New Business Directions Selected as Intuit Solution Provider

 RhondaNew Business Directions – Rhonda Rosand, CPA announced today that it has been selected as an Intuit® Solution Provider. New Business Directions offers a full range of value-added consulting services for Intuit business and financial management solutions. Intuit Inc., the maker of QuickBooks®, is the leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, consumers and accounting professionals.
The Intuit Solution Provider Program will enable New Business  Directions to better serve small and mid-market businesses through the sale, implementation and service of Intuit solutions that help businesses save and make money.

The Intuit solutions that New Business Directions will support include QuickBooks Pro/Premier, Enterprise, QuickBooks Point of Sale and QuickBooks Online in addition to the many 3rd party applications that integrate with QuickBooks products including Payroll and Field Service Management.

“We are very excited to have New Business Directions – Rhonda Rosand, CPA as an Intuit Solution Provider,” said Simon Pass, sales leader of the Intuit Solution Provider Channel. “Their expertise in reselling and supporting small to mid-market business software solutions and their track record for customer satisfaction make them a valuable addition to our Solution Provider network.”

“Intuit is a name that business owners already know and trust,” said Rhonda Rosand, CPA, owner and founder of New Business Directions. “Being selected as a member of the Intuit Solution Provider program will allow us to offer an even more extensive range of business solutions that will help us to better serve our existing clients and acquire new ones.”

At New Business Directions, we help small business owners streamline the process of making money. We create order out of chaos. We do this with QuickBooks. We set up, clean up, train and maintain accounting systems. We believe in small business owners and we absolutely LOVE what we do. We are proud to be partners in the success of our clients.

About Intuit Inc.

Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit’s leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants. The company’s financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.2 billion in its fiscal year 2009. The company has approximately 7,800 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
To learn more about New Business Directions and QuickBooks, or to schedule an appointment, please call (603)356-2914, email rhonda@newbusinessdirections.com or visit the website at www.newbusinessdirections.com.

All products mentioned in this release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders

Posted in About New Business Directions, Accounting Basics, Business Development & Management

What’s new in Enterprise 2015: Part I

Our last two newsletters focused on what was new in QuickBooks Pro and Premier for 2015; first for Accountants and then for Clients. If you missed them, they are posted on our blog.

In the next two issues, we will cover what’s new in Intuit’s more robust software – Enterprise – in the recently released 2015 version.

In my opinion, the most significant changes to Enterprise are in the Preferences that control what users can and cannot do within their company files.

Disallow Negative Inventory

In the past, QuickBooks© has allowed you to sell products that you do not have in stock – at least not according to QuickBooks. There was a preference that if set, would warn you that you were selling something that was not in stock, but it would not prevent you from doing so.

This caused all sorts of problems – having negative quantities on hand threw off the Cost of Goods calculations, caused errors in reporting and in some cases lead to recurring data damage.

In the 2015 release, we now have an option in the Items and Inventory Preference that says “Don’t Allow Negative Quantity”. Selecting this option will prevent you from processing a transaction that causes negative inventory.

It only works to block transactions from going negative if they have a balance of zero or greater. If the quantity is already negative, it does not prevent it from becoming further negative.

This only works with Quantity on Hand. If you select the Preference to Disallow Negative Inventory, you will no longer be warned that a Sales Order or Inventory Assembly creates a negative Quantity Available.

If you decide to use this Preference, take the time to review the new report called Negative Item Listing under Reports – Inventory and correct ALL negative inventory quantities before enabling this Preference.

Disallow Sales to Overdue Customers

Under the Sales and Customer Preference, we can now select the option
“Do Not Sell to Overdue Customers”. This works for Invoices, Sales Receipts and Sales Orders, but not for Credit Memos.

You will want to make sure that your Customer Terms as they relate to Due Dates and exactly what constitutes Overdue, are set up properly before selecting this option. There is no Admin user override and this is not a User or Role specific preference so it could become quite restrictive if not set up properly.

Hide Opening Balance Fields

The leading cause of postings to the Opening Balance Equity account is entering the Opening Value when setting up Customers, Vendors, Assets or Inventory accounts and items.

In 2015, we have the option to hide opening balance fields in Names and Items. It’s under the Accounting Preference tab. The field will be visible, but grayed out.

I only wish that Intuit had made the default preference to Hide this field; it would save us countless hours of reversing duplicate transactions.

These are only a few of the changes to Enterprise for 2015. Stay tuned for our next article and we will cover more of what you can expect to see for improvements.

Posted in For Accountants & Bookkeepers, How-To's in QuickBooks, Product Development & Updates | Tagged | Leave a comment

What’s New in Enterprise for 2015 – Part 2

Part 1 of our What’s New in Enterprise for 2015 focused on the changes to the Preferences. This issue will cover some of the other changes that were made to enhance this more powerful and robust version of QuickBooks.

Total Columns on Forms

In addition to being able to total the dollar amounts on transaction forms, we can now total Quantity and Custom Fields such as weights and counts specific to our industry.

This is available on Invoices, Sales Receipts, Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Checks, Bills and Credit Card Charges. The Custom Field must be a numeric field and not text.

A section has been added to the Subtotal Item to allow you to edit and select which columns to total on forms.

This feature does not work well with Units of Measure. There is no way for the program to understand 2 each or 2 dozen and make the proper calculation. It’s also a little tricky for Group Items but it can be configured to work for this type of item.

Sort on Columns in Transactions

We now have the ability to sort columns on our transaction forms. This is available in Estimates, Sales Orders, Invoices, Assemblies, Checks, Credit Card Charges, Bills, Item Receipts, Credit Memos, Sales Receipts, Weekly Timesheets and Purchase Orders.

It behaves property with Subtotal Items by sorting those items above the Subtotal separately from the items below the subtotal. It does not do as well with Group Items.

Other than making the forms look neater, I don’t really understand it’s purpose here.

Search Within Transactions

This feature I like for when I am trying to find that needle in a haystack, like on lengthy purchase orders when I can’t remember if I added something to my order and I want to go back and look for it.

CC-10-21-2014BIt’s located on a separate tab in the transaction menu ribbon. Just type in the box and it will search the displayed transaction for matches to your inquiry. It looks at the Item Code and the Description only – not custom fields.

Shaded Lines on Forms and Reports

For me, this makes my forms and reports easier to read by alternating shaded lines. This option is available in the print window and is stored in the local printer preferences; it is saved per form and per user.

The option is available on Estimates, Sales Orders, Pick Ticket lists, Packing Slips, Invoices, Purchase Orders, Bills, Item Receipts, Sales Receipts, building Assemblies, the physical inventory worksheet and item price lists.

Show Cost on Sales Forms

This field is available for Sales/Work Orders, Invoices and Sales Receipts. It is only a screen option and will not print on the forms themselves. It allows you to see your cost as your making a sale and with the new Subtotal feature, you can compare your total cost to your total sale.

Keep in mind that this is Cost, not Average Cost. I can imagine that this would be useful in calculating customer discounts or mark-downs at the time of a sale to make sure that you’re not selling below cost.

Print Footer on Last Page Only

I’ve been waiting for this one, unfortunately it’s only in Enterprise 2015 and not Pro and Premier 2015. The option is located in the additional customization settings of the form template on the last tab – Print – Only Show Total on the Last Page.

CC-10-21-2014This avoids having that blank Total Box show on the first page of an invoice with multiple pages. It suppresses the entire footer with the exception of custom text boxes and page numbers.

It affects Invoices, Sales Orders, Estimates and Purchase Orders. For some unknown reason it is not currently available on Credit Memos or Sales Receipts. Maybe they will add that later.

There are quite a few more changes in Enterprise 2015 – too lengthy to cover in this article – and I am sure that there will be more to follow. At the time of this writing, rumor has it that there will be a big announcement regarding the Enterprise platform at the QB Connect conference in San Jose next week – I’ll let you know what I find out.

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What’s New in QuickBooks 2015 Pro and Premier

QuickBooks 2015 Desktop has just been released and there are several new features and improvements to old ones that you will want to take a look at to see if it has something worth upgrading for.

Insights Dashboard Insights is similar to the old Company Snapshot, which is still available. It’s a dashboard view of your financial position with a more up-to-date user interface. You can find it as a tab on the Home Page and configure the view using the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It’s customizable – you can add your logo, decide what you want to see and print the details of the entire screen. You can also click on the graphs to see a report with the supporting details.

Time and Expense on the Income Tracker – You can now view Unbilled Hours for Work in Progress by Dollars and sort the on-screen information in the Income Tracker. If you’re not familiar with the Income Tracker, that was a new feature in QuickBooks 2014.

Improved Reporting – This is great for those of us who are now having a difficult time with seeing our monitors without magnifiers. The on-screen reports have a more modern design with background shading, vertical and horizontal lines, increased line spacing, row alignment and indentation.

Field Search Boxes – Finally! When customizing reports we can now search for the columns we want to add to our reports from the filter list that is now in alphabetical order and searchable, instead of scrolling up and down looking for a needle in a haystack.

Comments on Reports – In QuickBooks 2015, you will be able to add comments to reports, snapshot save them as Commented Reports and email them with the comments attached. The comments are numbered sequentially and will print as a separate page. Please keep in mind that emailing sensitive information is not secure.

Multiple Reports in Single Email – instead of sending one email per report or creating PDF’s of multiple reports, storing them in a folder and then emailing them, you can now process and email multiple memorized or commented reports from the multiple reports menu. Again, emailing is not the preferred method of sending sensitive financial information as it is not secure. We recommend using a secure portal for transmitting data.

Manufacturer’s Part Numbers – in QuickBooks 2015, we can add the Manufacturer’s Part Number to our forms without using up a valuable custom field. This is available on Invoices, Sales Receipts and Sales Orders, but not Credit Memos. Be careful, this is an editable field and can be copied back to your Item List.

Pin Notes – the Notes section of Customers and Vendors has been re-designed and we can now pin important notes to the top of the view screen so that it always shows and is the default note on reports.

Reminders Dashboard – The Reminders now show up as a dashboard with To Do Notes. It’s easier to understand and work with than previous versions.

Terminate QB on Workstation – This new feature is dangerous at best. In a multi-user QuickBooks file, the Administrator can now switch to single-user mode without the permission of the other users who may be logged in. It closes even if the other users have unsaved data. I am recommending that all Admins forget that I told you about this feature.

Invoice for Selected Items on Sales Orders – We can now select which items we want to Invoice from a Sales Order.

Unless you see something in these changes that has been an issue for you, there is no real reason to upgrade. If Intuit stays true to form, the 2012 version of QuickBooks will be sunsetted in May of 2015 at which time those users will be required to update if they wish to continue using online banking, payroll and email features from within the program.

New Business Directions offers QuickBooks consulting, outsourced accounting, business and CFO services to small and mid-sized organizations. If we can help you in anyway, please contact us.

Posted in How-To's in QuickBooks, Product Development & Updates | Tagged

What’s New in QuickBooks 2015 for Accountants

QuickBooks 2015 offers some new features that we are excited to share with our fellow accounting professionals. The Accountant Toolbox, Client Collaborator and Report Comments are a few of the latest features available to accountants that we will explore in this newsletter.

Accountant Toolbox

In Pro and Premier versions of QuickBooks 2015, when you log into your clients’ QuickBooks file as the External Accountant, you will have an Accountant Toolbox available to you.

Instead of taking the file back to your office and restoring it to work on it with your tools while the client waits patiently and cannot use the file, you will be able to perform tasks right at their office on the live data file.

You will either need to be a ProAdvisor or have purchased the QuickBooks Accountant Plus subscription in order to use this Accountant Toolbox. From the Toolbox, you will be able to:

  • Batch enter and/or reclassify transactions
  • Preview the status of reconciliations
  • See a list of your memorized reports
  • Access the Client Data Review Tools
  • All other features previously only available in the Accountant Center.

With Client Data Review, you will be able to track changes made by the client; changes to lists, anything that was merged or deleted, you will be able to correct client data errors, record review notes, troubleshoot beginning balances, write off small Accounts Receivable balances, apply open credits, troubleshoot Inventory and correct Sales Tax and Payroll Tax errors.

Comments on Reports

With QuickBooks 2015 for Accountants, you will be able to add comments directly onto the Reports that you generate for your clients. You can save these reports as Commented Reports, similar to Memorized Reports, and you will be able to batch print and batch email these reports to your clients. Now you can avoid drafting lengthy emails outside of QuickBooks with this handy feature.

Figure 1: This screenshot captures the process of adding comments to reports.

Send Portable Company File

The Portable Company File feature has been streamlined. It’s a one-time setup and you can decide whether to send a Portable Company File or an Accountants’ Copy.

Client Collaborator

This was new in 2014, however it has been a best kept secret. This tool allows you to associate questions with specific transactions and track conversations between you and your client. Interactions between the accountant and the client are stored on a secure server and accessed online ensuring that nothing is lost.

This feature is located in the Accountant Menu under Ask Client about Transaction. Sign in to your Intuit account with your user ID and password and follow the onscreen prompts to create and send your questions to the client. The client will receive a secure email, log in to their QuickBooks file and view the conversation list, answer your questions and then you will be notified to review and close the conversations.

Figure 2: Here you can see the conversation trail of several transactions. No need for emailing your client with transaction details and questions, as you can do that now directly from QuickBooks.

New Business Directions helps small business owners streamline the process of making money with QuickBooks consulting and training services and provides outsourced accounting, business and CFO services. If we can help you in anyway, please contact us.

Posted in For Accountants & Bookkeepers | Tagged

24 QuickBooks Point of Sale Terms You Should Know

If youre new to QuickBooks Point of Sale, get ready to expand your vocabulary.

When you first start using QuickBooks, even if you’ve been doing manual  accounting for your business, there’s a learning curve. You recognize some things, like check blanks and invoice forms, but you have to take on an unfamiliar workflow, deal with new words and phrases, and learn more about double-entry accounting concepts than you perhaps knew before.

The same is true as a novice QuickBooks Point of Sale user. Whether you’re opening your first retail location or you’ve been selling auto parts or craft supplies or bakery goods for a decade, there will undoubtedly be some new terminology for you to learn.

Here’s a sampling of some of this new lingo that comes with the territory. You may look at the definition of a word or phrase and still be confused, but that’s where we come in. Seasoned shopkeeper or first-time seller, you will likely need our help when you first start using this complex piece of software.

  1. Address Verification Service (AVS): In transactions where a credit or debit card is not physically present, AVS adds an extra layer of security
  2. Assembly: Multiple products pre-assembled in a unit
  3. Average Unit Cost: The average (not actual) cost of the items on hand in your inventory
  4. Chargeback: A credit card charge disputed by a customer
  5. Class: A categorization method used in creating reports; for example, run Profit and Loss reports by store
  6. Committed Quantities: The number of inventory items that have been included on active customer orders
  7. Financial Exchange: QuickBooks POS tool that helps you share data with QuickBooks
    Figure 1: QuickBooks Point of Sale’s Financial Exchange establishes an ongoing connection to QuickBooks for data-sharing.
  8. Merchant Service Center: An Intuit website dedicated to helping you manage your merchant account
  9. Non-Inventory Item: An item for which you do not keep track of on-hand quantities, like shipping or delivery fees
  10. Payout: Funds taken from the cash drawer for any of a number of reasons, like a bank deposit, office party, or to make a necessary purchase
  11. Physical Inventory (PI): The process of tallying the number of items physically present in inventory; used to correct quantities recorded in QuickBooks
  12. Price Level: Price charged for items that differs from the regular price; can define up to four additional reduced prices in QuickBooks POS (employee cost, promotions, etc.)
  13. Quick Add Item: Process by which you can quickly create a new inventory item while completing a transaction with a customer; doesn’t require as much immediate detail
  14. Quick Find: Found on the QuickBooks POS Navigator; functions as a search tool for locating customers, items, receipts, etc.
    Figure 2: You can enter a search word or phrase in the Quick Find box at the top of the Navigator page.
  15. Quick Pick: A user-defined group of selected items that can be easily accessed during checkout
  16. Quick Zoom: Lets you “drill down”on a line or value within a report; can see the origin of the selected item
  17. Remote Store: Refers to every store other than Headquarters in a multi-store QuickBooks POS configuration
  18. Simple View: An abbreviated version of a sales receipt that may be viewed via touchscreens and virtual keyboards
  19. Split-Payment Sale: A transaction that is completed using two or more payment methods
  20. Store Exchange: Data shared between Headquarters and remote stores via:
    • Desktop email
    • Web-based email
    • Removable media, or
    • Network file exchange
  21. Transfer Slip: Documents transfer of merchandise between stores
  22. X-Out Shift Report: Available throughout the sales day, monitors recent sales activity
  23. Z-Out Drawer Count: End-of-shift or end-of-day cash drawer reconciliation
  24. Z-Out Store Close Report: End-of-day sales and cash flow summary; assists in readying a bank deposit

You can see that there are a lot of new terms to understand when you begin  managing your retail transactions using QuickBooks Point of Sale. We can help further your knowledge by putting those words and phrases in context, so you can see where they fit in your workflow.

Posted in Business Development & Management, Small Business | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Does Your Small Business Need a CRM?

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and then returned, finding that they have stocked your room with everything you asked for the last time you were here? Your special allergenic pillow was already waiting for you, you were asked if you would like a dinner reservation made just like you always do the first night, and there were even extra hangars because you always need extra hangars. None of this would be possible for the hotel if it didn’t have a CRM, customer relationship management, system in place.

Would your clients be impressed if you remembered all of the details about your last conversation, their last purchase, or their preferences? If so, your business might benefit from a CRM system.

Businesses that have more than 30 or so clients may benefit from a system that allows you and your employees to enter detailed information about each client interaction that they have. It can work for both current and future clients, i.e., prospects. A CRM is basically a great big customer database at its core. It contains master file information on a customer or client, such as name, company, address, contact info, and custom fields. It is also transaction-driven in that you can log activity such as calls, meetings, proposal dates, and more.

A good CRM system is also integrated with your other internal systems, such as your accounting or POS system or both. In some CRM systems, you can see invoice and payment history, so that when a client calls in, you can also peek to see whether they owe you money or what goods they ordered that they may be calling about.

There are literally hundreds of CRM systems to choose from. The gold standard for large companies is SalesForce.com; however, some small businesses use it as well. SugarCRM is the largest open source CRM, meaning its programming code is available to the public. ZohoCRM is one of the largest small business CRMs and offers a suite of products for small businesses. And Act! is also very popular and plays well with social media.

     

Before choosing a CRM, decide what you want it to do and how you will be using it. One of the most important aspects of profiting from a CRM is to make sure it gets used, and that takes some habit-changing from you and your staff. Once you have your requirements, you can evaluate the software options available, and choose the one that works best for you.

When your clients start talking about how great your service is and how much attention you pay to the details they care about, you’ll know your CRM is paying off for you.

Posted in Business Development & Management, Small Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Tour through QuickBooks’ Payroll Setup Tool

Getting QuickBooks ready to process payroll is a complex, time- consuming process. Here’s what you can expect.

Payday. You look forward to it when you’re young and working at your first part-time job.

But as a grown-up who needs to start processing payroll for your employees, you probably anticipate it in a different way, perhaps even with a sense of dread. QuickBooks handles the real grunt work once you’ve done the initial setup, but those early hours you spend preparing to print your first paycheck can be challenging.

Fortunately, QuickBooks’ payroll setup tool can guide you through the process. Once you’ve signed up for payroll, open the Employees menu and select Payroll Setup.

 

Figure 1: The QuickBooks Payroll Setup tool tells you’ll what information you need to supply in order to start paying employees.

Easy Operations

The first screen you’ll see in this step-by-step, wizard-like setup guide contains a link to QuickBooks’ payroll setup checklist. You don’t have to assemble all of the information you’ll need about your company, your employees, and your payroll taxes, but we recommend that you gather as much as you can before you start.

You’ll advance through setup by completing the information requested and then clicking the Continue button in the lower right (or, sometimes, Next; there’s also a Previous button available often). If you don’t have a particular detail immediately at hand, you can continue on and come back later. You’ll be able to edit your work then.

To back out of the whole process and return at another time, click the Finish Later button in the lower left.

Building a Framework

QuickBooks first wants to know about the various types of compensation and employee benefits your company offers. To start adding your Compensation options, click Add New. Click in the box in front of any pay types you support (Salary, Hourly wage and overtime, Commission, etc.) to create a check mark. When you click Next, this window opens:

Figure 2: It’s easy to indicate the types of compensation your company offers.

Keep clicking Next after you’ve completed each screen until you come to a page that lists all of the compensation types you’ve defined. To make any changes, highlight the type and click Edit to modify or Delete to remove. Then click Continue when you’re finished.

The next section is probably the most difficult: Employee Benefits. Here, using similar interface conventions to enter information and navigate, you’ll provide information about your company’s:

  • Insurance benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Paid time off, and
  • Miscellaneous items (cash advance, wage garnishment, mileage reimbursement, etc.).

It’s absolutely critical that you set these up accurately, or you’ll have unhappy benefits providers – and employees. If you’re not absolutely confident of an answer, it’s better to leave an item unfinished and come back later. You may want to ask us to work with you as you complete this section.

People and Taxes

QuickBooks will then ask you about your employees. Have your W-4 forms handy for this section, as you’ll need to know Social Security numbers, birth dates, etc.

 

Figure 3: On this screen, you’ll tell QuickBooks what type(s) of compensation and their dollar amounts apply to the employee.

All of those details you entered earlier about company benefits comes into play here. Once you’ve defined an employee’s compensation types and amounts, the next screen will display the additions and deductions that your company supports. You will have set up defaults for some of these, but you can modify them for individual employees.

There are numerous other details that you’ll have to supply for your staff, like how vacation and sick hours accrue, what state will want to collect taxes from them, and what their filing status is.

Unless you’ve worked with payroll before, you’re going to want our help in completing the payroll tax section. Once it’s done correctly, QuickBooks will calculate taxes due and help you pay them.

Finally, QuickBooks helps you determine whether you’ll need to enter any previous payroll data from the current year before you start to process your payroll in the software.

Whether you’re switching from manual payroll or a payroll service, or simply getting ready to pay your first employee, QuickBooks payroll-processing tools can help you save time and foster accuracy – as long as you get the details from the start.

Posted in For Accountants & Bookkeepers, How-To's in QuickBooks, QuickBooks | Tagged , , , , ,

Oops: Do You Owe Sales Tax and Not Realize It?

One of the side effects of our last economic slowdown was in state  government budgets; states are estimating $25.8 Billion in uncollected sales tax and have made deep cuts to higher education to fill the budget gaps. New Hampshire has cut its higher education funding by 36.6% making it the 7th highest in the nation. Many states are finding additional revenue by cracking down on sales tax collections. Please don’t believe that just because you’re in New Hampshire that you’re exempt from sales tax.

The Hot Buzzword: Nexus. 

Nexus means a connection, link or tie that a business has with a state, and it has to do with a form of presence. If you have presence, the state has jurisdiction to collect sales tax. In the sales tax world, you owe sales tax to a state if you have nexus in that state and you are selling taxable items. The scary part for small businesses is what makes up nexus.

A Small World
Globalization and technology together have produced dramatic shifts in the way businesses can look today. Not only can we access a pool of local talent to staff and grow our businesses, we can employ almost anyone around the world to work for us. Hiring employees or contractors located in other states can stretch our nexus to include that state.

As an example, if your company is located in New Hampshire and you hire an employee who works from her home in Florida, you might have nexus in Florida and New Hampshire, and you might owe sales tax in Florida (you could owe in both states if New Hampshire had a sales tax). Sales tax nexus is not the same as state income tax nexus, but the presence of a worker in another state is a possible trigger for sales tax nexus.

Taxable in One State, Not in Another

The taxability of services has grown rapidly as states look to balance their budgets after Federal cuts and other shortfalls. Not all services are taxed equally across states. For example, web design services are taxable in Texas, but not California. Accounting services are taxable in Hawaii and South Dakota.Some states have smaller jurisdictions such as counties and municipalities, making for over 11,000 jurisdictions in the U.S., not just 50. Alabama, Colorado and Arizona, for example, have statewide rules as well as taxability rules for localities within the states.

NOMAD

There are only five (5) states that currently have no sales tax; New Hampshire, Oregon, Montana, Alaska and Delaware. Again, this does not mean that if you’re business is located in one of these states, that you will not have to pay sales tax. It just means that these states do not colllect a sales tax. There may be other taxes; e.g. Meals and Rentals taxes, etc.

Innocuous Survey Can Trigger Audit

You might receive a form that looks like a survey and asks innocent-looking questions such as how many employees do you have and what state do they work in and where do they live. The surveys don’t look like they are from a state government but they might be. It’s their way of getting you to admit nexus. Please do not let just anyone fill these out; it could expose you to a huge liability. Hint: If you receive a nexus questionnaire, the requesting agency already suspects an issue.

Minimizing Sales Tax Audit Risk

A sales tax audit could expose you to an average of 6% of customer revenues back seven to ten years plus up to 60% in penalties and interest.

Because of the high dollar impact on the profitability of your business, it’s best to get a sales tax professional involved in helping you determine the taxability of your items as well as interpreting nexus. Many states are hiring auditors, sharing information and aggressively pursuing businesses, so due diligence in this area is prudent.

Sales Tax Tools Are Available

There are tools that integrate with QuickBooks and other small business  software products, including online shopping carts. These tools will help you to calculate the taxes and file the required state sales tax forms.

Marketplace Fairness Act

The Marketplace Fairness Act, which is slated to tax internet sales for companies with revenues in excess of $1 million, even in New Hampshire, has passed the Senate and will be voted on in the House shortly. This will change everything.

If we can help in any way, please reach out and let us know.

Posted in Business Development & Management, Small Business | Tagged ,

Five Ways You Can Use QuickBooks’ Income Tracker

The Income Tracker is one of QuickBooks’ more innovative features. If you’re not using it, you should be.

One of the reasons that QuickBooks appeals to millions of small businesses is because it offers multiple ways to complete the same tasks, which accommodates different work styles. Say, for example, you wanted to look up a specific invoice. You could:

  • Go to the Customer Center and select the customer, and then scan through the list of transactions,
  • Use the Find feature (Edit | Find), or
  • Create a report.

There’s also another way you can get there if you have a recent version of QuickBooks: the Income Tracker. (Note: Only the Administrator or a staff member with the correct permissions can access this feature. Talk to us about whether to allow other employees to use it, and how to set that up.)

Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Income Tracker provides a visual overview of your company’s income.

That’s the first thing you can do with QuickBooks’ Income Tracker. To get there, either click the link in the vertical navigation bar or go to Customers | Income Tracker.

Four colored bars across the top of the screen represent unbilled estimates, open invoices, overdue invoices, and invoices paid within the last 30 days. Each bar contains two numerical values: the number of transactions of that type and the dollar amount involved.

QuickBooks defaults to displaying all types of transactions, but when you click on a bar, the screen changes to show only that type of transaction.

You can also filter the table of transactions using the drop-down lists below the colored bars. Your choices here include Customer:Job, Type, Status (Open, Paid, etc.) and Date (range). Click the arrow to the right of each filter’s label to display your options.

The column labels below these lists will change depending on the transaction type that’s active.

More Functionality

The Income Tracker is great for simply viewing groups of transactions; double-clicking on one will open the original form. You can also open them by selecting an action to take. For example, open your estimates list and click on a transaction to highlight it. Then click the arrow next to Select in the Action column at the far right end of the row.

Figure 2: You can modify transactions like estimates from within the Income Tracker.

If you choose the first option here, QuickBooks opens a small window that asks you whether you’d like to create an invoice for 100 percent of the estimate, a percentage of it, specific items, or percentages of each item. When you make your selection and click OK, a completed invoice form opens, which you can then check over and save.

As you can see above, you can also mark the estimate as inactive, print it, or email it.

Each transaction type supports a different set of actions. In the open invoice action column, as you’d expect, you can click the option to Receive Payment, which opens the Customer Payment window with the customer and amount due already filled in. This can be edited to reflect a different amount, or you can just accept it as is, then save it.

Flexible Forms
You can even create a new transaction within the Income Tracker. Click on the arrow next to Manage Transactions in the lower left corner of the screen and select the form you want.
Figure 3: You can open new transaction screens from within QuickBooks’ Income Tracker.

The Income Tracker also provides one of the fastest ways to print multiple forms. Just select the transactions you want to print by clicking in the box in front of them, and then click the arrow next to Batch Actions in the lower left corner.

Finally, you can edit transactions from here, too. Either double-click on one or select it and click Edit Highlighted Row in the Manage Transactions menu.

QuickBooks’ Income Tracker doesn’t do anything that can’t be done another way in the program. But it provides an excellent one-glance view of the current state of your receivables movement.

If you’re consistently seeing patterns that you don’t like, call us. We can evaluate your receivables process and suggest ways to accelerate it. Even if your sales aren’t increasing, getting that “PAID” stamp on invoices quickly will improve your cash flow and strengthen your confidence as a business manager.

Posted in Accounting Basics, How-To's in QuickBooks, QuickBooks