Customize QuickBooks Online Using Settings

Customize QuickBooks Online Using Settings

You can start using QuickBooks Online the first time you sign in. However, your tasks will be easier and faster, if you customize it for your company.

QuickBooks Online was designed to be used by a variety of business types; that’s one reason why it’s such a popular small business accounting website. It was built to be versatile. That is, whether you sell hard drives or you service HVAC systems, you can customize it to “fit’ your company.

This is why your first order of business when you start using QuickBooks Online should be to click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner. The window that opens displays links to all of the site’s options – a collection of choices that’s called “Preferences” in desktop QuickBooks.

When you click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner of QuickBooks Online, this window containing the site’s many options will open.

Global Settings
The first screen you should visit is Account and Settings. This page is divided into five sections, accessible by clicking on one of the tabs below:

Company – Your company’s name and contact information appears here, as well as identifying details like the tax form you file, as well as your industry.

Sales – You can do a lot of customizing here that will affect your company’s selling activities. For example, you can specify preferred invoice terms and delivery method, and indicate whether to turn on features like:

  • Shipping
  • Custom fields and transaction numbers
  • Discounts
  • Quantity and price/rate
  • Inventory quantity on hand

You can also access the site’s tools for customizing the design and layout of your sales forms (invoices, receipts, etc.).

Expenses – You’ll toggle expense-related tools on and off here. You can choose to, for example, track expenses and items by customer and make them billable. Will you be using purchase orders? What will your default bill payment terms be?

Payments – Here, you’ll be able to set up a merchant account so you can accept credit cards and bank transfers from customers through QuickBooks Online. If you already have a merchant account, you can connect it here.

Advanced – There’s a good reason why this section is named “Advanced.” You may not be familiar with some of the concepts here, like “closing books” and specifying default accounts for items like Markup. We can go over these things with you and help you make decisions.

Other entries in this list are easier to complete, though you may still want some guidance. Will you support multiple currencies? Automatically apply credits and invoice unbilled activity? Make individually-tracked time activities billable to customers?

Other Preferences
There are many other areas in this window that you’ll want to explore before you start processing a lot of transactions in QuickBooks Online. If more than one person will have access to the site (we’ll assume you’re the Administrator), you must click on Manage Users. Here, you can set limits of what other employees can access. Click New on the screen that opens to launch this mini-interview, and follow its instructions:

You can restrict users to specific areas of QuickBooks Online.

Other preferences you should look at include:

  • Chart of Accountsonly to familiarize yourself with the accounts that make up the backbone of your accounting data. You’ll use these in transactions. Please do not make any changes here without talking to us.
  • All Lists – to see what’s available here, like Classes, Recurring Transactions, and Payment Methods.
  • Products and Services – to start building records for the items and services you sell. If you carry inventory and have never worked with a website that helps you manage it, please let us go over these concepts with you.
  • Budgeting – if you plan to create a budget. QuickBooks Online contains a tool that will accommodate this critical task.
  • Audit Log – if multiple people will be using QuickBooks Online. It tracks all activity by date and user.

QuickBooks Online is easy to use, but there’s a lot to learn upfront about customizing it to meet your company’s accounting needs. It’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at first. Let us help you get through those early days of use.  Connect with us, so we can walk you through the basics.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Using QuickBooks Online’s Customer Records

Using QuickBooks Online’s Customer Records

Using QuickBooks Online’s Customer Records

Your customers are your company’s lifeblood. Are you managing those relationships carefully? Here’s how QuickBooks Online can help.

If you’ve been in business long enough to remember tracking your customers manually, you probably remember what a nightmare it was. Maybe you had a card file and paper folders – and lots of sticky notes and calendar notations.

Unless you had an unusually effective organization system, it was probably difficult to find historical transactions when customers called with questions, for example, and you may have experienced cash flow problems because it was hard to keep up with invoices and statements and payments.

If you’re already using QuickBooks Online, you know those days are over. But have you explored all the customer relationship management tools available to you on the site?

Thorough Records

The core of any good customer-tracking system is a comprehensive set of individual profiles. QuickBooks Online offers thorough, flexible record templates for just that purpose. Click Sales in the main toolbar, then the Customers tab at the top of the screen. To create a new customer record, click New Customer off to the right to open the Customer Information window.

Note: If you have your customer database in an existing Excel or .CSV file, you should be able to import it. QuickBooks Online provides instructions for this.

Quickbooks Customer Records

You can create a profile for each customer in the Customer Information window.

You’ll need to enter a lot of the information yourself here, mostly contact details. A down arrow next to a field indicates that there’s a drop-down list of options available.

The lower left quadrant of the screen contains a series of tabbed information windows. Click on each to enter what you can about each customer’s:

  • Address – both billing and shipping
  • Notes – any that you’d like to enter
  • Tax info – exemption details and default tax code (if taxable)
  • Payment and billing – preferred payment and delivery method, payment terms, and opening balance
  • Attachments – any files pertaining to this customer that you want to include

When you’re done, click Save. Your new record will appear in your list of customers. You’ll be able to toggle back and forth between the details you just entered and a list of their transactions.

Working with Customers

You can always add new customers as you go along, but it’s a good idea to enter records for all of them before you start creating transactions. It will save time down the road, and their accessibility will help with other accounting tasks.

When you click on Sales | Customers now, you’ll see something like this:

Sales Customer in Quickbooks

Your Customers page contains a list of customers with links to related activities. It also provides a color-coded row of bars that represent the status of invoices and estimates.

The Customers page consists of many elements. The main section displays a table of your customers. Click on one to open the page containing the Transaction List and Customer Details.

On this screen, though, you’ll only see columns for Customer/Company, Phone, Open Balance, and Action by default; click the gear icon in the upper right if you want to include more columns here. When you click on the down arrow next to a field in the Action column, a drop-down list will display the options available for that customer, like Receive payment, Send reminder, and Create Statement.

A series of colored bars runs across the top of the screen. Each represents the current status of a specific transaction type: Estimates, Unbilled Activity, Overdue, Open Invoices, and Paid Last 30 Days. Click on any of these to open a list of pertinent transactions.

You can do all of these activities elsewhere in QuickBooks Online, but it’s convenient to be able to work directly from the Customers screen, too. The fewer clicks, the better.

Call on STAC Biz

Did you make a resolution to start using QuickBooks Online this year? The site was built for use by business managers, not accountants, but it can still be a little daunting at first. We’re always available to take your questions and help you with setup and/or daily implementation. Connect with us if you need assistance.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

Tools for Strategic Planning

If a company is operating without any strategic planning, then an imminent loss or slow progress can be anticipated. Strategic planning plays a pivotal role in the success of any business. It cannot be overlooked, neglected or considered less important at any cost – it is what defines the goal of a business.

Why is Strategic Planning so important?

You cannot go anywhere without knowing where exactly you want to go, right? In simple words, strategic planning defines “where” your business wants to go and what goals it has to accomplish. It does not necessarily mean that it will tell you the progress of a company. In other words, strategic planning is a roadmap for your company.

Fundamental Elements of Strategic Planning

When it comes to strategic planning, there is need of special emphasis on three critical elements: Values, Vision Statements, and Mission. These three are the fundamental elements of any strategic planning process.

Values: A culture of any organization is defined by the set of beliefs that are shared by everyone in an organization.
Vision Statement: The ideal or desired state of any organization is defined by a future-oriented vision statement.
Mission: It defines the true purpose of an organization/company, explains why it exists and what it aims to accomplish.

Tools for Strategic Planning

An assessment of external and internal factors is completed with the help of some major tools. These tools assist in formulating a result-oriented strategic planning. Here are some of the most common tools that are deployed by companies in the process of doing strategic planning:

SWOT ANALYSIS

An analysis method called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is used to determine the internal weaknesses and strengths along with external openings and threats that are faced by an enterprise.

  • Strengths: These are the resources and capabilities of any company that enables it to gain a competitive edge and in generating
  • Weaknesses: These are the shortcomings that limit the progress of any company and its ability to fully utilize its resources and capabilities.
  • Opportunities: These are the openings that can be utilized by an organization to gain an edge over its competitors.
  • Threats: These can come from any direction, e., organizations, competitors, individuals, regulatory bodies, etc.

The SWOT analysis can be used to set goals, objectives, priorities, action plans, and measuring performances.

PEST or PESTEL ANALYSIS

An analysis method called PEST (political, economic, social, technology) is a micro framework that is deployed for the purpose of expanding the SWOT analysis of a company. PEST comprises of regulatory and political issues, social norms and behaviors, economic factors, technological developments, and demographics.

With PEST analysis, a company can assess its progress, weaknesses, plus points, and take advantage of its resources. When everything is fully sorted out, the process of strategic planning becomes simpler.

All in all, it is fair to say that strategic planning is crucial for any company. One cannot deny the importance of financial strategy as well.  A financial strategy is developed after a comprehensive strategic planning is complete. Just ensure that you describe the vision, fundamental values, and mission of your company and plan for future contingencies. By evaluating your weakness, strengths, opportunities, and threats, you can develop an impeccable result-oriented strategic plan for your business.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Gift Cards

How To Generate More Sales

The National Gift Card annual 2017 Gift Card Data states plastic gift card redemption doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

How does Financial Planning help with your Strategy for Your Company?

When it comes to accomplishing the goals, one of the most integral parts is financial planning.  It is planning that determines the future of a company – the better planning is, the more are the opportunities to succeed.

Companies deploy two types of planning; Strategic and financial planning. The principle of strategic planning is to assign a direction for the development/goal of your company.  To have a successful organization, you must be proficient in the way that you can terminate the major areas of inefficiency. With the help of financial planning, you can secure the future of your company and make its revenue to swell up. Financial planning not only enables you to meet your company’s needs but also assists you in devising a strategy for your business.

What is Financial Planning and how does it help?

Financial planning is the process of dealing/managing your accounts in a proper way that you can achieve your business goals without facing any/minimal loss. Financial planning assists in comparing various scenarios and enables a comprehensive understanding of the process of how revenues are generated and how cash is expended in the business. Eventually, it becomes an essential factor in determining the areas in which the company needs to improve.

Financial planning consists of 4 main points

  1. Prioritizing Expenditures
  2. Investment plan
  3. Taking debt or loan
  4. Savings

How is Financial Planning done?

There are 6 steps that play a pivotal role in financial planning.

  • Establishing the goal
  • Collecting data
  • Comprehensive data analysis
  • Developing a plan
  • Executing the plan
  • Complete monitoring of the plan

All these points, if followed correctly, lead to an impeccable financial plan for a company, and they all play an essential part in organizing a business. Without financial planning, a business cannot run profitably. It is because financial planning helps in comprehending the economics of a business by analyzing financial reports and collecting data periodically. This also means that financial planning assists in managing accounts and future investments if needed to be done. The statistics that are recorded enable a company to compute economic ratios such as having the status of some profit margin and yielding arranged investment. Statistic provides helpful information about a company’s liquidity, profitability, debt, operating performance, cash flow and investment evaluation.

The bottom line is that strategic and financial planning is always entangled in a business and they work together in a recurring way. Any change to your budget requires a reassessment of the existing strategy in place. Sometimes budget changes are significant enough that you have to change what you are doing administratively. If you want to change your strategy, you must first confirm that you have the means to do so or how you will get it. The company with strong financial hold performs efficiently in the long run and delivers as per the vision and the mission. A company with stable financial records enjoys stability in every department. Employees, investors, and clients are more likely to stay with the company which has a strong financial setup. Therefore, it can be said without a single doubt that financial planning helps a lot with your strategy for your business.

Looking for a QuickBooks Expert?

Working with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor is the best way to learn how to use QuickBooks to help your business grow and flourish. You won’t find a better way to get the support you need anywhere else.

As a small business owner, we realize that you may not have the budget to hire a QuickBooks expert. If you’re looking for a more economical way to get set up on QuickBooks, we provide cloud bookkeeping programs to match any business requirement. Here are our Quickbooks ServicesQuickBooks SetupQuickBooks Training, and QuickTune-up.

You can feel confident in knowing that our STAC Bizness Solutions team are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. Meet Our Team.

If you would like to learn about all the benefits that STAC offers, just give us a call and we’ll provide you all the details. Call us at (844) 424-9637.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Gift Cards

How To Generate More Sales

The National Gift Card annual 2017 Gift Card Data states plastic gift card redemption doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

What Records to Keep in a Personnel File?

What Records to Keep in a Personnel File?

It can be difficult to know what employee records a small business should keep in a personnel file. Should it only hold onto the bare minimum and risk not having enough documentation to protect itself should it need to in the future, or should it keep everything and files become so thick that it is impossible to find anything efficiently? Ultimately, a practical compromise is necessary.

Below is a brief list of the essential documents a small business should keep in a personnel file. However, please remember that this list is a guideline, a template and that ultimately it is up to the specific needs of the small business to determine what stays and what goes.

 Employment Agreement Records

The most basic of personnel file documents that need retaining should center on the professional relationship between the employee and employer. These documents would include the employee’s application and resume, the description of the job as given to the employee, the offer of employment, and the signed receipt of the employee handbook.

 Legal Documents

The most important of the legal documents that need retaining should be the ones related to taxes. These would include W-4s and state withholding forms. Obviously, the tax forms required by your business may not be the same as other businesses, but the idea is to make sure that a copy of whatever tax forms is required always are kept in the employee’s file. Also, legal documents may include next of kin information, emergency contacts, and forms relating to employee benefits.

 Employee Performance Documents

An essential collection of documents is how the employee performs their job. Primarily, this documentation will provide the necessary empirical data to justify an employee’s review. A short list of such records would include awards, reprimands, notes on attendance, certificates of successful completion of training programs, and why and under what conditions the employee left. In essence, these documents should give a stranger an understanding of what this individual was like as an employee.

Unnecessary Documents

However, there are records that you should avoid including in an employee’s personnel file. These would include an I-9 as a government official who may need access to this record does not need to leaf through all the other personal information to find it, and medical records as a small business are legally required to keep this information confidential and available to only a select few.

Hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor

To schedule an initial consultation with us, please click the button below.

Government Policies

Government Policies

Most small business owners are well informed about what government policies apply to them, specifically what FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) policies they need to be in accordance with according to their business. However, an increasing number of small businesses have been cited for policy violations. It makes one wonder if small businesses are as informed as they think they are about some of the more common FLSA policies. Below is a list of some of the more egregious violations.

Unpaid Compensable Time

A good example is unpaid compensated time; this is when an employee works through lunch but is not paid for that time. That is if the lunch is unpaid, but the employee engages in work that benefits the company they can be entitled to appropriate compensation. Granted, there is some gray area to this policy, but it is one that is in need of handling through communication with the employee and the proper authorities instead of hoping that no one notices.

Unpaid Vacation Time

Unpaid vacation time occurs in mainly one instance: when an employee leaves (whether through being fired or quitting) they are entitled to their paid vacation time. Though the FLSA does not require paid vacation, if the company offers it then it is considered part of the employee’s compensation for their work, just like their wage or salary. If the employee is no longer working for the company, they are entitled to these earnings.

Overtime Status

The FLSA guarantees overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Conversely, they do not guarantee it to exempt employees. The rub is the classification. Now, there are numerous criteria to determine which classification an employee falls into, but it is up to the small business owner to make sure that they are correctly designating the people that work for their company. This can be a major violation if the government finds the owned to be non-compliant.

Overtime Pay

Likewise, if the calculation of overtime pay is determined to be faulty, it can be a major FLSA violation. The FLSA states that any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek is to be paid one and half times their wage. Of course, there can be a miscalculation as to when exactly an individuals work week begins or ends, which is to say that if a small business has non-exempt employees, it needs to double check that it is paying the overtime as per FLSA regulations.

Interested in a Virtual Bookkeeper to Help Your Business?

We offer three bookkeeping packages or you can design your own custom package based on your bookkeeping needs.