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.

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employee Classification

Most business owners find it difficult to distinguish between the exempt and non-exempt employees, and it also causes a great deal of confusion between employers and employees. Whether you are entitled to the overtime payment or not (usually means the extra time you work after the standard 40 hours for every week), depending on your exemption position according to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), remains the primary ambiguity in this regard. However, various other jobs don’t fall under these standards, like agricultural jobs, truck driving, and others, which are usually governed by other law organizations.

Majority of citizens in U.S come under the FLSA and you can either classify them as exempt or non-exempt, depending on the overtime pay regulations. As an amateur, you may not have a clear idea of what category of workers these are, but don’t ponder over it because that’s what we are here for today! We’ll give you a quick breakdown of what rules apply to which workers. So let’s dive right in.

Non-Exempt Employees

If you work as a non-exempt employee for more than the standard time per week, that’s 40 hours, then according to the FLSA policies, you are entitled to extra pay for the time and one-half of the standard hours of overtime work you spend. Concisely, if you are working on the hourly basis and get paid for the hours you work, apart from the standard hourly paid rate, then you are classified as a non-exempt employee. If you are a non-exempt employee, then you will not qualify for the numerous white collar job exemptions. Such employees usually include maintenance, technicians, construction, semi-skilled, blue collar, laborers, and clericals.

Exempt Employees

Such employees don’t get any protection and cover from the FLSA, and this means that they are not entitled to any overtime payments. According to the FLSA, airline and sales employees are exempt, and if you meet with three points, then you are in this category. These are the rules that apply:

  • If you are getting a payment of $23,600 for the year
  • If you get paid on the wage basis (doesn’t apply to people who work on “hourly basis,” like school teachers, and physicians)
  • If you perform duties on the job that are classified as exempt

To qualify for the exempt status, the nature of your job is also taken into account. Typically, the duties of exempt employees are high, and the FLSA splits them into three further categories:

Executive

Employees are exempt from the FLSA policies and rules if they perform duties such as:

  • Supervise more than one employee
  • Work as a manager
  • Having the power to hire, assign tasks, fire and so on.

In most cases, such people are usually considered in charge or the boss of the business or company.

Administrator

For people who have duties that support the business, like public relations, accounting, human resources and payroll staffs, then they fall under this category. Duties must also include:

  • Office work
  • Tasks related to the management or customers of the business
  • Independent discretion and judgment of significant business matters

Click HERE to return to the Blogs Page

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.

Setting Up Sales Tax in QuickBooks Online

Setting Up Sales Tax in QuickBooks Online

Setting Up Sales Tax in QuickBooks Online

Sales tax is one of the more complicated concepts supported by QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online was designed for you, the small businessperson. You’ve probably discovered that many of its features are fairly easy to use from the start.

But just because QuickBooks Online can do something doesn’t mean you should attempt it on your own. Sales tax is one of those things. Depending on your geographical location, you may have to charge not only state sales tax, but also county and city/municipality taxes (and sometimes special taxes). If you’re selling products or services to customers in other states, your situation can get very complicated.

We’ll show you some of the mechanics involved, but we strongly recommend that you let us help you with this.

Setting Up Sales Tax

We’ll describe the process of setting up sales tax rates so you can see how it will work. Click the Taxes link in the toolbar. The new screen should open to the Sales Tax Center; if it doesn’t, click its link in the toolbar above. In the right vertical pane, under Related Tasks, click Add/edit tax rates and agencies. Then click New to open this window:

You can define either a Single tax rate or Combined tax rate in this window.

You’d enter the Tax nameAgency name, and Rate in the designated fields if you’re just creating a Single tax rate. In some cases, you may have to enter a Combined tax rate. If so, click the button in front of that label. The window that opens contains fields that are similar to the ones in the above image, except that Tax name is replaced by Component name. You’ll choose this option when you have to record individual elements of the tax separately. For example, Ft. Myers | Lee County| Florida State.

To muddy things up even more, some items in some situations are exempt from sales tax.

Questions about the Combined tax rate? Contact us.

When you’re done, click Save. You’ll see the tax you just created in a table in the window that opens. To define a New tax, Edit an existing one, or Deactivate one in the list, click the appropriate button. If you’ve entered all you’ll need for now, click Return to Sales Tax Owed and Recent Payments.

Your Responsibilities

Once you’ve set up all the sales tax rates required for you, QuickBooks Online will calculate them for you in transactions where they need to be collected. You can see the running tally in the Sales Tax Center, but it’s up to you to create and record payments on the prescribed schedule. You can also run related reports here.

The site bases its calculations on three things:

  • The state(s) where you have obtained a sales tax permit(s),
  • Your company’s physical location, and,
  • The customer address on the sales form.

But QuickBooks Online can’t know the exact tax situation for all its users. You have to do some detective work before you even approach us for help setting up sales taxes. You’ll need to know, for example, whether your state taxes the products or services you sell. Also, what’s the sales tax rate(s) for the affected states? What agency collects it? When are the payments you’ve collected from your customers due?

Your state government’s website should cover all of this.

Sales Tax Settings

Before you start working with sales tax, you’ll also need to make sure your settings are correct. Go back to the Sales Tax Center and click Edit tax settings on the right side of the screen to open this window:

To save time, QuickBooks Online lets you set some default sales tax actions.

Click the button in front of Yes after Do you charge sales tax? if it’s not already selected. If most of your transactions will use the same sales tax, you can set it as the default (but change it during transactions if necessary). If the majority of customers, products, and services will be subject to sales tax, you can check the boxes in front of the Mark all…statements (these designations, too can be edited in individual transactions).

You can see that using QuickBooks Online’s sales tax tools requires research, decisions, and extreme accuracy (state revenue departments run occasional audits). We have to stress again the importance of consulting with us if you need to take this on. It’s an exceptionally complex element of accounting, and we want to make it work for you.

Click HERE to return to the Blogs Page

Employee Versus Contractor

Employee Versus Contractor

Employee Versus Contractor

With all the clear pros to hiring an employee instead of a contractor, it should be apparent when faced with such a decision – except that there are also clear and distinct pros to hiring a contractor instead of an employee.

This is to say that there is no clear answer to which is better. Both have their pros and cons, and ultimately the decision depends on the needs of your small business at the time. That said, below are a few of the more essential pros to hiring either or.

Pros of Hiring a Contractor

The first advantage to hiring an independent contractor instead of an employee is that it lowers your overhead. That is, your annual payroll, expenses, and other ancillary costs can be significantly lower as you are hiring on an as-needed basis instead of inefficiently keeping someone on even if the work is intermittent.

Second, you will see a dramatic reduction in employee benefit’s costs. Yes, this is part of the first advantage but is such an important one that it earns its own mention. Employee health benefits are a considerable expense to small business, one that is often a factor in that business being successful. Again, by paying only for what you need, you are streamlining your business.

A final benefit is a flexibility. As stated, a small business often has several non-recurring responsibilities that don’t necessitate a full-time employee. Also, it allows a small business owner to see the value of having a staff member whose sole purpose is the one job. It’s like test driving a position: you learn if it the position requires a permanent employee.

Pros of Hiring an Employee

Possibly the biggest pro to hiring a permanent employee is loyalty. Now, many employers believe that loyalty has gone the way of the do-do. However, many employees reflect how they are being treated. If you manage an employee well, they may go above and beyond their responsibilities because they have a personal connection to the job.

A second pro is that you could maximize their time. Instead of using them for only one job, you could cross-train them to maximize your limited resources. That is, instead of hiring a contractor who has agreed to only specific tasks, a small business owner can have a permanent employee who can be used (and compensated) to be a jack-of-all-trades.

Finally, having an employee can make the workplace function in a far more efficient manner as they have already learned the nuances of how the company functions.

Click HERE to return to the Blogs Page