March 31, 2020

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your QuickBooks?

QuickBooks Online
Ronald B. Allen

QuickBooks is generally considered the best bookkeeping and accounting software for both small and medium-sized businesses. This software package has powerful features to help business owners track their finances, produce custom reports, and automate many bookkeeping tasks. It integrates with sophisticated software such as Circulus to pay bills automatically. QuickBooks also integrates with several business intelligence programs to provide business owners with advanced financial insights. But, are you getting the most out of your QuickBooks? Or do you need a little QuickBooks training to get you up to speed on all of QuickBook’s bells and whistles? Here are a handful of suggestions that you may find helpful.

What You See and What You Don’t See Right Away in QuickBooks

All of the QuickBooks versions are very intuitive so most folks can get going with QuickBooks right away. However, QuickBooks has lots of features that users will not learn if they always follow the same routines. Here are a few examples.

QuickBooks Has Customizable Icon Bar

QuickBooks comes with a routine set of icons on the icon bar at the top of the screen. However, you can add more! The icons are shortcuts and let you get more work done more efficiently than by navigating through numerous menus and sub-menus. You can both add and remove icons from the customizable icon bar.

To Add an Icon

Start by going to View, then Customize Icon Bar and click Add.

You will see a list of icons. You even change descriptions and labels. Choose the one you want and click OK.

To Remove an Icon

Again you will go to View and then to Customize Icon Bar. Simply pick the one you want to remove and click Delete.

To Customize an Icon

Go from View to Customize Menu Bar. Here you can change the order of the listed icons, put in separators between them, and choose to show just the icons or icons with text.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are another way to make your work routines more efficient. Here, listed alphabetically, are a few of the more useful ones listed by what task they perform.

• Save a transaction: Alt-S

• Save a transaction and go directly to the next transaction: Alt-N

• Open an account list: Ctrl-A

• Edit a transaction chosen in the register: Ctrl-E

• Find a transaction: Ctrl-F

• Create invoice: Ctrl-I

• Open the Customer Center: Ctrl-J

• Remember a transaction or a report: Ctrl-M

• Contextual search for a new invoice, bill, check, or list item: Ctrl-N

• Generate a QuickReport on a list item or transaction: Ctrl-Q

• Open a memorized transaction list: Ctrl-T

• Write a new check: Ctrl-W

To start QuickBooks without a company file hold down the Ctrl key while opening.

And to QuickZoom on a report click Enter.

Using Right-Click Menus

QuickBooks uses lots of contextual right-click menus. These compete with the keyboard shortcuts and icons for efficient navigation and commands.

For those who have not used this feature, your mouse has a left button and a right button. You use the left button to “click” on items to select them. And when you click the right button you will open a menu. The menu is related to where you are in QuickBooks and what you are working on.

A simple example is when you select a chart of accounts entry and right click. The menu will give you the option of deleting, editing, customizing columns, transferring funds, or getting an immediate QuickReport.

Finding What You Need on the Internet

When you are setting up software, and for a few selected problems you can get answers from Intuit for free. But, for more routine questions you will need to pay and the cost can become prohibitive. You can also do searches across the internet and occasionally find what you need. Sometimes posting your question on a QuickBooks-related forum will get you a useful answer too. The QuickBooks Users Forum is a good resource.

Use QuickBooks Online and Cloud Hosting

If you want to get more out of QuickBooks in this day and age, consider QuickBooks Online.

With QuickBooks Online you will have a more robust version of QuickBooks and the ability to integrate with many powerful business software applications. As your data comes to exceed your servers the best choice is not more servers and IT personnel but networked computers elsewhere (the cloud). With the online versions of QuickBooks you don’t pay for IT support and you get state of the art security and remote access for multiple users.

QuickMath Calculations

You have two options for doing calculations in QuickBooks. The obvious one is to click Edit and then Calculator but for many, this is an interruption of the work routine. A quicker and more efficient choice is the QuickMath calculator.

When you need to do a calculation, just click inside the field containing the numbers such as the Amount field for a check. Then press the = button and a mini-tape will show up. Do your calculation right there with the appropriate numbers and mathematical operators (+,-,=,/.*).

Click the C key to clear an entry and double-click the C key to clear the tape.

You can cancel your QuickMath calculator by pressing the Esc key.

Pressing C once will clear the current entry while doing it twice will clear the tape.

Use the Esc key to cancel the QuickMath calculator.

Folks who get used to this tool rarely bother navigating to the calculator.

Learn to Filter Reports before Generating Them

When you know that you only need specific parts of a report here is an efficient way to filter it before it is generated.

QuickBooks has a default setting for what information it will display in a report. Once you have generated the report you may need to go back to edit and then create the report again. This process can be a terrible waste of precious time.

Luckily, QuickBooks has a solution to this dilemma. You can change what information is displayed in a report before it is generated. Go to Edit and then Preferences while working on your report. Then choose Reports and Graphs. You will see a My Preferences tab. Go there and click the Prompt Me checkbox for modifying the report screen before report generation.

Now each and every time you are about to generate a report you will see the Modify Report screen giving you the option to make changes on the report you are creating.

There Are Great Apps to Integrate with and Add On to QuickBooks

There are lots of business tasks that are made easier in the modern world by applications that you can integrate with QuickBooks.

Want to make and store images of paper receipts? Integrate Receipt Bank with your QuickBooks Online.

Want to take advantage of blockchain technology to send money without bank transfer fees? Integrate VEEM with your QuickBooks Online.

Circulus integrates with QuickBooks Online to streamline your bill paying.

How to Get the Most Out of Your QuickBooks

We at Exigo Business Solutions hope that this information is helpful for you. If you work in the Kansas City area or anywhere in the nation and have specific questions do not be afraid to contact us. We are pleased to answer a question or two or help you with QuickBooks training and QuickBooks Setup. We are QuickBooks ProAdvisors and our passion is helping you manage the finances of your business and maximize your profits.

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