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.

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.

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.

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Paper Timesheets versus Time Tracking Apps

Paper Timesheets versus Time Tracking Apps

Many businesses continue to rely on the conventional paper timesheets for their employees to track their attendance. Paper timesheets require a lot of dedication in the creation process and it can also increase your monthly cost. So why not go for a simpler solution that will make things easier for you? Here’s a quick look at some reasons why you should stop using paper timesheets and start using time tracking apps.

 

1. Reduce Clerical Mistakes

Paper timesheets require writing out the details of employees attendance and sometimes the words or numbers don’t appear clear. However, with time tracking apps, names and time tables are so clear that you will not have an opportunity to mix up things.

 

2. Save Time

The truth is that paper timesheets can be poured over for hours by employers. This is simply inefficient and costly for the business because that time could be used for other business dealings instead. A digital timesheet is non-negotiable as the employer can see when the employee logged in and out of the computer.

 

3. Increase Visibility

The pendulum swings both ways and the employer can be at fault with messing up paper timesheets. The employer can be accused of adjusting the paper timesheets. There is room for debate with paper timesheets that no employee would welcome.

Time tracking apps are more reliable and they include audit trails. The employees have digital records to back up their claims as to when they signed in and signed out for the day. This can really help when an employee has a dispute regarding the hours that they were paid for. There is that added bit of proof that an arbitrary piece of paper cannot provide.

 

4. Added Features

An employer can do more with digital timesheets than a piece of paper can provide. They can delegate some of their managerial responsibilities to the program’s features such as approvals, reporting, automatic reminders and online scheduling. The entire workplace operation process is streamlined.

These reasons are just a few of the advantages that time tracking apps, such as TSheets, provides over paper timesheets. The choice of using a virtual process is a no brainer in this digital age.  

We love TSheets time tracking and think you would too. Employees can track time on any device, you can easily integrate with various payroll programs, and the customer experience team is phenomenal! There are tons of amazing features, try it free for 14 days by clicking here:

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Taking Your Company Paperless

Going paperless has been the way of the future in business over the past decade. People might have scoffed at the idea a few generations ago, but millennials and those who conduct business with them demand innovative solutions not only for the environment but also to cut down on the mundane drudgery of work place repetition.

And with the way things have been moving, people no longer feel like cogs in a wheel but rather integral team players with technological know how. So if your business has not moved completely digital yet, the following are just a few of the many reasons why you should be going paperless.

Boost in Efficiency

People don’t want to be doing the same task at work all day. With paper processes, the middle man is always the employee, who faithfully sits by the phone filling out papers for a client. Or the employee is busy digging in the company store room for files.

Logging onto the computer, whether for cloud accounting or client information, is leaps and bounds easier than putting people on hold or telling them that you will phone them back. You can be on the same page as the client in minutes rather than days by having their digital information at one’s fingertips on CRM. The same goes for talking between departments. It is much more efficient to send emails back and forth delineating the various degrees of urgency than to try to play telephone tag with employees in varied departments. Time is at a premium, so when a person can log on or fire off an email, time is saved from chasing down files and individuals that may not be easy to find.

Disaster Recovery

There’s no telling when a disaster might strike; maybe a flood, theft or a fire breakout could easily cripple your company. What will happen to the documents that are paper-based? Most probably, you will lose them because you don’t have a backup, or if you do have copies, wouldn’t they be likely stored in the same premises too? Going paperless can help avoid this problem. Once you store everything on the cloud, you will not have to worry about the data that you lost in the paper forms because they will all be available on the cloud and you can access them at any time.

Creative Solutions

Digital apps and programs like QuickBooks are often designed to integrate together. This is a virtual dream, literally, when it comes to helping the departments to coordinate. Without such products, people are stuck doing the same processes with paper over and over. The rewriting and photocopying of such pages can really only go so far.

To go digital, one needs to be savvy with employing people in the know-how. These teams can help to train others on processes as well as put them in place. But once paperless systems have been implemented, very few employers will regret the transition. It shows up on the bottom line quite apparently over the years as well.

Need help getting your company to paperless?  Contact STAC Bizness because we can help with establishing your company’s accounting, payroll, and human resource operations in a paperless world.  Join our newsletter for more free tips for running your business.

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