Several months ago, I was consulting with a Canadian client in a 3-user networked environment. Before leaving, I set the closing date to March 31, 2012. They called me a couple days later saying two users were being asked to override a closing date of Dec 12, 2012. Whaat? I was sure I set the correct date. I went back and reset the closing date to March 31, 2012. We tested it out but had the same issue. The closing date had again mysteriously changed to Dec 12, 2012. What was going on?
I’ve never seen this problem south of the border, but north of the border? As of this week, three times! At first I was completely perplexed, but I finally figured out why this was happening. The regional date settings on your computers don’t match! The reason I’ve never seen it in the United States is that new computers are preloaded with the date preferences set to be Month/Day/Year. Everyone matches. In Canada, it seems like some computers are preloaded with the date preferences Month/Day/Year but many others are set with the format Day/Month/Year (silly, and one of my pet peeves… it should be written the way we say it! But that’s a rant for another blog post…)! In addition, users like myself sometimes change the date settings to the ‘US’ format. So not everyone in the network matches. Since the date format of the computer that initially set the closing date doesn’t save to the data file, any computer in the network that has a different date format will cause QuickBooks to get confused!
The solution? Make sure all computers in a networked environment are set with the same date regional date settings. Again, I prefer the Month/Day/Year setting myself, but the critical thing is that all the computers have matching regional date settings. If you’re using Windows 7, here’s how to locate the date preference: Start > Control Panel > Region and Language.
Now, if we could just get businesses to be consistent about dates on receipts. This was never a problem in California, but in Canada, it sure gets confusing when a receipt is dated 6/7/13 and it’s entered a few weeks later!