5 QuickBooks Online Reports You Should Run Regularly

5 QuickBooks Online Reports You Should Run Regularly

There are numerous QuickBooks Online reports that you should be consulting at regular intervals. But you need these five at least every week.

QuickBooks Online’s Dashboard, the first screen you see when you log in, provides an effective overview of your company’s finances. It contains at-a-glance information about your recent expenses, your sales, and the status of your invoices. It displays a simple Profit and Loss graph and a list of your account balances. Scroll down and click the See all activity button in the lower right and your Audit Log opens, a list of everything that’s been done on the site and by whom.

You can actually get a lot of work done from this page. Click the bar on the Invoices graph, for example, and a list view opens, allowing you access to individual transactions. Click Expenses to see the related Transaction Report. Below the list of account balances, you can Go to registers and connect new accounts.

Other Pressing Questions

The Dashboard supplies enough information that you can spot potential problems with expenses and sales, accounts, and overdue invoices. But you’re likely to have other tasks that require attention. How’s your inventory holding up? Are you staying within your budget? How about your accounts payable – will you owe money to anyone soon?

QuickBooks Online offers dozens of report templates that answer these questions and many more. If you’ve never explored the list, we suggest that you do so. It’s impossible to make plans for your company’s future without understanding its financial history and current state.

QuickBooks Online reports
QuickBooks Online has many reports that can provide real-time, in-depth insight into your company’s financial health.

Comprehensive and Customizable

When you click Reports in your QuickBooks Online toolbar, the view defaults to All. The site divides its report content into 10 different sections, including Business Overview, Sales and Customers, Expenses and Vendors, and Payroll. Each has two buttons to the right of its name.

Click the star, and that report’s title will appear in your Favorites list at the top of the page. This will save time since you’ll be able to quickly find your most often-used reports. Click the three vertical dots and then Customize to view your customization options for that report (you’ll have access to this tool from the reports themselves).

Necessary Knowledge

You can, of course, run any report you’d like as often as you’d like. Most small businesses, though, don’t require this frequent intense scrutiny. But there are five reports that you do want to consult on a regular basis. They are:

  1. Accounts Receivable Aging Detail. Displays a list of invoices that haven’t yet been paid, divided into groups like 1-30 days past due, 31-60 days past due, etc.
  2. Budget vs. Actuals. Just what it sounds like: a comparison of your monthly budgeted amounts and your actual income and expenses.

 Warning: Some reports let you choose between cash and accrual basis. Do you know the difference and which you should choose? Ask us.

Settings for QuickBooks Online reports

You can customize QuickBooks Online reports in several ways.

  1. Unpaid Bills. Helps you avoid missing accounts payable due dates by displaying what’s due and when.
  2. Sales by Product/Service Detail. Tells you what’s selling and what’s not by displaying date, transaction type, quantity, rate, amount, and total.
  3. Product/Service List. An accounting of the products and/or services you sell, with columns for price, cost, and quantity on hand.

Customization, Complex QuickBooks Online Reports

Note that there’s a category of reports in QuickBooks Online named For My Accountant. That’s where we come in. The site includes templates for reports that you can run yourself, but that you’d have difficulty customizing and analyzing. These standard financial reports—which, by the way, you’ll need if you create a business plan or try to get funding for your business—include Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, and Trial Balance.

You don’t need to have these reports generated frequently, but you should be learning from the insight they provide monthly or quarterly. We can handle this part of your accounting tasks for you, as well as any other aspect of financial management where you need assistance. Contact us, and we’ll see where we might help provide the feedback and bookkeeping expertise that can help you make better decisions for the future of your business.

Don’t Have a Budget? QuickBooks Online Can Help

Don’t Have a Budget? QuickBooks Online Can Help

The hardest part of creating a budget is getting started. QuickBooks Online provides tools that can jump-start the process.

You know you should have a budget. You’re aware that it can help you stay on track with your company’s income and expenses throughout the year. Maybe you’ve even tried to make one before, but you got discouraged by the mechanics or by the difficulty of estimating money in and out for the next 12 months.

June may not be the beginning of your fiscal year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a serious effort to start building a budget that can help you rein in expenses and set revenue goals.

Here’s a look at QuickBooks Online’s budgeting features.

Creating the Framework

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that your fiscal year is set correctly in QuickBooks Online. Click the gear icon in the upper right, then click Your Company | Account and Settings | Advanced. If the First month of fiscal year isn’t correct, click the pencil icon over to the right and change it. Then click Save and exit out of this window.

Click the gear icon again and select Budgeting, then click Add budget in the upper right.

Budget QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online asks you the questions that need to be answered before you start filling in your budget grid.

The first thing you’ll do is give your budget a descriptive name by entering it in the Name field. Next, open the drop-down list under Fiscal year and select the correct 12-month period. You can create your budget in one of three intervals: Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly. If you want to populate your budget with numbers from this year or last, make that selection in the Pre-fill data? field.

There’s one more option at the top of the Budgets Grid screen that’s not shown in the image above. You can Subdivide by Customer, Class, or Location. This can be useful if you want to view budget data specific to a subset of entries in each of those categories. You could, for example, choose three customers and view only their numbers in the grid individually, one at a time.

Providing Your Numbers

Once you’re satisfied with the selections you’ve made, click Create Budget in the lower right. The screen will refresh and display a grid that you can edit.

Let’s say you’re working on a budget for the second half of 2018. QuickBooks Online brought in your numbers for January-May. You see that the numbers don’t vary much from month to month on one specific line item, so you’re going to assume that they will continue to be true (unless you know something that will affect it after May). You could enter a rough average of the first five months in the JUN field.

Hover your cursor over the arrow to the side of that field, and this sentence appears in a small bubble: Click to copy the value across on the row. QuickBooks Online will then enter that number in the JUL through DEC fields.

Budget Monthly Numbers

QuickBooks Online can save you some time as you enter data in your budget grid fields.

When you’re done entering data in all of the fields relevant to your business, click Save in the lower right and close the window. Your budget will now show up in the list.

Tip: If you have multiple blank rows and don’t want them to be displayed, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your budget page. Click in the box in front of Hide blank rows to create a checkmark.

The Hard Part

QuickBooks Online simplifies the mechanics of creating a budget, but it’s up to you to supply the numbers. There’s lots of common-sense advice that experts offer for this process, like:
• Remember seasonal upswings and downswings.
• Make your goals as realistic as possible. You might want to create separate budgets for “needs” and “wants.”
• Track your expenses carefully for a period of time so you can estimate more confidently.
• Create reports regularly that compare your budget vs actuals.

QuickBooks Online can help you with that last piece of advice; it offers a report called Budget vs. Actuals. You’ll find it in the Business Overview group.

We can help, too. Once we understand a little more about your business structure and goals, we can take a look at your income and expense history and make some personalized recommendations. Connect with us soon, and we can start you on the path to a more focused financial future.

Using Product and Service Records in QuickBooks Online

Using Product and Service Records in QuickBooks Online

Last month, we created QuickBooks Online service items. This month, we’ll explore how they’re used on the site.

If you ever did your accounting manually, you probably remember how tired you got of writing or typing the same things over and over. You may have had your customers’ addresses practically memorized, and your product price list was always close at hand, though you knew that by heart, too.

QuickBooks Online eliminates that duplicate data entry, saving time and reducing errors dramatically. Because of the service records you’ve created, completing sales and purchase forms can now be an easy, accurate task. You’ll also have fast access to information about your inventory levels and the profit you make on items. You’ll know what’s selling and what’s not, and when it’s time to reorder.

Here’s how.

Picking Products

Much of your accounting work probably consists of filling out forms. Whenever you create one of these invoices or sales receipts or purchase orders, you already know that you can open a drop-down list and select the name of a customer or vendor. QuickBooks Online lets you enter data about what is being bought or sold in the same way.

To see how this works, open an invoice form and complete and/or verify the fields at the top (customer, date, terms, etc.). Click in the first PRODUCT/SERVICE field, and then click the down arrow to see the list of items and services you sell.


When you create a sales or purchase form, you’ll be able to select the appropriate service item from the drop-down list – or add a new one.

When you select an item, the description and price will fill in automatically. You’ll have to add the quantity and click in the box below the column labeled Tax (if applicable). QuickBooks Online will calculate the total cost of the service item on that line. If you need to enter additional sales, proceed to the PRODUCT/SERVICE field in the second line and repeat those actions until you’re done and can save the transaction.

Working with Items

What do you do when you need more information about a specific product than just its description and price? Do you have to return to its individual record?

No. QuickBooks Online includes a great tool that provides real-time updates on your inventory items and lets you work with them. Click the Sales tab in the left vertical menu, and then on the Products and Services tab at the top. The table that opens displays numbers for every item’s quantity on hand and reorder point. Look at the end of each line, and you’ll see a drop-down list labeled Edit that looks like this:


QuickBooks Online’s Products and Services page provides real-time inventory updates, as well as item-management tools.

As you can see, there are a number of actions you can take here on individual products.

Warning: If you think there’s a reason you should Adjust quantity or Adjust starting value, please talk to us first. Your inventory records need to be precise. We can schedule a session to go over this and other concepts you need to understand in order to keep inventory counts accurate.

You can take some of these actions on multiple items simultaneously. Click the down arrow in the Batch actions field above this Edit menu. Click the boxes in front of the products you want to work with and select the desired activity (unavailable ones will be grayed out in the list). Take extra care with this mass modification tool.

Multiple Reports

QuickBooks Online contains templates for numerous inventory-related reports that you can customize.

QuickBooks Online’s Product and Services screen may be all you need in your daily work, but there will be times when you need more analytical assistance. You can turn to the site’s specialized reports for more in-depth scrutiny. Click the Reports tab in the left vertical pane. Make sure the All Reports list is active and select Manage Products and Inventory to see what’s available, including:

  • Inventory Valuation Detail.
  • Sales by Product/Service Detail.
  • Physical Inventory Worksheet.

Reports are easy to run but can be difficult to customize correctly and interpret. If we’re not working with you already on the complex standard financial reports that should be reviewed monthly or quarterly, talk to us. The more you understand about the financial status of your company, the better your decisions will be.

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.

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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.

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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.

Uncommon Employee Benefits

Uncommon Employee Benefits

Uncommon Employee Benefits

Of course, all employees want as many benefits as possible. It was established long ago that to attract the top talent and skill, a small business owner needed to offer more than just good pay. However, only because an employee asks for the moon does not mean you should (or can) give it to them.

Now, the most common employee benefits, in order of popularity, go like this: paid vacations, employee health insurance, paid sick leave, disability insurance, education reimbursement for job, pension plan, life insurance, and dental insurance. However, if these are so popular how can a small business make themselves more attractive? Below are some of the more uncommon employee benefits that just might do this.

Direct Deposit

Yes, many small business owners now offer direct deposit, but not as many as one might think. From an employee’s standpoint, this is an underappreciated benefit. That is, they often don’t realize how great it is not to have to go to the bank or ATM and deposit their check and then wait for it to clear until they no longer have to go through that ordeal.

Wellness Program

A wellness program is any program that improves the health of the employee. It is considered to be more proactive than health insurance and can include anything from smoking cessation to stress reduction programs. Studies have shown these wellness programs to improve employee morale and productivity.

Company Discounts

This may be more a service sector incentive, but it is a compelling one none the less. Simply put, by offering a discount on the company’s products to the employees, a small business is showing the employee that they are valued.

Parking Privileges

This may seem like an inconsequential benefit, but it can have practical value if your small business is located in a popular part of town. Also, its symbolic value should not be dismissed as it announces to the public that the individual who parks there has recognized skill and worth.

Education Plan

If you like the idea of a benefit to show an employee appreciation, then few other things can do this as efficiently as giving them financial help to non-job related, educational courses to demonstrate your value their education. Granted, a small business probably isn’t going to be able to afford to send an employee to an Ivy League school, but a class or two at the local community college can give the employee the continued educational growth they desire.

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.