Accounting, Bookkeeping, and QuickBooks Tips for Small Businesses

Posts tagged QuickBooks

QuickBooks Tutorial: How to Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks





Yes, it’s an unfortunate part of doing business. Occasionally you will have those stinky customers who refuse to pay for the products and/or services your business sells. After you have exhausted all possibilities of trying to collect payment from your nonpaying customer (called them, emailed them, mailed past due statements, charged late fees, offered to work out a payment plan, etc) you realize they are not going to pay. You can write this off as Bad Debt and get the sale off of your books in 2 simple steps.

IMPORTANT – There are several ways to write off bad debt in QuickBooks. However, the way I’m about to show you is the ONLY way to adjust your sales taxes payable liability account (if applicable to your business). Even if your business does not collect sales tax, this is a pretty easy way to write off bad debt and I highly recommend it.

Step 1:
Click on the Reports menu and select Customers & Receivables from the drop-down menu. Then choose the Open Invoices report. This report will show you all the open invoices you currently have (customers who owe you money). Find the customer you want to write off. Write down the customer’s name, the noncollectable invoice number, and the amount due.

Step 2:
Next, go to the Customers Menu or go to the Customer Center located on your main home screen. From there select Create Credit Memos & Refunds. The Credit Memo window will open.

  • Enter your customer’s name, choose the date you want to write off the invoice, and leave the credit memo number alone (QuickBooks will automatically assign that number for you).
  • Choose the “Bad Debt” Item. You will want to have an Item specifically set up for Bad Debt. If you don’t have one, you will need to set one up.
    • If you need to create a new Item, click Add New, select Other Charge, the Item Name can be Bad Debt, in the description box you can type in Bad Debt or Noncollectable Funds, and then for the account select your bad debt expense general ledger account. Click OK to set up the new Bad Debt Item.
  • In the description box, I like to reference the invoice number we are writing off. It’s not required, but it makes it a lot easier to go back if you ever need to quickly reference what invoice number you wrote off. You can simply put “unable to collect invoice #…”.
  • The amount will be the amount of the invoice you are unable to collect and want to write off your books.
  • If you are using QuickBooks’ class tracking feature, select the appropriate class.
  • Sales Tax – If your business tracks Sales Taxes Payable, this is where you will adjust your sales taxes payable account. Please note, there are various ways to write off bad debt in QuickBooks, but using a Credit Memo is the ONLY way to adjust your Sales Tax Payable account.
  • Click Save and Close.
  • A new window will open informing you that you have a remaining balance on this credit. QuickBooks will want to know if it can help you apply it somewhere else, offer a refund and help you write a check (i.e. customer overpaid), or apply the credit to an invoice. Select the Apply to Invoice option.
  • Find the invoice number you are writing off, check off that invoice number, and click done.
  • Your invoice has been written off. Meaning it will no longer show up as an Accounts Receivable on your Balance Sheet and will appear on your Income Statement as an expense (bad debt expense). This expense is used to reduce your income since you are unable to collect this sale.

Free Tip!
I recommend double checking your work. This is a great way to make sure you wrote off your noncollectable invoice correctly.

  • View your Open Invoices report again (step 1). The invoice you just wrote off should no longer appear on the Open Invoices report.
  • If you look at your Balance Sheet, your Accounts Receivable will be reduced by the amount of the invoice you just wrote off.
  • Your Income Statement will report an expense line for Bad Debt. This expense should equal the amount of your uncollectable invoice.

You’re good to go! That is the correct way to write off bad debt (noncollectable invoice) in QuickBooks.

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle Edwards, CPA is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and Virtual CFO solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, home brewing, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


QuickBooks Tutorial: How to Create an Invoice in QuickBooks

Let’s say you operate a business and one of your customers just bought one of your products or services. So now you need to send them an invoice to collect payment from them. QuickBooks makes it super easy to create and send invoices, let’s get started!

Step 1:
From the main home page in QuickBooks, click on the “Create Invoice” button located in your customers section. Then the QuickBooks create invoice window will open.

Step 2:
Fill out the invoice with information pertaining to your business, products and services.

  • Enter the customer you want to invoice. Pick from the list of your current customers or click “add new” to set up a new customer and enter their billing information.
  • Choose your invoice date. This can be today, the date your product ships to your customer, the first day of the month for rent billings, etc.
  • QuickBooks will automatically generate the Invoice Number. So it’s best to leave this field alone.
  • If you wan to track PO numbers, sales reps, change the customer’s payment terms (due in 15 days…), etc feel free to update those fields.
  • Next you will want to select an Item Code.
    • In simple terms, QuickBooks items are all the products and services your business sells. These are the items you bill your customers for.
    • Select the appropriate item from your list or click “add new” to create a new item.
    • After you select an item, you will notice QuickBooks will automatically populate your description and selling price/rate fields for you. Double check the rate, update if needed. Add more details to your description, if needed.
    • Then fill in the quantity sold and QuickBooks will automatically calculate the quantity times the selling price/rate and populate the amount field.
    • Select the class, if your business uses the QuickBooks class tracking feature. In a nutshell, classes are a great way to track your company’s income/expenses by departments, store location, etc.
    • Select Taxable or Non-Taxable sale, if applicable to your business.

    Step 3:
    The last step is deciding how you want to save and send your invoice.

    • Save & Close will save your invoice to be sent at a later date and closes the invoice window. This works great is you just want to create one invoice and will print/send a batch of invoices at another time.
    • Save & New will save your current invoice to be sent at a later date and then open a new create invoice window for you to create another invoice. This is another option if you want to save your invoices to be printed/sent at a later time.
    • If you want to send your invoice now, click Save from the top of the invoice screen. Then you can select to either Print, Create a PDF, or Email your invoice. The emailing feature is pretty sweet as QuickBooks can connect to your web based email programs to email your invoices. Pick your choice and follow the QuickBooks prompts.

That’s it! Now you anxiously wait for your payment to arrive…

Free Tip! A little trick I’d like to share. At the bottom of you invoice window is an option to add a customer message. This is a great place to add a personalized note… Thank you for your business, Happy Holidays, etc… I love doing this because it adds a personal and friendly touch to your invoice.

The memo field will not show up on your invoice and is a place for you to keep internal notes.

Happy Invoicing!

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle Edwards, CPA is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and Virtual CFO solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, home brewing, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


Using QuickBooks to Track Outstanding Invoices

The other day I received a great question from a customer wondering how she can use QuickBooks to see which customers have outstanding invoices. It was such a great question, I thought I’d share the QuickBooks tips with my blog readers as well.

Here are 4 QuickBooks reports that will help you manage your outstanding customer invoices…

1. Customers Who Owe Money

Using QuickBooks 2013, there is a sidebar on the left side of your screen with useful tools.
–>Click on My Shortcuts
–>Click on Snapshots
–>Make sure you are looking at the “Company” tab
–>Check out the Customers Who Owe Money report

This report offers are quick snapshot to a list of customers who have outstanding invoices. You can quickly see which customers owe you money, when the invoice was due, and the amount due. By default, the report sorts by the oldest receivable first. However, you can click on the customer, date, or amount header to have the report quickly resorted the way you want.

Customers Who Owe Money QuickBooks Report

Managing receivables with QuickBooks

2. Open Invoices Report

–>Click on Reports from the menu across the top of your QuickBooks window
–>Select the Customers & Receivables option from the drop down report list
–>Choose the Open Invoices report

This report will show you all of the open invoices, sorted alphabetically by customer name. It’s a powerful report if you need to see the invoice number, the invoice date, due date, and amount due all in one report.

QuickBooks Open Invoice Report

3. A/R Aging Detail Report

–>Click on Reports from the menu across the top of your QuickBooks window
–>Select the Customers & Receivables option from the drop down report list
–>Choose the A/R Aging Detail report from the list of report choices

The A/R Aging Detail report will show you all open invoices, sorted by due date. So you can quickly see which accounts receivables (A/R) are 0-30 days, 30-60 days, 60-90 days, and 90+ days past due. It’s a great way to track late paying customers and see if you have any really old outstanding invoices that either need to be sent to collections or written off the books and expensed as bad debt.

QuickBooks A/R Aging Detail Report

4. Customer Balance Detail Report

–>Click on Reports from the menu across the top of your QuickBooks window
–>Select the Customers & Receivables option from the drop down report list
–>Choose the Customer Balance Detail report from the list of report choices

The Customer Balance Detail report in QuickBooks will show you all the invoices & payments for each customer, sorted by customer. Although this report is not the best one to look at outstanding invoices, I mentioned it because it’s an extremely useful report to gain an overall view of your customers activity. You can see your customers, their invoices, the payments you have received, and it tells you which customers have an open balance due.

QuickBooks Customer Balance Detail Report

QuickBooks Tip:

Want more information about the invoice you see on the various reports? Hover your mouse over the invoice you would like to see more details on, when the magnify glass appears, just double click on the invoice. QuickBooks will drill down and open the invoice window so you can view all the details for that specific invoice.

**Please note, the information included on the report samples in this blog post came from one of QuickBooks Sample Company Files. The reports display fictional data.**

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle Edwards, CPA is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and Virtual CFO solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, home brewing, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL + A – Displays the Chart of Accounts window
CTRL + C – Copies your selected text
CTRL + D – Deletes your current list item or transaction. Please note, this CANNOT be reversed, so think long and hard before using this shortcut.
CTRL + E – Edit an item in a register or on an items list
CTRL + F – Brings up the Find feature
F3 – Opens the Search feature (can be used in place of the Find feature mentioned above. This shortcut works with QuickBooks 2011 and later versions)
CTRL + G – If you’re looking at a funds transfer in the register, this will open the register for the other side of the funds transfer.
CTRL + H – Opens the transaction History. Very useful if you’re looking at an invoice and want to see the customer’s payment history for this invoice.
CTRL + I – Opens the Create Invoice window
CTRL + J – Opens the Customer Center
CTRL + L – Opens a list. This works well if you’re entering a transaction and your cursor is in a field with a drop down list.
CTRL + U – Selects an item from the the drop down list your just opened using CTRL + L and adds this list item to your transaction.
CTRL + M – Opens the Memorized Transactions window
CTRL + N – Creates a new transaction or list item
CTRL + P – Print
CTRL + Q – Opens the Quick Report for the selected transaction
CTRL + R – Displays the Register window
CTRL + T – Displays the Memorized Transaction List, so you can create a new transaction from the memorized transactions
CTRL + V – Pastes copied text
CTRL + X – Cuts your highlighted text and stores it on your clipboard to paste elsewhere
CTRL + Z – Undo – usually undoes your last action
CTRL + Delete – Deletes the selected line in a transaction
CTRL + Enter – Saves your current transaction. FYI – this selects the “best” save option from the buttons at the bottom of your screen – “Save & Close”, “Save & New”, “Clear”, Etc. Pressing “Enter” without the CTRL will cause QuickBooks to select the botton that is highlighted, and not necessarily the “best” save option.
CTRL + Insert – Inserts a line into a transaction
ESC – Closes current window
F1 – Opens the Help Window

QuickBooks Amount Field Keyboard Shortcuts

If the cursor is in an amount field, you can use these shortcuts to make calculations in QuickBooks
+ – Adds numbers together
– Subtracts numbers from each other
* – Multiplies numbers together
/ – Divides the numbers

QuickBooks Date Field Keyboard Shortcuts

If the cursor is in a date field, you can use these shortcuts to change the transaction date in QuickBooks
+ – Adds one day to the date shown
– Subracts one day from the date shown
T – Replaces the date shown with Today’s date
Y – Changes the date to the first day in the Year
R – Changes the date to the last day of the yeaR
M – Changes the date to the first day in the Month
H – Changes the date to the last day in the montH
W – Changes the date to the first day in the Week
K – Changes the date to the last day in the weeK
[ – Changes the date to the same day in the previous week
] – Changes the date to the same day in the upcoming week
; – Changes the date to the same date, but for last month
– (apostrophe) Changes the date to the same date, but for next month
Alt + Down Arrow – Opens the calendar so you can easily select the date

Starting QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

CTRL – Starts QuickBooks without opening a company file.
ALT – Starts QuickBooks without opening the windows you previously left open last time you shut down QuickBooks.
ALT + F4 – Closes QuickBooks

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle Edwards, CPA is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and Virtual CFO solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, home brewing, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


Top 3 Benefits to Correctly Recording Credit Card Charges into QuickBooks

How to Posting Credit Card Charges into QuickBooks

The other day I wrote a guest blog about “Entering Credit Card Charges into QuickBooks, the Right Way!”. One of my main goals working with clients is to teach them the correct way to use QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a great tool for small business owners, but you must know how to use it. In my guest blog post, I taught you the best way to record your credit card payments in QuickBooks. Today I’d like to talk about the top 3 benefits to using this method to record your credit card receipts into QuickBooks.

  1. Always Know How Much You Owe!
    If you are good about keeping up with your bookkeeping tasks and recording your credit card charges as they occur, you will always know the balance on your credit card. This avoids surprises when your monthly credit card statement arrives and helps you plan for your upcoming cash outflows.
  2. Accurate Financial Statements!
    Let’s face it, quite a few small businesses do not have the luxury of paying their credit card bill in full every month. This method for posting credit card charges into QuickBooks, allows the small business owner to choose the credit card transactions to pay this month and which ones will have to wait until next month to pay. QuickBooks will keep track of the amount still owed and the transactions still owed to your credit card company. Thus providing you an accurate accounts payable figure on your balance sheet.
  3. Save Time!
    The third benefit for posting credit card charges correctly to QuickBooks allows the small business owner the opportunity to quickly look up transactions. Let’s say you’re trying to figure out how much you typically spend at the big box retailer for office supplies. By recording the credit card charge to the correct vendor, you can quickly pull up that big box retailer and figure out how much you spent. This saves a ton of time over scrolling through every single credit card payment looking for those office supply charges. Some bills have them, some do not, and now you’ve just wasted a ton of time searching for these charges. Let’s face it, which small business owner does not love to save time!

There you have it. The top 3 benefits to using the correct way to post credit card charges to QuickBooks. Not only does it allow you to plan for your upcoming cash outflows, it provides business owners with accurate financial statements, and best of all it saves time! Give it a try and let me know how you like using this QuickBooks tip!



Check out my QuickBooks Tutorial about “Entering Credit Card Charges into QuickBooks, the Right Way!”..



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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


QuickBooks 2012 – Loaded with New Features!

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is headed to stores near you! Intuit just announced the release of QuickBooks 2012 and will be available for purchase at the end of the month. QuickBooks 2012 is loaded with new features! These tools will not only save you time, but will help keep your small business organized, and will provide your small business with better financial reporting options. Read on to see if QuickBooks 2012 is right for your small business.

  1. Organizational Tools

    • New Calendar Functions
      New and improved calendar features allow small business owners to view appointments, set payroll tax reminders, estimated quarterly estimated tax payment reminders, bill due dates, invoicing reminders, and to-do lists. An easy way to keep your calendar all in one place!
    • A Lead Center
      An entire center dedicated to tracking, following up, and keeping track of your potential customers! Great new tool incorporating CRM features into QuickBooks.
    • An Improved Document Center
      This new QuickBooks feature is my favorite! QuickBooks 2012 allows users to attach supporting documentation to your QuickBook transactions and save them directly to your local computer! No more Intuit external storage limits or data storage fees. The document center is an easy way to organize and create a paperless accounting system. Keep your bills, deposits, W-9’s, business cards, bank statements, contracts, agreements, etc. all in one place – in QuickBooks!
  2. Financial Reporting Made Easier

    • User Generated Reports
      Custom financial reports just got easier! QuickBooks 2012 includes a feature allowing small business owners to search a library or more than 1,000 custom, user-generated reports. This is a great way to see what numbers your competition is looking at and what reports accountants are preparing for their clients.
    • Improved Excel Integration
      Don’t you hate it when you spend your precious time formatting QuickBooks exported reports in Excel, only to have to reformat the report again next month? Intuit heard your calls for help and offered small business owners a solution in QuickBooks 2012. Now you can format your reports in Excel, save the report, and next month you can import new data to the report while keeping your personalized formatting options in place.
  3. Save Time

    • One-Click Transactions
      Save time by entering customer data once. Your customer’s information will now be available in various QuickBooks transaction forms.
    • Batch Invoicing for Time & Expenses
      Provides small business owners with the ability to invoice multiple customers for time and expenses all at once, using the improved QuickBooks batch invoicing feature. Please note, this is not available with QuickBooks Pro 2012.
    • Batch Timesheets
      Everyone can benefit from payroll time saving features! The Batch Timesheets feature will allow entreprenerus the ability to process multiple employee and vendor timesheets in a batch. A great time saving tool for those employees and vendors who work the same hours.
  4. Improved Inventory Center
    Intuit has added some much desired inventory improvements. QuickBooks 2012 includes an inventory center, centralizing all inventory functions to one center. If your small business is interested in accounting for your inventory on the FIFO (first-in first-out) method or you need the ability to track inventory based on serial numbers, check out QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. Keep in mind you will also need to subscribe to Intuit’s Advanced Inventory Feature for these inventory tools to work with QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.

As you can see, QuickBooks 2012 is loaded with new features! Small business owners, entrepreneurs, homepreneurs, and mompreneurs can all benefit from the time saving, improved organizational tools, better financial reporting options, and updated inventory center options included with QuickBooks 2012. Please note, this blog post only relates to the US version of QuickBooks 2012 and may not include all the new features. Please contact Intuit for more information about QuickBooks 2012.

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


QuickBooks 2008 Scheduled to Sunset on May 31, 2011

QuickBooks Upgrade

QuickBooks 2008, QuickBooks for Mac 2007, and the 2008 QB Support and QB Products are scheduled to sunset on May 31, 2011. This means the software will no longer be supported and the services will stop working. If you are using 2008 QuickBooks Software, Support, or Products you might want to consider upgrading to QuickBooks 2011.

Who Will This Sunset Affect?

The following QuickBooks services will be discontinued as of May 31, 2011:

  • Online Banking – QuickBooks 2008 will no longer connect with your financial institution.
  • Bill Pay and Billing Solution – Both services will be discontinued.
  • QuickBooks Email – Your company will no longer be able to email reports, invoices, forms, etc. through Intuit’s server. You will still be able to email through Outlook.
  • QuickBooks Payroll – Assisted, Basic, Standard and Enhanced Payroll will no longer calculate payroll taxes and provide payroll tax forms, resulting in inaccurate payrolls. In most cases, your payroll subscriptions will be deactivated. The Employee Organizer will also no longer be available.
  • Credit Card Processing – Credit Card Processing, Automatic Credit Card Billing, and Terminal Downloads will be discontinued and will no longer work.
  • Online Backup – Will no longer be an available option for your QuickBooks 2008 company file.
  • Live Technical Support – Will be discontinued.
  • Check with Intuit for a full list of discontinued products and services.

What Should My Small Business Do?

If your business uses QuickBooks 2008 or QuickBooks for Mac 2007, and you only use the products contained on your computer, than you can continue to use your older version of QuickBooks software. The disadvantages to continuing to use your older version of QB software includes:

  • Intuit will no longer be sending out updates and fixing software bugs.
  • Intuit will also be discontinuing their live customer support for QB 2008 and QB for Mac 2007.
  • Potential errors and troubles if you try to install QuickBooks 2008 on another computer using your original software disk. The version of QuickBooks 2008 or QuickBooks for Mac 2007 you are currently working in will most likely contain software updates released by Intuit over the past few years. When you attempt to open your current QuickBooks company file using your original software, you might receive errors and may not be able to access your data. There are potential ways around this problem, but no guaranteed solutions. Please contact your Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for assistance.
  • QuickBooks Products and Services will be discontinued, meaning they will no longer work.

If your small business uses QuickBooks support, products, and services you will need to upgrade. QuickBooks 2011 has added a handful of new features making it easier to track your business’ financial operations. Keep your eyes out for deals on QuickBooks 2011. Often times Amazon, Costco, major office supply stores, and QuickBooks ProAdvisors will offer discounts on QB software. If you are tired of dealing with software update hassles, you might want to consider QuickBooks Online. Don’t forget to Back Up your QuickBooks company file before upgrading.

As always, please contact your bookkeeper, accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, or CPA for assistance with your QuickBooks questions and concerns.

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.

QuickBooks Tutorial: How to Prepare 1099 and 1096

Tax Return_Form 1099Jan 31st is just around the corner. That means you only have a few days left to prepare and send your 1099’s. Last week we discussed 1099’s – what is a 1099, who gets a 1099, and when 1099’s are send/received. This week I want to walk you through how to prepare 1099’s using QuickBooks. Don’t forget your 1099’s must be mailed to your vendors no later than January 31, 2011.

The quickest and easiest way to prepare your 1099’s is by using QuickBooks’ 1099 and 1096 Wizard. The QuickBooks 1099 and 1096 Wizard provides you with 4 steps to easily verify your information, review your data, and double check that your numbers are correct before printing your 1099’s.

To access the QuickBooks 1099 and 1096 Wizard, click on the Vendors menu and choose the Print/E-file 1099s… option. The wizard will open and will suggest you take the following steps:

  1. Review Your 1099 Vendors – The Vendor 1099 Review report is helpful so you can verify that the vendors who should be receiving a 1099 are marked “yes” and to double check that the vendors marked “yes” have a Tax ID number and a complete mailing address.
  2. Map Your Accounts to Boxes on 1099 – This window allows you to select the account (general ledger account aka chart of accounts) you want to be reported on the 1099’s. You can assign multiple accounts to each 1099 box category, but you can not assign the same account to multiple 1099 categories. You will also want to verify the threshold (minimum) amount you must report to the IRS matches the current IRS rules.
  3. Review Your 1099 Data – The 1099 Summary Report opens, providing you with the opportunity to see each vendor that is eligible for a 1099 and the amount paid to that vendor. Please note the report is sorted by Box Number (which box the amount will be reported in on the 1099). You can double click any vendor to see the details behind the total amount showing on the report. If you notice a check or bill was originally posted to the wrong account (i.e. it’s not showing up on the 1099 or it’s being reporting in the wrong box), you are able to go back and change the account on the the check or bill. I recommend printing a copy of the report. It is a good tool to double-check all 1099 vendors are included.
    Additional Steps to Ensure 1099 Reporting Accuracy

    1. First, open Quickbooks’ 1099 Details report. To access the 1099 Details report, go to the Reports menu and select Vendors & Payables. Then click on the 1099 Detail option to open the report. Make sure the report dates are correct, choose the “All Vendors” option, and the “Only 1099 Accounts” option. Refresh your report. Look into any vendors that show up on your QuickBooks 1099 Details report that do not show up on your QuickBooks 1099 Summary report. If you find vendors who are supposed to receive a 1099 – open their vendor record and click the Form 1099 button on the Additional Information tab and verify you have their Tax ID Number and mailing address.
    2. Secondly, in the QuickBooks 1099 Details Report change the 1099 Options to: “Only 1099 Vendors” and “All Allowed Accounts.” This new version of the 1099 Details Report allows you to verify the amount you are reporting on the 1099. If you find any vendor payments that were accidentally posted to the wrong account, you can double click the listing to open the transaction to change the account. After making the change, refresh your report to make sure the amounts match.
    3. Once the vendors and amounts have been verified for accuracy, you are ready to print your 1099’s.

  4. E-file and Print on Plain Paper OR Print on Preprinted Forms
    1. QuickBooks 2011 is the first version that gives you the option to file your 1099’s electronically through QuickBooks. Click the Use Intuit 1099 E-File Service button to proceed to file your 1099’s electronically. Note: if you file your 1099’s electronically, you do not need to file a 1096. Another nice feature is that you are able to print your vendor’s copies on plain paper, so you do not have to worry about buying and printing on the preprinted forms.
    2. To print your 1099’s and 1096 on preprinted forms, click the Print 1099’s button. This will walk you through printing your 1099’s and 1096 on preprinted forms. Preprinted forms can be purchased at most major office supply stores (i.e. Office Max) or ordered for free from the IRS. Printed Form 1099’s and Form 1096 will be filed with the IRS by mail.

Keep in mind most 1099’s need to be mailed to your vendors by January 31st and then filed with the IRS by February 28th, 2011.

Additional Resources
Instructions for Form 1099-MISC (2010).

Form 1099-MISC (2010)

Instructions and Form 1096 (2010)

A Guide to Information Returns

Information about the FIRE System (electronic filing)

Form W-9

Who Can Help You File 1099’s
If you get stuck or have questions, contact the IRS, your lawyer, or your CPA.

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.

Year-End Bookkeeping Checklist

Box of ReceiptsWow, can you believe the end of the year is quickly approaching? To help get your books in order and ready to send to your tax preparer here is a year-end bookkeeping checklist to help keep you organized. Keep in mind that every business is different. This list is meant to provide you with a general idea of items to take care of before December 31, 2010. When in doubt or if you have questions, seek guidance from a professional who knows your specific business situation.

End of Year Bookkeeping Checklist:

  1. Get Organized: Find all of the receipts for any deduction you are claiming on your tax return. For me, this involves looking in my purse, on my desk, in my car, on the kitchen counter, etc. Keep in mind that no receipt equals no deduction. The best way to stay organized during the year is to enter your transactions into an accounting software, like QuickBooks.

    After collecting all receipts, look over your personal bank statements for any business charges you paid for out of your personal account. Do the same with your business bank statement, but this time look for any personal expenses paid out of your business account. Make a list of these transactions to give to your tax preparer.

  2. Reconcile Your Bank Account(s): Bank Reconciliations are a great tool to verify all transactions have been posted into your accounting software. This ensures your general ledger bank balance (the bank balance in QuickBooks) matches your bank statement. If not, fix any mistakes you discover in the process.
  3. Invoice: Have you invoiced all of your customers for work you’ve done and products you’ve delivered/shipped for the year? If not, get caught up on those invoices.
  4. Collections: Follow up with any customers who owe you money. Send them a past due statement and/or give them a call to remind them they owe you money. Now’s a great time to collect your receivables.

    Look through your accounts receivables. Are there any receivables that you are unable to collect that need to be written off your books or sent to a collection agency?

  5. Inventory: Verify your inventory balance is correctly reported on your balance sheet. The best way to do this is to have an accurate count as of December 31st. You’ll also want to verify that your inventory is valued correctly – determine if any inventory items cost more than they’re worth and need to be written down. Remember, your tax preparer is going to need the following in order to prepare your tax return: 1. Inventory balance at the beginning of the year (January 1st); 2. The cost of inventory purchased throughout the year; 3. The amount of inventory that was sold during the year; 4. The ending inventory balance as of December 31st.
  6. Fixed Assets: These are the larger purchases you made throughout the year (i.e. equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). Do you still have all of the fixed assets that are reported on your balance sheet? If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Don’t forget to verify the depreciation on your fixed assets as well (if you don’t know how to do this, contact your CPA. They will be able to generate a depreciation schedule for you). Make any necessary adjustments.
  7. Expenses and Accounts Payable: Verify all of your accounts payables have been recorded in your accounting software, such as QuickBooks. Now’s a great time to make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and Simple IRA contributions, if you have not done so already.

    If you are a sole proprietor or a small business, did you know your cell phone charges and internet usage for your business is deductible on your tax return? Collect your cell phone bills & internet bills for the year and determine what percentage of your cell phone calls were for business purposes and what percentage of your internet was used for business. Make a list to give to your tax preparer.

  8. Notes Payable: Verify your notes payable (i.e. loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your banks. Are you missing any notes payables? Do you have any notes payables that you paid off during the year or debts that were forgiven? Make any necessary adjustments. Not sure how to make the adjustments? No worries, make a list to give to your tax provider or contact a CPA to help you make the necessary adjustments.
  9. Mileage: Great news, you can deduct $0.50 per mile for business miles driven in 2010. That means any trips to clients or for meetings are deductible. I keep a mini notebook in car to track all of my business mileage throughout the year (date, purpose of the trip, starting odometer reading and ending odometer reading) to ensure I have the necessary documentation to claim the mileage deduction. There are also a few apps out there that can track your mileage for you. Please note that your daily commute does not qualify for the deduction.

    The IRS also gives businesses the option to calculate the actual costs of using your vehicle (i.e. gas, maintenance, repairs, etc) rather than using the standard mileage rate. If you decide to go this route, you will need to determine the percentage of time you use your car for business and use this percentage to calculate your deduction.

  10. Collect W-9’s: If you have not collected W-9’s from your vendors and/or contractors you paid $600 or more to throughout the calendar year, now’s a good time to collect those. Don’t forget your 1099’s are due on January 31st. Speaking of 1099’s now’s a good time to order your 1099’s. They can be purchased at most office supply stores (Staples & Office Max) or you can order them for free from the IRS (irs.gov).
  11. Payroll Taxes: Verify your payroll tax liabilities match your quarterly payroll returns.
  12. Double Check your Profit & Loss: After making all of the adjustments listed above, double check your P&L Statement (aka Income Statement). Do your income and expense numbers make sense? Compare your profit and loss statement against prior years and against your budget. Think long and hard to make sure there is no additional income you are missing (i.e. advertising income from your blog, any contract work you did, etc.) and no additional expense items you are missing (i.e. those missing receipts you’ll find at the bottom of your purse or in your junk drawer). Make any necessary adjustments. Remember, no receipt equals no deduction.
  13. Create a Budget for Next Year: See our previous blog entries about creating budgets:
  14. Back Up: Back up your Quickbooks file to protect you from loss of data.

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Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


Projecting Cash Flow Using QuickBooks

Cash Flow QuickBooks
The past two weeks we have discussed how to create a cash flow budget and how to effectively use your cash flow projections. If you are list most small businesses, chances are you are using QuickBooks. Today I’m going to teach you the tools QuickBooks has in place to help you manage your small business cash flow.

The most basic way to keep track of your cash flow in QuickBooks is by using the cash flow reports. QuickBooks offers two cash flow reports – the Statement of Cash Flows and the Cash Flow Forecast.

  • The Statement of Cash Flows shows where your money was spent. You can select various time frames to see how you spent your money. Since this report gives you a retrospect view, it’s not ideal for cash flow forecasting. However, it’s a valuable tool to allow you to see where your money went and how it was used.
  • The Cash Flow Forecast Report helps you forecast how much cash you will have by forecasting your receivables (cash inflows), your payables (cash outflows), and your bank accounts. The great thing about this report is that you are able to customize it to fit your needs. For example, you can specify the date range for your report, change the forecasting periods, and make adjustments for late paying customers. Keep in mind the information provided by this report is limited to the information you have previously posted to your QuickBooks file.

To access these reports, click on the Reports menu, then select Company & Financial from the drop down list, and then select Statement of Cash Flows or Cash Flow Forecast from the list.

Another great tool offered by QuickBooks to help small business owners with their cash flow projections is the Cash Flow Projector. Instead of being a report, it’s a tool to help you forecast your cash flows 6 weeks in advance. Keep in mind, the Cash Flow Projector tool creates cash flow forecasts based on the information you have previously posted to your QuickBooks file. The Cash Flow Projector will take you though a step-by-step process to create your forecast. To access, click on the Company menu, select Planning & Budgeting, and then click on Cash Flow Projector.

There are four steps to setting up your personalized Cash Flow Projector.

  • Determine Your Beginning Cash Balances
  • Project Your Cash Inflows (cash receipts)
  • Enter Cash Outflows (business expenses)
  • Review and Adjust Accounts Payable

Want a sneak peak? At any time you can click the “Preview” button to see what your cash flow projection looks like.

A combination of the cash flow reports and the cash flow projector tool offered by QuickBooks will help you manage your small businesses cash flows. These reports and tools will help you see when your business will have positive cash flows and when your expenses will exceed the cash you bring in. Keep in mind QuickBooks only uses the information you have already entered into your QuickBooks file. Even though these automated reports and tools are nice, make sure you are mindful of your business’ cash inflows, cash outflows, and other things that can impact your cash that are not entered into your QuickBooks file. A proactive approach while using these tools will help ensure the reports and information are as accurate and as useful as possible.

____________________________________________________________

Michelle Edwards, CPA - QuickBooks Consultant Written by Michelle Edwards, CPA
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Michelle is the owner of Trailhead Accounting Solutions CPA, LLC, an Erie, CO based CPA firm focused on providing small and mid-sized businesses with day-to-day accounting, bookkeeping, and business solutions. Michelle is a CFO turned consultant who loves working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. When she’s not crunching numbers, she can be found hiking, remote camping, gardening, quilting, and hanging out with her family.


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