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Archive for the category “QuickBooks”

Why did my QuickBooks closing date mysteriously change?

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!

 

 

How do I get rid of the zeros on my Profit & Loss?

Great question! First off, let me explain why these are here. Accounts with no activity during the period will not show up on the P&L. Accounts with activity during the period will show up on the P&L… even if the total balance is zero. If you want to hide those zero balance accounts, here’s what you do:

Open the Profit & Loss report. Click on CUSTOMIZE REPORT in the upper left hand corner. You’ll be on the DISPLAY tab. Now, click on the ADVANCED button to open the Advanced Options window. Under DISPLAY ROWS, select the NON-ZERO radio button. Click okay. Click okay again.

Any accounts with zero balances should now be gone. This is a nice way to ‘tidy up’ your Profit & Loss report when it needs to be distributed. Note: this also works with a Trial Balance report.

QuickBooks Canada 2013 R7 released. Goodbye, Samples of Common Payroll Items…

UPDATE: Apparently the problems plaguing the R7 update in the US could be problems in Canada as well. According to tech support, the R8 update (payroll) will be released by the end of June. It is advised that you wait!

QuickBooks released their 2013 R7 update this week. If you’ve selected the option for automatic updates, you should be prompted to install the update when you open QuickBooks. The other option is to manually install the R7 update. Here’s a link to the instructions as well as the R7 release notes:

How to manually install QuickBooks 2013 updates

The R7 update includes the July 2013 (97th Edition) Tax Table, which you’ll need before processing payroll in July. To confirm you have the correct tax table:

Employees > My Payroll Service > Tax Table Information. From there you can click on the Tax Table Info button for more detailed information.

One important thing I noticed about this release is that they’ve removed the Samples of Common Payroll Items guide from the HELP menu! Rather than a handy chart, they now direct you to the CRA website. I’m not a fan of this change! I loved the Samples of Common Payroll Items guide. However, I’ve been told by the folks at Intuit that this change is permanent.

TIP: before updating your file to R7, copy and paste this guide into Word.

That said, it’s always been a good idea to consult the CRA and Service Canada websites when setting up your payroll items. Look for the T4130 Employers’ Guide – Taxable Benefits and Allowances on the CRA website and information about insurable earnings on the  How to Complete the Record of Employment Form on the Service Canada website.

Holy Colour, Batman! QuickBooks 2013 R6 update released in Canada

The R6 update for QuickBooks 2013 is now available for Canadian versions of QuickBooks. If you’ve selected the option for AUTOMATIC UPDATE*, you should be prompted to install the update when you open the program. If not, you can go to HELP > UPDATE QUICKBOOKS > UPDATE NOW and select GET UPDATES. The other option is to manually download the update. Here’s a link to the support page which provides the link, and also, a link to the release notes:

How to manually install QuickBooks 2013 updates

The R6 update introduces the “Company File Colour Scheme” which replaces the “Company Colour Flag” preference. If you use it, it’s suddenly a blast of colour when what you’re used to seeing is a tiny little flag! Orange was okay when it was just a flag, but wow, is it ever bright when it’s the entire title bar! Some of the colours are equally as shocking. I’ve settled on the blue-medium which is fairly easy on the eyes. Here’s where to find it if you don’t have it set: FILE > PREFERENCES > DESKTOP VIEW. Choose the MY PREFERENCES tab and choose a colour under the COMPANY FILE COLOUR SCHEME.

The R6 update also clears up some of the ‘real estate’ issues I was complaining about in an earlier post, along with several other fixes and improvements, many for the Enterprise version. The release notes don’t say anything about the “Fatal Application Exit,” which I continue to get pretty much every day I’m working in QuickBooks. Here’s what Intuit says about the problem:

Error: QBW32.EXE – Aborting Application: QuickBooks is now terminating when working in 2013

I’m still anxiously waiting for the new feature where I have the ability to collapse specific sub-accounts on financial reports to show up in Accountant Edition and Premier and not just Pro!

*NOTE: to set your copy of QuickBooks for AUTOMATIC UPDATE, go to                      HELP > UPDATE QUICKBOOKS > OPTIONS and select the YES radio button next to AUTOMATIC UPDATE. You can also choose whether to used a SHARED DOWNLOAD if you’re in a multi-user environment.

Loss of laptop real estate in QuickBooks 2013

If you don’t seem to have a lot of useful ‘real estate’ when working on forms in QuickBooks, your computer resolution could be to blame. I personally find working on my laptop very frustrating because I have so few lines of detail on the bottom of forms. Here’s what Intuit Canada says about the issue:

Missing Buttons on Write Cheques Window

Laptop or not, it seems like I spend a lot of time in 2013 moving, maximizing, collapsing, expanding, resizing, supersizing…you get the picture. One of my biggest complaints about certain windows is the fact they can barely be minimized from the top and bottom. This drives me crazy. You can minimize the sides, but that’s not where the SAVE buttons are at. They’re at the BOTTOM, and I should be able to minimize the window from the top and bottom! And the really weird thing? This seems to act differently at every different computer I sit down at. Tip: holding down the shift key while opening certain windows – for example, ‘Make Deposits’ – does help a bit with downsizing.

One last thing. I love the new feature where I have the ability to collapse specific sub-accounts on the financial reports. But I am completely at a loss why they would add this feature to PRO and not PREMIER. Is this a mistake? Technical support couldn’t give me an answer, and no one has really mentioned it on any of the forums. First time I can remember where a feature in Pro is not available in Premier!

QuickBooks R5 update released in Canada (but it doesn’t fix the T4 duplicating address bug)

The R5 update for QuickBooks 2013 was released on Friday for Canadian versions of QuickBooks. If you’ve selected the option for automatic update, you should be prompted to install the update when you open the program. Strangely, this didn’t happen for me, even though my preference is set to automatic. What I did instead is go to HELP > UPDATE QUICKBOOKS > UPDATE NOW. The other option is to manually download the R5 update, so here’s a link to the support page which has the link, and also, a link to release notes:

How to manually install QuickBooks 2013 updates

I was hoping the R5 update would fix the T4 address glitch, but it hasn’t. The problem is that employee addresses – modified after installing QB 2013 – seem to have duplicated themselves on the T4. Canada Post is aware of this problem and the T4s will be delivered with no problems. However, if you don’t have too many forms and/or the glitch is bothersome, you might consider this fix: place a period (.) on the second address line. It takes the place of the duplicated address on the T4. Tiny but mighty!

And here’s an important note. If you’ve had address issues with employees (and even if you haven’t), please check your COMPANY INFORMATION window before issuing T4s to make sure the address is correct. I’ve seen several data files where the company address had duplicated itself quite strangely as well.

One last word of advice. Always check over your T4s very carefully. Run the T4 Summary report and an Employee Summary Earnings report to cross check all figures. This morning I’m having an issue with Box 24 showing the same random amount of $50 for all employees. This is very peculiar. I’m thankful I can manually update Box 24 so I can get these processed.

QuickBooks and the Case of the Disappearing Penny!

When I was a little girl, my dad used to buy a bag of uncirculated pennies every year and stow them in a secret hiding place in our home. Not sure what ever became of those pennies, but he sure collected a lot of them. This likely inspired my fondness for coins. I have a tiny collection of my own, and to this day, I’m often treasure hunting my loose change. Also when I was little, I couldn’t get enough of the Encyclopedia Brown novels. Solving those tricky mysteries kept me busy on many a dreary winter day. For Leroy Brown, no case was too small, and so, I’d like to offer you my rounding workarounds in QuickBooks and the Case of the Disappearing Penny!

On February 4th, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to Canadian banks, and Canadian businesses will be “encouraged” to begin rounding cash transactions to the nearest nickel.  Apparently, “encouraged” means when “pennies aren’t available.” We’ll soon see how business will interpret this change. In any case, all debit card, cheque, and credit card transactions will continue to be processed at their exact amount. No rounding here. It’s when cold, hard CASH is involved that things will be different. If your cash transaction ends in one, two, six, or seven cents, you round down. If your cash transaction ends in three, four, eight or nine cents, you round up. Fear not…the government isn’t trying to scam you and there’s no effect on GST/HST. It’s simply a rounding issue. Check out this informative article from the Department of Finance for more information: http://www.fin.gc.ca/1cent/index-eng.asp

PennyGraph01_e

So – does your POS provider have this all figured out? What about your financial software? I personally don’t have a lot of clients that deal in cash outside of a POS system, so I’m counting on those POS guys to figure this out! But for those of you who use QuickBooks and need to know what to do, here are some ideas that I’ve come up with. I welcome your comments and other workarounds. (Just don’t be all Bugs Meany about it!)

But first, a humble plea to the Intuit programmers. Someone at Intuit needs to implement a ROUNDING button so I don’t have to work so hard! LOL! However, I don’t think that’s in the cards just yet. Perhaps one day. In the meantime, here are my:

DISAPPEARING PENNY WORKAROUNDS

Complete these two simple steps and you’ll be all set up for rounding, up and down, on sales and purchases.

STEP ONE

You’re going to need a new EXPENSE ACCOUNT on your chart of accounts. Go ahead and set up an “Other Expense” account called ROUNDING.

Rounding Other Expense

STEP TWO

You’re going to need a new two-sided ITEM called ROUNDING. Set it up as an “Other Charge” item and point it to the ROUNDING expense account on both sides.

Rounding Item

PART I. SALES

OPTION ONE – ROUNDING AT THE BANKING LEVEL

Whether you issue an INVOICE or a SALES RECEIPT, rounding will always be done    in the MAKE DEPOSITS window. Do not adjust for rounding on the sales forms themselves, only in the MAKE DEPOSITS window. Here are the examples:

INVOICE

To receive payment on an Invoice and account for rounding, create Invoice and Receive Payment as you normally would. Make sure you ‘DEPOSIT TO’ the UNDEPOSITED FUNDS account (if you deposit straight to the CASH account, you won’t be able to adjust for rounding).

Inv to UFpng

Choose “MAKE DEPOSITS” from the Banking menu, select the correct payment(s), and adjust for rounding:

Make Deposit Round Down Invoice

SALES RECEIPT

To adjust for rounding on a Sales Receipt, create Sales Receipt as you normally would. In the DEPOSIT TO window, you can choose either the CASH account or UNDEPOSITED FUNDS. I will use the UNDEPOSITED FUNDS account for this example, to be consistent:

Bobby Jones Cash SR

Choose “MAKE DEPOSITS” from the Banking menu, select the correct payment(s), and adjust for rounding:

Bobby Jones Dep round up

NOTE: For Sales Receipts only, you can choose to DEPOSIT TO your CASH account. The only difference here is that next step won’t be to MAKE DEPOSITS, as the deposit is already entered. Find the deposit and edit for rounding.

What is key to remember is that you will always adjust for rounding in the MAKE DEPOSITS window.

PROS: The above method of rounding is easily handled at the banking level. You can combine several customer payments into one deposit. Does NOT affect Line 101 of your sales tax return.

CONS: The Invoices and Sales Receipts you give to your customers do not show the rounding. Could be easy to lose track of what’s been rounded.

OPTION TWO – ROUNDING AT THE SALES FORM LEVEL

Use the ROUNDING item you set up in step two to adjust for rounding directly on your Invoices and Sales Receipts. Although it affects Line 101 of a Sales Tax Return, I prefer this method. Here’s what an Invoice rounded up will look like:

Rounding Up on Invoice

And here’s what a Sales Receipt rounded down will look like:

Rounding Down Sales Receipt ii

What is key to remember is that you will always adjust for rounding directly on the SALES RECEIPT or INVOICE.

PROS: The above method of rounding is easily handled at the sales form level. You’ll never forget if you’ve rounded or not. Most importantly, the customers gets a form that shows the rounding.

CONS: This method will change Line 101 of your sales tax return by the total amount of all rounding done on sales forms for the period. For some businesses, this will be only a few pennies and hence, immaterial. Despite this hitch, there’s no effect on Line 109 Net Tax – the amount owing for GST/HST remains correct.

PART II. PURCHASES

If you receive a receipt from a vendor that’s been adjusted for rounding, here’s a way to enter that cash purchase into QuickBooks using a cheque. You can use a bill in the same manner. Let’s say you buy some office supplies for $32.97. You pay the rounded amount of $32.95. Enter the cheque as you normally would, selecting the correct CASH account, DATE, and VENDOR. In the AMOUNT box, record the rounded amount. Tab down to your expense area. On the first line, select the ROUNDING Expense account. Then enter the amount of the rounding. In this example, we’re rounding down. Enter -.02 and use the Z tax item. Then, if you simply tab to the next line, QuickBooks will automatically fill in the rest of your numbers including GST/HST.

Rounding Down on Cheque w exp tab

You can also use the ITEM tab to enter the expense. You’ll use the ROUNDING item you set up earlier which points to the ROUNDING expense account. The only drawback to using this method is that the second line doesn’t automatically calculate. You’ll have to manually enter the subtotal of your receipt and confirm that the GST/HST amount is correct.

Write Checks w item Rounding Down

Of course, if the vendor issues a receipt for the pre-adjusted amount and the rounding happens “off” the receipt, here’s a super easy way to handle it: adjust your CASH account via journal entry to the ROUNDING Expense account to address the missing/extra pennies.

These are not perfect workarounds, but they’ll do until we get that awesome ROUNDING button I’m hoping for! What will you do with your extra pennies? Save, spend, or donate to charity?

Clever trick to unapply a customer credit in QuickBooks

CUSTOMERS & CREDIT MEMOS:

Open the CREDIT MEMO you wish to unapply, and temporarily change the name of the CUSTOMER:JOB – any name will do. SAVE. This will unapply the credit. Then, change the name on the CREDIT MEMO back to the correct CUSTOMER:JOB. The credit memo is once again fully available and you can apply as you’d like.

It’s official…I’ve been voted CANADA’S SUPERSTAR BOOKKEEPER!

http://www.c2online.ca/Home/BookkeeperSuperstarsCanada.aspx

Thanks for your votes, everyone! This is an incredible honor!

It’s here! Intuit Canada announces release of QuickBooks 2013!

http://quickbooks.intuit.ca/accounting-software/compare-quickbooks-editions.jsp

And if you’re in the US, you can find the 2013 product link here:

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/small-business-software.jsp

I was fortunate enough to be able to beta test versions from both Canada and the US this year, which I really enjoyed. There are some interesting new features, most noticeably, the overall look. Personally, I love most of the changes with a couple small exceptions. It will be exciting to hear from users what they think of the new changes!

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