Karen Bershad is The Small Business Advisor. Most small business owners have a challenge handling all the different areas of running a business. The accounting can be a challenge, particularly if the software seems overwhelming. The Small Business Advisor is what you may need to get you to the next level of your business. We work at your office or provide off site assistance in getting things under control by providing a wide variety of services that are specifically for the small business.
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Yet another calendar? Yes. It’s a good idea to use QuickBooks’ calendar to stay on top of your financial transactions.
These days, some of us find ourselves updating multiple calendars. There’s the Outlook calendar or other web-based solution for scheduling and task management. Maybe a smartphone app to track to-do’s on the road, and a paper calendar as backup.
But where do you keep track of your everyday financial tasks? Including these in your scheduling calendars and/or task lists will make for very crowded screens, not to mention how inconvenient it can be to keep switching between applications.
So consider adding one more tracking tool: the QuickBooks calendar. This graphical screen isn’t designed for data entry (except for to-do’s). Rather, it’s designed to give you a quick overview of your financial activity, both historically and in the future. Read More >>
In the Real Estate Investment industry and as a contractor, you sell services to your customers, you'll need to understand how to use QuickBooks' time-tracking features.
Usually contractors do not keep much if any inventory on hand. Most work is done with materials either supplied by your customer or you purchase what is needed to complete that particular job and bill the customer accordingly.
But if you are only billing for time and services, that becomes a different story. There's no real inventory tracking involved -- except in terms of knowing how much manpower you have available at any given time. But just like you wouldn't want customers to walk off with merchandise they haven't bought, you don't want any billable minutes or hours to be ignored. Both scenarios eat into your profits.
Gone are the days when you had to count on employees to fill out detailed timecards and hope that they remembered to document everything. QuickBooks can help ensure that you're getting paid for all time and services rendered. Read More >>
We’ll be ringing in the New Year soon. Will you have wrapped up your 2015 finances by then?
There’s something very satisfying about turning our calendars to January. It always feels like a fresh start. We resolve to develop new, better ways of using our work and leisure time. We reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months, and we look forward to achieving even more in the next 12.
But sometimes we have a nagging feeling that we forgot something. And it often has to do with our finances, both personal and professional.
You can take steps now to make New Year’s Day less worrisome. Doing some extra work in QuickBooks during December will ensure that you’ll start 2016 ready to move ahead, rather than scrambling to see what you missed on January 2. Read More >>
Preserve your relationships with customers, vendors, and others by setting up reminders in QuickBooks.
How many calendars do you maintain? Many business people have more than one. Maybe you use a web-based or desktop application like Google Calendar or Outlook for meetings, task deadlines, travel dates, etc. Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) might have another. Perhaps you still have a paper calendar as backup.
But where do you keep track of bills that need to be paid, invoices that have to be sent, materials for jobs that must be ordered, etc.? Do you include that information in your general business calendar(s) and hope they don’t get lost in the shuffle?
QuickBooks has a better solution. The software contains a dedicated set of tools that automates the process of setting up and displaying reminders. Once you’ve created them, they can be the first thing you see when you open QuickBooks in the morning. Read More >>
Customize QuickBooks Forms for a More Professional Image
By Karen Bershad on October 20, 2015
Want an easy, free way to make your business look more professional and polished? Customize your forms. QuickBooks has the tools.
As a Real Estate Investor you may be asking yourself “Why do I need to do this? I don’t send out invoices or statements” – You may, on a very rare occasion, need to do just that for a late paying tenant or invoice them for repairs that they are responsible for. Or you may need to provide financial documents from QuickBooks to a lender/investor.
You probably don't get as many paper forms in the U.S. Mail as you used to. But when you do, do you draw conclusions about the business that sent them based on what their forms look like?
Whether or not you think you do, most people make judgements on businesses based on collateral materials. You might notice that there's no company logo, or that there are unnecessary blank fields. Maybe the print is very light or blurry, and there's no message at the bottom thanking you for your business and your payment.
How you present yourself on paper does matter. There's a lot of competition out there, and you need to use all of the tools available to you to stand out. QuickBooks provides one way to do so with its simple forms customization features. Read More >>
Getting paid by your tenants in a timely fashion is one of the biggest challenges of being a landlord. QuickBooks can help in several ways.
You're meeting your business goals. Making sure that every property that has a tenant has been invoiced in QuickBooks. (You invoice in QuickBooks so you can track the timely payments made by the tenants.) You take advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming.
But you can't control how quickly your tenants pay you.
You can, though, use QuickBooks' tools to:
Figure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from tenants in multiple forms. Accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to speed up your receivables.
It's probably one of your favorite QuickBooks activities. Be sure you understand the mechanics of recording payments.
There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond to various emails.
But it's likely that one activity takes precedence when you see that it needs to be done: recording payments. While you're probably very careful with this process, it's critical that your actions here are accurate. If they're not, you could either lose money that you've earned or anger tenants by requesting payments they’ve already made.
QuickBooks comes with some helpful pre-defined payment types; however, you also have the flexibility to edit that list and add new types. To see your list, open the Lists menu and select Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, then Payment Method List. This window opens: Read More >>
Why You Should Be Using Mobile Apps with QuickBooks
By Karen Bershad on July 1, 2015
Intuit discontinued its own QuickBooks mobile app a while back, but there's still plenty of processing power available for your smartphone or tablet.
In days gone by, running a company was a 40 hour per week proposition. You might have taken work home some evenings or gone into the office on weekends.
Those days are over, thanks to the internet and mobile technology. This fundamental change in the way we do business means that it's now hard to get away from work. Your smartphone and tablet are usually within easy reach, and they're always tempting you to check in.
On the flip side, that kind of 24/7/365 accessibility has numerous benefits. There are, for example, apps that can be integrated with your desktop QuickBooks company file, which enable you to: Read More >>
Be proactive about the security of your QuickBooks company file, and you'll be less likely to encounter data theft.
Thanks to the internet, privacy has been on the wane over the last few years. We assume that our addresses and phone numbers are public information, thanks to sites like Switchboard and 411.com. We hope that our dates of birth are private (though the number of birthday wishes on Facebook makes that doubtful), and we assume that our Social Security numbers are hard to get.
Your customers/tenants trust you enough to provide you with additional private information, like credit card numbers, bank numbers and more. And you've seen what an uproar occurs when major corporate entities like Target and Home Depot get hacked.
Your small business may not have hundreds of thousands of customer/tenant information files, but you can still be targeted by external hackers and even your own employees. Are you taking measures to ensure the security of that data stored on your hard drive and/or in the cloud?
Your Inner Circle
The last thing you want to imagine is that one of your own employees has been tampering with your QuickBooks company data. It happens, though, and you need to protect yourself from potential internal attacks.
One of your internal controls, then, should include the establishment of boundaries for every employee who has access to QuickBooks. You can restrict each staff member to specific areas of the program instead of sharing a master password and giving everyone free rein. Go to Company Read More >>
Customize QuickBooks’ Reports, Make Better Business Decisions
By Karen Bershad on April 30, 2015
QuickBooks simplifies and speeds up your daily accounting work, but you’re missing out on valuable insight if you don’t tailor your report data.
Do you remember why you started using QuickBooks? You may have simply wanted to produce sales forms and record payments electronically. Gradually, you expanded your use of the software, perhaps paying and tracking bills through it and keeping an eagle eye on your inventory levels. Certainly, you’ve run at least some of the pre-built report templates offered by all versions of QuickBooks since their inception.
QuickBooks’ automation of your daily bookkeeping tasks has undoubtedly served you well. But that’s merely limited use; now it’s time to take advantage of QuickBooks’ greatest strength: customizable reports.
One of the rewards for diligently entering all of your accounting information is a better grasp of your company’s financial performance to date. That insight ultimately leads to better business decisions that can contribute to your future growth and success. Read More >>
It is the goal of this column to answer questions about QuickBooks and how it is used in the REI arena. Know how to record transactions in the proper way and have your set of books in good shape when it comes time for taxes. It is our intention to do this by you the members submitting questions to Karen@smallbusinessadvisor.biz, and getting answers here in this column.
Q: From time to time I have an entry that I really don’t know how to enter properly. It may be a deposit or a check and I don’t know where to either show the income or the expense. Where can I put this until I can find out from my CPA how to handle it?
A: Create an account named ‘SUSPENSE” and make the type of account a “Bank”. It will live on the balance sheet and will immediately get the attention of your CPA. If you use only this account for these types of entries you can eliminate the Miscellaneous, Uncategorized and Ask my Accountant accounts. Too often these types of accounts get used and the information is scattered across them instead of being in one single account. I usually delete these accounts after I have moved all the transactions to their proper place and then only have Suspense to work with. Read More >>