How to Create Product Records in QuickBooks Online, Part 2

Once you’ve created your company’s product and service records, you’ll use them in numerous places in QuickBooks Online.

 
Last month, we covered the setup you have to do before you start building your product and service records in QuickBooks Online. We told you to click the gear icon in the upper right, then click Account and settings, then the Sales tab, then Products and Services. Once you’ve specified your preferences, you click the gear icon again, then Products and services, then New to complete the fields required for each record.
 
 
Before you start creating product and service records, you should establish your preferences.
 
You can always view the Products and Services screen by clicking on Sales in the toolbar, then Products and Services. (You can also access it by clicking on the gear icon, then Products and services under Lists.) This comprehensive table, a kind of dashboard for your products and services, displays real-time information about each item’s pricing and inventory levels, as well as its type and tax status.
 
Click the down arrow in the Action column, and you can work with that product in a variety of ways. For example, you can run a report, adjust its starting value and quantity, and reorder. You can also edit the record from here. Large, colorful buttons at the top of the screen give you an instant view of the number of items that are low on stock or out of stock. Click on one, and a list of those items will appear.
 
Warning: Be sure you understand your reason for modifying inventory level numbers (either their starting value or quantity) and the impact this could have on your reporting. We recommend that you consult with us before taking either action. The same goes for reordering if you haven’t worked with purchase orders in QuickBooks Online before.
 

Using Your Records

 
Once you start creating transactions like invoices and sales receipts, you’ll see why we recommended that you complete all of the relevant fields in your product and service records. QuickBooks Online is good about allowing you to supply data “on the fly” (as you go along), but your daily work will go much faster if you do your setup work first.
 
Here’s how you add a product or service to an invoice or a sales receipt, for example. Click on the +New button at the top of the screen and select your transaction type. Choose the appropriate Customer by clicking on the down arrow in the first field in the upper left. Check the rest of the fields in the top half of the form and make any necessary changes. Click in the field under Service Date, then click on the small graphical calendar to select the date of the sale. Click on the down arrow in the field below Product/Service.
 
You can select from product or service records you’ve created or add a new one on the fly.
 
As you can see in the above image, +New is the first option in the list. Click on it if you haven’t yet created a record for what you’re selling. The Product/Service Information pane will slide out from the right side of the screen. Otherwise, click on the correct product or service in the list. If you filled out all of the relevant fields in its record, QuickBooks Online will complete the rest of the line with the needed information. You only have to enter a quantity in the Qty field.
 
Enter any information requested at the bottom of the screen and Save the transaction. QuickBooks Online will reduce the quantity available for any products you just sold. You can see your sale and how it affects inventory by looking at reports. Sales By Product/Service Detail, for example, shows you the sale you just made and any others within the date range you selected.  Product/Service List provides a number for the quantity on hand. Run Inventory Valuation Detail to see a combination of the data in both of those reports. And if your company counts inventory periodically, you can use the Physical Inventory Worksheet, which even displays a number for any items currently on purchase orders.
 
We hope you’ve been able to continue supplying your customers with the products and services they need during these challenging times. If you maintain thorough product records in QuickBooks Online, you’ll find that your daily sales work can be both fast and accurate. The site can also help you maintain enough inventory that you don’t run short, as well as don’t have too much money tied up in excess products. Please let us know if we can help you with this critical tracking task – or if you have questions about any other element of QuickBooks Online.

How to Create Product Records in QuickBooks Online

Whether your company sells product or services, QuickBooks Online can help you track them.

 
If you sell one-of-a-kind products and can see all of them at a glance, tracking your inventory isn’t such a big issue. But not many people run businesses like that. Even if you do, you’d want to keep track of what you have and what you’ve sold for accounting purposes.
 
Most businesses sell multiple types of products and stock numerous units of them. These companies need to be able to easily add them to invoices and sales receipts. They need to know what’s selling and what’s not, and they need to know when it’s time to reorder.
 
QuickBooks Online’s recording and tracking tools meet all of these requirements by allowing you to create records for services. Here’s how it works.
 

Getting Ready

 
Before you can start working with QuickBooks Online’s product records, you should make sure that the site is set up for this purpose. Click the gear icon in the upper right, then Your Company | Account and settings. Click the Sales tab to get to the Products and services section, as pictured below.
 
 
 
QuickBooks Online’s Account and Settings has a section devoted to Products and services.
 
Click on Products and services to open your options here. To turn any entry from On to Off,or vice versa, click in the box at the beginning of the line to check or uncheck it. To see an explanation of each, click on the small circled question mark. When you’re done here, click Save. Then click the X in the upper right to close this window.
 

Creating Records

 
To start entering product and service data in records, click the gear icon in the upper right, then select Products and services. Since you haven’t entered anything yet, the table will be blank. Eventually, it will contain data for each record you’ve created. You’ll also notice two colored circles at the top of the screen, one marked Low Stock and the other, Out of Stock. When there is a number next to either of them, you’ll be able to click on either circle to see a list of what’s low or what’s out.
 
Click New in the upper right. A vertical panel will slide out asking what kind of record you want to create. You can choose from:
 
  • Inventory – Physical items you sell whose quantity you want to track
  • Non-inventory – Products you buy or sell but whose quantities you don’tneed to track
  • Service – Services you sell, like legal representation or landscaping
  • Bundle -A group of products and/or services thatare sold together, like computer training and accompanying software
 
We’re going to create an inventory item, so click on Inventory.Type its Name in that field and add a photo if you’d like. If the product has been assigned a SKU, enter that in its field. You may want to divide your products into primary categories and sub-products or services (like Writing Instruments and Pens, Pencils, Markers, etc.). You can skip this option if you don’t.
 
 
 
QuickBooks Online helps prevent product shortages.
 
In the next section, you’ll enter the Initial quantity on hand. How many do you have as of (current) date? And where do you want to set your Reorder point? What number of items remaining should trigger the Low Stock alert so you can replenish your supply?
 
Inventory asset account should already be set at Inventory Asset. Enter a brief Description and then the product’s Sales price/rate (the price you’ll charge customers) and leave Income account set at Sales of Product Income. Then select a Sales tax category. If you haven’t set up sales taxes in QuickBooks Online and believe you’re required to pay them on at least some sales, please let us help.
 
In the Purchasing information field, enter the description that should appear on purchase forms, then Cost (the price you paid to buy the product, if any). The Expense account should be Cost of Goods Sold. Select a Preferred Vendor if you’d like and Save the record.
 
Not all fields are required in your product and service records, but we strongly recommend you complete each record as thoroughly as is possible.
 
Next month, we’ll look at how product and service records are used in QuickBooks Online. In the meantime, please let us know if there’s any way we can help with your accounting or your use of QuickBooks Online. We know these are challenging times for you, and we hope you’ll use us as one of your resources.

3 Ways to Receive Payments in QuickBooks Online

Recording customer payments is one of your more pleasant accounting tasks. Depending on the situation, you can choose from multiple ways to do this using QuickBooks Online.

 
If you made New Year’s resolutions this last January, you’ve probably had to revise them. No one knew what was coming when 2019 turned over to 2020. We hope that despite the turmoil and disruption of the last six months, you’ve managed to stay healthy and keep your small business running.
 
It’s more important than ever to conscientiously record all of the money coming into your company and ensure that it gets deposited into your account(s). QuickBooks Online offers several ways to accomplish this. Whether you’re receiving payment on an invoice, documenting an instant sale, or selling on the road – the site provides tools to make certain that your receipt of the funds is entered in the correct place.
 

Delayed Payments

 
Do you send invoices for products and/or services? If so, there’s more than one way to record payments when they come in. You can, of course, just open the invoice and click Receive payment in the upper right corner. We find, though, that going to the All Sales screen gives us a chance to check the status of other pending transactions. Click Sales in the toolbar, then All Sales.
 
If your list isn’t very long, you can just look for the invoice number. If not, you can use the Filter tool to find the original form. Click the down arrow next to Filter in the upper left to see your search options here (Status, Customer, etc.).
 
If you have a lengthy list of sales transactions, you can search for the one(s) you want in this drop-down window.
 
Once you’ve found the invoice, look down toward the end of that row. In the Action column, you’ll see Receive payment. (While you’re there, click the down arrow to familiarize yourself with the other options.) When the Receive Payment window opens, select the Payment method that applies. Leave the Deposit to field showing Undeposited Funds and look over the rest of the screen to make sure everything is accurate. Print it if you’d like and/or add an Attachment using the links at the bottom, then Save it.
 
Tip: Customers tend to pay invoices faster if you allow them to make payments online. If you’re not yet set up for this, we can help you.
 

Instant Payments

 
Your business may collect payments at the time you provide a product or service. When this happens, you’ll want to supply your customers with a sales receipt instead of an invoice (this is also important for your own records). Click the +New button in the upper left and select Sales receipt under Customers to open a blank form. You’ll fill this out just like you would an invoice, by selecting the Customer first, then entering or selecting any data needed for the other fields.
 
If you don’t anticipate needing all of the fields on your sales forms, you can remove some of them and even add your own. Ask us how this works.
 
 
If you’d like to add custom fields to your sales forms, you can do so in QuickBooks Online.
 
When you’ve completed all of the fields in your sales receipt, you can preview and print it. You can also save and email it to the customer.
 

Going Mobile

 
If you generate sales on the road, you can still create sales receipts for customers using the QuickBooks mobile app. Just click the plus (+) sign at the bottom of the screen and select Sales Receipt. The form is similar to the one you’d use on your desktop computer, though the layout is different, of course.
 
Having a QuickBooks Payments account is especially helpful when you’re making mobile sales. You can even swipe your customers’ credit and debit cards if you order a card reader from Intuit. We can walk you through this process.
 
You don’t ever want to record a payment incorrectly, of course, but it’s especially important right now to ensure that you’re accounting for every dollar that comes in. Please stay healthy and safe, and let us know if we can help in any way with your accounting and your use of QuickBooks Online.

Tracking Mileage in QuickBooks Online

If you’re having to drive for work during the pandemic, let QuickBooks Online make sure you’re recording all of your deductible mileage.

 
Many states are starting to open for business again. If yours is one of them and this is affecting you, we hope you’re taking steps to stay healthy. We also hope that you’ve been keeping up with your changing finances by using QuickBooks Online.
 
As many will resume back to the day to day of business, if any part of your work involves driving business miles that can be deducted on your income taxes, you’ll want to know about a relatively new QuickBooks Online feature: mileage tracking. You can NOW record trips either manually or automatically, and the site will calculate your deductions. Here’s how it works.
 

Tracking Trips Manually

 
Before you get started, you’ll want to create a record for the vehicle you’ll be using. Click Mileage in the navigation toolbar. Hover over the green Add trip button in the middle right of the screen, then click View Vehicles. Then click Add vehicle and complete the fields on the screen that opens. Click Save. Back on the main screen, click directly on Add trip. The New trip panel will slide out from the right.
 
Enter the Date, then the number of miles driven (Distance). If you’d like, you can enter the Starting point and Ending point for your records. Click either the Business or Personal icon and enter a Description. Select the correct Vehicle if you use more than one and click Save. Your trip will now appear on the main screen with your tax deduction already calculated, as pictured below. Click the More button at the end of the row (not shown here), and you’ll be able to Edit your trips and Duplicate them.
 
 
 
 
Once you’ve created a record for a trip in QuickBooks Online, it will be added to the list on the main Mileage screen.
 

Auto-Track Your Miles

 
There’s another way to track your trips, one that doesn’t involve writing down your odometer readings or mileage. The QuickBooks Online mobile app will automatically track your miles as you drive.
 
To set this up, open the app and click on the three horizontal lines in the lower right to open the app’s navigation shortcuts. Then click the Mileage icon.  Auto-tracking is off by default, so you’ll have to click OFF to open the Mileage settings screen. Click the Auto-tracking button to change it from grayed-out to green. In the small window that opens, click Settings to go to the QuickBooks section of your phone’s Settings screen and make these changes:
 
  • Location must be Always On.
  • Motion & Fitness must be On.
  • Background App Refresh must be On.
  • Cellular Data must be On.
 
 
 
 
Before you can automatically track your mileage in QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to change some settings (image above taken in iPhone; Android phones have similar settings).
 
Close this screen and return to the QuickBooks Online app’s main Mileage screen after you’ve changed your settings. Auto-tracking should be ON. Click the + (plus) sign in the lower right, then Create trip. The app will automatically detect your starting and stopping locations using your phone’s GPS. When you’ve arrived at your destination, open the Mileage app again.
 
Swipe left on the trip’s record to categorize it as business and right to mark it personal.  Enter the trip’s purpose if it’s a business trip and click Save. You’ll now need to turn off Auto-tracking and reverse the changes you made in your phone’s Settings (unless, of course, you normally leave any of them on).
 

A Quick Tip

 
Do you ever find yourself opening QuickBooks Online in a new tab because you need to check something in another part of the site but don’t want to shut down your current screen?  If you’re accessing QuickBooks Online through Google Chrome, it’s easy. Right-click anywhere in the navigation toolbar that contains links (not the blank space below) and select Open link in new tab. A new tab will open to a QuickBooks Online page. You can do whatever you need to do in the second tab without disturbing your original page.
 

Stay in Touch

 
The COVID-19 pandemic has had impact on both large and small businesses all around the world. We hope you’ve stayed physically and financially healthy during this exceptionally difficult time. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help with your use of QuickBooks Online and/or your overall accounting.

How to Create and Use Vendor Records in QuickBooks Online

Keeping your supplies coming in may be difficult right now. Be sure you know your vendors and track their records carefully.

 
Your company counts on its supply chains to keep operations running smoothly. When it falters, you can have trouble creating and shipping products. Problems may even crop up that have a negative effect on your internal business needs.
 
We don’t have to tell you that COVID-19 has interrupted supply chains. The pandemic has been catastrophic for many small businesses because of this, and because income has been suddenly and sharply reduced. Some financial help is available, and we hope you’re able to take advantage of it during these extraordinarily difficult times.
 
It’s perhaps more important than ever to carefully track your income and expenses, and we hope you’re using QuickBooks to do so. Among the software’s financial management tools is the ability to maintain thorough records of those vendors that make up your supply chain. Let’s take a look at how this works.
 

Creating Vendor Records

 
We’ll go through the steps for creating vendor records, though you may have at least started on these already. Hover your mouse over Expenses in the toolbar and select Vendors. If you’ve already added some, you’ll see them in a list. To create a new one, click New Vendor in the upper right. Most of the form is easy to complete; it’s primarily contact information.
 
There are a few fields, though, that need special attention. These are:
  • Cost rate/hr and Billing rate/hr. These help you track time costs for your projects. Don’t enter anything here if you pay vendors via bills or expenses.
  • Terms. Due on receipt? 15 days? 30 days?
  • Account no. and Business ID No. You should have these on file.
  • Track payments for 1099. Put a check in this box for any 1099 contractors.
When you’re done, click Save. This vendor will now appear in your list.
 

Taking Action


You can take a number of actions from QuickBooks’ Vendors screen.
 
You can do a lot of your work directly from QuickBooks’ Vendors page. This screen displays a list of all of your vendors, along with columns for their Phone, Email, and Open Balance. At the end of each row is an Action column. The link there reads either Create bill or Make payment, depending on whether there is an outstanding balance.
 
Click on the down arrow in that column to open a list of additional options. If there is a zero balance, you can Create expense, Write check, Create purchase order, or Make inactive. If money is due, your options are to Create bill or Create expense. Icons in the upper right allow you to print the list, export it to Excel, or change the column settings.
 

Collecting Your Billables

 
Before we look at vendor records in QuickBooks, we’d like you to check a couple of settings to make sure you’re billing your customers for every expense they incur with you. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner and select Your Company | Account and Settings, then click on Expense. Among others, you’ll see these options:
 
If you incur expenses on behalf of customers, be sure you will be reimbursed for them by adding a Billable column on expense and purchase forms.
 
To add a Customer column to expense and purchase forms, click in the first box pictured in the image above. To Make expenses and items billable, click in the second box and add a default markup rate if you want. Do you want to Track billable expenses and items as income? If you’re not sure, ask us. And if you’ve set up sales tax in QuickBooks and want to add that to billable items, check that box, too. When you’ve finished with these and the other questions under Bills and expenses, click Save.
 
Now is the time to focus on the importance of cash flow and vendor relationships by maintaining good vendor payable records. You want to keep your relationships with your suppliers in good status. If you’re having trouble tracking cash flow or dealing with any other element of your accounting (or QuickBooks itself), please do contact us. We want to support you through this difficult period as much as we can.

How to Use Rules in QuickBooks Online Transactions

How to Use Rules in QuickBooks Online Transactions
 
Maintaining your transaction registers conscientiously leads to a clearer understanding of your finances.
 
Last month, we talked about the types of best practices that can lead to more effective use of QuickBooks Online and, ultimately, more thorough knowledge of your finances. The first one was this: Go through your new transactions every day. Categorizing and otherwise expanding on the data brought in by your financial institutions really pays off when it comes to customer billing, reports, and taxes.
 
Granted, this habit will add time to your daily accounting chores. But there’s a tool on the site that can greatly accelerate this process: Rules. This feature must be used with care to avoid mischaracterizing or, worse, losing track of critical transactions. Here’s how it works.
 
Creating Rules
 
There are two ways to create Rules. The easiest is to start with an existing transaction. Hover over Banking in the left vertical pane and select Banking to open your transaction list. Be sure that you’re looking at transactions that are still For review, as these are the only ones that can be assigned to Rules.
 
Click on a transaction to open its expanded view. At the bottom of the small window that just opened, click on Create rule from this transaction. A screen like this will open:
 
QuickBooks Online’s Rules feature allows you to automatically document transactions that meet certain conditions.
 
Let’s say you own a lawn and garden maintenance company. You always order supplies from the same vendor, so there are numerous transactions every month. You want QuickBooks Online to automatically categorize and clear transactions under $250; above that, and you’d want to see them individually.
 
You’d start by naming the rule, designating it as Money out or Money in, and choosing an account (or leaving this option set at All bank accounts). Next, tell QuickBooks Online whether the conditions you’re about to establish should apply to all or any. That is, if you’re setting multiple conditions, is it all right if just one meets the criteria, or must they all?
 
Below that, you’d specify the actual conditions that must be present for QuickBooks Online to handle similar transactions in the same way. In our example pictured above:
  • The transaction [Description] [is exactly] Lawn and Garden Supply LLC, and,
  • The [Amount] [is less than] $250.
So, any transaction that comes into QuickBooks Online from your bank that has Lawn and Garden Supply LLC in the Description field and which is for less than $250 will be treated similarly.  There are other options for the first two fields; you’ll find them by clicking the down arrow.
 
Now you have to tell QuickBooks Online what to do with the transactions that meet those criteria. Farther down on this screen, you’ll see these options:
 
QuickBooks Online will handle the transactions that meet the conditions you set by completing these fields.
 
Using the drop-down lists of options, you’ll select the Transaction Type, Payee, Category, and Class (if you use them). Every time a transaction comes in that meets the conditions you defined above, QuickBooks Online will apply these options.
 
Finally, you’ll have to choose from two different ways of processing these matching transactions. You can have QuickBooks Online Auto-categorize and auto-add, in which case the transactions will be automatically processed and moved out of the For review queue. In our example, we chose this so we didn’t have to work with transactions of less than $250; we only wanted to see more expensive purchases. If we had wanted QuickBooks Online to fill in those fields but still show us the transactions, we would have clicked in front of Auto-categorize and manually review. Clicking Save would move this Rule into a list that could be accessed by clicking Banking | Rules, where you can Edit or Delete them.
 
Complicated Stuff
 
To recap, because of the Rule that was created here, any transaction in which the Description reads Lawn and Garden Supply LLC and which is for less than $250 will now be auto-completed and moved out of For Review. Any transaction for over that amount will remain in the queue for approval.
 
QuickBooks Online’s Rules can save time if you have a large volume of similar transactions. But if they’re not created with absolute accuracy, you risk mischaracterizing or missing transactions you should have reviewed before adding them to the Reviewed queue. We’d be happy to help here to ensure that that doesn’t happen, so that you can take full advantage of the helpful Rules feature.

Are You Following Best Practices in QuickBooks Online?

“Best practices” are recommendations for the most effective way to get things done. Are you following standard procedures in QuickBooks Online?

 
Habits can be good things when you’re talking about getting through the workday successfully. You might have developed a habit of responding to emails quickly and preparing checklists before you go into meetings. Maybe you schedule your most challenging work for high-energy times of the day and leave less-demanding tasks for those times when you’re not as chipper.
 
It’s easy to fall into habits with QuickBooks Online, too. You might follow the same workflow pattern every day simply because that’s the way you’ve always done things. There’s nothing wrong with that – as long as you’re incorporating as many of the site’s best practices as you can. That is, you’ve made a habit of taking actions that will lead to the most effective use of QuickBooks Online.
 
Here are four habits we think you should consider developing if you haven’t already.
 

Go through your new transactions every day:

 
One of the five best things about QuickBooks Online is its ability to connect to your financial accounts and import transactions regularly. But this feature is only useful if you review your recently-downloaded transactions every day. Wait too much longer than that, and it will become too overwhelming.
We recommend you review your account transactions every day and complete any of the fields necessary.
 
To view an account register, you’d click Banking in the left vertical pane, and then click on the desired account at the top of the screen. When you select a transaction, a small window like the (partial) one pictured above drops down and displays your options. If you have not worked with defining and clearing downloaded transactions before, we can provide guidance here. It’s complicated.
 

Always assign categories to expenses:

 
You’ll get out of QuickBooks Online what you put into it. That is, the more conscientious you are about completing records and transactions thoroughly, the more helpful your reports will be. It’s especially important that you assign categories to expenses and mark them as billable or not. Those categorized expenses will be very important as you’re preparing your company’s income taxes. And you want to be sure that customers are billed for expenses you incur on their behalf.
 

Run aging reports once or twice a week:

 
QuickBooks Online can help you keep up with money owed to you and money you owe, but you have to take the time to stay current with that information. The site’s Dashboard provides the dollar total for unpaid invoices and links to a list, but it doesn’t tell you what bills of your own may be coming due – or are late.
 
We recommend you run at least two reports at the beginning and end of the week: Accounts Receivable Aging Summary and Accounts Payable Aging Summary. You can modify these reports by clicking the Customize button, but they should be good as is. You don’t want to see any numbers in any columns except the first one (Current). If you see any beyond that, it means that either incoming or outgoing payments are overdue. Click on any number to see the transactions behind it.
 

Set reorder points on inventory items.

 
Inventory-tracking in QuickBooks Online is complicated. We can help you understand it.
 
Keep an eagle eye on your product inventory levels. When you create an item record (Sales | Products and Services | New), be sure to enter a Reorder point. The Products and Services page tells you how many items have Low Stock or are Out of Stock. You can also see the Qty on Hand and Reorder Point in the table below those numbers.
 
Warning: Inventory-tracking is an advanced feature of QuickBooks Online. If you need these tools, contact us about scheduling some time to go over them thoroughly.
 

More to Implement

 
There are many other best practices that we’d recommend for your use of QuickBooks Online. Several of them have to do with reports, one of the site’s capabilities that is particularly robust but which many businesses don’t fully engage in because some of them are difficult to analyze. These include standard financial reports like Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows.
 
You’ll need these reports if you apply for financing or want to share information about your company’s financial health with a third party. The insight they provide can also be useful to you in making business decisions. We’d be happy to create and analyze these for you on a regular basis, or to consult with you on any other aspect of QuickBooks Online that is perplexing.

5 Things You Need to Know About Sales Taxes in QuickBooks Online

The most important thing you need to know about sales tax is that administering it correctly can be challenging.
 
If you sold only one type of product to customers in one city, collecting and paying sales tax would be easy. But most businesses have a wider reach than that.
 
QuickBooks Online offers tools that allow you to set up sales tax rates and include sales tax on sales forms. Further, it calculates how much you must pay to state and local taxing agencies.
 
This is one of the most complicated areas in QuickBooks Online because you may have to deal with numerous taxing agencies. If you’re not already working with sales taxes, we strongly recommend you let us help you get everything set up correctly from the start. Taxing agencies can audit your recordkeeping and you want to make sure it is set up correctly.
 
That said, here are five things we think you should know.
 

QuickBooks Online calculates sales tax rates based on:

  • Where you sell. Every state is different. If your business is located in Florida and you sell to a customer in Minnesota, you’ll be charging any sales tax levied by the state of Minnesota and possibly the city and county and other taxing authorities – if you have a connection, a “nexus” in that state (a physical location, active salesperson, etc.). 
  • What you sell. 
  • To whom you sell. Some customers (like nonprofit organizations) do not have to pay sales tax. You’ll need to edit their customer records to reflect this in QBO. Open a customer record and click the Edit link in the upper right. Click the Tax info tab and make sure there’s no checkmark in the box that says This customer is taxable. The Default tax code will be grayed out, and you can enter Exemption details in that field. 
 
 
Customer records for exempt organizations should contain details for that exemption. You’ll need to see their exemption certificate or at least know its official number.
 

Intuit now offers a revamped version of QuickBooks Online’s sales tax features.

 
At some point, you’ll be asked if you want to switch to the new, more automated system. The actual mechanics of the process are simple, but you’ll be moving historical and in-process data to a new structure. If you have sales tax set up right now and your situation is at all complicated, you’re going to want our help with the transition.
 
This enhanced feature only supports accrual accounting.
 

You can combine individual tax rates.

 
If you are required to pay city, county, and state sales tax rates for a particular customer, for example, you can create a Combined tax rate that contains all of the individual components. The customer will only see the total on an invoice or sales receipt, but QuickBooks Online will track each one accordingly for payment and reporting purposes
 
 
You can combine sales tax rates in QuickBooks Online (image above from current Sales Tax Center in QuickBooks Online, not the enhanced one).
 

Product and service records should contain sales tax information.

 
This is another area that will require some research. Just as some services are subject to tax, some products are not (like groceries in Arizona). So, you’ll need to find out what the rules are for what you sell. You can find this information on the website of the state’s Department of Revenue (sometimes called the Department of Taxation).
 
Once you know, you can record that status in QuickBooks Online. Open a product record by going to Sales | Products and Services and clicking Edit in the Action column or create a new one by clicking New in the upper right. Scroll down to Sales tax category in the record. You can choose between Taxable – standard rate and Nontaxable.
 
There’s a third option here: special category. This gets complicated. We can help you determine whether it applies to you.
 

QuickBooks Online tracks the sales tax you owe.

 
You can see what you owe to each agency by running the Sales Tax Liability Report, and record payments when you’ve made them. Summary and detail versions of the Taxable Sales report are also available.
 
Once you get sales taxes set up in QuickBooks Online, it’s easy to add them to the relevant sales forms. Getting to that point, though, takes time, study, and careful attention to detail. If you’re getting ready to sell, or you’re already selling and struggling with sales taxes, let us know. We can schedule an initial consultation to see how we can be of assistance.

Still Dealing with 2019 in QBO? Clearing the Way for 2020

If you have a nagging feeling this month that you’re not caught up with your accounting tasks, it’s time to clean up your unfinished 2019 work.
 
It would be great if you could have closed out 2019 knowing that you were all caught up with your accounting work. You sent all your invoices, paid all your bills, and wrapped everything up with a series of reports and a proverbial bow.
 
Unfortunately, December rarely goes that way. You’re making last-minute adjustments for your taxes. Dealing with the holiday rush if you’re a retailer. Handling end-of-year employee issues, trying to make your monthly sales quotas, and doing something special to make your customers feel appreciated at this time of year.
 
On top of your daily accounting work, you’re feeling pressure in December to get a clear picture of your finances for the entire year. Then the holidays hit, and suddenly you’re ringing in the New Year without having had time for that.
 
Here are five things you can do clean up 2019 and make way for 2020.
 

1. Create two critical A/R reports: Accounts Receivable Aging Summary and Open Invoices.

This may make you feel both better and worse. On the bright side, you’ll know where you stand in terms of who owes you what and how big the problem is. On the other hand, you may find it disheartening to see how many payments are past due. These reports are easy to find. Click Reports in the left vertical pane and scroll down to Who owes you.
 
 
The Open Invoices report can show you quickly who’s past due.
 
Now would be an excellent time, too, to develop some strategies to be proactive and keep your accounts receivable more up to date in 2020. We’d be happy to sit down with you and help you with this difficult task.
 

2. Create two critical A/P reports: Accounts Payable Aging Summary and Unpaid Bills.

Add “Stay Current with Bills” to your list of 2020 goals. But first, you have to see where you stand right now. Click Reports again and scroll down to What you owe.
 
Who is responsible for paying bills? If it’s you, maybe it’s time to hand over that task to someone without your managerial responsibilities who can make it a priority.
 

3. Create statements for all customers who are past due.

Things slip for your customers toward the end of the year, too. Give them a chance to catch up. Their invoices might have gotten lost in the year-end confusion, but you need to get current with your accounts receivable. So, send statements to those in arrears.
 
Click +New at the top of the left vertical pane, then go to Other | Statement.
 

4. Clean up your customer and vendor lists.

Customers and vendors come and go, but their QuickBooks records are forever unless you do something about them.You can easily make them inactive – after confirming they have no open activity. Click Sales | Customers in the left vertical pane. Click the box in front of customers you want to make inactive and then click Batch actions | Make inactive.
 
Cleaning up your customer and vendor lists will save you time in the future.
 

5. Always look carefully at your dashboard when you log in.

The block in the upper left corner is the most important here. You can see at a glance how much money you have tied up in unpaid invoices and how much money needs to be deposited. This will help you keep QuickBooks Online cleaned up.
 

More to Do

There are certainly other things you can do to clean up QuickBooks. For example, if you carry inventory, January is a good time to run the Physical Inventory Worksheet report and make some decisions about where your purchasing emphasis should be in 2020. Need help interpreting your product movement and sales priorities? We can help with that.
 
Finally, sometime this month-certainly in the first quarter of 2020-let us create the critical standard financial reports (under For my accountant in Reports) that you could actually generate in QuickBooks Online, but which would be difficult for you to analyze. These are the reports you would need if you were going to apply for a loan, for example, or request a business valuation. But the insight they provide can give you a sophisticated overview of your finances.

Have You Explored QuickBooks Online’s New 2019 Features?

Intuit keeps innovating. Here are some of the changes the company introduced for QuickBooks Online in 2019.
 
Whether you can see them now or not, Intuit added and enhanced a ton of new features in 2019. Some of you may not see all of them until 2020, since the company typically rolls them out slowly.
 
So, if you’re not in one of the first waves of users, we want you to know what’s coming. It may also be that your version of QuickBooks Online has incorporated the changes, but you just haven’t noticed them. Here’s a rundown of what’s in store for everyone on the horizon.
 

A new location for the Create button

 
Previously, you clicked on the +(plus) sign in the upper right corner to open the Create window (invoice, sales receipt, bill, single time activity, etc.). Now, you’ll see a button marked +New in the upper left corner.
 

Instant Deposits

 
If you use QuickBooks Online Payments, you’ll be able to have available credit card and bank transfer payments from customers deposited in your bank account within 30 minutes for a 1 percent fee. The funds will be directed to your U.S.-issued Visa or MasterCard debit card.
 

Mileage Tracker

 
This is a tool previously found only in QuickBooks Self-Employed, but QuickBooks Online users will now have access to it. It does just what it sounds like: allows you to track business-related mileage so you’ll have a numerical total to enter when you come to that deduction on your income tax return. You can record trips manually by entering starting and ending addresses (or the total miles). Or, if you’re using the QuickBooks Mobile app, you’ll be able to turn on GPS and let your smartphone record the mileage automatically.
 
QuickBooks Online’s Mileage Tracker allows you to record business miles driven manually or automatically and calculates your tax deduction.
 

New navigation tools in QuickBooks Mobile app

 
You’ve probably gotten used to navigating from a list of features in the QuickBooks Mobile app. You should soon see an entirely different look for navigation that uses icons representing common tasks (Transactions, Expenses, Mileage, etc.). These will appear when you click on the Shortcuts tab. You’ll find the remaining tools under the All tab.
 

Health benefit management

 
QuickBooks Online now allows you to compare, buy, and manage employee health, dental, and vision coverage.
 

Receipt Capture

 
Receipts can be the bane of a business owner’s existence. Many still use the “shoebox” method, tossing receipts in a box and entering them when tax time rolls around. Not a particularly elegant solution. Now, you can snap photos of receipts and move them into QuickBooks Online in one of three ways, by:
  • Scanning through the mobile app.
  • Uploading, then dragging and dropping.
  • Forwarding through email.
 
Receipts are automatically categorized and matched to transactions; if there’s no match, you can create a new transaction. Your receipts appear in the Receipts dashboard under the Banking tab.
 

Multilingual invoicing

 
Do you have international customers? If so, you may be able to send them invoices in their native languages. Besides English, QuickBooks Online now supports French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), and Chinese (traditional).
 
You can now send invoices to customers in any of six languages.
 

One-step contractor payments

 
You can now select trackable details like class, project, and location by making selections from drop-down lists in the contractor payments window.
 

Next-day deposits

 
If you’re a QuickBooks Online Payments subscriber, you’ll be able to get next-day access to payments customers have made to you via credit card or ACH. You’ll have to sign up for this service, and fees apply to ACH payments (1 percent of the total deposit, up to $10).
 

Auto-calculated sales tax

 
QuickBooks Online has streamlined the process of adding sales tax to sales forms – even if you’re a cash-basis business. After you’ve done some initial setup work, QuickBooks Sales Tax will do the necessary calculations and add sales tax automatically.
 

Hello, 2020

 
We hope that 2019 has been a good year for your business, and we wish you the best in 2020. If you’re still struggling to use QuickBooks Online to maximize productivity and make better business decisions, remember that we’re here to help. We can also advise you on any of the new features Intuit has introduced. Contact us anytime to set up a consultation.