March 05, 2018
Ten Tips to Use Your QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Mac, or Enterprise Better
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I am writing this for someone who already has an accounting and bookkeeping program like QuickBooks but it can be used by Peachtree, Xero, and other users.
1. Fill in the company information (my company) including your address, city, state, zip, e-mail, phone, and website. You can transfer all that information on your customer and vendor (sales) forms including estimates, invoices, sales receipts, statements, and purchase orders.
You can also add your logo to those forms and customize which columns, footers, and fields including sales tax are
2. Use the chart of accounts sparingly. In the end, your chart of accounts ends up being mapped or assigned to the tax lines of your federal tax form. Take a look at it. Use it as a guideline.
You don't need 10 income accounts (the only time you need to is when you are tracking income subject to specific B&O tax) or 10 expense accounts to track your advertising. Your tax form only has one deduction for advertising, not ten.
You can use items if you want detail and then run a sales by item report on them.
3. Use items aka products and services to track both your expenses and income such a goods you buy for your customers and later bill them. You will need items to track your income.
All your items need to be mapped to an income account under account. If you charge a customer for an expense and your item is mapped to an expense or Cost of Goods account, you will reduce your income for B&O purposes and the state of Washington and others doesn't like that.
In Washington State, items you bill to customers are and reimbursed for are subject to the state's business and occupation tax.
4. Change your preferences to make sure that you are set up for cash vs. accrual accounting, when sales tax is due, if you use inventory, how reports are displayed, if reminders come up, and how you handle reimbursements from customers to name a few.
5. Set your backups to occur whenever you exit. You need to be in single user mode and backups have to be set for complete verification to make sure that your data has not been corrupted. I recommend saving backups to a destination on your computer and then copying that file once a week to a flash drive, OneDrive, Google, DropBox, etc. Which reminds me, your company data file has to run on a real computer with an operating system. So don't store it on any of these drives.
6. If you want to charge customers for time and materials, you have to enable them your program. For QuickBooks desktop, go to Preferences and Time and Expenses and mark Time and Expenses as always being billable. You can also choose your Mark Up amounts.
Then when you buy something, if you enter a customer's name on that expense line, you can decide if you want to bill them or track the expense for job costing. The box can be checked on or off.
7. If you travel or sell extensively in Washington State, you can download the quarterly Washington State Department of Revenue 343 (whew) sales tax rates from http://dor.wa.gov/content/getaformorpublication/formbysubject/forms_quickbooks.aspx
You import them into your desktop company file using File>Utilities>Import. Then you can use them after looking up their address to make sure you charge them the right rate. I use them to track where I am working as most of my
clients aren't subject to sales tax.
8. You can assign those sales tax rates to your customers in their record. If you use the department's sales tax lookup tool, you can enter their confirmation code in the notes for that customer.
9. Before hiring a vendor, ask for a filled out W9 form as well as proof that they have their own business license for their city, master business license, business cards, and website. The latter four show that someone actually has their own business.
You can attach their W9 to their vendor record and you can enter their Employer Identification Number in their record. I am not going to go into detail about who gets a 1099.
10. You might want to use bank and credit card feeds. The main reason is that you make sure that you capture all your transactions. The second reason is that it makes reconciling faster and easier as the information has already been confirmed and matched with the bank. At least once a month, I realize that I entered something incorrectly or the bank recorded it incorrectly.
What have you done to make your bookkeeping, accounting, and preparation for taxes easier?
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