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Archive for the tag “Technology”

Vote For the Top 100 ProAdvisors of 2016

Customers, friends, and fellow bookkeepers, it’s that time again! I need your vote to become an Insightful Accountant Top 100 ProAdvisor for 2016. It’s one vote per person, and filling out the entire survey is optional. What’s required is your first name, last name, email, and a check-mark next to my name (alphabetical by last name, look for Marnie Stretch, I’m a ways down).

Voting is only one part of the process, so it’s not strictly a popularity contest (thank goodness!). It’s based on several other criteria including certifications, social media presence, relationships with third-party apps, and more.

I love helping people become knowledgeable in QuickBooks and business finances. And hopefully, I’ve helped you somewhere along the line, so you won’t mind taking a moment to cast a vote in my favor!

Thanks in advance, it would great to have this honor three years in a row.

VOTE HERE

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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!

Did you sign up for e-statements? Don’t forget to save or print!

So you’ve gone green and signed up for e-statements. Kudos to you! Here’s how going paperless helps the environment, compliments of http://payitgreen.org/

PayitGreen

There’s nothing better than neglecting my own bookkeeping and sitting down to do it a couple times a year. It fulfills my need for a challenge. LOL! (I don’t recommend this, by the way!) This last time, I went to my credit card provider’s website to download the past twelve months of statements into QuickBooks. Except eight of them were gone! Only the most recent four were available to download into QuickBooks. The missing months were easy enough to access in PDF format (they keep seven years for me), but the downloadable files were indeed gone with no way to get them back. That made for a lot of manual data entry for me.

Another of my credit card providers only saves six months, PDF or otherwise. After that, I have to contact them to retrieve the missing statements. This involves an email, a confirmation email, a password and a time limit to fetch them… which I typically miss. I then have to start the entire process of retrieval over again!

Banks and credit card issuers often make only a certain number of statements available online. In many cases, it’s only a few months. If you need to go back farther than that, you may have a few hoops to jump through. You may even be required to pay a fee.

So here’s a reminder. Save those files to your computer every couple months (and if you still prefer to print, no judgement here!).

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.

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!

GoPayment Canada has launched!

With the new GoPayment feature – and the iPad or iPhone – you can accept credit cards wherever you go. For swiped cards, the transaction fee is only 2.7%. There are no set-up fees, no monthly fees, no monthly minimums, and no commitments. And you don’t have to have QuickBooks (or any other software) to use it! Just an iPad or iPhone and a bank account!

They send you the coolest little card reader that attaches to the top of your phone. Have a look:

www.gopayment.ca

Android will likely be added some time in the future. I haven’t personally used this technology, but it’s had great success in the US, and it’s just plain awesome! Rates are very similar in the US, with the added option of a monthly plan:

www.gopayment.com

I’m seriously considering getting an i-something just to have the ability to use this app! Please add your comments and feedback if you use the technology.

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