cells below it in the column, overwriting
any existing data. For example, if you want to change the contact name
for all the jobs for a particular customer, filter the list to show just the records
for that customer (in the Find box, type the customer’s name, and then click
the magnifying glass icon). Next, type the new contact’s last name into the first
Last Name cell. Then right-click that cell and choose Copy Down. Repeat those
steps for the contact’s first name, phone number, and so on.
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RECORDS • Insert a row. If you want to insert a blank line in the table (to create a new job
for a customer, for example), right-click the row that’s currently where you want
the blank line, and then choose Insert Line from the shortcut menu (or click the
row and then press Ctrl+Insert).
• Delete a row. If you created a record by mistake, you can get rid of it by rightclicking
anywhere in its row and then choosing Delete Line. (This command is
grayed out if the entry is used in a transaction or other record, because you
can’t delete a record if it’s referenced somewhere else in your company file.)
• Clear a column. To clear all the values in a column, right-click in the column, and
then choose Clear Column from the shortcut menu. If you chose this command
by mistake, you can undo the deletion by clicking the window’s Close button
and then, in the Unsaved [list name] message box, clicking No.
COPYING AND PASTING VALUES FROM EXCEL
If you’re a fan of copying and pasting (and who isn’t?), you can copy data from
an Excel spreadsheet (a single cell, a range of cells, one or more rows, or one or
more columns) and paste it into the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries table. The only
requirement is that the rows and columns in the table and in the spreadsheet have
to contain the same information in the same order. You can rearrange the rows and
columns either in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window (page 125) or in Excel,
whichever you prefer.
If you want to copy and paste customers and jobs (or items with subitems), you
first have to create the top-level entries, as shown in Figure 6-3. That’s because
jobs you paste include the name of the customer in their Company Name fields (for
items, the parent item’s name appears in the “Subitem of” field). Once the parent
entries exist, you can use the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window again to paste
jobs (or subitems).
NOTE  To prevent errors when you copy and paste data, make sure the values you reference—such as accounts,
tax codes, and so on—already exist in your company file.
Here’s how to get started with entering data via the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries
window, using items as an example:
1. On the QuickBooks Home Page, in the Company panel, click Items & Services.
The Item List window opens.
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FIGURE 6-3
Create customers before
you create jobs, and create
parent items before
creating subitems. That
way, the company name
you paste in the Company
Name field (or the parent
item name you paste in
the “Subitem of” field)
will exist in your company
file.
If you don’t create
the parent items first,
QuickBooks will display
an error message when
you try to paste the jobs
or subitems.
2. Right-click the Item List window, and then choose Add/Edit Multiple Items
from the shortcut menu. (Alternatively, at the bottom of the window, click
Item→Add/Edit Multiple Items.)
The Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window opens with the List box set to Service
Items or the type of item you selected the last time you used this window.
The table initially displays the active items for the type selected in the List box
(Figure 6-4), which makes sense because you typically want to add or edit items
that you’re currently using. To filter the list to show specific kinds of items, in
the View drop-down menu, choose the kind you want.
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FIGURE 6-4
In the List drop-down menu,
choose the type of item you
want to work on. The table
displays the active items of
the selected type.
To filter the list, in the View
drop-down menu, choose
the kind of item you want
or choose Custom Filter to
define a more targeted filter
(page 126).
3. If you want to work with a different type of item, in the List drop-down
menu, choose Customers, Vendors, Service Items, Inventory Parts, or Noninventory
Parts.
The columns in the table vary depending on the list you select and the preferences
you’ve turned on. For example, for Service items, the table includes
columns for Item Name, Subitem of, Sales Price, Income Account, and—if you’ve
turned on the sales tax preference (page 551)—Sales Tax Code. If you’ve turned
on the preference for inventory (page 523) and choose Inventory Parts, you see
a COGS Account column, among others. If you choose the Customers or Vendors
list, the table initially displays contact info and a few other fields. (See page 125
to learn how to customize the columns that appear in the table.)
4. Switch to Excel and copy the data you want from your spreadsheet.
As explained earlier, the order of the columns in the Add/Edit Multiple List
Entries window’s table and your Excel spreadsheet have to match or you’ll see
errors when you paste the data (which you’ll do in the next step). To fix that,
reorder the columns in either Excel or QuickBooks (page 126). When the programs’
columns match, in Excel, select the information you want to paste into
QuickBooks, and then press Ctrl+C to copy it.
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5. Back in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window, click the first blank Item
Name cell (or Name cell, if you’re pasting customer or vendor info), and
then press Ctrl+V (or choose Edit→Paste in the main QuickBooks menu bar).
When you paste Excel data into existing records in the Add/Edit Multiple List
Entries window, QuickBooks overwrites the existing values in the cells. To paste
Excel data into new records, be sure to select the first empty row in the window’s
table before pasting the data.
QuickBooks pastes the copied data into the selected cell and then continues
pasting into the cells below and to the right of the selected cell. Cells that
contain data with errors, such as invalid values or list entries that don’t exist in
QuickBooks, appear in red text. See below to learn how to correct these errors.
TIP  If you want to paste parent items and subitems into the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window’s table,
paste the top-level items first, and then click Save Changes. Then follow with a separate paste pass for each
subsequent level of your Item List. (For customers with jobs, paste the customers first, and then paste their jobs
on a second pass.) That way, the parent items you need will already exist so the subitems will paste in without
errors.
Saving Changes
After you’ve completed the additions and modifications you want in the Add/Edit
Multiple List Entries window, click Save Changes to save your work. QuickBooks
saves all the entries that have no errors and tells you how many records it saved.
Correcting Errors
If you click Save Changes in the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window and QuickBooks
finds any errors, like a value that doesn’t exist in the Terms List or a job that
belongs to a customer who doesn’t exist in QuickBooks, it filters the entries in the
Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window’s table to just those with errors and displays
the incorrect values in red text. Point your cursor at a cell to see a hint about the
error. For example, if you typed a letter in a price field, QuickBooks tells you that
the field contains an invalid character. If the problem is a list entry that doesn’t exist,
the “[list name] Not Found” dialog box opens (where “[list name]” is a list such
as Terms) and tells you the value isn’t in the list. In the dialog box, click Set Up to
add the entry to the list. Fix any other errors, and then click Save Changes again.
TIP  If you don’t know what’s causing the error, select the incorrect value and delete it by pressing Delete or
Backspace. Then, when you figure out what the value should be, you can edit that record in the Add/Edit Multiple
List Entries window or the corresponding Edit dialog box.
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VENDOR,
AND ITEM Importing Customer, Vendor, and Item INFORMATION
Information
If you have hundreds of records to stuff into QuickBooks, even copying and pasting
can be tedious. But if you can produce a delimited text file or a spreadsheet of
customer or vendor info in the program where you currently store it (page 697),
then you can match up your source data with QuickBooks’ fields and import all your
records in one fell swoop.
Delimited files and spreadsheets compartmentalize data by separating each piece
of info with a comma or a tab, or by cubbyholing them into columns and rows in
a spreadsheet file. These files aren’t necessarily ready to import into QuickBooks,
though. Headings in a delimited file or spreadsheet might identify the field names
in the program that originally held the information, but QuickBooks has no way of
knowing the correlation between those fields and its own.
But don’t worry: QuickBooks helps you import your Excel data for customers, vendors,
and items. There’s a data-import wizard right in the program. You can use its
pre-formatted Excel templates to import data from your Excel spreadsheet. (If you
don’t need any handholding, head to page 697 in Chapter 26 for the full scoop on
importing data into QuickBooks.)
TIP  Always back up your company file before you import data in case you run into problems. That way, you
can restore your pre-import file and try again. Page 495 dishes out the details on creating a backup file.
Importing with the Excel Import Wizard Templates
QuickBooks’ Excel import wizard is easy to get to and easy to use. The pre-formatted
spreadsheets that come with it contain a small subset of the fields associated with
each list you can import. For example, the customer template includes columns for
basic contact info and an account number. If the fields you want to import are in the
wizard’s Excel templates, you can’t beat this wizard for ease of use. (The wizard’s
Advanced Import button helps you import info from other Excel spreadsheets. The
next section shows you how to put that button to use.)
NOTE  To use the Excel Import Wizard templates or to import data from your own Excel workbook, you need
to have Excel installed on your computer.
Here’s how to use the Excel import wizard and its built-in spreadsheets:
1. In QuickBooks, choose File→Utilities→Import→Excel Files.
The “Add Your Excel Data to QuickBooks” wizard opens. (If you see the Add/
Edit Multiple List Entries dialog box, click No to proceed to the wizard. If you
don’t want to see this message again, turn on the “Do not display this message
in the future” checkbox.)
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2. Click the button for the type of data you want to import: Customers, Vendors,
or Products I Sell.
You see a message warning that you can’t undo the import and recommending
that you back up your company file first. If you want to create a backup, click No,
create the backup, and then begin with step 1 again. If you’re ready to import
data, click Yes to close the message box.
QuickBooks opens an Excel template for the type of data you’re importing, as
shown in Figure 6-5.
FIGURE 6-5
The Excel import
templates not only get
your data into the right
fields, but they also help
you with every step. For
example, the blue box
(labeled “Coach tip” here)
gives you advice about
how to copy data from an
Excel spreadsheet into the
template.
If a cell turns yellow, it
means there’s a problem
with the data in it. Point
your cursor at the red
triangle in the cell’s
upper-right corner to see
what the problem is and
how to fix it.
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3. Copy your data into the template.
Open the Excel spreadsheet whose info you want to get into QuickBooks, select
the data you want to copy, and then press Ctrl+C. Next, switch to the Excel template
QuickBooks created, click the cell where you want to begin pasting your
data (Excel pastes from the top-left cell down and to the right), and then press
Ctrl+V. (If you need help, click the template’s Show Detailed Instructions button.)
4. After you’ve copied all the data from your spreadsheet into the Excel
template and none of the template’s cells are yellow, choose File→Save to
save the template.
Then close the spreadsheet you copied data from.
5. In QuickBooks’ Excel template, click Add My Data Now.
The “Add Your Excel Data to QuickBooks” wizard shows the progress it’s making
importing the data. When it’s done, it places green checkmarks to the left
of all three steps and shows how many records it imported. You can click the
button that says “View [type of imported info]” to see the list you imported,
or click Close and view your lists as you usually do. For example, to see your
Customer:Job List, click Customers→Customer Center.
Importing Data from Your Own Excel File
You don’t have to use the data-import wizard’s spreadsheets. If your data is already
sitting in a spreadsheet, the wizard’s Advanced Import button helps you map your
spreadsheet’s columns to QuickBooks’ fields and then import your data. Here’s
how it works:
1. In QuickBooks, choose File→Utilities→Import→Excel Files. In the “Add
Your Excel Data to QuickBooks” wizard, click the Advanced Import button.
The “Import a file” dialog box opens.
TIP  What if you don’t have data in an Excel spreadsheet? There’s no need to set up your own file. The
“QuickBooks Import Excel and CSV toolkit” (:tinyurl/7chnkqn) includes a sample Excel spreadsheet
with four worksheets. Each worksheet comes with columns that correspond to the fields associated with the
Customer, Vendor, Item, and Account Lists. Follow the instructions on the web page to download the toolkit to
your computer.
2. In the “Import a file” dialog box, on the “Set up Import” tab, click Browse,
and then select the Excel file you want to import.
QuickBooks then populates the “Choose a sheet in this Excel workbook” dropdown
list with the names of the worksheets in the workbook you selected.
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3. Use the “Choose a sheet in this Excel workbook” drop-down list to pick the
worksheet you want to import.
QuickBooks automatically turns on the “This data file has header rows” checkbox,
which is perfect when the first row of the Excel workbook contains text
labels for the columns.
4. In the “Choose a mapping” drop-down list, choose <Add New>.
The Mappings dialog box (Figure 6-6) opens.
FIGURE 6-6
If you kept the “This data file
has header rows” checkbox
turned on in step 3, then the
drop-down lists that appear
when you click a cell in the
Import Data column show
the column headings from
your Excel spreadsheet.
If your spreadsheet doesn’t
contain header rows, then
the drop-down list will
display entries like Column
A, Column B, and so on.
5. In the “Mapping name” box, type a name for the set of correspondences
between fields and columns you’re about to create. In the “Import type”
drop-down list, choose the kind of data you’re importing.
You can choose Customer, Vendor, Item, or Account to import data into any
of those lists.
6. For each QuickBooks field listed in the left column, in the Import Data column,
choose the corresponding Excel header or column name, as shown in
Figure 6-6.
Chapter 6: Data Entry Shortcuts for Lists 131
IMPORTING
CUSTOMER,
VENDOR,
AND ITEM
INFORMATION
The QuickBooks column lists every field associated with the list you selected
in the “Import type” drop-down list. If you don’t want to import data into a
QuickBooks field, leave the corresponding cell in the Import Data column blank.
7. After you’ve mapped all the columns you want to import to QuickBooks
fields, click Save.
The Mappings dialog box closes and QuickBooks takes you back to the “Import
a file” dialog box.
8. To tell QuickBooks how to handle duplicate records and errors, click the
“Import a file” dialog box’s Preferences tab, and then choose the settings
you want.
Out of the box, QuickBooks selects the “Prompt me and let me decide” option
in the tab’s Duplicate Handling section, which puts you in charge of deciding
what to do. If the records in your company file are up to date, you can choose
the “Keep existing data and discard import data” option to keep the records
in QuickBooks when the same record exists in your company file and the Excel
spreadsheet. Or you can tell the program to replace your existing data in
QuickBooks with or without blank fields.
Similarly, in the tab’s Error Handling section, QuickBooks selects the option that
imports all records but leaves fields with errors blank. If you prefer, you can tell
the program to skip records with errors.
9. To review the data you’re about to import, click Preview. In the Preview
dialog box, in the “In data preview show” drop-down list, choose “only
errors” to see rows of data that contain errors.
When you select an entry with an error, the “Details for” table shows the values
you’re trying to import and what the problem is so you can correct it. You can
also select options to skip importing rows with errors or import records and
leave error fields blank.
10. Click OK to close the Preview dialog box.
Or, if you want to start the import without jumping back to the “Import a file”
dialog box first, simply click Import in the Preview dialog box and then click
Yes to complete the import.
11. Back in the “Import a file” dialog box, click Import, and then click Yes to
complete the import.
A message box tells you how many records QuickBooks imported and the
number of records with errors or warnings. Click OK to close the message box
and the “Import a file” dialog box.
That’s it! Go ahead and open the list with the data you imported and admire your
handiwork. (For example, click Customers on the Home Page to open the Customer
Center.)

133
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7
Open any QuickBooks window, dialog box, or form, and you’re bound to bump
into at least one drop-down list. These lists make it easy to fill in transactions
and forms. Creating an invoice? If you pick the customer and job from the
Customer:Job drop-down list, QuickBooks fills in the customer’s address, payment
terms, and other fields for you. Selecting payment terms from the Terms List tells
the program how to calculate an invoice’s due date. If you choose an entry in the
Price Level List, QuickBooks calculates the discount or markup you extend to your
customers for the goods they buy. Even the products and services you sell to customers
come from the Item List, which you learned about in Chapter 5.
In this chapter, you’ll discover what many of these lists can do for you and learn
whether it makes sense for you to set them up for your business. Because some
lists have their own unique fields (such as the Price Level Type for a Price Level
entry), you’ll also find out what the various fields are for and how to fill them in. If
you already know which lists and list entries you want, you can skip to page 148 to
master the techniques that work for most lists, such as adding and tweaking entries,
hiding entries, and so on. Once you know how to work with one QuickBooks list, the
doors to almost every other list open, too.
Setting Up Other
QuickBooks Lists
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NOTE  A few lists—such as the Customer, Vendor, and Employee lists—behave a little differently from the ones
described in this chapter. Here are the other chapters that provide instructions for working with the QuickBooks
lists that aren’t covered here:
• The chart of accounts, which is a list of your bookkeeping accounts, is explained in Chapter 3.
• The Customer:Job List, which includes entries for both customers and their jobs, is the topic of Chapter 4.
• The Vendor List is also described in Chapter 4.
• The Item List helps you fill in bills, invoices, and other transaction forms with services and products you
buy and sell; it’s covered in Chapter 5.
• Although the Sales Tax Code List appears on the Lists menu, Sales Tax codes are inextricably linked to
how you handle sales tax. The details of setting up this list are described in Chapter 21 on page 555.
• Chapter 12 shows you how to have QuickBooks memorize transactions and store them in the Memorized
Transaction List so you can reuse them.
• If you turn on QuickBooks’ payroll feature, the Lists menu includes the Payroll Item List, which covers
the deposits and deductions on your payroll. Payroll items are quite specialized, and you use them only
if you use one of Intuit’s payroll services. To learn about QuickBooks payroll services and the Payroll
Item List, see online Appendix D, which you can download from this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds.
Categorizing with Classes
Classes are the only solution if you want to classify income and expenses by categories
that span multiple accounts in your chart of accounts; multiple customers,
jobs, and vendors; or even multiple time periods. Classes help you track financial
results by categories such as business unit, location, partner, or magazine issue.
Suppose you have business units that all sell to the same customers and rack up the
same types of expenses, and you want to track the profitability of each unit. Your
income accounts show sales by products and services, even if each region sells all
those items. Customer types won’t help if some large customers buy products from
several regions. The same goes if a job requires a smorgasbord of what you sell. The
solution? Creating classes that represent business units in QuickBooks’ Class List.
Classes also come in handy for tracking the allocation of functional expenses that
nonprofit organizations have to show on financial statements.
When you turn on QuickBooks’ class-tracking feature, every transaction includes
a Class field. Unlike the Customer Type, Job Type, and Vendor Type fields—which
you assign when you create a customer, job, or vendor—a transaction’s Class field
starts out blank. For each invoice, sales receipt, bill, and so on, simply choose the
class related to the income or expense. That way, you can produce a report broken
down by class (page 455).
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 135
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TIP  Before you decide to use classes, use QuickBooks without them for a few weeks or months. If it turns out
that you can generate all the reports you need without classes, don’t burden yourself with another field to fill in.
But if you work without classes and then decide to use them after all, you can go back and edit past transactions
to assign classes to them, or just start using classes at the beginning of a new fiscal period. For more help deciding
whether to use classes, see the box below.
UP TO SPEED
Do You Need Classes?
Not every company needs classes, so don’t feel that you have
to use them. You can call on several other QuickBooks features
to help keep track of your business. Each tracking feature has
its advantages, so how do you decide which one(s) to use to
evaluate your performance? Here’s a brief description of each
feature and the best use for it:
• Accounts. You can use accounts to segregate income and
expenses in several ways. For instance, keep income from
services separate from your product sales by creating two
different income accounts. Accounts are the fastest way
to see performance because QuickBooks’ built-in Profit
& Loss reports (page 448) automatically display results
by account.
• Customer, job, and vendor types (page 82). To analyze
income by wholesale, retail, online, and other types of
customers, classify your customers by type. That way,
you can filter the reports you generate to show results
for a specific kind of customer. However, types are more
limited in scope than accounts—for example, customer
types apply only to customers. Likewise, job types and
vendor types help you categorize only by job and vendor,
respectively.
• Classes. Classes cut across accounts, income, expenses,
customers, jobs, vendors, and even time, because you
assign a class to an individual transaction, such as a check,
bill, or invoice. So classes are perfect for categories that
span accounts, customers, vendors, and types. Suppose
the partners in your company help customers implement
technology and tighten their security. You’ve decided to
use separate income accounts to track technology sales
and security sales, and to use customer types to track
work for the government versus the private sector. You
also want to track income and expenses by partner, but
each partner works on all types of service for all types
of customers. Happily, you can create classes to track
partners’ sales and expenses, regardless of which service
they deliver or the type of customer. A “Profit & Loss
by Class” report (page 455) will then tell you how each
partner is performing.
Here’s another example of putting classes to work: tracking
profitability for a monthly publication or event. Start by creating
classes for each month. Then assign income and expense
transactions to the class that corresponds to the publication
month, such as May. That way, you can track ad income or
printing expenses for the May issue, even if the transactions
occur in March, April, or July.
If you choose to work with classes, be sure to follow these guidelines to get the
most out of them:
• Pick one use for classes. QuickBooks has only one list of classes, so every
class should represent the same type of classification. However, if you want
to use classes for two different purposes—business units and office branches,
say—you can create top-level classes for each business unit and subclasses for
office branches within each top-level class.
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WITH CLASSES • Use classes consistently. Make sure to use classes on every transaction that
relates to your classification method. For example, if you classify income and
expenses by partner, assign a class to every invoice and expense that’s related
to a partner’s work; otherwise, your class-based reports won’t be accurate. But
if expenses are overhead and don’t relate to the work partners do, create a class
for overhead and assign that class to all overhead transactions. That way, you
can run a report like Profit & Loss Unclassified to look for transactions where
you forgot to assign a class.
• Create a catchall class. Set up a class like Other so that you can still classify
transactions even if they don’t fit into any of the specific classes you’ve defined.
Turning on Class Tracking
Before you can start assigning classes, you have to turn on QuickBooks’ class-tracking
feature. To see whether classes are turned on, in the main QuickBooks menu bar,
click Lists. If you don’t see a Class List item in the menu, then the class-tracking
feature is turned off. Here’s how to turn it on:
1. Choose Edit→Preferences→Accounting, and then click the Company Preferences
tab.
To turn class tracking on, you need to be a QuickBooks administrator, because
classes affect everyone in your organization who uses the program. (If you
aren’t a QuickBooks administrator, you’ll have to persuade someone who is to
turn on classes.)
2. Turn on the “Use class tracking for transactions” checkbox.
When you do that, QuickBooks automatically turns on the “Prompt to assign
classes” checkbox. With this checkbox turned on, if you try to save a transaction
without an entry in the Class field, QuickBooks gives you a chance to add the
class (or save the transaction without one). Turn this checkbox off if you don’t
want to be reminded to assign classes.
3. Click OK to close the Preferences window.
The Class List entry now appears on the Lists menu.
Setting Up Classes
Once you’ve turned on class tracking, here’s how you create classes:
1. In the main QuickBooks menu bar, choose Lists→Class List.
The Class List window opens.
2. In the Class List window, press Ctrl+N or click Class→New.
The New Class window opens.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 137
PRICE LEVELS
3. In the Class Name box, type a name for the class.
If you want to create a class that’s a subclass of a parent (to set up subclasses
for each region within a business unit, say), turn on the “Subclass of” checkbox.
Then, in the drop-down list, choose the parent class you want. (Obviously, you
can create subclasses only after you’ve created at least one regular class.)
4. Click Next to create another class, or click OK to close the New Class window.
If you realize you need another class while you’re working on a transaction, you
can create an entry by choosing <Add New> in the Class drop-down list shown in
Figure 7-1.
FIGURE 7-1
After you turn on class
tracking, every transaction
you create includes a Class
field.
To assign a class to a
transaction, choose one
of the classes from the
drop-down list or choose
<Add New>.
Price Levels
Whether you give your favorite customers price breaks or increase other customers’
charges because they keep asking for “just one more thing,” you can apply discounts
and markups when you create invoices. But remembering who gets discounts and
how big is tough when you have a lot of customers, and it’s bad form to mark up a
favorite customer’s prices by mistake.
Say hello to QuickBooks’ Price Level List. When you define price levels and assign
them to customers, QuickBooks takes care of adjusting the prices on every invoice
you create. You can also apply a price level to specific lines on invoices to mark up
or discount individual items. For example, suppose you create a price level that represents
a 15 percent discount. If you apply that price level to a customer, the sales
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forms you create for that customer automatically discount prices by 15 percent. And
if you apply that price level to a product on a customer’s invoice, the product’s price
gets reduced by 15 percent.
Creating a Price Level
To create a price level, do the following:
1. Make sure the Price Level preference is turned on (you have to be a QuickBooks
administrator to turn it on).
If QuickBooks’ Price Level preference is turned off, you won’t see the Price
Level List item in the Lists menu. In that case, choose Edit→Preferences→Sales
& Customers, and then click the Company Preferences tab. Select the Enable
Price Levels radio button, and then click OK.
2. Choose Lists→Price Level List.
The Price Level List window opens.
3. In the Price Level List window, press Ctrl+N or click Price Level→New.
The New Price Level window, shown in Figure 7-2 (foreground), opens.
4. In the Price Level Name box, type a name for the level.
If you have a fixed set of discounts, you might name the various levels by the
percentage, like Discount 10 and Discount 20, for example. An alternative is to
name them by their purpose, like Customer Loyalty or User Group Discount.
That way, it’s easy to change the discount amount without changing the price
level’s name.
5. In the “This price level will” box, choose “increase” or “decrease” depending
on whether you want the price level to mark up or discount items, and
then enter the percentage in the “item prices by” box.
In QuickBooks Pro, the Price Level Type box is automatically set to “Fixed %”
because you can create price levels that increase or decrease prices only by a
fixed percentage, as described in Figure 7-2. See the box on page 140 to learn
about the Per Item price level available in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise.
6. For percentage price levels, in the “Round up to nearest” drop-down list,
choose the type of rounding you want to apply.
The “Round up to nearest” setting is handy if the percentages you apply result
in fractions of pennies or amounts too small to bother with. It lets you round
discounts to pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and even whole
dollars (if you really hate making change). The box on page 141 explains other,
fancier kinds of rounding you can apply.
7. Click OK to close the New Price Level window.
To create another price level, repeat steps 3–7.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 139
PRICE LEVELS
NOTE  You can’t create price levels on the fly while you’re creating an invoice. The easiest solution to a
missing price level is to adjust the price on the invoice manually. Then, after the invoice is done, add the price
level to your Price Level List.
FIGURE 7-2
Think of fixed-percentage
price levels as standard
discounts or markups. For
example, you can create
a price level called Most
Valued Customer to discount
prices by 25 percent. Then
assign that price level in the
customer record (page 70) of
every big spender you work
with. Although price levels’
names don’t appear on your
customer invoices, it’s still a
good idea to choose names
that are meaningful without
being rude.
Applying Price Levels
You can apply price levels in two ways:
• Applying a price level to a customer record (page 70) tells QuickBooks to
automatically adjust all the prices on every new invoice for that customer by
that price level’s percentage (page 231).
• Applying a price level to line items on an invoice adjusts the prices of those
items whether or not a customer has a standard price level. To do so, in the
Create Invoices window, click an item’s Rate or Price Each cell (depending on
the template you’re using), and then choose the price level you want from the
drop-down list.
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Per-Item Price Levels
In QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, you can create price
levels that apply to individual items in your Item List. To do
that, in the New Price Level window’s Price Level Type dropdown
list, choose Per Item. The window then displays a table
containing all the items in your Item List.
In the Custom Price column, type the price for an item at that
price level. For example, suppose you sell calendars to retail
stores for $5 each. The Standard Price column would show
5.00 for the calendar item. If you’re creating a price level for
nonprofit organizations, you could type 3.50 in the item’s
Custom Price cell so that a nonprofit would pay only $3.50
for a calendar.
If you want to apply percentages to several items in the table
displayed in the New Price Level window, there’s a shortcut for
calculating custom prices:
1. Turn on the checkboxes for all the items that use the same
percentage increase or decrease.
2. In the “Adjust price of marked items to be” box, type
the percentage. In the drop-down list next to it, choose
“lower” or “higher.” And in the “than its” drop-down
list, choose an entry to tell QuickBooks to calculate the
price level based on the standard price, the cost, or the
current custom price.
3. Click the Adjust button, and QuickBooks fills in the
Custom Price cells for the marked items with the new,
custom prices.
4. To apply different percentages to another set of items,
clear any checkmarks and then repeat steps 1–3.
If you work with more than one currency and turn on the
multiple currency preference (page 662), you can create price
levels for individual items to set their prices in different currencies.
Here’s how: In the New Price Level window, choose the
currency in the Currency drop-down list. Then, in the Custom
Price cell, type the price for the item in the foreign currency.
After that, when you add the item to a sales form, simply
choose the currency price level in that form’s Rate drop-down
list, and QuickBooks recalculates the price.
Customer and Vendor Profile Lists
Filling in fields goes much faster when you can choose info from drop-down lists
instead of typing values. The lists that appear on the Customer & Vendor Profile
Lists submenu (to see it, choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists) pop up
regularly, whether you’re creating an invoice, paying a bill, or generating a report.
For example, when you create an invoice, QuickBooks fills in the Payment Terms field
with the terms you assigned to the customer’s record (page 69), but you can choose
different terms from the drop-down list to urge your customer to pay more quickly.
For many of these lists, creating entries involves nothing more than typing the entry’s
name and specifying whether that entry is a subentry of another. This section
describes how to add entries to each list and how to put these lists to work for you.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 141
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POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Rounding Price Level Values
When you use percentages to calculate markups and discounts,
the resulting values may not be what you want. The basic
choices in the New Price Level window’s “Round up to nearest”
drop-down list take care of the most common rounding—to
the nearest penny, dime, quarter, dollar, and so on. But other
entries on the list let you give QuickBooks more complex
rounding instructions.
The seven entries that include the word “minus” help you position
prices at magic marketing points like $29.99 or $1.95. For
example, the “.10 minus .01” entry ensures that the price always
ends in 9. With this setting, if the discounted price comes out to
$8.74, QuickBooks rounds up to the nearest 10 cents ($8.80) and
then subtracts 1 cent, so the rounded value is $8.79.
If you like to undercut your competitors with unusual price
points, in the “Round up to nearest” drop-down menu, choose
“user defined.” QuickBooks then displays several boxes and
options for defining your own rounding:
• The “nearest” drop-down menu. In the unlabeled
drop-down menu below “user defined,” you can choose
“to nearest,” “up to nearest,” or “down to nearest.” “To
nearest” rounds in whichever direction is closest (for
example, rounding from 1.73 to 1.70 or from 1.77 to 1.80).
• The first $ box. Type the value you want to round to, like
.01, .25, or 1.00.
• Plus or Minus and the second $ box. Select the Plus or
Minus radio button depending on whether you want to
add or subtract money after you’ve rounded the value.
Then, in the second $ box, type the amount you want to
add or subtract from the rounded value. (If you don’t want
to use this feature, just leave the second $ box set to 0.)
Sales Rep List
The Sales Rep List is perfect when you want to assign people as points of contact
for your customers. The people you add to this list can be sales reps you pay on
commission or employees who are dedicated contacts for customers. For example,
if you assign people as sales reps to your customers (page 71) and add the appropriate
rep to your sales transactions, you can then generate reports by sales rep
(page 603). But first you have to add the names of your sales reps and contacts to
the Sales Rep List.
NOTE  If you’d like an add-on program to help you calculate commissions, go to :workplace.intuit.
com/appcenter. In the “Search for apps” box, type sales commission, and then press Enter.
To add a name to the Sales Rep List:
1. Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Sales Rep List; in the Sales
Rep List window that opens, press Ctrl+N or click Sales Rep→New.
The New Sales Rep window opens.
2. In the Sales Rep Name drop-down list, choose a name.
The Sales Rep Name list displays names from the Employee List, the Vendor List,
and the Other Names List (page 142). QuickBooks automatically fills in the Sale
Rep Initials field box with the person’s initials and fills in the Sales Rep Type field
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with Employee, Vendor, or Other Name, depending on which list the name came
from or, if you just added the name, the type you assigned when you added that
person. (The box below gives hints about when to use the Other Names List.)
If the name you want doesn’t exist, choose <Add New> at the top of the list.
In the Select Name Type dialog box that appears, select Vendor, Employee, or
Other, and then click OK. Then, in the New Name window that opens, fill in the
Name box and any other fields you want.
3. Click Next to add another sales rep, or click OK to close the New Sales Rep
window.
If you select a name and realize that it’s misspelled, you can edit it right from
the New Sales Rep window: Click Edit Name, and QuickBooks opens the Edit
Employee, Edit Vendor, or Edit Name dialog box so you can change the name.
GEM IN THE ROUGH
When to Use the Other Names List
If you have more than a few names on your Other Names List,
you’re probably not getting the most out of QuickBooks. In
fact, unless you’re a sole proprietor or several partners share
ownership of your company, you can run QuickBooks without
any names on the Other Names List.
The entries in the Other Names List show up in the drop-down
menus for a few types of transactions, such as checks and credit
card charges (page 208). But they don’t appear for other types of
transactions, like invoices, purchase orders, and sales receipts.
So what are Other Names good for? People who aren’t customers,
vendors, or employees—for example, your name as sole
proprietor or the names of company partners. That way, when
you write partners’ distribution checks, you can choose their
names from the Other Names List.
To create an entry on the Other Names List:
1. Choose Lists→Other Names List.
2. When the Other Names List window opens, press Ctrl+N.
3. Fill in the fields in the New Name dialog box, which
are similar to the ones in the New Customer dialog box
(page 64).
4. Click OK.
The Other Names List can also serve as a holding tank. If you
aren’t sure which list to put someone on, you can temporarily
add that person to the Other Names List. Then, when you figure
out which list she should be on, you can move her. Because
QuickBooks needs to close all open windows to move people
between lists, it’s best to save this task for a lull in your workday.
When you’re ready, open the Other Names List window
and click Activities→Change Other Name Types. In the Warning
box that opens, click OK. In the Change Name Types dialog box
that appears, find the person’s name, and then click the cell
in the appropriate column (Customer, Vendor, or Employee) to
assign that type. Click OK to complete the makeover.
If you realize that you created two entries for the same person
in the Other Names List, you can merge one into the other.
Merging entries in the Other Names List is similar to merging
customers (page 87). The alternative is to make one of the
two entries inactive, as described on page 85, and then use
the other entry for all future transactions.
Customer Type List
Customer types help you analyze your income and expenses by customer category
(page 82). For example, a healthcare provider might create Government and Private
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AND VENDOR
PROFILE LISTS
customer types to see how much a change in government reimbursement might
hurt revenue.
You first create customer types in the Customer Type List and then assign one of
those types in each customer’s record. Creating all your customer types up front is
fast—as long as you already know what entries you want to create:
1. Choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Customer Type List; when
the Customer Type List window opens, press Ctrl+N.
The New Customer Type window opens (Figure 7-3).
FIGURE 7-3
The only thing you have to fill in here is the Customer Type field.
If this type represents a portion of a larger customer category,
turn on the “Subtype of” checkbox, and then choose the parent
type. For example, if you have a Government customer type, you
might create subtypes like Federal, State, County, and so on.
2. Enter a name in the Customer Type field.
If the new type is a subtype of another, turn on the “Subtype of” checkbox, and
then choose the parent type from the drop-down list.
3. Click OK if you’re done, or click Next to create another type.
You can also create entries as you work: If you’re creating or modifying a customer
in the New Customer or Edit Customer window, click the Additional Info tab. In the
Customer Type drop-down list, choose <Add New> to open the New Customer Type
window so you can create a new customer type, as shown in Figure 7-3.
Vendor Type List
Vendor types work similarly to customer types—you can filter reports or subtotal
expenses by different types of vendors. For example, if you create a Contractor
vendor type, you could generate a report showing how much you spend on subcontractors
you hire.
You create Vendor Type entries the way you create Customer Type entries: Choose
Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Vendor Type List, and then press Ctrl+N
to open the New Vendor Type window.
TIP  To create a new vendor type while you’re creating a vendor, in the New Vendor dialog box, click the
Additional Info tab and then, in the Vendor Type drop-down list, choose <Add New> to open the New Vendor
Type window.
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Job types also follow the customer-type lead. You can use job types to classify the
projects you perform for customers, as described on page 82. For instance, you
can filter a Profit & Loss report to show how profitable your spec-house projects
are compared with your remodeling contracts. You create Job Type entries the
way you create Customer Type entries: Open the Job Type List window by choosing
Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Job Type List, and then press Ctrl+N.
Terms List
The Terms List includes both the payment terms you require of your customers and
the payment terms your vendors ask of you. If you assign terms in a customer’s record,
QuickBooks automatically fills in the Terms box on the invoices you create for
that customer. Likewise, filling in terms in a vendor record means that QuickBooks
fills in the Terms box on bills you enter.
To add a new term, open the Terms List window (Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile
Lists→Terms List), and then press Ctrl+N. The fields that you fill in to create terms
(Figure 7-4) are different from those in other Customer & Vendor Profile lists. The following
sections explain the New Terms window’s Standard and Date Driven options.
FIGURE 7-4
Because payment terms apply to both vendors and customers,
consider using generic names that say something about
the terms themselves.
For example, the “10% 5 Net 30” entry shown here is an
enticement for early payments because it means that the
amount is due 30 days from the invoice date, but you can
deduct 10 percent from your bill if you pay within 5 days.
SETTING UP TERMS USING ELAPSED TIME
The New Terms window’s Standard option is ideal when the payment due date is a
specific number of days after the invoice date (or the date you receive a bill from a
vendor). If you send invoices whenever you complete a sale, choose the Standard
option.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 145
CUSTOMER
AND VENDOR
PROFILE LISTS
Here’s what the Standard option’s fields do:
• Net due in _ days. Type the maximum number of days after the bill or invoice
date that you or a customer can pay. For example, if you type 30, customers
have up to 30 days to pay an invoice or you have up to 30 days to pay a bill.
If you charge penalties for late payments, QuickBooks uses the value in this
field to figure out when customer payments are late so you can assess finance
charges (page 303).
• Discount percentage is. If you or your vendor offer a discount for early payments,
type the discount percentage in this box.
• Discount if paid within _ days. Type the number of days after the bill or invoice
date within which you or a customer has to pay to receive the early payment
discount.
NOTE  When your terms reduce a customer’s bill for early payments, QuickBooks deducts these discounts in
the Receive Payments window (page 355), where the program can determine whether the customer paid early.
If a vendor offers discounts for early payments, you can take advantage of those in the Pay Bills window (page
191).
SETTING UP DATE-DRIVEN TERMS
The Date Driven option sets up terms for payments that are due on a specific date,
regardless of the date on the invoice. This option is handy if you or your vendors
send invoices on a schedule—say, on the last day of the month. For example, home
mortgages often assess a late fee if payments arrive after the 15th of the month.
Here’s what the New Terms window’s Date Driven options do:
• Net due before the _ th day of the month. Type the day that the payment is
due. For example, if a payment is due before the 15th of the month, no matter
what date appears on your statement, type 15 in this box.
• Due the next month if issued within _ days of due date. Your customers might
get annoyed if you require payment by the 15th of the month and send out your
invoices on the 14th. They would have no way of paying on time—unless they
camped out in your billing department.
You can type a number of days in this box to automatically push the due date to
the following month when you issue invoices too close to the due date. Suppose
payments are due on the 15th of each month and you type 5 in this box. In that
case, for invoices you create between August 10 and August 15, QuickBooks
automatically changes the due date to September 15.
• Discount percentage is. If you or your vendors extend a discount for early
payments, type the discount percentage in this box.
• Discount if paid before the _ th day of the month. Type the day of the month
before which you or a customer has to pay to receive the early payment discount.
146 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
CUSTOMER
AND VENDOR
PROFILE LISTS Customer Message List
When you create an invoice, you can add a short message to it, such as “If you like
the service we deliver, tell your friends. If you don’t like our service, tell us.” To save
time and prevent embarrassing typos, add your stock messages to the Customer
Message List (Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists→Customer Message List).
In the Customer Message List window, press Ctrl+N to open the New Customer
Message dialog box. This dialog box has only one field—Message—which can hold
up to 101 characters (including spaces).
TIP  Don’t use the Customer Message List for notes that change with every invoice (like one that specifies
the date range that an invoice covers) because you’ll fill the list with unique messages and won’t be able to add
any more. If you want to include unique information, do so in the cover letter (or email) that accompanies your
invoice.
Payment Method List
Categorizing payments by the method the customer uses can be handy. For instance,
when you select Banking→Make Deposits (page 371), you can choose to process all
the payments you’ve received via a specific payment method—deposit all the checks
and cash you received into your checking account, say, but deposit the payments
you receive via credit cards to a dedicated merchant account.
You categorize payments by using the entries on the Payment Method List. QuickBooks
starts the list for you with entries for cash, check, credit cards (such as
American Express and Visa), and electronic payments. To add another payment
method—for payments through PayPal, for example—choose Lists→Customer &
Vendor Profile Lists→Payment Method List, and then press Ctrl+N. In the New Payment
Method dialog box, type a name for the method, and then choose a type. For
PayPal, choose Other in the Payment Type drop-down list. The list of types also
includes options like Debit Card, Gift Card, and E-Check.
Ship Via List
When your invoices include the shipping method that you use, your customers know
whether to watch for the mailman or the UPS truck. QuickBooks creates several shipping
methods for you: DHL, Federal Express, UPS, and US Mail. If you use another
method, like a bike messenger in New York City or your own delivery truck, simply
create additional entries in the Ship Via List window (Lists→Customer & Vendor
Profile Lists→Ship Via List) by pressing Ctrl+N. In the Shipping Method field (the
only field in the New Ship Method dialog box), type a name for the method, and
then click OK.
TIP  If you use one shipping method most of the time, you can have QuickBooks fill in the Shipping Method
field on invoices with that entry automatically. See page 669 to learn about the Usual Shipping Method preference
and the Usual Free on Board location.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 147
FIXED ASSET
ITEMS
Vehicle List
If you want to track mileage (page 169) on the vehicles you use for your business,
create entries for your cars and trucks in the Vehicle List (Lists→Customer & Vendor
Profile Lists→Vehicle List). Press Ctrl+N and then use the Vehicle box to name the
vehicle: Ford Prefect 1982 Red, for example. The Description field holds up to 256
characters, so you can use it to store the VIN, license plate, and even the insurance
policy number.
TIP  If you want to charge your customers for mileage, see page 172.
Fixed Asset Items
Assets that you can’t convert to cash quickly—such as backhoes, buildings, and
supercomputers—are called fixed assets. If you track information about your fixed
assets in another program or have only a few fixed assets, there’s no reason to bother
with QuickBooks’ Fixed Asset Item List. As you can see in Figure 7-5, QuickBooks
can track info such as when you bought the item and how much you paid. But in
QuickBooks Pro, you have to calculate depreciation (see the box on page 439) for
each asset at the end of the year and create journal entries to adjust the values in
your asset accounts.
FIGURE 7-5
When you buy a fixed
asset, you can create
a Fixed Asset item and
enter the asset’s name
and purchase info, where
you keep it, its serial
number, and when the
warranty expires. When
you create a Fixed Asset
item, QuickBooks doesn’t
automatically add the
purchase price to the
asset account you choose
here. Instead, the account
you choose in your purchase
transaction (check
or credit card charge, for
instance) is what adds
the purchase price to the
Fixed Asset account in
your chart of accounts.
148 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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LISTS
NOTE  QuickBooks Premier Accountant edition and QuickBooks Enterprise edition include the Fixed Asset
Manager, which figures out the depreciation on your assets and posts depreciation to an account in your QuickBooks
company file. If you have an accountant prepare your depreciation schedule, then go with the number
your accountant gives you. The depreciation that QuickBooks calculates may be close to, but different from, the
number your accountant calculates.
When you sell an asset, open the Edit Item dialog box (choose Lists→Fixed Asset Item
List, select the asset you sold, and then press Ctrl+E) and turn on the “Item is sold”
checkbox. When you do that, the sales fields come to life so you can specify when
you sold the asset, how much you got for it, and any costs associated with the sale.
If you decide to track the details about your fixed assets outside QuickBooks, you
still need to include the value of those assets in your financial reports. Simply create
Fixed Asset accounts for each fixed asset (page 49) to hold those values. Then,
each year, add a journal entry to record the amount of depreciation for your fixed
assets (page 437).
Managing Lists
Every list in QuickBooks responds to the same set of commands. As your business
changes, you can add new entries, edit existing ones, hide entries that you no longer
use, and (in some lists) merge two entries into one. If you make a mistake creating
an entry, you can delete it. You can also print your QuickBooks lists to produce a
price list of the products you sell, for example. Using the following techniques, you’ll
be able to do what you want with any list or entry you might need.
Creating Entries
If you’re setting up QuickBooks, creating all the entries for a list at the same time
is fast and efficient. Open the New dialog box for the type of list entry you want
(New Customer Type, for example), and you’ll soon get into a rhythm creating one
entry after another.
You can also add new list entries in the middle of bookkeeping tasks without too
much of an interruption. (If you launch a new line of business selling moose repellent,
for example, you can add a Burly Men customer type in the middle of creating
an invoice.) But don’t rely on this approach to add every entry to every list—you’ll
spend so much time jumping from dialog box to dialog box that you’ll never get to
your bookkeeping.
Each list has its own collection of fields, but the overall process for creating list
entries is the same:
1. To open the window for the list you want to work on, on the main QuickBooks
menu bar, click Lists, and then select the list you want on the submenu.
For example, to open the Class List window, choose Lists→Class List.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 149
MANAGING
LISTS
Several lists are tucked away one level deeper on the Lists menu. For lists that
include characteristics of your customers or vendors, such as Vendor Type or
Terms, choose Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, and then choose the list
you want, as shown in Figure 7-6.
FIGURE 7-6
To boost your productivity,
take note of the keyboard
shortcuts for lists you’re
likely to access most often.
For example, Ctrl+A opens
the Chart of Accounts
window. (Online Appendix
C lists lots of other handy
keyboard shortcuts.)
In addition, when you
see an underlined letter
in a menu entry, you can
type that letter to launch
that feature. For example,
when the Lists menu is
open, press C to open the
Class List window.
2. To create a new entry, press Ctrl+N; right-click the list window and choose
New on the shortcut menu that appears; or, at the bottom of the window,
click the button with the list’s name on it, and then choose New.
For instance, to create an entry in the Class List, make sure that the Class List
window is active, and then press Ctrl+N. Or, at the bottom of the window, click
Class→New. Either way, QuickBooks opens the New Class window.
3. After you’ve completed one entry, simply click Next to save the current
entry and begin another. To save the entry you just created and close the
dialog box, click OK.
To toss an entry that you botched, click Cancel to throw it away and close the
dialog box.
NOTE  Unlike all the other New windows for lists, the New Price Level window doesn’t include a Next button.
150 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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LISTS Editing Entries
To modify a list entry, open the window for that list. Then select the entry you want
to edit and press Ctrl+E or double-click the entry. (You can customize the columns
that appear in list windows so it’s easier to see values associated with list entries;
the box below tells you how.) When the Edit dialog box opens, make the changes
you want, and then click OK.
POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Customizing Columns in List Windows
Some list entries don’t come with many fields, such as the items
in the Ship Via List, so all you need to see in that list window is
the names of the shipping methods you’ve created. But other
lists, such as Terms, store a plethora of information, including
discounts and days of the month associated with the terms.
Fortunately, you can customize the columns that appear in list
windows so you can see list entries’ values without editing the
entries. Here’s how:
1. At the bottom of the list window, click the button with
the list’s name on it, and then choose Customize Columns.
2. In the “Customize Columns – [list name]” dialog box that
appears, in the Available Columns list, select a field you
want to display, and then click Add. The column moves
to the Chosen Columns list.
3. Repeat step 2 to add more columns.
4. To remove a column from the window, in the Chosen
Columns list, select the field, and then click Remove.
5. To move a field to another position, select it in the Chosen
Columns list, and then click Move Up or Move Down until
it’s in the position you want.
6. When you’re done customizing, click OK. The fields you
selected appear in the window, as shown in Figure 7-7
(background).
FIGURE 7-7
You can add, remove, and
reorder the fields in the
Customize Columns dialog
box. To return to the
columns that QuickBooks
displays out of the box,
click the Default button.
The fields are listed from
top to bottom in the
Chosen Columns list, but
they appear from left to
right in the list window.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 151
MANAGING
LISTS Hiding Entries
Deleting entries is only for discarding entries that you create by mistake. If you’ve
already used list entries in transactions, hide the entries you don’t use anymore so
your historical records are complete. For example, you wouldn’t delete the “Net 30”
payment term just because you’re lucky enough to have only Net 15 clients right
now; you may still extend Net 30 terms to some clients in the future.
Hiding list entries that you no longer use does two things:
• Keeps your records intact. Your previous transactions still use the entries
you’ve hidden, so your historical records don’t change.
• Declutters your lists. When you create new transactions, the hidden entries
don’t appear in drop-down lists, so you can’t choose them by mistake.
The methods for hiding and reactivating list entries are exactly the same regardless
of which list you’re working on:
• To hide an entry: In the list’s window, right-click the entry and choose “Make
[list name] Inactive” from the shortcut menu, where [list name] is the list you’re
editing, such as Class or Sales Rep. The entry disappears from the list.
• To view all the entries in a list: At the bottom of the list window, turn on the
“Include inactive” checkbox so you can see both active and hidden entries.
QuickBooks adds a column with an X as its heading and displays an X in that
column for every inactive entry in the list. (If no entries are inactive, the “Include
inactive” checkbox is grayed out.)
• To reactivate an entry: First, display all the entries as described above, and then
click the X next to the entry you want to reactivate. If the entry has subentries,
then in the Activate Group dialog box that appears, click Yes to reactivate the
entry and all its subentries.
Deleting Entries
You can delete a list entry only if nothing in your QuickBooks company file references
it in any way. To delete a list entry, open the appropriate list window, select
the entry you want to delete, and then press Ctrl+D or, in the main QuickBooks
menu bar, choose Edit→“Delete [list name].” As long as the entry isn’t used in any
records or transactions, QuickBooks asks you to confirm that you want to delete
the entry; click Yes.
If you realize immediately that you didn’t want to delete the entry, press Ctrl+Z to
undo the delete. But if you’ve already performed any other action in QuickBooks,
you can’t undo the deletion. The only way to get the list entry back is to recreate it.
152 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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LISTS Finding List Entries in Transactions
If QuickBooks won’t let you delete a list entry because a transaction is still using it,
don’t worry—it’s easy to find transactions that use a specific list entry. Here’s how:
1. Open the list that contains the entry you want to find and, in the list window,
right-click the entry and choose “QuickReport: [list entry name]” on the
shortcut menu.
A report window opens that shows all the transactions that use the list entry
you selected.
2. To modify the list entry a transaction uses, double-click the transaction in
the report.
QuickBooks opens the window or dialog box that corresponds to the type of
transaction. If you’re trying to eliminate references to a list entry so you can
delete it, choose a different list entry, and then save the transaction.
Sorting Lists
QuickBooks sorts lists alphabetically by name, which is usually what you want. The
only reason to sort a list another way is if you’re having trouble finding the entry you
want to edit. For example, if you want to find equipment you bought within the last
few years, you could sort the Fixed Asset List by purchase date to find the machines
that you’re still depreciating. Figure 7-8 shows you how to change the sort order.
NOTE  Sorting in a list window doesn’t change the order in which entries appear in drop-down lists, unless
you manually sort a list by dragging the diamond icons to the left of list items’ names.
FIGURE 7-8
To sort a list by a column,
click the column’s heading,
such as Purchase
Date. The first time
you click the heading,
QuickBooks sorts the list
in ascending order, and
the small black triangle
in the heading (circled)
points up, as shown here.
To toggle between ascending
and descending
order, click the heading
again, and the triangle
points down.
Chapter 7: Setting Up Other QuickBooks Lists 153
MANAGING
LISTS
NOTE  As mentioned above, QuickBooks initially sorts lists by their Name columns. If you sort a list by a
different column, you see a gray diamond to the left of the column heading that it used to sort the list initially.
For example, if you sort the Fixed Asset Item List by Purchase Date, a gray diamond appears to the left of the
Name heading, as shown in Figure 7-8. To return the list to the order that QuickBooks originally used, click this
diamond.
Printing Lists
After you spend all that time building lists in QuickBooks, you’ll be happy to know
that it’s much easier to get information about those lists out of the program than it
was to put it in. For instance, suppose you want to print a price list of all your inventory
items. QuickBooks makes short work of printing lists or turning them into files
that you can use in other programs.
BLASTING OUT A QUICK LIST
Here’s the fastest way to produce a list, albeit one that doesn’t give you any control
over the report’s appearance:
1. At the bottom left of a list window, click the button labeled with the list’s
name—like Price Level, for example—and then, in the drop-down menu,
choose Print List (or press Ctrl+P).
QuickBooks might display a message box telling you to try list reports if you
want to customize or format your reports; that method is covered in the next
section. For now, in the message box, click OK. The Print Lists dialog box opens.
NOTE  To print Customer, Vendor, or Employee lists, in the Customer Center, Vendor Center, or Employee
Center toolbar, click Print. On the Print submenu, choose an entry, such as Customer & Job List, to print a list of
customers and jobs with their open balances. Choosing Print→Customer & Job Information prints information
about the selected customer or job. And Choosing Print→Customer & Job Transaction List prints a report of the
selected customer’s or job’s transactions.
2. To print the list, select the Printer option, and then choose a printer in the
drop-down list. To output the list to a file, choose the File option instead,
and then select the format you want.
If you go with the Printer option, you can specify print settings, as you can in
many other programs. Choose landscape or portrait orientation, the pages to
print, and the number of copies.
If you choose File, you can create ASCII text files, comma-delimited files, or
tab-delimited files (page 691).
3. Click Print.
QuickBooks prints the report or creates the type of file you selected.
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CUSTOMIZING A PRINTED LIST
If the Print List feature described above scatters fields over the page or produces a
comma-delimited file that doesn’t play well with your email program, you’ll be happy
to know that QuickBooks might offer a report closer to what you have in mind. For
example, an Item Price List is only two clicks away.
To access the reports that come with QuickBooks, in the program’s main menu bar,
go to Reports→List, and then choose the report you want. If these reports fall short,
you can modify them to change the fields and records they include, and format
them in a variety of ways. Chapter 23 has the whole story on customizing reports.
Bookkeeping
PART
2
CHAPTER 8:
Tracking Time and Mileage
CHAPTER 9:
Paying for Expenses
CHAPTER 10:
Invoicing
CHAPTER 11:
Producing Statements
CHAPTER 12:
Transaction Timesavers
CHAPTER 13:
Managing Accounts Receivable
CHAPTER 14:
Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
CHAPTER 15:
Doing Payroll
CHAPTER 16:
Making Journal Entries
CHAPTER 17:
Performing Year-End Tasks
157
CHAPTER
8
When customers pay for your services, they’re really buying your knowledge
of how to get the job done the best and fastest possible way. That’s
why an inexperienced carpenter charges $15 an hour, whereas a master
woodworker who hammers faster and straighter than a nail gun charges $80 an
hour. When it comes right down to it, time is money, so you want to keep track of
both with equal accuracy. Product-based companies track time, too. For example,
companies that want to increase productivity often start by tracking the time that
employees work and what they work on.
There are hordes of off-the-shelf and homegrown time-tracking programs out
there, but if your time-tracking needs are fairly simple, you can record time directly
in QuickBooks or use its companion program, QuickBooks Pro Timer, which you
can provide to each person whose work hours you want to track. The advantage
of tracking time in QuickBooks is that the hours you record are ready to attach to
an invoice (see page 249) or use in payroll (see online Appendix D). In this chapter,
you’ll learn how to record time in QuickBooks itself. Appendix F (available from this
book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds) explains the ins and outs
of the standalone Timer program.
NOTE  If your time-tracking needs outpace QuickBooks’ time-tracking features, Intuit’s marketplace (:
marketplace.intuit) lists about 50 time-tracking solutions that integrate with QuickBooks. Click Search By
Business Need, and then click Time Tracking. You can then specify features you’re looking for by turning on the
checkboxes that appear, such as online access or the ability to track time against projects. Intuit’s App Center
(:appcenter.intuit) also lists a few time-tracking solutions. Type time tracking in the Search box, and then
click the Search button (it looks like a magnifying glass). To search further afield, type keywords like QuickBooks
time tracking into your favorite Internet search engine.
Tracking Time
and Mileage
158 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
SETTING UP
TIME TRACKING Mileage is another commodity that many companies track—or should. Whether
your business hinges on driving or merely requires the occasional jaunt, the IRS lets
you deduct vehicle mileage, as long as you can document the miles you deduct.
And you might charge customers for the miles driven in conjunction with the work
you do for them. As you’ll learn in this chapter, QuickBooks can help you track the
mileage of company vehicles; you can then use that info for tax deductions or to
charge customers.
Setting Up Time Tracking
For many businesses, approximations of time worked are fine. For example, employees
who work on only one or two tasks each day can review the past week and log
their hours in a weekly timesheet. But for people with deliciously high hourly rates,
you want to capture every minute spent on an activity.
QuickBooks can help you track time whether you take a conscientious approach
or a more cavalier one. You can choose from two different ways of recording time
within QuickBooks:
• Enter time data in QuickBooks. You can enter time for individual activities or
fill in a weekly timesheet. In the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box, you can
type in the number of hours for a single activity. The dialog box also includes
a stopwatch, so you can have it track the time you spend working on a task.
• Use QuickBooks Pro Timer’s stopwatch. This program, which comes on the
QuickBooks CD, lets you time activities as you work so you can track your time
to the second—as long as you remember to start and stop the Timer at the right
moments. (If you forget to turn the Timer on or off, you can edit time entries to
correct them.) The best thing about Timer is that you can use it to record time
even when QuickBooks isn’t running. Moreover, you can give a copy of Timer
to all your employees and subcontractors so they can send you time data to
import into QuickBooks.
NOTE  If you download QuickBooks and want the Timer program, head online to :support.quickbooks.
intuit/support/Articles/HOW13261 to learn how to get it without a DVD.
No matter which technique you use to capture time, the setup is the same: You tell
QuickBooks that you want to track time and then set up the people who need to
track their time (employees and outside contractors alike). You use the customers
and items you’ve set up in QuickBooks to identify the billable time you work. If you
want to track nonbillable time, you need a few more entries in QuickBooks, which
you’ll learn about in the following sections.
Turning on Time Tracking
If you told QuickBooks that you want to track time when you created your company
file (page 13), the time-tracking preferences and features should be ready to go. To
Chapter 8: Tracking Time and Mileage 159
SETTING UP
TIME TRACKING
see whether time tracking is turned on, choose Edit→Preferences→Time & Expenses
(you may have to scroll down to see this category), and then click the Company
Preferences tab shown in Figure 8-1 (only a QuickBooks administrator can turn time
tracking on or off). If the Yes radio button below “Do you track time?” isn’t selected,
click it. (If your company file is in multi-user mode, QuickBooks tells you that you
have to switch to single-user mode [page 493] first.)
FIGURE 8-1
If most of your work time
is billable, keep the “Mark
all time entries as billable”
checkbox turned on. That
way, whenever you start
a new time record, the
Billable checkbox will be
turned on.
On the other hand, if you
charge by the hour for
only a couple of projects,
turn off the “Mark all
time entries as billable”
checkbox.
QuickBooks automatically sets the “First Day of Work Week” box to Monday to
match the Monday-through-Friday workweek of so many businesses. For round-theclock
services, self-employed people, and workaholics, choose whichever day feels
most like the beginning of the week. For example, many companies on a seven-day
workweek start the week on Sunday. If you use QuickBooks to generate hours for
payroll, you should set the program’s workweek to end on the same day as your pay
periods. For instance, if your payroll cutoff dates are on Fridays, in the “First Day of
Work Week” drop-down list, choose Saturday so that QuickBooks’ workweek ends
on Friday, just like your payroll.
TIP  To learn about time-related invoicing options, see page 675.
160 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
SETTING UP
TIME TRACKING Setting Up the People Who Track Time
You can’t enter or import people’s time into QuickBooks unless their names appear
in one of your name lists (the Employee List, Vendor List, or Other Names List). If
someone whose time you want to track isn’t on one of those lists yet, here’s how
you decide which list to use:
• Employee List. Use this list for your employees whether you pay them using
QuickBooks’ payroll features or in some other way.
• Vendor List. Add subcontractors and outside consultants (people or companies
that send you bills for time) to this list, whether or not their time is billable to
customers. (Their time is undoubtedly billable to you.)
• Other Names List. By process of elimination, anyone who isn’t a vendor or an
employee belongs on this list, such as owners who take a draw or partners who
take distributions instead of a paycheck (page 423).
People who enter time in QuickBooks (with a weekly timesheet or in the Time/
Enter Single Activity dialog box, not with the standalone Timer program) need the
program’s permission to do so. When you set up QuickBooks users, you can set their
permissions so they can enter time (page 733).
Setting Up Items and Customers for Time Tracking
The good news is that you don’t have to do any additional item and customer setup
to be able to bill time to your customers. The Service items (page 104) and customer
records (page 64) you create for invoicing also work for tracking billable time. When
you enter time, you choose the Service item you’re working on. QuickBooks then
totals your hours and figures out how much to charge the customer based on the
number of hours you worked and how much you charge per hour for that service.
The only reason you’d need additional items is if you track all the hours that people
work, both billable and nonbillable. For example, if you’re trying to reduce overhead
costs, you might add items to track the time spent on administrative work or providing
customer service, as shown in Figure 8-2. (Page 102 explains how to add items.)
The level of detail you track in QuickBooks for nonbillable activities is up to you.
Here’s how you fill in the New Item dialog box’s fields when you create items to track
time that you don’t bill to a customer:
• Type. Use the Service item type (page 104) because that’s the only one QuickBooks’
time-tracking feature recognizes.
• Rate. This is where you enter how much you charge for the service. Because no
money changes hands for nonbillable time, leave this field set to 0.
• Account. You can’t create an item without assigning it to an account, so create
an expense account (page 47) and call it something like Nonbillable Work
or Overhead Time. If you number accounts, assign the account a number that
places it near the end of your Expense type accounts (like 8230).
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FIGURE 8-2
If you want to capture
nonbillable activities
in one big pot, create a
single Service item called
Overhead. For greater
detail about nonbillable
time, you can create a
top-level Overhead item
and then create subitems
for each type of nonbillable
work you want to
track. Be sure to also
create one catchall item,
such as Other, to capture
the time that doesn’t fit
in any other nonbillable
category.
• This service is used in assemblies or is performed by a subcontractor or partner.
If a subcontractor performs nonbillable work for you, turn on this checkbox.
That way, you can assign the subcontractor’s costs to an expense account and
use time tracking to make sure the subcontractor’s bills are correct. For nonbillable
items performed by owners and partners, leave this checkbox turned off.
Entering Time in QuickBooks
QuickBooks lets you enter and view time for a single activity or for whole weeks. If
you record time after the fact, a weekly timesheet is the fastest way to enter time
(and you can enter weekly timesheets for more than one person at once). If you
already have one timesheet filled out, you can copy it to speed up your data entry,
as the box on page 165 explains.
To time work as you perform it, the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box (explained
starting on page 165) is the way to go.
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GEM IN THE ROUGH
Time by the Batch
QuickBooks’ Weekly Timesheet window lets you create
timesheets for several people at the same time. The only
limitation is that the entries in the weekly timesheet have to
be identical for all the people you select—that is, the same
customer and job, Service item, notes, class, and hours each
day. And if the people are paid through payroll, the Payroll
item has to be the same, too.
Here’s how to create a batch timesheet:
1. In the Home Page’s Employees panel, click Enter Time
and then, on the drop-down menu, choose Use Weekly
Timesheet.
2. In the Weekly Timesheet window’s Name drop-down
list, choose “Multiple names (Payroll)” if the people are
paid through your payroll service, or choose “Multiple
names (Non-Payroll)” if they’re paid another way, such
as vendors, contractors, or owners who take an owners’
draw.
3. In the “Select Employee, Vendor or Other Name” dialog
box, keep the Manual option selected and then click
the name of each person you want to add to the batch
timesheet to add a checkmark to the left of their names.
4. Click OK.
5. Fill out the weekly timesheet as you would for a single
person (see below), and then click Save & Close.
QuickBooks creates a timesheet for each person you selected
with the information you entered in the timesheet. For example,
if you recorded 40 hours of work in the timesheet, each
person now has a timesheet showing 40 hours.
Filling Out Weekly Timesheets
QuickBooks’ weekly timesheet is the fastest way to enter time for several activities
or work that spans several days. Here’s what you do:
1. In the Home Page’s Employees panel, click Enter Time and then, on the
drop-down menu, choose Use Weekly Timesheet.
QuickBooks opens the Weekly Timesheet window.
NOTE  Even though you can track time for people other than employees (like contractors), you access
QuickBooks’ time tracking feature from the Employees menu or the Employees panel on the Home Page.
2. In the Name drop-down list, choose the person who performed the work.
Because time tracking is rarely limited to only the people with permission to use
QuickBooks, you can enter time for yourself or anyone else. After you choose
a name, the program displays a timesheet for the current week and shows any
time already entered for that week, as shown in Figure 8-3. (See the box above
to learn how to create a batch of timesheets in one fell swoop.)
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FIGURE 8-3
The weekly timesheet
doesn’t provide much
room to display customer
names, job names, or
more than a few letters
of the Service item for
the task performed. To
see the full contents of a
cell, click the cell’s down
arrow, and QuickBooks
highlights the selected
item in the drop-down
list. If the cell doesn’t
have a down arrow, position
your cursor over the
cell to display a popup
tooltip. You can also drag
a corner of the window to
resize it or click the Maximize
icon (the rectangle)
near the top right of the
window to enlarge it.
3. To enter time for a different week, in the window’s toolbar, click Previous
or Next until the week you want appears.
To choose a week that’s quite a ways in the past, click the calendar icon to the
right of the timesheet’s date range. In the Set Date dialog box that appears,
click the arrows to the left or right of the month heading to move to a past or
future month. Click any date during the week to choose that workweek. For
example, choosing 10 in the March 2017 calendar switches the timesheet to the
week beginning March 7, 2017.
TIP  If an earlier timesheet has entries with customers and items that apply to the current timesheet, you
can copy the earlier timesheet as described in the box on page 165.
4. In the first blank Customer:Job cell (the first column of the timesheet table),
choose the customer or job associated with the work that was performed,
if applicable.
If the work is for a customer (whether it’s billable or not), choose the customer
or job. If the time isn’t for a customer, you can leave this cell blank or choose
the customer you created to track overhead time. Depending on whether you
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prefer to keep your hands on the keyboard or the mouse, you can then move
to the Service Item cell by clicking it or by pressing the Tab key.
5. In the Service Item cell, choose the item that represents the work the person
performed.
If you use a QuickBooks’ payroll service and pay employees by the hours they
work, the Payroll Item column appears to the right of the Service Item column,
so you can also fill in the payroll-related item that applies to the time worked.
For example, for regular work, choose a Payroll item such as Salary or Employee
Income. If the hours are for vacation or sick time, choose the Payroll item you’ve
created for that kind of time.
6. In the Notes cell, type any additional information about the work.
If your customers require details about the work performed, store that info in
the Notes cell, which then appears on the invoices you create (see page 253).
TIP  To see the entire contents of Notes cells, make sure the “Wrap text in Notes field” checkbox at the bottom
of the Weekly Timesheet window is turned on. That way, each row in the Timesheet table takes up more space,
but you won’t have to position your cursor over every Notes cell to see what it contains.
7. If you use classes to track income and expenses (page 134), in the Class
column, choose one for the work.
This column appears only if you’ve turned on QuickBooks’ class preference. If
you track profit by partner, for example, choose the class for the partner who
handles that customer. If you use classes to track office branches, choose the
class for the branch where the person works.
8. To enter time for a day during the week, click the cell for that day or press
the Tab key until you reach the right cell.
You can enter time in several ways. If you know the number of hours, type them
as a decimal or as hours and minutes. For example, for seven and a half hours,
type either 7.5 or 7:30. QuickBooks displays the hours in the timesheet based
on the time format preference you set (page 657). If you know the starting and
ending time, QuickBooks can calculate the hours for you. For example, if you
type 9-5 in a cell, the program transforms it into eight hours when you move
to a different cell (by pressing Tab or clicking another cell).
As you enter time for each day of the week, the Total column on the right side
of the table shows the total hours for each activity. The numbers in the Totals
row below the table show the total hours for each day and for the entire week.
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NOTE  Each row in a weekly timesheet represents one Service item, one customer or job, and one note. So
if you perform the same type of work for two different customers, you have to enter that time in two separate
rows. You also have to create another row if you want to record a different note for the same customer and the
same Service item. You might do this if, for example, you did web-development work for a customer but want
to differentiate the work you did on its online-store web page and on its marketing web pages.
9. If the time is for overhead or you aren’t billing the customer for the work
and the checkmark in the “Billable?” column is turned on, click it to turn it
off. Conversely, if the checkmark is turned off and the time is billable, click
the checkbox to turn it on.
If you’ve turned on the “Mark all time entries as billable” preference (page 675),
QuickBooks automatically puts a checkmark in the “Billable?” column. If this
preference is turned off, the “Billable?” checkbox is blank unless you click it.
TIP  Adding billable time to customer invoices is easy; it’s described in detail on page 249.
10. To save the timesheet, click Save & Close or Save & New.
If you’re entering time for a number of people, click Save & New to save the
current timesheet and open a new, blank one. Clicking Save & Close saves the
timesheet and closes the Weekly Timesheet window.
UP TO SPEED
Copying Timesheets
People often work on the same tasks from week to week.
QuickBooks can reduce tedium and mistakes—and save you
time—by copying entries from a person’s previous timesheet.
Here’s how:
1. In the Weekly Timesheet window’s Name field, choose
the person’s name.
2. Display the weekly timesheet you want to copy
information into by clicking Previous or Next, or clicking
the calendar icon.
3. At the bottom of the dialog box, click the Copy Last
Sheet button. If the timesheet that’s currently displayed
is empty, QuickBooks fills in all the rows with the
entries from the person’s last timesheet, including the
customer, Service item, class, notes, and hours. If the
current timesheet already has values, QuickBooks asks
whether you want to replace the entries. Click Yes to
replace the entries with the ones from the last timesheet
you opened. Click No to append the entries from the last
timesheet as additional rows in this week’s timesheet.
To keep the currently displayed timesheet just the way
it is, click Cancel.
Entering Time for One Activity
Entering time in the Weekly Timesheet window is quick, but the width of the columns
makes it hard to see which customer and Service item you’re tracking. If you prefer
readability to speed, the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box is a better choice. It
even includes a stopwatch you can use to time your work.
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TIP  One drawback to the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box is that you have to fill in every field for every
activity. If you grow tired of this form of time entry, then in the dialog box’s toolbar, click Timesheet to switch to
the Weekly Timesheet window. The weekly timesheet that appears is for the person you selected in the Time/
Enter Single Activity dialog box and the week that includes the selected day.
Here’s how to enter time for one activity at a time:
1. In the Home Page’s Employees panel, click Enter Time and then, on the
drop-down menu, choose Time/Enter Single Activity.
The Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box opens to today’s date.
2. If you want to record time for a different day, in the Date field, click the
calendar icon and choose the date when the work took place.
When you first open the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box, QuickBooks
selects all the text in the Date box. You can replace that date by simply typing
a new one, like 3/6/17.
3. In the Name drop-down list—which includes vendors, employees, and names
from the Other Names List—select the person who performed the work.
Employees and other names are near the end of the list.
NOTE  When you first open the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box, it includes the Payroll Item field. If
you select an employee who’s paid based on her time (see online Appendix D on this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals), then use this field to select the Payroll item to which the time applies so that the
time data generates the values on the person’s paycheck. If you choose the name of a person who isn’t paid
based on her time, then the Payroll Item field disappears.
4. In the Customer:Job drop-down list, choose a customer or job.
If someone performs work for a real customer or job, choose that customer or
job whether or not you bill the time. To track overhead time, you can create a
customer (page 64) called something like Overhead.
5. If the time is billable and the “Billable” checkbox in the upper-right corner
of the window is turned off, click it to turn it on. For nonbillable time, make
sure the “Billable” checkbox is turned off.
If you’ve turned on the “Mark all time entries as billable” preference (page 675),
QuickBooks puts a checkmark in the “Billable” checkbox automatically. If that
preference is turned off, the “Billable” checkbox is blank unless you click it.
6. In the Service Item drop-down list, choose the item that represents the
work performed.
Choose the appropriate item, whether it’s one you use to invoice customers or
a nonbillable item you created to track overhead activities. When you’re done,
press the Tab key to move to the Duration box (or just click it).
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7. In the Duration box, enter the hours worked.
If you pressed Tab to move to the Duration box, QuickBooks automatically selects
the contents of the box, so you can simply type the hours worked. If you
clicked the Duration box instead, drag to select its contents.
Enter hours as a decimal or as hours and minutes, such as 5.5 or 5:30. Or, if
you know the starting and ending times, type the range to have QuickBooks
calculate the hours. For example, if you type 11-5, the program converts it to
6:00 when you tab or click away from the Duration box.
If you work in QuickBooks most of the time, you can also use the Time/Enter
Single Activity dialog box to time your work, as shown in Figure 8-4.
FIGURE 8-4
To time your current
activity, the Date field has
to be set to today, since
you can’t run a stopwatch
for work performed on a
different day. To start timing,
click the Start button,
which is grayed out here.
You’ll see the seconds
that are passing to the
right of the Duration box
(where it says “55” here)
to show that QuickBooks
is timing your work. To
pause the stopwatch, click
Pause; click Start to start
timing again. When you
finish the task, click Stop.
As long as the stopwatch
isn’t timing, you can edit
the time by typing the
time you want.
NOTE  If you click Previous at the top of the Time/Enter Single Activity dialog box to display another single
activity for today and then click Start, the stopwatch feature starts adding additional time to what you’ve already
recorded.
8. If you track classes, in the Class field, choose the appropriate one. (This
field appears only if classes are turned on.) To add notes about the activity,
type them in the Notes box.
These notes appear in the Notes column of the Weekly Timesheet window and,
for billable work, appear on invoices you generate from time worked.
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9. To save the transaction, click Save & New or Save & Close.
When you click Save & New, the saved activity represents time for only one day.
To record time for another day’s work (even if it’s for the same worker, customer,
and Service item), you have to create a new activity.
Running Time Reports
Customers don’t like being charged for too many hours, and workers are quick to
complain if they’re paid for too few. So before you use time records either for billing
customers or feeding your payroll records, it’s a good idea to generate reports to
make sure your time data is correct. (Online Appendix D—available from this book’s
Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds—explains how to set up employees
in QuickBooks so their reported time links to your QuickBooks payroll service.)
To generate a time report in QuickBooks, choose Reports→Jobs, Time & Mileage,
and then select the report you want. Here are the ones you can choose from and
what they’re useful for:
• Time by Job Summary. If you bill by the job, this handy report shows hours by
customer or job, summarized by Service items, which helps you review the total
hours worked on a job during a given period. Because of its high-level view,
this report is perfect for spotting time charged to inappropriate Service items
or hours that exceed job limits. Overly high or low hours—or Service items that
don’t belong on a job—are red flags for data-entry errors. If hours seem too
high or low, you can drill down with the Time by Job Detail report (described
next) to investigate.
• Time by Job Detail. Use this report to verify that hours were correctly set as billable
or nonbillable. It’s grouped first by customer/job, and then by Service item,
but each time entry shows the date the hours were worked, who performed the
work, and whether the work is billable (the billing status is listed as Unbilled for
billable hours not yet invoiced, Billed for invoiced billable hours, or Not Billable).
• Time by Name. This report shows the hours people have worked on each
customer or job, as shown in Figure 8-5. QuickBooks initially sets the report’s
date range to This Fiscal Year-to-date, but if you want to check timesheets for
accuracy, you can change it to Last Week, This Week, or whatever time period
you want. If a person reports too many or too few hours for a period, use the
Weekly Timesheet window (page 162) to look for signs of inaccurate or missing
time reports.
• Time by Item. This report groups hours by Service item and then by customer
or job. You can use this report to analyze how your billable and nonbillable time
is spent, either to cut unproductive activities or to determine staffing needs.
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FIGURE 8-5
The Time by Name report
summarizes the hours
someone works for each
customer or job.
To see the dates and
times of the work, put
your cursor over an
hourly total. When the
magnifying glass icon appears
(not shown here),
double-click the time to
open a “Time by Name
Detail” report.
Tracking Mileage
If you charge customers for mileage, keeping track of the billable miles you drive
helps you get all the reimbursements you’re due. But all business-related mileage is
tax-deductible, so tracking nonbillable business mileage is important, too. Customers
and the IRS alike want records of the miles you drive, and QuickBooks can help
you produce that documentation.
NOTE  QuickBooks’ mileage-tracking feature is intended for tracking the miles you drive using company
vehicles (and, if you run your own company, the business miles you drive using your own car), not other vehicle
expenses, such as fuel or tolls. Likewise, you don’t use QuickBooks to record miles driven by employees, vendors,
or subcontractors, which instead go straight to an expense account. For example, if a vendor bills you for mileage,
when you enter the bill in QuickBooks (page 182), you assign that charge to an expense account you’ve created
for such things, such as Travel-Mileage. Or when you write a check to reimburse an employee for mileage driven,
you assign that reimbursement to the expense account for mileage.
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To track mileage for a company vehicle, you first have to add the vehicle to QuickBooks’
Vehicle List. Here’s how:
1. Open the Vehicle List window by choosing Lists→Customer & Vendor Profile
Lists→Vehicle List.
2. To add a new vehicle, press Ctrl+N or click Vehicle→New.
The New Vehicle window (Figure 8-6) opens.
3. In the Vehicle field, type a name for the vehicle.
To easily identify your company cars and trucks, include the type of vehicle
and a way to differentiate it from others. For instance, if your company’s cars
are all white Jeeps, use the license plate number as the name rather than the
make and color.
FIGURE 8-6
QuickBooks doesn’t want to
know much about company
vehicles. All you have to do
is give the vehicle a name. If
you like, you can add details
in the Description box.
After you click OK, the vehicle
takes its place in the Vehicle
List (shown in the background
here).
4. In the Description box, type additional info such as the year, make, model,
license plate number, or vehicle identification number (VIN).
To change this information later, in the Vehicle List window, double-click the vehicle’s
name and then, in the Edit Vehicle dialog box, edit the name or description.
5. Click OK.
That’s it. The name and description appear in the Vehicle List window.
Setting the Mileage Rate
For tax purposes, you can deduct mileage expenses based on a standard rate or
by tracking the actual costs of operating and maintaining your vehicles. Using a
standard mileage rate is convenient—simply multiply the miles you drove by this rate
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to calculate your vehicle deduction. The box on page 172 explains how you charge
customers for mileage if your mileage charge differs from the IRS standard rate.
(You don’t have to set a mileage rate to record the miles you drive, but you’ll need
a rate in place before you run your tax reports.)
TIP  If you own an expensive car with expensive maintenance needs, actual costs might provide a larger
deduction than the IRS’s standard rate. (You can deduct either the standard-rate amount or your actual costs, not
both.) But to deduct what you spend on gas, tires, repairs, insurance, and so on, you have to keep track of these
expenses. As usual, the tax rules for deducting operating and maintenance costs are, well, taxing. So before you
choose this approach, ask your accountant or the IRS if you can deduct actual costs and whether it’s the best
approach.
QuickBooks stores multiple mileage rates along with their effective dates, because
standard mileage rates usually change at the beginning of each calendar year. Here’s
how to set a mileage rate:
1. Choose Company→Enter Vehicle Mileage.
The Enter Vehicle Mileage window opens.
2. In the window’s toolbar, click Mileage Rates.
QuickBooks opens the Mileage Rates window shown in Figure 8-7.
FIGURE 8-7
QuickBooks displays the most recent standard
mileage rate at the top of this table and lists older
rates below it.
3. To add a new rate, click the first blank Effective Date cell at the bottom of
the list, and then choose the date that the new mileage rate becomes effective,
such as 1/1/2015.
You can either type the date or click the calendar icon.
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4. In the Rate cell, type the rate in dollars, such as .575 for 57.5 cents.
The mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile beginning January 1, 2015, as documented
on the IRS website, irs.gov. If you’re reading this after 2015, be sure to
check that site to see whether this rate has changed.
5. Click Close.
When it’s time to prepare your tax return, you can run the Mileage by Vehicle
Summary report to see the miles driven for each company vehicle and the resulting
mileage deduction. To calculate your deduction, QuickBooks multiplies the
recorded miles by the mileage rate that was in effect when they were driven.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Mileage Rates and Invoice Items
What if the IRS’s rate is different from the rate I charge customers
for mileage?
The rates you enter in the Mileage Rates window (page 171)
are the standard rates set by the IRS for tax purposes. The IRS
doesn’t care one whit what you charge your customers for
miles, so you can charge them whatever you want. And you
don’t have to record mileage driven to do that.
For the reimbursable miles that you drive, you need to create a
Service or Other Charge item in your Item List. (Why? Because,
in the Enter Vehicle Mileage window, the Item drop-down list
includes only these two types of items.) When you create the
item, you can assign it the rate that you charge customers
per mile or, if you charge variable mileage rates, leave the
rate at zero.
For an Other Charge item, the “Amount or %” box is the place
to enter the mileage rate, as shown in Figure 8-8. (For a Service
item, use the Rate box instead.) In the Account box, choose the
income or expense account you use for reimbursable mileage,
whether it’s specific to mileage or a catchall reimbursable cost
account. Then you can either record mileage driven using this
item or simply add the item to an invoice and fill in the quantity
cell with the miles you drove.
FIGURE 8-8
When you create an item
for mileage, you can enter
whatever rate per mile
you want.
Then, when you add
mileage to an invoice,
QuickBooks multiplies the
number of billable miles
driven by the rate you set
for that mileage item.
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MILEAGE Recording Mileage Driven
Once you’ve added a vehicle to the Vehicle List, you’re ready to record mileage.
Here’s how you fill in the Enter Vehicle Mileage window to record billable and nonbillable
miles you’ve driven:
1. Open the Enter Vehicle Mileage window (Company→Enter Vehicle Mileage)
and then, in the Vehicle box, choose the vehicle that you drove.
If you forgot to add the vehicle to QuickBooks’ Vehicle List, you can create it
now by choosing <Add New> from the drop-down menu.
2. In the Trip Start Date and Trip End Date boxes, choose when you started
and completed the trip.
If you’re recording mileage for one day of onsite work, choose the same day in
both boxes. On the other hand, if you used a company car to drive to another
city for several days, the Trip Start Date is the day you headed out of town and
the Trip End Date is the day you returned.
3. In the Odometer Start and Odometer End boxes, type what the vehicle’s
mileage was before you began driving and what it was when you returned, as
shown in Figure 8-9. Or just type how far you drove into the Total Miles box.
If you fill in the Odometer boxes, QuickBooks automatically calculates the miles
you drove and plops that number in the Total Miles box.
FIGURE 8-9
If you usually forget
to check your starting
mileage, you can ignore
the Odometer Start and
Odometer End boxes
entirely. Instead, in the
Total Miles box, type the
mileage you drove, such
as 528 for a 528-mile trip
for your customer.
NOTE  The drawback to filling in the Enter Vehicle Mileage dialog box’s Total Miles field is that your mileage
record doesn’t include the odometer readings that the IRS wants to see. But if every mile you drive is for business,
you can prove your deduction by showing the IRS an odometer reading at the beginning of the year and one at
the end of the year.
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4. If your mileage is billable to a customer or job, turn on the Billable checkbox.
Then, in the Customer:Job box, choose the customer or job to which
you want to assign the mileage and, in the Item drop-down list, choose the
item you created for mileage (see the box on page 172).
If the mileage isn’t billable to a customer, keep the Billable checkbox turned off
and leave the Customer:Job and Item boxes blank.
5. If you track classes, then in the Class box, choose the appropriate one.
For example, if you use classes to track branch performance, choose the class
for the branch the vehicle belongs to. However, if you track partner income with
classes and the mileage is nonbillable, you don’t need to assign a class (or you
can choose a class you set up for overhead).
6. To document the reason for the mileage, type details in the Notes box. Then,
to save the mileage and close the dialog box, click Save & Close.
If you want to enter additional mileage for other customers and jobs, click Save
& New instead.
Generating Mileage Reports
Mileage reports come in handy when you prepare your taxes or if your customers
question their mileage charges. These reports are simple, mainly because you don’t
track that much mileage information in QuickBooks. You can generate mileage reports
by choosing Reports→Jobs, Time & Mileage, and then selecting a report. Or, if
you have the Enter Vehicle Mileage window open, in the window’s toolbar, click the
down arrow to the right of the Mileage Reports button and select a report.
Here are the reports you can choose and what they’re useful for:
• Mileage by Vehicle Summary. For your tax documentation, this report shows
the total miles you drove each vehicle and the corresponding mileage expense
(which QuickBooks calculates using the standard IRS mileage rate in effect at
the time). The date range is initially set to This Tax Year. If you wait until after
January 1 to gather your tax documentation, then in the Dates box, choose Last
Tax Year instead.
• Mileage by Vehicle Detail. This report shows each trip that contributed to a
vehicle’s mileage. For each one, it includes the trip’s end date, miles driven,
mileage rate, and mileage expense. If you have questions about your deductions,
double-click an entry to open the Enter Vehicle Mileage window for that
transaction.
• Mileage by Job Summary. If you charge customers for mileage, run this report
to see both total miles driven and the billable mileage by customer and
job. QuickBooks uses the rate you set in the Service or Other Charge item to
calculate the billable amount.
Chapter 8: Tracking Time and Mileage 175
GENERATING
MILEAGE
REPORTS • Mileage by Job Detail. If a customer has a question about mileage you charged,
this report is the quickest way to find those charges. The report groups mileage
by customer or job but lists each trip in its own line. The report shows each
trip’s end date, miles driven, billing status, mileage rate, and billable amount, so
you can answer almost any mileage-related question a customer might have.

177
CHAPTER
9
Although most small business owners sift through the daily mail looking for
envelopes containing payments, they usually find more containing bills. One
frustrating aspect of running a business is that you often have to pay for the
items you sell before you can invoice your customers for the goods.
If you want your financial records to be right, you have to tell QuickBooks about the
expenses you’ve incurred. And, if you want your vendors to leave you alone, you
have to pay the bills they send. Paying for expenses can take several forms, and
QuickBooks is up to the challenge.
This chapter explains your choices for paying bills (now or later) and describes how
to enter bills and record your bill payments. If you pay right away, you’ll learn the
QuickBooks procedures for writing checks, using a debit or credit card, and paying
with cash, among other options. If you enter bills in QuickBooks for payment later,
you’ll learn how to handle the recurring ones, such as rent, as well as reimbursable
expenses and inventory. QuickBooks is happy to help you through every step of the
process: entering bills you receive if you want to pay later, setting up bill payments,
and even printing checks you can mail to vendors.
When to Pay Expenses
When it comes to handling expenses, you can pay now or pay later; QuickBooks has
features for both options. (You can choose to not pay bills, but QuickBooks can’t
help you with collection agencies or represent your company in bankruptcy court.)
Here are the pros and cons of each approach:
Paying for Expenses
178 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
WHEN TO PAY
EXPENSES • Pay now. If bills arrive about as infrequently as meteor showers, why not pay
each one immediately so you’re sure they’re paid on time? In QuickBooks, paying
right away means writing a check, entering a debit card transaction, entering
a credit card charge, making an online payment, or using money from petty
cash—all of which are described in this chapter. When you pay immediately, you
don’t have to enter a bill in QuickBooks; you can simply record the expensepayment
transaction.
NOTE  When you’re out of the office and pay for something by charging it to a credit card or writing a check
by hand, simply enter that transaction in QuickBooks without entering a corresponding bill. (See page 209 for
info on recording payments made with debit cards, PayPal, and so on.)
• Pay later. If bills arrive as steadily as orders at the local coffee shop, you’ll
probably want to set aside time to pay them all at once when it won’t interfere
with delivering services or selling products. What’s more, most companies don’t
pay bills until just before they’re due—unless there’s a good reason to (like an
early payment discount). Setting up vendor bills for later payment is known as
using Accounts Payable because you store the unpaid expenses in an Accounts
Payable account.
In QuickBooks, entering bills for later payment delivers all the advantages of
convenience and good cash management. You can tell the program when you
want to pay bills—for instance, to take advantage of an early payment discount
or the grace period that a vendor allows. Then you can go about your business
without distraction, knowing that QuickBooks will notify you when bills are on
deck for payment.
Once you decide whether you’re going to pay bills now or later, use that method
consistently. Otherwise, you could pay for something twice by entering a bill in
QuickBooks and then, a few days later, writing a paper check for the same expense.
To prevent duplicate payments, always enter bills you receive in the mail (or email)
as bills in QuickBooks and pay them by using the Pay Bills feature (page 190). The
Enter Bills window (Figure 9-1) includes a list of recent transactions, which you can
use to look for payments you’ve already made.
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 179
VIEWING
PAYABLES
WITH BILL
TRACKER
FIGURE 9-1
The Terms field (circled)
shows the payment terms
from the vendor’s record
(page 79). If you haven’t
assigned payment terms
to a vendor, you can
do so right in the Enter
Bills window by simply
clicking the Terms field’s
down arrow and choosing
from the drop-down list
that appears. When you
save the bill, QuickBooks
asks if you want the new
terms to appear the next
time. The program is
asking whether you want
to save the terms to the
vendor’s record; click Yes.
Viewing Payables with Bill Tracker
Bill Tracker (Figure 9-2) is new in QuickBooks 2016. (To open it, choose Vendors→Bill
Tracker or click Bill Tracker in either icon bar. If multicurrency is turned on [page 662],
Bill Tracker is disabled; it doesn’t appear on the Vendors menu or in either icon bar.)
It includes a dashboard similar to the one in Income Tracker, its income-oriented
counterpart, except that Bill Tracker’s dashboard provides the big picture of your
unbilled, unpaid, and paid bills. The table below the dashboard lists the transactions
that contribute to those high-level numbers. You can also perform bill-related
tasks within Bill Tracker: converting purchase orders to bills, paying bills, and so on.
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TRACKER
FIGURE 9-2
The panel at the top of
the Bill Tracker window
provides an overview of
purchase orders and bills.
The table below it lists the
transactions that make up
the overall totals.
You can filter the
transaction table in
different ways: by vendor,
transaction type, status,
or date. You can even
process transactions in
this window; for example,
you can pay a bill, as
shown here.
Here’s what each part of the Bill Tracker window shows you:
• Purchase Orders. The blue box at the window’s top left shows the total value
of purchase orders you’ve created. You might be confused by the “Unbilled”
label above this box because Income Tracker also includes an “Unbilled” label.
The unbilled total in Bill Tracker represents purchase orders that you haven’t
turned into bills. The unbilled total in Income Tracker, on the other hand, shows
billable time and expenses that you haven’t yet invoiced to your customers.
• Open Bills. The orange box below the Unpaid heading shows the total amount
on your open bills. This is what you currently owe your vendors.
• Overdue. This red box is the total that’s overdue to your vendors. If you want to
focus on paying overdue bills to reduce finance charges, click this box to filter
the Bill Tracker’s table to show only your overdue bills.
• Paid In Last 30 Days. The green box at the window’s top right displays how
much you paid your vendors in the last 30 days. The label at the bottom of the
box tells you how many payments are included in that total.
• The transaction table. The transactions listed in the Bill Tracker window are
the ones that contribute to the totals at the top of the window. For example, the
number in the orange Open Bills box is the total of all the open bills in the table,
and the number in the red Overdue box is the total of all the table’s overdue
bills. The transactions with the word “Paid” in their Status cells make up the
total in the green Paid In Last 30 Days box.
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 181
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PAYABLES
WITH BILL
TRACKER
Here’s what you can do in the Bill Tracker window:
• Filter transactions. Say you’ve been on a shopping spree and Bill Tracker’s table
is rife with transactions. You can filter the table to see all the overdue bills. If a
question arises about a specific vendor’s bill, click the down arrow to the right
of the Vendor drop-down list, and then choose the vendor you want. To show
only a specific type of transaction, like bills paid by check, choose the one you
want in the Type drop-down list. The Status drop-down list lets you filter the
table to show open, overdue, or paid transactions (alternatively, you can click
one of the colored bars at the top of the window to filter for that status). And
the Date drop-down list lets you filter by date range.
• Group transactions. If the Bill Tracker table is jam-packed with bills, you might
want to see how much you owe each vendor and the bills that contribute to
those balances. To do that, in the Group By drop-down list, choose Vendor; Bill
Tracker’s table creates a group row for each vendor and lists the bills for each
vendor below that row. To see only a summary row for a vendor with the total
owed to that vendor, click the down arrow to the left of the vendor’s name.
To expand a vendor’s group to display all its bills, click the left-pointing arrow
to the left of the vendor’s name in the group row. To revert to an ungrouped
list, click the Clear/Show All button at the table’s top right (or in the Group By
drop-down list, choose None).
• Sort transactions. You can sort the transactions in Bill Tracker’s table by clicking
any of the table’s column headings. (QuickBooks initially sorts the table by date
from the most recent to the earliest.) For example, click the Due Date heading
to sort transactions by due date. When you click a heading, QuickBooks sorts
the table in ascending order (alphabetically, from smallest to largest values, or
from earliest to most recent dates, depending on the type of information in the
column). To sort in descending order, simply click the heading again.
• Take action. Bill Tracker makes it easy to process bill-related transactions.
For instance, if you just received inventory you purchased along with its corresponding
bill, you can convert the purchase order to a bill right in the Bill
Tracker window. To do that, click the appropriate purchase order’s Action cell,
click the down arrow that appears, and then choose Convert To Bill from the
drop-down list. Choose Print PO or Print Bill from the drop-down list to print a
purchase order or bill, respectively. To open a transaction in its corresponding
window, just double-click it (or select the transaction in the table, click Manage
Transactions at the bottom of the window, and then choose Edit Highlighted
Row in the drop-down menu).
NOTE  You can also create new transactions from within Bill Tracker. Click the Manage Transactions button,
and then, beneath the menu’s Create New heading, choose the type of transaction you want to create.
• Print transactions in batches. You can also print several transactions at a time
(purchase orders, bills, credits, and so on) from the Bill Tracker window. For
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BILLS
instance, to print copies of all overdue bills, click the red Overdue bar at the
top of the window to display the overdue transactions. Next, in the table’s first
row, turn on the checkbox to the left of the Vendor column heading (doing so
turns on all the checkboxes for transactions in the table). Then click the Batch
Actions button and choose the type of transaction; QuickBooks opens the “Print
[forms]” dialog box. (See page 308 to learn how to print forms.)
Entering Bills
At first glance, entering bills in QuickBooks and then paying them later might seem
like more work than just writing checks. But as you’ll learn in this chapter, there
are several advantages to entering bills in QuickBooks, and the program makes it
incredibly easy to pay them.
NOTE  Don’t use the Enter Bills (or Write Checks) window to write checks to pay sales tax, payroll, payroll
taxes, or other payroll liabilities. Instead, see page 559 to learn how to pay sales tax, and Appendix D (available
from this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds) for info about payroll transactions.
To get started, open the Enter Bills window using any of the following methods:
• On the Home Page, in the Vendors panel, click Enter Bills.
• Choose Vendors→Enter Bills.
• In the Vendor Center, select the vendor on the Vendors tab icon bar. Then, in
the center’s toolbar, click New Transactions→Enter Bills. When you do that, the
Enter Bills window opens with your selected vendor already filled in.
TIP  Many of your bills are due at the same time every month, and some are even the same amount every
month, such as your office rent. Bills like these are perfect candidates for QuickBooks’ memorized transaction
feature, which memorizes bills so you can reuse them. With a memorized transaction, you can tell QuickBooks
to remind you when a bill is due or even record it automatically without any action on your part. You can even
create a group of bills so that you can process all the bills due on the same day of the month with just a click or
two. See page 321 for the full scoop on these handy timesavers.
The fields in the Enter Bills window are similar to the ones on invoices you create. In
fact, if your vendors use QuickBooks, the bills you receive are just another company’s
QuickBooks invoices (see Chapter 10) or statements (see Chapter 11).
Entering Bills for Services and Non-Inventory Items
This section explains how to enter bills for services you’ve hired someone to perform
and non-inventory items you’ve purchased, such as products you purchase specifically
for a customer or job. (The process of purchasing and paying for inventory
items is similar but a tad more complicated; it’s explained on page 522.) Here’s how
to enter all your non-inventory bills in QuickBooks:
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 183
ENTERING
BILLS
1. In the Enter Bills window’s Vendor drop-down list, choose the vendor who
billed you.
Above the Bill area, QuickBooks automatically chooses the Bill option so you
can record a vendor bill. (You’ll learn about recording credits from vendors
on page 212.) The program also turns on the Bill Received checkbox. Turn this
checkbox off only if you receive a shipment of inventory without a bill; you’ll
learn how to deal with such shipments on page 534.
If you set up any pre-fill accounts in the vendor’s record (page 80), QuickBooks
automatically adds them to the Expenses tab of the table near the bottom of
the Enter Bills window.
2. If you have open purchase orders with the vendor you selected, the Open
POs Exist message box appears. If the bill corresponds to one or more of
those POs, in the message box, click Yes.
Page 531 explains how to record bills that correspond to purchase orders you’ve
created.
3. In the Date box, type or select the date you received the bill.
If you specified payment terms in the vendor’s record (page 79), QuickBooks
uses the date you enter in the Date box to figure out when the bill is due and
fills in the Bill Due field, as shown in Figure 9-1. For example, if the bill date is
3/3/2017 and the vendor’s payment terms are Net 30, the bill is due 30 days
after the bill date—4/2/2017.
If the date that QuickBooks fills in doesn’t match the due date on the bill you
received, then in the Bill Due field, enter the date printed on the vendor’s bill—
it’s the one to go by.
TIP  The Vendor tab on the right side of the Enter Bills window summarizes the vendor’s info and your recent
transactions with that vendor. The Summary section shows your balance (the total amount you owe the vendor)
and open purchase orders with that vendor. If you want to change any vendor info in the Enter Bills window, like
the terms or address, click the Vendor tab’s Edit button (its icon looks like a pencil) to open the vendor’s record
in the Edit Vendor dialog box. The Vendor tab’s Recent Transactions section lists bills, bill payments, credits, and
other transactions, which is a great way to catch that you have a credit available or have already paid the bill
you’re about to enter. To open one of these recent transactions in its corresponding window, click its link, like
the “Bill” link labeled in Figure 9-1.
4. In the Ref. No. box, type the vendor’s invoice number, the statement date,
or another identifying feature of the bill you’re paying.
The Ref. No. box accepts any alphanumeric character, not just numbers, so you
can type in things like “1242,” “Invoice 1242,” or “Statement 3/3/2017.”
If you want to include additional notes about the bill, type them in the Memo box.
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5. In the Amount Due box, type the total from the bill, and then press the Tab
key on your keyboard or click away from the Amount Due box.
The only time you’d type a different amount is when you take a discount that
the vendor forgot to apply or deduct a portion of the bill because the goods
were defective.
In the lower half of the Enter Bills window, QuickBooks initially displays the
Expenses tab, which is where you enter information about expenses such as
utility bills, office supply bills, and attorney’s fees. If you assign only one pre-fill
account (page 80) to this vendor, QuickBooks automatically fills in the first cell
in the table’s Amount column with the Amount Due value.
6. In the first cell of the Expenses tab’s Account column, choose the expense
account from your chart of accounts that corresponds to the first expense
on the bill.
When you click a cell in the Account column, a down arrow appears. Clicking
the arrow displays a drop-down list of every account in your chart of accounts,
but QuickBooks automatically displays the expense account section of the list.
To choose a different expense account—the one for your legal fees, say—scroll
in the drop-down list and click the one you want.
7. If the bill covers several types of expenses (such as airfare, lodging, and your
travel agent’s fees), in the first Amount cell, type the amount that belongs
to the expense account in that row.
If you assign more than one pre-fill account to a vendor, QuickBooks subtracts
the amount you typed in the first row from the total amount due and puts the
remaining amount in the second row. Bottom line: You have to type the amounts
in each row’s Amount cell.
8. If an expense relates to a job, in the Customer:Job cell, choose the customer
or job.
If you fill in the Customer:Job cell, QuickBooks puts a checkmark in the “Billable?”
column. If you don’t want to charge the customer for the expense, click
the checkmark to remove it.
TIP  If you’re recording reimbursable expenses, which will eventually appear on a customer’s invoice (page
249), be sure to type a meaningful description in each Memo cell in the table. QuickBooks uses the text in this cell
as the description of the expense on your invoice. If there’s no Memo text, your invoice includes charges without
descriptions, which are bound to generate a call from the customer.
9. If you’re tracking classes, choose the appropriate class for the expense.
The Expenses tab’s Class column appears only if you use QuickBooks classes
(page 134).
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 185
ENTERING
BILLS
10. If the bill you’re entering includes different types of expenses, repeat steps
6–9 to add a row for each type, as shown in Figure 9-3.
As soon as you finish one row in the table, QuickBooks fills in the Amount cell
in the next row with the amount that’s still unallocated. For the first through
the next-to-last row, you have to edit the amount that the program fills in to
match your expense. The amount QuickBooks enters in the last row should be
correct if you haven’t made any typos.
If the multiple accounts and amounts are hopelessly mangled, at the top of the
Enter Bills window, click Clear Splits to clear the table so you can start over.
FIGURE 9-3
If you change the
value in the Amount
Due box, QuickBooks
doesn’t automatically
adjust the values on the
Expenses and Items tabs
to match. To make the
program modify the last
entry amount so that the
Amount Due and the total
on the tabs are the same,
click Recalculate at the
top of the window.
If you change a value
in one or more Amount
cells, click Recalculate to
update the Amount Due.
11. To add an item to a bill—such as a Service, Non-inventory Part, or Other
Charge item—click the Items tab. In the first cell of the Item column, choose
the item you want to add, and then fill in the other cells in the row, as you
did on the Expenses tab.
The program fills in the Description and Cost cells with the values from the item’s
record. If you want, you can type a different description and enter a different cost.
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RECORDING A
DEPOSIT TO A
VENDOR
12. Click Save & Close to save the bill and close the window.
Or, if you have other bills to enter, click Save & New to save that bill and display
a new, blank one.
NOTE  If you work with multiple currencies, see Appendix H (available from this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds) for the scoop on entering bills in different currencies.
Recording a Deposit to a Vendor
Suppose a vendor requires you to pay a deposit before it will deliver a service or
product. In QuickBooks, you can record the deposit payment so it shows up as a
credit to that vendor. Then, when the bill arrives, you can apply that credit to the
bill. Here’s what you do:
1. Write a check (page 198), enter a credit card charge (page 208), or use another
payment method (page 209) to pay the deposit. Choose the vendor’s
name in the “Pay to the Order of,” “Purchased From,” or other corresponding
name field, depending on the transaction you’re recording.
When you click away from the corresponding name field, if you have an open
purchase order for items from that vendor, QuickBooks displays a message box
about open POs; click No because it’s too early to use the purchase order—you
aren’t purchasing the items yet.
2. In the Write Checks or Enter Credit Card Charges window, click the Expenses
tab; in the first Account cell, choose your Accounts Payable account.
Choosing this account creates a credit for you with that vendor.
3. In the first Amount cell, enter the amount of the deposit.
When you click away from this Amount cell, the transaction amount listed in
the top half of the window changes to the deposit amount you just entered.
4. In the Memo field, type a note to remind yourself that this transaction is
for a vendor deposit.
That way, when it’s time to record the final bill, it’ll be easy to find this transaction.
5. Click Save & Close (or Save & New) to save the payment transaction.
You don’t have to do anything else until the final bill arrives.
6. When you receive the bill, enter it in QuickBooks as you would any other bill.
Fill in the Account fields with the expense accounts for the products or services
you received (page 184) or, on the Items tab, fill in the Item fields with the items
you put a deposit on.
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 187
HANDLING
REIMBURSABLE
EXPENSES
7. Apply the vendor credit to the bill as described on page 195.
The credit reduces the balance due.
8. Save the bill.
That’s it! When it’s time to pay the bill, simply pay it using the new, lower balance
(page 190).
TIP  You can also use this technique to edit a check or credit card charge so you can apply it to a bill that you
forgot you’d already entered. Simply edit the check or credit card charge and change the account to Accounts
Payable. Then use the credit to pay all or a portion of the bill.
Handling Reimbursable Expenses
Reimbursable expenses are costs you incur that a customer subsequently pays.
Products you purchase specifically for a customer or a subcontractor you hire to
work on a customer’s job are costs you might pass on to the customer. For example,
travel costs are a common type of reimbursable expense, and you’ve probably seen
telephone and photocopy charges on your attorney’s statements.
There are two ways to track reimbursable expenses, and QuickBooks can handle
them both:
• As income. With this method, QuickBooks posts the expenses on a bill you
record to the expense account you specify. When you invoice your customer,
QuickBooks posts the reimbursement as income in a separate income account.
Your income is higher this way, but it’s offset by higher expenses. This approach
is popular because it lets you compare income from reimbursable expenses with
the reimbursable expenses themselves to make sure they match. The box on
page 188 describes the income accounts you need for tracking reimbursable
expenses this way.
• As expenses. Tracking reimbursements as expenses doesn’t change the way
QuickBooks handles bills—expenses still post to the expense accounts you
specify. But, when your customer pays you for the reimbursable expenses, QuickBooks
posts those reimbursements right back to the expense account, so the
expense account balance looks as if you never incurred the expense in the first
place. Because you use the same expense account to record both the expense
and the reimbursement, you don’t have to do any special setup in QuickBooks.
Setting Up Reimbursements as Income
If you want to track reimbursable expenses as income, choose Edit→Preferences→Time
& Expenses. Then, on the Company Preferences tab, turn on the “Track reimbursed
expenses as income” checkbox. With this preference turned on, whenever you create
or edit an expense account (in the Add New Account or Edit Account window),
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QuickBooks adds a “Track reimbursed expenses in Income Acct.” checkbox and
drop-down list to the bottom of the window, as shown in Figure 9-4.
FIGURE 9-4
To track a reimbursable
expense as income, in the
Add New Account or Edit
Account window, turn on
the “Track reimbursed
expenses in Income Acct.”
checkbox and then, in the
drop-down list, choose
the income account to
use. If you’ve already
created your expense accounts,
you’ll have to edit
each one that’s reimbursable
(travel, telephone,
equipment rental, and so
on) and add the income
account as shown here.
WORKAROUND WORKSHOP
Accounts for Reimbursable Expenses
QuickBooks won’t let you assign the same income account to
more than one reimbursable expense account, so you have to
create a separate income account (see Chapter 3) for each type
of reimbursable expense.
To keep your chart of accounts neat, create a top-level income
account called something like Reimbursed Expenses – Income.
Then create an income subaccount for each type of reimbursable
expense. When you’re done, your income accounts will
look something like this:
• 4100 Service Revenue
• 4200 Product Revenue
• 4900 Reimbursed Expenses – Income
Subaccounts for account 4900:
• 4910 Reimbursed Telephone
• 4920 Reimbursed Postage
• 4930 Reimbursed Photocopies
• 4940 Reimbursed Travel
An alternative approach is to create Other Charge items for
each type of reimbursable expense. By doing so, you can assign
those items to a single income account, and you can see
the details of each reimbursable category by running a Sales
By Item report (page 586).
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 189
HANDLING
REIMBURSABLE
EXPENSES
Once you’ve created an income account for each type of reimbursable expense,
here’s what happens as you progress from paying bills to invoicing customers:
1. When you assign an expense or item on a bill as reimbursable to a customer,
QuickBooks posts the money to the expense account you specified.
2. When you create an invoice for that customer, the program reminds you
that you have reimbursable expenses or items.
3. When you add the reimbursable expenses or items to the customer’s invoice,
they post to the income account you specified for that type of expense or
item. (See the box on page 188 to learn more about creating income accounts
for reimbursable expenses.)
Recording Reimbursable Expenses
As you enter bills (page 182) or make payments with checks or credit cards, you add
designated expenses as reimbursable, as shown in Figure 9-5. When you choose
a customer or job in the Customer:Job column, QuickBooks automatically adds a
checkmark to the “Billable?” cell. Be sure to type a note in the Memo cell to identify
the expense, because QuickBooks uses the text in that cell as the description of the
reimbursable expense on your invoice.
TIP  Sometimes you want to track expenses associated with a customer or job, but you don’t want to display
all those individual expenses on invoices, like when you have a fixed-price contract. In that situation, click the
“Billable?” cell for that expense to remove the checkmark.
FIGURE 9-5
The tables in the Enter
Bills, Write Checks, and
Enter Credit Card Charges
windows all include
columns to designate
reimbursable expenses
and the customers or
jobs to which they apply.
(You can click Splits in an
account register to access
these columns.)
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PAYING YOUR
BILLS Paying Your Bills
Entering bills in QuickBooks isn’t the same as paying bills. The bills you enter in your
company file are a record of what you owe and when, but they do nothing to send
money to your vendors. Pay Bills is the QuickBooks feature that actually pushes
your money out the door. It lets you select the bills you want to pay; specify how
much to pay on each one; and choose the payment method, account, and date. If
you have credits or early payment discounts, you can include those, too. This section
covers all the details.
TIP  If you want to evaluate all your unpaid bills before you pay them, open Bill Tracker (Vendors→Bill
Tracker). In the Type drop-down list, choose Bills; in the Status drop-down list, choose Open. Check that the
Vendor and Date filters are set to All. The table now lists all unpaid bills regardless of the vendor or due date.
Alternatively, the Unpaid Bills Detail report displays the bills due up to the current date, grouped by vendor. To
run it, choose Reports→Vendors & Payables→Unpaid Bills Detail or, at the top left of the Enter Bills window,
click the Reports tab and then click the Unpaid Bills Detail icon. The window’s Reports tab offers several other
vendor-related reports like Open Purchase Order Detail and Purchases By Vendor Detail.
Selecting Bills to Pay
You begin the payment process by choosing the bills you want to pay. Here are the
steps:
1. Choose Vendors→Pay Bills (or click the Pay Bills icon on the Home Page).
QuickBooks opens the Pay Bills window and displays the bills due on or before
the date in the window’s aptly named “Due on or before” box. As Figure 9-6
shows, you can change which bills are displayed, view bill details, or apply
credits and discounts.
2. Select the bills you want to pay by clicking their checkboxes in the first
column of the window’s table.
Clicking the Select All Bills button below the table makes QuickBooks select all
the bills displayed in the window’s table. (The button’s label changes to Clear
Selections when at least one bill is selected.) Whether you select all the bills or
just a few, QuickBooks fills in the Amt. To Pay cells for the selected bills with
the total due on each bill.
NOTE  If you select more than one bill from the same vendor, QuickBooks automatically combines those
bills onto one check when you pay them.
To pay bills using two different payment methods (check and credit card, for
example), make two passes through the Pay Bills window. On the first pass,
choose all the bills that you pay with the first method and then, in the Payment
section’s Method drop-down list, choose that method (such as Check). On the
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second pass, choose the bills you want to pay with the second method and
then choose that method (such as Credit Card) in the Method drop-down list.
FIGURE 9-6
In the Pay Bills window,
you can easily spot
early payment discounts
by selecting “Show all
bills” in the upper left.
Then, in the Sort By box,
choose Discount Date
to sort by the discount
date (or the due date,
if the bill doesn’t have
a discount date). When
you click a bill in the
table, QuickBooks shows
available discounts and
credits in the “Discount
& Credit Information for
Highlighted Bill” section
(page 192 explains how to
apply them).If you want
to review a bill before you
pay it, click “Go to Bill”
to open the Enter Bills
window.
Now that you’ve selected the bills you want to pay, you can modify the amounts
you pay or apply discounts and credits before you pay the bills. The following sections
explain how.
Modifying Payment Amounts
Whether you select individual bills or all the bills in the Pay Bills window’s table,
QuickBooks automatically fills in the selected bills’ Amt. To Pay cells with the total
amounts that are due. Paying bills in full means you don’t have to worry about the
next due date or paying late fees, but making partial payments can stretch limited
resources to appease more of your unpaid vendors, as the box on page 192 explains.
To pay only part of a bill, in a bill’s Amt. To Pay cell, simply type how much you want
to pay, and then click another cell to update the Amt. To Pay total below the table.
TIP  If you keep your cash in an interest-bearing account until you need it, you’ll want to know how much money
you need to transfer to your checking account to pay the bills. In the Pay Bills window, the number at the bottom of
the Amt. Due column is the total of all the bills displayed, and the number at the bottom of the Amt. To Pay column
is the total of all the bills you’ve selected. The two totals may differ if you’ve set up QuickBooks to automatically
apply credits and discounts (see below), because any available credits and discounts reduce how much you owe.
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UP TO SPEED
When Cash Is Tight
If your cash accounts are dwindling, you may face some
tough decisions about whom to pay and when. To help keep
your business afloat until the hard times pass, here are a few
strategies to consider:
• Pay the vendors whose products or services are essential
to your business.
• Pay g overn m ent obligations (taxe s a n d p ayroll
withholdings) first. In the Pay Bills window’s Sort By
box, choose Vendor to make it easy to spot all your
government bills.
• Make partial payments to all your vendors rather than full
payments to some and no payments to others.
• If you want to pay small bills in full, in the Sort By box,
choose Amount Due to sort your outstanding bills by
dollar value.
Applying Discounts and Credits to Payments
Most companies like to use their discounts and credits as soon as possible. By far
the easiest way to deal with discounts and credits you receive from vendors is to
let QuickBooks handle them automatically.
Here’s how to delegate applying early payment discounts and available credits to
QuickBooks:
1. Choose Edit→Preferences→Bills, and then click the Company Preferences
tab.
Because these settings are on the Company Preferences tab, you have to be a
QuickBooks administrator to change them. The settings you choose here apply
to every person who logs into your company file.
2. To make QuickBooks apply available credits automatically, turn on the
“Automatically use credits” checkbox.
With this setting turned on, QuickBooks automatically applies vendor credits to
the corresponding vendor’s bills to reduce the amount you have to pay. If you’d
rather choose when to apply credits, leave this checkbox turned off.
3. Turn on the “Automatically use discounts” checkbox and, in the Default
Discount Account box, choose the account you use to track vendor discounts.
If you haven’t set up an account for vendor discounts, in the Default Discount
Account drop-down list, choose <Add New>, and then create a new account
(page 47) called something like Vendor Discounts.
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NOTE  Whether you create an income account or an expense account for vendor discounts is neither an accounting
rule nor a QuickBooks requirement, but a matter of how you view vendor discounts. If you think of them
as expenses you’ve saved by paying early, create an expense account. If you view them as money you’ve made,
create an income account instead. Either way, discounts you receive from vendors are different from discounts
you extend to your customers. So, in the Default Discount Account box, choose an account specifically for vendor
discounts, not your customer discount account.
As you’d expect, turning on these checkboxes tells QuickBooks to apply early payment
discounts and available credits to bills without further instructions from you.
The program uses your payment terms to figure out the early payment discounts
you’ve earned, and it applies them and all available credits to their corresponding
bills. Whether these checkboxes are on or off, you can still control the discounts
and credits QuickBooks applies to your bills, as you’ll learn shortly. For example,
you might want to delay a large credit until the following year in order to increase
your expenses in the current year and thereby decrease this year’s taxable income.
APPLYING DISCOUNTS MANUALLY
If you want to apply discounts by hand or change a discount that QuickBooks added,
here’s what to do:
1. On the Home Page, click the Pay Bills icon or choose Vendors→Pay Bills.
2. In the Pay Bill window’s Payment section, choose the date you want to pay
bills.
QuickBooks fills in the current date automatically. To predate or postdate your
payments, choose a different date here. (Page 647 explains how to get QuickBooks
to date checks using the day you print them.)
3. In the Pay Bills window’s table, turn on the checkmark cell (in the first
column) for the bill whose discount you want to edit. (If the checkmark is
already turned on, click within the bill’s row to select it.)
In the window’s “Discount & Credit Information for Highlighted Bill” section,
QuickBooks shows the discount and credits that are available for the selected
bill based on the payment date you set. More importantly, the program activates
the Set Discount and Set Credits buttons so you can click them to apply
discounts and credits. (If the bill’s checkmark cell is turned off, QuickBooks
shows the suggested discount and available credits, but the Set Discount and
Set Credits buttons are dimmed.)
TIP  When you’re applying discounts manually, look for dates in the Disc. Date column that are in the future.
Those bills qualify for early payment discounts.
4. To apply or modify a discount to the selected bill, click Set Discount.
QuickBooks opens the “Discount and Credits” dialog box to the Discount tab
(Figure 9-7).
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FIGURE 9-7
In the “Discount and Credits” dialog
box, QuickBooks automatically selects
the Discount tab and displays your
payment terms, the discount date,
and the amount of discount you
deserve.
If the suggested discount is worth an
early separation from your money,
click Done to deduct the discount from
your bill. Otherwise, click Cancel.
If you also want to work on credits
(page 195), then when you’re done
modifying the discount, click the
Credits tab.
5. In the “Amount of Discount” box, QuickBooks fills in the suggested discount.
To apply a different discount, type the new value.
Many companies try to save money by taking early payment discounts when
they haven’t actually paid early. Some companies apply discounts regardless
of what their payment terms are, and many vendors honor these undeserved
discounts in the name of goodwill.
6. In the Discount Account drop-down list, choose the account you use to
track vendor discounts.
If you use an income account, discounts increase the balance of the income account.
If you use an expense account, discounts reduce how much you spend
on expenses.
TIP  If you want to track discounts on inventory separately from other discounts you receive, create a cost of
goods sold account specifically for inventory discounts. For example, if QuickBooks created account 5000 for Cost
of Goods Sold, you can create two subaccounts: 5005 for Cost of Inventory Sold and 5010 for Inventory Discounts.
In your financial reports, the two subaccounts show your original cost and the discounts you receive. Account
5000 adds the two subaccounts together to show your net cost of goods sold.
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7. If you track classes, choose a class for the discount.
Typically, you’ll choose the same class for the discount that you used for the
original expense.
8. Click Done.
QuickBooks closes the “Discount and Credits” dialog box. Back in the Pay Bills
window, the program adds the discount you entered in the bill’s Disc. Used cell
and recalculates the value in the Amt. To Pay cell by subtracting the discount
amount from the amount due.
APPLYING CREDITS MANUALLY
When you select a bill in the Pay Bills window, the “Discount & Credit Information
for Highlighted Bill” section shows the credits that are available for that bill. If the
“Discount and Credits” dialog box is already open because you’ve applied a discount,
just click the Credits tab and then perform step 4 of the list below. Otherwise, here’s
how to apply available credits to a bill or remove credits that QuickBooks applied
for you:
1. On the Home Page, click the Pay Bills icon or choose Vendors→Pay Bills.
2. In the Pay Bills window’s table, select a bill by turning on its checkmark cell.
In the window’s “Discount & Credit Information for Highlighted Bill” section
(Figure 9-8, background), QuickBooks shows the credits available for that
vendor, if any, and activates the Set Credits button.
3. To apply a credit to the selected bill, click Set Credits.
QuickBooks opens the “Discount and Credits” dialog box and displays the
Credits tab, shown in Figure 9-8 (foreground). Credits that are already applied
to the bill have checkmarks next to them.
4. Turn on the checkmark cell for each credit you want to apply. If you want to
use a credit later, turn off its checkmark cell. Then click Done.
QuickBooks closes the dialog box and applies the credits.
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FIGURE 9-8
On the “Discount and
Credits” dialog box’s
Credits tab, click a credit’s
checkmark cell to toggle
between applying the
credit and removing it
from the bill.
When you click Done here,
QuickBooks updates the
Pay Bills window’s Credits
Used value to show the
amount of credit applied
to the bill, and the Amt.
To Pay value to reflect
the amount you have to
pay based on applied
discounts and credits.
Setting the Payment Method and Account
After you’ve selected the bills you want to pay and applied any discounts and credits,
you still have to tell QuickBooks how and when you want to pay those bills. These
payment settings at the very bottom of the Pay Bills window are the last ones you
have to adjust before paying your vendors:
• Method. In this drop-down list, choose how you want to pay the bills: Check,
Credit Card, or (if you subscribe to QuickBooks’ online bill-payment service)
Online Bank Pmt. (If you pay bills using your bank’s online bill-payment service,
electronic payment via the vendor’s website, or another non-QuickBooks billpayment
service, choose Check.) If you pick Check, you have one other choice
to make here:
• If you print your checks from QuickBooks, choose the To be printed option,
and the program automatically adds the bills you selected to its queue of
checks to be printed. (You’ll learn about printing these checks on page 203.)
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BILLS • If you write checks by hand, choose the Assign check number option. That
way, you can assign check numbers when you click the Pay Selected Bills
button (explained in a moment).
• Account. If you specified a default account for the Pay Bills window to use (page
646), QuickBooks automatically selects that account here. To use a different
one, in this drop-down list, choose the account you use to pay bills, such as a
checking or credit card account.
Paying Selected Bills
When you’re done setting up bills to pay, it’s time to pay them. Here are the steps:
1. Click the Pay Bills window’s Pay Selected Bills button.
If you write paper checks for your bills and chose the “Assign check number”
option, QuickBooks opens the Assign Check Numbers dialog box. If you use
any other payment method, jump to step 3.
2. In the Assign Check Numbers dialog box, if you want to start with the next
unused check number, choose the “Let QuickBooks assign check numbers”
option, and then click OK.
If you instead want to specify the check numbers for each check you write (to
match the paper checks you’ve already written, for example), choose the “Let
me assign the check numbers below” option. Enter the check numbers (or type
a code like EFT for electronic funds transfers—see page 209) in the Check No.
cells, and then click OK.
3. In the Payment Summary dialog box, click the button for the action you
want to take next.
This dialog box shows the payments you’ve made and adds those payments
to the appropriate checking or credit card account register. All you have to do
is click the appropriate button:
• If you write paper checks, click Done. Then write the checks and mail them,
as described in the next section.
• If you chose the “To be printed” option to print checks from QuickBooks,
click Print Checks and see page 206 for details. Or, if you aren’t ready to
print checks just yet, click Done.
• To create another batch of bill payments (for example, to pay bills using
another method), click Pay More Bills.
NOTE  The next time you open the Enter Bills window, you’ll see a PAID stamp on bills you’ve paid.
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BILLS Writing Checks Without Entering Bills
You might enter bills in QuickBooks for the majority of your vendor transactions so
you can keep track of early payment discounts or when bills are due. But you’re still
likely to write a quick check from time to time to pay for an expense immediately.
For example, when the person who plows your parking lot knocks on the door and
asks for payment, he won’t want to wait while you step through the bill-entering
and bill-paying process in QuickBooks—he just wants his $100. And if you write
only a couple of checks a month, there’s nothing wrong with writing checks to pay
vendors without entering a bill in QuickBooks.
When you’re new to QuickBooks and want some guidance, use the Write Checks
window to make sure you enter all the required info. Once you’re more experienced,
you can record checks directly in QuickBooks’ checking account register. This section
describes how to do both.
Using the Write Checks Window
The Write Checks window is like a trimmed-down version of the Enter Bills window.
Because you’re paying immediately, there’s no need for fields such as Bill Due or
Terms. For a payment without a bill, you have to provide information about the expenses
or items you’re paying for, which is why the Write Checks window includes
the Expenses and Items tabs. QuickBooks fills in a few fields for you, and the rest
are like the ones you’ve met already in the Enter Bills window (page 182).
To write a check in the Write Checks window, follow these steps:
1. Open the Write Checks window by pressing Ctrl+W, choosing Banking→Write
Checks, or clicking the Write Checks icon in the Home Page’s Banking section.
As you can see in Figure 9-9, QuickBooks tries to flatten the learning curve by
making the upper part of the window look like a paper check.
If you set up bank account preferences (page 646), such as which bank account
to use when you open the Write Checks window, QuickBooks automatically
chooses that account for you.
2. If you want to print the check, at the top of the window, make sure the Print
Later checkbox is turned on, and then skip to step 4.
When this checkbox is on, the words “To Print” appear to the right of the No. label,
and QuickBooks adds the check to a print queue. When you print the checks
in the queue (page 206), QuickBooks replaces “To Print” with check numbers.
NOTE  As long as you don’t use multiple currencies, the Pay Online checkbox appears below the Print Later
checkbox. Turn on the Pay Online checkbox to send this payment electronically (page 621).
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FIGURE 9-9
Choosing a name in the
“Pay to the Order of”
field fills in the Address
box, which is perfect for
printing checks for mailing
in window envelopes.
Even though the company
name appears in the “Pay
to the Order of” field,
QuickBooks also displays
the company name in the
Address box to show you
what it prints on checks.
If you include account
numbers in your vendor
records, QuickBooks adds
the account number to
the Memo field.
3. If you’re writing checks by hand, turn off the Print Later checkbox and make
sure the number in the No. box is correct.
When you turn off the Print Later checkbox, QuickBooks automatically fills in
the No. box with the next check number for the selected bank account. If the
number it fills in doesn’t match the check you’re writing by hand, type in the
number from your paper check. If you type a check number that’s already been
used, QuickBooks warns you about the duplicate number when you try to save
the check. In the warning message box, click Cancel, and then, in the Write
Checks window, edit the value in the No. field.
TIP  If you suspect that there’s more than one check number awry, open the checking account register (page
378) to review multiple checks at once. To renumber a check in the register window, double-click the check
transaction’s Number cell, type the new number, and then press Enter to save the change. As long as you keep
editing check numbers until all the duplicates are gone, it’s OK to save a duplicate check number.
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4. In the “Pay to the Order of” drop-down list, choose whom you want to pay.
This list includes customers, vendors, employees, and names from the Other
Names List. If you entered the vendor’s name in the “Print on Check as” box
when you set up the vendor, you’ll see “Print As: [name]” above the “Pay to the
Order of” field, as shown in Figure 9-9.
5. Add entries to the Expenses and Items tabs for the things the check is paying
for, just like you do when you enter a bill (page 182).
QuickBooks calculates the check amount as you add entries on these tabs. If
you fill in the check amount and then start adding expenses and items, you’ll
know that the check total and the posted amounts match when no unallocated
dollars remain. If you mangle the entries on either tab, you can start over by
clicking the Clear Splits button at the top of the window.
6. Click Save & Close to record the check.
To write another check, click Save & New. To throw away any values in the
window and start over, click Clear.
Adding Checks to an Account Register
In QuickBooks, entering checks in a bank account register is fast, easy, and—for
keyboard aficionados—addictive. By combining typing and keyboard shortcuts, such
as tabbing from cell to cell, you can make short work of entering checks. Here’s how
to create checks in a register window:
1. Press Ctrl+A to open the Chart of Accounts window, and then double-click
your checking account.
You can also open the register by clicking Check Register in the Home Page’s
Banking section; next, in the Use Register dialog box, select the checking account,
and then click OK. Either way, QuickBooks opens the account register
window and positions the cursor in the Date cell of the first blank transaction.
2. To adjust the check’s date by a few days, press the plus key (+) or minus key
(–) until the date is what you want.
See Appendix C (available from this book’s Missing CD page at missingmanuals/cds)
for more date-related keyboard shortcuts.
3. Press Tab to move to the Number cell.
QuickBooks automatically fills in the next check number for that bank account. If
the number doesn’t match the paper check you want to write, press + or – until
the number is correct or simply type the new number. (Pages 209–211 explain
how to fill in the Number cell if you make a payment with a debit card, ATM
card, electronic transaction, or other method.)
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4. Press Tab to move to the Payee cell, and then start typing the name of the
payee.
QuickBooks scans the lists of names in your company file and selects the first
one that matches all the letters you’ve typed so far. As soon as it selects the
one you want, press Tab to move to the Payment cell.
5. In the Payment cell, type the amount of the check.
If you previously recorded a check for that vendor, QuickBooks fills in this cell
with the amount from the previous check. To use a different amount, simply
type the new value.
6. Click the Account cell.
If the payee is a vendor with more than one pre-fill account assigned to it (page
80), QuickBooks adds “-split-” to the Account cell. In that case, click Splits below
the table to open the Splits panel (see Figure 9-10) so you can enter amounts
for the accounts. You can also use the Splits panel if your check covers more
than one type of expense and you want to allocate the payment among several
accounts. For each allocation, specify the account, amount, memo, customer,
and class (if you track classes), and then click Close.
FIGURE 9-10
To allocate a check to
multiple accounts or to
specify a customer, job, or
class in the check register,
click the Splits button
(circled) to open the
panel shown here so you
can assign them. If you
modify the value in the
Payment cell or any values
in the Amount cells,
click Recalc to change the
check payment amount to
the total of the splits.
7. If the check applies to only one expense account, in the Account drop-down
list, choose the appropriate account.
You can also choose an account by typing the account’s number or the first
few letters of its name. As you type, QuickBooks selects the first account that
matches what you’ve typed. When the selected account is correct, press Tab
to move to the Memo cell.
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8. To add a description of the check, in the Memo cell, type your notes.
9. When you’ve filled in all the fields you need, click Record to save the check.
To add more checks to the register, lather, rinse, repeat.
Producing Checks
When you choose Check in the Pay Bills window’s Method field, your checking
account register shows check transactions, but you still have to generate physical
checks to send to your vendors. For companies that produce lots of checks, printing
them in QuickBooks can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. But for a sole proprietorship
that generates only a few checks each month, writing them by hand is easy enough.
As this section explains, QuickBooks accepts either approach with equal aplomb.
Writing Checks by Hand
Handwriting checks doesn’t require any work in QuickBooks, but you still have to
keep your company file in sync with your paper checks. Whether you’re writing
checks for bills you’ve paid in QuickBooks or scratching out a spur-of-the-moment
check to pay for the pizza you had delivered, you want to make sure that the check
numbers in your bank account register match your paper checks.
If you’ve already recorded your check transactions in QuickBooks by paying bills
(page 190) or entering a check transaction in your checking account register window
for an immediate payment (page 200), synchronizing check numbers is as easy as
writing the paper checks in the same order as you entered them in QuickBooks. First,
open the checking account register window. You’ve got a few ways to do this: You
can press Ctrl+A to open the Chart of Accounts window and then either double-click
the checking account’s row or right-click it and choose Use Register. Alternatively,
in the Home Page’s Banking panel, click Check Register; next, in the Use Register
dialog box, select your checking account, and then click OK.
Once the register window is open, you can use the bill payments and check transactions
to guide your paper check writing, as shown in Figure 9-11.
NOTE  If the next check number in QuickBooks isn’t the one on your next paper check, figure out why they
don’t match. The answer might be as simple as a voided check that you forgot to enter in QuickBooks or a check
you wrote earlier that was out of sequence. But if someone is walking off with blank checks, you need to take
action.
Until you find the reason for the mismatched check number, editing the check numbers that QuickBooks assigns
in the checking account register is the easiest way to get checks into the mail. In the register window, simply
double-click an incorrect check number, and then type the number that’s on your paper check.
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FIGURE 9-11
In a register window,
the code CHK in the Type
cell indicates a check
transaction.
The code BILLPMT along
with a check number
indicates a bill paid by
check.
Setting Up QuickBooks to Print Checks
If you have scads of checks to generate, printing on preprinted computer checks is
well worth the small amount of setup you have to do. And if you dedicate a printer
to check printing and keep it stocked with checks, setup is truly a one-time event.
TIP  Lock up your preprinted checks and any printer stocked with them. Otherwise, you might discover checks
missing, which can lead to money disappearing from your bank account.
The first step is telling QuickBooks which printer to print to and the type of checks
you use. (The program remembers these settings, so you need to go through this
process just once.) After you’ve specified your check-printing settings, QuickBooks
fills them in automatically in the Print dialog box, though you can always change
those options before you print.
Here’s how you set QuickBooks up to print checks:
1. Open the “Printer setup” dialog box by choosing File→Printer Setup.
The dialog box’s Form Name drop-down list includes all the forms you can print
in QuickBooks, so you can choose different print settings for each one.
2. In the Form Name drop-down list, select Check/PayCheck.
When you select this option, the Check Style section appears in the bottom of
the dialog box; step 4 describes what to choose there.
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3. In the “Printer name” drop-down list, choose the printer you want to use.
If you choose a printer brand that QuickBooks recognizes (there are only a
few it doesn’t), the program automatically fills in the “Printer type” box. If you
use a very old or very odd printer, you’ll have to manually choose the type of
printer. “Page-oriented (Single sheets)” refers to printers that feed one sheet at
a time. Choose Continuous (Perforated Edge) if the printer feeds a roll of paper.
NOTE  If you print to checks on continuous-feed paper, properly aligning the paper in the printer is critical.
You can save time and a lot of wasted checks by aligning the paper before you print batches of checks, as described
on page 311.
4. In the Check Style section, choose the option that represents the type of
check you purchased. (The box on page 205 explains where you can buy
checks.)
The “Printer setup” dialog box displays examples of each check style it can deal
with, making it easy to choose the right one, as shown in Figure 9-12. Voucher
checks print one to a page, so they’re by far the easiest to use. However, if you
use standard or wallet checks to save paper, see the box on page 207 to learn
how to tell QuickBooks how you want it to handle partial pages of checks.
FIGURE 9-12
The Voucher option represents
one-page forms
that include both a check
and a detachable stub
for payroll or check info.
The Standard option sets
QuickBooks up to print
checks that fit in a #10
business envelope; they
typically come three to a
page. Wallet checks are
narrower than standard
business checks and have
a perforation on the left
for tearing off the check,
leaving a stub containing
check information that
you can file.
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5. If the company you buy checks from wants too much money to print your
company info and logo on the checks, turn on the “Print company name and
address” and “Use logo” checkboxes.
Turning on the “Print company name and address” checkbox tells QuickBooks
to print the company name and address you filled in when you created your
company file (page 8). If you turn on the “Use logo” checkbox, the program
opens the Logo dialog box. Click File and, in the Open Logo File dialog box,
select the file containing your logo, and then click Open. (QuickBooks can handle
BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF formats.) Back in the Logo dialog box, click OK.
If your company info and logo are preprinted on your checks, leave these
checkboxes turned off.
6. If you have an image of your signature saved on your computer, you can
print it on your checks by turning on the Print Signature Image checkbox.
When you turn on this checkbox, QuickBooks opens the Signature dialog box.
Click File and then, in the Open Logo File dialog box, locate and double-click
the file containing your signature. (One way to create a graphic file of your
signature is by signing a piece of paper and then scanning it.)
7. Click OK to save your check-printing settings.
The next section tells you how to actually print checks.
NOTE  If you want to change the fonts on the checks you print, click the “Printer setup” dialog box’s Fonts
tab. There you can change the font for the entire check form by clicking Font, or designate a special font for the
company name and address by clicking Address Font.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Buying Preprinted Checks
Do I have to order checks from Intuit?
The short answer is no, but there are compelling reasons
to go with Intuit’s checks. The company sells competitively
priced preprinted checks that work with QuickBooks. Also, the
program keeps track of the checks you’ve used and tells you
when to order more. It then automatically sends the correct
bank account number with your order.
To order Intuit checks, at the top of the Write Checks window,
click Order Checks. If you haven’t ordered from Intuit before,
select the “I’m ordering from Intuit for the first time” option.
QuickBooks turns on the checkbox to use your company and
bank account information to fill out your order form. Click
Order Now to open the Checks web page and set up your order.
You can also purchase checks from your bank or a businessform
company (such as Clarke American or Deluxe). The checks
have to be preprinted with your bank account number, bank
routing number, and the check number, because QuickBooks
prints only the payment information, such as date, payee, and
amount. So if you order checks from a company other than
Intuit, be sure to tell them that you use QuickBooks, since
the checks need to have fields positioned to match where
QuickBooks prints data.
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CHECKS Printing Checks
In the Pay Bills window’s Method section, choosing the “To be printed” option tells
QuickBooks to add the checks you’ve selected for payment to a print queue when
you click the Pay Selected Bills button. You can also tell QuickBooks to add a check
to a print queue by turning on the Print Later checkbox at the top of the Write
Checks window.
After you confirm that your preprinted checks are in the printer and that the checks
are aligned properly, you can print queued-up checks by following these steps:
1. If you’re at the end of the Pay Bills process and the Payment Summary
dialog box is open, click Print Checks. Otherwise, choose File→Print
Forms→Checks.
QuickBooks opens the “Select Checks to Print” dialog box and selects all the
unprinted checks, as shown in Figure 9-13.
FIGURE 9-13
The first time you print
checks, QuickBooks sets
the First Check Number
box to 1. If necessary,
change this number to
match the one on the
first check loaded in your
printer.
2. If you don’t want to print a particular check that’s listed, turn off its checkbox.
When only the checks you want to print are selected, click OK.
QuickBooks opens the Print Checks dialog box, which looks much like the
“Printer setup” dialog box for checks (Figure 9-12).
3. If you’re printing standard or wallet checks and the first page of checks in
your printer is a partial page, in the “Number of checks on first page” box,
type how many checks there are.
You won’t see this box if you’re printing to voucher checks because they print
one to a page. But for standard or wallet checks, this box lets you use leftover
checks from previous print runs (assuming you have a page-oriented printer).
Type the number of leftover checks on the partial page, and then insert that
page into your printer’s envelope feeder. After QuickBooks prints checks to
that page, it will begin feeding full sheets of checks from the paper tray. See
the box on page 207 for the full scoop on telling QuickBooks how you want it
to handle partial pages of checks.
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METHODS
4. Click Print.
Because of the problems that can happen during printing (paper jams, low
toner, or an unfortunate coffee spill), QuickBooks opens the “Print Checks –
Confirmation” dialog box after it prints checks.
5. If there was a problem, in the “Print Checks – Confirmation” dialog box,
click the Reprint cell for each check that didn’t print correctly.
If the whole batch is a loss, click Select All.
6. Click OK to reprint the misprinted checks.
In addition to printing the checks, QuickBooks also removes the words “To Print”
from those checks in your checking account register, replacing them with the
check numbers it used.
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Using Leftover Checks
If you use voucher checks, you don’t have to worry about
leftovers, because each check prints on its own page. However,
when you print standard or wallet checks to single sheets of paper
(which usually have three checks on each sheet), you might
print only one or two of the checks on the last sheet, leaving
a leftover or two. Happily, QuickBooks includes a setting that
lets you print on those orphaned checks. Here are the steps:
1. Choose File→Printer Setup, and then choose Check/
PayCheck in the Form Name drop-down list.
2. Click the Partial Page tab.
3. Choose the option (Side, Center, or Portrait) that
corresponds to how your printer feeds envelopes, and
then click OK to save the setting.
The Side and Portrait options are the most common methods.
If you select Side, you insert the partial page of checks into
the envelope feeder sideways, with the top of the first check
aligned with the left side of the envelope feeder. With the
Portrait option, you feed the top of the first check straight
into the envelope feeder. (Whether you insert pages face up or
down depends on the type of printer you have. Print a sample
page of checks to determine which direction you have to feed
pages, and then tape a note to the printer with instructions
like “Print side down, top edge in first” so you don’t misprint
any future pages.)
Before you start printing, feed the page with orphaned checks
into your printer’s envelope feeder. That way, QuickBooks prints
to those orphaned checks before printing to the full pages of
checks in the paper tray.
Paying Using Other Payment Methods
These days, you can choose from a plethora of payment methods besides checks,
such as credit cards, debit cards, online services like PayPal, electronic transactions,
and even cold cash. Fortunately, recording these transactions in QuickBooks is a lot
like recording checks. This section describes the other payment methods you can
use and how they differ from writing checks.
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USING OTHER
PAYMENT
METHODS Paying with Credit Cards
When you make credit card purchases, the easiest way to record those charges in
your company file is by signing up for online banking with your financial institution
(page 617), setting up bank feeds (page 619), and then downloading the transactions
(page 623). But you can also enter credit charges manually.
TIP  Regardless of whether you download charges, entering charges manually is a great way to catch erroneous
or fraudulent charges that appear on your statement. For example, after entering your charges manually,
you can download the charges from your credit card company. If you see additional charges that don’t match the
ones you entered, either you forgot a charge or there’s an error in your account.
Recording credit card charges is almost the same as writing checks except that,
instead of the Write Checks window, you use the Enter Credit Card Charges window,
shown in Figure 9-14. Behind the scenes, QuickBooks adds the credit card charge to
your credit card account, which is a current liability account. That means the balance
in the account increases because you owe more money. (When you write a check
out of your checking account, the account’s balance decreases because you have
less money in that asset account.)
FIGURE 9-14
Unless you want your
Vendor List awash with
every pizza parlor, gas
station, and parking lot
you patronize, consider
creating generic vendors
such as Meals, Gas, and
Parking. If you want to
track specific vendors,
type their names in the
Memo field here. You
can leave the Ref. No.
field blank or enter your
receipt number there.
Allocating a charge to
multiple accounts or to a
customer works the same
as for bills (page 184).
To open the Enter Credit Card Charges window, choose Banking→Enter Credit Card
Charges or, in the Home Page’s Banking section, click Enter Credit Card Charges.
You can also enter charges directly in the credit card account register, just as you
do with checks.
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 209
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PAYMENT
METHODS
NOTE  To enter a refund for a credit card charge, near the top of the Enter Credit Card Charges window,
choose the Refund/Credit option, and then fill in the window’s fields with info about the refund you received.
Paying with a Debit Card
Paying with a debit card is like writing a check, because the transaction removes
money from your checking account. For that reason, you use the Write Checks
window to record debit card transactions. In fact, you can also use the Write Checks
window to record electronic funds transfers. The only difference between these
transactions and regular checks is what you enter in the window’s No. field.
Instead of putting a check number in this field, you can use a code to identify the type
of payment. For example, enter DB for a debit card or EFT for electronic transactions
like an online bill payment you make with your bank’s bill-pay service or directly
through a vendor’s website. If you have several debit cards for your bank account,
you may want to include the last four digits of the card number after the code so
you can tell your transactions from your partner’s transactions.
NOTE  Debit card transactions are different from credit card charges, which is why you don’t use the Enter
Credit Card Charges window to record them. Debit card charges reduce the balance in your checking account,
which is a current asset account (page 49), whereas credit card charges increase the balance in your credit card
account, which is a current liability account (page 49).
Paying with PayPal
Paying via PayPal is similar to paying with a debit card (described in the previous
section), except that these payments remove money from your PayPal account,
not your checking account. The Write Checks window works for recording PayPal
expense payments with a few small changes. Here are the fields that work differently
when you record PayPal payments:
• Bank Account. Your PayPal account is like a checking account: If you pay for
expenses via PayPal, the payment decreases your PayPal account’s balance.
Similarly, customer payments increase your PayPal account’s balance. For those
reasons, you create a bank account (page 48) in QuickBooks to represent your
PayPal account. Then, when you record a PayPal payment in the Write Checks
window, simply choose the account you set up for PayPal in this drop-down list.
That way, the check amount reduces your PayPal account’s balance.
• No. Instead of putting a check number in this field, you can use a code like PP
to identify this as a PayPal payment, or simply leave it blank.
TIP  PayPal’s idiosyncrasies can make tracking transactions difficult. For example, PayPal transactions might
show up as pending for a few days before they clear. And PayPal reports don’t present the info you need to
reconcile your account in the most helpful format. If your PayPal account sees a lot of action—both in terms of
payments you make as well as customer deposits—a third-party program that downloads PayPal transactions
into QuickBooks may be the answer. One of the most popular is SimplePort (simpleport2).
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USING OTHER
PAYMENT
METHODS Paying with Cash
Dashing out to buy an extension cord so you can present a pitch to a potential client?
Chances are you’ll grab money from the petty cash drawer at your office. Petty cash
is the common term for money spent on small purchases, typically less than $20.
Many companies keep a cash drawer at the office and dole out dollars for small,
company-related purchases that employees make. But for the small business owner
with a bank card, getting petty cash is as easy as withdrawing money from an ATM.
Either way, petty cash is still company money, and that means you have to keep track
of it and how it’s spent. The following sections explain how to do that.
RECORDING ATM WITHDRAWALS AND DEPOSITS TO PETTY CASH
Before you can pay for something with petty cash, you need to put some money into
your petty cash drawer. In QuickBooks, adding money to your petty cash account
mirrors the real-world transaction: You either write a check made out to Cash (or
the trustworthy employee who’s cashing the check), or you withdraw money from
an ATM. To write a check to withdraw cash for your petty cash account, simply use
the Write Checks window (choose Banking→Write Checks) to record the transaction.
TIP  If you make a withdrawal from an ATM to get petty cash, use QuickBooks’ Transfer Money feature (page
392) to record the transaction. In the Transfer Funds From box, choose your bank account; in the Transfer Funds
To box, choose your petty cash account.
You don’t have to use the Write Checks or Transfer Funds windows to record petty
cash transactions. If you’re OK with creating transactions in an account register
window, here are the steps for replenishing your petty cash with a check:
1. In the Chart of Accounts window (press Ctrl+A to open it), double-click your
checking account to open its register window.
QuickBooks selects the date in the first blank transaction. Depending on the
date preference you choose (page 657), the program fills in either the current
date or the last date you entered in a transaction. If you added money to petty
cash on a different day, choose the correct date.
2. If you’re withdrawing money from an ATM, in the Number cell, either type
ATM or clear the value that’s there.
If you’re writing a check to get petty cash and QuickBooks fills in the Number
cell with the correct check number, continue to the Payee cell. Otherwise, type
the correct check number in the cell.
3. Whether you’re writing a check or withdrawing money from an ATM, in the
Payee cell, type a name such as Cash or Petty Cash.
If you made a check out to one of your employees, in the Payee cell’s drop-down
list, choose that person’s name.
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METHODS
4. In the Payment cell, type the amount that you’re moving from the checking
account to petty cash.
If you track classes in QuickBooks, this is one time to ignore the Class cell.
You assign classes only when you record purchases made with petty cash (as
explained in the next section).
5. In the Account cell, choose your petty cash account.
If you don’t already have a petty cash account in your chart of accounts, create
the account now by choosing <Add New>, and then be sure to choose the Bank
account type. That way, your petty cash account appears at the top of your
balance sheet with your other savings and checking accounts.
6. Click Record to save the transaction.
That’s it!
RECORDING PURCHASES MADE WITH PETTY CASH
As long as company cash sits in a petty cash drawer or your wallet, the petty cash
account in QuickBooks keeps track of it. But when you spend some of the petty
cash in your wallet or an employee brings in a sales receipt for purchases, you have
to record what was bought. (The box on page 212 explains how to track petty cash
if an employee wants cash before he’s made a purchase.)
The petty cash account’s register is as good a place as any to record these purchases.
In the Chart of Accounts window, double-click the petty cash account to open its
register window. Then, in a blank transaction, follow these guidelines to record your
petty cash expenditures:
• Number. Although petty cash expenditures don’t use check numbers, QuickBooks
automatically puts the next check number in this cell. The easiest thing
to do is ignore the number and move on to the Payee cell.
• Payee. You don’t have to enter anything here, and for many petty cash transactions,
entering a Payee would just clog your list of names, so leave this cell blank.
• Memo. Type the vendor’s name or details of the purchase here.
• Payment. Enter the amount that was spent.
• Account. Choose an account like Office Supplies to track the expense.
TIP  To distribute the petty cash spent to several accounts, click Splits. In the table that appears, specify the
account, amount, customer or job, class, and a memo for each split (page 201).
When you’re done, click Record.
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VENDOR
REFUNDS AND
CREDITS
WORKAROUND WORKSHOP
Petty Cash Advances
Good management practices warn against dishing out petty
cash without a receipt. But suppose an employee asks for cash
in advance to purchase a new lava lamp for the conference
room? There’s no receipt, but you really want the lava lamp to
impress the CEO of a tie-dye company.
The solution in the real world is to write a paper IOU and place
it in the petty cash drawer until the employee coughs up a
receipt. In QuickBooks, record the advance as if the purchase
were already complete. For example, create the transaction
in the petty cash account register using entries like these:
• In the Payee cell, type the name of the vendor you’re
purchasing from.
• In the Amount cell, type the amount of money you
advanced to the employee.
• In the Account cell, choose the account that corresponds
to the expense, such as Office Supplies.
• In the Memo cell, type a note about the employee who
received the advance, the IOU in the petty cash drawer,
and what the advance is for.
When the employee comes back with a receipt, you can update
the transaction’s Memo cell to show that the IOU has been
repaid. If the employee brings change back, create a deposit
to put that money back in the petty cash account using the
same payee and account as the original withdrawal transaction.
Recording Vendor Refunds and Credits
Say you ordered 30 dozen lightweight polypropylene tank tops for your summer
Death Valley marathon, but your vendor mistakenly silk-screened the logo on longsleeved
cotton T-shirts heavy enough to survive a nuclear blast. If you raise a ruckus,
the vendor may issue you a refund check or a credit. Either way, it’s easy to record
the money you get back in QuickBooks.
Recording Vendor Refunds
Here’s how to deposit a vendor’s refund check or credit card refund:
1. Choose Banking→Make Deposits or, in the Home Page’s Banking panel,
click Record Deposits.
2. If the “Payments to Deposit” window appears, turn on the checkmark cell
for each payment you want to deposit along with the refund check, and then
click OK to open the Make Deposits window.
The “Payments to Deposit” window opens only if you have other deposits to
make.
3. In the Make Deposits window’s Deposit To drop-down list, choose the bank
account where you’re going to deposit the refund.
If you selected other deposits in the “Payments to Deposit” window in the
previous step, they appear in the Make Deposit window’s table.
Chapter 9: Paying for Expenses 213
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VENDOR
REFUNDS AND
CREDITS
4. In the first blank Received From cell, choose the vendor who issued the
refund check.
If the check isn’t from a vendor, you can choose a customer, employee, or other
name instead.
5. In the From Account cell, choose the account associated with the refund.
For a refund for shirts you purchased, you might choose a cost of goods sold
account that you use for products you buy specifically for customers. If the
refund is for office supplies, choose the expense account for office supplies.
6. Fill in the other fields.
Enter a note about the refund in the Memo cell, the check number (if you received
a refund check), the payment method (to indicate whether you received
a refund check or a credit card refund), and the amount of the refund.
7. Click Save & Close.
To record another deposit, click Save & New instead.
Recording Vendor Credits
If the vendor insists on issuing you a credit with its company instead of a refund
check, here’s how to record that credit in QuickBooks:
1. Choose Vendors→Enter Bills or, in the Home Page’s Vendors panel, click
Enter Bills.
QuickBooks opens the Enter Bills window as if you’re going to enter a bill.
2. Just below the window’s ribbon, choose the Credit option (Figure 9-15).
QuickBooks changes the window’s giant heading to “Credit” and the Amount
Due label to Credit Amount. The other fields stay the same.
3. On the Expenses and Items tabs, fill in the cells with the items for which
you received credit.
Enter positive numbers just as you did when you entered the original bill. QuickBooks
takes care of posting the credit amounts to your accounts. Your inventory
account decreases due to the inventory items you returned, your cost of goods
sold account decreases due to the non-inventory items you returned, and your
expense accounts’ balances decrease due to expense credits. The total credit
amount also reduces the balance in your Accounts Payable account.
4. Click Save & Close.
That’s all there is to it. See page 195 to learn how to apply a credit.
214 QUICKBOOKS 2016: THE MISSING MANUAL
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REPORTS
FIGURE 9-15
To record a credit in the
Enter Bills window, select
the Credit option below
the ribbon. In the Expenses
and Items tables,
enter positive numbers
just as you did when you
entered the original bill.
QuickBooks posts the
credit amounts to the
appropriate accounts.
Running Expense-Related Reports
QuickBooks’ Vendors & Payables reports tell you how much you owe each vendor
and when the payments are due. The reports in the program’s Purchases category,
on the other hand, focus on how much you’ve bought from each vendor you work
with. In addition, QuickBooks’ Insights tab is a great way to examine your expenses.
This section tells you how to put several expense-related reports to work.
A/P Aging and Vendor Balance Reports
If your company is flush with cash and you pay bills as soon as they appear in the
Pay Bills window, your A/P Aging reports and Vendor Balance reports will contain
mostly zeroes. If you want an overview of how much you owe each vendor and how
much is overdue, use one of the following reports listed under Reports→Vendors
& Payables:
• A/P Aging Summary. This report shows all the vendors you owe money to and
how old your balances are for each one. Double-click a value to see a report of
the transactions that produced the amount owed.
• A/P Aging Detail. Run this report to see each unpaid bill sorted by its billing
date and grouped into bills that are current, 1 to 30 days overdue, 31 to 60 days
overdue, 61 to 90 days overdue, and more than 90 days late.
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REPORTS • Vendor Balance Detail. This report shows your bills and payments grouped
by vendor.
TIP  You can also see the details of a vendor’s balance in the Vendor Center: Select the vendor on the Vendor’s
tab and then, on the right side of the window, click the Open Balance link.
• Unpaid Bills Detail. If you want to evaluate all your unpaid bills before you pay
them, this report is helpful because it displays the bills due up to the current
date, grouped by vendor. To include bills due in the future, in the report window’s
Dates box, choose All. If you want to inspect a bill more closely, double-click
anywhere in its row, and the Enter Bills window opens with the bill’s details.
(You can also run this report from the Enter Bills window: Click the Reports tab
at the top of the window, and then click the Unpaid Bills Detail button.)
Reports about Purchases
Purchasing reports (Reports→Purchases) tell you how much you’ve spent by vendor
or item. And if you create purchase orders for items you buy, you can review all
your open purchase orders. Here are a few of the purchasing reports you can use:
• Purchases by Vendor Summary. This report shows how much you’ve spent with
each vendor during a given time period. For example, this report can help you
figure out whether you should ask for better terms due to the volume of business
you do with a vendor, or perhaps if you should line up additional vendors
in case one goes out of business. Double-click a vendor’s row in the report to
run the Purchases by Vendor Detail report, which shows every transaction for
that vendor.
• Purchases by Item Summary. This report shows the quantity and value of your
purchases by item.
• Open Purchase Orders. As you’d expect, this report shows you all the purchase
orders you’ve created that haven’t been fulfilled yet. If stock is getting low,
double-click a purchase order in this report to open it in the Create Purchase
Orders window, and then call the vendor to get an update on the estimated
delivery date.
The Insights Tab
Introduced in QuickBooks 2015, the Insights tab (located at the top-left of the Home
Page) provides an overview of your income and expenses. (Page 31 provides the
full story on this handy dashboard.) The Expenses graph at the tab’s bottom right
initially displays your top five categories of expenses. To change the date range,
click the down arrow in the date range box, and then choose the period you want,
such as Last Fiscal Year. You can also click the graph to run a report that shows all
your expense-related transactions grouped by account.

217
CHAPTER
10
T
elling your customers how much they owe you and how soon they need to pay
is an important step in bookkeeping. After all, if money isn’t flowing into your
organization from outside sources, eventually you’ll close up shop and close
your QuickBooks company file for the last time.
Although businesses use several different sales forms to bill customers, the invoice
is the most popular, and, unsurprisingly, customer billing is often called invoicing.
This chapter begins by explaining the differences between invoices, statements,
and sales receipts—each of which is a way of billing customers in QuickBooks—and
when each is most appropriate.
After that, you’ll learn how to fill in invoice forms in QuickBooks, whether you’re
invoicing for services, products, or both. If you send invoices for the same items to
many of your customers (and don’t use the program’s multiple currencies feature),
QuickBooks’ batch invoice feature can help: You select the customers, add the items
you want on the invoices, and the program creates all the invoices for you. If you
track billable hours and reimbursable expenses with QuickBooks, you can also have
the program chuck those charges into the invoices you create.
Finally, you’ll find out how to handle a few special billing situations, like creating
invoices when products you sell are on backorder and how to handle products you
sell on consignment. You’ll also learn how to create estimates for jobs and then use
them to generate invoices as you perform the work. And, since you occasionally have
to give money back to customers, you’ll learn how to assign a credit to a customer’s
account, which you can then deduct from an existing invoice, refund by cutting a
refund check, or apply to the customer’s next invoice.
Invoicing
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RIGHT TYPE OF
FORM
NOTE  Chapter 11 continues the invoicing lesson by teaching you how to produce statements that show your
customers’ account status. Chapter 13 explains how to create sales receipts when customers pay you right away.
And Chapter 12 explains how to get any kind of sales form into your customers’ hands, along with a few other
timesaving techniques, like finding transactions and memorizing them for reuse.
Choosing the Right Type of Form
In QuickBooks, you can choose from three different sales forms to document what
you sell, and each form has strengths and limitations. Invoices can handle any billing
task you can think of, so they’re the best choice if you have any doubts about
which one to use. Table 10-1 summarizes what each sales form can do. The sections
that follow explain the forms’ capabilities in detail and give guidance on when to
choose each one.
TABLE 10-1 What each QuickBooks sales form can do
ACTION SALES RECEIPT STATEMENT INVOICE
Track customer payments and balances X X
Accept payments in advance X X X
Accumulate some charges before sending
sales form
X X X
Collect payment in full at time of sale X X X
Create summary sales transaction X X X
Apply sales tax X X
Apply percentage discounts X X
Use Group items to add charges to form X X
Add long descriptions for items X X
Subtotal items X X
Include customer message X X
Include custom fields X X
NOTE  QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise editions include one more type of sales form: the sales order.
In those editions, when you create a sales order for the products that a customer wants to buy, you can create
an invoice for the items that are in stock and keep track of out-of-stock items that you’ll need to send to your
customer when a new shipment arrives (see page 260).
Sales Receipts
The sales receipt is the simplest sales form that QuickBooks offers, and it’s also
the shortest path between making a sale and having money in the bank (at least in
QuickBooks). But this form is suitable only if your customers pay the full amount
Chapter 10: Invoicing 219
CHOOSING THE
RIGHT TYPE OF
FORM
at the time of the sale—for example, in a retail store, restaurant, or beauty salon.
However, you can accumulate charges for time (page 166) and billable expenses
(page 184), and then add them to a sales receipt. But once you add what you sell
to a sales receipt, it handles only payment in full.
When you create and save a sales receipt in QuickBooks, the program immediately
posts the money you receive to the Undeposited Funds account or to the bank account
you choose. As you’ll learn in this chapter and the next, invoices and statements
take several steps to move from billing to bank deposits, so ease of depositing is
one advantage of sales receipts over those other sales forms.
Sales receipts can handle sales tax, discounts, and subtotals—or any other item in
your Item List. But when you operate a cash business, creating a sales receipt in
QuickBooks for each newspaper and pack of gum your newsstand sells is not good
use of your time. Instead, consider creating a sales receipt that summarizes a day’s
or a week’s sales (page 368), using a customer named Cash Sales that you create
specifically for that purpose.
Statements
Suppose you’re a lawyer and you spend 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there working
on a client’s legal problem over the course of a month. Each time you do so,
that’s another charge to the client’s account. In QuickBooks, each of those charges
is called a statement charge. You can enter them individually (page 296) or, if you
track time in QuickBooks, you can add your time to an invoice just as easily, as
described on page 249.
Businesses often turn to statements when they charge the same amount each
month, such as a fixed monthly fee for Internet service or full-time work as a contract
programmer. Although statements work for these fixed fees, you can also use
memorized invoices (page 322) and QuickBooks’ batch invoice feature (page 239)
to do the same thing just as easily.
Where statements really shine is in summarizing a customer’s account. Behind the
scenes, a statement adds up all the transactions that affect the customer’s open
balance over a period of time, which includes statement charges, payments, and
invoices. The statement shows the customer’s previous balance, any payments that
the customer has made, any invoices that she hasn’t paid, and any new charges on
the account. From all that information, QuickBooks calculates the total and displays
it on the statement, so you know how much money is outstanding and whether it’s
overdue.
Invoices
If statements or sales receipts don’t work for your situation, don’t be afraid to use
invoices. They accept any item you’ve created in your Item List (see Chapter 5) and
they track what customers owe you.
Besides offering all the features listed in Table 10-1, an invoice is also the only type
of QuickBooks sales form you can generate from an estimate (page 281). If you’re
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SALES
FORMS AND
ACCOUNTS
a general contractor and prepare a detailed estimate of the services and products
for a job, you’ll save a huge chunk of time by turning that estimate into an invoice
for billing. And if you have to refund some of your customer’s money, you can also
turn an invoice into a credit memo (page 288).
Sales Forms and Accounts
An invoice or other sales form is the first step in the flow of money through your
company, so now is a good time to look at how QuickBooks posts income and expenses
from your invoices to the accounts in your chart of accounts. Suppose your
invoice has the entries shown in Figure 10-1. Table 10-2 shows how the amounts on
that invoice post to accounts in your chart of accounts.
NOTE  The lines on the invoice in Figure 10-1 don’t show all the movements between accounts listed in Table
10-2. Behind the scenes, QuickBooks transfers money to your cost of goods sold and inventory accounts.
TABLE 10-2 Debits and credits have to balance
ACCOUNT DEBIT CREDIT
Accounts Receivable 4,822.98
Services Revenue 5,000.00
Product Revenue 499.75
Sales Discounts 750.00
Sales Tax Payable 38.23
Shipping Income 35.00
Cost of Goods Sold 249.78
Inventory 249.78
Total 5,822.76 5,822.76
Chapter 10: Invoicing 221
SALES
FORMS AND
ACCOUNTS
FIGURE 10-1
If you’re still getting used
to double-entry accounting,
balancing the debit
and credit amounts for an
invoice is a brainteaser.
For example, the items
for services and products
on the invoice shown here
turn up as credits in your
income accounts, as in
Table 10-2. The discount
reduces your income,
so it’s a debit to the
Sales Discounts income
account. Although the
debits and credits appear
in different accounts, the
total debit must equal the
total credit.
Here’s why the amounts post the way they do:
• You sold $5,000 of services and $499.75 of products, which is income. The
income values appear as credits to your Services Revenue and Product Revenue
accounts to increase your income because you sold something. In this example,
the discount is in an income account, so the discount is in the Debit column to
reduce your income.
• The $38.23 of sales tax you collect is a credit to the Sales Tax Payable account.
• The shipping charge ($35.00) is a credit in your shipping income account to
show what you charged for shipping.
• All those credits need to balance against a debit. Because your customer owes
you money, the amount owed ($4,822.98) belongs in the Accounts Receivable
account, indicated by the debit.
• You also sold some products from inventory. You credit the Inventory account
with the cost of the products, $249.78, which decreases the Inventory account’s
balance. You offset that credit with a debit for the same amount to the Cost of
Goods Sold account, which is an income statement account.
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CREATING
INVOICES Creating Invoices
Depending on which edition of QuickBooks you use and which settings you’ve turned
on, you have up to three features for creating invoices:
• Create Invoices can handle everything you throw at it: services, products, billable
time, and billable expenses. It’s available in QuickBooks Pro and higher.
• Create Batch Invoices (page 239) lets you select all the customers to which you
want to send the same invoice (that is, the same items and the same amounts).
If you send the same invoice to the same customers all the time, you can set
up a billing group for those customers and, from then on, simply choose that
group. After you create the invoice, you can print or email it to the customers
in the group. This feature is available in QuickBooks Pro and higher, as long as
you don’t use multiple currencies.
• Invoice for Time & Expenses, available only in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise
editions, can do everything that the Create Invoices feature can do, but
it’s a real timesaver when you invoice for billable time and expenses. As you’ll
learn on page 251, you specify a date range and QuickBooks shows you all the
customers who have billable time and expenses during that period. When you
choose a customer or job and tell the program to create an invoice, it opens the
Create Invoices window, fills in the usual fields, and fills the invoice table with
the customer’s billable time and expenses. Once you’re in the Create Invoices
window, you can add any other items you want, like products you sold or discounts
you’re offering. This feature also lets you create batch invoices for time
and expenses (page 256).
Invoices tell your customers everything they need to know about what they purchased
and what they owe you. If you created customers and jobs with settings
such as payment terms, tax item, and sales rep (page 68), as soon as you choose a
customer and job in the Create Invoices window’s Customer:Job field, QuickBooks
fills in many of the fields for you.
Some invoice fields are more influential than others, but they all come in handy at
some point. To understand the purpose of the fields on an invoice more easily, you
can break the form up into three basic parts (see Figure 10-2). Because the invoices
you create for product sales include a few more fields than the ones for services
only, the following sections of this chapter use a product invoice to explain how to
fill in each field you might run into on the invoices you create. These sections also
tell you what to do if the information that QuickBooks fills in for you is incorrect.
NOTE  If you charge customers based on the progress you’ve made on a project, invoices are a little more
complicated, but you’ll learn how to handle this situation on page 283.
Chapter 10: Invoicing 223
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INVOICES Creating an Invoice
In the sections that follow, you’ll find details about filling in all the fields on an invoice.
(The box on page 225 describes some of the ways nonprofit invoicing differs from
for-profit invoicing.) For now, here’s the basic procedure for creating and saving one
or more invoices by using the Create Invoices feature:
1. Press Ctrl+I; in the Home Page’s Customers panel, click the Create Invoices
icon; or, in the Customer Center toolbar, choose New Transactions→Invoices.
If you use QuickBooks Pro or if the preference for invoicing time and expenses
isn’t turned on, then clicking the Home Page’s Create Invoices icon opens the
Create Invoices window immediately.
If you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise and you’ve turned on the preference
to invoice for time and expenses (page 675), then the Home Page displays
the Invoices icon instead of the Create Invoices icon. Clicking Invoices displays
a shortcut menu with two entries: “Invoice for Time & Expenses” and Create Invoices.
Choose Create Invoices to create a regular invoice. Page 251 explains how
to use the shortcut menu’s other entry to invoice for billable time and expenses.
FIGURE 10-2
The top of the invoice has
overall sale information,
such as the customer and
job, the invoice date, who
to bill and ship to, and the
payment terms, but you can
change any values that the
program fills in. The table in
the middle has info about
the products and services
sold, and other items, such
as subtotals and discounts.
Below the table, QuickBooks
fills in the Tax field and
the Customer Tax Code
field with values from the
customer’s record. You can
also add a message to the
customer or type a memo to
store in your company file.
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2. In the Create Invoices window’s Customer:Job box, choose the customer
or job associated with the invoice.
When you pick a customer or job, QuickBooks fills in many of the invoice fields
with values from the customer’s record (see page 66) and the job’s record if
you selected a job (page 75). For example, QuickBooks pulls the data for the
Bill To address, Terms, and Rep fields from the customer’s or job’s record. And
your Sales & Customers preferences (page 668) provide the values for the Via
and F.O.B. fields. (FOB stands for “free on board,” which is the physical point
where the customer becomes responsible for damage to or loss of the shipment.)
NOTE  Depending on the QuickBooks edition you use and transactions you’ve entered, a few other windows
may open when you choose a customer or job. If the customer or job you selected has an available estimate,
the Available Estimates dialog box opens so you can fill in the invoice simply by selecting an estimate, and then
clicking OK. If you use QuickBooks Premier and there’s an outstanding sales order (page 260), the Available Sales
Order window appears so you can select the one you want to invoice.
In QuickBooks Premier, if the preference for invoicing time and expenses is turned on and the customer or job
has associated time or expenses, the Billable Time/Costs dialog box opens with the “Select the outstanding
billable time and costs to add to this invoice” option selected. If you don’t want to add the time and expenses
to this invoice, select the option whose label begins with “Exclude,” and then click OK. (To learn about invoicing
for time and expenses, see page 249.)
3. For each product or service you sold, in the line-item table, enter the info
for the item, including its quantity and price or rate.
If you want, you can also fill in the boxes below the line-item table, such as
Customer Message and Memo. You’ll rarely need to change the sales tax rate
associated with the customer, but you can if necessary.
4. Maintain your professional image by checking for spelling errors before
you send the invoice.
To run QuickBooks’ spell-checker, at the top of the Create Invoices window, click
the Formatting tab, and then click Spelling. (If you checked spelling when you
created your customers and invoice items, then the main source of spelling errors
will be any edits you’ve made to item descriptions.) If the spell-checker doesn’t
work the way you want, then change your Spelling preferences (page 674).
5. To save the invoice you just created and close the Create Invoices window,
click Save & Close.
If you’re unhappy with the choices you made in the current invoice, click Clear
to start over with a fresh, blank invoice. If you have additional invoices to create,
click Save & New to save the current invoice and begin another.
NOTE  If you create or modify an invoice and then click the Print icon in the Create Invoices window’s Main
tab, QuickBooks saves the invoice before printing it, which helps prevent financial hanky-panky.
Chapter 10: Invoicing 225
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INVOICES Filling in Invoice Header Fields
If you fill in all the fields in your customer and job records (see Chapter 4), QuickBooks
takes care of filling in most of the fields in the header section of invoices. Here’s what
the header fields do and where QuickBooks gets the values it fills in automatically.
ALTERNATE REALITIES
Invoicing for Nonprofits
For nonprofits, invoices can record the pledges, donations,
grants, or other contributions you’ve been promised.
Invoicing for nonprofits differs from the for-profit world’s
approach. First of all, many nonprofits don’t send invoices
to donors. Nonprofits might send reminders to donors who
haven’t sent in the pledged donations, but they don’t add
finance charges to late payments.
Moreover, because some donors ask for specific types of
reports, nonprofits often use several Accounts Receivable
accounts to track money coming from grants, dues, pledges,
and other sources. When you have multiple Accounts Receivable
accounts, the Create Invoices window includes an Account
field so you can choose the appropriate Accounts Receivable
account. For example, when you create an invoice for pledges,
you’d choose the Pledges Receivable account.
To compensate for this additional field, QuickBooks includes
a handy feature when you use multiple Accounts Receivable
accounts: It remembers the last invoice number used for each
AR account in your QuickBooks chart of accounts, so you can
create unique invoice numbering schemes for each of them.
For example, if you create an invoice for the Pledges Receivable
account and set the Invoice # field to “PL-100,” QuickBooks
automatically assigns invoice number “PL-101” to the next
invoice you create for that account.
CHOOSING THE CUSTOMER OR JOB
The selection you make in the Customer:Job field (shown in Figure 10-3) is your
most important choice on any invoice. In addition to billing the correct customer
for your work, QuickBooks uses the settings from the customer’s or job’s record to
fill in many of the invoice’s fields.
FIGURE 10-3
If you work on different
jobs for a customer, click
the name of the job, which
is indented under the
customer’s name. If your
work for a customer doesn’t
relate to jobs, just click the
customer’s name.
The column to the right of
the customer and job names
provides another way
to differentiate customers
and jobs: It displays
“Customer:Job” for a
customer entry, and “Job”
for a job entry.
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Once you select a customer or job, the panel on the right side of the Create Invoices
window shows a summary of the customer’s account and recent transactions (Figure
10-4). The Customer tab displays the customer’s open balance and the credit limit
you’ve set for that customer so you can see whether the new invoice exceeds that
limit. To set online payment options for the customer, click the “Edit customer Preferences”
link. (See page 238 to learn more about online payments.) You can also review
recent transactions to check whether payments have come in before you send an
invoice for finance charges. Any notes that you’ve entered for the customer appear
at the bottom of the panel. Click the > at the panel’s top left to expand or collapse it.
FIGURE 10-4
If you spot any errors in the
customer’s information, click the
Edit button (the pencil icon) to
open the customer’s record in the
Edit Customer window.
Click the open balance value
to generate a Customer Open
Balance report that shows the
transactions that contribute to
the open balance.
To inspect one of the recent
transactions, click the blue text
(Invoice, Credit Memo, or Payment)
to open the corresponding
window.
NOTE  The right-hand panel’s Transaction tab shows information about the transaction that’s currently
displayed in the Create Invoices window. The tab’s Summary section shows who created and edited the transaction
and when. If there are related transactions, such as a payment or credit memo, they appear in the Related
Transactions section.
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CHOOSING AN INVOICE TEMPLATE
The option you invoice invoice choose in the Template drop-down list near the top
of the Create Invoices window determines which fields appear on your invoices and
how they’re laid out. For example, you might use two templates: one for printing on
your company letterhead and one for invoices you send electronically. Choosing a
template before doing anything else is the best way to prevent printing the wrong
invoice on expensive stationery.
QuickBooks remembers which template you chose when you created your last
invoice. So if you use only one invoice template, choose it on your first invoice, and
the program chooses it for you from then on. But if you switch among invoices, be
sure to select the correct template for the invoice you’re creating.
NOTE  Templates aren’t linked to customers. If you pick a template when you create an invoice for one
customer, QuickBooks chooses that same template for your next invoice, regardless of which customer it’s for.
You can switch templates anytime. When you choose a template, the Create Invoices
window displays the appropriate fields and layout. If you’ve already filled in an invoice,
changing the template doesn’t throw out the data you entered; QuickBooks
simply displays it in the new template. However, QuickBooks won’t display settings
like your company logo, fonts, and other formatting until you print or preview the
invoice (page 308).
Many small companies are perfectly happy with the invoice templates that QuickBooks
provides. When you create your first invoice, you might not even think about
the layout of the fields. But if you run across a billing task that the current template
can’t handle, don’t panic: You can choose from several built-in templates. And if you
want your invoices to reflect your company’s style and image, you can create your
own custom templates (see page 714).
The options you see in the Template drop-down list depend on the QuickBooks
edition you use. Before you accept the template that QuickBooks chooses, in the
Template drop-down list, quickly select and review the templates to see whether
you like any of them better. Here are a few of the more popular built-in templates:
• Intuit Product Invoice. This template is useful if you sell products with or without
services. It’s set up to show information like the quantity, item code, price for
each item, total charge for each item, sales tax, and shipping info—including
the ship date, shipping method, and FOB.
• Intuit Service Invoice. This template doesn’t bother with shipping fields because
services are performed, not shipped. It includes fields for the item, quantity,
description, rate, amount, tax, and purchase order number.
• Intuit Professional Invoice. The only difference between this template and the
Intuit Service Invoice is that this one doesn’t include a P.O. Number field, and
the quantity (Qty) column follows the Description column.
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INVOICES • Progress Invoice. If you bill customers based on the progress you’ve made
on their jobs, use this template, which has columns for your estimates, prior
charges, and new totals. It appears in the Template drop-down list only if you
turn on the preference for progress invoicing (see page 661).
NOTE  The Intuit Packing Slip template is included in the Template drop-down list even though it isn’t an
invoice template. It’s listed there because, when you ship products to customers, you can print an invoice and
packing slip from the Create Invoices window (see page 317).
• Fixed Fee Invoice. This template drops the quantity and rate fields, since the
invoice shows only the total charge. It includes fields for the date, item, description,
tax, and purchase order number.
• Time & Expense Invoice. If you bill customers by the hour, this template is the
one to use. It includes columns for hours and an hourly rate, and it calculates
the resulting total. (The Attorney’s Invoice template is identical to this one
except in name.)
THE OTHER HEADER FIELDS
As Figure 10-5 shows, QuickBooks can fill in most of the remaining header fields for
you. Although the following fields don’t appear on every invoice template, here’s
how to fill in any empty fields or change the ones that QuickBooks didn’t complete
the way you want:
• Class. If you turned on the class-tracking feature (page 642) to categorize your
income and expenses in different ways, choose a class for the invoice. If you
skip this box and have the class reminder preference turned on, QuickBooks
tells you that you haven’t assigned a class when you try to save the invoice.
Although you can save the invoice without a class (if classes don’t apply to the
transaction, say), it’s important to assign classes to every class-related transaction
if you want your class-based reports to be accurate. For example, if you
use classes to track income by partner and save an invoice without a class, the
partner who delivered the services on the invoice might complain about the
size of her paycheck.
• Date. Out of the box, QuickBooks fills in the current date here, which is fine if
you create invoices when you make sales. But service businesses often send
invoices on a schedule—the last day of the month is a popular choice. If you
want to get a head start on your invoices, you can change your QuickBooks
preferences so the program uses the same date for every subsequent invoice
(until you change the date), making your end-of-month invoicing a tiny bit easier.
Page 657 tells you how to do that.
• Invoice #. When you create your first invoice, type the number that you want to
start with. For example, if you’d rather not reveal that this is your first invoice,
type a number such as 245. Then, each time you create a new invoice, QuickBooks
increases the number in this field by one: 246, 247, and so on.
Chapter 10: Invoicing 229
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FIGURE 10-5
After you choose a customer,
if you’ve assigned
a price level to that
customer’s record (page
70), the name of the price
level appears in brackets
next to the Customer:Job
field. You can change the
customer’s price level by
editing the customer’s
record (page 81), or you
can choose existing price
levels to change the price
you charge as you add
items to the invoice (see
the box on page 231).
TIP  When the cursor is in the Invoice # box, press the plus (+) or minus (–) key to increase or decrease the
invoice number by one. When you save the current invoice, QuickBooks considers its invoice number the starting
point for subsequent numbers.
NOTE  If your last invoice was a mistake, the best thing to do is to void it (page 293). If you delete it instead,
you’ll end up with a gap in your invoice numbers. For example, when you delete invoice number 203, QuickBooks
has already set the next invoice number to 204. So, if you notice the gap, in the Invoice # box, type the number
you want to use to get QuickBooks back on track, and void incorrect invoices from now on.
• Bill To. This field is essential if you mail invoices. When the customer record
includes a billing address (page 67), QuickBooks puts that address in this field.
If you email invoices, a billing address isn’t necessary—the customer name in
this field simply identifies the customer on the emailed form.
• Ship To. If you sell services, you don’t need an address to ship to. But if you sell
products, you need a shipping address to send the products to your customer.
When you use a template like Intuit Product Invoice, QuickBooks puts the shipping
address from the customer’s record in this field. If you create additional
shipping addresses (for different office locations, say), click the down arrow
to the right of the Ship To drop-down list and choose the address you want.
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INVOICES • P.O. Number. If your customer issued a purchase order for the goods and services
on your invoice, type that purchase order number here.
• Terms. Typically, you set up payment terms when you create customers, and
you then use those terms for every invoice. When the customer’s record includes
payment terms (page 69), QuickBooks uses them to fill in this field. However, if
you decide to change the terms—perhaps due to the customer’s failing financial
strength—choose a different term here, such as “Due on receipt.”
NOTE  If QuickBooks fills in fields with incorrect values, make the corrections on the invoice. When you save
the invoice, QuickBooks asks if you’d like the new values to appear the next time, as shown in Figure 10-6.
FIGURE 10-6
If you click Yes here, QuickBooks changes the corresponding
fields in the appropriate customer and job records.
If you click No, it changes the values only on this particular
invoice.
• Rep. If you assigned a sales rep in the customer’s record (page 71), QuickBooks
fills in this field for you. If the sales rep changes from invoice to invoice (for
instance, when the rep is the person who takes a phone order) and you left the
Rep field blank in the customer’s record, choose the right person here. Leave
the field blank if the transaction doesn’t have a sales rep.
• Ship. QuickBooks fills in the current date here. If you plan to ship on a different
date (when the products arrive from your warehouse, for example), type
or choose the correct date.
• Via. If you specified a value in the Usual Shipping Method preference (page 669),
QuickBooks enters that value here. To choose a different shipping method for this
invoice—for instance, when your customer needs the order right away—click this
field and select the one you want. (Some templates label this field “Ship Via.”)
• F.O.B. This stands for “free on board” and signifies the physical point at which the
customer becomes responsible for the shipment. That means that if the shipment
becomes lost or damaged beyond the FOB point, it’s the customer’s problem.
If you set the Usual FOB preference (page 669), QuickBooks enters that location
here. To choose a different FOB for this order, type the location you want.
NOTE  Unlike many of the other fields in the invoice header area, the F.O.B. box doesn’t include a drop-down
list. QuickBooks doesn’t keep a list of FOB locations because most companies pick one FOB point and stick with it.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Mysterious Price Changes
One of my Service items costs $150 per hour. But when I created
a customer invoice for that item, the Rate came up as $120.
What’s going on?
Before you rush to correct that Service item’s price, look near
the top of the Create Invoices window, to the right of the
Customer:Job field. If you see text in square brackets, such
as “[Loyalty],” you’ll know that you set up your customer
with a price level (page 137). Instead of a mistake, this price
adjustment on your invoice is actually a clever and convenient
feature.
Price levels are percentage increases or decreases that you can
apply to the prices you charge. For example, you can set up
price levels to give discounts to your high-volume customers
or mark up prices for customers known for their frequent use
of your customer-service line. To use price levels, you have to
turn on the Price Level preference (page 669).
If you assign a price level to a customer, QuickBooks automatically
applies that price-level percentage to every item you add
to invoices for that customer. The only indication that QuickBooks
has applied the price level is the price level’s name to the
right of the Customer:Job field (and the items’ altered prices).
You can also apply price levels to individual items on an
invoice. For example, suppose you offer a 20 percent discount
on a different item each month. When an item is the monthly
special, you can apply the Monthly Special price level to just
that item, as shown in Figure 10-7.
When you use price levels, your customers don’t see that the
price increases or decreases, which means they could take
your discounts for granted. So if you want to emphasize the
discounts you apply, use a Discount item instead to visibly
reduce prices on your invoices (see page 111).
Entering Invoice Line Items
If you dutifully studied Chapter 5, you know about the different types of items you
can add to invoices. This section describes how to fill in a line in the Create Invoices
window’s line-item table to charge your customers for the things they buy. (The box
on page 234 explains a shortcut for speeding up this process.)
The order in which you add items to an invoice is important. For example, when
you add a Subtotal item, QuickBooks subtotals all the preceding items up to the
previous Subtotal item (if there is one). The program does nothing to check that you
add items in the correct order—you can add a Subtotal item as the first line item,
even though that does nothing for your invoice. See page 235 for the full scoop on
adding Subtotal, Discount, and Other Charge items in the right order.
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FIGURE 10-7
To apply a price level to a
single item, click the Price
Each or Rate field (depending
on the template
you selected) for the item
that’s on special.
When QuickBooks
displays a down arrow
in that field to indicate
that a drop-down list is
available, click the arrow,
and then choose the price
level you want.
The order of columns in the line-item table varies from template to template. This
section lists the columns in the order they appear on the Intuit Product Invoice
template (shown in Figure 10-8):
• Quantity. For products, type a quantity. For services you sell by the hour (or
other units of time), type the number of time units. (See page 249 to learn how
to select hours from a timesheet.) If you sell services at a flat rate, you can leave
this cell blank and simply fill in the Amount cell.
NOTE  If you type a quantity for a product that exceeds the number you have on hand, QuickBooks Pro
simply warns you that you don’t have enough. QuickBooks Premier displays the same warning and tells you how
many you have on hand, how many are on sales orders (page 260), and the total available.
Quantity doesn’t apply if the item is a discount, subtotal, or sales tax. So if you
choose one of these items after entering a quantity, QuickBooks removes the
value in the Quantity cell.
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INVOICES • Item Code or Item. The label for this column depends on the template you
choose. Either way, click this cell and then choose an item from the drop-down
list (see Chapter 5 for details on items). Depending on the info you entered
when you created this item (page 102), QuickBooks may fill in the Description
and Price Each (or Rate) cells for you.
• Description. If you set up items with standard descriptions, QuickBooks automatically
puts them in this cell. But you can edit a description to, for example,
add details—like changing the generic description “Test security systems for
security holes” to the more specific “Test web server for security holes.”
FIGURE 10-8
In the Intuit Product
Invoice template, the
Quantity column comes
first. After you choose an
item, make sure to check
the value in the Amount
cell. If the number looks
too large or small, the
quantity you entered
might not match the
item’s units. For example,
if you charge for developing
training materials by
the hour but charge for
teaching a training class
by the day, the quantity
for developing training
materials has to be in
hours and the quantity
for teaching in days.
• Price Each (or Rate). Depending on the type of item you’re adding to the
invoice, QuickBooks goes to the item’s record and grabs the value in the Sales
Price field or Rate field and puts it here. For example, an Inventory Part item’s
price always comes from the Sales Price field, whereas Service items use the
Rate field (unless a partner or subcontractor performs the work, in which case
they use the Sales Price field).
• Class. If you turned on classes (page 642), you can pick a class for this item here.
• Amount. QuickBooks calculates the value in this cell by multiplying the quantity
by the number in the Price Each (or Rate) field. But nothing stops you from
simply typing a value in this field, which is exactly what you want for a fixed-fee
contract. (For the full story on invoicing for fixed-fee contracts, see the box
on page 236.)
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INVOICES • Tax. If you turned on the sales tax preference (page 670), QuickBooks displays
this cell and fills it in with the taxable status you specified in the item’s record,
and fills in the Tax box below the table with the Sales Tax item you set in the
customer’s record. (The tax rate for the Sales Tax item you select appears in the
Create Invoices window’s footer to the right of the Tax box.) With the taxable
status of your customers (page 70) and the items you sell (page 525) in place,
QuickBooks can automatically handle sales tax on your invoices. For example,
when items are taxable and the customer is liable for paying sales tax, the program
calculates the total sales tax by adding up all the taxable items on your
invoice and multiplying that number by the tax rate in the Tax box below the
table; it then displays this value below the table (see Figure 10-8).
TIP  If you notice that an item’s taxable status isn’t correct, don’t change the value in the Tax cell. You’re
better off correcting the customer’s or item’s tax status so QuickBooks can calculate tax correctly in the future.
POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Adding Group Items to Invoices
If the same items frequently appear together on your invoices,
you can add all those items in one step by creating a Group
item (page 110). Any type of item is fair game for a Group
item, so you can include Service items, discounts, subtotals,
and other charges.
For example, customers who buy your deluxe vinyl sofa covers
also tend to purchase the dirt-magnet front hall runner and the
faux-marble garage floor liner. So you could create a Group
item (perhaps called the Neat Freak Package) that includes the
items for the sofa cover, runner, and liner, with the quantity
you typically sell of each item.
To add a Group item to an invoice, in the Create Invoices window’s
item drop-down list (which, depending on the invoice
template you’re using, is labeled “Item” or “Item Code”), simply
choose the Group item you created. QuickBooks fills in the first
line by putting the name of the Group item in the item cell.
Then the program adds additional lines (including quantity,
description, and price) for the individual items in the group,
such as the sofa cover, runner, and liner.
MODIFYING LINE ITEMS
Sometimes you forget to add line items you need. For example, say you’ve added
several services and products to your invoice and then realize that you need Subtotal
items following the last service and last product items so you can apply a shipping
charge to only the products. Or if your customer changes his mind, you can insert
or delete a line item. You can also copy and paste line items.
Here’s how to modify lines in the line-item table:
• Insert a line. Right-click the line above which you want to add a line, and then
choose Insert Line from the shortcut menu, as shown in Figure 10-9. If you prefer
keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl+Insert instead.
• Delete a line. Right-click the line you want to get rid of and choose Delete Line
from the shortcut menu, or press Ctrl+Delete.
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INVOICES • Copy a line. Right-click the line you want to copy, and then choose Copy Line
from the shortcut menu. Why might you do this? Suppose you filled in a line
for a product you want to ship below the Subtotal item you added for shipping.
Instead of recreating the line item in the right location, it might be quicker to
copy this line, and then paste it where it should go. Then be sure to delete the
original line.
• Paste a line. Right-click the line above which you want to paste the copied line
and choose Paste Line from the shortcut menu.
QuickBooks adjusts the invoice’s lines accordingly.
FIGURE 10-9
As you add items to the
table, QuickBooks adds
blank lines (and new
pages, if needed) to your
invoice. The number of
items visible depends
on the size of the Create
Invoices window. You can
also move the scroll bar
up or down, or resize the
window by maximizing it
or dragging a corner of it.
Applying Subtotals, Discounts, and Percentage Charges
When you add Services, Inventory Parts, and Non-inventory Parts (see Chapter 5)
to an invoice’s line-item table, they don’t affect their neighbors in any way. However,
when you offer percentage discounts on what you sell or include Other Charge items
that calculate shipping as a percentage of price, the order in which you add items
becomes crucial. And if you want to apply a percentage calculation like a discount
or a shipping fee to several items, you’ll need one or more Subtotal items to make
the calculation work.
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GEM IN THE ROUGH
Invoicing Fixed-Price Contracts
Fixed-price contracts are risky because you have to swallow any
cost overruns beyond the fixed price you charge. But if you’ve
sharpened your skills on similar projects in the past and can
estimate your costs with reasonable accuracy, fixed-price contracts
can provide opportunities for better-than-average profit.
Once you and your customer agree on the fixed price, that
amount is all that matters to the customer. Even if you track
the costs of performing a job, your customer never sees those
numbers. In QuickBooks, you can invoice fixed-price contracts
in two different ways:
• Group item. If you use the same set of services and
products for multiple jobs, create a Group item that
includes each service and product you deliver and set
up the Group item to hide the details of the underlying
services and products (page 111). Then add the Group item
to your invoice and change the price of the Group item
to your fixed price.
• Service item. If every fixed-price job is different, create
a Service item (page 104) called something like Fixed Fee
and leave its Rate field set to 0.00. When you add that item
to an invoice, fill in its Rate field with the full amount of
the fixed-price contract. Then, when you reach a milestone
that warrants a payment, create a progress invoice: In
the Quantity column, type the decimal that equates to
the percentage completed (such as .25 for 25 percent),
and QuickBooks calculates the payment by multiplying
the quantity by the fixed-price amount.
You first learned about Subtotal, Discount, and Other Charge items in Chapter 5.
Figure 10-10 shows how to combine them to calculate percentage discounts and add
markups to the items on your invoices. Here’s how these items work:
• The item labeled “1” in Figure 10-10 is a Subtotal item that adds up the values of
all the items up to the previous Subtotal item. For example, to keep the Service
items out of the product subtotal, add a Subtotal item after the last Service item.
• As shown by the item labeled “2” in Figure 10-10, for Discount and Other Charge
items created as percentages, QuickBooks multiplies the percentage by the
total on the preceding line. (If the discount applies to only one item, add the
Discount item immediately below the item you want to discount.)
• To apply a percentage discount to several items, use a Subtotal item to total their
cost (such as the item labeled “3” in Figure 10-10), and then add a percentage
Discount or Other Charge item on the line following that subtotal (like the item
labeled “4” in Figure 10-10).
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FIGURE 10-10
This line-item table
includes Subtotal and
Discount items that apply
to only some of the items
on this invoice.
Here are the steps for arranging Subtotal, Discount, and Other Charge items to
calculate percentages on invoice items:
1. If you want to discount several items on an invoice, enter all those items
one after the other.
Even though the Balance Due field below the line-item table shows the total of
all items, to apply a discount to all of them, you’ll need to add a Subtotal item
to the line-item table.
2. Add a Subtotal item after the last item you want to discount, like the Product
Subtotal item labeled “3” in Figure 10-10.
The Subtotal item adds up all the preceding line items up to the previous Subtotal
or, if there is no previous Subtotal, to the beginning of the invoice table. For
example, in Figure 10-10, the Services Subtotal item (labeled “1”) is a subtotal
of all the Service items on the invoice. The Product Subtotal item (labeled “3”)
adds up all items between the Services Subtotal and the Product Subtotal items.
3. To apply a percentage discount or charge to the subtotal, add a Discount
or Other Charge item (labeled “4” in Figure 10-10) to the line immediately
below the Subtotal item you added in step 2.
If you’ve already added other items to the invoice, right-click the line immediately
below the Subtotal item, and then choose Insert Line from the shortcut menu.
That inserts a blank line on the line below the Subtotal item so you can add the
percentage discount or charge item.
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4. If you have additional items that you don’t want to include in the discount
or charge, add those below the Discount or Other Charge item.
NOTE  These steps also work for Other Charge items that you set up as percentages, such as shipping, as
shown at the bottom of Figure 10-10.
Adding a Message to the Customer
Your invoices can include messages to your customers—for instance, thanking them
for their business or asking for feedback. In the Customer Message drop-down list,
choose the message you want to include. The messages in this drop-down list are
the ones you’ve added to the Customer Message List (page 146). If the message
you want to use isn’t listed, then click <Add New> to open the New Customer Message
dialog box.
TIP  Don’t use the Customer Message List for info that changes with every invoice, such as the purchase order
number or date range for the invoice. Instead, add unique information to the cover letter or email that you send
with the invoice.
Adding a Link to Pay Online
You can add a link to an invoice so your customer can pay online. To learn about
e-Invoicing and online payments, head to this book’s Missing CD page at
missingmanuals/cds and download Appendix E.
Adding a Memo to Yourself
The Create Invoices window includes a Memo box, which works just like Memo boxes
throughout QuickBooks. You can use it to remind yourself about something special
on the invoice or to summarize the transaction. For example, if the invoice is the first
one for a new customer, you can note that in the Memo box. The memo won’t print
on the invoices you send to your customers. However, it does appear on your sales
reports and customer statements, so be careful what you type here.
Choosing How to Send the Invoice
On the Create Invoices window’s Main tab (if it’s not selected, click it in the window’s
upper-left corner), you’ll find two checkboxes that simplify sending invoices to
customers: Print Later and Email Later. But these checkboxes don’t tell the whole
story—you actually have five options for sending invoices:
• Print now. If you create only the occasional invoice and send it as soon as it’s
complete, turn off both checkboxes. Then, on the Create Invoices window’s Main
tab, click Print and follow the instructions on page 313.
• Print later. If you want to add the invoice to a queue to print later, turn on the
Print Later checkbox. That way you can print all the invoices in the queue, as
described on page 314.
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INVOICES • Email now. In the Create Invoices window’s Main tab, click the Email button
(it looks like an envelope) and follow the instructions for emailing invoices on
page 319.
• Email later. If you want to add the invoice to a queue to email later, turn on
the Email Later checkbox. You can then send all the invoices in the queue, as
described on page 321.
TIP  See page 671 if you want to set a preference that automatically turns on the Email Later checkbox if the
customer’s Preferred Delivery Method is email. Page 671 also explains how QuickBooks works with email programs.
• Print and email later. Turn on both checkboxes if you want to email invoices
to get the ball rolling and then follow up with paper copies.
If you’re sending an invoice for products you’ve sold, you also have to ship those
products to your customer. See the box below to learn a convenient and moneysaving
way to ship products.
UP TO SPEED
Shipping Products
If you sell products, making regular runs to the FedEx or UPS
office gets old quickly. But sitting quietly within QuickBooks
is a free service that could change the way you ship packages.
The program’s Shipping Manager feature lets you sign up for
shipping services and start sending out packages right away.
You can print FedEx, UPS, and U.S. Postal Service shipping
labels; schedule pickups; and even track package progress
right in QuickBooks. Shipping Manager fills in shipping labels
with customer addresses from your QuickBooks invoices, sales
receipts, or customer records. All you pay are the FedEx, UPS,
or postal service charges on your shipment.
Here’s where you can find Shipping Manager:
• If you’re creating an invoice for products you plan to ship,
at the top of the Create Invoices or Sales Receipt window,
click the Send/Ship tab, and then click the button for the
shipping method you want to use. In the drop-down menu
that appears, choose what you want to do, such as ship
a package, schedule a pickup, or track a package that’s
already on its way.
• Choose File→Shipping, and then choose Ship FedEx
Package, Ship UPS Package, or Ship USPS Package.
The first time you choose a shipping action, such as Ship FedEx
Package, a setup wizard steps you through creating an account
for that shipping company.
Creating Batch Invoices
If you send invoices with the same items and the same quantities to many of your
customers, QuickBooks can save you lots of time. Instead of creating individual
invoices for each customer, you can set up a single batch invoice and send it to as
many customers as you want. And you can speed things up even more by creating
a billing group that includes all the customers that receive the invoice, so you don’t
have to re-select them each time you send a batch invoice.
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NOTE  You can’t use the batch invoice feature if you have multiple currencies turned on (page 662). That’s
why, when that preference is turned on, the Create Batch Invoices option doesn’t appear in the Customers menu.
Before You Create Your First Batch Invoice
Batch invoices use the payment terms, sales tax rates, and send methods you specify
for each customer, so be sure to fill in these fields in customers’ records before you
create your first batch invoice. These fields are on the Payment Settings, Sales Tax
Settings, and Additional Info tabs of the Create Customer and Edit Customer windows;
they’re explained on pages 68 and 70.
Setting Up a Batch Invoice
Here’s how to create a batch invoice for several customers:
1. Choose Customers→Create Batch Invoices to open the Batch Invoice window
(Figure 10-11).
If this is your first time using Create Batch Invoices, the “Is your customer info
set up correctly?” message box appears, reminding you that you need to fill in
terms, sales tax, and send method settings for your batch invoice customers.
Turn on the “Do not display this message in the future” checkbox, and then click
OK to close the message box and open the Batch Invoice window. The Note
below explains what to do if you need to fill in missing customer info.
NOTE  If some of your batch invoice customers’ records don’t have terms, Sales Tax items, or preferred send
methods, close the Batch Invoice window and choose Lists→Add/Edit Multiple List Entries instead. In the Add/
Edit Multiple List Entries window, if necessary, select Customers in the List drop-down menu. Click the Customize
Columns button at the window’s top right, and then in the Customize Columns dialog box, add Terms, Tax Item,
and Preferred Send Method to the table. To find records that don’t include a value, click a column heading (for
example, Terms) to sort by that column. Records without values in that column spring to the top of the list. Fill
in the blank cells, and then click Save Changes. Rinse and repeat to fill in any blank Tax Item and Preferred Send
Method cells.
2. To add individual customers to the batch invoice, select them in the Batch
Invoice window’s Search Results list, and then click Add to add them to the
Customers In This Group box on the window’s right side. To add a group of
customers, choose an existing group from the Billing Group drop-down list.
If you select individual customers, you can choose adjacent names by clicking
the first customer’s name and then Shift-clicking the last customer’s name. You
can also Ctrl-click each customer name you want to select.
If you choose a billing group, the name of the group appears above the Customers
In This Group box, and the individual names appear in the box itself, as shown
in Figure 10-11. (The box on page 243 explains how to create billing groups.)
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FIGURE 10-11
You can rename or delete
the billing groups you
create by clicking Manage
Groups.
To select a different
billing group, choose it
from the Billing Group
drop-down list. If you
modify the customers in
the list, click Save Group
to update the billing
group with the current set
of customer names.
NOTE  If you add individual customers and a billing group to the Customers In This Group list, when you
click away from the list, a Batch Invoice message box asks if you want to save the changes to the billing group.
Click Yes to add the individual customers to this billing group and use the full list for the batch invoice. Click No
to use the list of customers for this batch invoice while leaving the saved billing group as it is. Or click Cancel to
return to the Batch Invoice window to make additional changes to the names that appear in the Customer In This
Group box.
3. After you add the appropriate customers to the Customers In This Group
list, click Next.
On the “Step 2 of 3” screen that appears, QuickBooks automatically puts today’s
date in the Date box and displays a table for the next step in the process:
adding items to the invoice.
4. To use a different date, choose it in the Date box.
You can also choose a different invoice template from the Template drop-down
list.
5. In the line-item table (Figure 10-12), fill in the items you want to add to the
invoice just as you do for a regular invoice (page 231).
You can add any item from your Item List to a batch invoice. In addition, you
can choose a customer message to include on every invoice in the batch by
picking one from the Customer Message drop-down list.
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FIGURE 10-12
Fill in the items for the
batch invoice as you do
the line items in the Create
Invoices window. (The
exact fields you see in
the table depend on the
invoice template you’re
using.)
6. After you fill in the items for the invoice, click Next.
The “Step 3 of 3” screen lists the customers who will receive the invoice, including
their terms, send methods, tax info, and other information. If you notice any
errors or omissions, click Back to correct them.
7. When everything looks good, click Create Invoices.
QuickBooks creates invoices for the selected customers. The Batch Invoice
Summary dialog box appears and shows how many invoices are set up to print
and how many to email, based on the customers’ preferred delivery methods.
(The dialog box mentions the customer’s Preferred Send Method, but the field
in the customer record is actually labeled “Preferred Delivery Method.”) If the
Preferred Delivery Method for any of the customers is set to None, the dialog
box’s “unmarked” entry shows how many invoices aren’t marked to be mailed or
emailed; you can send them later by choosing File→Send Forms or File→Print
Forms (page 314).
TIP  You can view or change each customer’s delivery method in the Customer Center. Simply right-click the
customer’s name and choose Edit. Then click the Payment Settings tab to see or change the customer’s current
delivery-method setting.
8. Click Print to print the invoices marked to print; click Email to send the
invoices marked to be emailed.
If you want to print or email the invoices later, click Close. Then you can print
or email them by choosing File→Print Forms→Invoices or File→Send Forms.
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UP TO SPEED
Creating a Billing Group
Billing groups make it easy to select all the customers who
receive the same batch invoice. Once you set up a billing group,
you can select it in the Batch Invoice window, and QuickBooks
automatically adds all the customers in it to the Customers In
This Group box in one fell swoop.
Here’s how to create a billing group:
1. In the Batch Invoice window (Customers→Create Batch
Invoices), before you select customer names, in the Billing
Group drop-down list, choose <Add New>.
2. In the Group Name dialog box, type a name of the group
(such as WeightLoss for all the customers on your monthly
diet plan, for example), and then click Save.
3. In the Batch Invoice window’s Search Results list, Ctrlclick
all the customers you want to add to the group, and
then click Add to copy their names to the Customers In
This Group box.
4. Below the Customers In This Group box, click the Save
Group button.
QuickBooks saves your new billing group so you can use it again
simply by selecting it in the Batch Invoice window.
Deposits, Down Payments, and Retainers
Deposits, down payments, and retainers are all prepayments: money that customers
give you that you haven’t actually earned yet. For example, a customer might give
you a down payment to reserve a spot in your busy schedule. Receiving money for
something you didn’t do feels good, but don’t make the mistake of considering that
money yours. Until you perform services or deliver products to earn that money,
the down payment is more like a loan from the customer than income. Prepayments
belong to your customers until you earn them, and they require a bit more care than
payments you receive for completed work and delivered products. This section
explains how to manage the intricacies of customer prepayments.
Setting Up QuickBooks for Prepayments
If you accept prepayments of any kind, you need an account in your chart of accounts
to keep that money separate from your income. You also need an item that
you can add to your invoices to deduct prepayments from what your customers owe:
• Prepayment account. Because unearned money from a customer is like a loan,
create an Other Current Liability account in your chart of accounts (see page
47) to hold prepayments. Call it something like Customer Prepayments.
• Prepayment item. Create a Prepayment item in your Item List, as shown in
Figure 10-13.
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FIGURE 10-13
Whether you accept
deposits or retainers
for services or products,
create a Service item for
these prepayments. When
you create this item, assign
it to the prepayment
account you created.
Recording Prepayments
When a customer hands you a check for a deposit or a down payment, the first
thing you should do is wait until she’s out of earshot to yell, “Yippee!” The second
thing is to record the prepayment in QuickBooks. You haven’t done any work yet,
so there’s no invoice to apply the payment to. Fortunately, a sales receipt can not
only record a prepayment in QuickBooks: when you print it, it also acts as a receipt
for your customer. Here’s how to create one:
1. Make sure the Sales Receipts preference is turned on.
If you don’t see a Create Sales Receipts icon in the Home Page’s Customers
panel or an Enter Sales Receipts entry in the Customers menu, choose
Edit→Preferences→Desktop View, and then click the Company Preferences
tab (you have to be an administrator user to do so). Turn on the Sales Receipts
checkbox, and then click OK.
2. On the Home Page, click the Create Sales Receipts icon (or choose
Customers→Enter Sales Receipts).
QuickBooks opens the Enter Sales Receipts window to a blank receipt.
3. In the Customer:Job box, choose the customer or job from which you received
the prepayment.
QuickBooks fills in some of the fields, such as the customer’s address in the
Sold To box, with information from the customer’s record.
4. Fill in the other header boxes as you would for a regular sales receipt (see
page 364).
If you use classes, in the Class box, choose a class to track the prepayment. If
you have a customized template just for prepayments (page 714), in the Template
drop-down list, select that template. In the Date box, choose the date that
you received the prepayment. In the Payment Method box, pick the method
the customer used to pay you. If the customer paid by check, in the Check No.
box, type the check number for reference.
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5. As shown in Figure 10-14, in the window’s table, click the first Item cell
and use its drop-down list to choose the Prepayment item you set up (for
example, a Service item called something like “Deposits and Retainers,”
as described on page 244).
This step is the key to recording a prepayment to the correct account. Because
your Prepayment items are tied to an Other Current Liability account, QuickBooks
doesn’t post the payment as income, but rather as money owed to your
customer.
6. In the Amount cell, type the amount of the prepayment.
Don’t bother with entering values in the Qty and Rate cells—the sales receipt
simply records the total that the customer gave you. You’ll add the details for
services and products later when you create invoices.
7. Complete the sales receipt as you would any other payment form.
For example, add a message to the customer, if you like. At the top of the Enter
Sales Receipt window, click Email or Print to provide the customer with a receipt.
If you turned off the preference to use the Undeposited Funds account (page
663), you’ll see a Deposit To box. In this box, choose Undeposited Funds if you
plan to hold the payment and deposit it with others; if you’re going to race
to the bank as soon as you record the transaction, choose your bank account
instead. (If you turn on the preference to use the Undeposited Funds account,
QuickBooks automatically deposits payments to the Undeposited Funds account,
so the Deposit To box doesn’t appear in the Enter Sales Receipt window.)
FIGURE 10-14
The Prepayment item
you created is linked to
an Other Current Liability
account, so when you
add this item to a sales
receipt, QuickBooks posts
the payment as money
owed to your customer.
The payment doesn’t
show up as income
until you include it on an
invoice, which you’ll learn
how to do in the next
section.
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8. Click Save & Close.
QuickBooks posts the payment to your prepayment account and closes the
Enter Sales Receipts window.
Applying a Deposit, Down Payment, or Retainer
When you finally start to deliver stuff to customers who’ve paid up front, you invoice
them as usual. But the invoice you create needs one additional line item that deducts
the customer’s prepayment from the invoice balance.
Create the invoice as you normally would with items for the services, products,
charges, and discounts (page 223). After you’ve added all those items, add the item
for the prepayment and fill in the Amount cell with a negative number to deduct
the prepayment from the invoice amount, as shown in Figure 10-15. Once you apply
the prepayment to an invoice in this way, QuickBooks transfers the money from
your prepayment account to reduce the customer’s Accounts Receivable balance.
FIGURE 10-15
When you create an
invoice for the customer,
the prepayment offsets
the customer’s balance.
To deduct the prepayment
from the invoice’s balance,
in the Amount cell,
enter the prepayment as
a negative number, as
shown here.
NOTE  If the charges on the invoice are less than the amount of the customer’s deposit, deduct only as much
of the deposit as you need; you can apply the rest of it to the next invoice.
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RETAINERS Refunding Prepayments
Deposits and down payments don’t guarantee that your customers will follow through
with their projects or orders. For example, say a customer makes a deposit on decor
for his bachelor pad. But when he meets his future wife at the monster truck rally,
his plan for the bachelor pad is crushed as flat as the cars under the trucks’ wheels.
Of course your customer wants his money back, which means you share some of
his disappointment.
Your first step is to determine how much money the customer gets back. For example,
if a customer cancels an order before you’ve purchased the products, you
might refund the entire deposit. However, if the leopard-print wallpaper has already
arrived, you might keep part of the deposit as a restocking fee.
After you decide how much of the deposit you’re going to keep, you have to do two
things: move the portion of the deposit that you’re keeping from the prepayment
account to an income account, and then refund the rest of the deposit. Here’s how
to do both:
1. Create an invoice for the customer or job by choosing Customers→Create
Invoices, and then, in the Customer:Job box, choosing the customer.
You create an invoice to turn the deposit you’re keeping into income.
2. In the first Item cell, choose an item related to the canceled job or order.
For example, if you’re keeping a deposit for a product you ordered, choose the
item for that product. If the deposit was for services you planned to perform,
choose the appropriate Service item instead.
3. In the item’s Amount cell, type the amount of the deposit that you’re keeping.
Because these items are connected to income accounts (see Chapter 5), this
first line in the invoice is where you assign the amount of the deposit that you’re
keeping to the correct income account for the products or services you sold.
4. In the table’s second line, add the Prepayment item and fill in the amount of
the deposit you’re keeping as a negative amount, as shown in Figure 10-16.
This item removes the amount of the deposit you’re keeping from your liability
account so you no longer owe the customer that money.
5. Click Save & Close.
QuickBooks removes the deposit you’re keeping from the prepayment liability
account and posts that money to the income account associated with the item
you selected in step 2. If you’re keeping the whole deposit, you’re done. But if
you aren’t keeping the entire amount, you have to refund the rest to the customer,
so continue on to the next step.
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PAYMENTS,
AND
RETAINERS
FIGURE 10-16
In the first row’s Amount
cell, enter the amount of
the deposit you’re keeping
as a positive number.
Then, in the Amount cell
for the prepayment (the
second row), type a negative
number, which makes
the invoice’s balance zero
and deducts the deposit
from the prepayment
liability account, so you
no longer “owe” the
customer that money.
6. To refund the rest of the deposit, on the Home Page, click Refunds & Credits
to create a credit memo for the remainder (page 287).
In the Create Credit Memos/Refunds window’s table, add the Prepayment
item you used in the invoice. In the Amount cell, type the amount that you’re
refunding.
7. Click Save & Close.
QuickBooks removes the remaining deposit amount from your prepayment
liability account. Because the credit memo has a credit balance, QuickBooks
opens the Available Credit dialog box.
8. In the Available Credit dialog box, choose the “Give a refund” option, and
then click OK.
QuickBooks opens the Issue a Refund dialog box and fills in the customer or
job, the account from which the refund is issued, and the refund amount. If you
want to refund the deposit from a different account, choose a different refund
payment method or account.
9. Click OK to create the refund.
All that’s left for you to do is mail the refund check.
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INVOICING FOR
BILLABLE TIME Invoicing for Billable Time and Costs AND COSTS
When you work on a time-and-materials contract, you charge the customer for labor
costs plus job expenses. Cost-plus contracts are similar except that you charge a fee
on top of the job costs. Contracts like these are both low risk and low reward—in
effect, you’re earning an hourly wage for the time you work. For these types of
contracts, it’s critical that you capture all the expenses associated with the job or
you’ll lose some of the profit that the contract offers.
QuickBooks helps you get those billable items into your invoices. You have to tell
the program about every hour worked and every expense you incur for a customer
or job. But once you do that, it’s easy to build an invoice that captures these billable
items. You can add billable time and costs to an invoice when it’s open in the Create
Invoices window. And, when you open the Create Invoices window in QuickBooks
Pro or Premier and choose a customer or job, the program reminds you about outstanding
billable time and costs. QuickBooks Premier also has a feature specifically
for creating invoices for billable time and costs. The following sections tell you how
to perform all these tasks.
Setting Up Invoicing for Time and Costs
In some industries, like consulting and law, invoicing for time and expenses is the
norm. But before you can pop your billable time and expenses into QuickBooks
invoices, you first need to record them as billable items and assign them to the
correct customer or job. Here are the billable items you can add to invoices and the
chapters that tell you about them:
• Billable time. Chapter 8 (page 162) describes how to track billable time and
assign hours to a customer or job.
• Mileage. Chapter 8 (page 169) describes how to track mileage and assign billable
mileage to a customer or job.
• Purchases and expenses related to a customer or job. Reimbursable expenses
include products you purchase specifically for a job, services performed by a
subcontractor, and other expenses such as shipping and postage. Chapter 9
describes how to make items and expenses reimbursable to a customer or job
(page 187) as you enter bills, checks, or credit card charges in QuickBooks.
Adding Billable Time and Costs to Invoices
If you use QuickBooks Pro or Premier, you can add billable time and costs directly
in the Create Invoices window. Here’s how:
1. Press Ctrl+I or choose Customers→Create Invoices to open the Create
Invoices window.
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2. In the Customer:Job drop-down list, choose the customer or job you want
to invoice.
If the customer or job has outstanding billable time or expenses, the Billable
Time/Costs dialog box opens and automatically selects the “Select the outstanding
billable time and costs to add to this invoice?” option, as shown in Figure
10-17 (foreground). (If you don’t want to add billable items to the invoice now,
select the option that begins with “Exclude.”)
TIP  To tell QuickBooks to choose the selected option automatically the next time the Billable Time/Costs
dialog box opens, turn on the “Save this as a preference” checkbox. That way, QuickBooks changes the preferences
for billable time and costs (see page 675).
FIGURE 10-17
To add billable time and
costs that haven’t been
billed to an invoice, keep
the option that begins
with “Select” selected
in this dialog box. If you
don’t want to bill that
time and cost yet, select
the option that begins
with “Exclude.”
You can add time and
expenses anytime by
clicking the Add Time/
Costs button at the top
of the Create Invoices
window.
3. In the Billable Time/Costs dialog box, click OK.
The “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box opens.
NOTE  You can open the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box anytime the Create Invoices window
is open by clicking the Add Time/Costs button on the window’s Main tab.
4. Select the time and costs you want to add to the invoice by following the
instructions that begin on page 253.
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AND COSTS Using Invoice for Time & Expenses
If you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise, the program has a special “Invoice for
Time & Expenses” feature for adding billable items to invoices. If you turn on this
feature, it shows you every customer with billable time and expenses waiting to be
invoiced and how much there is of each type, so it’s easy to see all your outstanding
billable hours and reimbursable expenses.
To turn on this feature, choose Edit→Preferences→Time & Expenses. On the Company
Preferences tab, turn on the “Create invoices from a list of time and expenses”
checkbox. (Leave this checkbox turned off if invoicing for time and expenses is the
exception rather than the rule. If you leave it off, you can still add time and other costs
to an invoice in the Create Invoices window, as described in the previous section.)
Here’s how to use the “Invoice for Time & Expenses” feature to create an invoice for
billable time and expenses (see page 256 to learn how to create a batch of billable
invoices):
1. Choose Customers→“Invoice for Time & Expenses” or, on the Home Page,
click the Invoices icon, and then on the drop-down menu, choose “Invoice
for Time & Expenses.”
If the “Choose multiple customers to Invoice for Time and Expenses” dialog
box appears, turn on the “Do not display this message in the future” checkbox,
and then click OK.
QuickBooks opens the “Invoice for Time & Expenses” window, which lists the
customers and jobs that have billable time and expenses associated with them.
The window’s table shows the amount of billable time, expenses, and mileage
for each customer and job. The Items column shows the reimbursable amount
for products that you purchased specifically for the customer or job.
2. In the Date Range From and To boxes, type the starting and ending dates
for the time and expenses you want to invoice.
For example, if you want to invoice for billable time and expenses for the previous
quarter, type the first and last days of the period, like 1/1/2017 and 3/31/2017.
To invoice for all outstanding time and expenses up to a certain date, leave the
Date Range From box blank.
3. To select a customer or job, click the checkmark cell in its row.
QuickBooks highlights the customer or job you clicked and adds a checkmark
to its checkmark cell, as shown in Figure 10-18.
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FIGURE 10-18
To make sure you invoice
for all outstanding time
and expenses, leave the
Date Range From box
blank and fill in the To
box with today’s date. In
the Template drop-down
list, choose the template
you want to use. To
choose specific billable
items to invoice, turn
on the “Let me select
specific billable for this
Customer:Job” checkbox.
4. To choose specific billable time and costs to add to the invoice, at the bottom
of the window, turn on the “Let me select specific billable costs for this
Customer:Job” checkbox.
This checkbox is active only when one customer or job is selected. If you select
more than one customer or job (see page 256 to learn how to create a batch
of time and expenses invoices), this checkbox is grayed out. If you leave this
checkbox turned off, the program adds all billable time and costs to the invoice.
5. Click Create Invoice.
If you turned on the “Let me select specific billable costs for this Customer:Job”
checkbox, QuickBooks opens the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box
shown in Figure 10-19, which includes tabs for time, expenses, mileage, and
items (products). (This dialog box is the same one you see if you click Add
Time/Costs in the Create Invoices window. Proceed to page 253 to learn how
to add specific billable time and costs to an invoice.)
If you left the “Let me select specific billable costs for this Customer:Job” checkbox
turned off, the Create Invoices window opens with your invoice already filled
out. All you have to do is save it by clicking Save & Close.
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FIGURE 10-19
On the “Choose Billable
Time and Costs”
dialog box’s Time tab
(background), click the
Options button to tell
QuickBooks how to handle
different activities. In the
“Options for Transferring
Billable Time” dialog
box (foreground), the
program automatically
selects the setting that
displays the total hours
for each Service item.
Choose the other setting
if you want QuickBooks
to add a separate line for
each activity (to show the
hours worked each day,
for instance); with each
activity on its own line,
you can transfer activity
descriptions, notes, or
both to the invoice.
Selecting Billable Time and Costs
Regardless of how you open the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box (Figure
10-19), the steps for selecting the billable time and costs to add to an invoice are
the same. Here’s what you do:
1. In the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box, to select all the entries
on the Time tab, click the Select All button.
QuickBooks adds a checkmark in the first column for every activity and shows
the total value of the entries you’ve selected on that tab. As you select billable
costs on other tabs, each tab shows the total value of the entries you selected,
as shown in Figure 10-20. The “Total billable time and costs” value below the
table is the total of all the selected items on all four tabs.
To select or deselect a single row, click its checkmark cell to toggle it on or off.
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FIGURE 10-20
Each tab shows the
number of entries on that
tab that are available to
bill (the number in parentheses)
and the total
value of the entries you’re
adding to the invoice. The
“Total billable time and
costs” value below the
table is the total of all
the selected items on all
four tabs. Turning on the
“Print selected time and
costs as one invoice item”
checkbox tells QuickBooks
to create a single line
on the invoice for all the
entries you selected. If
you leave this checkbox
turned off, the program
creates separate lines for
each entry.
2. If you want the invoice to include only one line for all the time and expenses
you’ve selected, turn on the “Print selected time and costs as one invoice
item” checkbox below the table.
After you create the invoice in step 6 of this list, in the Create Invoices window,
you’ll see separate entries for billable items so you can verify that the invoice is
correct. However, with this checkbox turned on, the printed invoice will include
only one line, labeled Total Reimbursable Expenses.
NOTE  If you’ve created the invoice with one line for time and costs, it takes several steps to recreate it
showing individual costs. To change an invoice back to a line-by-line listing, in the Create Invoices window,
delete the Total Reimbursable Expenses line item. Then click Add Time/Costs on the window’s Main tab to open
the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box and reselect all the entries you want. Finally, turn off the “Print
selected time and costs as one invoice item” checkbox, and then click OK.
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3. If the Expenses tab includes a number in parentheses, click the tab, and
then click the checkmark cell for each expense (like meals, airfare, and
other costs) you want to add to the invoice.
If you mark up expenses, such as phone calls and postage, the Expenses tab lets
you track your markups. In the “Markup Amount or %” box, type the markup’s
dollar value or percentage. Then choose the income account for the markup. (The
box on page 257 tells you how to apply different markups to different expenses.)
To have QuickBooks calculate sales tax, turn on the “Selected expenses are
taxable” checkbox. (If the customer is tax exempt, QuickBooks doesn’t add
sales tax even if you turn on this checkbox.)
NOTE  On the Expenses tab, the Memo column displays what you typed in the Memo field of the original
vendor bill, check, or credit card charge. QuickBooks uses the entries in this column as the description on the
invoice. (You can’t edit the Memo text in this dialog box. So, if you didn’t enter a Memo in the original expense
transaction, you’ll have to type the description for each expense after QuickBooks adds it to the invoice in step
6.)
4. If the Mileage tab includes a number in parentheses, click the tab, and select
any mileage you want to add to the invoice.
Click Options to tell QuickBooks whether to show one line for mileage or a
separate line for each trip, like you did on the Time tab (Figure 10-19).
5. If the Items tab includes a number in parentheses, click the tab, and select
the products you bought specifically for this customer or job that you want
to add to this invoice.
Click an item’s checkmark cell to add it to the invoice.
6. When you’ve selected all the billable items you want to add, click OK.
QuickBooks closes the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box and adds
all the items you selected to the invoice, as shown in Figure 10-21. If it looks
good, click Save & Close. If not, edit the invoice to include what you want or
click Clear to start from scratch.
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FIGURE 10-21
You can edit the item
descriptions in the Create
Invoices window. If you
didn’t type memos in
the original expense
transactions, you have to
type the descriptions for
billable expenses directly
into the Description fields
here.
Because the invoice
is open in the Create
Invoices window, you can
also add additional line
items to it before you
save it.
Creating a Batch of Time and Expenses Invoices
If you have QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise and your company is set to use a single
currency (page 662), you can create time and expenses invoices for more than one
customer or job. Here are the steps:
1. Choose Customers→“Invoice for Time & Expenses” or, on the Home Page,
click the Invoices icon and then, on the drop-down menu, choose “Invoice
for Time & Expenses.”
The “Invoice for Time & Expenses” window shows all the customers with outstanding
billable time and expenses and includes a checkmark column on the
left side of the table.
2. In the Date Range From and To boxes, select the date range you want.
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WORKAROUND WORKSHOP
Adding Different Markups to Billable Expenses
The Expenses tab of the “Choose Billable Time and Costs”
dialog box has only one “Markup Amount or %” box, which
might seem like a problem if you add different markups to
some of your billable expenses. But there’s nothing stopping
you from adding these expenses to your invoice in more than
one batch with a different markup amount or percentage for
each batch. Here’s how:
1. In the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box, click
the Expenses tab.
2. In the “Markup Amount or %” box, type the markup for
the first batch of expenses.
3. Turn on the checkmark cell for each expense that you want
to apply that markup to.
4. Click OK to add the selected expenses to the invoice.
5. On the Create Invoices window’s Main tab, click Add
Time/Costs.
6. In the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box, click
the Expenses tab.
7. Change the value in the “Markup Amount or %” box to
the next markup value, turn on the checkmark cell for
the expenses that use this markup, and then click OK to
close the dialog box.
8. Repeat steps 5–7 for each additional markup.
This technique works just as well when some of the expenses
are taxable and others aren’t. Simply choose the taxable items,
turn on the “Selected expenses are taxable” checkbox, and
then add the taxable expenses to the invoice. Next, reopen
the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box, choose the
nontaxable items, turn off the “Selected expenses are taxable”
checkbox, and then add the nontaxable expenses to the invoice.
3. To select several customers or jobs, click the checkmark cells for the ones
you want, or click Select All.
When a customer or job is selected, a checkmark appears in the checkmark
column, as shown in Figure 10-22.
FIGURE 10-22
As long as you use
QuickBooks Premier or
Enterprise and don’t use
multiple currencies, you
can select more than
one customer here using
the checkmark column.
You can click individual
checkmark cells or drag
over the cells to toggle
them on or off.
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4. Click Next Step.
The “Batch Invoice for Time & Expenses” dialog box opens. Its table lists the
customers and jobs you selected.
5. To specify the options for the invoices, click Edit Options below the table.
Choose the settings you want, and then click OK.
Like the “Options for Transferring Billable Time” dialog box shown in Figure 10-
19, the “Options for Transferring Billables” dialog box has options for showing
time for each activity on separate invoice lines or showing the total hours for
each Service item. If each activity is on its own line, you can transfer descriptions,
notes, or both to the invoice. You can also specify a markup percentage
and account for expenses.
6. Back in the “Batch Invoice for Time & Expenses” dialog box, if you want to
look at the details for a customer or job, click Review Billables.
In the “Review Billable Time and Costs” dialog box, click the down arrow to the
right of the “Time and Costs For” box, and then choose a customer or job. The
dialog box’s table shows the billable info for that customer or job. When you’re
done reviewing this info, click OK to close the dialog box.
7. Click Create Invoices.
QuickBooks creates the invoices for the selected customers. The Time & Expenses
Summary dialog box appears and shows how many invoices are set up
to print and how many to email, based on your customers’ preferred delivery
methods (page 69). Click Print to print the invoices marked to print; click Email to
send the invoices marked to be emailed. To print or email the invoices later, click
Close. You can then print or email them by choosing File→Print Forms→Invoices
or File→Send Forms.
Checking for Unbilled Costs
Most Customers & Receivables reports focus on charges you’ve already invoiced.
Forgetting to invoice customers for reimbursable costs takes a bite out of your profits.
So be sure to regularly run the Unbilled Costs by Job report (Reports→Customers
& Receivables→Unbilled Costs by Job) to look for expenses that you’ve forgotten
to invoice. This report shows costs that you designated as billable to a customer or
job but haven’t yet added to an invoice.
Invoicing for Backordered Products
Placing a product order to fulfill your customers’ orders is known as a backorder.
If backorders are a regular part of your business day, you should consider finding
suppliers who deliver more quickly and maybe upgrading to QuickBooks Premier
or Enterprise, which have a built-in sales order form for tracking backordered items.
If you have QuickBooks Pro, you can handle backorders using pending invoices.
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When you tell customers that a product is out of stock, they might ask you to handle
the backorders in different ways. Here are the most common requests for backorders:
• Remove the backordered items from the order. Customers in a hurry may ask
you to fill the order with only the products you have in stock. If they can’t find
the backordered products anywhere else, they can call in a new order.
• Ship all items at once. If convenience is more important than speed, you can
hold the customer’s order until the backordered products arrive, and then ship
the whole order at once.
• Ship backordered items when they arrive. Many customers request that you
process their orders for the products you do have in stock, and then send the
backordered products when you receive them.
If your customer wants you to remove backordered items from an order, then you
can remove the backordered items from the invoice, send it to the customer immediately,
and ship the rest of the order. But when customers ask you to hold all or
part of their orders until backordered products arrive, they usually expect you to
invoice them for backordered products only when you ship them. If that’s the case,
you don’t want the income appearing in your account balances until the order ships.
This section describes two ways to handle this situation.
TIP  If you need help remembering how customers want you to handle their backorders, store backorder
preferences in a custom field in customer records (page 71). An alternative approach is to add a note in the
Customer Center (select the customer, and then click the Notes tab). When you choose a customer in the Create
Invoices window, the Notes section on the right side displays notes you’ve added to the customer’s record (see
Figure 10-23).
Using Pending Invoices for Backorders
If you don’t have QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise, a pending invoice is the way to
track backorders. In QuickBooks, setting an invoice’s status to Pending places it in a
holding pattern with no income or expenses posting to your accounts. Such invoices
are easy to spot in the Create Invoices window—they sport a “Pending” stamp.
To set an invoice to pending status, follow these steps:
1. Press Ctrl+I to open the Create Invoices window.
Fill in the invoice fields as usual (page 223).
2. On the Create Invoices window’s Main tab, click Mark As Pending (or rightclick
the Create Invoices window, and then choose Mark Invoice As Pending
from the shortcut menu).
QuickBooks adds a “Pending/non-posting” stamp to the invoice, as shown in
the background of Figure 10-23.
3. Click Save & Close.
The invoice is ready for action, but none of its values post to any accounts.
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4. When the backordered products arrive, open the invoice in the Create Invoices
window (choose Reports→Sales→Pending Sales, and then doubleclick
the invoice to open it). In the window’s Main tab, click Mark As Final
(see Figure 10-23), and then click Save & Close.
QuickBooks posts the invoice’s values to the appropriate income and expense
accounts.
FIGURE 10-23
In addition to backorders,
pending invoices are
also great for entering
transactions ahead of
time and holding them
until you receive approval
for a sale or reach the
milestone that the invoice
represents. You can set
sales receipts and credit
memos to pending status
as well.
To see all your pending
sales, choose
Reports→Sales→
Pending Sales to run
the report shown in the
foreground here.
Using Sales Orders for Backorders
QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise include a sales order form that’s perfect for
backorders. The Create Sales Orders window looks like the Create Invoices window
except that the item table includes an Ordered column, which holds the number of
items the customer ordered but that you haven’t yet invoiced. In effect, it’s a record
of how much stock you need to have on hand to fill the order.
TIP  To see all your sales orders at once, choose Reports→Sales, and then select either Open Sales Orders
by Customer or Open Sales Orders by Item.
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If you try to add more items to an invoice than you have in stock, you’ll see an error
message warning of the shortfall. QuickBooks Pro simply warns you that you don’t
have enough. But in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise, the message box tells you
how many you have on hand, how many are on other sales orders, and the remaining
quantity available, as shown in Figure 10-24. (For example, if you have two items on
hand and two on other sales orders, the quantity available is 0.) When you see this
message, click OK to close the message box, and then click Clear to cancel the invoice.
If you already know that your inventory is woefully low or nonexistent (and you use
QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise), simply create a sales order for the customer’s
order. Then you can create a partial invoice for the items you do have in stock and
use the sales order to track the backordered items. Since QuickBooks keeps a running
balance of backordered items based on your sales orders, you can easily create
a purchase order to restock the products you need. (See Chapter 20 to learn more
about managing inventory.) Here’s how to create a sales order for backordered items:
FIGURE 10-24
When you select an item and
quantity that exceeds the
number you have available, the
Not Enough Quantity message
box appears; click OK to close it.
To create a sales order instead of
an invoice, in the Create Invoices
window, click Clear, and then
close the window. Then Choose
Customers→Create Sales Orders
or, on the Home Page, click the
Sales Orders icon.
1. Make sure the preference for using sales orders is turned on.
Choose Edit→Preferences→Sales & Customers, and then click the Company
Preferences tab. In the Sales Orders section, make sure the Enable Sales Orders
checkbox is on.
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2. On the Home Page, click Sales Orders or choose Customers→Create Sales
Orders.
The Create Sales Orders window opens.
3. Fill in the sales order’s fields as you would the fields in an invoice (page 223).
The only difference is that the column where you record the quantity of items
you’re ordering is labeled “Ordered” instead of “Quantity.”
4. If some of the items the customer ordered are in stock, on the Create Sales
Orders window’s Main tab, click Create Invoice.
The aptly named Create Invoice Based On Sales Order(s) dialog box opens
(Figure 10-25).
FIGURE 10-25
The Create Sales Orders
window’s Main tab
has two buttons for
creating transactions
associated with sales
orders (circled). Click
Create Invoice to create
a customer invoice for
the items you have on
hand to ship. Click Create
Purchase Order to order
items that customers
have purchased but that
you don’t have on hand
to ship.
5. To create a partial invoice for the items you have in stock, select the “Create
invoice for selected items” option, and then click OK.
The “Specify Invoice Quantities for Items on Sales Order(s)” dialog box (Figure
10-26) appears. Turn on the “Show quantity available instead of quantity on
hand” checkbox to see how many items are really available to ship and invoice.
(Quantity available is the quantity that’s physically on hand minus the quantity
that’s already committed on other sales orders or already used in Inventory
Assembly items.)
6. Click OK to create the invoice for the in-stock items.
QuickBooks opens the Create Invoices window and fills in the invoice. You
might see a message telling you that the invoice has at least one zero amount
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item (the one that’s backordered) and instructions for preventing QuickBooks
from printing those items on the invoice. Click OK to close the message box,
and then click Save & Close.
7. To order the backordered item(s), open the Create Sales Orders window
again (see step 2) and, on the Main tab, click the left-pointing arrow (this
is the Previous button) until you see the sales order on which you based
the invoice.
It’s a good idea to place an order for the backordered items while it’s still fresh
in your mind. The quantity of backordered items appears in the window’s Ordered
column.
FIGURE 10-26
This dialog box lists each
item on the sales order
and shows how many you
have in stock. QuickBooks
automatically fills in the
To Invoice column with
the number of items
on hand because you
usually invoice for only
the products you can
ship, but you can edit the
quantity if you want to
invoice the customer for
the full order.
8. On the window’s Main tab, click Create Purchase Order, circled in Figure
10-25).
The “Create Purchase Order Based on the Sales Transaction” dialog box opens.
9. Select the “Create purchase order for selected items” option, and then
click OK.
The “Specify Purchase Order Quantities for Items on the Sales Transaction”
dialog box opens. If you specified preferred vendors in your item records (page
106), QuickBooks automatically fills in the Preferred Vendor cells. It also fills in
the Qty cells with how many items you have to order to fulfill the backorder. If
you want to order some spare inventory, edit the values in the Qty cells.
10. Click the checkmark cell for each item you want to order from one vendor.
If you purchase the items from multiple vendors, you’ll have to create separate
purchase orders for each vendor.
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11. Click OK.
The Create Purchase Orders window appears, filled in with the items you’re
ordering. QuickBooks automatically puts the preferred vendor’s name in the
Vendor box, if you specified one in the item’s record. If the Vendor box is blank
or you want to use a different vendor, choose the one you want from the dropdown
list.
12. When the purchase order is filled out the way you want, click Save & Close,
and then send it to the vendor (see page 308 to learn how to print forms or
page 318 to learn how to email them).
After you receive the items you ordered, return to step 4 to create a final invoice
from the sales order.
Selling Products on Consignment
Selling products on consignment involves two participants: a consignor who
gives products to someone else to sell and a consignee who sells the consigner’s
products. Unlike the regular process for selling products, in consignment sales, no
money changes hands when consignors hand over products to consignees. When
consignees actually sell consignment items, they keep their commissions and pay
the consignors the rest of the sales price.
Consignors and consignees each have their respective challenges tracking money
and consignment items on hand. This section explains the setup and transactions
you perform for both sides of consignment sales.
Consigning Products to Someone Else to Sell
As a consignor, you need to keep track of the products you give to someone else to
sell, as well as how much money you should receive when the consignee sells some of
your items. In QuickBooks, sales orders are the way to track consignment goods that
are sitting in someone else’s store or warehouse—so you need QuickBooks Premier
or Enterprise (remember, QuickBooks Pro doesn’t include sales orders). This section
describes the setup you need to perform as a consignor and the transactions you
record to track your consignment items until they’re sold and you receive your money.
Here are the accounts and items you need to track products you give to others on
consignment:
• An Other Current Asset account to track the value of your consignment
inventory. You create this account so you can differentiate your consignment
inventory from inventory you have in your own warehouse or store. Follow the
steps on page 48 to open the Add New Account window. There, in the Other
Account Types drop-down list, choose Other Current Asset, and then click Continue.
In the Account Name box, type a name, such as Consignment Inventory.
(See page 49 to learn how to fill in the other fields.) Finally, click Save & Close.
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CONSIGNMENT • A parent item for your inventory that’s on consignment. Create a new Inventory
Part item (page 523). In the Item Name/Number box, type something like
Consignment Items. In the Income Account box, choose an income account,
such as Product Revenue (or you can create an income account specifically
for consignment sales). In the Asset Account box, choose the Other Current
Asset account you created in the previous bullet point, and then click OK to
save the item.
• Subitems for each type of consignment item you give to consignees. The
easiest way to create consignment subitems is to duplicate your regular inventory
items and tweak the duplicates. To do that, in the Item List window
(Lists→Item List), right-click the inventory item you’re going to consign, and
then choose Duplicate Item on the shortcut menu. QuickBooks opens the New
Item window and fills in the fields with the values from the original item. (The
program adds “DUP” to the beginning of the item’s name.) In the Item Name/
Number box, delete “DUP” and append the word “Consignment” to the end of
the name. Next, turn on the Subitem Of checkbox and, in the drop-down list
below it, choose the parent item you created in the previous bullet point. Change
the Asset Account field to the consignment inventory account you created in
the first bullet point. If necessary, change the Income Account to the account
you want to use for consignment income. And if the price the consignee pays
is different than your regular price, edit the value in the Sales Price box. When
everything looks good as shown in Figure 10-27, click OK to save the new consignment
inventory subitem.
Now your Item List includes a separate parent item for consignment inventory with
the consignment subitems indented beneath it.
WHEN YOU DELIVER PRODUCTS TO CONSIGNEES
When you send products to consignees, your records need to reflect that some of
your inventory is in others’ warehouses. To do that, you first record an inventory
adjustment to switch some of your regular inventory on hand to consignment inventory
on hand. Then you create sales orders to record the products you’ve given
to each consignee.
NOTE  With non-consignment sales, sales orders track products customers have ordered that you haven’t yet
invoiced. For consignment sales, products you hand over to a consignee are also spoken for but not yet invoiced,
so sales orders are perfect for tracking them. Then, when consignees sell your stuff, you can turn those sales
orders into invoices.
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FIGURE 10-27
Create a consignment
inventory item by
duplicating your original
inventory item. Then
edit the Item Name,
Subitem of, and Asset
Account fields to reflect
that the item is sold on
consignment. If you track
consignment income in a
separate income account,
choose that account in
the Income Account field.
If necessary, change the
item’s sale price.
Here’s how you record an inventory adjustment to reclassify the inventory you give
to a consignee as consignment inventory:
1. Choose Vendors→Inventory Activities→Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand.
The Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand dialog box opens. Leave the Adjustment
Type box set to Quantity. Because you’re changing regular inventory items to
consignment items, the total value of your inventory doesn’t change, so you
don’t need to change this setting to Total Value.
2. In the Adjustment Account box, choose an expense account (such as Supplies
or Materials) or an Other Expense account.
The adjustment value is zero, so you can choose any expense account you want.
It’s a good idea to select an account related to product expenses.
3. In the table, fill in the first Item cell with the regular inventory item, and
then, in the next row’s Item cell, choose the corresponding consignment
inventory item, as shown in Figure 10-28.
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4. In the regular item’s Qty Difference cell, type a negative number. In the
consignment item’s Qty Difference cell, type a positive number.
Typing a negative number for the regular item reduces your regular inventory
item’s quantity on hand. The consignment item’s positive number adds that
quantity of items to your consignment inventory on hand.
FIGURE 10-28
Typing a negative number
in a regular inventory
item’s Qty Difference cell
reduces the number of
regular inventory items
on hand, so you have
fewer to sell directly
to your customers. A
positive number in a
consignment inventory
item’s Qty Difference cell
increases the number of
consignment inventory
items on hand—at your
consignees’ locations.
5. Click OK to save the adjustment.
Now you can look at the Item List window’s Total Quantity column to see the number
of regular and consignment inventory items you have.
You also need to tell QuickBooks how many items you give to each consignee.
That’s where a sales order comes into play. Here’s how to record a sales order for
consignment items you send out:
1. In QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise, on the Home Page, click Sales Orders
(or choose Customers→Create Sales Orders). In the Sales Orders window,
choose the person or company who is selling goods on consignment for you.
You have to set up your consignees as customers (page 64) so they appear in
the Sales Orders window’s Name drop-down list.
2. In the Date box, choose the date that you sent (or will send) goods to the
consignee.
3. Fill in each line of the table (page 231) with the items and quantities that
you’re sending to the consignee.
Doing this puts the value of your consignment inventory in your consignmentinventory
asset account. In addition, when the consignee sells some of the
products, you can create an invoice for him directly from the sales order.
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4. When you’re done, click Save & Close.
This sales order actually does double duty. It not only provides a record of the consignment
items the “customer” (a.k.a. consignee) has on hand; if you use Inventory
Part items for your consigned goods as described on page 265, it also moves the
value of the consignment inventory into your consignment-inventory asset account.
WHEN CONSIGNEES SELL YOUR STUFF
If your consignees sell some of your consignment items, you can give a quick whoop
of joy before you create an invoice for what the consignee owes you. In fact, you
can whoop a second time, because you can easily create an invoice from the sales
order you created in the previous section. Here are the steps for creating an invoice
from a consignment sales order:
1. On the Home Page, click Customers. In the Customer Center, click the Customers
& Jobs tab, and then select the consignee who sold some of your
consignment goods.
Information and transactions for that customer appear on the window’s right.
2. In the pane at the Customer Center’s bottom right, click the Transactions
tab. In the tab’s Show drop-down list, choose Sales Orders.
QuickBooks displays the sales orders for that customer. If the Transactions
tab is rife with sales orders, in the Filter By drop-down list, choose Open Sales
Orders. In the Date drop-down list, you can choose a date range, such as This
Fiscal Quarter.
3. Double-click the sales order associated with the sold consignment items.
The sales order opens in the Create Sales Order window (Figure 10-29).
4. At the top of the window, click Create Invoice. In the Create Invoice Based
on Sales Order(s) dialog box, select the “Create invoice for selected items”
option, and then click OK.
The Specify Items and Quantities for Invoice dialog box opens. All the items
from the sales order appear in the table.
5. In the To Invoice cell for each consignment item, type the number of items
the consignee sold, and then click OK.
The Create Invoices window opens with a new invoice already filled in with the
consignee’s info, as well as the items and quantities sold.
6. In the Create Invoices window, click Save & Close.
QuickBooks jumps into action behind the scenes: it reduces the number of
consignment inventory items on hand, on sales orders, and available. It also
reduces the balance in your consignment inventory asset account and moves
that money into your Accounts Receivable account to show what your consignee
owes you. To see the number of consignment items sold by each consignee, you
can run the Sales by Customer Detail report (see page 599).
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FIGURE 10-29
After you select a
customer in the Customer
Center, choose Sales
Orders in the Show
drop-down list. When you
double-click a sales order,
QuickBooks opens it in
the Create Sales Orders
window. At the top of
the window, click Create
Invoice (circled) to create
an invoice from the sales
order.
Selling Consignment Goods Received from Someone Else
As a consignee, you have to track the consignment goods you have on hand. And
when you sell consignment items, you have to track your earnings as well as what
you owe the consignors. To wrap up the process, you need to pay consignors their
share of the revenue.
You don’t pay anything up front for goods you sell on consignment. When you sell
these items, you keep a percentage of the sales revenue as a commission and pay
the consignor the rest. You need to keep track of how many consignment items you
receive, how many you’ve sold, and how many you still have on hand. This section
guides you through setting up QuickBooks so you can sell vendors’ products on
consignment and through creating the transactions you record to handle consignment
sales from start to finish.
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Here are the accounts and items you need to track products you sell as a consignee:
• An Other Current Liability account to track what you owe the consignor. This
account will track how much you owe the consignor for consignment items you
sell. (See page 47 for info on creating accounts.) Name the account something
like Consignment Sales – Liability.
• An Income account to track your sales commission. This account tracks
how much you make from selling consignment items. Name it something like
Consignment Commission.
• A Service item for deducting your commission from what you owe the
consignor. Create a Service item (page 104) called something like Commission
Deduction. In the New Item dialog box’s Description field, type a description,
such as “Reduce liability for commission earned on sale.” In the Rate field, type
a negative percentage that represents your commission on a consignment sale.
For example, if you take 30 percent of the sales price, type -30% in the box. In
the Account box, choose the Other Current Liability account you created to track
what you owe the consignor. That way, when you record the sale, QuickBooks
deducts your commission from what you owe the consignor.
• A Service item for your commission income. This Service item gets your income
into the right place in your chart of accounts. Name this item something
like Commission Income. In the New Item dialog box’s Description field, type
a more thorough description, such as “Commission on consignment sale.” In
the Rate field, type your commission percentage as a positive number, such as
30%. In the Account drop-down list, choose the income account you created
to track your consignment income (Consignment Commission, in this example).
• A parent Inventory Part item for your consignment inventory. You’ll use this
Inventory Part item to track all the consignment goods you sell. Call it something
like Consignment Goods – Held. Link this item to the basic COGS account that
QuickBooks creates when you create your first inventory item (page 525). In
the New Item dialog box’s Income Account box, choose the Other Current Liability
account you created to track what you owe the consignor (Consignment
Sales – Liability, in this example). In the Asset Account box, choose the asset
account you use to track inventory.
• Subitems for each category of consignment item you sell. Create Inventory
Part subitems for each type of consignment item you receive from consignors
(see Figure 10-30), not for each individual consignment item. For example, say
you sell miniature cameras on consignment. Create one subitem to track them
and name it something descriptive like “Camera Tiny – Consigned.” Be sure to
turn on the “Subitem of” checkbox and, in the drop-down list below it, choose
the Consignment Goods – Held parent item. Leave the Cost field set to 0.00,
since you don’t pay anything for a consignment item up front. In the Sales Price
field, enter the price you sell the product for. In the Asset Account box, choose
your inventory asset account.
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FIGURE 10-30
This inventory item helps
you track how many
consignment items you
have on hand.
Because the Cost is
0.00, these items don’t
affect the balance in
your COGS and inventory
asset account. By using
the Consignment Sales
– Liability account as the
Income account, you’ll
be able to see how much
you owe consignors for
consignment products
you sell.
To track items by consignor, set up a custom field called Consignor, and link
it to the Item List. (See page 71 to learn how to set up custom fields for lists.)
Then, in the Consignor field, for each Inventory Part subitem you create for
consignment items, type the consignor’s name.
NOTE  If you sell scads of unique consignment items, creating an Inventory Part item for each one would fill
up your Item List with one-off entries. Instead, create a single Non-inventory Part item and call it something like
Consignment Items. In the New Item dialog box, turn on the “This item is used in assemblies or is purchased for
a specific customer:job” checkbox. Keep both the Cost and Sale Price fields set to 0.00. In the Expense Account
drop-down list, choose the asset account you created to track your consignment inventory (Inventory Asset,
in this example). And in the Income Account drop-down list, choose the income account you use to track your
consignment income (Consignment Commission, in this example).
• A Group item for each consignment subitem you created per the previous
bullet point. There’s a lot to keep track of when you sell consignment goods. This
Group item (see Figure 10-31) moves consignment money to the right accounts
and tracks how many you have on hand. When creating this Group item in the
New Item dialog box, you add the consigned item to the first line in the Item table
and set the Qty cell to 1. That way, when you sell an item, QuickBooks takes care
of reducing the number of this item that you have on hand. The second line in
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the Item table is the Service item for your commission (Consignment Commission,
in this example). And the third item is the Service item you use to deduct
your commission from what you owe the consignor (Commission Deduction, in
this example). By adding these two lines to the group, when you sell an item,
QuickBooks adds your commission to your commission income account and the
remainder of the money to the Other Current Liability account that tracks what
you owe the consignor. Keep the “Print items in group” checkbox turned off so
the Group item is the only thing customers see on invoices and sales receipts.
FIGURE 10-31
By creating a Group item for
each type of consignment
item you sell, QuickBooks
takes care of divvying up
the sales price into your
commission income account
and the account you use
to track what you owe the
consignor.
ADDING CONSIGNMENT ITEMS TO YOUR INVENTORY
When you receive consignment goods from a consignor, you need to update your
records to show how many consignment items you have on hand. The easiest way
to do that is to create a bill for those items. Here are the steps:
1. Create a bill for the items you receive on consignment.
On the Home Page, click Enter Bills. In the Enter Bills window’s Vendor field,
choose the vendor who consigned items to you. In the Date field, choose the
date you received the items.
2. In the Amount Due field, type 0.
Because you don’t pay the vendor for consigned goods until they’re sold, you
create a bill for $0.
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3. On the window’s Items tab, fill in the lines with the consignment items and
quantities you received, as shown in Figure 10-32.
In the first Item cell, select the Inventory Part item you created for the consigned
item, not the Group item. Fill in that row’s Qty cell with the number of items
you received. (Because you set up the inventory item with $0 cost, the cost on
the bill is 0.00.)
FIGURE 10-32
When you “pay” this bill,
QuickBooks takes care
of recording how many
consignment items you’ve
added to your inventory.
Because you don’t
pay anything up front
for consigned items,
receiving consignment
goods doesn’t affect the
monetary value of your
inventory asset account.
4. At the top of the Enter Bills window, click Pay Bill. In the message box that
asks whether you want to record your changes, click Yes.
If a Bill Already Paid message box appears, click OK to close it.
5. Click Save & Close.
To confirm that the consigned items are now in inventory, open the Item List window
(on the Home Page, click Items & Services). Scroll down to the Inventory Part items
you created for consigned items and check the value in the Total Quantity cells.
RECORDING CONSIGNMENT SALES
When you sell consignment goods, you record the customer invoice almost as you
do any other invoice. The consignment Group items you add to the invoice are the
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key to tracking your consignment inventory and following the consignment money
trail. However, you need to add the Consignor custom field to your invoice template
so you can identify which consignor you need to pay for the sold goods.
Here are the steps to adding the Consignor custom field to your invoice template:
1. Choose Lists→Templates.
The Templates window opens.
2. Click the template you want to use as a basis for your consignment template
(for example, a custom invoice template you set up for your company), and
then, at the bottom of the Templates window, click Templates→Duplicate.
The Select Template dialog box appears.
3. In the Select Template Type dialog box, select the Invoice option, and then
click OK.
The copy appears in the Templates list with the words “Copy of” at the beginning
of its name.
4. Right-click the new template and choose Edit Template from the shortcut
menu.
To rename the template, in the Basic Customization dialog box, click Manage
Templates. In the Template Name field on the dialog box’s right, type a new
name, such as Consignment Sales, and then click OK.
5. At the bottom of the Basic Customization dialog box, click Additional Customization.
In the additional Customization dialog box that appears, click
the Columns tab.
The Columns tab includes fields that appear in the item table.
6. Below the Screen heading, turn on the Consignor checkbox (you’ll see this
checkbox only if you created a Consignor custom field and associated it
with the Item List, as described on page 271).
That way, the Consignor field will appear in the item table when you’re filling
out the invoice onscreen, but it won’t appear on the invoice that the customer
receives.
7. Click OK to close the Additional Customization dialog box, and then click
OK again to close the Basic Customization dialog box.
Your custom template for consignment sales is now ready to use. Here’s how you
record a consignment sale:
1. Create an invoice for the sale by choosing Customers→Create Invoices.
Fill in the Customer:Job, Class, Date, and other header fields the way you do
for a regular invoice. In the Template field, choose the custom template you just
created (the one you made by following the steps in the numbered list above).
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2. In the first item cell, choose the Group item you created for the consignment
item you sold. In the Quantity cell, fill in the number that you sold
(see Figure 10-33).
QuickBooks automatically adds the Group item’s underlying line items to the
invoice. (Remember, these lines won’t appear on the printed invoice, because
you turned off the “Print items in group” checkbox when you created the Group
item [page 111].) When you change the Quantity cell on the Group item’s line,
QuickBooks automatically changes the quantities on the other lines. (To see
what the invoice or sales receipt looks like, at the top of the transaction window,
click Print→Preview.)
FIGURE 10-33
When you record an
invoice or sales receipt
for consigned items,
QuickBooks decreases the
number of consignment
items you have in your
inventory. The Group
item also takes care of
recording your portion of
the sales revenue in your
income account and the
consignor’s portion in the
liability account you use
to track what you owe
consignors.
3. In each line below the Group item, click the Consignor cell and type the
name of the consignor.
In the next section, you’ll learn how to use this field to create a report that shows
what you owe each consignor.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each type of consignment item you sold. When
you’re done, click Save & Close.
When you save the invoice, QuickBooks does several things behind the scenes.
It decreases the quantity on hand for the consignment items you sold and posts
the income to the Consignment Sales – Liability account (which tracks what you
owe consignors). It also deducts your commission from that account and puts
the money in your Commission Income account.
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PAYING CONSIGNORS
The last step in the consignment process is paying consignors their portion of the
sales revenue. You can use the Consignor custom field to create a report that shows
you how much you owe each consignor. Then all you have to do is write a check.
Here’s how to customize a report to show consignor liabilities:
1. Choose Reports→Custom Reports→Transaction Detail. In the Dates dropdown
list, choose the period you want to pay consignors for, such as Last
Month.
The Modify Report dialog box opens automatically when you create a custom
report.
2. In the Modify Report dialog box, in the Display tab’s Columns list, click the
Consignor entry (you may have to scroll down to see it).
Doing this makes the Consigner field appear as a column in the report.
3. Click the Filters tab and, in the Filter list on the left, choose Item. In the Item
drop-down list that appears, choose “Multiple items.” In the Select Item
dialog box that appears, click the Commission Deduction item and each
consignment Inventory Part item you sell, and then click OK.
This filter limits the report to transactions related to your consignment items.
4. Back on the Modify Report dialog box’s Filters tab, in the Filter list on the
left, choose Account. Then, in the Account drop-down list, choose the
Other Current Liability account you set up to track what you owe consignors
(Consignment Sales – Liability, in this example).
5. In the Filter list on the left, click Consignor, and then type the name of the
consignor you want to pay. Click OK to run the report.
The total at the bottom of the report’s Amount column is what you owe the
consignor.
TIP  To memorize this custom report so you can run it in the future, press Ctrl+M. In the Memorize Report
dialog box, in the Name box, type a name for the report, such as Consignment Payments, and then click OK. To
run the memorized report, choose Reports→Memorized Reports→[name of report].
Now you can use that amount to write a check to the consignor. Here’s how:
6. On the Home Page, click Write Checks.
The Write Checks window opens.
7. In the “Pay to the Order of” box, choose the vendor who is your consignor.
To provide more information about the sale, type details in the Memo field.
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8. On the Expenses tab near the bottom of the window, in the first Account
cell, choose the Consignment Sales – Liability account.
9. If you want to print the check, turn on the Print Later checkbox. If you handwrite
checks, simply click Save & Close.
The check reduces your liability to the consignor. To confirm that you’ve paid the
consignor what you owe, on the Home Page, click Vendors. In the Vendor Center
window, on the Vendors tab, the Balance for the vendor should be zero.
Estimating Jobs
Many customers ask for an estimate before hiring you. If you’re good with numbers,
you might total up the costs in your head and scribble the estimate on a napkin. But
creating estimates in QuickBooks not only generates a more professional-looking
estimate; it also feeds numbers into the invoices you create as you perform work for
customers. When you create an estimate in QuickBooks, you add the items you’ll
sell or deliver and set the markup on those items.
NOTE  The estimate feature needs to be turned on before you can create estimates in QuickBooks. Choose
Edit→Preferences→Jobs & Estimates, and then click the Company Preferences tab. In the “Do You Create
Estimates?” section, make sure that Yes is selected, and then click OK.
QuickBooks estimates make short work of pricing time and materials for small
jobs. But QuickBooks estimating isn’t for every business. Particularly if you work in
construction, where a major project might require hundreds or even thousands of
items, you definitely don’t want to enter all the data you’d need to build the Item List
for your project. That’s why most construction firms turn to third-party estimating
programs that come with databases of the services and products you need. Many of
these programs integrate with QuickBooks, which means you can import an estimate
you created in another program (see Chapter 26) and use it to produce your invoices.
NOTE  The totals on estimates don’t post to accounts in your chart of accounts. After all, an estimate doesn’t
mean that your customer has committed to going ahead with the job. Estimates show the potential value of a
job without showing up in your financial reports. When the preference for estimates is turned on (page 661),
QuickBooks automatically creates a non-posting account called Estimates, where it stores estimate values. (If
you use account numbers [page 45], its number is 4.)
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If you’ve mastered QuickBooks’ invoices, you’ll feel right at home with the fields that
appear in a QuickBooks estimate. Figure 10-34 shows the Create Estimates window.
Here’s how to create an estimate and handle the small differences between invoices
and estimates:
1. On the Home Page, click the Estimates icon, or choose Customers→Create
Estimates.
QuickBooks opens the Create Estimates window. Depending on which edition
of QuickBooks you have, the program may choose a different estimate template
from the one shown in Figure 10-34. If you’ve created your own estimate
template (page 714), choose it from the Template drop-down list (QuickBooks
automatically uses your custom template from then on).
FIGURE 10-34
QuickBooks automatically
makes the estimates
you create active,
which means you can
experiment with several
and then build your invoices
from the one your
customer approves.
To make an estimate
inactive, on the Create
Estimates window’s Main
tab, click Mark As Inactive.
2. As you would for an invoice, build your estimate by adding items to the
line-item table (page 231).
In a blank line in the table, in the Item drop-down list, choose the item that you
want to add to the estimate. When you fill in the quantity, QuickBooks uses
the cost and sales price from the item’s record to fill in the Cost, Amount, and
Total cells.
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The markup percentage that QuickBooks fills in is based on how much you pay
for the item and the sales price you charge. If you want to apply a different
markup percentage, click the item’s Markup cell, and then either type the percentage
you want to use or choose a price level (page 137) from the drop-down
list. From then on, the markup is visible only while you work on the estimate.
When you print the estimate or email it to your customer, only the Cost and
Total columns appear in the form.
NOTE  The calculated value in an item’s Total cell isn’t set in stone. If you change the Total value, QuickBooks
recalculates the markup percentage for you. Likewise, if you change the percentage in the Markup cell, QuickBooks
recalculates the value in the Total cell.
3. To email the estimate to your customer later, on the window’s Main tab,
turn on the Email Later checkbox.
QuickBooks queues up the estimate so you can email it later (page 321). For
reasons unknown, you can’t queue up an estimate to print later. If you want to
print an estimate, in the Create Estimates window’s Main tab, click Print, and
then choose Estimate on the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can choose
Print→Save As PDF, and then print the PDF later.
4. When the estimate is complete, click Save & Close to save it and close the
Create Estimates window.
After you’ve created an estimate and printed it or emailed it to your customer,
you don’t do much with it until the customer gives you the nod for the job.
Creating Multiple Estimates
Whether you’re creating a second estimate because the customer thought the first
price was too high or creating another estimate with the add-ons the customer has
requested, it’s easy to build and manage several estimates for the same job. You’ve
got the following methods at your disposal:
• Creating an estimate. You can create additional estimates for a job simply by
creating a new estimate as described in the previous section. When you create
additional estimates, QuickBooks makes them active so they appear in the
Available Estimates dialog box (page 224) when you choose the corresponding
customer in the Create Invoices window. Active estimates also appear in the
Estimates by Job report (Reports→Jobs, Time & Mileage→Estimates by Job)
shown in Figure 10-35.
• Duplicating an estimate. If you want to play what-if games with an existing
estimate, you can duplicate it and then make your adjustments. In the Create
Estimates window, display the estimate you want to copy and then, on the Main
tab, click “Create a Copy” or right-click the estimate and choose Duplicate Estimate
from the shortcut menu. Either way, QuickBooks pulls everything from
the existing estimate onto a new one and assigns it the next estimate number
in sequence. After you make the changes you want, click Save & Close or Save &
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New. (The box on page 281 tells you how to create boilerplate estimates, which
is faster if you intend to duplicate an estimate frequently.)
• Finding an estimate. When you know the estimate you want exists, you can
search for it based on the customer or job, when you created it, its number, or
the amount. On the Create Estimates window’s Main tab, click Find or right-click
in the window and then choose Find Estimates from the shortcut menu. In the
Find Estimates dialog box that appears, fill in what you know about the estimate,
and then click Find. If you click Advanced, QuickBooks opens the full-blown
Find window so you can set more specific criteria (page 334).
FIGURE 10-35
If you have too many
estimates to find the
right one by clicking the
Create Estimate window’s
Previous and Next arrows,
try running the Estimates
by Job report.
This report includes
an Estimate Active
column, which contains a
checkmark if the estimate
is active. Double-click
anywhere in a line to
open that estimate in the
Create Estimates window.
• Making an estimate inactive. When you create several estimates for the same
work, eventually you and your customer will pick one to run with. Once you’ve
picked an estimate, make the others inactive. To do that, display an estimate in
the Create Estimates window and then, on the Main tab, click Mark As Inactive.
Then click Save & New to save the estimate while keeping the Create Estimates
window open. If you want to make another estimate inactive, on the Main tab,
click the left arrow (Previous) or the right arrow (Next) until the estimate in
question appears, and then repeat these steps.
QuickBooks won’t display inactive estimates in the Available Estimates dialog
box (page 224), but you still have a record of them, which you can see by clicking
the Next or Previous arrow on the Create Estimates window’s Main tab, or
by running the Estimates by Job report.
• Deleting an estimate. Deleting an estimate isn’t the no-no that deleting an
invoice is. (The only risk is that you’ll realize you wanted to keep the estimate
as soon as you delete it.) In the Create Estimates window, display the estimate
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you want to axe and then, on the Main tab, click Delete. Alternatively, right-click
the estimate in the Create Estimates window and then choose Delete Estimate
from the shortcut menu. In the Delete Transaction dialog box, click OK to get
rid of the estimate.
NOTE  To protect profit margins from being nibbled away by small changes, many businesses keep track
of every change that a customer requests (called change orders). The Contractor and Accountant editions of
QuickBooks let you track change orders on estimates.
POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Building Boilerplate Estimates
Suppose you’ve put a lot of thought into the typical tasks
you perform and the materials you need for different types
of jobs. Creating boilerplate estimates that take into account
your performance on similar, completed jobs helps you quickly
produce estimates for new jobs. Your new customer will be
impressed by your speedy response, and you’ll be confident
that you haven’t forgotten anything.
To create a boilerplate estimate, build an estimate with all the
information you reuse, and then have QuickBooks memorize
it. Here’s how:
1. In the Create Estimates window, fill in all the fields and line
items you want in the boilerplate estimate. If you want
to capture the items you use but not the quantities, in
the line-item table, leave the quantity (Qty) cells blank.
2. To memorize the estimate, press Ctrl+M or right-click the
estimate and then choose Memorize Estimate from the
shortcut menu. You can also click Memorize on the Create
Estimates window’s Main tab.
3. QuickBooks tells you that it will remove the Customer: Job
so you can use the memorized estimate for any customer.
Click OK to dismiss the message.
4. In the Memorize Transaction dialog box, type a name
for the estimate, such as Dinner Dance for a boilerplate
estimate for a fancy soiree. And because you’ll use this
estimate only when you get a similar job, choose the Do
Not Remind Me option.
5. Click OK to add the estimate to your Memorized Transaction
List.
That’s all there is to it. To use your boilerplate estimate to bid
on a similar job, press Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction
List window (or choose Lists→Memorized Transaction
List). Double-click the memorized estimate to open the Create
Estimates window with the memorized estimate’s information
displayed; QuickBooks fills in the current date and the next
estimate number in the sequence. In the Customer:Job box,
choose the new customer. Make any other changes you want,
and then click Save & Close.
Creating an Invoice from an Estimate
Whether you create one estimate for a job or several, you can generate invoices
from your estimates. In fact, if you open the Create Invoices window and choose
a customer or job for which estimates exist, QuickBooks displays the Available
Estimates dialog box, which lists all the active estimates for that customer or job.
If you haven’t turned on progress invoicing (page 661), you can tell QuickBooks
to close an estimate after you turn it into an invoice. To do that, choose
Edit→Preferences→Jobs & Estimates, click the Company Preferences tab, and
then turn on the “Close estimate after converting to invoice” checkbox. Once you
do that, when you create an invoice from an estimate as described in this section,
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QuickBooks automatically flags all the items on the estimate as invoiced. However,
the estimate is still active in case you want to use it again.
NOTE  This section explains how to turn an entire estimate into an invoice. See page 284 to learn how to
use estimates to generate progress invoices when you reach milestones on large projects.
To use an estimate to create an invoice, do the following:
1. Press Ctrl+I to open the Create Invoices window and then, in the Customer:Job
drop-down list, choose the customer or job you want to invoice.
If one or more estimates exist for that customer or job, the Available Estimates
dialog box opens, listing the active estimates for that customer or job, as shown
in Figure 10-36.
NOTE  You don’t have to use your estimate to create an invoice if, say, you want to invoice for your actual
time and materials. In that situation, click Cancel. The Available Estimates dialog box closes, and you can fill in
the Create Invoices window’s line-item table.
FIGURE 10-36
To keep your customer happy, be
sure to choose the estimate that
she accepted. The Available Estimates
dialog box shows the date,
amount, and estimate number.
Usually, Amount is the field you
use to choose the agreed-upon
estimate.
2. In the Available Estimates dialog box, click anywhere in the row for the
estimate you want, and then click OK.
The Create Progress Invoice Based On Estimate dialog box appears with the
“Create invoice for the entire estimate (100%)” option selected.
3. Click OK.
QuickBooks opens the Create Invoices window and fills in the information from
the estimate.
4. Make any changes you want and then click Save & Close.
You’re done!
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INVOICES Comparing Estimates to Actuals
Customers who write you blank checks are rare, so most jobs require estimates of
what the work will cost. When you finish a job that you estimated, take some time
to run the Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary report (it’s on the Reports→Jobs,
Time & Mileage submenu) to see how you did compared with your estimate. Do
this a few times, and the accuracy of your estimates should improve dramatically.
If you invoice jobs based on the progress you’ve made (as described in the next
section), run the Job Progress Invoices vs. Estimates report instead (it’s on the
Reports→Jobs, Time & Mileage submenu if you have the progress invoicing preference
[page 661] turned on). It compares your estimate with actual performance
through your most recent progress invoice.
Creating Progress Invoices
When you work on jobs and projects that take more than a few days, you probably
don’t want to wait until a job is completely finished to charge for some of your work.
Progress invoices include charges based on your estimate and the progress you’ve
made on the job. These invoices are common for jobs that are broken into phases or
when customers make payments when you reach milestones. Since most large jobs
start with an estimate, you won’t have to start from scratch when it’s time to invoice
your customer—QuickBooks can convert your estimate into progress invoices with
only a few additional pieces of information.
NOTE  Before you can produce progress invoices, you have to turn on the preferences for both creating
estimates and progress invoicing (page 661).
Progress Invoicing Options
Progress invoices are still invoices; they just happen to link to estimates you’ve created
for a job. In the Create Invoices window, when you choose a customer or job,
QuickBooks checks to see if an estimate exists. If there’s at least one estimate for
that customer or job, QuickBooks opens the Available Estimates dialog box so you
can choose an estimate to invoice against.
To get started creating a progress invoice, select an estimate in the Available Estimates
dialog box, and then click OK; QuickBooks opens the Create Progress Invoice
Based On Estimate dialog box (Figure 10-37). When you create your first progress
invoice for a job, this dialog box lets you choose to invoice the entire estimate or
only a portion. Here are your options and when you might use them:
• Create invoice for the entire estimate (100%). This option is perfect if you
prepared an estimate to get approval before starting a job and you completed
the job in a short period of time. QuickBooks takes care of the grunt work of
transferring all the services, products, and other items from the estimate to
the invoice.
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NOTE  You can edit the invoice amounts that come from an estimate, which is handy if your actual costs were
higher than your estimate, for instance. However, the contract you signed determines whether your customer will
actually pay the revised amounts!
FIGURE 10-37
The “Create invoice for the
entire estimate (100%)”
option is available only
the first time you create
a progress invoice for
an estimated job. After
that, you have to invoice
based on a percentage of
the entire estimate, by
picking individual items,
or for the remaining
amounts on the estimate
(that last option isn’t
shown here).
• Create an invoice for the remaining amounts of the estimate. For every
progress invoice after the first one for a job, you’ll see this option instead of
“Create invoice for the entire estimate (100%).” Pick this option when you’re
ready to create your last invoice for the job. Its sole purpose is to save you the
hassle of calculating the percentages that you haven’t yet billed.
• Create invoice for a percentage of the entire estimate. Choose this option if
you negotiated a contract that pays a percentage when you reach a milestone,
such as 15 percent when the house’s foundation is complete. (Of course, you
and the customer have to agree that a milestone is complete; QuickBooks can’t
help you with that.) This option is also handy if your contract specifies a number
of installment payments. In the “% of estimate” box, type the percentage
you’ve completed.
Don’t use this option if you include inventory on the estimate, because the
invoice you create might contain fractional quantities of inventory items. For
example, if you estimate 10 inventory items and then create a progress invoice
for 33 percent of the job, the invoice will include 3.33 inventory items. You can
avoid this by using the selected items option (described next) instead.
TIP  Suppose your contract includes a clause that covers cost overruns, and the job ended up costing 20 percent
more than your estimate. You might wonder how you can charge for that extra 20 percent. The hidden solution
is that the “% of estimate” box doesn’t limit you to 100 percent. So in this example, you’d type 120 percent for
the last invoice to reflect the costs that exceeded the estimate.
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INVOICES • Create invoice for selected items or for different percentages of each item.
This option is the most flexible and a must if you bill customers only for the work
that’s actually complete. For example, if you’re building an office complex, one
building might be complete while another is still in the framing phase. When
you select this option, you can choose the services and products to include
on the invoice and specify different percentages for each one. When you click
OK, the “Specify Invoice Amounts for Items on Estimate” dialog box appears,
initially showing your estimated amounts and any previously invoiced amounts.
The next section tells you how to fill in this dialog box.
Fine-Tuning a Progress Invoice
When you click OK in the Create Progress Invoice Based On Estimate dialog box
(or, if you chose items to invoice, the “Specify Invoice Amounts for Items on Estimate”
dialog box), QuickBooks automatically fills in the invoice with the estimate’s
items, percentages, and amounts. You don’t have to stick with the numbers that
QuickBooks comes up with—you can reconfigure the charges on the invoice any way
you want, as shown in Figure 10-38. However, it’s always a good idea to review the
customer’s contract and get approval before you make any increases or additions
not covered by the contract.
FIGURE 10-38
When you provide
materials for a job,
they’re either onsite or
not. (Assigning 50 percent
to materials makes sense
only if half the boxes
made it.) If you create an
invoice for 25 percent of
the job, you can change
the invoice to cover 100
percent for materials by
editing the values in the
“Total %” column.
Changing a “Total %” cell
also solves the problem
of one task that’s far
behind—or far ahead.
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You can modify line items directly in a QuickBooks invoice, but that approach doesn’t
create a record of your changes. If you want to keep a record of the changes you
make between the estimate and the progress invoice, follow these steps instead:
1. Open the progress invoice in the Create Invoices window.
Press Ctrl+I, and then click the window’s left arrow (Previous) button until the
progress invoice you want appears. You can also open an invoice from the
Customer Center: On the center’s Customers & Jobs tab, select the customer
you want. Then, on the Transactions tab in the center’s lower right, in the Show
drop-down list, click Invoices. Finally, double-click the invoice you want to open.
2. On the Create Invoices window’s Main tab, click Progress.
The “Specify Invoice Amounts for Items on Estimate” dialog box shown in
Figure 10-39 opens.
FIGURE 10-39
You can change only the
cells in columns with a
white background.
The columns with a gray
background simply show
the values from the
estimate and previous
progress invoices.
3. Before you begin changing values, make sure that the correct columns are
visible by turning on the “Show Quantity and Rate” and/or Show Percentage
checkbox.
For example, if you’re invoicing based on overall progress, turn on the Show
Percentage checkbox. That way, you can invoice for the percentage of the
work that’s done, such as 40%. If you want to invoice for the materials you’ve
used and the hours people have worked, turn on the “Show Quantity and Rate”
checkbox. QuickBooks remembers which checkbox(es) you turn on and turns
the same one(s) on the next time you open this dialog box.
4. To change a value on the progress invoice, click the cell you want to change.
Changing a rate is a rare occurrence. However, it might happen if, say, you have
a contract that bumps your consulting rate by 10 percent for the next calendar
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year. Then, if the job runs into the next calendar year, you can increase the rate
for the hours worked in January.
When you change a value in the table, QuickBooks recalculates the other columns.
For example, if you type a percentage in a “Curr %” (current percentage)
cell, QuickBooks calculates the amount to invoice by multiplying your estimated
amount by the current percentage. The “Tot %” column shows the sum of previously
invoiced amounts and the current amount.
5. To apply your changes, click OK.
QuickBooks closes the “Specify Invoice Amounts for Items on Estimate” dialog
box and takes you back to the modified progress invoice.
6. Save the progress invoice by clicking Save & New or Save & Close.
Handling Customer Refunds and Credits
If a customer returns a product or finds an overcharge on her last invoice, you have
two choices: Issue a credit against her balance, or issue a refund by writing her a
check. If the customer is happy with a credit, then you can apply a credit to her
account. On the other hand, if the customer doesn’t want to wait to get the money
she’s due or isn’t planning to purchase anything else from you, a refund check is
the logical solution. In either case, credits and refunds both begin with a credit
memo like the one shown in Figure 10-40; this transaction explains the details of
the credit or refund.
FIGURE 10-40
A credit memo looks
a lot like an invoice,
except that the items you
add represent money
flowing from you to the
customer instead of the
other way around. Don’t
enter negative numbers—
QuickBooks takes care of
calculating the money
due based on the value of
the items.
The right side of the
Create Credit Memos/Refunds
window displays a
summary of the customer
or job and recent transactions.
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Here’s how to transform an invoice into a credit memo to refund a customer’s money:
1. Open the invoice in the Create Invoices window.
The easiest way to find and open the invoice is by clicking Find on the Create
Invoices window’s Main tab. In the Find box, type the customer’s name or the
invoice number, and then click Find. When you see the correct invoice in the
Find box, click it, and then click Go To.
2. On the right side of the Create Invoices window’s Main tab, click the Refund/
Credit button.
QuickBooks opens the Create Credit Memos/Refunds window (Figure 10-40)
and copies the information from the invoice into the credit memo.
3. If necessary, edit the credit memo.
For example, if you want to refund only a portion of the invoice, you can edit
values or delete lines from the credit memo. Simply right-click a line in the lineitem
table and choose Delete Line on the shortcut menu.
4. If you want to print or email the credit memo, turn on the Print Later or
Email Later checkbox.
5. When you’re done, click Save & Close.
The Available Credit dialog box appears with three options for handling the
credit, as shown in Figure 10-41.
Creating Credit Memos
You can also create a credit memo from scratch to, for example, write off bad debt
for all of a customer’s open invoices. Here’s how:
1. In the Home Page’s Customers panel, click Refunds & Credits, or choose
Customers→Create Credit Memos/Refunds.
The Create Credit Memos/Refunds window opens. If you stay on top of your
invoice numbers, you’ll notice that QuickBooks automatically uses the next
invoice number as the credit memo’s number.
2. As you would for an invoice, choose a Customer:Job.
Choose a class if you use classes, and, if necessary, choose the credit memo
template you want to use.
3. In the line-item table, add a line for each item you want to credit.
Be sure to include all the charges you want to refund, including shipping and
taxes.
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FIGURE 10-41
When you save a credit memo with available credit, QuickBooks
displays this dialog box.
To keep the credit around and apply it later (page 195)—to the next
invoice you create for the customer, for example—choose “Retain as an
available credit.” If you choose “Give a refund,” QuickBooks opens the
Issue a Refund window so you can write the refund check.
Don’t choose “Apply to an invoice” unless that customer has an open
invoice you can apply the refund to.
TIP  If you want to include a message to the customer, choose it in the Customer Message box.
4. If you want to print or email the credit memo, turn on the Print Later or
Email Later checkbox.
5. When you’re done, click Save & Close.
When you save a credit memo with an available credit balance, the Available Credit
dialog box appears with three options for handling the credit, as explained in Figure
10-41.
Creating Refund Checks
If your customer is dreadfully disgruntled, you’ll probably want to write a refund
check. If you didn’t do that when the Available Credit dialog box appeared (see the
previous section), here’s how to do it now:
1. Open the Customer Center and, on the Customers & Jobs tab, select the
customer.
2. On the Transactions tab in the window’s lower right, in the Show drop-down
list, choose Credit Memos.
The list of open credit memos for that customer appears.
3. Double-click the credit memo that you want to refund as a check.
The Create Credit Memos/Refunds window opens to that credit memo.
4. In the window’s Main tab, click the “Use credit to give refund” button.
QuickBooks opens the Issue a Refund window and fills in all the information
you need to create the refund.
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5. In the Issue a Refund window, make sure the settings are correct.
In the window’s “Issue this refund via” box, QuickBooks chooses Check and
selects the checking account you set in your checking preferences (page 646).
If the red-faced customer is staring at you from across the counter, choose Cash
instead, and then click OK.
If the Issue a Refund window’s “To be printed” checkbox is turned on (which it is
automatically), QuickBooks adds the check to the queue of checks waiting to be
printed. Click OK to close the Issue a Refund window, and then click Save & Close
in the Create Credit Memos/Refunds window. Then, to print the refund check right
away, choose File→Print Forms→Checks. In the Select Checks to Print dialog
box, make sure that the checkmark cell for the refund check is turned on, and
then click OK. (See page 206 for the full story on printing queued-up checks.)
NOTE  You can also refund money via credit card or other methods, such as E-Check and EFT, depending on
the payment services you’ve signed up for.
Applying Credits to Existing Invoices
If a customer has an unpaid invoice or statement, you can apply a credit to it and
reduce the amount that the customer owes. Here’s how:
1. Open the invoice in the Create Invoices window.
In the Customer Center (Customers→Customer Center), on the Customers &
Jobs tab, select the customer. Next, on the Transactions tab in the window’s
lower right, in the Show drop-down list, choose Invoices. Then, in the Filter
By box, choose Open Invoices. When you see the correct invoice in the table,
double-click it to open it in the Create Invoices window.
2. At the top of the Create Invoices window, click Apply Credits.
The Apply Credits dialog box shown in Figure 10-42 opens.
3. To apply one of the customer’s credits, in the Available Credits table, turn
on the checkmark cell for that credit.
If the customer has only one credit, QuickBooks turns on its checkmark cell
automatically. If you don’t see the credit you expect, it might apply to a different
job or to the customer only. In that case, click Cancel and start again with step
1. The box below explains how to transfer a credit for one job to another job.
4. In the Apply Credits dialog box, click Done.
QuickBooks takes you back to the Create Invoices window, which shows the
credit amount in the Payments Applied field and the Balance Due reduced by
the amount of the credit.
5. Click Save & Close.
That’s all there is to it.
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FIGURE 10-42
When you turn on the checkmark cells
next to credits listed in the Available
Credits table, the Credits Used value
near the top of the dialog box shows
the total amount of credit you’re applying,
and the Balance Due number
shows how much is still due on the
invoice.
If the original invoice’s balance is less
than the available credit, QuickBooks
applies only enough of the credit to
set the invoice’s balance to zero. You
can apply the remaining credit to
another invoice by repeating the steps
in this section.
WORKAROUND WORKSHOP
Applying a Credit for One Job to a Different Job
If you work on several jobs for the same customer, the customer
might ask you to apply a credit from one job to another. For
example, perhaps the job with the credit is already complete
and the customer wants to use that credit for another job
that’s still in progress.
QuickBooks doesn’t have a ready-made feature for transferring
credits between jobs. If you want to transfer the credit
and satisfy your accountant, a couple of journal entries (page
436) will do the trick, but first you have to create an account
to hold these credit transfers. In your chart of accounts, create
an Other Expense account (page 49) and call it something
like Credit Memo Transfers, Credit Memo Swap Account, or
Clearing Account.
Because you’re moving money into and out of Accounts
Receivable and QuickBooks allows only one Accounts Receivable
account per journal entry, you need two journal entries
to complete the credit transfer: one that moves the credit
from the first job into the clearing account, and a second that
completes the transfer from the clearing account to the new
job. Figure 10-43 shows what the two journal entries look like.
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FIGURE 10-43
Top: The first journal
entry transfers the
amount of the credit
memo from the first job
into the clearing account;
you have to choose the
customer and job in the
Name cell. (Typing a note
in the Memo cell can help
you follow the money
trail later.)
Bottom: The second
journal entry transfers
the amount of the credit
memo from the clearing
account to the second job.
Applying Credits to New Invoices
If you create a new invoice for a customer who has a credit due, on the Main tab of
the Create Invoices window, the Apply Credits button comes to life. Here’s how to
apply a credit to reduce the invoice’s balance:
1. With the new invoice visible in the Create Invoices window (press Ctrl+I to
open it), on the Main tab, click Apply Credits.
QuickBooks opens the Apply Credits dialog box shown in Figure 10-42.
2. Turn on the checkmarks for each credit you want to apply to the invoice,
and then click Done.
In the Create Invoices window, you’ll see the credit amount in the Payments
Applied field and the Balance Due reduced by the amount of the credit.
Modifying Invoices
You can make changes to invoices as you work on them or after you’ve saved them
to, for example, add or remove items a customer requests. And if a customer decides
to cancel an entire order, you can void an invoice, which zeroes out its total.
You can even delete an invoice, although this maneuver makes sense only if you
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created the invoice by mistake. This section describes how to perform all these
invoice-related tasks.
Editing Invoices
While you’re in the process of creating an invoice or a sales receipt, you can jump
to any field and change its value, delete lines, or insert new ones.
Even after you’ve saved an invoice, editing it is easy: Anytime an invoice is visible in
the Create Invoices window, you can click any field and make whatever change you
want. If you’ve already printed the invoice, turn on the Print Later checkbox so you
don’t forget to reprint the form with the changes you made.
TIP  If you’ve already received a payment against an invoice, don’t edit that invoice; doing so can disrupt
the connections between payment, invoice, and accounts to the point that you’ll never straighten it out. If you
undercharged the customer, simply create a new invoice with the missing charges on it. If you charged the
customer for something she didn’t buy, issue a credit memo or refund (see page 287).
Voiding and Deleting Invoices
Sometimes, you want to eliminate an invoice—for instance, when you create one by
mistake and want to remove its values from your accounts. QuickBooks provides
two options, but for your sanity’s sake, you should always void invoices that you
don’t want rather than deleting them.
When you void an invoice, QuickBooks resets its dollar values to zero so that your
account balances show no sign of the transaction. It also marks the transaction
as void so you know what happened to it when you stumble upon it in the future.
If you delete an invoice instead, QuickBooks truly deletes the transaction, removing
its dollar values from your accounts and deleting all signs of it. All that remains is
a hole in your invoice-numbering sequence and an entry in the audit trail that says
you deleted the transaction (page 441). If your accountant or the IRS looks at your
books a few years down the road, your chances of remembering what happened
to the invoice are slim. And if an invoice has a payment attached to it, deleting it is
even more problematic: You have to delete the bank deposit first, followed by the
customer’s payment, and then finally the invoice. Bottom line: Don’t delete invoices;
void them instead.
To void an invoice:
1. Open the Create Invoices window, and then, on the Main tab, click Find.
2. In the Find Invoices dialog box, fill in the invoice number, customer name, or
date, and then click Find. In the Find dialog box that appears, double-click
the invoice you want to void.
The invoice appears in the Create Invoices window.
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3. Right-click in the Create Invoices window, and then choose Void Invoice
from the shortcut menu.
All the values in the form change to zero, and QuickBooks adds “VOID” to
the Memo field. To remind yourself why you voided this transaction, type the
reason after “VOID.”
4. Click Save & Close.
NOTE  If you open the Accounts Receivable register’s window, you might get nervous when you see the
word “Paid” in the Amt Paid column of a voided transaction. Don’t worry: Notice that the amount paid is zero,
and that the word “Void” is in the Description field. The word “Paid” in the Amt Paid column is just QuickBooks’
way of telling you the invoice is no longer open.
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tatements are the perfect solution for businesses that charge individuals for
time and other services in bits and pieces, such as law offices, cellphone service
providers, and astrology advisors. Statements can summarize the charges
racked up during the statement period (usually a month). They’re also great for showing
payments and outstanding balances, the way your cable bill shows the charges
for your monthly service, the pay-per-view movies you ordered, your last payment,
and your current balance. So even if you invoice your customers, you can send statements
to show them their previous balances, payments received, new charges, and
overdue invoices. (To learn about what statements don’t do, see page 219.)
However, business-to-business invoicing is another story. Most accounting departments
process only vendor invoices and credit memos for payments, so statements
end up in the wastebasket. So if you do business only with other businesses, you’re
better off turning off QuickBooks’ statements feature (the Note on page 296 explains
where to find the preference to do that).
In this chapter, you’ll find out how to produce statements, whether you accumulate
charges over time or simply summarize your customers’ account statuses.
Generating Statements
Think of a statement as a report of all the charges and payments during the statement
period that you can send to your customer. The dates you choose for the statement
determine its previous balance and the charges and customer payments it includes.
Businesses typically send statements out once a month, but you can generate them
for any time period you want.
Producing Statements
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NOTE  To work with statements and statement charges, make sure the statements preference is turned on.
Choose Edit→Preferences→Desktop View, and then click the Company Preferences tab. Make sure the “Statements
and Statement Charges” checkbox is turned on, and then click OK.
In QuickBooks, creating statements is a simple process:
1. If you want to charge your customers directly on statements, in the Accounts
Receivable account register, enter statement charges (explained in
a moment) for the services or other items you delivered to your customers.
If you use statements simply to show invoices, payments, and the resulting
balance, you can skip this step.
2. Generate statements for your customers.
The following pages explain how to complete both these steps.
Creating Statement Charges
Statement charges are charges for services and items you deliver to your customers
that you add directly to the Accounts Receivable account. They look like the line
items you see on invoices, except for a few small but important omissions. When
you select an item for a statement charge, you won’t see any Sales Tax, percentage
discount, Subtotal, or Group items in the Item drop-down list because QuickBooks
doesn’t let you use those features in statements. When you generate statements
(explained in the next section), QuickBooks automatically grabs any payments that
have been made, so you don’t see Payment items in the Item drop-down list, either.
Here are the types of items that you can use to create statement charges:
• Service items
• Inventory Part items
• Inventory Assembly items (if you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise)
• Non-inventory Part items
• Other Charge items
TIP  Statement charges don’t handle sales tax. For that reason, you should use an invoice to bill for taxable
items so QuickBooks can calculate the sales tax for you. Then, if you generate statements, QuickBooks scoops up
that invoice and pops it into the appropriate statement.
Unlike invoice line items, you create statement charges directly in the Accounts
Receivable register for the customer or job that racked up the charges, as shown in
Figure 11-1. A statement charge has fields much like those for a line item in an invoice,
although they’re scrunched into two lines in the Accounts Receivable register. If you
track your time and billable expenses in QuickBooks, you can use the Time/Costs
feature to add billable time and expenses to the customer’s Accounts Receivable
register without going through the steps to create statement charges. This section
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explains how to add statement charges directly to the Accounts Receivable register
and how to use the Time/Costs feature.
FIGURE 11-1
Because invoices, payments,
and credits post to
your Accounts Receivable
account, statements
automatically pull those
transactions from your
Accounts Receivable
account’s register.
You enter statement charges in a customer’s Accounts Receivable register (which
is where QuickBooks stores the customer’s invoices, credits, and payments), so
the total in the register represents the customer’s balance. Here’s how to create a
statement charge:
1. Choose Customers→Enter Statement Charges or, in the Home Page’s Customers
panel, click the Statement Charges icon.
The Accounts Receivable register window opens.
2. In the Customer:Job drop-down list, choose the customer or job to whom
you want to assign the statement charge.
NOTE  If, instead of following the instructions in step 1 of this list, you open the Accounts Receivable register
window by double-clicking the account in the Chart of Accounts window, Time/Costs doesn’t appear in the window’s
toolbar and the Customer:Job field appears in each transaction row instead of at the top of the window.
3. If you track billable time, costs, or mileage, create statement charges for
those items by clicking Time/Costs in the Accounts Receivable window’s
toolbar.
The “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog box that opens is almost exactly
the same one you see when you add billable time and costs to an invoice
(page 253). The one difference: the “Date for each statement charge” options.
Initially, QuickBooks selects the “Dates from tables below” option, which tells
QuickBooks to use the dates from the statement charges. If you select the
“This date” option instead and choose a date, QuickBooks creates statement
charges for the time and costs and fills in their Date and Due Date fields with
the date you specified.
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In the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” tables, select the time and expenses
you want to add, and then click OK. QuickBooks adds the selected items to the
Accounts Receivable register and sets their Type to STMTCHG to indicate that
the charges will appear on a statement instead of an invoice.
4. To add a statement charge to the Accounts Receivable register, in a blank
line of the register, choose the item you want to charge for from the Item
drop-down list.
Figure 11-2 shows the fields for a blank transaction. When you choose an item,
QuickBooks fills in the Rate and Description fields with the rate and description
from the item’s record (page 105) and sets the Type to STMTCHG to denote a
charge that appears on a statement rather than an invoice. The program also
copies the value in the Rate field to the Amt Chrg field (the total amount for
the charge).
FIGURE 11-2
Labels for statement
charge fields appear
above the register in
the Accounts Receivable
register window.
Each cell in a transaction
row displays its field label
in gray text until you click
that cell to select it.
5. Press Tab to move to the Qty field, and then type a quantity for the item. (If
you don’t use a quantity and rate, then type the amount you want to charge
in the Amt Chrg field instead.)
If you enter a quantity (based on the units for the item as described in the Note
on page 105), then when you move to another field (by pressing Tab or clicking
the field), QuickBooks updates the total amount in the Amt Chrg field by
multiplying the rate by the quantity.
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6. If you want to change the rate, press Tab to move to the Rate field, and then
type the correct value.
When you edit the value in the Rate field, QuickBooks recalculates the amount
in the Amt Chrg field.
7. If you want to revise the charge’s description (which will appear on the
statement you create), edit the Description field.
QuickBooks automatically fills in this field with the first paragraph of the Description
field (labeled “Description on Sales Transaction” if the service is performed
by a subcontractor or partner) from the item’s record, but you can see only a
smidgeon of it. To see the whole thing, put your cursor over the Description field,
and QuickBooks displays the field’s full contents in a tooltip just below the field.
8. If you use classes (page 134), in the Class field, choose the one you want.
You can skip the Class field if it doesn’t apply to this statement charge. If you
set the preference to make QuickBooks prompt you about classes (page 642),
then when you try to save the statement charge, QuickBooks asks if you want
to save it without a class. Click Save Anyway to omit the class, or click Cancel
to return to the transaction and add one.
9. To control which statement the charge appears on, in the Billed Date field,
choose a date for the charge.
QuickBooks uses the value in this field to determine which statement includes
the charge. When you add a statement charge that you want to save for a future
statement, be sure to choose a billed date within the correct time period. For
example, if a membership fee comes due in April, choose a billed date that falls
in April. That way, the statement charge won’t show up until you generate the
customer’s April statement. On the other hand, if you forgot a charge from the
previous month, set its billed date to a day in the current month so the charge
appears on this month’s statement.
10. If you plan to assess finance charges for late payments, then in the Due Date
field, choose the day when payment is due.
QuickBooks uses this date along with your preferences for finance charges
(page 652) to calculate any late charges the customer owes you. (The due date
is based on the terms you apply to the customer [page 69].) But late-charge
calculations don’t happen until you generate statements.
11. To save the statement charge, click the Record button.
TIP  If you charge the same amount every month, memorize the first statement charge: With the statement
charge filled in and selected in the register, either press Ctrl+M or right-click the statement charge and choose
Memorize Stmt Charge on the shortcut menu. In the Memorize Transaction dialog box, set its recurrence schedule
to the same day each month and choose the option to record the transaction automatically (page 324), and then
click OK. QuickBooks then takes care of entering your statement charges for you, so all you have to do is generate
customer statements once a month.
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QuickBooks is smart, but it can’t read your mind. The statements it generates include
only the statement charges and other transactions you’ve entered. So before
you produce monthly statements, double-check that you’ve entered all payments,
credits, and refunds that your customers are due, and all new statement charges
for the period.
To begin creating statements, choose Customers→Create Statements or, in the Home
Page’s Customers panel, click the Statements icon. As Figure 11-3 shows, everything
about the statements you generate appears in the Create Statements window, including
the date range for the statements, the customers you want to send statements
to, the template you’re using, printing options, and finance charges. The sections
that follow explain your options and the best ways to apply them.
FIGURE 11-3
The options in the Select
Customers section let you
create statements for a
subset of your customers,
which comes in handy if
you send statements to
some customers by email
and to some by U.S. mail,
for example. In that case,
you’d create two sets: one
for email and the other
for paper. You can also
create a statement for
a single customer if you
made a mistake and want
a corrected version. Or
you can generate statements
only for customers
with balances.
CHOOSING THE DATE RANGE
Statements typically cover a set time period, like a month. But the statement’s date
doesn’t have to be during that period. For example, you might wait until the day
after the period ends to generate the statement so you’re sure to capture every
transaction. In the Create Statements window’s Select Statement Options section,
you can adjust the following settings:
• Statement Date. In this field, type the date that you want to appear on the
statement. In Figure 11-3, for example, the statement date is the day after the
last day of the statement period.
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STATEMENTS • Statement Period From _ To _. Select this option to create statements for a
period of time. For example, if you produce monthly statements, in the From
box, choose the first day of the month, and in the To box, choose the last day
of the month. Or you can choose dates to generate statements for a quarter
or other date range.
• All open transactions as of Statement Date. Choosing this option adds every
unpaid statement charge to the statement, regardless of when the charge happened.
This option is particularly helpful when you want to generate a list of all
overdue charges so you can send a reminder to woefully tardy customers. To
filter the list of open transactions to only those overdue by a certain number of
days, turn on the “Include only transactions over _ days past due date” checkbox,
and then type the number of days late.
SELECTING CUSTOMERS
In the Create Statements window’s Select Customers section, QuickBooks initially
selects the All Customers option because most companies send statements to every
customer. But you can choose another option to limit the list of recipients. (The next
time you open the Create Statements window, QuickBooks remembers the option
you chose and selects it automatically.) Here are your other options and the reasons
you might choose each one:
• Multiple Customers. To specify the exact set of customers to whom you want to
send statements (customers who received statements with errors on them, say),
choose this option. After you do that, click the Choose button that appears to its
right. In the Print Statements dialog box that opens, QuickBooks automatically
selects the Manual option, so you can select each customer or job that you want
to send a statement to (click individual customers or jobs in the dialog box’s
list or drag over adjacent customers to select them and display checkmarks
next to their names). The Automatic option isn’t really automatic—you have to
type a customer’s name exactly as it appears in the Customer Name field in the
customer’s record to select that single customer. So it’s much easier to select
the Manual option and then scroll to the name you want.
• One Customer. To create a corrected statement for a single customer, choose
this option. In the field that appears, choose the customer or job.
• Customers of Type. If you categorize customers by type and process their
statements differently, choose this option. For example, you might spread your
billing work out by sending statements to your corporate customers at the end
of the month and to individuals on the 15th. In the drop-down list that appears,
choose a customer type.
• Preferred Send Method. If you print some statements and email others, you’ll
have to create statements in two batches. Choose this option and, in the dropdown
list that appears, pick one of the send methods. For example, choose
E-mail here, and then click the E-mail button at the bottom of the window to
send statements to the customers who prefer to receive bills that way. (Page
318 explains how to email forms.)
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TIP  If you loathe stuffing envelopes and licking stamps, offer your customers a discount for receiving their
statements (or invoices and credit memos) via email. They’re likely to say yes, and you can then send them
statements from QuickBooks in the blink of an eye.
• View Selected Customers. Before you generate statements by clicking Print
or E-mail, click this button to make sure you’ve chosen the correct customers.
SETTING ADDITIONAL OPTIONS
In the Create Statements window’s Template box, QuickBooks automatically selects
Intuit Standard Statement, but you can choose your own customized template
instead (page 714). You can also control what QuickBooks adds to statements and
which statements it should skip:
• Create One Statement. In this drop-down list, choosing Per Customer can save
some trees because it makes QuickBooks generate one statement for each customer,
no matter how many jobs you do for them. (On the statements, charges
are grouped by job.) If each job has its own mailing address, you can create
separate statements for each job instead by choosing Per Job here.
• Show invoice item details on statements. If you send statements only to find
yourself answering customers’ questions about what line items represent, turn on
this checkbox to include invoice details on statements. That way, your customers
can see all the info about the invoices on the statement, which could lead to faster
payments. Say you run a landscaping company and mow lawns once a week.
By turning on this checkbox, you don’t have to send weekly invoices; instead,
you can send a monthly statement that includes the individual invoice details.
• Print statements by billing address zip code. Turn on this checkbox if you
have a bulk-mail permit, which requires that you mail by Zip code.
• Print due date on transactions. QuickBooks automatically turns on this checkbox
because you’ll typically want to show the due date for each entry on your
statements.
• Do not create statements. Printing unnecessary statements is a waste of time
and paper. QuickBooks includes several settings that you can choose to skip
certain statements. For example, you can turn on the “with a zero balance”
checkbox to skip statements for customers who don’t owe you anything. (Leave
this checkbox off if you want to send a statement to show that the customer’s
last payment arrived and that its balance due is zero.)
You might also decide to skip customers unless their balance exceeds your
typical cost of processing a statement. With the cost of a first-class stamp and
letterhead, envelope, and a label, you might skip statements unless the balance
is at least $5 or so. Turn on the “with a balance less than” checkbox and, in the
box to its right, type a dollar value.
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You can also skip customers with no activity during the statement period—no
charges, no payments, no transactions whatsoever—by turning on the “with no
account activity” checkbox.
QuickBooks automatically turns on the “for inactive customers” checkbox because
there’s no reason to send statements to customers who aren’t actively
doing business with you.
• Assess Finance Charges. Not surprisingly, you have to turn on QuickBooks’
finance charge feature before you can assess finance charges (see page 652).
Once you’ve done that, you can click this button to add finance charges to your
statements. In the Assess Finance Charges dialog box, you have the opportunity
to turn off the checkmarks for individual customers. For example, if a squirrel
ate your customer’s last statement, you can turn off the checkmark in that
customer’s entry to tell QuickBooks not to penalize her with a finance charge.
(You can also assess finance charges before you start the statement process
by clicking the Finance Charges icon in the Home Page’s Customers panel.)
Previewing Statements
Before you print statements on expensive letterhead or email them to your customers,
it’s a good idea to preview them to make sure you’ve chosen the right customers
and that the statements are correct. Here’s how to preview statements before you
print or email them:
1. In the Create Statements window, click Preview.
QuickBooks opens the Print Preview window (Figure 11-4), which works like its
counterparts in other programs.
2. Click “Prev page” or “Next page” to view the other statements in this batch.
If you left your reading glasses at home, click Zoom In to get a closer look. (The
button’s label changes to “Zoom Out” so you can click it to return to a bird’seye
view.) Alternatively, simply click anywhere in the Print Preview window to
automatically zoom in (click again to zoom back out).
3. To return to the Create Statements window and print or email your statements,
click Close.
The Print Preview window includes a Print button, but it’s not the best way to
print statements. Clicking it begins printing your statements immediately, so
you don’t have a chance to set your print options, like which printer to use or
the number of copies. To adjust those settings as described on page 308, click
Close, and then click Print in the Create Statements window instead.
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FIGURE 11-4
If you generate statements
for a given time period,
the first line in the body
of a statement is “Balance
forward,” which is the
amount due prior to this
statement’s opening date.
The value in the
Amount Due field is
the total amount the
customer owes you,
which is the sum of the
“Balance forward” value
plus all the transactions
for that customer or job
that happened during the
statement’s date range,
including payments.
At the bottom of the
statement, the Amount
Due figure is carved up
into how much is current
and how much is past due.
Generating Statements
When you’re sure the statements are correct, in the Create Statements window, click
Print or E-mail to generate your statements. This section describes how to do both.
EMAILING STATEMENTS
To email statements directly from QuickBooks, in the Create Statements window,
click E-mail. If you use Microsoft Outlook, QuickBooks creates email messages in
Outlook and automatically fills in the customers’ email addresses. The messages
contain the standard message you’ve set up for statements (page 671).
If you set up QuickBooks to use a web-based email service instead (page 671), the
Send Forms dialog box opens, showing the statements you’re about to email. There
you can select additional statements, turn off statements you don’t want to send,
and click a statement to preview its content. Click Send Now to dispatch them to
your customers.
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PRINTING STATEMENTS
Here’s how to print statements:
1. In the Create Statements window, click Print.
QuickBooks opens the Print Statement(s) dialog box.
2. Choose the printer you want to use.
For example, if you have a printer loaded with preprinted forms, select it in
the “Printer name” drop-down list. (See page 308 to learn how to designate a
printer so QuickBooks uses it every time you print statements.)
3. Select one of the “Print on” options.
If you select “Intuit Preprinted forms,” QuickBooks doesn’t print the name of the
form or the lines around fields, because they’re already on the preprinted page.
The “Blank paper” option tells the program to print the statements exactly the
way you see them in the Print Preview window. The Letterhead option shrinks
the form to leave a 2-inch band at the top of the page for your company logo.
TIP  If your letterhead is laid out in an unusual way (your logo runs down the left side of the page, for
instance), create a custom statement template (page 714) that leaves room for your letterhead elements, and
then choose the “Blank paper” option.
4. In the “Number of copies” box, type the number of copies of each statement
you want to print.
For example, if you want one copy for the customer and one for your files, type 2.
5. Click Print.

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QuickBooks can zip you through the two basic ways of producing and distributing
invoices and other forms: on paper and electronically. Within those two
camps, you can choose to produce and send forms as soon as you complete
them or place them in a queue to process in batches. For sporadic forms, it’s easier
to print or email them as you go. But when you generate dozens or even hundreds
of sales orders, invoices, statements, or checks, printing and emailing batches is a
much better use of your time.
If you have workhorse transactions that you enter again and again, QuickBooks can
memorize them and then fill in most, if not all, of the fields in future transactions
for you. For transactions that happen on a regular schedule—like monthly customer
invoices or vendor bills—the program can remind you when it’s time to record them,
or even add the transactions without any help from you. You can also memorize
transactions that you use occasionally, such as estimates, and call on them only
when you need them.
Once you’ve created lots of transactions, you’ll need a way to locate them. QuickBooks’
search features can help you track down financial info, which you can appreciate
if you’ve ever hunted frantically for a transaction. Whether you want to correct
a billing problem on a customer’s invoice, check whether you paid a vendor’s bill, or
look for the item you want to add to an estimate, QuickBooks gives you several ways
to search. You can look for different types of transactions within various date ranges
in the Customer, Vendor, and Employee centers—and the Inventory Center, if you use
QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise. The Item List window sports a few search boxes
for finding the items you want. Form windows, such as Create Invoices, have a Find
button on their Main tabs so you can quickly find transactions of the corresponding
Transaction Timesavers
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FORMS type. You can use the program’s Search feature to search throughout your company
file or QuickBooks. And the full-blown Find feature is perfect for surgical searches.
This chapter explains all your options.
NOTE  QuickBooks’ Attachments feature lets you attach files to records, such as customers and vendors, and
to transactions, such as invoices. See the box on page 314 for more info.
Printing Forms
Before you can start printing, you have some setup to do. But once QuickBooks’
print settings are in place and there’s paper in your printer, you can print forms with
just a click or two.
If you want to apply special settings to certain types of forms, then for each one,
QuickBooks needs to know the printer you want to use, the paper you print to (like
preprinted forms or letterhead), and a few other details. (The program remembers
these settings, so you have to go through this process only once for each type of
form.) From then on, QuickBooks fills in the Print dialog box’s settings automatically
when you choose a type of form to print, although you can change the settings
before you print.
With these prep tasks behind you, you’re ready to print. You can either print a form
right away or add it to a queue to print in batches. This section explains how to accomplish
all these printing tasks.
TIP  To make sure you don’t forget to process forms, you can create reminders (page 487) for invoices, credit
memos, sales receipts, and—if you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise—sales orders that are queued up to
print.
Setting Print Options
For the forms you print using basic settings—such as printing to your workhorse
printer on blank paper using portrait orientation—you don’t have to bother specifying
print options. But if you print invoices on multipart forms, paychecks on preprinted
check forms, statements on letterhead, and reports on plain paper, you can assign
a different printer and settings to the forms with special printing needs. Keep each
printer stocked with the right type of paper, and you can print your documents
with barely a glance at the print options. If you set up print settings in QuickBooks
before you print, the program will fill in those settings for you automatically when
you choose a type of form. (However, print dialog boxes still appear, so you can
change any print options before committing your documents to paper.)
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TIP  Many of the options in the “Printer setup” dialog box are the same as options you can set within your
operating system, as Figure 12-1 shows. However, QuickBooks keeps the options you choose in its “Printer setup”
dialog box separate from your operating system settings. So, for example, if you use Windows’ printer options to
set your most popular printer to use portrait orientation, you can set that same printer to use landscape orientation
in QuickBooks.
FIGURE 12-1
The printers that you’ve
set up in your operating
system are the ones that
appear in the “Printer
name” list here.
QuickBooks starts out by
displaying the printing
preferences you set up in
your operating system,
but you can adjust them
by choosing a printer and
then clicking Options.
To assign and set up printers for forms in QuickBooks, choose File→Printer Setup.
Then adjust the following settings:
• Form Name. As you learned earlier, in QuickBooks, each form has its own print
settings, so you’re free to print invoices on letterhead, timesheets in landscape
orientation, and checks to a printer filled with preprinted checks. Use this dropdown
list to choose the form you want to set up for printing.
• Printer name. Choose a printer here to designate it as the standard for the
form you selected above. Whenever you print that type of form, QuickBooks
will automatically select this printer, but you can always choose a different
printer when you print—for instance, when you switch between printing paper
documents and creating Adobe PDF files that you can email.
• Options. If you want to adjust the properties for the printer you chose, click
this button. In the dialog box that appears, depending on the type of printer,
you can change things like the document’s orientation, page order, pages per
sheet, print quality, paper tray, color, and so on.
NOTE  The rest of the settings in this list appear for most of the forms in the Form Name drop-down list, but
not all of them. For example, you don’t see the “Printer type” setting for reports (to learn about print settings
for reports, see page 592).
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FORMS • Printer type. When you choose a printer name, QuickBooks fills in this box with
its best guess of the type (it usually guesses right). If it guesses wrong, simply
choose the correct type in this drop-down list. If the printer feeds individual
pages through, such as letterhead or blank paper, choose “Page-oriented (Single
sheets).” If it feeds continuous sheets of paper with perforations on the edges,
such as the green-striped paper so popular in the past, choose “Continuous
(Perforated Edge).”
• Print on. QuickBooks gives you three options here:
• Intuit Preprinted forms. If you purchase preprinted forms, which typically
include your company’s information, field labels, and lines that separate
fields, choose this option. When you print your documents, QuickBooks
includes only the forms’ data.
TIP  If you use preprinted forms, a small misalignment can make your documents look sloppy and unprofessional.
You’ll learn how to align documents to the paper in your printer in the next section.
• Blank paper. This option tells QuickBooks to print everything in your document:
company info, logo, labels, and data. This is the easiest way to print
because you don’t have to worry about aligning the paper and the form. If
you set up a template with your company logo and attractive fonts (page
716), you can produce a professional-looking form on blank paper.
• Letterhead. When you print to letterhead that already includes your company’s
address and other information, you don’t need to print that info on
your documents. Choose this option to tell QuickBooks to skip printing
your company information.
TIP  The Letterhead option tells QuickBooks to start printing the form 2 inches from the top of the paper. If
your letterhead has your logo and company information somewhere other than the top of the page, don’t use
this option. Instead, create a custom template for your form (page 714) to leave room for the logo. Then, when
you print, select the “Blank paper” option.
• Do not print lines around each field. Turning on this checkbox is a matter of
personal preference. Lines around each field make it clear which information
belongs to which label, but you might consider those lines unnecessary. If your
template separates fields to your satisfaction, turn off this checkbox to print
only the labels and data, not borders around each field. (Because preprinted
forms include borders, QuickBooks automatically turns on this checkbox if you
choose the “Intuit Preprinted forms” option.)
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If you’ve ever gotten lost in an office-supply store, you understand why printing
includes so many options. You can print on different types of paper using different
types of printers, and making the two line up properly can be a delicate process.
And besides invoices and other forms, you might also print ancillary documents like
mailing labels and packing slips.
To save some trees and your sanity, make sure the paper in your printer is aligned
properly before you print, especially if you use fancy letterhead or preprinted forms.
(When you use preprinted forms or continuous-feed paper with perforations for
page breaks, the alignment of the paper is crucial; if it’s not lined up properly, your
data won’t appear next to the correct labels or an invoice might print over a page
break.) It’s a good idea to print a sample to check the alignment of your forms and
paper every time you print, but it’s particularly important if you’re printing a big
batch of forms. If the sample’s alignment is off, here’s how to save time, paper, and
your mental health:
1. Choose File→Printer Setup.
The “Printer setup” dialog box opens.
NOTE  You can also align forms just before you print a batch: Choose File→Print Forms, and then choose the
type of form you want to align, such as Invoices. In the “Select [forms] to Print” dialog box, select the ones you
want to print, and then click OK to open the “Print [forms]” dialog box, such as Print Invoices if you’re printing
invoices. In that dialog box, click Align.
2. From the Form Name drop-down list, choose the type of form you want to
align, and then click Align.
If you have more than one template to choose from, QuickBooks opens the
Align Printer dialog box. Choose the template you want to use to align your
paper, and then click OK.
If you have only one template, the program goes straight to a different dialog
box; exactly which one depends on the type of paper that’s selected in the
“Printer setup” dialog box’s “Printer type” list:
• If the Continuous (Perforated Edge) option is selected, you’ll perform both
steps 3 and 4.
• If the Page-oriented (Single sheets) option is selected, the Fine Alignment
dialog box appears and you can skip to step 4.
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3. If the Printer type is Continuous (Perforated Edge), the “Use ‘Coarse’ for
Big Vertical Adjustments” dialog box opens. First, position the paper so
the print head is just below a page break. Next, click Coarse, and then click
OK to print a sample form.
After you print a sample form, don’t adjust the paper in your printer (QuickBooks
warns you several times not to). The form that prints includes text indicating a
pointer line. When the Coarse Alignment dialog box appears on your screen,
in the Pointer Line Position box, type the number of the line preprinted in the
paper’s margin where the pointer line text printed. QuickBooks uses that number
to align the form and the paper. Click OK to print another sample. When
the alignment is correct, click Close. You can then perform a fine alignment, if
necessary, by clicking Fine Align.
4. In the Fine Alignment dialog box’s Vertical and Horizontal boxes (Figure
12-2), type numbers to represent the hundredths of an inch to move the
form to line it up with the paper.
After you tweak the alignment, click Print Sample to check the printed form’s
appearance. When the form is aligned, click OK—and keep your mitts off the
paper in the printer.
FIGURE 12-2
Typing a positive number in the Vertical box moves the form toward
the top of the page. A positive number in the Horizontal box moves
the form to the right on the page.
Negative vertical and horizontal numbers move the form down and to
the left, respectively.
Choosing a Print Method
At the top of each QuickBooks form’s window are the same basic printing options;
Figure 12-3 shows the Create Invoices window as an example. Here’s a guide to your
choices for printing documents:
• Preview a form before printing. On the form window’s Main tab, click Print,
and then choose Preview from the drop-down menu.
• Print one form. If you want to print the current form, on the form window’s
Main tab, click Print, and then choose the type of form from the drop-down
menu (in Figure 12-3, that’s Invoice).
• Printing in batches. If you turn on the Print Later checkbox at the top of the
form window, QuickBooks adds the current form to a queue that you can print
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as a batch. To print the batch of forms, at the top of the form window, click
Print, and then choose Batch from the drop-down menu.
• Print special forms. If you want to print a packing slip, shipping label, or
envelope to go with the form you’re printing, at the top of the form window,
click Print, and then choose Packing Slip, Shipping Label, or Envelope from the
drop-down menu. If you choose Envelope, you have to specify the size and
whether you want to include the return address (you don’t if your envelopes
already have your return address on them).
FIGURE 12-3
From a form’s window,
you can print one
document at a time or
queue them up to print
in batches. You can print
your queued up forms by
choosing Print→Batch
on the form window’s
Main tab.
To process batches of
documents, you can
choose File→Print Forms
from the main QuickBooks
menu bar and then
choose the type of form
you want to print.
Printing One Form
When you display a form in its corresponding window, you can print it right away. To
preview the form before you print it, on the window’s Main tab, click Print→Preview.
The Print Preview window opens and shows you what the form will look like when
you print it. Click Close to close the Print Preview window and return to the form’s
window.
To print the current form, click Print, and then choose the form type (Invoice, in this
example). QuickBooks displays the Print One Invoice dialog box, where you can
choose the printer and paper. (You can also preview the form by clicking Preview
in this dialog box.)
NOTE  To prevent embezzling, QuickBooks automatically saves forms when you print them. That way, if you
change a form after you print it, the audit trail shows a record of the change.
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If the Print Later checkbox is turned on when you save a form, QuickBooks adds
that form to a print queue. After you’ve checked that your printer contains the correct
paper and that the paper is aligned properly, you can print all the forms in the
queue in just a few steps:
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Keeping Related Info Near at Hand
QuickBooks offers a file-attachment feature that lets you attach
files to records and transactions in your company file. For
example, you can attach an electronic copy of a job contract
to a customer record, a photo of an item you sell to the item’s
record, or a scanned receipt to a credit card charge.
QuickBooks gives you several different ways to use this feature,
depending on where you are in the program:
• In the Doc Center (Company→Documents→Doc Center),
you can attach documents that you scan in with a scanner
or drag over from Outlook or folders on your computer.
• In the Customer Center, Vendor Center, Employee Center,
or Inventory Center, select the name or item you want
to attach a file to, and then click the Attach button at
the window’s upper right (the button has a paper-clip
icon on it).
• In a transaction window like Create Invoices, display the
transaction you want to attach something to, and then
click the Attach File button on the window’s Main tab.
When you click either the Attach or Attach File button, the
Attachments window appears. At the top of the window, click
the Computer, Scanner, or Doc Center button to tell QuickBooks
where the file you want to attach is coming from. Or simply drag
the file onto the area labeled “Drop document from Outlook,
your desktop, or folders here.”
Attaching documents to records and transactions keeps reference
info within easy reach. Whenever you open a record or
transaction in QuickBooks that has files attached to it, you
can see those files by clicking the Attach or Attach File button.
However, if you want to attach files that change from time to
time, such as requirements or job drawings, there are some
caveats to be aware of.
When you create an attachment in QuickBooks, you aren’t
attaching the original document. (Some programs, like Word
and Excel, let you insert hyperlinks to files so that clicking a
link opens the original file regardless of where it’s located,
but QuickBooks doesn’t work that way.) Instead, QuickBooks
creates a copy of the file and attaches the copy. So if you edit
the original document, you won’t see those changes in the
attached document. QuickBooks puts the copies it creates in a
set of subfolders within the folder that holds your company file.
For example, say your company file is stored in My Documents\
Data_Files. If you attach a document to an invoice, QuickBooks
stores a copy of the file in the folder My Documents\Data_Files\
Attach\[company file name]\Txn\[ID], where “ID” identifies
the transaction. If you attach a document to a customer’s
record, the copy ends up in My Documents\Data_Files\Attach\
[company file name]\List\Name\[ID], where “ID” is a code that
represents the customer.
QuickBooks is particular about where a company file’s Attach
folder is located. If you move it, your attached files for that
company file won’t show up in the Doc Center. If files go
missing in the Doc Center, make sure the Attach folder is in
the same folder that holds the corresponding company file.
Then, in QuickBooks, choose Company→Documents→Repair
Attached Document Links.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate to the Attach folders
to find your file attachments. You can simply manage your
attached files in the Doc Center.
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1. Choose File→Print Forms, and then choose the type of form you want to
print. (Or, on the Main tab of the form’s window—like Create Invoices, for
example—click Print→Batch.)
Either way, QuickBooks opens the “Select [forms] to Print” dialog box with all
your unprinted forms selected, as shown in Figure 12-4. You can turn checkmarks
on or off one at a time or by dragging down the checkmark column. You
can also select or deselect all the forms by clicking Select All or Select None.
FIGURE 12-4
To remove any form
from the batch, click
its checkmark to turn
it off. After you pay a
bill, you can print a bill
payment receipt: Choose
File→Print Forms→Bill
Payment Stubs to see the
bill payment receipts that
are ready to print.
2. If you’re printing invoices and want to print labels to stick on envelopes,
click Print Labels.
The next section dishes out the details on printing labels. After you print the
labels, you’re back in the “Select [forms] to Print” dialog box, so you can print
the forms that go with them.
3. Click OK to print the selected forms. In the “Print [forms]” dialog box that
appears, click Print.
Because problems can occur during printing (paper jams, low toner, or smears),
QuickBooks opens the “Print [forms] – Confirmation” dialog box after it prints
the forms.
4. If the forms printed correctly, click OK to close the confirmation dialog box.
If a problem occurred, in the “Print [forms] – Confirmation” dialog box, click
the Reprint cell for each form that didn’t print correctly. If the whole batch is
a loss, click Select All. Either way, click OK to reprint the forms you selected.
Printing Mailing and Shipping Labels
QuickBooks can print mailing labels to go with your invoices so you can stick them
on envelopes and mail them to your customers. The trick is that you have to print
the labels before you print invoices because, after you print the selected invoices,
they disappear from the “Select Invoices to Print” dialog box. (To learn how to print
labels that aren’t associated with a form, see the Tip on page 316). Here’s how to
print labels for your invoices:
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1. Choose File→Print Forms, and then choose Invoices.
QuickBooks opens the “Select Invoices to Print” dialog box (Figure 12-4) with
all your unprinted forms selected.
2. In the “Select Invoices to Print” dialog box, click Print Labels.
QuickBooks opens the “Select Labels to Print” dialog box and automatically
chooses the Name option, which prints labels for the names associated with
each form that’s waiting to print.
TIP  If you’ve created forms for a specific customer type or vendor type, in the “Select Labels to Print” dialog
box, choose the Customer Type or Vendor Type option and then, in the option’s drop-down list, select the type
you want to print labels for. These options are better suited for printing labels not associated with your queued
forms—for example, when you want to send a letter to your retail customers informing them of product rebates.
Or you might use them if you process forms for retail and wholesale customers at different times of the month.
Alternatively, if you want to print labels for a mailing without an associated form (like an open-house announcement)
choose File→Print Forms→Labels.
3. To filter the printed labels by location, turn on the “with Zip Codes that
start with” checkbox, and then type the beginning of the Zip code you want.
For example, if you’re offering a seminar for people in the Denver area, you’d
type 801 in the box, as shown in Figure 12-5.
FIGURE 12-5
If you want to print labels for a mailing that has
nothing to do with money (like an announcement
about your new office location), choose File→Print
Forms→Labels.
When you do that, this dialog box opens so you can
jump right to selecting the recipients.
4. In the “Sort labels by” box, choose Name or Zip Code.
If you use bulk mail, choose Zip Code so you can bundle your mail by Zip code
as your bulk-mail permit requires.
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5. To print shipping labels rather than labels that use billing addresses, turn
on the “Print Ship To addresses where available” checkbox.
The “Print labels for inactive names” checkbox can come in handy from time to
time—for instance, if you need to send a letter to past and present customers
to tell them about a product recall.
When you want to send communications to different addresses for each job,
even if the jobs are for the same customer, turn on the “Print labels for jobs”
checkbox.
6. Make sure you’ve selected the labels you want, and then click OK.
QuickBooks opens the Print Labels dialog box.
7. If you’ve already chosen the printer and settings for labels in Printer Setup,
click Print and you’re done. (See the Note below to learn about options for
label printers.)
If you want to print to different labels, in the Label Format drop-down list, choose
the type of label you’re using. (You can find the vendor and label number—like
Avery #5262—on the box of labels.) The drop-down list includes popular Avery
formats and several other options.
After you print your labels, QuickBooks closes the Print Labels dialog box, and
the “Select [forms] to Print” dialog box reappears so you can click OK to proceed
to printing your queued forms as explained on page 314.
NOTE  What if you print labels on a label printer, one of those handy little printers that spits out one label
after another? QuickBooks has a couple of options just for such printers. To print to a label printer, in the Print
Labels dialog box’s “Printer name” box, choose your label printer, and then, in the “Printer type” drop-down
list, choose Label Printer (Single Label). When you do that, two additional checkboxes appear at the dialog box’s
bottom left. If your label printer is too narrow to handle wide labels that are stacked on top of the other, purchase
labels that are tall and narrow instead. Then, in the Print Labels dialog box, turn on the “Rotate 90 degrees”
checkbox, which tells the program to print the labels end to end. If, on the other hand, your label printer feeds
labels on the left side, be sure to turn on the “Printer feed slot on left” checkbox.
Printing Packing Slips
When you ship products to a customer, it’s common to include a packing slip that
describes what should be in the shipment. In QuickBooks, you have to print each
packing slip individually from the Create Invoices window. (The packing-slip template
that Intuit provides is basically an invoice without prices.)
Here are the steps for printing the packing slip for an invoice:
1. If the Create Invoices window is already open, click the left arrow (Previous)
in the window’s Main tab until you find the invoice you’re interested
in, or click the Find button, fill in fields that identify the invoice, and then
click Find.
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To find an invoice when the Create Invoices window isn’t open, on the Home
Page, click Customers to open the Customer Center. Next, click the Transactions
tab on the window’s left, and then choose Invoices in the tab’s list of transaction
types. Finally, in the table on the right, double-click the invoice you want, and
QuickBooks opens it in the Create Invoices window.
2. In the Create Invoices window, click Print→Packing Slip.
If a QuickBooks Information dialog box appears telling you that you have the
option to ship from QuickBooks via the United States Post Office in addition to
UPS and FedEx, click OK.
QuickBooks sets the Create Invoices window’s Template box to the packing slip
template and opens the Print Packing Slip dialog box, where you can set print
options, if necessary.
3. Once the settings look good, click Print.
QuickBooks closes the Print Packing Slip dialog box and prints the packing slip.
4. Back in the Create Invoices window, click Save & Close.
QuickBooks automatically changes the Template box from the packing slip
template back to the original invoice template.
TIP  If you want QuickBooks to always use a particular packing slip template, change the packing slip template
preference as described on page 669.
Emailing Forms
If you’ve grown tired of paper cuts, then sending invoices and other forms electronically
is much more satisfying. But to make your electronic sending as efficient as
possible, be sure that all your customer records include email addresses. Otherwise,
you’ll waste time typing email addresses one after another, and the chance of a typo
increases with each address you type.
If you use a popular email program, such as Outlook, QuickBooks automatically uses
that program to send forms. When you email a form as described in this section,
QuickBooks opens new messages in your email program, which you can edit as
you would any email. When you send the emails, they show up in your Sent Items
folder or Sent box. You can also tell QuickBooks to use a web-based email service
like Gmail. This section explains all your emailing options.
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FORMS Choosing a Send Method
QuickBooks gives you a couple of ways to email forms: Similar to printing, you can
email the current form or add it to a queue to send in batches:
• Send one form. To email the current form, at the top of the form window, click
the Email button, and then choose the form’s name, such as Invoice. If the form
has files attached in QuickBooks and you want to attach those files to the email,
choose “[form] and Attached Files” instead, such as “Invoice and Attached
Files,” as shown in Figure 12-6.
FIGURE 12-6
When you click the Email
button, you can choose
the form’s name (Invoice,
for example) to email the
form that’s open in the
window, or choose Batch
to email all the forms
in your to-be-emailed
queue. Choose “[form]
and Attached Files” as
shown here to email the
form and any files attached
to it in QuickBooks.
• Sending in batches. When you turn on the Email Later checkbox at the top of
a form window, QuickBooks adds the current form to the queue of forms that
you’ll email all at once. You can send them by clicking the window’s Email button
and then choosing Batch.
Emailing One Form
Here’s how to email a form when you’re looking at it in its window (these steps use the
Create Invoices window as an example, but they work equally well for other forms):
1. In the Create Invoices window (or other form window), click the Email button
and then choose Invoice (or the corresponding form name).
What happens when you choose Email→Invoice depends on the email program
you use. If you use one of several popular email programs, the program opens
and creates a new message with the fields from QuickBooks filled in and a PDF
file of the form attached to it.
If you use web-based email (see page 671 to learn how to set it up), the “Send
[form]” dialog box opens with the email fields filled in.
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NOTE  Say you attached files to a form in QuickBooks, as explained in the box on page 314 (like photos to show
that the work you’re invoicing for is complete, or travel receipts for the reimbursable expenses on an invoice), and
you want to attach those files to the email. To email a form and its attached files, on the form window’s Main tab,
click Email→“[form name] and Attached Files” (“Invoice and Attached Files,” for example). The email message
that QuickBooks creates includes a PDF file of the form and any files attached to the transaction in QuickBooks. If
you want to attach additional files from your computer to the email, click the paper-clip icon to the right of the
Attach box (labeled in Figure 12-7).
2. Modify the message in any way you want.
You can change the email addresses, subject, and email text that QuickBooks
automatically adds.
3. If you use web-based email, click the “Send [form]” dialog box’s Send button.
If you use a desktop email program, click its Send button.
FIGURE 12-7
You send a QuickBooks-generated message
just as you would an email you created in
your email program. In Outlook, for example,
simply click Send. When you email an invoice,
QuickBooks attaches it to the email message
as an Adobe PDF file.
If you choose Email→“Invoice and Attached
Files,” the invoice and any files attached to it
in QuickBooks show up as attachments in the
email message.
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TRANSACTIONS Emailing in Batches
When you turn on the Email Later checkbox on the Main tabs of the windows for
forms you create, QuickBooks adds them to an email queue. You can then send all
the forms you’ve queued up in just a couple of steps:
1. Choose File→Send Forms or, on the Main tab of the window where you create
the forms—such as the Create Invoices window—click Email→Batch.
QuickBooks opens the Send Forms dialog box, which lists and selects all your
unsent forms.
2. If you want to skip some of the forms, click their checkmarks to turn them off.
When you select a form in the table on the dialog box’s left, a preview of the
message appears to the right of the table. If you want to change the message,
simply edit it.
NOTE  To the left of the Send Now button, the Send Forms window displays QuickBooks’ estimate of how
long it will take to email the forms you’ve selected. You won’t be able to do any other work in the program until
the emails have been sent. So if you’re on a tight deadline and don’t have time to wait, click Close and then come
back later to send the emails.
3. When you’re ready, click Send Now.
You’re email program sends the emails you selected.
Memorizing Transactions
If you enter the same transactions over and over, having QuickBooks memorize them
for reuse saves time. The program can then fill in most, if not all, of the fields for
you. Once it memorizes a transaction, all you have to do is choose the memorized
transaction you want to reuse and make sure that the values in the new transaction
are correct before you save it. This section shows you how to memorize transactions
and put them to work.
Here are some examples of how you can use memorized transactions to be more
productive:
• Memorizing bills. You can take some of the sting out of paying bills by memorizing
the ones that use the same info each time: bills with the same items or
amounts, or bills that are due the same day each month, for example. If a utility
bill is always due the same day, you can memorize the bill so QuickBooks fills
in the vendor and account and records it on a regular schedule. When you use
a memorized transaction like this, all you do is fill in the amount and save the
new transaction.
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On the other hand, your office rent bill probably has all the same info each
month—date, vendor, account, and amount—so you can memorize the bill and
even set it up to record itself automatically. Memorized bills also come in handy
if you reorder the same products with the same prices from a vendor. (See page
327 to learn how to save even more time.)
NOTE  Although you can memorize bills, you can’t memorize a bill payment. The same goes for deposits
and invoice payments, because you have to choose the bills or invoices that the payments apply to. However, if
you set up reminders (page 489) for transactions such as this, then QuickBooks reminds you when the bills or
invoices are due to be paid.
• Memorizing charges and electronic funds transfers (EFTs). If you’ve set up
automatic vendor payments, like a monthly health insurance premium charged
to your credit card or your telephone bill withdrawn automatically from your
checking account, you can memorize those transactions in QuickBooks.
• Memorizing estimates. If you’ve worked on jobs in the past and have a good
idea of what they require, you can reuse that hard-won knowledge by memorizing
an estimate with the labor hours you spend and the quantities of products
and materials you need. The box on page 281 explains how to memorize an
estimate to use on similar jobs in the future.
TIP  If you reuse transactions only occasionally, you might not want to fill up the Memorized Transaction
List with those transactions. Instead, simply duplicate a transaction whenever you need it. For example, display
the bill you want to copy in the Enter Bills window, right-click in the window, and choose Duplicate Bill from the
shortcut menu. (Alternatively, click “Create a Copy” at the top of the window.) Then simply make any changes
you want, like the date and amount, and then click Save & Close.
QuickBooks can also remind you to enter a transaction—such as a recurring client
invoice for retainers—or even add the transaction without any help from you. For
example, if your company’s Internet service costs $259 each month and you pay it
with an automatic credit card payment, you can tell QuickBooks to memorize that
charge and automatically enter it each month.
Creating a Memorized Transaction
The Memorized Transactions List is an anomaly on the Lists menu because you don’t
create memorized transactions the way you do entries on other lists. Instead, you
tell QuickBooks to memorize existing transactions. Here’s how:
1. Open the window for the type of transaction you want to memorize (for
example, the Create Invoices window for an invoice, Enter Bills for a bill, or
Write Checks for a check).
You can memorize many kinds of transactions, including checks, credit card
charges, bills, invoices, journal entries, estimates, and so on.
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2. Fill in any fields that remain the same each time you use that transaction.
If a value changes, leave its field blank or set to zero.
For example, for a bill, add the items you’re buying and their prices. If the
quantities change from bill to bill, leave the Quantity fields blank or set to zero.
Or, for a check, enter the payee and the account to post the expense to. If the
amount is the same each time, fill in the amount; if the amount changes, leave
the amount field blank. (If an amount field has a value in it, click the field, and
then press Backspace to delete the value.) Later, when you use the memorized
transaction, QuickBooks fills in all the fields except the ones you left blank,
which you fill in with the correct values.
3. If you want QuickBooks to add the new transactions to your print or email
queue, turn on the Print Later or Email Later checkbox.
That way, when you save a new transaction that’s based on the memorized
transaction, the program adds the transaction to the print or email queue.
4. When the transaction is set up the way you want, press Ctrl+M to open the
Memorize Transaction dialog box shown in Figure 12-8, foreground.
You can also open this dialog box by right-clicking in a transaction window,
such as the Create Invoices window, and then choosing “Memorize [form]”
(Memorize Invoice, Memorize Check, or whatever). Or you can click Memorize
at the top of the window.
NOTE  If you’ve already memorized a transaction with the same name, the Replace Memorized Transaction
message box appears instead. To replace the existing memorized transaction, click Replace. To add a new
memorized transaction, click Add; when you do, QuickBooks opens the Memorize Transaction dialog box so you
can specify a new name and options for the memorized transaction. If you change your mind about memorizing
the transaction, click Cancel.
5. In the Memorize Transaction dialog box’s Name field, type a name that you’ll
recognize when you see it in the Memorized Transaction List.
QuickBooks automatically fills in the Name box with the transaction’s Payee
name or the name in a transaction, but it’s a good idea to enter something more
meaningful. You can use names like Monthly Telephone Bill or Health Insurance
Premium for bills you pay, a customer name combined with a sales form’s name,
or the type of retainer, such as Full-time Programming Contract.
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FIGURE 12-8
If the quantities change
from transaction to transaction,
you can fill in the
items on the transaction
and their cost but leave
the quantities blank or
set to zero.
Later, when you use the
memorized transaction,
QuickBooks fills in all the
fields except the ones you
left blank or set to zero,
which you fill in with the
correct values.
6. Tell QuickBooks whether you want it to remind you to enter transactions.
Choosing the “Add to my Reminders List” option is great for recurring transactions:
QuickBooks adds the memorized transaction to the Reminders List (page
487) and prompts you when it’s time to enter the next occurrence (though you
can choose to skip the transaction). If you select this option, specify how often
you want to be reminded and pick the next reminder date. For example, if you
pay your phone bill on the 10th of each month, in the How Often box, choose
Monthly, and in the Next Date box, pick the 10th of the next month.
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If you don’t use the transaction on a regular schedule (like one for snowplowing),
choose the Do Not Remind Me option, and QuickBooks won’t add the memorized
transaction to the Reminders List. When you want to use the transaction
again, press Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction List window, select the
transaction, and then click Enter Transaction.
For transactions that are identical from occurrence to occurrence, such as
your bill for rent, choose the Automate Transaction Entry option. Then use the
Days In Advance To Enter field to tell QuickBooks how many days before the
due date to enter the transaction. (Providing a few days of lead time for bills
helps you avoid late payments and insufficient-funds charges from your bank.)
When that date arrives, QuickBooks records the transaction. When you choose
Automate Transaction Entry, the Number Remaining box becomes active so
you can type how many payments remain, which is ideal for loan payments
that—thankfully—don’t go on forever.
TIP  You can also set up groups of memorized transactions and enter them all at once; you’ll learn how
starting on page 327.
7. To memorize the transaction, click OK.
QuickBooks adds the bill to the Memorized Transaction List, closes the Memorize
Transaction dialog box, and returns you to the form window.
8. If you want to save the transaction you created, click Save & Close.
If you created an invoice or other form simply to set up a memorized transaction,
close the form window without saving it. To do that, click the window’s Close
button (the X in its upper right), and then click No in the Recording Transaction
message box that appears.
The next section explains how to use memorized transactions.
Using a Memorized Transaction
How you generate a new transaction from one in the Memorized Transaction List
depends on whether you’ve opted for a reminder, no reminder, or total automation.
This section describes all three methods.
RECORDING A TRANSACTION WHEN YOU’RE REMINDED
If you create a memorized transaction and tell QuickBooks to remind you (by choosing
the “Add to my Reminders List” option) when the scheduled date arrives, the
program adds the bill to the Reminders List (page 487). (If the Reminders List displays
only the Memorized Transactions Due heading, click it to display the transactions
that are scheduled to be recorded.)
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Here are the steps for turning a reminder into a transaction:
1. In the Reminders window (to open it, click the clock icon at the QuickBooks
window’s top right), below the Memorized Transactions Due heading,
double-click a memorized transaction.
The Memorized Transaction List window opens with the transaction selected
in the list.
2. At the bottom of the Memorized Transaction List window, click Enter
Transaction.
QuickBooks opens it in its corresponding transaction window (like Enter Bills
for a memorized bill). The transaction that QuickBooks creates contains only
the memorized information.
3. Make any changes you want, fill in any empty fields, and then click Save &
Close.
The transaction window closes, and the memorized transaction no longer appears
in the Reminders window.
TIP  For reminders that are hard to miss, tell QuickBooks to display the Reminders List each time you open the
current company file. That way, when you open that company file, the program opens a Start Up box that asks if
you want to enter memorized transactions; click Now to add them. (It also opens the Reminders List.) To set this
up, choose Edit→Preferences→Reminders and, on the My Preferences tab, turn on the “Show Reminders List
when opening a Company file” checkbox.
RECORDING AN OCCASIONAL TRANSACTION
When you memorize a transaction that you use only occasionally or that occurs
on an irregular schedule, choosing Do Not Remind Me stores the transaction in the
Memorized Transaction List in case you need it. If you memorize a transaction like
this, you need a way to create a new transaction based on it. (You’ll also use this
technique if you set up a memorized transaction on a schedule but want to create
one right away.) Here’s how to use a memorized transaction at any time:
1. Choose Lists→Memorized Transaction List or press Ctrl+T.
The Memorized Transaction List window opens.
2. Select the transaction you want, and then click the Enter Transaction button.
The corresponding transaction window opens, such as Create Invoices, Write
Checks, or Enter Credit Card Charges.
3. Make any changes you want, and then click Save & Close.
That’s all there is to it!
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RECORDING A TRANSACTION AUTOMATICALLY
If you create a memorized transaction and choose the Automate Transaction Entry
option, that’s exactly what QuickBooks does: When the next scheduled date for the
transaction arrives, QuickBooks records a new transaction.
Editing a Memorized Transaction
If you want to change a memorized transaction’s recurrence schedule or reminder
settings, press Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction List window, select the
transaction you want to edit, and then press Ctrl+E (or, at the bottom of the window,
click Memorized Transaction→Edit Memorized Transaction). The Schedule Memorized
Transaction dialog box appears with settings for reminders and the recurrence
schedule (page 324).
If you want to edit the info within a memorized transaction, such as the items and
services sold, you have to edit the existing transaction and then rememorize it.
Here’s how:
1. Press Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction List window. Select the
transaction, and then click the Enter Transaction button.
QuickBooks opens the corresponding transaction window and creates a new
transaction based on the memorized one.
2. Make the changes you want, and then press Ctrl+M to rememorize it with
the changes you’ve made.
The Replace Memorized Transaction message box appears.
3. Click Replace.
The edited transaction takes the place of the previous one in the Memorized
Transaction List. (If you want to save both the old and new versions, click Add
instead.)
Creating Memorized Groups of Transactions
The first day of the month is the nemesis of bill payers everywhere because so many
bills are due then. QuickBooks can’t ease the pain of watching your money go out
the door, but it can ease the burden of entering all those bills in your company file.
Memorized bills are a start, but why enter individual memorized bills when you can
enter several at once?
Fortunately, QuickBooks lets you set up memorized transaction groups that act like
their individual memorized counterparts—the program can remind you about all the
bills due on a specific day or even enter all the recurring transactions automatically.
(Memorized groups work equally well for recurring invoices.)
You might wonder how to add a memorized transaction to a group when you open
the Memorize Transaction dialog box (page 323) for the very first time; the “Add
to Group” option and the Group Name box are visible but grayed out. To add a
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memorized transaction to a group, you have to first create a memorized group.
Here’s how you do that:
1. Press Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction List. At the bottom of the
window, click Memorized Transaction→New Group.
QuickBooks opens the New Memorized Transaction Group dialog box. It’s
identical to the Memorize Transaction dialog box except that it doesn’t include
the “Add to Group” option or Group Name box.
2. Name the group something meaningful like Monthly Bills, and fill in the other
fields as you would for a memorized transaction (page 324).
Tell QuickBooks how and when you want to be reminded about the bills in this
group (if at all).
3. Click OK to save the group.
Now that the group exists, you can add individual transactions to it.
4. To add an existing memorized transaction to the group, in the Memorized
Transaction List window, select the transaction you want to add, and then
press Ctrl+E to edit it.
The Schedule Memorized Transaction dialog box opens.
5. Select the “Add to Group” option and then, in the Group Name box, choose
the group you just created. When you’re done, click OK.
When you add a memorized transaction to a group, QuickBooks tucks the
transaction underneath the group in the Memorized Transaction List, as shown
in Figure 12-9.
FIGURE 12-9
Memorized transactions
take on the schedule and
reminder settings of the
memorized group you put
them in. So if you edit a
memorized transaction
that belongs to a group,
the How Often, Next Date,
Number Remaining, and
Days In Advance To Enter
settings are grayed out.
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TIP  Create separate memorized groups for bills with consistent amounts and for ones whose amounts
vary. That way, you can set up the unvarying memorized group with the Automate Transaction Entry option so
QuickBooks simply adds all the bills in that group to your list of bills to be paid without any intervention from
you. Then you can set the second memorized group to use the “Add to my Reminders List” option so you can go
through each bill and fill in the amount before you record it.
Finding Transactions
When you want to answer a customer’s question about what she owes, it’s easier
if you have the invoice in front of you. The Create Invoices window shows only one
invoice at a time, but there are several ways to find a specific invoice out of the
hundreds you’ve sent. Whether you want to find pesky overdue invoices, purchase
orders, or paychecks, the Customer, Vendor, and Employee Centers (and the Inventory
Center if you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise) make it easy to find
transactions for a particular customer, vendor, employee, or item. And the Item List
window has a few tools for finding specific items.
QuickBooks also offers two additional ways to search. The Search feature scours
every inch of QuickBooks and your company file. The Find feature (which you can
access most easily by pressing Ctrl+F), on the other hand, is best suited for more
precise searches—to find a particular invoice number, transactions related to a
specific customer, invoices overdue more than a certain number of days, and so on.
This section explains how to use all these features.
Searching with QuickBooks’ Centers
The Customer Center is a quick way to answer basic questions about your customers,
like “What invoices are unpaid?” and “Does the customer have any credits available?”
Likewise, you can track down bills, bill payments, and other vendor-related
transactions in the Vendor Center. The Employee Center performs similar tasks for
transactions like paychecks and non-payroll transactions. And if you use QuickBooks
Premier or Enterprise, you can use the Inventory Center to find out what’s going on
with your inventory. (See pages 340, 179, and 543, respectively, to learn how to use
Income Tracker, Bill Tracker, and the Insights feature to track down transactions.)
Here are ways you can use QuickBooks’ centers to find transactions, using the
Customer Center as an example (to open it, on the Home Page, click the Customers
icon, or choose Customers→Customer Center):
• Display transactions for any customer or job. On the Transactions tab on the
left side of the center, click the type of transaction you want to search for. When
you do, the right side of the center lists all the transactions of that type. You can
use the Filter By menu above the list to see only open transactions, overdue
transactions, payments made using a specific payment type, or transactions
within a certain date range.
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the criteria you want, on the Customers & Jobs tab, click the first unlabeled box
(it’s usually set to Active Customers). In the drop-down list, choose one of the
entries, like Customers with Open Balances, Customers with Overdue Invoices,
or Customers with Almost Due Invoices.
• Find a customer. If you have trouble finding a customer on the Customers & Jobs
tab, in the tab’s second unlabeled box, type part of the customer’s name and
then click the “Find in common fields” button, which has a magnifying glass on it.
• Review a customer’s account. When you select a customer or job on the
Customers & Jobs tab, the upper-right part of the Customer Center includes
several links you can click to see various things about a customer’s account:
• QuickReport shows all transactions for the customer within the date range
you specify.
• Open Balance generates a report of all the Accounts Receivable transactions
that contributed to the customer’s current balance, like invoices and
payments.
• Show Estimates generates a report of any estimates you’ve created for
that customer or job.
• Customer Snapshot opens the Company Snapshot window to the Customer
tab, where you can see statistics like the average days the customer takes
to pay, total sales this year, and total sales for the same period last year.
• Display the transactions for a customer. When you select a customer on the
Customers & Jobs tab, the transactions for that customer appear in the Transactions
tab in the lower-right part of the Customer Center. To see a specific
type of transaction, in the Show drop-down list above the transaction table,
choose the transaction type like Invoices or Refunds, as shown in Figure 12-10.
QuickBooks initially displays all the transactions of that type, but you can filter
them using these techniques:
• Filter transactions by status. In the Transactions tab’s Filter By dropdown
menu, choose a category like Open Invoices or Overdue Invoices.
The choices in this menu vary depending on the transaction type. For
example, if you search for refunds, the menu includes All Refunds, Cash/
Check Refunds, and Credit Card Refunds options.
• Filter transaction by date range. In the Transactions tab’s Date drop-down
menu, choose a period. Your choices here are the same as the ones you
can choose for reports (page 598).
• Open a transaction. Double-click a transaction in the Transactions tab’s
table to open the corresponding window to that transaction.
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FIGURE 12-10
On the Transactions tab,
as soon as you choose an
entry in the Show, Filter
By, or Date drop-down
menu above the transaction
list, QuickBooks
changes the list to show
only the transactions that
meet all three criteria.
Here QuickBooks is
displaying open invoices
for all dates.
Finding Items
The Item List window has its own abbreviated search feature: You type what you’re
looking for (such as an item name or keyword) and the field you want to search, and
then QuickBooks filters the list for matching results. Here’s how to search for an item:
1. Open the Item List window by choosing Lists→Item List or, on the Home
Page’s Company panel, clicking Items & Services.
2. In the “Look for” box, type the text or value you want to find.
If you type more than one word, QuickBooks looks for items that contain the
whole phrase you typed. For example, enter fiber optic to find all your fiberoptic
electronic devices.
3. In the “in” drop-down list, choose the field you want to search.
QuickBooks automatically selects “All fields” here. To narrow your search,
choose Item Name/Number, Description (Sales), Purchase Description, Preferred
Vendor, or Man. Part Number. You can also choose “Custom fields” to search
fields you’ve created (page 71).
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4. Click Search.
The Item List window displays only the items that match your search criteria.
5. To narrow your search, delete your original search terms, type a new word or
phrase in the “Look for” box, turn on the “Search within results” checkbox,
and then click Search.
If you don’t see the “Search within results” checkbox, maximize the Item List
window or drag one of its corners to enlarge it. Turning on this checkbox tells
QuickBooks to search for the new search term only in the items currently displayed
in the list.
To reset the window’s list to display all your items, click Reset (you may need
to enlarge the window to see this button).
Using QuickBooks Search
The QuickBooks Search feature can look through your company file or the program’s
help files, although it automatically searches only your company file. If you want to
find something in your company file, simply type in a few key words or values, and
it combs through your entire company file for them. For example, type webcam and
QuickBooks looks for that value in your transactions, Customer:Job List, Vendor List,
other name records, items, descriptions, notes, and memos. But if you’re trying to
find information about a QuickBooks feature, type the feature’s name in the Search
box, choose Help in the box’s drop-down list, and Search tracks down information
about it in QuickBooks’ Help files.
TIP  The Search feature is quick and easy if you want to search by date range or fairly simple filters, such as
a specific amount. But if you have really specific search criteria, like invoices that are more than 30 days overdue
and more than $10,000, the Find feature (explained on page 334) is a better tool.
Here’s how to use Search:
1. Type the value you want to look for in the icon bar’s Search box.
The Search box is at the top of the left icon bar or the right end of the top icon
bar (see page 27 for info on the icon bars).
2. Click the Search button (which looks like a magnifying glass) or press Enter.
The Search window (shown in Figure 12-11) opens. (If you’ve hidden the icon bar,
you can open this window by choosing Edit→Search or pressing F3.)
When you type in the Search window’s Search box, the program displays a dropdown
list with suggested and recent search terms. For example, if you type ener
because you’re looking for your customer Energetic Events, the drop-down list
may display “energetic” and the Customer Name value “energeticevents001.”
If the term or value you’re looking for appears in the drop-down list, click the
entry you want to select it.
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FIGURE 12-11
Below the Search box at the top of this
window, you see a summary of the results,
such as where QuickBooks found the
results.
If you get too many results, you can filter
the list by clicking the type of result you
want in the Show Results From section,
such as Transactions. The results list on the
right then displays only that type of result.
3. To filter the results, below the “Show Results From” heading, click the type
of result you want.
To see all transactions that matched your criteria, click Transactions. To search
for a specific type, click the type, such as Invoices or Bills. You can also choose a
date range to specify a period to search. If you’re looking for an amount, choose
an option to look for values equal to, less than, or greater than the amount.
4. Put your cursor over a search result.
Icons appear below the search result that represent the actions that you can
perform, like Open or Pay Bill for a bill (see Figure 12-11), or Edit for an item in
the Item List. Click the icon for the action you want.
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QuickBooks’ Find feature is ideal for finding transactions that match several criteria.
For example, it lets you search for all invoices within a certain date range that
include a product you’ve upgraded, or all the open invoices for work performed by
one partner (if you use classes to track that kind of thing). In fact, the Find feature
can mine every transaction field except Description (to search descriptions, use the
Search feature instead [page 332]).
The Find window has a Simple tab for straightforward searches and an Advanced
tab where you can build searches as detailed as you want. QuickBooks remembers
which one you used for your last search and displays that tab the next time you
open the window.
FINDING MADE SIMPLE
Here’s how to use the simple version of the Find feature:
1. Choose Edit→Find or press Ctrl+F.
If you have a form window (like Create Invoices) open, click the Find button at
the window’s top left to open a smaller version of the Find window’s Simple
tab. Click Advanced in this simplified dialog box to open the full-blown Find
window. If you don’t have any form windows open, the full Find window opens
automatically.
2. In the Find window, click the Simple tab if it’s not already selected.
The Transaction Type box at the top of the tab is set to Invoice, and all the other
fields are blank.
3. In the Transaction Type drop-down list, choose a type like Purchase Order
or Bill.
The search fields are almost identical no matter which transaction type you
choose, with a few exceptions, as explained in Figure 12-12. From, To, and Amount
fields appear for every type.
4. Fill in the values you want to search for, and then click the Find button.
You can fill in as many or as few fields as you want. When you click Find, any
matching transactions appear in the table at the bottom of the window. Doubleclick
a transaction to open it in its corresponding window, like Create Invoices
for an invoice.
5. To clear all the fields and start a new search, click Reset.
When you’re done, click Close.
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FIGURE 12-12
In the Find window, the
label above the first
field after Transaction
Type changes to reflect
the type you choose. For
example, if you select
Bill for the transaction
type, the next field’s label
changes to Vendor.
The second-to-last field
also varies depending on
the transaction type; for
example, it’s Invoice # for
an invoice, Ref. No. for
a bill, and P.O. No. for a
purchase order.
ADVANCED FIND METHODS
The Find window’s Advanced tab lets you search any transaction field. You can
even build up a set of filters to locate exactly the transaction you want. Here’s how:
1. Choose Edit→Find (or press Ctrl+F), and then click the Advanced tab. (If a
simplified Find dialog box opens, click its Advanced button.)
The Advanced tab starts with an almost-clean slate every time you open the
Find window—though the right-hand Filter list always starts with Posting Status
set to Either.
2. In the Find window’s left-hand Filter list (Figure 12-13), choose the first
field you want to search.
Fields appear in alphabetical order.
3. To the right of the left-hand Filter list, select settings to specify how you
want to search the selected field.
These settings change depending on the field you select. For example, if you
choose TransactionType in the left-hand Filter list, you see only a single dropdown
list of QuickBooks transaction types. Choosing Date in the left-hand Filter
list displays a drop-down list of time periods, along with From and To boxes to
specify dates. And selecting Aging in the left-hand Filters list gives you options
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to help find late invoices (=, <=, and >=); for instance, you can find invoices that
are 30 or more days late by choosing the >= option and typing 30 in the box.
4. To add another filter to your search, repeat steps 2 and 3.
You can add as many filters as you want. The window’s Current Choices table
lists the fields you’re searching and what you’re searching for in each one.
5. Click Find.
The table at the bottom of the window lists all the matching transactions (or
line items within a transaction). The next section explains what you can do with
these results.
FIGURE 12-13
The filter settings you can
choose change depending
on the field you select
in the left-hand Filter
list. For example, if you
choose Terms, you can
select the terms you
want to look for from the
drop-down list. Choosing
Amount gives you options
to find values equal to
(=), less than or equal to
(<=), or greater than or
equal to (>=) the value
you fill in. If you select
Name, you can specify
an individual name, a
category of names, or
multiple names.
6. If you get too many or too few results, repeat steps 2 and 3 to add or change
filters, and then click Find again.
To edit a filter, select the field in the left-hand Filter list and then change its
settings. To remove a filter from the Current Choices list, select it in the list and
then press Backspace or Delete. To clear all the filters, click the Reset button.
7. When you’re done, click Close.
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USING SEARCH RESULTS
After you find what you’re looking for, you can inspect your results more closely
using the following buttons in the Find window:
• Go To. Select one of the results, and then click this button to see the transaction
in its corresponding window (like Create Invoices for an invoice) or account
register.
• Report. This button opens the Find Report window, which includes all the
transactions in your search results.
• Export. To export your results, click this button. (See page 691 for more on
exporting.)

339
CHAPTER
13
I
n addition to performing work, invoicing customers, and collecting payments, you
also have to keep track of who owes you how much (known as Accounts Receivable)
and when the money is due. Sure, you can tack on finance charges to light a fire
under your customers’ accounting departments, but such charges are rarely enough
to make up for the time and effort you spend collecting overdue payments. Far more
preferable are customers who pay on time without reminders, gentle or otherwise.
Because companies need money to keep things running, you’ll have to spend some
time keeping track of your Accounts Receivable and the payments that come in. In
this chapter, you’ll learn the ins and outs of tracking what customers owe, receiving
payments from them, and dinging them if they don’t pay on time. You’ll get up to
speed on Income Tracker, a handy dashboard that shows estimates you’ve created,
how much customers owe—both overdue and not—and what’s been paid in the
past 30 days.
In contrast to invoices, sales receipts are the simplest and most immediate sales
forms in QuickBooks. When your customers pay in full at the time of the sale—at
your retail store, for example—you can create a sales receipt so the customer has a
record of the purchase and payment. At the same time, QuickBooks posts the money
from the sale into your bank account (in QuickBooks, anyway) or the Undeposited
Funds account. (Sales receipts work only when customers pay in full, because that
type of sales form can’t handle previous customer payments and balances.) In this
chapter, you’ll learn how to create sales receipts for one sale at a time and to summarize
a day’s worth of merchandising.
Managing Accounts
Receivable
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AGING Receivables Aging
You don’t have to do anything special to create Accounts Receivable—they’re the
by-product of invoicing your customers. But receivables that are growing long in the
tooth are the first signs of potential collection problems. Fortunately, with QuickBooks’
Income Tracker, Company Snapshot, Customer Center, and built-in reports,
you have four ways to check the state of your Accounts Receivable.
NOTE  You can’t use Income Tracker if you have multiple currencies turned on (page 662). When that preference
is turned on, the Income Tracker entry doesn’t appear in the Customers menu. And in QuickBooks Pro and
Premier, only users with full access to Sales and Accounts Receivables features (page 732) can use Income Tracker.
Viewing Receivables with Income Tracker
Income Tracker (choose Customers→Income Tracker or click Income Tracker in either
icon bar to open it), shown in Figure 13-1, is the best of both worlds: It provides the
big picture of your unbilled, outstanding, and paid income and lists the transactions
that contribute to those high-level numbers. Income Tracker also offers time-saving
features for invoicing customers and collecting the money they owe you.
FIGURE 13-1
The panel at the top of
the Income Tracker window
provides an income
overview. The table below
it lists the transactions
that make up the overall
totals.
You can filter the
transaction table in different
ways: by customer,
transaction type, status,
or date. You can even
process transactions in
this window, for example,
receiving payment on an
open invoice, as shown
here.
NOTE  The Insights tab (page 31) on the Home Page has an Income section that includes Income Tracker’s
overview bars for open invoices, overdue invoices, and payments made during the past 30 days. To display the
full-blown Income Tracker, simply click any of those bars.
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Here’s what each part of the Income Tracker window shows you:
• Estimates. The blue box at the window’s top left shows the total value of estimates
you’ve created. Although the label above the box reads “Unbilled,” this
value doesn’t really represent unbilled income. Estimates are merely potential
income. Customers have to approve those estimates and you have to perform
the work or sell the goods before you can turn that money into unbilled income.
In addition, you might create multiple estimates for the same customer and job
to see which one is the winner.
• Sales Orders. You see this light-blue box only if you have QuickBooks Premier
or Enterprise; it shows the total value of open sales orders.
• Time & Expenses. This dark-blue box is a great way to catch billable time and
expenses that you haven’t added to invoices yet. It shows the total value of unbilled
time and expenses and the number of records that contribute to that total.
TIP  Beginning with QuickBooks 2015, you can choose whether to hide or display some of Income Tracker’s
boxes by clicking the Settings icon (the gear) at the window’s upper right. To hide estimates or unbilled time
and expenses, turn off the Estimates and “Time and Expenses” checkboxes, respectively. (If you use QuickBooks
Premier or Enterprise, you can also turn off the Sales Orders box.)
• Open Invoices. The orange box below the Unpaid heading shows the total
amount on your open invoices. This is current income that your customers
owe—that is, the invoiced income that hasn’t been paid yet.
• Overdue. The red hue of this box emphasizes the total amount that’s overdue
from your customers. If that number is larger than you’d like, filter the transaction
list (you’ll learn how in a sec) to track down the customers you need to
nudge into paying.
• Paid Last 30 Days. The green box at the window’s top right displays how much
your customers paid you in the last 30 days. The label at the bottom of the box
tells you how many payments are included in that total.
• The transaction table. The transactions listed in the Income Tracker window
are the ones that contribute to the totals at the top of the window. For example,
the number in the orange Open Invoices box is the total of all the open invoices
in the table. The number in the red Overdue box is the total of all the table’s
overdue invoices. The transactions with the word “Paid” in their Status cells
make up the total in the green Paid Last 30 Days box. And the estimates in the
table contribute to the total in the blue Estimates box.
And here’s what you can do in the Income Tracker window:
• Filter transactions. Say that business is booming and Income Tracker’s table
is awash with transactions. You can filter the table to drill down and see, for
example, all the overdue invoices for the last quarter. To see transactions for a
specific customer, click the down arrow to the Customer:Job box’s right, and
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then, in the drop-down list, choose the customer or job you want. Choose an
entry in the Type drop-down list to show only a specific type of transaction,
like invoices or credit memos. The Status drop-down list lets you filter the table
to show open, overdue, or paid transactions (alternatively, you can click one of
the colored bars at the top of the window to filter for that status). And the Date
drop-down list lets you filter by date range.
• Sort transactions. You can sort the transactions in Income Tracker’s table by
clicking any of the table’s column headings. (QuickBooks initially sorts the table
by date from the most recent to the earliest.) For example, click the Due Date
heading to sort transactions by due date. When you click a heading, QuickBooks
sorts the table in ascending order (alphabetically, from smallest to largest values,
or from earliest to most recent dates, depending on the type of information in
the column). To sort in descending order, simply click the heading again.
• Take action. Income Tracker makes it easy to take the next step with your
transactions. For instance, if you just snagged a customer payment from
your post office box, you can start the receive-payment process right in the
Income Tracker window. To do that, click the appropriate invoice’s Action cell,
click the down arrow that appears, and then choose Receive Payments from
the drop-down list shown in Figure 13-1. Or choose Print Row or Email Row
from the drop-down list to print or email the invoice. For estimates, the Action
drop-down list includes additional options like “Convert to Invoice” (page 281)
and “Mark as Inactive” (page 280). To open a transaction in its corresponding
window, just double-click it or select the transaction in the table, click Manage
Transactions at the bottom of the window, and then choose Edit Highlighted
Row in the drop-down menu.
NOTE  You can also create new transactions from within Income Tracker. Click the Manage Transactions
button, and then, beneath the menu’s Create New heading, choose the type of transaction you want to create.
• Print or email transactions in batches. You can also print or email several
transactions at a time (invoices, sales receipts, and credit memos or refunds)
from the Income Tracker window. For example, suppose you want to print new
copies of all the invoices that are overdue to nudge your customers about paying
them. To do that, click the red Overdue bar at the top of the window to display
the overdue transactions. Next, in the table’s first column, turn on the checkbox
in the header row to select all the transactions currently displayed in the table.
Then click the down arrow to the right of the Batch Actions button and choose
the type of transaction to print them or choose Batch Email to email them. If
you’re printing transactions, QuickBooks opens the “Print [forms]” dialog box.
(See page 308 to learn how to print forms.) If you’re emailing transactions, the
Send Batch Email dialog box opens (page 321).
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NOTE  Although Income Tracker makes it easy to stay on top of overdue invoices, some folks prefer the
Collections Center, which includes an Overdue tab that shows customers with overdue invoices, the number of
days overdue, and the customers’ phone numbers. You can also send out email reminders by clicking “Select and
Send Email” near the top right of the Collections Center window. To open the Collections Center, in the Customer
Center’s toolbar, click Collections Center. (If you don’t see this option, that means you need to turn on this feature.
To do that, choose Edit→Preferences→Sales & Customers, and then click the Company Preferences tab. In the
Collections Center section, turn on the Enable Collections Center checkbox.)
Getting a High-Level View with the Company Snapshot
Another handy feature is the Company Snapshot window (Figure 13-2), which can
show each customer’s balance. To open it, choose Company→Company Snapshot,
and then click the window’s Company tab if it’s not already selected. (When you
want to see more detail about receivables, turn to QuickBooks’ built-in aging reports
instead; they’re described in the next section.)
FIGURE 13-2
The Customers Who Owe
Money section shows
who owes you money,
how much they owe, and
when it’s due. (If you
don’t see this section, try
maximizing the window.
If that doesn’t work, see
page 712 to learn how to
display it in the Company
Snapshot.) If the due
date is in the past, it’s
displayed in red text.
To record a payment, click
the Receive Payments link
(circled).
Viewing Receivables Detail in the Customer Center
Yet another way to view your Accounts Receivable is in the Customer Center (choose
Customers→Customer Center or, on the Home Page, click Customers). The window’s
Customers & Jobs tab lists your customers and jobs and the balance owed by each
one. If you select a customer or job in the list, you can see the invoices or other sales
transactions that generated the open balance on the right side of the window, as
shown in Figure 13-3.
If you click the Transactions tab on the window’s left instead, you’ll see a list of
income-related transactions, such as invoices and statement charges. Click Invoices
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to display invoices in the table on the window’s right. Similar to the filter box in Income
Tracker, the Filter By box above the table includes entries such as All Invoices,
Open Invoices, and Overdue Invoices. To see all the invoices that contribute to your
Accounts Receivable balance, choose Open Invoices in the drop-down list.
FIGURE 13-3
To see the transactions
that make up a
customer’s balance, select
the customer on the
Customers & Jobs tab. On
the Transactions tab in
the lower-right part of
the window, in the Show
drop-down list, choose
Invoices; and in the tab’s
Filter By drop-down list,
choose Open Invoices, as
shown here. A value in an
invoice’s Aging cell indicates
the number of days
it’s past its due date.
NOTE  In the Customer Center, if the customer’s balance on the Customers & Jobs tab doesn’t equal the total
in the Transactions table, that’s a clue that not all transactions that affect the customer’s balance are displayed
in the table. For example, if you’ve tweaked the Transactions table so that it lists only overdue invoices, the total
at the bottom of the table’s Amount column is only for overdue invoices, whereas the balance on the Customers
& Jobs tab is the customer’s total balance (overdue and not) taking into account invoices, statement charges,
credit memos, payments, and so on.
Accounts Receivable Aging Reports
Aging reports tell you how many days have passed since you sent each open invoice,
and viewing them is the first step in keeping your Accounts Receivable from growing
overly ripe. It’s a fact of business life that the longer a customer hasn’t paid, the
more likely it is that you’ll never see that money. Taking action before an account
lags too far behind limits bad debts and protects your profits. (The box on page
346 describes a way to gauge how well you manage your Accounts Receivable.)
QuickBooks includes two built-in aging reports: A/R Aging Summary and A/R Aging
Detail. These reports show how much your customers owe for the current billing
period (invoices that are less than 30 days old), as well as unpaid invoices from
previous periods (invoices that are between 1 and 30 days late, 31 to 60 days late,
61 to 90 days late, and more than 90 days late). The Accounts Receivable Graph can
also show you some useful info. Here’s a bit more about each one:
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AGING • A/R Aging Summary. For a quick look at how much money your customers
owe you and how old your receivables are, choose Reports→Customers
& Receivables→A/R Aging Summary. To see the transactions that make up
a customer’s total, put your cursor over a summary value. When the cursor
changes to a magnifying glass like the one circled in Figure 13-4, double-click
the transaction.
FIGURE 13-4
This report lists customers
and jobs and shows the
money they owe in each
aging period. Ideally, you
should see more zero balances
as you look at older
periods. When you’re
on a mission to collect
overdue accounts, start
with the oldest aging
period on the right side of
the report.
• A/R Aging Detail. To see Accounts Receivable transactions for all your customers
categorized by age, choose Reports→Customers & Receivables→A/R
Aging Detail.
• Accounts Receivable Graph. This graph doesn’t show as much detail as either
of the A/R Aging reports, but its visual nature makes aging problems stand out.
To display it, choose Reports→Customers & Receivables→Accounts Receivable
Graph. Ideally, you want to see the bars in the graph get smaller or disappear
completely as the number of days overdue increases. To see more details for a
particular period, double-click a bar in the graph to open a QuickZoom Graph.
To see more detail about a customer, double-click the customer’s name in the
legend or double-click the slice of the pie chart that corresponds to the customer.
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Watching Receivables Trends
In the investment world, financial analysts study trends in
Accounts Receivable. For example, if Accounts Receivable are
increasing faster than sales, it means that customers aren’t
paying for everything they bought, either because they’re on
thin ice financially or they don’t like the products or services
they’ve received.
One way to measure how good a job your company does
collecting receivables is with days sales outstanding, which
is the number of days’ worth of sales it takes to match your
Accounts Receivable. If Accounts Receivable grow faster than
sales (meaning customers aren’t paying), you’ll see this value
get larger. Here’s the formula:
Days sales outstanding =
Accounts receivable / (Sales/365)
Days sales outstanding below 60 (in other words, collecting
Accounts Receivable with two months’ worth of sales) is good.
But if your company is in the retail business, you should aspire
to the performance of high-volume giants such as Walmart and
Home Depot, who, according to their annual reports, collect
their receivables in less than a week.
Seeing What Customers Owe with Reports
Aging reports aren’t the only goodies you can generate in QuickBooks. To see all the
reports associated with customers and what they owe, choose Reports→Customers
& Receivables. Here’s an overview of when it makes sense to use these reports:
• Customer Balance Summary. This report shows the balances for each job and
the customer’s total balance. You can find this same total balance information
on the Customer Center’s Customers & Jobs tab, but unlike that tab, you can
easily print this report.
• Customer Balance Detail. This report shows every transaction that makes up
customers’ balances, so it can get pretty long. It lists every transaction (such as
invoices, payments, statement charges, and credit memos) for every customer
and job in your company file, whether the customer is late or not. To inspect a
transaction’s details, double-click anywhere in the transaction’s row to see it in
its corresponding window (Create Invoices for an invoice, for example). If you’d
rather see the transactions for just one customer, open the Customer Center,
select the customer on the Customers & Jobs tab, and then, on the right side
of the window, click the Open Balance link.
• Open Invoices. This report includes unpaid invoices and statement charges, as
well as payments and unapplied credits, so you can see if a payment or unapplied
credit closes out a customer’s balance. This report is sorted and subtotaled for
each customer and job, so you can find an unpaid invoice quickly. If the invoices
are overdue, the Aging column shows just how late they are. When you find the
invoice you want, double-click anywhere in its row to open it.
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INCOME • Collections Report. When you’re on a mission to collect the money that’s
owed to you, this report shows the past-due invoices and statement charges by
customer and job, along with the due date and number of days that the transaction
is past due. If you’re ready to get on the horn to try to collect what you’re
owed, customers’ phone numbers appear immediately below the customer or
job heading rows. If a customer has questions about a transaction, double-click
the transaction’s row to view it in detail.
TIP  When customers have pushed their credit limits—and your patience—too far, you can easily create
collection letters by merging information for overdue customers with mail-merge collection letters in Word. See
page 679 for details.
• Average Days to Pay Summary/Average Days to Pay. These reports show
how long customers take to pay your invoices. The summary report lists each
customer and the average days it took it to pay based on all transactions. If you
notice customers going far beyond your limits, you might consider increasing
your finance charges or looking for new customers.
• Unbilled Costs by Job. Another way you might leave money on the table is
by forgetting to add reimbursable expenses to invoices. Run this report to see
whether there are expenses you haven’t billed; if there are, the report lists the
type of expense and when you incurred it, among other info. If you spot older
expenses that you haven’t yet billed, add them to the next invoice (page 249).
Receiving Payments for Invoiced Income
To record a payment, click Receive Payments on the Home Page or choose
Customers→Receive Payments. Either way, QuickBooks opens the Receive Payments
window, which handles full and partial payments, early payment discounts,
credits, and downloaded online payments.
The Receive Payments window works for most payments, but you record some
types of payments in other places. Here are the windows that can record payments
and when to use them:
• Receive Payments. When customers send you money to pay their invoices or
their statement balances, on the Home Page, click Receive Payments to record
the payment as explained below. This window is for full or partial payments that
you receive after you’ve made a sale. It lets you apply early payment discounts
and credits for returns, as well as downloaded online payments. (See page 371
to find out how to record the deposits for any type of payment.)
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INCOME • Create Invoices. As explained on page 113, this window is where you record a
partial payment that you receive while you prepare an invoice. These payments
appear on the next invoice you create and reduce its balance. And if you happen
to receive a payment while you’re preparing the customer’s next invoice in this
window, you can add the payment to the invoice right then. You can also apply
available credits in this window.
• Enter Sales Receipts. When your customers pay in full at the time of sale (with
cash, check, or credit card), record payments in this window (page 364).
To record full or partial payments (with or without discounts or credits) that you
receive from customers, follow these steps:
1. Choose Customers→Receive Payments or, on the Home Page, click Receive
Payments. (Alternatively, in the Customer Center, select the customer
who sent a payment, and then, in the window’s toolbar, choose New
Transactions→Receive Payments.)
QuickBooks opens the Receive Payments window.
2. In the Received From box, choose the customer or the job for which you
received a payment, as shown in Figure 13-5.
If the customer sent a payment that covers more than one job, choose the customer’s
name rather than a job. QuickBooks then adds the Job column to the
Receive Payments window’s table and fills in the rows with all the outstanding
invoices for all the customer’s jobs. When an invoice applies to a specific job,
the job’s name appears in the table. If the cell in the Job column is blank, the
invoice applies directly to the customer, not to a job.
If you choose a job and don’t see the invoice you expect, in the Received From
box, choose the customer to see all invoices for that customer and its jobs. If
the invoice is assigned to the wrong customer or job, edit the invoice (page
293), and then choose the correct job in the Received From box.
TIP  Income Tracker (page 340) can help you record payments more quickly. In the Income Tracker window
(Customers→Income Tracker), click the Action cell in the row for the invoice for which you received a payment,
and then choose Receive Payment on the drop-down menu. QuickBooks opens a new payment transaction in the
Receive Payments window and fills in the Customer:Job box with the customer or job associated with the invoice
you selected.
3. In the Payment Amount box, type the amount of the payment.
If you’ve turned on the “Automatically calculate payments” preference (page
663), you don’t have to fill in the Payment Amount box. With this setting turned
on, QuickBooks fills in the payment transaction’s Payment Amount field with
the value of the first invoice you select. As you select (or deselect) additional
invoices, the program recalculates the total payment.
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If this preference is turned off, you have to fill in the Payment Amount field with
the payment amount in order to select invoices in the table. If you leave the Payment
Amount field blank and try to select an invoice in the table, QuickBooks
warns you that you can’t apply an amount greater than the total payment plus
any credits the customer has. The advantage to turning this preference off is
that a discrepancy between the customer’s payment and the selected invoice
total is easy to spot—the Underpayment or Overpayment section visible in Figure
13-6 appears, showing the difference between the two values.
FIGURE 13-5
When you choose a
customer or job in the
Received From box, the
Customer Balance at the
window’s top right shows
the corresponding balance,
and QuickBooks fills
in the table with every
unpaid invoice for that
customer or job. If you
choose a customer (as
shown here), QuickBooks
adds the Job column to
the table and fills in the
rows with the customer’s
outstanding invoices. The
cell in the Job column
lists the job’s name when
an invoice applies to a
specific job, and it’s blank
when the invoice applies
to the customer.
4. If you turned off the “Automatically apply payments” preference (page 662),
in the window’s table, turn on the checkmark cells (in the first column) for the
invoices to which you want to apply the payment, as shown in Figure 13-6.
To tell QuickBooks to choose the invoices for you, on the window’s Main tab,
click Auto Apply Payment. (Once you’ve selected at least one invoice to pay, this
button’s label changes to Un-Apply Payment.) The box on page 352 explains how
to adjust the amount of the payment that’s applied to the invoices you select.
If the “Automatically apply payments” preference is turned on, after you enter
the payment amount and either press Tab or click another box, QuickBooks
automatically selects an invoice for you. If the payment doesn’t match any of
the customer’s invoice amounts, QuickBooks applies the payment to the oldest
invoices first. If the program doesn’t select the correct invoices, turn off the
checkmark cells that QuickBooks turned on, and then turn on the checkmark
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cells for the invoices you want. (If QuickBooks selects the wrong invoices but
you don’t notice until later, see page 358 to find out how to correct this mistake
after you’ve applied the payment.)
FIGURE 13-6
Sometimes, the amount
your customer sends
doesn’t match any combination
of open invoices.
If that’s the case, first see
if the customer deducted
an available credit (page
352) or early payment
discount (page 355).
Otherwise, you can edit
the values in the Payment
column to allocate
the payment to those
invoices. (The total has to
match the total payment.)
5. In the Date box, fill in the date you received the payment.
The payment date is particularly important if the customer paid early to qualify
for an early payment discount.
6. To the right of the Payment Amount box, click the icon that corresponds to
the method the customer used to make the payment.
If you click Cash, QuickBooks displays the Reference # box, where you can type
a receipt number or other identifier. If you click Check, QuickBooks displays the
Check # box instead, so you can type the number from the customer’s check.
For any type of credit card or EFT, in the Card No. box and Exp. Date boxes,
type the card’s number and the month and year that it expires. The Reference
# box that appears is perfect for storing the credit card transaction number.
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7. If the Deposit To box is visible, choose the account for the deposit, such
as your checking account, money market account, or Undeposited Funds
account.
When you first start using QuickBooks, the program’s Use Undeposited Funds
preference (page 663) is turned on, which tells QuickBooks to automatically
deposit payments into your Undeposited Funds account. When this setting is
on, you won’t see the Deposit To box, and the program holds payments in that
account until you tell it to deposit those payments into a specific bank account.
If electronic payments land directly in your bank account (for example, payments
made with PayPal or a merchant credit card service), you can record those
deposits to the appropriate bank account in the Receive Payments window. To
do that, turn the Use Undeposited Funds preference off and then, in the Receive
Payments window, choose the bank account in the Deposit To box.
TIP  To make reconciling your bank statement a bit easier, choose the Deposit To account based on the way
your bank statement shows deposits you make. For example, if your bank statement shows only a deposit total
regardless of how many checks were in the deposit, put payments in the Undeposited Funds account. If your
bank shows every check you deposit, choose your QuickBooks bank account instead so that each payment appears
separately. (Page 663 explains how to set your QuickBooks preferences so that the program always chooses
Undeposited Funds for payments.)
If the customer paid too much or too little (or you’ve selected too few or too
many open invoices in the Receive Payments window), you’ll see an overpayment
or underpayment message like the one in the lower-left part of Figure
13-6. Before you edit values in the Payment column, make sure that you’ve
selected the correct invoices. Then see if the Available Credits value equals
the Underpayment value. If it does, your customer reduced the payment by its
available credit. See page 352 for details about applying credits.
8. If you want to print a payment receipt, at the top of the Receive Payments
window, click Print→Payment.
QuickBooks opens the Print Lists dialog box. If necessary, change the print
settings, and then click Print.
9. To assign the payment to the selected invoices and close the window, click
Save & Close.
If you want to apply another payment, click Save & New instead.
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Different Ways to Apply Payments
Most of the time, customers send payments that bear a clear
relationship to their unpaid invoices. For those payments,
QuickBooks’ preference that automatically selects invoices
(page 662) is a real timesaver: You type the payment amount
in the Receive Payments window’s Payment Amount box, and
the program selects the most likely invoice(s) for payment.
When a payment matches an invoice amount exactly, this
feature works perfectly almost every time.
But every once in a while you’ll receive a payment that doesn’t
match up, and you’ll have to tell QuickBooks how to apply the
payment. For example, if the payment and the customer’s
available credit (taken together) match an open invoice, you
can use the method explained on page 352 to apply them
to the invoice. (If you have no idea what the customer had
in mind, don’t guess—contact the customer and ask how to
apply the payment.)
Regardless of the situation, you can adjust the values in the
Receive Payments window’s Payment column to match your
customer’s wishes. Here’s how to handle some common
scenarios:
• Customer includes the invoice number on the payment.
If QuickBooks selects an invoice other than the one the
customer specifies, click the selected invoice’s checkmark
cell to turn it off. Then turn on the checkmark for the
desired invoice to make QuickBooks apply the payment to
it and type the amount of the payment in the Payment cell.
• Payment is less than any outstanding invoices. In this
case, QuickBooks applies the payment to the oldest
invoice. Simply click Save & Close to apply the payment as
is. Your customers will thank you for helping them avoid
(or reduce) your finance charges.
• Payment is greater than the total of the customer’s
invoices. If the payment is larger than all the customer’s
unpaid invoices, apply the payment to all its open invoices
and adjust the Payment cells if necessary. Then create
a credit or write a refund check for the amount of the
overpayment (page 287).
Applying Credits to Invoices When You
Receive Payments
When something goes awry with the services or products you sell, customers won’t
be bashful about asking for a refund or credit. And customers who buy from you
regularly might prefer a credit against their next order rather than a refund so that
checks aren’t flying back and forth in the mail (page 288 tells you how to create a
credit).
As you saw on page 290, you can apply a credit to a customer’s invoice at any time
to reduce the amount that the customer owes. But if a credit is still available when
you receive a customer’s payment, you can apply the credit and the payment at the
same time. Here’s what you do:
1. Choose Customers→Receive Payments or, on the Home Page, click Receive
Payments.
QuickBooks opens the Receive Payments window.
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2. In the Received From drop-down list, choose the customer or job you
want. In the Payment Amount box, type the customer’s payment amount,
and to the right of this box, click the button for the payment method the
customer used.
If you choose a customer or job with an available credit, the Available Credits
section appears below the window’s table and shows the amount of credit that’s
available (this section is visible in Figure 13-6). If you choose a customer, the
Available Credits value represents all the credits available for all jobs for that
customer. If your customer reduced the payment by the amount of its available
credit, you’ll also see the Underpayment section at the window’s bottom left.
3. To apply the credit to the invoice you selected, at the top of the Receive
Payments window, click Discounts And Credits.
QuickBooks opens the “Discount and Credits” dialog box (Figure 13-7).
FIGURE 13-7
When you click a credit’s checkmark
cell in the Available Credits table
here, the Credits Used value changes
to show the total credit that has
been applied to the invoice, and the
Balance Due value shows how much
is still due on the invoice (if any).
If you applied other credits to the
invoice in the past, they appear in the
Previously Applied Credits table at the
bottom of this dialog box.
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INVOICES WHEN
YOU RECEIVE
PAYMENTS
4. If necessary, in the Available Credits table, click the credit’s checkmark
cell to turn it on.
If the customer asked you not to apply a credit, turn off that credit’s checkmark
cell. If the credit doesn’t appear in the “Discount and Credits” dialog box, it
probably relates to a different job or to the customer only. If you want to apply
a credit to a different job or to the customer’s account, see the box on page 291.
5. Click Done.
QuickBooks closes the “Discount and Credits” dialog box and returns to the
Receive Payments window, where you see the applied credit, as shown in
Figure 13-8.
FIGURE 13-8
When you apply a credit
to an invoice, its amount
appears in the Credits cell
in the Receive Payments
window’s table and to the
right of the “Discounts
and Credits Applied” label
below the table.
When you’ve applied all
a customer’s credits, the
Available Credits value
equals 0.00.
6. Click Save & Close to apply the credit to the invoice.
If the customer’s available credit is greater than the total for an invoice, you
can still apply the credit to that invoice. QuickBooks reduces the invoice’s balance
to zero but keeps the remainder of the credit available so you can apply
it to another invoice. Simply repeat these steps to apply the leftover credit to
another invoice.
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FOR EARLY Discounting for Early Payment PAYMENT
Customers aren’t eligible for early payment discounts until they actually pay early,
so it makes sense that you apply such discounts in the Receive Payments window.
The process for applying an early payment discount is almost identical to applying a
credit. In fact, if an invoice qualifies for both a credit and an early payment discount,
you can apply them both in the “Discount and Credits” dialog box.
NOTE  If the discount is for something other than an early payment, such as a product that’s on sale, instead
of using the technique described in this section, add a Discount item to the invoice when you create it (page 235).
Here’s how to apply an early payment discount to a customer:
1. In the Customer Center (Customers→Customer Center), choose the customer
or job that sent the payment, and then in the Center’s toolbar, choose
New Transactions→Receive Payments.
The Receive Payments window opens with the Received From box filled in with
the customer or job you selected and all the unpaid invoices and/or statements
for that customer or job listed in the window’s table.
2. In the Payment Amount box, type the payment amount you received from
the customer.
If the “Automatically apply payments” preference is turned on (page 662), when
you click away from this box, QuickBooks applies the payment to the customer
or job’s open invoices. If QuickBooks doesn’t apply the payment to the correct
invoices, you can choose the ones you want (page 349). If that preference is
turned off, turn on the checkmark cells (in the table’s first column) for the invoices
to which you want to apply the payment
If the customer already deducted the early payment discount, the Receive Payments
window shows an underpayment (Figure 13-9).
3. In the Date box, fill in the date you received the payment.
QuickBooks uses the invoice date and the customer’s terms to calculate the
early payment discount date (page 145). If the payment date is earlier than the
discount date, QuickBooks displays a message at the bottom of the window
letting you know that the customer has discounts available.
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FIGURE 13-9
If the customer sent a
payment that’s less than
the invoice amount, you’ll
see the difference as an
underpayment, as shown
here.
Look below the
unpaid invoice table for
a message that says the
customer has discounts
or credits available, as
unapplied discounts and
credits might explain
the difference between
the payment and invoice
amounts. If you see that
message, click the Discounts
And Credits button
at the top of the window
to apply the available
discounts and credits.
4. To apply the early payment discount, at the top of the Receive Payments
window, click Discounts And Credits.
QuickBooks opens the “Discount and Credits” dialog box. If the Credits tab
is visible, click the Discount tab to display the Discount fields shown in Figure
13-10. If the date of the payment is earlier than the Discount Date that’s listed,
QuickBooks uses the early payment percentage from the customer’s payment
terms (page 145) to calculate the Suggested Discount and fills in the “Amount
of Discount” box with the suggested discount. For example, if the customer
gets a 2 percent discount for paying early, the suggested discount is 2 percent
of the invoice total.
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FOR EARLY
PAYMENT
NOTE  Customers often deduct their early payment discounts despite sending their payments after the
early payment cutoff date. The typical reaction of most business owners is a resigned sigh. Although QuickBooks
shows the suggested discount as zero when a customer doesn’t actually pay early, you can show your customer
goodwill and accept his payment. In the Amount of Discount box, simply type the discount that the customer
took.
FIGURE 13-10
QuickBooks automatically puts the
suggested discount in the Amount
of Discount box, but you can type a
different amount—if the customer
paid only part of the invoice early, for
instance.
The Invoice section at the top of the
dialog box shows the amount due on
the invoice and the balance due after
applying the early payment discount
you chose. If the customer has already
paid the invoice in full, the early
payment discount becomes a credit
for the next invoice.
5. In the Discount Account box, choose the income account you’ve set up to
track customer discounts.
You might think it makes sense to post customer discounts to one of your income
accounts for products or services you sell. But customer discounts tend to fall off
your radar when they’re buried among your regular income. The best course of
action is to keep track of the discounts you give by creating an income account
specifically for them, called something imaginative like Customer Discounts.
If you spot an expense account called Discounts, don’t use that as your customer
discount account, either. An expense account for discounts is meant to track
the discounts you receive from your vendors.
6. If you use classes, in the Discount Class box, choose the appropriate one.
This class is typically the same one you used for the invoice.
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7. Click Done.
When QuickBooks closes the “Discount and Credits” dialog box and returns to
the Receive Payments window, you’ll see the discount in two or three places,
as Figure 13-11 shows. The early payment discount appears both in the invoice
table’s Discount column and below the table next to the “Discount and Credits
Applied” label. If the customer paid the invoice in full, the early payment discount
also becomes an overpayment (not shown in Figure 13-11).
TIP  If a customer overpays, QuickBooks displays two options at the bottom left of the Receive Payments
window: “Leave the credit to be used later” and “Refund the amount to the customer.” Unless your customer
wants a refund, keep “Leave the credit to be used later” selected.
8. When you’re done, click Save & Close.
You’ve just recorded the payment with the discount applied.
FIGURE 13-11
When you apply an early
payment discount to an
invoice, it appears in
the Receive Payment
window’s Discount cell, as
shown here. The discount
also contributes to the
“Discount and Credits
Applied” at the bottom of
the window.
Correcting Misapplied Customer Payments
Say you realize that you’ve applied a payment to the wrong invoice. The way you
correct this mistake depends on whether you applied the payment to a different
invoice for the same customer or job, or you applied it to the wrong customer or job.
This section shows you how to fix misapplied payments in both situations (regardless
of whether you’ve deposited the payments).
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CUSTOMER
PAYMENTS Wrong Invoice, Right Customer or Job
If you simply selected the wrong invoice for a customer or job when you applied a
payment, it’s easy to set things straight. Here’s how:
1. Choose Customers→Customer Center or, on the Home Page, click Customers.
On the Customer Center’s Customers & Jobs tab, click the customer or
job whose payment you misapplied.
The Transactions tab in the Customer Center’s lower right displays the transactions
for the customer or job you selected.
2. On the Transactions tab, click the Show box’s down arrow, and then choose
Received Payments.
If you do that but still don’t see the payment you’re looking for, click the Filter
By down arrow and choose All Payment Methods; or click the Date down arrow
and choose a different date range.
3. When you see the payment in question, double-click it.
The Receive Payments window opens to the payment you double-clicked.
4. In the Receive Payments window’s unpaid invoice table, you’ll see both the
wrong invoice and the right one. Turn off the checkmark cell for the currently
selected invoice; turn on the checkmark cell for the correct invoice,
and then click Save & Close.
QuickBooks applies the payment to the correct invoice.
Wrong Invoice, Wrong Customer
When you apply a payment to the wrong customer’s invoice, you can’t use the steps
in the previous section. Here’s why: When you open the misapplied payment in the
Receive Payments window, the Received From box contains the erroneous customer
or job, and the invoices that appear in the window’s unpaid invoices table are for that
customer. That means there’s no way to select the invoice for the correct customer
in the Receive Payments window.
To correct this type of misapplied payment, you need to create a new payment for
the correct customer and delete the payment you applied to the wrong customer.
The good news is that this approach also works if you deposited a payment without
applying it to an invoice; it even works if you’ve already reconciled the deposit with
your bank account. Here are the steps:
1. First, create a new payment for the correct customer.
To do this, in the Customer Center (Customers→Customer Center), click
the Customers & Jobs tab, and then select the customer or job to which
the payment should be applied. Then, at the top of the window, click New
Transactions→Receive Payments and follow the steps on page 348 to record
the new payment. Click Save & Close when you’re done.
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2. If you already deposited the misapplied payment, on the Home Page, click
Record Deposits (or choose Banking→Make Deposits). If you haven’t deposited
the payment, skip to step 7.
If you see the “Payments to Deposit” window, click OK to open the Make Deposits
window.
3. In the Make Deposits window’s toolbar, click Previous until you see the
deposit you’re looking for.
If you don’t see the deposit, be sure to choose the correct bank account in the
window’s Deposit To box.
4. In the window’s toolbar, click Payments. In the “Payments to Deposit”
window, click the checkmark cell for the payment you created in step 1,
and then click OK.
The Make Deposits window’s table now lists both the old payment and the new
payment, as shown in Figure 13-12.
FIGURE 13-12
In the Make Deposit
window’s toolbar, click
Payments to open the
“Payments to Deposit”
window so you can add
the new, correct payment
to the deposit. Then, back
in the Make Deposits
window, delete the
misapplied payment
from the deposit by
clicking anywhere in the
payment’s row, and then,
on the main QuickBooks
menu bar, choosing
Edit→Delete Line.
5. To delete the misapplied payment from the deposit, click anywhere in its
row in the payments table, and then, on the main QuickBooks menu bar,
choose Edit→Delete Line.
The misapplied payment disappears, leaving the correctly applied payment in
the table.
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CHARGES
6. Click Save & Close.
QuickBooks saves the deposit with the correctly applied payment and closes
the Make Deposits windows.
7. Delete the original, misapplied payment.
In the Customer Center, click the Transactions tab on the window’s left, and then
click Received Payments. Double-click the payment you misapplied to open it
in the Receive Payments window. At the top of the Receive Payments window,
click Delete, and then, in the message box, click OK.
Because you deleted the original payment, it’s a good idea to document what you
did. For example, add a note (page 485) to the customer or job to which the deleted
payment belonged explaining why you deleted it.
Applying Finance Charges
If you’ve tried everything but some customers still won’t pay, you can resort to
finance charges. These charges usually don’t cover the cost of keeping after the
slackers, but QuickBooks at least minimizes the time you spend on this vexing task.
NOTE  Typically, only small businesses actually pay finance charges. Corporations usually ignore them, so
you may decide to skip finance charges for your corporate clients (you’ll just have to reverse the charges later
on).
Customers tend to get cranky if you spring finance charges on them without warning,
so spend some time up front determining your payment policies: what interest
rate you’ll charge, what constitutes “late,” and so on. Include these terms in the
contracts your customers sign and on the sales forms you send. Then, after you
configure QuickBooks with your finance-charge settings, a few clicks is all it’ll take
to add those penalties to customer accounts.
Finance Charge Preferences
Before you apply finance charges, you need to tell QuickBooks how steep your finance
charges are, when they kick in, and a few other details. To adjust these settings,
choose Edit→Preferences→Finance Charge. Because your finance-charge policies
should apply to all your customers, these settings are on the Company Preferences
tab, which means only a QuickBooks administrator can change them. To learn how
to set these preferences, see page 652.
Assessing Finance Charges on Overdue Balances
QuickBooks creates finance-charge invoices for customers tardy enough to warrant
late fees, but you don’t have to print or send these invoices. Instead, you can
assess finance charges just before you print customer statements (page 303) to
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have QuickBooks include the finance-charge invoices on statements, along with any
outstanding invoices and unpaid charges for the customer.
TIP  Make sure you apply payments and credits to invoices before you assess finance charges. Otherwise,
you’ll spend most of your time reversing finance charges and working to get back into your customers’ good
graces.
Here’s how to assess finance charges for slow-paying customers:
1. Choose Customers→Assess Finance Charges or, on the Home Page, click
the Finance Charges icon.
The Assess Finance Charges window (Figure 13-13) opens.
FIGURE 13-13
In this window, if a customer
has payments or
credits that you haven’t
yet applied, QuickBooks
precedes the customer’s
name with an asterisk. So
if you see any asterisks,
click Cancel. After you’ve
applied those payments
(page 347) and credits
(page 352), you’re ready
to start back at step 1.
QuickBooks automatically
chooses the current date
as the date on which you
want to assess finance
charges and selects all the
customers with overdue
balances.
2. If you begin the process of preparing statements a few days before the end
of the month, in the Assessment Date box, change the date to the last day
of the month.
The last day of the month is a popular cutoff date for customer statements.
When you change the date in the Assessment Date box and then move to another
field, QuickBooks recalculates the finance charges to reflect the charges
through that new date.
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3. If you don’t want to assess finance charges on one of the customers in the
list, in the window’s table, click that customer’s Assess cell to turn off the
checkmark.
QuickBooks automatically selects all customers with overdue balances, but
you can let some of them slide without penalty. Since there’s no way to flag a
customer as exempt from finance charges, you have to do this manually. If you
reserve finance charges for your most intractable customers, click Unmark All
to turn off all the finance charges. Then, in the Assess column, click only the
cells for the customers you want to penalize.
To view a customer’s invoices, payments, and credits, click the row for that
customer, and then click Collection History. QuickBooks displays a Collections
Report for that customer that shows every open transaction that’s past due.
4. If you want to change a finance charge amount, click it in the Finance Charge
column, and then type the new amount.
The only time you might want to do this is when you’ve created a credit memo
(page 288) for a customer but you don’t want to apply it to an invoice. As long
as the credit memo is out there, it’s simpler to forgo the finance charges until
you’ve applied the credit.
5. If you want to print and send the finance-charge invoices, turn on the “Mark
Invoices ‘To be printed’” checkbox.
If you plan to send customer statements, leave this checkbox turned off. Sending
customers statements to remind them of overdue balances is one thing, but
sending a statement and a finance-charge invoice borders on nagging.
6. To finalize the finance-charge invoices for the selected customers, click the
Assess Charges button.
If you turned on the “Mark Invoice ‘To be printed’” checkbox, QuickBooks adds
the finance-charge invoices to the queue of invoices to be printed. When you
print all the queued invoices (page 314), the program prints the finance-charge
invoices as well.
Cash Sales
Receiving payment when you deliver a service or product is known as a cash sale,
even though your customer might pay you with cash, check, or credit card. For
example, if you run a thriving massage therapy business, your customers probably
pay for their stress relief before they leave your office—and no matter how they pay,
QuickBooks considers the transaction a cash sale.
If your customers want records of their payments, you give them sales receipts. In
QuickBooks, a sales receipt can do double-duty: It records the cash sale in the program,
and you can print it as a paper receipt for your customer. (The box on page
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366 explains how to record payments you receive through PayPal using QuickBooks
sales receipts.)
NOTE  Although a cash sale is a simultaneous exchange of money for goods (or services), you don’t actually
have to create a QuickBooks sales receipt at the time of the sale.
Here are the two most common ways of handling cash sales:
• Recording individual sales. If you want to keep track of which customers
purchase which products, create a separate sales receipt for each cash sale.
Individual sales receipts track both customers’ purchases and the state of your
inventory.
NOTE  If you keep QuickBooks open on the computer in your store, you can print individual sales receipts
for your customers. But keeping QuickBooks running on the store computer could be risky if the wrong people
start snooping around in your records. And, unless you’re completely proficient with the program’s sales receipts,
you might find that hand-writing paper sales receipts is faster when your store is swamped. Then, when there’s
a lull, you can enter individual receipts into your QuickBooks company file.
• Recording batch sales. If your shop gets lots of one-time customers, you don’t
care about tracking who purchases your products, but you still need to know
how much inventory you have and how much money you’ve made. In this situation,
you don’t have to create a separate sales receipt for each sale. Instead,
create one for each business day, which shows how much money you brought
in that day and what you sold.
Creating Sales Receipts
Creating sales receipts in QuickBooks is like creating invoices, except for a few small
differences. Here’s what you do:
1. Choose Customers→Enter Sales Receipts or, on the Home Page, click Create
Sales Receipts.
NOTE  You see the Create Sales Receipt icon only if you’ve turned on the sales receipt preference (page 703).
The Enter Sales Receipts window opens.
2. Click the icon for the method of payment, such as Cash, Check, or Credit
Debit. If the customer paid with a check, fill in the Check No. box with the
customer’s check number.
For cash or credit cards, leave the Check No. box blank.
3. Fill in the item table with the items your customer purchased.
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4. If you see the Deposit To box, choose an account to tell QuickBooks where
to plop the money you made from the sale.
The Deposit To box appears only if you’ve turned off the preference to use the
Undeposited Funds account (page 663).
5. If you want to print the sales receipt now, at the top of the window, click
Print→Sales Receipt to have QuickBooks open the Print One Sales Receipt
dialog box.
To learn more about your printing options, see page 308.
6. Click Save & Close to save the sales receipt.
The Enter Sales Receipts window closes. If you want to record another sales
receipt, click Save & New instead to start a new transaction. Click Revert to clear
the info you filled in so you can start over.
WARNING  Keeping track of customers who make one-time cash purchases can clog your Customer:Job
List with unnecessary information. To keep your Customer:Job List lean, create a customer called Cash Sales (page
64).
Editing Sales Receipts
If you’re in the process of creating a sales receipt, you can jump to any field and
change its value. You can also insert or delete lines (page 239) in the sales receipt’s
line-item table as your customer tosses another book on the pile or puts one back
on the shelf.
Although you can edit sales receipts after you’ve saved them, you won’t do so
very often. After all, the sale is complete, and your customer has left with her copy
of the receipt. However, you may want to edit the sales receipt after the sale to
add more detailed descriptions to items, for example. To do so, in the Enter Sales
Receipts window, click the left arrow (Previous) or right arrow (Next) until you see
the receipt you want (or click Find, which is described on page 332), and then add
the additional info.
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GEM IN THE ROUGH
Receiving PayPal Payments
If you accept payments via PayPal, those payments are almost
like cash sales in that they show up in your PayPal account immediately.
However, PayPal takes its cut from the money you
receive. In QuickBooks, you can create a sales receipt to record
a PayPal payment and its fees. But before you can do that, you
have to do a bit of setup. Here are the steps:
1. In QuickBooks, create a bank account (page 47) that
represents your PayPal account. Your PayPal account
is similar to a regular bank account because you can
deposit payments into it, pay bills with the money in it,
and withdraw money from it.
2. If you don’t already have a QuickBooks item for merchant
account fees, create an Other Charge item (page 113) for
your PayPal fees. In the New Item window’s Account
box, choose an expense account for merchant account
or bank fees.
3. For each payment you receive, create a sales receipt (page
362). In the Enter Sales Receipts window, fill in the boxes
as you would for a cash sale, including the items that the
customer purchased.
4. In the next blank line in the Enter Sales Receipts window’s
item table, add the PayPal fee item you created in step 2.
Fill in the Amount cell with the PayPal fee as a negative
number, to reduce the net amount you receive.
5. In the Deposit To box above the sales receipt, choose the
bank account you set up for PayPal. By doing this, the
payment is deposited directly in your QuickBooks PayPal
account, just like it is in your real-world PayPal account.
(If you don’t see the Deposit To box, you can record the
deposit after you save the sales receipt in the Make
Deposits window [page 371].)
6. Click Save & Close. The payment increases the balance in
your QuickBooks PayPal account and in your real-world
PayPal account.
Unless you buy as much as you sell on PayPal, at some point
you’ll want to transfer money from your PayPal account to
your regular bank account. To do this, record a transfer in
QuickBooks (page 386), and then hop online, log into your
PayPal account, withdraw money from PayPal, and move it
to your bank account.
If you sell oodles of stuff via PayPal, recording sales receipts
in QuickBooks for each transaction grows old quickly. You can
shortcut your data entry with a third-party tool that imports
PayPal transactions. One of the most popular products is
SimplePort (simpleport.net). Other programs include
WebGility (webgility) and T-HUB (atandra).
Voiding and Deleting Sales Receipts
If you created a sales receipt by mistake and want to remove its values from your
accounts, you might think about simply deleting the receipt. However, you should
always void sales receipts that you don’t want rather than deleting them.
If you delete a sales receipt, it’s gone for good: QuickBooks removes the dollar
values and any sign of the transaction from your accounts. You’ll see a hole in your
numbering sequence of sales receipts and an entry in the audit trail that says you
deleted the transaction (page 441). Voiding a sales receipt, on the other hand, resets
the dollar values for the transaction to zero (so your account balances show no sign
of the transaction) and marks the transaction as void, so you have a record of it.
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Here’s how to void a sales receipt:
1. On the Home Page, click Create Sales Receipts (or choose Customers→Enter
Sales Receipts).
The Enter Sales Receipts window opens.
2. Click the left or right arrow until you see the receipt in question, and then
right-click the Sales Receipt window and choose Void Sales Receipt on the
shortcut menu, as shown in Figure 13-14.
All the values in the form change to zero, and QuickBooks adds “VOID:” to the
Memo field. To remind yourself why you voided that transaction, type a reason
after the colon.
3. Click Save & Close.
FIGURE 13-14
Shortcut menus like this make choosing
features easier.
Simply right-click anywhere in the Enter
Sales Receipts window to display
the shortcut menu shown here.
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If you want to reduce your paperwork by recording one batch sales receipt for each
business day’s sales, why not go one step further and memorize a batch sales receipt
that you can reuse every day? Here’s how:
1. On the Home Page, click Create Sales Receipts or choose Customers→Enter
Sales Receipts.
QuickBooks opens the Enter Sales Receipts window.
2. In the Customer:Job box, choose the generic customer you created for
cash sales.
If you haven’t set up a cash sale customer yet, in the Customer:Job box, choose
<Add New>. In the New Customer dialog box’s Customer Name box, type a name
like Cash Sales. Then click OK to save the customer and use it for the sales receipt.
3. If you typically sell the same types of items every day, in the table’s Item
cells, choose those items.
Leave the Qty cells blank because those values are almost guaranteed to
change each day.
4. If you want to split your daily sales among different types of payments (like
Visa, MasterCard, and so on), add a Payment item for each type of credit
card and other form of payment you accept, as shown in Figure 13-15.
Because sales receipts are meant to handle cash, the total at the bottom of the
form represents the bank deposit you make at the end of the day. But it can
be helpful to know exactly which forms of payments customers used that day.
To set up the memorized sales receipt so you can record that info, in the Item
table, choose a Payment item, like Payment-Visa. (When you create a Payment
item [page 117], choose the “Group with other undeposited funds” option so
you can control when you deposit the money.) Leave the Amount cell blank;
you’ll fill in the actual amounts when you use the memorized sales receipt to
record the sales for a particular day.
TIP  By splitting a sales receipt among different types of payments, you can make a single deposit to each
merchant card account at the end of the day. To do so, choose Banking→Make Deposits. In the “Payments to Deposit”
window, choose the payment type in the “View payment method type” drop-down list. Select the deposits for
that card, and then click OK to deposit them to the bank or merchant card company. Repeat this process for each
type of payment you accept. (This technique works as long as your merchant card company deducts its fees as a
single amount, instead of as a fee on every charge transaction.)
5. When the sales receipt is set up the way you want, press Ctrl+M to open the
Memorize Transaction dialog box.
In the Name box, type a name for the reusable sales receipt, such as Day’s
Cash Sales.
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FIGURE 13-15
Add a Payment item for
every form of payment
you accept (American
Express, Discover, debit
cards, checks, and so on).
Then, when you use the
memorized transaction
to record batch sales
receipts, type a negative
number for the amount
charged to each type
of payment. If the Total
value doesn’t match the
amount of your cash
deposit, add an item for
excess or short cash to
make your bank deposit
balance. (The next section
explains how to use
excess- and short-cash
items.)
6. If you want to use this memorized sales receipt only on the days you have
cash sales, choose the Do Not Remind Me option.
If you receive cash sales every day, choose the Remind Me option and then, in
the How Often box, choose Daily.
7. To memorize the sales receipt, click OK.
QuickBooks closes the Memorize Transaction dialog box and adds the batch
sales receipt to the Memorized Transaction List.
8. If you created the sales receipt simply to memorize it, click Clear, and then
close the Enter Sales Receipts window.
To use the sales receipt, fill in the values in the table, and then click Save & Close.
Now that you’ve memorized the batch sales receipt, you can create a new sales
receipt for a given day by pressing Ctrl+T to open the Memorized Transaction List
window. There, double-click the memorized transaction for your batch sales receipt.
QuickBooks opens the Enter Sales Receipts window to a new sales receipt based on
the one you memorized. Edit the items in the window’s table, their quantities, and
the prices to reflect your day’s sales, and then click Save & Close.
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CASH SALES Reconciling Excess and Short Cash
When you take in paper money and make change, you’re bound to make small mistakes.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of those automatic change machines,
the money in the cash register at the end of the day rarely matches the sales you
record. Over time, the amounts you’re short or over tend to balance out, but that’s
no help when you have to record sales in QuickBooks that don’t match your bank
deposits.
The solution to this reality of cash sales is one final sales receipt at the end of the
day that reconciles your cash register’s total with your bank deposit slip. But before
you can create this reconciliation receipt, you need to create an account and
a couple of items:
• Over/Under account. To keep track of your running total for excess and short
cash, create an Income account named something like Over/Under. If you use
account numbers, give this account a number that makes it appear near the
end of your Income accounts. For example, if Uncategorized Income is account
number 4999, make the Over/Under account 4998.
• Over item. Create an Other Charge item to track the excess cash you collect,
and assign it to the Over/Under account. Make sure that you set up this item
as nontaxable.
• Under item. Create a second Other Charge item to track the amounts that
you’re short and assign it to the Over/Under account. This item should also be
nontaxable.
At the end of each day, compare the income you recorded (run a Profit & Loss report
and set the Date box to Today) with the amount of money in your cash register. Then
create a sales receipt to make up the difference. Here’s how:
• If you have less cash than you should, create a sales receipt and, in the first
Item cell, add the Under item. In the Amount cell, type the amount that you’re
short as a negative number. When you save this receipt, QuickBooks adjusts
your income for the day in your Over/Under income account to match the
money in the cash register.
• If you have too much cash, create a sales receipt and, in the first Item cell,
add the Over item. In the Amount cell, type the excess amount as a positive
number. This receipt increases your recorded income to match the money you
have on hand.
NOTE  If you notice that your cash count at the end of the day is always short, a fluke of probability could
be at work. But it’s more likely that someone is helping herself to the cash in your till.
Chapter 13: Managing Accounts Receivable 371
MAKING Making Deposits DEPOSITS
Whether customers mail you checks or hand over wads of cash, taking those deposits
to the bank isn’t enough—you also have to record them in QuickBooks. In the Receive
Payments window, if you designate a bank account as the Deposit To account (page
349), there’s nothing more to do after you save the payment—QuickBooks records
the payment as a deposit to that account. However, if you initially store payments
in the Undeposited Funds account, you have to work your way through two dialog
boxes: one to record payments you receive, and then one to record the deposits you
make in your bank account. (The box on page 372 explains how QuickBooks moves
money between accounts as you record these transactions.) This section explains
this two-step process. (The box on page 374 explains how to record deposits made
with different payment types.)
Choosing Payments to Deposit
If you store payments in the Undeposited Funds account, you end up with a collection
of payments ready for deposit that coincide with the paper checks or cash you
have to take to the bank (or the credit card payments and electronic funds transfers
that show up in your bank account without any action on your part). When you
have payments queued up for deposit and choose Banking→Make Deposits (or, in
the Home Page’s Banking panel, click Record Deposits), QuickBooks opens both
the Make Deposits window and the “Payments to Deposit” window, where you can
choose the payments you want to deposit in several ways, as Figure 13-16 shows.
FIGURE 13-16
To filter payments by
method, choose one
in the “View payment
method type” box;
QuickBooks then displays
only payments of that
type. Payments are
initially sorted by payment
method, so check
payments appear before
Visa payments, and so
on. To sort payments by
another field, in the “Sort
payments by” drop-down
list, choose a field like
Date or Name to sort the
payments by their payment
dates or customer
names, respectively.
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NOTE  If you have other checks to deposit, such as an insurance claim check, you’ll have a chance to add
those to your deposit in the Make Deposits window as explained in the next section.
To choose specific payments to deposit, in the checkmark column, click each one
you want to deposit. To select every payment listed, click Select All. When you’ve
selected the payments you want, click OK. QuickBooks closes the “Payments to
Deposit” window so you can record your deposits in the Make Deposits window,
described next.
UP TO SPEED
Following the Money Trail
If you use QuickBooks’ windows to create transactions, the
program posts debits and credits to accounts without any action
on your part. But in case you’re interested in how money
weaves its way from account to account, here’s what happens
from the time you create an invoice to the time you deposit
the customer’s payment into your bank account.
• Create Invoices. When you create an invoice, QuickBooks
credits (increases) your income accounts because you’ve
earned income and debits (increases) your Accounts
Receivable account because the customer owes you
money.
• Receive Payments. When you receive payments into
the Undeposited Funds account, QuickBooks credits
(decreases) the Accounts Receivable account because
the customer’s balance is now paid off. The program also
debits (increases) the Undeposited Funds account because
the money is now in that account waiting to be deposited.
• Make Deposits. When you deposit the payments queued
in the Undeposited Funds account, QuickBooks credits
(decreases) the Undeposited Funds account to remove the
money from it and debits (increases) your bank account
by the amount of the deposit.
Recording Deposits
The Make Deposits window is like an electronic deposit slip, as you can see in Figure
13-17. The payments you chose to deposit in the “Payments to Deposit” window are
already filled in. If you have other checks to deposit besides customer payments,
they don’t automatically show up in this window, but you can add them to the table.
Here’s how to add these additional deposits:
1. Click the first blank Received From cell and then choose the vendor or name
of the source of your deposit. Then, in that row’s From Account cell, choose
the account to which you’re posting the money.
For example, if you’re depositing a refund check for some office supplies, choose
the expense account for office supplies.
2. In that same row’s Amount cell, fill in the amount of the additional deposit.
If you like, fill in the rest of the row’s cells. For refunds or checks from other
sources, jotting a note in the Memo cell can help you remember why people
sent you money. And entering the check number gives your customer or vendor
a reference point in case a question arises.
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DEPOSITS
FIGURE 13-17
The Make Deposits window
lets you specify the
account into which you’re
depositing funds, the
date, and each payment
in the deposit. If you’re in
the habit of withdrawing
some petty cash from
your deposits, you can
record that, too.
To keep your bank
account balance accurate
and avoid bouncing
checks, in the Date box,
be sure to choose the
date that you actually
make the deposit.
TIP  If you want to withdraw some money from your deposit for petty cash (page 215), in the “Cash back
goes to” box, choose your petty cash account. (If you own a sole proprietorship, you can choose your owner’s
draw account here instead.) Then, in the “Cash back amount” box, type the amount you’re deducting from the
deposit.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each additional deposit you want to record.
4. When you’ve filled in all the fields you want, click Save & Close.
QuickBooks posts the deposits to your accounts.
Depositing Money from Merchant Card Accounts
When you accept payment via credit card, the merchant bank you work with collects
your customers’ credit card payments and deposits them in your bank account as a
lump sum. However, you record your deposits in QuickBooks the way they appear
on your bank statement, which might or might not show lump sums. For example,
your merchant bank might show payments and merchant bank fees separately,
whereas the amount deposited in your checking account is the net amount after
the merchant deducts its fees.
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Here’s how to record deposits of merchant credit card payments and fees into your
bank account to match the way they appear on your bank statement:
1. Choose Banking→Make Deposits or, on the Home Page, click Record Deposits.
In the “Payments to Deposit” window’s “View payment method type” dropdown
list, choose the merchant card whose payments you want to deposit.
2. In the window’s table, select the credit card payments you want to deposit
by turning on their checkmark cells, and then click OK.
QuickBooks opens the Make Deposits window, which lists the credit card payments
in the deposit table. If the Deposit Subtotal amount doesn’t match the
deposit that appears on your bank statement, the merchant bank probably
deducted its fees; you’ll record those fees in the next step.
UP TO SPEED
Putting Payment Deposit Types to Work
Choosing different types of payments before you get to the
Make Deposits window takes extra work, but it’s a good idea
for several reasons. Here are a few reasons you might make
multiple passes through the deposit process:
• Different deposit types. Many banks group different types
of deposits, such as checks versus electronic transfers.
To group your payments in QuickBooks the way your
bank groups them on your monthly statements, in the
“Payments to Deposit” window’s “View payment method
type” box, choose a method, and then click Select All to
process those payments as a group.
• Different deposit accounts. If you deposit some payments
in your checking account and others in a merchant account
(or PayPal), in the “Payments to Deposit” window, select
all the payments you want to deposit into the checking
account and then, in the Make Deposits window, select
that account in the Deposit To box. Then run through the
deposit process a second time to deposit other payments
to the next account.
• Reconciling cash deposits. As you learned earlier in this
chapter, the cash-counting process is prone to error,
so you’re probably used to your bank coming up with
a different cash deposit total than you did. Although
QuickBooks groups cash and checks as one payment type,
process your cash and check payments as two separate
deposits. That way, if the bank changes the deposit
amount, it’s easy to edit your cash deposit.
TIP  To make merchant card deposits easier to track, ask your merchant card company to charge one lump
sum for fees instead of charging for each transaction; it will almost certainly say yes.
3. In the Make Deposits window’s table, in the first blank row’s From Account
cell, choose the account to which you post merchant card fees (such as Bank
Service Charges). Then, in that row’s Amount cell, type the merchant card
fees as a negative number.
The Deposit Subtotal amount should equal the deposit that appears on your
bank statement.
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4. When you’re done, click Save & Close.
NOTE  How soon you can enter your merchant card deposits in QuickBooks depends on how wired your
company is. If you use Bank Feeds (Chapter 24), QuickBooks automatically downloads merchant card deposits
into your company file. If you have online access to your merchant card account, make the deposit in QuickBooks
when you log into your merchant card account online and see the deposit in your transaction listing. If you don’t
use any online services, enter the deposit in QuickBooks when the merchant card statement arrives in the mail.

377
CHAPTER
14
You’ve opened your mail, plucked out the customer payments, and deposited
them in your bank account (Chapter 13). In addition to that, you’ve paid your
bills (Chapter 9). Now you can sit back and relax knowing that most of the
transactions in your bank and credit card accounts are accounted for. What’s left?
Some stray transactions might pop up—an insurance-claim check to deposit or handling
the aftermath and bank fees for a customer’s bounced check, to name a couple.
Plus, running a business typically means that money moves between accounts—from
interest-bearing accounts to checking accounts, from PayPal or merchant credit
card accounts to your checking account, or from your regular checking account to
a bank account specifically for payroll. For any financial transaction you perform,
QuickBooks has a way to enter it, whether you prefer the guidance of transaction
windows or the speed of an account-register window.
Reconciling your accounts to your bank statements is another key process you
don’t want to skip. You and your bank can both make mistakes, and reconciling your
accounts is the way to catch these discrepancies. Once the bane of bookkeepers
everywhere, reconciling is practically automatic now that you can let QuickBooks
handle the math.
In this chapter, the section on reconciling (page 393) is the only must-read. And if
you want to learn the fastest way to enter any type of bank account transaction,
don’t skip the first section (page 378). You can read about transferring funds, loans,
bounced checks, and other financial arcana covered in this chapter as the need arises.
Bank Accounts and
Credit Cards
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TRANSACTIONS
IN AN
ACCOUNT
REGISTER Entering Transactions in an Account
Register
QuickBooks includes windows and dialog boxes for making deposits, writing checks,
and transferring funds, but you can also record these transactions right in a bank
account’s register window. Working in a register window has two advantages over
other windows and dialog boxes:
• Speed. Entering a transaction in a register window is fast, particularly when you
use keyboard shortcuts (like pressing Tab to move between fields).
• Visibility. Transaction windows, such as Write Checks, keep you focused on the
transaction at hand; but they take up lots of screen real estate, so it’s tough to
see more than one of these windows at a time. But in a register window, you
can look at previous transactions for reference.
Opening a Register Window
Obviously, you have to open a register window before you can enter transactions in
it. Luckily, opening these windows couldn’t be easier. Here’s how to open any kind
of account’s register window:
1. If the Chart of Accounts window isn’t open, press Ctrl+A (or, on the Home
Page, click Chart of Accounts) to open it.
The window pops open, listing all the accounts in your chart of accounts.
TIP  If you use the left icon bar, click View Balances in its middle section and then, in the View Balances
section at the top of the icon bar, click the account you want. (If the account you want isn’t listed there, see page
705 to learn how to add it.) If you use the top icon bar, you can open a bank account or credit card register by
double-clicking the account you want to see in the Account Balances section on the right side of the Home Page.
2. In the Chart of Accounts window, double-click the account whose register
window you want to open (Figure 14-1).
This method can open register windows for more than just bank accounts. See
the box on page 382 to learn about different ways to handle credit card accounts.
NOTE  Income and expense accounts don’t have registers in QuickBooks. So when you double-click an income
or expense account in the Chart of Accounts window, QuickBooks generates a QuickReport of the transactions for
that account. In the report window, you can take a closer look at a transaction by double-clicking it.
Creating a Transaction in an Account Register
The steps for creating a check in your checking account register (page 200) work
for deposits and transfers, too, with only a few minor adjustments. Here’s how to fill
in the cells in a register window to create any kind of bank transaction:
Chapter 14: Bank Accounts and Credit Cards 379
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REGISTER
FIGURE 14-1
You can open a register
window (foreground)
from the Chart of
Accounts window by
double-clicking any type
of account that has a balance,
including checking,
savings, money market,
and petty cash accounts.
In fact, double-clicking
opens the register for
any account on your
balance sheet (Accounts
Receivable, Accounts
Payable, Credit Card,
Asset, Liability, and Equity
accounts).
• Date. When you first open a bank account’s register window, QuickBooks
automatically selects the text in the Date field of the first blank transaction.
Out of the box, QuickBooks puts the current date in the Date cell, but you can
set a preference to have the program fill in the last date you used (page 657).
Tweaking the date by a few days is as easy as pressing the + or – key on your
keyboard until the date is the one you want. (To become a master of date-related
keyboard shortcuts, read the box on page 381.)
• Number. For checks, when you jump to the Number cell (by pressing Tab),
QuickBooks automatically fills in the next check number for that bank account. If
the number doesn’t match the paper check you want to write, press + or – until
the number is correct. (For some types of accounts, like credit cards and assets,
the register window has a Ref field instead of a Number field. You can fill in a
reference number for the transaction or leave this field blank.)
To make an online payment (see Chapter 24), in the Number cell, type S, which
QuickBooks promptly changes to Send. (The program processes online payments
only if you’ve set up an online payment service.) To enter a deposit,
you can bypass the Number and Payment cells regardless of what values they
contain, as shown in Figure 14-2
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FIGURE 14-2
You aren’t alone if you
frequently type a deposit
amount in the Payment
cell by mistake. To record
a deposit correctly, be
sure to enter its value in
the Deposit cell. When
you move to another cell,
QuickBooks springs into
action, automatically
clearing the check number
out of the Number cell and
the value out of the Payment
cell. It also replaces
the code CHK in the Type
cell with DEP for deposit.
• Payee. You don’t have to enter a value in this cell. In fact, if it’s a payee you only
occasionally work with, it’s better to not type the vendor’s or other name in the
Payee cell for deposits, transfers, or petty cash transactions so your Vendors or
Customers list doesn’t fill up with names you rarely use. Instead, type a generic
name like Deposit or Petty Cash, and then fill in the Memo cell with a description
of the transaction, like Claim reimbursement.
For your regular payees, as you start typing the payee’s name, QuickBooks scans
the names in the various lists in your company file (Vendors, Customer:Job,
Other Names, and so on) and selects the first one it finds that matches the
letters you’ve typed so far. As soon as QuickBooks selects the one you want,
press Tab to move to the Payment cell.
NOTE  QuickBooks keeps track of handwritten and printed check numbers separately. When you use the
register window to create a check, QuickBooks fills in the Number cell by incrementing the last handwritten
check number. When you choose File→Print Forms→Checks, the program fills in the First Check Number box by
incrementing the last printed check number.
• Payment or Charge. For checks you write, fees that the bank deducts from your
account, and petty cash withdrawals, type the amount in the Payment cell. In
a credit card register, this field is named Charge so you can enter the values of
the credit card charges you make.
• Deposit or Payment. For deposits you make to checking or petty cash, or interest
you’ve earned, type the amount in the Deposit cell. In a credit card register,
this field is called Payment, because you make payments to a credit card account
(the opposite of making payments from a checking account).
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NOTE  In QuickBooks transactions, money either goes out or comes in—there’s no in between. So when you
enter a value in the Payment cell, QuickBooks clears the Deposit cell’s value and vice versa.
• Account. This cell can play many roles. For instance, when you’re creating a
check, choose the account for the expense it represents. If you’re making a
deposit, choose the income or expense account to which you want to post
the deposit. (For example, depositing an insurance claim check that pays for
equipment repair reduces the balance of the expense account for equipment
maintenance and repair.) If you’re transferring money to or from another bank
account, choose that account instead.
• Memo. Filling in this cell can jog your memory no matter what type of transaction
you create. Enter the name of the restaurant for a credit card charge, the
items you purchased with petty cash, or the bank branch for a deposit (in case
your deposit ends up in someone else’s account).
POWER USERS’ CLINIC
Keyboard Shortcuts for Dates
Pressing the + or – key on your keyboard to increment dates is
a great timesaver, but you might also want to add some of the
following keyboard shortcuts to your date-selection arsenal.
When the cursor is in any Date field, these can help you jump
directly to specific dates:
• Press T (for Today) to change the date to today.
• Press M (for Month) to select the first day of the currently
selected month. Pressing M additional times jumps to the
first days of previous months.
• Press H (for montH) to select the last day of the currently
selected month. Pressing H additional times jumps to the
last days of future months.
• Press W (for Week) to choose the first day of the currently
selected week. Pressing W additional times jumps to the
first days of previous weeks.
• Press K (for weeK) to choose the last day of the currently
selected week. Pressing K additional times jumps to the
last days of future weeks.
• Press Y (for Year) to choose the first day of the currently
selected year. Pressing Y additional times jumps to the
first days of previous years.
• Press R (for yeaR) to choose the last day of the currently
selected year. Pressing R additional times jumps to the
last days of future years.
You can press these letters multiple times to pick dates further
in the past or the future, and combine them with pressing +
and – to reach any date you want. But face it: After half a dozen
keystrokes, it might be easier to type a numeric date, such
as 3/14/17, or to click the Calendar icon and choose the date.
TIP  Remember your accountant’s insistence on an audit trail? If you create a transaction by mistake, don’t
delete it. Although QuickBooks’ audit trail keeps track of deleted transactions, the omission can be confusing to
others—or to you in the future. Instead of deleting transactions, void them. That way, the payment or deposit
amount changes to zero, but the voided transaction still appears in your company file, so you know that it happened.
Because the amount is zero, the transaction doesn’t affect any account balances or financial reports. Before
you void a transaction, type a note in its Memo cell that explains why you’re voiding it. Then, in a register window,
right-click the transaction and choose the Void option (Void Check, Void Deposit, and so on) on the shortcut menu.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Managing Credit Card Accounts
Are credit cards accounts or vendors?
In QuickBooks, you can set up your credit cards as accounts or
vendors, depending on how you prefer to record your credit
card transactions. Here’s the deal:
• Credit card account. Tracking credit card charges using an
account has several advantages. With a credit card account
in QuickBooks, you can enter the charges as they happen
(which takes no time at all if you download credit card
transactions; page 623 explains how). Then, when you
receive your statement, you can reconcile the credit card
account as you would a checking account (page 393), so
you can see whether your records and your charge card
company’s match. To prevent credit card charge payee
names from filling your Vendor List with entries you don’t
need, store names in the Memo cell or create general
vendors like Parking, Restaurant, and Office Supplies.
• Credit card vendor. If you set up a credit card as a
vendor, you don’t have an account to reconcile when
you receive your credit card statement. In addition, the
name of every establishment you bless with credit card
purchases won’t fill up your Vendor List. The drawback to
this approach is that you still have to allocate the money
you spent to the appropriate accounts, and you can’t
download that split transaction from your credit card
company. With statement in hand, open the Enter Credit
Card Charges window (choose Banking→Enter Credit
Card Charges) to enter a single transaction allocating the
total statement balance to each of the charges you made.
(On the window’s Expenses and Items tabs, add entries
to allocate charges to the appropriate expense accounts
or item purchases.) That way, the transaction reconciles
your charges to the statement.
Handling Bounced Checks
Bouncing one of your own checks is annoying and embarrassing. It can be expensive,
too, since banks charge for each check you bounce (and, often, they craftily pay your
larger checks before the smaller ones to rack up as many bounced-check charges as
possible). Besides depositing money to cover the shortfall and paying those bank fees,
you have to write new checks or tell people to redeposit the checks that bounced.
When someone pays your company with a rubber check, it’s just as annoying. In
addition to the fees your bank might charge for redepositing a bounced check,
you have to do a few things to straighten out your records in QuickBooks when a
customer’s check bounces. The following sections explain how to handle bounced
checks, whether you wrote them or your customer did.
Managing Bounced Checks You Wrote
If a bill payment you made overdraws your account, your bank returns the check
to whomever you paid. You can handle this financial gaffe in a couple of ways. If
your cash shortfall was a temporary problem, the easiest solution is to tell the vendor
to redeposit your check. In that case, all you need to do is record your bank’s
Chapter 14: Bank Accounts and Credit Cards 383
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CHECKS
bounced-check fee and enter a new bill for the bounced-check fee that your vendor
charges you.
Paying the bill with a new check or by credit card requires a few more steps. Here’s
what you have to do:
1. Create a journal entry (page 431) to put the bad check’s amount back into
your Accounts Payable account and your checking account.
To do that, in the journal entry’s first line, choose your checking account and
fill in the Debit cell with the amount of the bounced check, as shown in Figure
14-3 (foreground).
In the journal entry’s second line, choose your Accounts Payable account. (QuickBooks
automatically fills in the Credit cell with the bounced check’s amount,
which is what you want.) In the Name cell, choose the vendor you paid. In the
Memo cell, type something like “check bounced” or “NSF check.”
After you record the journal entry, the bad check amount shows up as billed
in the Accounts Payable account and as a deposit to your checking account
(Figure 14-3, background).
FIGURE 14-3
Debiting your checking
account deposits the bad
check’s amount back
into the account, which
increases its balance,
because the check hasn’t
been cashed.
Crediting the Accounts
Payable account means
that you still owe your
vendor that money.
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2. Edit the bill payment to switch the bill back to being unpaid.
In the Vendor Center (Vendors→Vendor Center), on the Vendors tab, select
the vendor you paid with a bad check. In the window’s lower right, click the
Transactions tab, and then in the Show drop-down list, choose Bill Payments.
In the Transactions tab’s table, double-click the payment that bounced; the Bill
Payments window opens. In the window’s Bills Paid In This Transaction table,
turn off the Pay cell for the payment you made with a bad check, turn on the
Pay checkbox for the journal entry, and then click Save & Close.
3. If the vendor charges you a fee for the bad check, create a bill for that charge.
Fill in this bill as you would any other bill (page 182). In the Expenses table,
choose an expense account for the fee and enter the amount in the Amount cell.
4. Finally, pay the original bill and the additional-fee bill using your new payment
method.
On the Home Page, click Pay Bills. In the Pay Bills window’s table, select the
original bill (and the additional-fee bill, if you created one). In the Method box,
choose how you want to pay the bill, and then click Pay Selected Bills.
NOTE  See page 387 to learn how to record the fee that your bank charged you for overdrawing your account.
Now make a resolution to keep enough funds in your checking account to cover
your payments.
Using the Record Bounced Check Feature
When a customer’s check bounces, it takes several steps to set things right—which is
why you probably charge your customer an extra fee for your trouble. QuickBooks’
Record Bounced Check feature can help.
TIP  The Record Bounced Check feature works by changing the original invoice’s status back to unpaid. This
could lead to some confusion, especially if the invoice was paid in one fiscal year and you handle the bounced
check in the next fiscal year. In addition, this feature works only with invoices paid with bounced checks—that is,
you can’t use it to handle sales receipts paid with bounced checks. The next section describes another approach
to handling customers’ bounced checks that works in any situation.
Here’s how to use the Record Bounced Check feature:
1. Open the Receive Payments window to the payment that bounced.
Choose Customers→Customer Center and then, on the Customers & Jobs tab,
select the customer whose payment bounced. In the window’s lower right, click
the Transactions tab, and then, in the Show drop-down list, choose Received
Payments. Finally, double-click the payment that bounced.
2. At the top of the Receive Payments window, click Record Bounced Check.
The Manage Bounced Check dialog box opens (Figure 14-4).
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3. In the Bank Fee box, type the amount that your bank charged you for the
customer’s bounced check. In the Expense Account box, choose the account
you use for bank service charges.
When you complete the Record Bounced Check process, QuickBooks deducts
this bank fee from your checking account balance.
FIGURE 14-4
The amount you
enter in the Bank Fee box
represents what your
bank charged you for
depositing the bounced
check. QuickBooks creates
a transaction that deducts
this fee from your checking
account balance.
The amount in the
Customer Fee box is
what you charge your
customer for giving you
a bad check; it ends up
on a new invoice that
QuickBooks creates.
4. In the Customer Fee box, enter the amount you want to charge your customer.
For example, if your bank charged you $25 for your customer’s bad check and
you want to tack on another $25 for the inconvenience, enter 50.
5. Click Next.
The Bounced Check Summary dialog box tells you that QuickBooks will mark the
invoice corresponding to the bounced check as unpaid, deduct the bad check
amount and bank fees from your bank account, and create a new invoice for
the fee you’re charging the customer.
6. To set the bounced-check actions in motion, click Finish.
QuickBooks creates a journal entry that deducts the amount of the original
invoice from your checking account.
7. Locate the journal entry QuickBooks created, and then add a note to its
Memo field.
Choose Company→Make General Journal Entries and then, at the top left of the
Make General Journal Entries window, click the Previous button (the left arrow)
until you see the bounced check journal entry. Add a note to its Memo field such
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as “Bounced check 1234 for invoice 19012.” That way, you’ll know which invoice
the bounced check is connected to.
8. Finally, send the original invoice and the new invoice to your customer and
hope the next check you get from them is good.
Handling Customers’ Bounced Checks on Your Own
As you learned in the previous section, the Record Bounced Check feature doesn’t
work in all situations. Fortunately, with a bit of setup, you can easily handle customers’
bounced checks by re-invoicing your wayward customers. The steps are similar
to the ones that the Record Bounced Check feature performs:
• Record a transaction that removes the amount of the bounced check from your
checking account, because the money was never deposited.
• Record any charges that your bank levied on your account for your customer’s
bounced check.
• Invoice the customer to recover the original payment, your bounced-check
charges, and any additional charges you add for your trouble.
Before you can re-invoice your customers, you first need to create items for bounced
checks and their associated charges, as explained in the following sections.
ITEM FOR REMOVING THE BOUNCED-CHECK AMOUNT FROM YOUR
BANK ACCOUNT
When a check you deposit bounces, you’ll see two transactions on your next bank
statement: the original deposit and a second transaction that removes the deposit
amount. You have to create the same transactions in your company file so you don’t
overestimate your bank balance and write bad checks of your own. And because
the customer hasn’t really paid you, the amount of the check should go back into
your Accounts Receivable account.
To create an item that removes the amount of the bounced check from your bank
account, create an Other Charge item. Here’s how:
1. Choose Lists→Item List to open the Item List window, and then press Ctrl+N.
The New Item window opens.
2. In the Type drop-down list, choose Other Charge.
The Other Charge item type is perfect for miscellaneous charges that don’t fit
any other category.
3. In the Item Name/Number box, type a name for the item, like BadCheck. In
the Account drop-down list, choose your bank account, and then click OK.
The new item appears in the Item List.
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ITEMS FOR BOUNCED-CHECK SERVICE CHARGES
Companies typically request reimbursement for bounced-check charges, and many
companies tack on additional service charges for the inconvenience of processing
a bounced check. Depending on how you account for these charges, you’ll use one
or two Other Charge items:
• Bounced-check charge reimbursement. If you want your customer to pay
you back for the bounced-check charge that your bank hit you with, you need
an Other Charge item that you can add to an invoice, called something like
BadCheck Charge. (Be sure to choose a nontaxable code for the item so that
QuickBooks doesn’t calculate sales tax on it.)
QuickBooks doesn’t care whether you post this item to an income account or an
expense account, but it’s easier to use an income account if you plan to charge
customers an extra service charge for bounced checks, as you’ll learn shortly.
If you post your bank’s bounced-check charges to an income account (such
as a Service Charge account), then you can use the same item for any extra
service charge you apply for the hassle of handling bounced checks. Although
the customer’s reimbursement appears as income, the bank charge you paid
is an expense. The effect on your net profit (income minus expenses) is zero.
• Bounced-check service charge. Alternatively, you can post bounced-check
reimbursements directly to the same expense account you use for bank service
charges. With this approach, when you pay your bank’s bounced-check charge,
it shows up as an expense in your bank service charge account. When the customer
pays you back, QuickBooks credits the bank service charge account to
reduce your service charge expenses. The effect on net profit is zero.
When you use this approach, you need an additional item if you ding your customers
with your own bounced-check service charges. Create an Other Charge
item for the additional service charge. For the item’s Account, choose your
service-charge income account. Like the bounced-check charge reimbursement
item, make this item nontaxable.
Recording Bank Charges
The easiest place to record a bounced-check charge is in the bank account’s register
window. This technique also works for any other type of charge your bank drops on
your account, and for service charges and interest your credit card company levies:
1. Press Ctrl+A to open the Chart of Accounts window; there, double-click
your bank account to open its register window.
Alternatively, on the Home Page, click Check Register. In the Select Account
box’s drop-down list, choose your bank account, and then click OK.
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2. In the Date cell for the first blank transaction, choose the date when the
bank assessed the charge.
QuickBooks automatically fills in the Number cell with the next check number.
Be sure to delete that number before saving the transaction to keep your QuickBooks
check numbers synchronized with your paper checks.
3. In the Payee cell, type a generic payee name like Bank Charge.
Alternatively, you can type the name of your bank or credit card company.
4. In the Payment cell, type the amount of the charge. In the Account cell,
choose the account you use to track bank charges or bounced-check
charges.
For a bounced-check charge, choose the income or expense account you use
for that purpose. (You have to include a bounced-check charge item on a new
invoice in order to recoup this cost, as described in the next section.) For other
bank service charges, choose the corresponding expense account.
5. Type the details of the charge in the Memo cell, as shown in Figure 14-5.
For a bounced-check charge, include the name of the customer, a note that the
check bounced, and the number of the check that bounced.
FIGURE 14-5
In the Memo cell, type a
description of the bank
charge, such as “bounced
check charge,” “minimum
balance charge,” the
customer, the bounced
check’s number, and
so on.
TIP  The register window’s Customer:Job cell provides a shortcut to invoicing a customer for bounced-check
charges: While the transaction is still selected in the register window, click Splits to open the Splits table. The
Account, Amount, and Memo fields are already filled in with the values you’ve provided so far. To make the bank
charge billable to the customer who bounced the check, in the Customer:Job cell, choose the customer, and, if
necessary, in the “Billable?” cell, turn on the checkbox. You can then add this billable charge to the customer’s
next invoice (as described in step 3 on page 255).
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6. Click Record.
QuickBooks saves the bank charge in your account.
Re-invoicing for Bounced Checks
With the bounced-check items described on page 387, you can update all the necessary
account balances just by re-invoicing the customer for the bounced check.
Here are the steps:
1. Press Ctrl+I or, on the Home Page, click the Create Invoices icon (or choose
Invoices→Create Invoices if you’ve set up QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise
to invoice for billable time and expenses).
The Create Invoices window opens.
2. In the Customer:Job box, choose the customer who wrote the bad check.
You don’t have to bother filling in fields like P.O. No. and Ship.
3. In the item table, add an item for the bounced check (like the BadCheck
item in Figure 14-6).
FIGURE 14-6
To re-invoice the
customer for the amount
of the bad check, in the
first Item cell, choose
your bounced-check
item (BadCheck, in this
example). In the Amount
cell, type the bounced
check’s amount. In the
second item cell, choose
the item you created for
bounced-check charges.
This item’s amount
represents what the bank
charged you and any
additional service fee you
charge.
4. In the Amount cell for the bounced-check item, type the amount of the
returned check.
Enter the check’s full amount.
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5. Add a second item to recoup the bounced-check fees that your bank charged
you and any additional service charges you want to include. In the Amount
cell for this item, type the amount you’re charging.
Adding an extra fee can help deter customers from writing bad checks. In Figure
14-6, the BadCheck Charge item covers the bank’s $25 charge plus an additional
$25 fee your company collects.
If you recorded the bounced-check charge in your bank account as a billable cost
to your customer (see the Tip on page 388), at the top of the Create Invoices
window, click Add Time/Costs. In the “Choose Billable Time and Costs” dialog
box, click the Expenses tab and select the bank charge, and then click OK to
add it to the invoice. Then you can add another line item to add your bounced
check fee to the invoice.
6. Click Save & Close to save the invoice.
QuickBooks updates the balances of your bank account and Accounts Receivable
accounts, as shown in Figure 14-7, which is exactly what you want. Here’s why:
When you first invoiced the customer, QuickBooks added the invoice amount
to your Accounts Receivable balance. The customer’s original payment reduced
the Accounts Receivable balance, but the bounced check means you have to
remove the original payment amount from that account. By re-invoicing the
customer, you add the invoice amount back into Accounts Receivable, which
reestablishes the balance as outstanding.
FIGURE 14-7
The item for a bounced
check is linked to your
bank account, so adding it
to an invoice deducts the
value of the bad check
from your bank account’s
balance (background).
The new invoice adds the
amount of the bounced
check and service charges
back into Accounts
Receivable (foreground).
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7. When the customer sends you a check for this new invoice, click the Receive
Payments icon on the Home Page to apply that check to the new invoice
as a payment.
QuickBooks reduces the Accounts Receivable balance by the payment amount.
(If your customer and the money it owes you are gone for good, see the box
below to learn what to do next.)
Transferring Funds
With the advent of electronic banking services, transferring funds between accounts
has become a staple of account maintenance. Companies stash cash in savings and
money market accounts to earn interest and then transfer money into checking
right before they pay bills.
TROUBLESHOOTING MOMENT
Writing Off Bad Debt
If you try contacting a customer about a payment only to find
that his phone is disconnected, his forwarding address has
expired, and an eviction notice is stapled to his office door,
you probably aren’t going to get your money. In accounting,
admitting that the money is gone for good is called writing
off bad debt.
The invoice you create for a customer represents income only
if the customer pays it. So, to write off bad debt, you have to
remove the income for the unpaid invoice from your financial
records. You do that by offsetting the income with an equal
amount of expense—you guessed it: the bad debt.
Suppose you invoiced a customer for $5,000, which means
that $5,000 is sitting in your Accounts Receivable account as
an asset, but you now realize that you’ll never see the money.
Here’s how to remove that money from the Accounts Receivable
account by means of a bad-debt expense:
1. If you don’t have an account for bad debt, create an Other
Expense account (page 47) and name it Bad Debt.
2. Create an Other Charge item (page 109) and name it Bad
Debt. Point it to the Bad Debt account you created, and
be sure to make it nontaxable.
3. Choose Customers→Create Credit Memos/Refunds or, on
the Home Page, click the Refunds & Credits icon.
4. In the Create Credit Memos/Refunds window’s Customer:
Job box, choose the customer.
5. In the first item cell, choose the Bad Debt item. When
QuickBooks displays a warning about the item being
associated with an expense account, simply click OK.
6. In the Amount cell, type the amount that you’re writing
off as bad debt, and then click Save & Close to save the
credit memo.
7. The Available Credit dialog box opens and asks you what
you want to do with the credit. Select the “Apply to an
invoice” option, and then click OK.
8. In the “Apply Credit to Invoices” dialog box, turn on the
checkmark for the invoice(s) that the customer isn’t going
to pay, and then click Done.
When you apply the write-off as a credit against an invoice,
QuickBooks removes the money from your Accounts Receivable
account, so the program no longer thinks your customer owes
the money. And it adds the write-off to the Bad Debt expense
account to offset the income; that way, your net profit shows
no sign of the income.
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Funds transfers have nothing to do with income or expenses—they merely move
money from one balance sheet account to another. For example, if you keep money
in savings until you pay bills, the money moves from your savings account (an asset
account in your chart of accounts) to your checking account (another asset account).
Your income, expenses, and, for that matter, your total assets, remain the same
before and after the transfer.
Transferring funds in QuickBooks is easy, whether you use the Transfer Funds
feature or enter the transaction directly in an account register window. The steps
for creating a transaction in an account register are explained on page 378. If you
create a transfer in a bank account register (a savings account, for example), in the
transaction’s Account field, choose the bank account to which you’re transferring
funds (such as checking).
Here’s how to use the Transfer Funds Between Accounts window:
1. Choose Banking→Transfer Funds.
QuickBooks opens the Transfer Funds Between Accounts window (Figure 14-8).
FIGURE 14-8
This window has one
advantage over entering
transfers in a bank
account register: You
can’t create a payment
or deposit by mistake
because you can’t save
it here until you specify
both the account that
contains the money and
the account into which
you want to transfer the
funds. Also, the Transfer
Funds From and Transfer
Funds To drop-down
menus show only balance
sheet accounts (bank,
credit card, asset, liability,
and equity).
2. Choose the accounts for the transfer and then, in the Date box, select the
date of the transfer. In the Transfer Amount field, type the amount you’re
transferring.
To record the reason for the transfer, in the Memo box, replace “Funds Transfer”
(which QuickBooks adds automatically) with your reason.
If you track classes, the window also includes a Class box. Depending on the
preferences you’ve set, the program might warn you if you leave this box blank.
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However, transfers usually don’t require a class assignment, so you can dismiss
the warning or choose a class for overhead, if you created one.
NOTE  If the two accounts you select are both set up for online banking at the same financial institution,
the Online Funds Transfer checkbox appears in the Transfer Funds Between Accounts window. Turn this checkbox
on if you want to send the transfer instructions to your bank through QuickBooks.
3. Click Save & Close. (If you’ve got more transfers to make, click Save & New
instead.)
In the account register windows for both accounts involved in the transfer,
QuickBooks identifies the transaction by putting TRANSFR in the Type cell.
You still have to transfer the funds between your real-world bank accounts, of course.
If you turned on the Online Funds Transfer checkbox to send the transfer instructions,
you have to open the Bank Feeds Center (Banking→Bank Feeds→Bank Feeds
Center), and send the instructions from there. See page 623 if you use Bank Feeds
in Express mode and page 632 if you use Classic mode.
Reconciling Accounts
Reconciling a bank statement with a paper check register is tedious and error-prone.
It’s a hassle to check off items on two different paper documents, and the check
register and the bank statement never seem to agree—likely due to arithmetic
mistakes you’ve made.
With QuickBooks, you can leave your pencils unsharpened and stow your calculator
in a drawer. When all goes well, a few clicks is all it takes to reconcile your account in
QuickBooks. Discrepancies crop up less often because the program does the math
without making mistakes. But problems still occasionally happen—transactions
might be missing or numbers don’t match. Fortunately, when your bank statement
and QuickBooks account don’t agree, the program helps you find the problems.
Preparing for the First Reconciliation
If you didn’t set the beginning balance for your QuickBooks account to the beginning
balance on your bank statement, you might wonder how you can reconcile the
bank account the first time around. The best way to resolve this issue is to enter the
transactions that happened between that statement’s beginning date and the day
you started using QuickBooks. Or you can create a journal entry (page 433) to record
the beginning balance. (You’ll select these items as part of your first reconciliation,
as described on page 396.)
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NOTE  Alternatively, QuickBooks can align your statement and account the first time you reconcile, as
described in the box on page 398. To do so, the program generates a transaction that adjusts your account’s
opening balance to match the balance on your bank statement. Account opening balances post to your Opening
Bal Equity account, so these adjustments affect your balance sheet. If you use this method, let your accountant
know that you changed the opening balance so she can address that change (by recording a journal entry to move
the money into the correct equit