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Archive for the tag “Tips and Tricks”

How to change product and service prices in QBO

Question: I recently increased my prices. Right now, I have to remember to change them every time I create an invoice. Is there a way to make the new prices stick?

Answer: There is, and it can be done in three simple steps. Here’s what to do:

1. Click on the gear menu in the upper right hand corner. Then choose Products and Services from the Lists column.How_to_update_prices

2. Click on Edit to the far right of the item you’d like to update.Edit_button

3. Enter your new Sales price/rate. This does not affect any existing transactions, only new ones. Click Save and close.Update_price

Now when you create an invoice or other sales transaction, the new price will show up on your form.

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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

2016-03-11_1317

How do I enter this into QBO?

Plus Sign > Bank Deposit

2016-03-11_1324

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

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.

What to do about a blank page in QBO

QB Tip of the Day Blank Page

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

Don't turn on Multi-currency by Accident!

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.

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.

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 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.

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