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Monthly Archives: October 2009

QuickBooks Premier vs. QuickBooks Pro

I am still trying to figure out how to justify the cost of QuickBooks Premier vs. QuickBooks Pro…any pointers?
What version of Premier are you considering?  I ask because some of the extra features are specific to certain editions.  For instance, the Contractors edition has enhanced change orders and tracking of subcontractor insurance expiration dates.  Because of the difference between versions, we usually recommend that our clients purchase the Accountants edition, which allows you to toggle between all the editions.

We work with a lot of job costing clients (contractors, builders, architects, engineers,  nonprofits that have grants, etc.) and though they love the additional reports that come with the Contractors, Professional Services and Nonprofit editions it's the little things that make them switch. 

The biggest, and most surprising, reason – you can turn estimates and sales orders into purchase orders with a click of a button.  It's hidden under the Create Invoice button, but once they discover it they're in heaven.  No more double-entry, no more data entry errors.  Speaking of sales orders, that's another reason why they switch – you don't get them in Pro (note:  you can also turn Estimates into Sales Orders).  They also really like the Invoice for Time & Expenses feature.  Yes, you can do the same thing on individual invoices by clicking Add Time/Costs, but they often forget to check all the tabs and if you're using job costing correctly there will likely be billable expenses on the Items tab.

You can also assign price levels by item to customize prices for different groups of customers or jobs.  If you have inventory, you can create inventory assemblies, bill of materials and units of measure.  For this reason, all business that have all but the most basic inventory should be using QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise.

If you work with an accountant, and you should, they'll love the adjusting journal entries and the reversing entries.  Premier also keeps a record of all your previous bank reconciliations which helps them find discrepancies.

Premier also has forecasting and business planning tools, including 5-year financial projections and What-If Analysis.  It also comes with 1 year of remote access instead of 6 months for Pro.

Best of all, the price difference on Amazon isn't all that dramatic.  Pro usually settles in at around $100 and Premier at $200.  It's a little higher now because 2010 was just released, but prices should stabilize soon.


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This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.

Ruth Perryman - QuickBooks Specialist Written by +Ruth Perryman

Ruth is the an Intuit Premier Reseller that offers great deals on QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise. She has provided expert QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996.

Visit our webstore for great deals on QuickBooks and QuickBooks POS!

How to Use Classes to Track Temporarily Restricted Funds in QuickBooks for Nonprofits

This is in regard to a small church. I am trying to use QuickBooks to track Temporarily Restricted Funds, so they don’t show as “Income”. Is using “Classes” the way to go, or is there a simpler way? Any recommendations on where to find easy instructions on how to set up?  Thanks. 
You need to use classes for this, and it’s really not as complicated as it sounds.  Once they’re setup, just make sure to use a class on all your transactions and you’re all set.  However, you still have to book your restricted funds as income when received.  But if you book them to the temporarily restricted class, you can modify the P&L by class to show only unrestricted funds.  Your classes should look something like this:

Unrestricted
   Administration
   Fundraising
   Programs
      Program 1
      Program 2
      Program 3

Temporarily restricted
   Grants
      Grant 1
      Grant 2
      Grant 3
   Capital campaign

Permanently restricted
   Endowment 1
   Endowment 2
   Endowment 3


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This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.

Ruth Perryman - QuickBooks Specialist Written by +Ruth Perryman

Ruth is the an Intuit Premier Reseller that offers great deals on QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise. She has provided expert QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996.

Visit our webstore for great deals on QuickBooks and QuickBooks POS!

News Flash – QuickBooks for Accountants 2010: What’s New

For the second year in a row, Intuit has given accountants a compelling reason to upgrade to QuickBooks for Accountants 2010.  In addition to all the wonderful new features found in QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2010 this year, Intuit has added additional Client Data Review tools and made improvements in Intuit Statement Writer. 

If you haven't yet upgraded to QuickBooks for Accountants 2009 and experienced the new client data review tool, you're in for a treat!  My team and I spend most of our day troubleshooting common client data entry errors that are easy to find but can be very time-consuming to correct. That was before the new client data review tools that were introduced last year.  I didn't think it could get any better, but the enhancements in the 2010 edition are incredible.  It's a must-have tool for accountants working with QuickBooks - we couldn't live without it!

And for those of you non-accountants out there wondering how this benefits you – you'll end up saving money when you upgrade to 2010 because it'll take your QuickBooks consultant far less time to identify and correct errors in your data file. 

Here are the new features in QuickBooks for Accountants 2010 we're most excited about:

Expanded! Client Data Review
It’s like spell check for your client’s QuickBooks files. Cleaning up errors in your clients’ files just got easier with the expanded Client Data Review (CDR) feature in Premier Accountant 2010.
On one screen you have the tools to instantly zero in on mistakes and slash the time you spend weeding through transactions and reports.

  1. Reclassify hundreds of transactions, or write off multiple invoices, statement charges, and financial charges from a single window
  2. Identify items with negative inventory in two clicks, then fix them directly in Client Data Review
  3. Identify and make adjustments to incorrectly set up items, including “one-sided items”
  4. Automatically fix incorrectly recorded Sales Tax Liability payments
  5. From QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2010, you can use Accountant’s Copy to fix and send back client files from QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2009

For those of you who missed it, these tools are in addition to the 2009 client data review tools which help you to:

  • Troubleshoot account balances
  • Review list changes
  • Correct errors with accounts receivable transactions
  • Correct errors with accounts payable transactions
  • Find incorrectly paid payroll liabilities
  • Reconcile clients accounts
  • Locate discrepancies from the last reconciliation
  • Set a closing date and password

Improved! Intuit Statement Writer
(included in QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant, sold separately in QuickBooks Premier Accountant)

Streamline creation of robust financial statements. Intuit Statement Writer 2010 links your QuickBooks files with Microsoft Excel8 so you can build and update professional statements directly in QuickBooks.

  1. Create up to 16 statements in one workbook and batch print your statements and documents
  2. Build financial statements on a per-class or per-job basis, or as a combination of classes
  3. Access over 50 statement and document templates online
  4. Set ANY date range for statements, including 4-week months or 13-week quarters
  5. Send consolidated reports to clients in .pdf format
  6. Create Microsoft Word-based letters, cover pages and documents in your report, and bring QuickBooks financial data into your documents


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This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.

Ruth Perryman - QuickBooks Specialist Written by +Ruth Perryman

Ruth is the an Intuit Premier Reseller that offers great deals on QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise. She has provided expert QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996.

Visit our webstore for great deals on QuickBooks and QuickBooks POS!

How to Book Retainers in QuickBooks

I am confronted with a 2009 virtual equity account problem that seems to be a real challenge. It has to do with an amount of cash that carried over from 2008 into 2009 in a “retainer-type” model and is further complicated by the fact that we are operating on a cash basis.  Let me explain:

1. We had a client in 2008 that gave us a sum of money as a retainer. We took that money and applied it against an invoice which was less than the amount that was paid which of course left a credit balance on that invoice. The next invoice was generated again was less than the amount “on account” which further reduced the credit amount. 

2. We hit the end of the year and there was a credit balance of $671 on their account to carry over to 2009. Again, we are on a cash basis under which there are no receivables or payables from a “reporting” perspective. However, since we did have the cash, the system created a “Virtual Accounts Receivable”
account having a -671.00 balance (a liability). This action made sense. The system had to account for that money which we didn’t earn yet as of 12/31/08.

3. Because we had the $671 in cash at the end of 2008 the system took that cash and created the $671 virtual equity account 30300 in 2009.

We would like to get that $671 into revenue and out of equity for 2009 but I don’t see any way of doing it. On a cash basis, if I create another invoice for that client for $671, the receivable will not pick up that equity amount as payment for it – it’ll remain in receivables unapplied.  Please note the $671.00 30300 Members Equity figure at the bottom of the attached Balance Sheet.  Can you please provide a possible solution.

Here are the steps for solving the problem:

  1. Go to Lists > Chart of Accounts and create a new currently liability account called something like retainers or customer deposits
  2. Go to Lists > Item List and create a new service item called retainers or customer deposits mapped to the account you created above
  3. Prepare a journal entry moving the $671 from the equity (debit) account to a new current liability account you created above (credit)
  4. Create a $0 invoice with a positive line using a revenue item and a negative amount using the retainer item created above

When you receive a retainer in the future, enter a sales receipt using the retainer item.  This will increase the retainer balance as well as cash once the deposit is made.  As your client draws down the balance, create a $0 invoice as explained above.  This will increase revenue and reduce the retainer balance.

Thanks very much for your response.  Your procedure makes a lot of sense and I’m certainly going to try to fix it following the procedure. However, the only difficulty I see is the journal entry moving the $671 from the equity account. That 32000 equity account is that virtual equity account which QB didn’t allow me access or force an entry in to before, trying to fix the other equity issues. I don’t know if there is another work around if I encounter the same issue.
You can use the virtual Equity account in a journal entry, you just get a warning when you do.  This time of year, all nonprofits that are using QB correctly are making journal entries with that account to move their fund balance to the correct accounts.

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This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.

Ruth Perryman - QuickBooks Specialist Written by +Ruth Perryman

Ruth is the an Intuit Premier Reseller that offers great deals on QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Enterprise. She has provided expert QuickBooks help to thousands of businesses all over the world since 1996.

Visit our webstore for great deals on QuickBooks and QuickBooks POS!