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How do I enter the Small Business Job Credit refund into QuickBooks or QBO?

This week, I’ve been noticing that the Job Credits for Small Business have been appearing in many of my customers’ CRA online accounts. I haven’t seen any refund cheques or deposits yet, but those should be starting to roll in soon.

You might remember the Hiring Credit for Small Business (HCSB) that was around for several years and ended in 2013. This is similar. One notable different is that the CRA will be sending out the refunds rather than having small businesses apply the credits to an upcoming payment.

What’s the Small Business Job Credit?

The Small Business Job Credit will effectively lower small businesses’ Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from the current legislated rate of $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015 and 2016. Any firm that pays employer EI premiums equal to or less than $15,000 in those years will be eligible for the credit. Almost 90% of all EI premium-paying businesses in Canada will receive the credit, reducing their EI payroll taxes by nearly 15%.

Source: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-120-eng.asp

How will I get the credit?

No action necessary. The Canada Revenue Agency will automatically calculate the credit, meaning no paperwork for you.

The credit will not be carried forward. You will receive a refund by direct deposit (if you’ve signed up for it) or mailed cheque less any outstanding amounts on your account.

This credit can be entered as income or as a reduction in your EI expense.

How do I enter this into QuickBooks?

Banking > Make Deposits

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How do I enter this into QBO?

Plus Sign > Bank Deposit

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For more information about the Small Business Job Credit, check out http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/whtsnw/tms/sbjc-eng.html

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Holiday bonus? What you must know if you’re issuing bonus cheques using QBO Payroll.

THE PROBLEM:

I wrote a bonus paycheque using QBO Payroll and the calculations are wrong.

A NOTE:

Intuit payroll engineers are aware of this issue and are working on a resolution.

THE SCENARIO:

It’s December, a time for staff parties, office treats, and hopefully… bonuses! Today I sat down to issue one such paycheque in QBO. The president of the company wants to pay her hard-working husband a net discretionary bonus of $6000, so this will need to be grossed up. This employee is maxed out on his CPP contributions for the year and doesn’t contribute to EI. His federal and provincial TD1 amounts are set to the 2015 default amounts. His vacation policy is set to pay 9.6% each pay period. Discretionary bonuses are not vacationable in any of the provinces. If you want to confirm this, please check with your provincial department of labour. And make sure you know the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary bonuses (which are vacationable).

There are two ways to pay bonuses in QBO. The first way is to select ‘bonus’ as a pay type when setting up (or editing) the employee. I suggest using this method if you want to include non-discretionary bonuses on regular paycheques. The second way is to simply select Bonus only from the Run Payroll drop down menu when you want to issue a bonus.

Using the second method, I started a Bonus only payroll. Next, I chose to enter the bonus amount As net pay and clicked Continue. I entered $6,000 as the net bonus and realized that QBO is calculating gross pay in the amount of $14,658.38 which is not correct. If you recall, the employee is maxed out on CPP and EI, so the ‘grossed up’ amount of $8,082.38 is all income tax.

Additionally, QBO is calculating and adding vacation pay on the incorrect gross amount. No vacation pay should be added as discretionary bonuses are not vacationable. Unfortunately, there is no way to edit the paycheque to correct for either of these issues.

NOTE: I tried the same procedure using As gross pay and it appears that this is working correctly in terms of the income tax calculation. However, it is still adding vacation pay, which is incorrect.

THE FIX:

1. First, let’s add a new bonus policy:

From the Gear menu, choose Payroll Settings. Choose Vacation / Sick / PTO. From the Vacation and Sick Leave Policies box, choose Create to set up a new zero vacation item policy. Choose Vacation for the Category, use Bonus Zero for the description, select the Paid out each pay period radio button, add 0.0 to the Percent of pay earned. Click OK.

Holiday_Bonus_1Holiday_Bonus_2Holiday_Bonus_3

2. Next, let’s add the policy to the employee profile:

Choose Employees from the left hand navigation bar. Click on the name of the employee. Click on the blue pencil icon to the right of the word Pay. On number 4, use the drop down menu to select the Bonus Zero policy we added in step #1. Click Done on the bottom right.

3. Let’s pay the employee:

Run the bonus payroll by selecting Bonus only from the Run payroll drop down menu. Choose As net pay or As gross pay and click Continue. Select the employee(s) getting a bonus, and add the amount of the bonus (or net bonus) to the $ field. You can also add a memo if you want. Review the cheque by clicking on the blue pencil icon on the right. Confirm that the amounts are okay and click OK. You will return to the previous screen. Confirm the bank account and the pay date and select Preview payroll. On the next screen choose Submit payroll. On the next screen enter the cheque number and print pay stubs. Click Finish payroll.

4. Return the employee back to the original vacation policy:

Choose Employees from the left hand navigation bar. Click on the name of the employee. Click on the blue pencil icon to the right of the word Pay. On number 4, use the drop down menu to select the original vacation policy. Click Done on the bottom right.

SUMMARY:

This is my experience only. Yours may differ due to the many possible options in the company file, the payroll settings, and the employee profile. Use the CRA Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) to calculate and compare figures if in doubt. And as always, consider trying it out in the test drive file first.

How the Print later feature works in QBO

Today I searched like crazy for the Print later box while creating an invoice in QBO. I double checked my Company Settings to make sure that my preferred delivery method was Print later. It was. But all I could see was the Send later box at the top of the invoice. After some exploring, I finally found the Print later box. Click on the Print or Preview option at the bottom of the invoice, and you’ll see a check mark box:

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HOW TO BATCH PRINT IN QBO

Once I had confirmed that my invoices were selected to be printed later, I went to find the print queue. But there isn’t one! Well, at least not like there is in desktop. Here’s how this functions in QBO. I’m using Chrome which is the preferred QBO browser.

First, go to Transactions on the left hand navigation bar. From the drop down menu, choose Sales. Click Filter. Choose Invoices for Type and Print later for Delivery Method. Click Apply.

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This will show you all the invoices in your print queue. Simply choose the invoices you’d like to print by checking them off and selecting Print transactions from the Batch actions drop down menu.

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Your invoices will open in another Google tab (all of them in the one tab – scroll down to view). Right click to select Print, choose your printer, then click on Print. When you click back over to QBO, notice the following screen. If everything has printed correctly, select Yes. To leave them in the queue, select No.

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HOW TO GET RID OF INVOICES YOU DON’T WANT TO PRINT

Use this same method to remove invoices from the queue you don’t intend to print. Choose the invoices you want removed from the queue by checking them off. Choose Print transactions from the Batch actions. The invoices will open in another Google tab, just like in the previous example. Instead of printing, you’re going to close the tab that just opened. This takes you back to QBO and the message that appears in the screenshot above. You will be asked if you want to mark the selected transactions as printed. Say Yes. Your print queue should now be empty.

The nice thing about doing this in QBO (as opposed to desktop) is that you don’t have to ‘cheat’ printing the invoices to a PDF file. Note that this also works with sales receipts and expense transactions.

What to do about a blank page in QBO

QB Tip of the Day Blank Page

Take QBO Canada for a test drive!

Don’t turn on multi-currency in QBO by accident!

Don't turn on Multi-currency by Accident!

QuickBooks Desktop to Online Conversion – Canada

Many Canadian ProAdvisors I talk to are excited about QuickBooks Online (QBO), but a common complaint has been that there is no conversion tool. EXCITING NEWS! It appears that the conversion tool is now available from right inside a desktop file. These are my early observations, as there isn’t much information available on the tool as of the date of this blog post.

HOW TO USE THE CONVERSION TOOL:

1. Open the desktop data file using QuickBooks 2014 R4. IMPORTANT: If you’re using the Accountant edition, you need to toggle to the Pro or Premier edition. 2/25/14 UPDATE: The conversion tool is now available from the Accountant edition of QuickBooks desktop.

2. Under the COMPANY menu, go to the bottom and select EXPORT COMPANY FILE TO QUICKBOOKS ONLINE. If you don’t see this, you need to toggle to the Pro or Premier edition.

3. Click CONTINUE on the next window. The data is checked. NOTE: If you are using multiple currency, this conversion tool will not work. Also unavailable (but I’m not sure if any of these prevent a conversion): custom sales form templates, price levels, progress invoicing, multiple sales tax rates, inventory tracking.

4. You are prompted to sign in to your Intuit account or create a new account. I used my QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) credentials (although please note this doesn’t mean the company will appear in my QBOA dashboard – I still have to invite myself as an accountant user).

5. You are asked if you want to replace an existing QuickBooks Online company file or create a new one. I chose to create a new company (which sets up a 30-day free trial of a QuickBooks Online Plus company).  2/25/14 UPDATE Creating the company in QBO FIRST lets you choose which version.

6. QuickBooks begins the export. This step takes a few minutes. Soon a new window opens saying you will receive an email when your data is ready.

7. Open your email and sign in to your QBO account. Voila! There’s the file!

OBSERVATIONS:

Right now it’s all or none – there’s no option to select a certain period of data.

I tried this with the Pro Hockey School sample file in QuickBooks Pro 2014 R4P (I’m not sure if the tool is available in earlier releases). The data came across beautifully and just as it was entered in the desktop file. I compared the P&L and Balance Sheet from desktop to online and they are an exact match. The GST/HST filing history is correct and the upcoming period is intact. Payroll is correct. Reconciled transactions are marked correctly. 2/25/14 UPDATE: Before converting, make sure you have the latest release by going to Help > Update QuickBooks.

I also tried this with the Pro Hockey School sample file in QuickBooks 2013 R8P+U. However, this opened a US data file and much of the data did not come across correctly. Don’t do this using the 2013 version! 2/25/14 UPDATE: This now works with 2012 and above and converts into a Canadian file.

If you are serious about converting a client, I would probably try this out using your own email address to make sure the tool works. Then, I would call the Intuit Inbound Sales Team to have them set up a proper QBO account for your client, making sure the subscription level is correct (though I’m not sure if you can convert to anything other than the QuickBooks Online Plus version) and to make sure you’re getting the best available discount (ProAdvisors may be able to receive perpetual discounts on behalf of their clients).

2/25/14 UPDATE: Although all payroll DATA comes across nicely, you will have a few tasks to do in the QBO file in order to begin processing payroll: turn on payroll, complete employee profile information, enter YTD information. 

REVIEW:

My early review is that I’m totally impressed! This took all of five minutes and my data appears to have converted seamlessly. Try it out. Just make sure to check your data very carefully after the conversion. Let me know how it works for you in the comments section below.

The top 10 things you need to know about QuickBooks Online and GST/HST

If you’re just getting starting using QuickBooks Online (QBO), here are a few things to know about GST/HST as of the date of this blog. I’m using the Harmony version.

1.  First things first. You need to set up Sales Tax in order for it to be active in QBO. Select the Sales Tax tab from the menu bar on the left hand side and click on the Set up tax button. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete set up.

Set Up Sales Tax

2. QBO automatically adds two default accounts when setting up GST: GST/HST Payable and GST/HST Suspense. Think of the GST/HST Suspense account as a clearing account. You can even rename it as such. NOTE: You cannot write a cheque that posts directly to the GST/HST Payable account. You can, however, write a cheque that posts directly to the GST/HST Suspense account.

Two Default GST/HST Accounts

3. There are no ‘sales tax items’ in QBO like there are in QuickBooks Desktop. Therefore, journal entries must be entered a bit differently. See #9 below.

4. Completing the Sales Tax Return creates a two-line Journal Entry that simply moves what you owe (or what is owed to you) from GST/HST Payable to GST/HST Suspense. If you create a Payment for that period, you are crediting your bank account and debiting the GST/HST Suspense account. If you create a Refund for that period, you are debiting your bank account and crediting the GST/HST Suspense account.

5. When preparing your return, be careful to set the correct dates and click Refresh to generate an accurate report. Watch for yellow highlighted areas when you prepare a return. If  you have any, stop and review. Double and triple check the dates at the top when about to File Return. This is because…

6. You cannot modify or delete the journal entry that QuickBooks creates when you file a sales tax return. 

Can't Do That

7. Regardless of the date you filed your GST/HST return, QuickBooks uses today’s date for the journal entry that is created when you file a sales tax return. Excel will become indispensable if you’re troubleshooting!

8. When you make a payment (or receive a refund) for a return you just filed, you must be sure to do so by clicking on Record under the Payments column. Do not make a payment using the big blue Record a Payment  button – this is meant for upcoming filings and will create a discrepancy on your next return if used improperly (see #5 – yellow highlighted lines). You’ll know you’re in the wrong payment window if the tax period says Upcoming Filing. Make sure you enter the correct date. I recommend entering a memo as well, for example, “January 2014 Return.” NOTE: when you file a return and create a payment, the payment cannot be printed.

Pay using this button

9. Posting directly to the GST/HST Payable account via journal entry is BAD, even though it’s allowed. Although it will post to the balance sheet account, it won’t show up when you go to file a sales tax return. But don’t panic, Intuit has designed something even better – the ability to assign sales tax to each line of a journal entry. No second independent line for GST/HST needed. When entered this way, it will show up on the return. Accountants commonly post directly to the GST/HST Payable account, so please make sure they know this crucial tip. 

Don't Do This

Do This Instead

10. Made a mistake on your payment and need to change it? You need to delete and re-enter it. But you won’t be able to access the payment from the registers (here you can only view it). You also won’t be able to access it from the View History section of the Sales Tax module. Instead, do this. Use the Advanced Search feature to search for the amount of the payment (see below for suggested filters). Click once on the transaction to open, select delete payment, confirm, then start over using the instructions in #8.

How to Search for a Payment

I hope this article assists you in navigating GST/HST in QuickBooks Online. Please be sure to leave a comment if you have any tips to add. And if you’re really stuck, feel free to contact me to schedule a troubleshooting session.

Brand new Canadian Cloud ProAdvisor Program!

This week, the brand new Cloud ProAdvisor program was announced in Canada. There are some innovative changes happening at Intuit, and this program is one of the most exciting! Here’s what I heard about QBO, QBOA and the Cloud ProAdvisor Program at the launch event in Edmonton this week.

PicMonkey Stone MichelleWhat an honour to have guest speaker Michelle Long talk about QuickBooks Online (QBO) and all the great reasons for switching to the cloud. Michelle was recently in the UK doing QBO training and was also at last week’s VIP Summit. Here are a few of the highlights of QBO that she mentioned; no compatibility issues, frequent updates, work anywhere, anytime, on all your devices, and automatic and redundant back-ups. A great bonus right now is that payroll is now LIVE and FREE until March 2014. Subscription levels for your clients can be found here: Compare QuickBooks Online Editions

With QuickBooks Online Accountant Edition (QBOA), we have FREE access to our clients’ files who subscribe to QBO. There’s nothing for us to purchase! You simply ask your client to invite you to be an accountant user in their file. Something I learned about QBOA that I LOVE is that if you work with clients all around the globe, they will ALL appear in your QBOA home page – no need to create different accounts or profiles for different countries. We can even use a copy of the program for our own books at no charge!

I won’t talk about QBO or QBOA too much more in this blog post, because what I really want to talk about is the NEW CLOUD PROADVISOR PROGRAM!PicMonkey Zac

Zac Parsons, Marketing Manager, Accounting Professionals Division, unveiled the awesome new Cloud ProAdvisor Program. He spoke very candidly about how the ProAdvisor Program has had its struggles over the past couple years. I think the entire room appreciated the fact that he spoke openly and honestly. He said that they haven’t been innovative… that they’ve been flat in terms of what they’ve been able to deliver. But he said that things are changing and Intuit is 100% committed to revolutionizing the ProAdvisor Program. They want to deliver on their promises.

With that, he introduced the new QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor Program. And here are the highlights. The theme again and again was FREE. Benefits include:

1. FREE access to QuickBooks Online Accountant. It’s incredibly easy to sign up!

2. FREE online training webinars.

3. FREE certification test. Opportunity to become QBO certified and get your own logo.

4. FREE QBO training through AccountingCycle. They offer 5 classes for a total of 10 hours of training. And if you want to become certified, they also offer a FREE QuickBooks Online Certification Exam Preparation Webinar. Here’s a link to their website: QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor Certification Training

5. FREE listing on the brand new Find-a-ProAdvisor website. Having certifications will move you to the top of the list. The Find-a-ProAdvisor website will launch on September 23rd.

6. FREE Turnkey Marketing Tools where you can upload your company logo and access customizable templates, banner ads, and more.

7. FREE phone-based support, which will be moving to chat in a couple months. My own experience with the QBO support team has been outstanding.

8. FREE data conversion from Sage to QBO (coming soon). Note: there is currently no conversion tool to transfer a QuickBooks desktop file to QBO… but it’s also in the works!IntuitCloud YEG 128

The one other item Zac talked about was discounts for our clients. Because it’s fairly complex and still a work-in-progress, he couldn’t say much more at this point. But he did promise that the discounts will come this November and they’re greater than they’ve ever been!

Only one thing was missing from the launch event, and that was the mention of ‘Harmony’ – the new look of QBO. Having just come back from the Intuit VIP Summit in California – where ‘Harmony’ was unveiled with much excitement – I totally expected it would be announced here as well. I do understand it will take a while to roll it out across North America, and Intuit Canada probably wants to work out any kinks before making if official. Harmony is the number one reason I’m so excited about QBO and eagerly await the day that ALL QBO customers are using this platform. If you want to take the US version of QBO ‘Harmony’ for a test drive, you can find it here Craig’s Design & Landscaping Services.

Intuit will be hosting several “Find your Freedom in the Cloud” events across Canada in the upcoming weeks. Watch the Intuit Canada website for more information.

So… some incredible opportunities that are basically too good to pass up! Stone de Souza, Senior Marketing Manager, Global Business Division, said that Intuit really wants to reward and incentivize their partners. With QBOA and the Cloud ProAdvisor Program, we’ll have the ability to add value, grow our practice, and serve our customers better. Sounds good to me!

Here’s the link to get started QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor Program.

Intuit VIP Summit 2013. Be inspired!

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Just a few of the guests at last week’s Intuit VIP Summit in California. Here are the international attendees from Canada, India, UK and Australia. Thank you to Margaret Carey for the photo!

Last week I was honored and humbled to be invited to the Intuit VIP Summit in Mountain View, California. The event was attended by QuickBooks Accountants and Influencers from all over the globe. The two Canadian ProAdvisors in attendance were Esther Friedberg Karp and myself. It was definitely the event of a lifetime, and I certainly hope we get asked back.

The evening before the official event, a lovely cocktail reception was held on the ‘Moon and Stars’ patio at the Westin Palo Alto. Two of the first people I had the chance to meet were Charlie Russell and William Murphy, who I’m definitely IN AWE OF. It was a great opportunity to connect with a few of the attendees and some of the folks from Intuit.

DAY ONE was held at the Intuit campus. We had a bit of time for breakfast and socializing, and I got to meet several more QuickBooks ninjas including Doug Sleeter, Michelle Long, the gang from RadioFree QuickBooks, Seth David of Nerd Enterprises, and the incredible team from Intuit. I’m sorry I can’t list all the guests, but one thing is for sure, they are all QB rockstars! It was an absolute thrill to meet so many people I feel like I know because of social media. And speaking of social media, we were encouraged to be active on all platforms and tweet using the hashtag #IntuitSummit. We lit up Twitter like a Christmas tree!

Brad Smith EditAfter an awesome welcome from Senior VP Jill Ward, CEO Brad Smith delivered the key-note address. His speech got the room energized about all the exciting innovation happening at Intuit. We were introduced to the new look of QBO (code name ‘Harmony’). It has an updated look that’s modern and clean (and kind of reminds me of Wave). Intuit is putting a lot of resources into the product, worldwide. Last July, QBO was in five countries. Now it’s in over 100! One of the awesome features is that QBO works with a lot of third-party apps. Brad said that Intuit is a team sport and they value their developers. Someone asked about tech support. Brad said that they are aware of the challenges with tech support and believe deeply that “service matters.” He said their goal is to help us to win, not to eliminate our jobs. And he stressed the fact that Intuit cannot succeed without accounting professionals. I have to say I am COMPLETELY excited about ‘Harmony,’ and I will discuss (and challenge) some of the most common objections about QBO in an upcoming blog.

In the afternoon, we took part in a “Design for Delight” exercise where we had the chance to break into teams and CREATE! There was much energy and laughter, as all seven tables were assigned a challenge to brainstorm specific ideas/solutions for QBO. Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit, sat at each of the tables, listening and observing. The presentations were intriguing, outrageous, and clever. Shortly after our innovation exercise, it was time to depart for the next part of our day-one adventure.

We loaded into buses and were driven up the winding road to the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. We were treated to some excellent wines, delicious appetizers, a stunning view of Silicon Valley, and the “Innovation Showcase,” where we were able to preview some of Intuit’s newest products and meet with Intuit developers at various displays. I was particularly excited to meet Pamela Bailey, Design Lead for the desktop version, who had QuickBooks 2014 on display. She’s from Edmonton, my hometown, and we have mutual friends, so we had lots to cCalifornia (50)hat about. Intuit continues to make improvements to the desktop version, and even with ‘Harmony’ taking center-stage, it definitely won’t be neglected. One thing you’ll appreciate is that the left-icon bar now has color!

As the sun went down, we enjoyed a first-class meal and lively conversation on the patio. The Google Glass was in attendance for anyone who wanted to try it, and a cool 3D printer sent us all home with an Intuit wine bottle key chain. Two high-powered telescopes allowed us to admire the stars. It was a very full day, and my heavenly bed at the Westin was just that.

DAY TWO was held at the beautiful Quadras Conference Center. Our morning was an interactive session with Steve King from Emergent Research discussing the future of accounting. We learned some interesting facts. Like sales of tablets are predicated to outpace sales of PCs by 2014. That boomers likely need prescription Google Glass! That social media has created FOMO – the fear of missing out. That predicting the future isn’t that hard… but getting the timing right is. The entire morning was captured by Terry, a graphic recorder. In colorful markers, she recorded the morning’s conversation. It’s really something to see. Her amazing artwork will go back to Steve’s office where he will use it for his Future of Accountancy project.

Remember our “Design for Delight” exercise from day one? Joe Wells, the VP of Engineering at Intuit, showed up with the previous day’s best idea magically implemented into QBO! It was very exciting to see our suggestion come to life and confirmed what we’d been hearing over the last two days – that Intuit really is listening.

Prizes were awarded for the ‘most social’ attendees, and according to TweetReach, our influence on Twitter was stellar!  You can check out all the awesome posts by searching #IntuitSummit. You can also see some great pics of the summit on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/search/?q=IntuitSummit.

It was an amazing, incredible, inspiring two days. I came home with some awesome swag (including a bottle of wine from Scott Cook’s own vineyard!), many new connections, and complete excitement around what Intuit is doing for accountants and customers.California (17)

Coming in Friday’s blog – information about the new Cloud ProAdvisor Program!

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