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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Check Printing Options.


I was just given new blank paychecks to use - they already have the company name/address above the 'pay to the order of' section. The previous ones did not.

How do I format in qb2005 contractor’s ed. the check printing so that it does not reprint this information over the pre-printed information?

Please help!!


When you select print paychecks and the print dialog box opens, there is a checkbox that allows you to unselect the address/logo printing option.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Emailing Invoices.


To email invoices and statements do you have to purchase something additional besides having QuickBooks premier?


No, QuickBooks Premier includes this function for invoices and statements.

To email invoices, find the invoice you are interested in so that it is on the screen. On the menu bar next to print, there is a button that says "Send". Click "Send" and follow the instructions.

Also you can send multiple invoices in one step by selecting "Send Batch".

To email Statements, follow these instructions:

If you have more than one customer to send statements to, you can have QuickBooks send the statements out in a single batch.

1. From the Customers menu, select Create Statements.

2. Select the customers that you want to create statements for.

3. Click View Selected Customers to verify your selection.

4. Click E-mail.

5. In the Select Forms to Send window, make changes as necessary.

6. Click Send Now.

Also...nice office address.

Backup Problem.


I have backed up a company file to a cd. It won't open because it says it's a read only, change file to read-writable. I can't figure out how to do this-- please help! Need info on new computer.




When you do a back-up in QuickBooks, it creates a .qbb file (for QuickBooks Backup) the working file uses a .qbw extension (for QuickBooks Working file).

Many people have this problem because they try and "use" the .qbb file.

What you need to do is go into QuickBooks and select Restore (File - Restore).

When the Restore window opens select the .qbb file from your CD in the upper box. In the lower box select where you want the new .qbw file to be located (on your new computer).

If this is the process that you followed, and you are still getting a read only error, then the backup may b corrupted and you will need to make a new one. Sometimes a USB drive works better than a CD.

"Slightly" Forgotton Password.


Is there any assistance for retrieving a slightly forgotten password on QuickBooks?



First I would try everything to remember my password (try using all of your other passwords).

If after exhausting this process you still cannot remember your password, then you will have to have QuickBooks remove it for you.

Here is a link to their Password Removal Service.

Even though you have only slightly forgotten your password, I think Intuit will still be obliged to charge the full $65.00.

I always try to keep a list of passwords in a secure location...this has proven to be helpful for me.

Reimburseing Employees.

I am very new to QuickBooks, but I have to ask this question.

How do I record a payment to an employee when that employee submits an expense report for expense he incurred on behalf of the company. Mileage or office supplies for example. Is the employee just a vendor just like any other. Thanks.

Carol in Augusta Maine


In this case, your employee is in essence a vendor. However, if you are writing them a check, you don't have to set them up as a vendor if they are already an employee.

Simply bring up the check screen. Select the name of your employee and write the check as you normally would...classifying the reimbursement to the proper account.

Note: After selecting the name of the employee, you may get a message that says something like: "To pay employees, use the pay employee’s screen." If you are writing a reimbursement check only and not actually paying the employee...just cancel this message and proceed with the instructions above.

Bank of America Problem


I have several independent accounts set up in QuickBooks Pro 2004. I have been connecting to my bank via QuickBooks and downloading processed checks.

Recently, I got the message, “Your last on line connection was not completed. QuickBooks is having a problem recovering from this condition. Please contact Tech Support for on line banking.

I don’t get this message with all of my accounts. What happened?

I have contacted Bank Of America and they can’t help.


I have gotten several variations of this question over the last few days. The common thread in all of them is Bank of America. I have not seen any question where another bank was involved.

It would seem then that either BOA is not sending the data properly or they are using a format that doesn't "agree" with QuickBooks.

I would keep pestering BOA to see if they can provide an answer. The key may be to find a support representative that speaks English and resides in one of the 50 states as opposed to Bangalore.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A/P Problems.


When I enter bills, it has a section at the top that says a/p account. It’s beside the bill/credit section. Is this supposed to be there? Whenever I enter the bill to the vendor whatever is in that a/p section is what prints in the check register as account monies to be paid from.
How do I fix this?


To your first question, yes this is supposed to be there. Some companies use several A/P accounts for various reasons and this allows them to change between those accounts.

Secondly, I think you are worried for no reason. You see, when you enter a bill you are recording a payable and an expense (assuming that you are on an accrual basis). When you pay that bill you are satisfying the debt (bill) by crediting your cash account (writing a check) the register correctly records the check as going to the A/P account (so it doesn’t record the expense again).

This may be confusing, but it will work correctly.

Faxing Invoices.


I just bought a laptop in hopes that I could work while I was traveling. Our business (manufacturing custom mantels) requires that I fax invoices to certain builders but I do not know how to do this from my laptop. I have qb2005, please help!



Unfortunately, QuickBooks does not have a mechanism that will allow you to fax directly from the program. You can however email invoices by clicking “Send” on the menu bar above where you enter invoices.

QuickBooks will automatically create the invoice as a .pdf file and send it to your customer along with a pre-formatted email message.

If this will not work for your customers, a more tedious option would be to email the invoice to your office…let one of your staff print it out and then have them fax it to your customer.

Windows ME Compatible?


Can you tell me whether QuickBooks Pro 2005 - PN 284456 is compatible with Windows Millennium Edition - I've heard yes and no and really don't want to upgrade my operating system .


According to the QuickBooks website, 2005 is not compatible with Windows ME...So I would be leery of installing on that machine.

I had a machine a few years ago with ME on it, and I had considerable problems with it (Not with QB's though).

Has anyone used QuickBooks 2005 with Windows ME?

Tracking Expenses.


I am starting a new company in the Portland, Oregon area. it is a stainless steel cablerail in fill company that uses sailing hardware and cable for decks interior and exterior.

I have quicken Premier and I can not figure out how to put my expenses into the program. It has bills on a cash basis or accrual but I do not know how to put just expenses in . I do not have bills just expenses I pay outright in full.

Any help would be GREAT!


To track expenses, you simply need to classify your check to the proper account in the section below the check. Recording Bills will only help you track payables. It also will allow you to pay your bills more efficiently (ie. you can pay multiple invoices with a single check). However tracking bills is optional if this is not important to you.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Recording SBA Loan distributions.


I am in the process of opening a smoothies business and have secured a $150,000 SBA loan. The way that SBA works is that you (over a period of several months to 1 year max) take out disbursements to pay for your startup costs (including equipment, fees, tenant improvements, inventory, etc). The disbursements can be in uneven succession ($200, $40,000, $3583, etc). For the first year the SBA loan is setup as interest only on the portion dispersed and after one year it goes to principle and interest via a 7 year term. We are trying to figure out the best way to set this up in QuickBooks. We also need to be able to track the expenses that where incurred at startup (like construction costs and building permit fees). All of this did not come from us directly, but came from the SBA Loan. How do we then record an item as an expense when it was paid for via a loan disbursements? For example: When we go to record $5000 in fees for the building permit, QuickBooks asks what account it came from. The problem is that it wasn’t paid for via an account. The Bank cut the check directly to the city building department and thus we only have the receipt showing that the fee was paid.

Any suggestions would help.



Very good question. This is something that I’m sure many users face. How do you record an expense that was paid directly?

The problem is that QuickBooks really doesn’t have a mechanism to record these types of transactions. So ideally, you would run it through your bank account...but in your case that is not possible, so here is what you do.

You will need to record journal entries for the disbursements that came from the SBA loan. To do this follow this procedure:

1. Hopefully, you have a record of all the transactions in your SBA loan account. If you haven’t done so already, set-up the SBA loan account as a liability.

2. Open the journal entries screen. (Company - Make Journal Entries)

3. For each distribution, DEBIT the applicable expense account or asset account and CREDIT the SBA loan account. Be sure to enter thorough memos so that you and your accountant can track these things come tax time.

4. When you are done entering the journal entries, pull up your balance sheet and ensure that the balance you have in the SBA loan account matches your most recent statement.

Just for you information, if you were to receive a check from the SBA to deposit in your company account and then disburse funds yourself the process would be easier. This scenario would call for you to make a Funds Transfer (Banking - Transfer Funds).

Note: Just a word of caution, when recording the distributions from the SBA you need to be careful how you classify them. For instance you mentioned that you paid $5,000 for a building permit...I assume this means you are either building a building or remodeling one. In most cases that building permit fee would actually be a capitalized as part of the building or leasehold improvements not recorded as an expense. Also the IRS requires that you capitalize many of your start-up expenses as well. You should talk to someone familiar with your business and accounting.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Help Needed.


Hello, I sure hope that someone can help me. I'm using QuickBooks Pro 2001. My problem is that: in my (Item Listing List) I set it up to automatically type a sentence (the body text of an invoice) that corresponds with a certain number in the item field in an invoice. For example: by typing in 01. example text, 02. example text, 03. example text...appears in the DISCRIPTION field. But for some reason, when I type the following numbers (03., 04., 10.,15. and 35.) The next entry automatically does a (double space) and nothing I try allows me to change this to single space. All other numbers single spaces to the next line. I hope that I have explained my problem well enough, and look forward to a quick response. If you are unable to help me, I would deeply appreciate a referral to someone who may be able to help.


Without seeing exactly what is happening, it is hard for me to give you a good answer. Here are a few things that I would try.

The first thing that I would do is go into the item setup (Lists - Item List - Edit Item) and compare one of the items that is working the way that you want it to with one that is causing problems. Conventional wisdom would tell you that there must be a difference somewhere.

Also check the descriptions in the setup carefully. Sometimes you can accidentally key an additional Enter (Return) at the end of a sentence. So go to the end of your description and hit the delete key several times.

I hope this helps. Like I said, this may be one of those things that you would need to see to fix. If you still need help, consider finding a QuickBooks ProAdvisor in your area or check with your CPA. Click here to search the ProAdvisor Database.

Help Needed.


Help! We are and aerial survey company and we give volume discounts on certain products and I cannot see a way in QB2005 Pro to set up volume discounts or any discounts with arbitrary controls tied to the item not the customer. To be specific, we give a discounted per negative charge based on the number of units sold. We also have an up charge per negative for high altitude photography. Each of these has several levels based on how high or how many.


This sounds like a very interesting business. I did some research on this, and I am not able to determine a way for QuickBooks to calculate discounts based on a formula. If this is something that is very important to you (like thousands of dollars important) you could look into getting a more robust accounting program where a programmer could input a formula to do this.

Assuming that you don’t want to spend tons of money, but you still want to show your customers that they are getting a discount because of the volume of their business you can set-up a discount item. To do this:

1. Go to Lists - Item List

2. Select New Item.

3. When it asks for a type...choose discount, and the account that you want discounts to show up in.

4. Write a description of the discount that you want to show up on your invoice.

5. I would leave the amount/percentage blank, so that you can adjust based on your volume formula.

Sorry that it took so ling, and that I wasn't more help.

Printing Bank Information on Checks in QuickBooks.

I'm having trouble getting my bank account and routing number to print out on my checks. Is there a certain way to enter this?


Unfortunately, QuickBooks will not let you print the bank information on blank check stock or plain paper. If you want to print checks with QuickBooks you will need to order checks from Intuit or some other supply company that offers QuickBooks formatted checks.

READ THIS POST - Applying Credits.


I am new at QuickBooks. The A/P department before me had entered some credits on different vendors. Why does the credit show on the vendor unpaid detail list. Were the credits entered incorrectly?


This is a common problem. I was discussing this with someone the other day.

The problem is that when you enter a credit...or issue a credit memo QuickBooks will show the amount in the balance, but it will not apply the credit.

All that you need to do is to apply the credit to the bill that the credit was issued on. Follow these steps:

1. In the Unpaid Bills Detail Report, you should have both a bill and a credit that cancel each other out in terms of balance. Make a note of the bill information.

2. Open your pay bills screen (Vendor - Pay Bills). Make sure that the radio button is checked so that all bills are displayed.

3. Place a checkmark beside the bill that you noted earlier.

4. Down at the bottom of the pay bills screen, you should have a button titled "Set Credits". Click on that button and apply the credit to the bill in question.

I hope this helps everyone reading, because I have yet to see a QuickBooks file that didn't have this issue at least once.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Entering and Paying Bills.


Thanks for your answer, perhaps I am trying to do the wrong thing here. What I need to do is show the invoice numbers of each invoice I am paying along with the amount on the voucher. I typically pay 3 or more invoices to a vendor with one check. Is there a way to do this?



I must have misunderstood. What you seek to do is definitely possible. (However, the invoice information will print on the voucher not in the memo section of the check). I do it many times myself. Here is the process that you should follow.

When you receive bills, you should enter them in the QuickBooks Bills screen (Vendors - Enter Bills). When you are entering them, be sure to enter the Invoice number in the "Reference #" field.

When you pay your bills (Vendors - Pat Bills), you can select multiple invoices for the same vendor and only one check will print. On the voucher however, will be the reference number that you entered along with the amount of each individual invoice.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Printing Memos on Check Vouchers.


I’m using QB pro 2005 and printing voucher checks for bill paying. I fill in the memo field, not the one on the picture of the check but the lines below in the register portion after the account and amount. When my checks print the memo information does not print. Is there a way to do this? I cannot find one.

Thanks for your help,


As I understand it, the memo that is on the face of the check is the only one that will print on the check or the voucher. The memo section in the account split section is purely for your (and your accountants) information. This allows you to put your account number in the memo section (like you would on a bill payment), but still allows you to put more detailed explanations that you might not want on the face of the check.

Trouble Emailing Invoices.


I wonder if you can help me. Twice a month I need to e-mail my invoices via QuickBooks Basic 2004. Sometimes the invoices go right out without a problem. Usually, however, I encounter various error messages and most often the whole QuickBooks program gets kicked off and shut down before it even connects to the QuickBooks server. I have to try over and over and over to get my invoices to go out. Eventually, I'll get them out, but it is really a time-consuming chore to I worry the entire time that I'm not going to get the invoices out.

Do you know of any other way to attach an invoice in QuickBooks to an e-mail I can just send via my Comcast account? I read somewhere that someone uses WinFax to send their invoices, but I don't know how to get WinFax listed in my list of printer choices (apparently this is how WinFax opens to send the invoice by e-mail from within WinFax.).

Any suggestions are very much appreciated. This has been going on for a very long time and causes me a lot of stress anytime I get ready to send invoices!

Thank you!


It sounds like their may be a problem other than QuickBooks here. QuickBooks should not shutdown while trying to email may be conflicting with another program.

In any case, it is possible to email invoices outside of QuickBooks. I am not familiar with WinFax, but I have used it shows up as a printer in QuickBooks after I installed it.

If you have Adobe Acrobat (Not Acrobat Reader) it will allow you to print to a PDF file which can be emailed and read by the recipient via Acrobat Reader. I know Acrobat can be a bit pricey, but it really can do a lot. Other programs also include a print driver that will convert your invoices to PDF.

I Lost the Installation CD.


I have a new computer and would like to install QB’s on the new laptop. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the installation CD. Is there anyway to install QB’s from one computer to another w/out the installation CD?



I know that there is a way to transfer all your old programs from your old computer to your new one with a crossover cable (Assuming both your old and new computer have NIC cards).

I apologize, but I am not an expert in networking. I sure that you know someone that would be able to help you.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Merging Files.


Help! I have 2004 info on one computer while 2005 data has been entered on another. I want to merge the two without overriding any of the data.

Let me explain further;
I have some 2004 info on one computer and prior data from 2004 and before as well as 2005 data on another how can I merge the two without overriding and destroying it?

Please let me know if you can help ASAP. If this can't be done, my only alternative will be to re-enter 2005 year to date info.


I am sorry, but there is no way that I am aware of to merge transactions from one file to another. You will need to reenter the transactions, or you can move balances by using a journal entry.

Friday, August 05, 2005

QuickBooks Wants to do an Update.


I had lost my networking but now it is reconnected but when I go to get into my QuickBooks it tells me to update my QuickBooks, I have to turn off QuickBooks and it will reset itself. I do not understand what it is asking for. PLEASE HELP


Without seeing it, it sounds like QuickBooks has detected the internet through the LAN and has determined that there is an available update. After performing the update and restarting QuickBooks everything should be fine.

Using Classes for a Balance Sheet.


Can I get a completely "classed" out balance sheet? I have two stores (classes) operating off of one set of QuickBooks. The P & L classes out fine, but the balance sheet doesn't. I class my expenses when I enter them as a bill into A/P. Many of the bills are split between the classes. When the bill payment check is written, it doesn't reflect the change in the checking account by class like it would if I paid the expenses directly by check. Does either of the newest versions of QuickBooks Pro or Premier class the bill payment checks. Is there any simple way to accomplish my goal without a bunch of intra-company transfers? Setting up two separate checking accounts wont work because I would still be paying bills that are split between classes. Thanks. Nice Site!


The balance sheet is designed to show the financial position of the whole company. The purpose of classes is to show the profitability of different operating segments of your business. The classes only apply to the P&L statement and other reports related to profitability.

To illustrate...You have one checking account with one balance. The checking account doesn't have a different balance because you are looking at a particular class. However if you take out transactions from your checking account you will be left with an inaccurate balance.

It sounds almost like you want to keep two different files for your two stores. In this case you would have to use two checking accounts one for each so that everything balances. I do not recommend this approach, because you will create a nightmare with inter-company transfers as you predicted earlier. You also would become your accountant’s worst enemy.

You currently are following the best course of action in my opinion, it just the classes were not designed to produce 2 different balance sheets.

Networking Question.


The computer we have our quickbooks on is networked to others using windows xp pro peer to peer networking. That computer serves many tasks, and sometimes we have to arm wrestle for access time to that station. What would be involved in accessing quickbooks from another network computer? Only one person would need access to quickbooks at a time. Do I need to buy a second copy of quickbooks for the second computer even though it would not truly be multi-user, just multi access?


Using peer to peer networking isn't ideal for an office with more than 2 people in my opinion. I think that you should look at a simple server in the will be glad you did.

Under your current situation, I believe you can locate your company file on any machine that is accessable to your network. Just backup your file and restore it to the new location.

Any user with access to the new location should be able to access the file. As for how many copies of QuickBooks you will need, any computer that will need access to your company file will have to have its own copy of QuickBooks even though you are not accessing the file at the same time. However, even though you may not need to be in the file at the same time, you should be able to if the need arises (As long as all of the computers accessing have the same version of QuickBooks).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tracking Inventory.


I work in a body shop that is having trouble with it's inventory. I thought I would try doing it on my QuickBooks 2004. Problem is, (maybe I'm just not doing this right) when we buy from our supplier, a lot of times it is a box or case of something, but when counted on hand for physical inventory, we count by the piece.

Box of scuff pads (20 per box) cost is $20.00 or $1.00 each.
Now, either way I enter this would work, except when it comes to doing a purchase order. If I put it in as box of scuff pads, the P.O. works, but the physical inventory sheet won't work. If I put it in as each, then the P.O. shows to order 1 scuff pad instead of a box. I hope that makes sense. It's just really frustrating, It really doesn't seem that difficult to me, but I can't figure it out. Please help! I will take any suggestions, we do have quite a bit of inventory and I need to have this done by November. If you know of another program that can accomplish this please let me know. Thank You


Using your above example, I would set up the item as single scuff pads, because that is how you use them and bill them (assuming that you bill inventory to a job). So your purchase order would be for 20 scuff pads…if you wanted to order a case. I would think that it would be irrelevant how many are in a case unless your vendor requires a purchase order (rare) to be set up as the number of cases you want to order.

I can't imagine doing it any other way if your going to track scuff pads. I must admit that I know very little about body shops, but unless you are invoicing scuff pads...and if they only cost a dollar do you really need to track them? Aren't they just shop supplies? Just something to think about.

Using an Accountant's Reveiw Copy.


Does QuickBooks or any of their preferred providers offer the ability to Synchronize multiple QuickBooks files? For example – if a client sends a QuickBooks disk to us, his accountant there are now 2 files. The client makes changes to his file by writing checks or booking deposits. We, the accounting firm, make changes to our file by writing journal entries. Is there any way to synchronize the 2 files without one of the parties re-keying entries? Also, what if one of the parties changes an existing record, is there any way to generate a report showing conflicting data within a record?

Thank you:



As an accountant, this is something that I struggled with for a while. How to make adjustments to a clients file, while they are using it. Fortunately, Intuit provided the answer with their Accountant's Review Copy system.

Here is the information from Intuit:

An accountant's review copy enables an accountant to review and make corrections to a copy of your company file while you continue to work, and then merge the changes back into your file.

1. You typically make an accountant's review copy on a disk or CD_ROM.

2. You give the copy to your accountant, who opens it on his or her computer.

3. You continue day-to-day tasks; some changes are not allowed.

4. Your accountant reviews your data and makes changes. Only some changes are allowed.

5. When finished, your accountant saves the changes to a disk or CD-ROM.

6. You merge the changes into your data.

As was mentioned above, there are some limitations to what you and your client can do with the file while the Accountant's Review Copy is outstanding.

Below is what your client can do while the file is outstanding:

While your accountant is making changes to the accountant's review copy, you can do the following in your master copy of your company data file:

Create, edit, and delete transactions.

Add new entries to any of your lists.

Edit the information for a list entry.

What you can't do

Delete a list entry.

Reorganize your lists. For example, you cannot move entries in the list, make an account a subaccount, etc.

Rename existing accounts or items.

The accountants version is much more restrictive, the following are some of the things that you can do as the accountant.

1. View existing lists.

2. View existing transactions.

3. Enter general journal transactions.

4. Memorize new general journal transactions.

5. View employee YTD payroll setup transactions (through reports and registers).

6. Adjust inventory values and quantities.

7. Create, adjust, and print 941, 940, and W-2 forms.

8. Temporarily change preferences.

9. Create new reports.

10. Print 1099 forms.

11. Add new items to the chart of accounts, Item list, and To Do Notes list.

12. Edit existing account names and numbers.

13. Edit account and tax information for existing items.

14. Make adjusting entries.

Hope this helps. Other than this, I am not aware of anything that would allow you to "merge" files.

Emailing Invoices/Statements.


I have a customer who uses QuickBooks pro 2003, they have 3 accounts one is the administrator. When the email icon is clicked on the administrator account to send an invoice/ statement...not very familiar with QuickBooks here.....then it sends, but on the other users accounts it just freezes after being clicked until escape is pressed twice, I’m off to see this customer at 1:00pm here tomorrow and could really use the help Thanks.


It sounds like a problem with the user privileges. To check this, go to Company, - Set up Users. When the box opens select one of the users that has a problem. Go to “Edit User”. Now check the rights under “Sales and Accounts Receivable” see if they have the ability to create and print.(Emailing would be viewed like printing I believe).

This is the only thing that I could think of in QuickBooks that might affect your ability to email. I am especially led to think this because the Administrator doesn’t have this problem. You said they have to hit “Esc” twice…the screens that they are escaping from may also provide some insight.

Writing Off Bad Debt.


I have taken over the office for a landscaping company whose internal books are all over the place. We still show outstanding receivables from as far back as 1998. How do I handle these in QuickBooks? My assumption is to void the ones we cannot collect on to remove them from the receivables list, but I am wondering how to keep track of the non-collectibles in a report.

Thanks in advance


When doing bookkeeping, the argument could be made that the most important thing to keep strait are your receivables. After all, if you keep sending statements with a balance to customers who have already paid, they are not going to be happy, they also will begin to question the professionalism of your firm.

Now to your question. If it were me, this is what I would do. First, I would print out a detailed report of all outstanding invoices. I would present this to the owners/managers who would know who owes what. This will give you a starting point.

To write off bad debt follow these instructions from the QuickBooks Help Menu:

1. If necessary, create an account for Bad Debt in your Chart of Accounts.

2. Record the bad debt.

To follow this procedure, you may need to turn off the Sales & Customers preference for automatically calculating payment amounts first. This preference is enabled by default and QuickBooks will calculate and fill in the amounts for you unless you turn the preference off.

To change the preference
1. From the Edit menu, choose Preferences.

2. In the Preferences window, select the Sales & Customers icon.

3. Click the Company Preferences tab.

4. Clear the preference for automatically calculating payments.

To record the bad debt

1. From the Customers menu, choose Receive Payments.

2. In the Receive Payments window, select the name of the customer from whom you incurred the bad debt.

3. Leave the amount field at 0.00.

4. In the list of outstanding invoices or statement charges, click in the checkmark column in front of the line item that will not be paid. No checkmark will appear, but this item will be the one that appears on the Discount tab.

5. Click OK to dismiss the message about applying payments greater than the total payment.

6. In the Receive Payments window, click Discount & Credits. In the Discount and Credits window, enter the amount of the bad debt in the Amount of Discount field, and enter the name of your bad debt expense account in the Discount Account field.

7. Click Done in the Discount and Credits window.

Note: The procedure described above does not affect your sales tax liability.

8. In the Receive Payments window, save the bad debt transaction.

9. If necessary, change your sales tax liability.

Hope this helps.

Remember though, once you get this strait be very vigilant about keeping invoices and payments correct.

Lost QuickBooks Installation Code.


I am a senior citizen who makes a little money doing bookkeeping for friends. I bought QuickBooks pro for Mac 2004 last year and have now got around to installing it. I cannot find the installation codes or the receipt. Naturally QuickBooks will not help me. Any ideas? I remember it cost me around $200.00 and I hate to waste the money. I also have done a lot of work on it.


Usually, the installation code is on the CD jacket. If you have lost it, I am not even sure that Intuit can help you as every disk has a unique code. So as I see it, you have two choices... 1. Try again to find the CD jacket. 2. Purchase QuickBooks again.

Also, I don’t know exactly what you meant when you said “I have done a lot of work on it”. However, if you buy a new copy of QuickBooks you will be able to use your old files as long as the version of QuickBooks is the same or newer than the version that the files were created on.

Sorry, that I couldn't be more helpful. If any other readers have other ideas please post them.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Prepaid Taxes.


I have a client who deposits estimated federal and state amounts periodically. I took over an existing chart of accounts which shows the estimated tax deposits under "Other Current Assets". The procedure is that she has a certain amount withdrawn automatically from her business checking which goes into a special Savings. From that Savings she deposits (automatically) the estimated taxes. I'm confused about how and when to show the actual taxes as paid. I've been at this for 6 months and all amounts paid are showing up under Estimated Tax Deposit on the Balance Sheet, and not showing on the Income/Expense Report (naturally). Should I go into the Estimated Tax Deposit account and post an entry to Federal Tax Expense/State tax expense? I can't figure out how else to move it out of that asset account. I should know the answer to this but have forgotten how I did it in past years. Can you help? Thank you. Judy M.


Income tax deposits are always a prepaid expense (asset) until the income tax return is filed (the tax return is essentially a bill for that years taxes). When you complete the return and determine how much tax you owe, you would make an entry from the prepaid tax account to the income tax expense account. If you paid more than you owe in estimated taxes and you get a refund, then that amount would go from the prepaid tax account to your cash account. If you choose to carry the amount forward to the next tax year, then the amount stays in the prepaid tax account.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

QuickBooks Version 5.0 & Windows XP.


We have QuickBooks Version 5.0 for Windows which will load on 3.1 or Windows 95. I have been trying to load it from the original installation disks onto a new computer which has windows XP. So far, NO luck. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Has anyone else dealt with this problem? We are a very small church and cannot see paying Intuit $199.00 per year for a schedule E disk to update withholding information for just three employees--which is the "better idea" that Intuit came up with in 2001 or 2, so we really need to use the old copy. thanks. John


Unfortunately, I believe that version 5.0 is not compatible with Windows XP. So you will either need to use QuickBooks on your old computer or upgrade QuickBooks.

It sounds like you are calculating payroll taxes manually which makes sense if you only have 3 employees. I think you are under the impression that you are required to buy Intuit's tax tables in order to run paychecks. This is not the case. In most cases I would recommend it since the penalties for messing up payroll taxes is severe but if you are used to doing it manually QuickBooks will still let you. Check out this previous post.

New Computer.


I just bought a new computer and used my Quickbooks Premier Retail Edition disk to add Quickbooks to it. However, I have no idea how to get my data from my old computer to my new one. I would like to use a flash card (I think that's what it called). Help!



You simply need to make a backup on the old computer (File - Backup). Select the flash drive. QuickBooks should tell you that the backup was completed successfully. Then do a restore on the new computer (File - Restore).

Help Needed!



Has anyone had a problem with Quickbooks Pro running after installing XoftSpy (anti - spyware software). I get the error message described below. The answer I get from XoftSpy is : "We do not interfere with QuickBooks. QuickBooks has its own autoupdate feature to keep itself up to date. I would go into QuickBooks and check the Check for Updates. It brings up a window which will show what it is trying to update."

I turned updates off and still have a problem.



I have not seen this hopefully someone else has.

Emailed Invoices.


If you send an invoice via email through Quickbooks, is there anyway to go back and view/print the message you sent to the customer?


I am not aware of any way to veiw them once they are sent unless you can get them through your sent email folder. In the future, you might CC yourself into the emails so that you will have a copy.

Refund After Taxes Were Prepared.


How do I adjust an amount for a prior year? For example: I bought a fax machine in 2003 and then I returned it. However; in 2004 I got a refund for the machine but I didn’t adjust the office supplies account in 2003 and the taxes have been filed. I would appreciate a tip on how to handle this kind of transaction.


The following answer assumes that you are on an accrual basis. Technically, the IRS would say you should file an amended return. Assuming that we are talking about a $100 fax machine, and not a $50,000 truck then I would say that you could handle it in the current year without drawing the ire of the IRS. If the fax machine was put in office supplies expense as you say, then the answer is easy. You should record the refund as a credit in the office supplies expense account.

If the fax machine was capitalized by your accountant when preparing the tax return, then it would be more difficult. If this is the case you should probably check with him/her.

Lost Password.


A client of mine is locked out of QuickBooks and no one knows the password used when originally set up. Any way to access database to change password?


Check out this post.

Is QuickBooks Right for a Wholesale Distributor?

I am looking for the best software solution for my company. My (new) accountant likes QuickBooks. My old accountant (now ex) had our company's accounting totally "un-integrated". Accounts receivables in Maccola which I despise since most reports must be generated thru Crystal (ugh!). Accounts Payable, Payroll and G/L are run in QuickBooks but for some reason I can't understand it's not integrated. G/L entries are posted manually.

Our business is small: 20 employees, wholesale distribution; 6 stations; 1200 invoices a month; 900 inventory sku's; 800 customers; 10 salespeople; we need strong sales analysis reports, of sales per item and per customer; sku's purchased per customer; to send monthly to our manufacturers.
We also have a store for which I need a POS system integrated to our customer database.

So you think QuickBooks is the right software for us??? Thanks for any advice you can give us. The best way to contact me is thru email.


I agree with your new accountant, your current accounting software is unacceptable for a company of your size. I played with one of the QuickBooks sample files for a while and I believe that you can get all the reports that you mentioned. I would suggest that you have your accountant set you file up, because to get all the information out that you want, the setup is going to be critical. Also if you or one of your employees plans on doing the entry, then you need to make sure that they are trained in the finer points of QuickBooks.

I personally have never had a client that used the QuickBooks Point of Sale Edition, but I have heard that it works relatively well.

Since you do both retail and wholesale distributing, you might talk to your accountant about the possibility of using 2 QuickBooks for each segment, then combine them on the tax return at the end of the year. I say this for a couple of reasons:

1. Retail sales are subject to sales tax and wholesale sales generally are not, so their is the risk of screwing this up.

2. The reports that you want seem to be geared more to the wholesale aspect, so I imagine that you don't want them to be cluttered with women who come in your retail store to buy one tube of lipstick.

You could also use classes to distinguish between wholesale and retail, this would be something that you and your accountant can decide on.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Posting A/P & A/R entries.


My name is Greg and I am a Business Manager for a non profit. Our year goes from July 1 to June 30 and our full year audit is due today. I went to post the year-end journal entry and quickbooks is telling me that a customer name must be provided on this split line entry. I am confused and getting frustrated. Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.........


Anytime that you post to an accounts receivable account, you must include a customer on the split line, otherwise your receivable accounts would be inaccurate. The same is true with accounts must include a vendor to keep A/P aging reports accurate.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The FAIR TAX - Finally a Solution to our Income Tax System.

I have been an avid listener to the Neal Boortz show, I also make it a point to read "Neal's Nuze". He has done a great job over the last few months explaining how the travails of our current tax system can be fixed by the "Fair Tax." Through my experience as a CPA, I have seen both low income and high income taxpayers for lack of a better word...screwed by our tax system.

With a consumption tax, you are taxed when you spend...but don’t worry, there will be no 4 dollar gallons of milk. Under the current system, when you pay for that gallon of milk you are paying for the income taxes of the dairy farmer, the dairy/bottler, the wholesaler, the truckers that distribute the milk, and the grocery store. Under the "Fair Tax" that all goes away plus you keep 100% of your income (look ay your pay stub that will probably be a 30-50% raise...not bad).

On top of this, all taxpayers will be given rebate checks for the amount that the average person would spend on basic necessities.

This is a truly fair don't don't pay tax. Rich or poor there are no loopholes and you don't have to pay me $300 to find out how much you owe (I hope I still have a job).

'You absolutely need to check out this book, I can't wait to get my copy.

Customer Insurance Payments.


We are an insurance company and are setting up QuickBooks for the first time. In some cases the insurance company we are placing the business with will not accept customer check. We write the insurance company a check and the customer writes us a check. We are unsure how to enter these transactions into QuickBooks as they are not income or expenses. They just wash each other out. Thanks for the help.


This is a very common question in your industry. The way that I have my clients set this up is as follows:

1. Set up a new current liability account named "Insurance Transfer Account" or something similar.

2. Set up a new invoice item named "Customer Premium Payment" classify it as an "Other Charge" and have it post to the account that you created above.

3. Receive the payment and deposit it just as you would any other invoice item.

4. When you pay the insurance company on behalf of your client, put the Insurance Transfer Account as the expense on the check expense section.

This has worked very well for several clients who are in this industry. You can always check the amount that you have in this account by looking at the current balance sheet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

NetSuite Conversion. Help Needed!


We are converting from QuickBooks to Netsuite. Is there an easy data transfer program so that we do not lose all of our previous data?


I am not aware of anything designed for this purpose...Is anyone else aware of something?

Netsuite is a big time accounting package, so I am sure that they offer a conversion service. However, with any of the big time accounting software packages come big time consulting fees. If you are just now buying their product you may be able to negotiate a good rate as part of a package deal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cougar Mountain Sucks!!


We are a small company (9 employees) that does amazing business! We currently use Cougar Mountain Software and we all agree on one thing: it BITES! We are interested in converting to QuickBooks. However, it took the owner of our small company 6 weeks to convert us to CMS! Needless to say, she is not too interested in that process again. Is there anyway to convert easily? Do you have any suggestions to make the task less daunting? We are desperate not to give anymore money to CMS for support of their lousy software... Any help would be appreciated.



I'm sorry that your current software bites. I have never used it, but after visiting their website I can't say that I was incredibly impressed. Since I have never used your software, I can't give you specifics regarding how a conversion might go.

However, one thing that I usually tell clients who are converting is to forget converting history. I usually try to have the file set up and ready to go January 1 (if you are a calendar year filer). I then have them start fresh at the beginning of the year at the transaction level, when the tax return is completed then I transfer the opening balances.

The only thing that would take considerable time is actually keying your vendors, customers, etc.; and inputting your A/R and A/P balances. I can't imagine that this would take anywhere near 6 weeks.

One other thing that you should consider before you should have someone with more intimate knowledge of your business assess your needs. Because as sucky as it may be, Cougar Mountain may offer some functionality that you need...that QuickBooks doesn't offer. They hold themselves out to be geared to middle market companies and database driven. QuickBooks is a small business software application.
So depending on just how amazing your "Amazing" business is, you may have already outgrown QuickBooks.

Changing Classes for Many Transactions.


Hello, I am going through the tedious process of reclassifying several posted expense accounts from one class to another. There are multiple entries in each category. Is there a way to "select all" or "fill down" and change class without opening each entry and laboriously changing class one by one. This client has 300 entries a month and I am working back from January due to her decision to change "classes" in some categories. Thank you.


Sorry, there is no easy way to reclassify groups of transactions. It appears that you have the right idea...You might want to prepare the client for a big bill though.

Friday, July 01, 2005

QuickBooks Data Loss Problem.


I had a win 95; QuickBooks 4.0 computer which crashed. I’m trying to restore my 4.0 and the company data to a win 98se computer. I am able to copy the QuickBooks 4.0 with no problem, but the one data file that I am able to restore successfully, is current to only 2003. The other two files (one of which is my more current data file) won’t allow me to copy it because it says it’s a read only file (can’t change the attributes either). My backup 4-floppys won’t restore either, they get through two floppy disks and the restore process begins all over from start. Help!!!!! Steve


I have a few possibilites to consider. First, the file that is telling you that it is read only, is it a .QBB file or a .QBW file? If it is a .QBW file, these cannot be restored, it is a working file...not a backup. The problem with your disks, may be that the files have gotten corrupted. I have seen this with floppy disks. I reccomend that you use a CD-RW Drive, ZIP drive, or a USB Hard drive...I see problems with these much less frequenly.

This is something that you may need Intuit's help with. They may be able to help you get the .QBW file and it other componants off your old hard drive.

Otherwise you may have to rebuld your 2004-2005 data...Not Fun.

Repayment of an Employee Advance.


I gave an employee an advance to his pay via check (not through
payroll)He now wants to pay it back but I am not sure on how to enter this part
of the transaction.



First of all congratultions, its rare to see an employee who wants to pay back an advance. The question I usually get is how do I set up a garnishment on their payroll check to get my money back. So give the guy a raise!

To answer your question, there are two ways to go about this:

1. Set up a payroll advance item on his payroll check. This is probably the way to go if you give advances fairly frequently. QuickBooks Payroll should walk you through this. You may have already done this when you gave him the advance. If so, tell him to keep his money and then deduct the amount from his next paycheck...via the same item that you used to give it to him (just input it as a negative this time).

2. If payroll advances occur infrequently for your company, just use a journal entry to put the money back.

DEBIT - Cash/Checking
CREDIT - The account that you put the advance in the first place. (Usually, Payroll advance - Employee Name (a current asset account)).

Applying A/P Credits.


When my accountant makes general journal adjustments to correct AP account for checks not cashed for the year I end up with a bill with a negative amount and a bill with a positive amount listed on my bills to pay window. When making the journal entries the vendor is noted with each AP entry. How do I get these entries to cancel each other out?


The first thing that you need to do is go into the Pay Bills Screen (Vendors - Pay Bills), make sure that the button for show all bills is selected. Hopefully, you have a bill that shows up for the vendor and amount in question (One of the bills that your accountant adjusted). If so select that bill, and select "Set Credits". The negative amount that your accountant entered should show as an available credit. Apply that credit to the bill that he adjusted out and you should be set!

Undeposited Funds.


When receiving a payment that is sitting in the undeposited funds account, how do you then assign to the correct income account when making the deposit?


The income account is not determined when you record deposits. The income account is chosen when you create the invoice (each item is assigned an account). When you receive the payments, the A/R is cleared and the amount is put in undeposited funds (This is where you are). The deposit step simply moves the money from undeposited funds to the respective cash account.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Vendors Entered as Customers.


I’m a brand new user of Quick Books. I have vendors set up in my customer list. How do I delete them from the customer list and put them in as vendors? There are transactions on log for them because they are vendors.



Hopefully, you haven't entered very many of vendors as customers, because you are going to have to re-key all of them.

The best thing to do, would be to print a customer contact list (Reports - Customers & Receivables - Customer Contact List). This will give you most of the information that you will need to key from.

NOTE: QuickBooks will not let you use the same name to describe vendors and customers, so you will have to alter the vendor name slightly (you can let the company name be the same, just not the vendor name field). The easiest thing to do might be to add an ",Inc." to the end or something like this.

After you have entered all the vendors, go to the customer list (Customers - Customer: Job List) and right click on and make inactive all the customers that you have replaced in the vendor list. QuickBooks will not let you delete vendors/customers that have transactions (Which yours do).

Internet Banking.


I have 3 different bank accounts and would like to transfer the Debit Card transactions into the check register I went to internet banking to sign on and received an error page..


Unless I am missing something, you need to check with your bank's technical support.

My Payables are Not Posting Properly.


I am the bookkeeper for a retail windows store. Over half of our
business is custom orders. Our profit and loss is not recording cost
goods sold on custom orders correctly because of this senario:

A customer orders windows at the end of the month. We record a sales
receipt. This goes into Accounts Receivable towards sales for the

We order the windows from the vendor--creating a purchase order. After
about 10 days, the windows arrive and we create an item receipt. The
item receipt records into Accounts Payable and this puts the Cost of
Goods sold for this item into the month following when the sales were
recorded. I use the item receipt and bill features to track our
merchandise and billing with the vendors. I really don't want to
change the date after the billing is closed to throw the expense back to the
same month as the sales.

The best solution would be to have purchase orders post to accounts
payable and count towards Cost of Goods Sold--since the sale and the
order happen on the same day. Does anyone know if this is possible?

If not, does anyone have any ideas how I can get an accurate monthly


It sounds like you are using QuickBooks very well. Actually, one would argue that your financials are correct, even though they may not be as you would like them to be. According to accounting principles, you do not book a payable until you have possession of the merchandise that you ordered. So if the windows are being shipped FOB buyer, then you don't record the payable until the goods reach your dock. On the other hand, if the windows ship FOB seller, then you are liable when the windows ship. In any case the date most likely would not be the date you ordered them. Actually I believe QuickBooks is making the accruals properly, and the only way to change it would be to override the item receipt/bill date, which I would not suggest.

More Problems Getting Reports Out of QuickBooks.



I received your blog site from a friend just in time. Having tried to use the QB help topics and customer service without any success, I was hoping that perhaps you would be able to help me with a current dilemma that I have. I am using QB Pro 2005 and have been unable to get a profitability statement that will satisfy the owners of the company that I work for.

They want a statement/report that shows each invoice separately with customer name, invoice number, amount, and % of profit provided for them on a daily basis. I have tried to explain to them that this ends up being a cut and paste operation which takes a great deal of time. I've used as many filters to get a report that will work but at this time it is still a culminative gathering of three different reports. I've tried to convey to the bosses that QB has it's limitations and gives the % of profit for Customers, not individual invoices, and that the % of profit will be figured out for the total amount of sales for customers with multiple invoices. Furthermore, I have tried to let them know that the only way that I would be able to get a profitability statement for every invoice would be to run them separately every time an invoice is generated, slowly me down considerably and I would still have to use the cut and paste method because I have been unable to manipulate any report showing a separate invoice number with % of profit on one report.

Is there an easier way to generate a report that would be close to what the bosses want?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you for this blog site.


May I say...Holy Crap. It seems that your bosses are very demanding, and may or may not be financially savvy (they may just like paperwork).

From your question I can tell that you have a very good understanding of QuickBooks and how to manipulate the reports to the fullest extent possible.

As far as I can tell you are doing everything that you can to please your bosses with tools that you have been given. The only way that you could fix it, is to sell your bosses on more comprehensive accounting software. I believe that even something as simple as QuickBooks Enterprise Edition (Click Here for information about reports) would give you this functionality. Depending on the size of your operation, something as powerful as Microsoft's Great Plains might prove to be a fantastic solution for your bosses (they could have as many reports as they could imagine...and all you have to do is hit print). Unfortunately, with greater capability comes greater cost.

Monday, June 27, 2005

QuickBooks Error # 12029.


I have upgraded to quickbooks basic 2005. I cannot recieve updates, quickbooks gives me an error #12029.

I can connect to the internet with internet explorer. I am using Windows XP and DSL.



The quickbooks error that you speak of means that QuickBooks is unable to reach the internet. To resolve, you will need to find the problem with your internet connection...whether it is your settings, a firewall, or your DSL connection itself.

The following link gives dome steps that you can take that will hopefully narrow down your problem.

Click HERE

Help Needed!


When I pull up a P&L and go into the transaction detail by account I see several duplicates. Some are credits and some are charges. There are as few as 2 and as many as 9. Any ideas as to what the problem is or how to remedy it? Also, how can I print a customer list for specific dates and a chart of accounts for only one class?

Thanks for your help!


I'm not sure I understand...Has anyone else seen what has been described?

Buying and Selling Property Business in QuickBooks.


I buy and sell property. I cannot figure out how to set up the following scenario:

I contract to purchase a lot for $20,000 with a $1000.00 deposit and a 60 day close
& issue the $1000.00 check

During the 60 day close period, I contract to sell the lot for $25,000.00 to a different party.

The close on the purchase is the same date as the close on the sell - after signing the docs at the title co, I am effectively left with a $5000.00 profit less costs.

Is there a way to set this up on QuickBooks?


The easiest thing to do in your situation is to record transactions as they happen. For instance, in the above scenario, the first thing that you would do is cut a check for the $1,000.00. You would post this amount to "Deposits", a current asset account.

During the holding period, and costs you would incur would be regular expense since you are in the trade of buying and selling property.

Now, I think that you have 2 choices.

1. Record the purchase and the sale separately. This is probably what I would do since I wouldn't think that you would always have a buyer before the purchase is closed. To do this, write a check for the purchase price of the property, including all costs (according to your HUD statement). If you don’t want to print this check, put "draft" in the check number field, and uncheck the "To be Printed" box. Then, record the land purchase in a cost of goods sold account named "Purchases", and classify the other expenses to their respective expense accounts. To record the sale, create an invoice for the sale amount using a non-inventory item that posts to the "Lot Sales" (or something similar) income account.

2. Your other option would be to summarize all the transactions in a journal entry. In the above example (After the check for the deposit had been written):

Purchases - 20,000
Cash - 6,000
Lot Sales Income - 25,000
Deposits - 1,000

You could either record the other expenses in the above journal entry or by check.

Fixed Assets and Depreciation.


I need to book an asset that wasn't booked in Quick Books, instead the payments that were made every month is being directly entered into the asset account. My depreciation is not being deducted every month. What is the correct way to book these assets?


Without knowing numbers and circumstances, I can't really tell you how to straiten up what you have. So let me just explain how these transactions should have been booked.

When you purchase a fixed asset (an asset with a useful life expected to be longer than 1 year) you should post the cost of that asset to the applicable fixed asset account. If you financed the purchase, then you would also set up a note payable account. It is to the note payable account that all future payments should be posted to.

Depreciation can be tricky. Many small companies don't bother to post depreciation, they just wait till the end of the year and let their accountant do it. If you feel that you need this information to be posted monthly, then I would suggest that you have your accountant give you a "next year's depreciation" report that is based on the current years assets. You then can divide the total amount of depreciation on that report by 12 and post it monthly. There would then be only a small adjustment that has to be made at the end of the year for any assets purchased during the year.

This may sound like a shortcut way of doing things, but I believe that it will save you time and money. Here are several reasons why:

1. Depreciation is complicated, and unless you are trained in its nuances, you could make a mistake that it will take your accountant precious time to find.

2. Your accountant most likely uses much more powerful depreciation software than QuickBooks provides.

3. Depreciation is better calculated at the end of the year for tax purposes. Based on you profit, your accountant will be able to use depreciation strategies to lower your taxable income.

In any case the accountant that does your tax return is going to calculate depreciation anyway.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Using Financial Statement Designer.


It appears that the new Financial Statement Designer program (QuickBooks 2005 Accountant Edition) does not allow you to prepare Budget vs. Actual or Budget Performance reports. These reports are available only in the Reports menu. Is this correct? Are there templates that can be downloaded from the website? Perhaps this can be customized in the FSD program but I am not seeing it?

Ps. Thanks so much for your Blog! You have been such a help in the past!


You are I can tell, budget amounts can't be included in the financial statement designer. My best searches didn't yield any results for templates that can be loaded into financial statement designer.

Frankly, I have not been overly impressed with the capabilities of the financial statement designer. It seems that all it does is improve the aesthetics of the reports that are already available.

If as an accounting firm you are using QuickBooks for write-up, you should look into some of the more robust write-up accounting software packages.

Creative Solutions write-up will allow you to format reports in any way you want. It also will interface with QuickBooks for your clients that do their own basic accounting. I know that some of these packages can get expensive, but they can pay for themselves many times over in improved staff efficiency and the billable value of the finished product.

Help Needed! QuickBooks Problem on Tiger OS


I operate on a Powerbook G4 and recently installed Tiger. Since then,
when entering a transaction in QuickBooks, I am not allowed to
record, but have to scroll across the top to edit then click and
click again before I am allowed to record the transaction. I am using
QuickBooks Pro 6.0. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,



Sorry, I am not much of a Mac expert. I must confess that I haven't used one since college. I am told that I am really missing out. My friend has a Powerbook also, and I couldn't believe it when the keys lit up when the lights were dimmed. That would be great on a plane.

If only Michael Dell were half as cool as Steve Jobs...that would be something.

Sorry for rambling. Hopefully, some of our Mac user will have some insight.

Setting up Your Beginning Balance Sheet.


1. What is the proper way to record fixed assets (our building and land) that we already own when setting up QuickBooks?
2. Is there anyway to show appreciation of fixed assets?



When you set up quickbooks for a business that is alraedy in operation, it is important to get all the opening balances in correctly. This is why I usually advise clients to begin using quickbooks at the beginning of the year, then after I finish their tax return, I will set up the opening balances.

Having said that, on to your specific problem. Depending on which tax form you file (Sch. C, 1065, 1120, 1120-S, etc.) you may already have your opening balances. Look on your 2004 tax return (if you are anything besides a Schedule C) and look for a balance sheet. For smaller companies this is it may not be there. If it is there your set. You have your 12/31/2004 balance sheet. Make a general journal entry (Company - Make Journal Entry)DEBITING the assets and CREDITING the liabilities and equity (assuming none of the balances show up as negative) The tax returns balance sheet should include buildings and land, so this would take care of the problem.

Now if you don't have your a working balance sheet on your tax return, you can record your buildings and land by journal entry at COST. To make the journal entry, you would DEBIT Buildings or Land and CREDIT Opening Balance Equity.

As an aside, let me explain why I said put it in Opening Balance Equity instead of retained earnings where most would put it. See the first thing that your accountant is going to do when he gets your file, is to ensure that retained earnings balances (Previous years retained earnings +/- prior year profit/loss). I had you put it in opening balance equity so that he doesn't experiance additional confusion in performing this task.

The answer to your second question is simply don't do it. Fixed assets are recorded at cost and they remain on your books at cost until you sell them or dispose of them. It iswhen you sell them that you effectivly write down or appreciate those assets by recording a gain/loss on the sale of assets. This gain is a taxable item. Fortunatly, the government hasn't figured out how to tax us on unrealized let's not help them by quantifying the gain on our books.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Inventory Aging Report.


I’m getting the feeling that this one’s beyond the scope of what QB is designed to do, but I’ll give it a shot.

Is there any way to get QB (either internally or by a 3rd party app) to create an inventory aging report? I’ve been told by one 3rd party vendor that it can be done as long as we track things by lot or serial #, which (as far as I know) we haven’t done to date. It seems to me that all the necessary information is in there regardless, & it’s just a matter of how to get it out in the format we need.

Any ideas?




You are correct. This is beyond the scope of what QuickBooks can do. I looked through the third party solutions marketplace and didn't see anything that offered this report specifically. I also noticed that some of these add-ons were incredibly expensive. You may find one that is in your price range and nail them down as to whether what you want will be included.

Manufacturing Inventory.


Do you know anything about manufacturing with QuickBooks for Mac? Currently, I convert raw material inventory to finished product inventory via inventory adjusts and “zero” bills. But is there any add-on program or tricks I haven’t thought of to create BOM and/or inventory/manufacturing projection?


QuickBooks does not have a very good process for manufacturing inventory. To be quite honest...I handle it the same way that you do. There are several products out there that claim to make the process easier, but I haven't used any of them. Here is a link to the manufacturing add-ons. Some of them are quite pricey. If you use any of them let me know what you think.

If anyone uses a third party add-on and like it...please let me know.

Help Needed!

I am exporting report data to sheet1 of a workbook, and trying to link sheet 1 data to a more comprehensive report in sheet 2.using copy-paste-link. When I change the date range in QB and export to sheet1l sheet 2 has #REF.....

What am I doing wrong????? Thanks for any help...


This sounds more like an Excel problem. I can't think of anything that would cause this. Does anyone else have any ideas?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Opening a Mortgage Account.


What is the proper way to enter a mortgage (initially) and make payments so that it reflects on the Balance Sheet?

Thanks, Bill


Well, a mortgage is in most instances a long term liability. So if this is the case, create a new account (Company - Chart of Accounts - Ctrl + N). Enter the account number if you use them. Make the account type Long-Term Liability. Give the account an apporpriate name such as "Citibank - Building Mortgage".

The easiest way to record the opening amount is by journal entry (Company - Make Journal Entry). DEBIT either your "Buildings" fixed asset account if you purchased a new building or the old note payable if you refinanced (if you refinanced you may need an accountant to help you apply the loan proceed correctly per your HUD statement). You will CREDIT the account you created above.

Now when you write the check for the payment each month, make the check out for the total amount of the payment. When you classify it, put the part that went against principal (according to your statement)into the note payable account (created above) and the rest of the payment should be interest (check the statement to be sure there is no escrow).

NOTE: if you have QuickBooks 2005, it has a Note Payable Manager that if the information is entered correctly will keep track of interest vs. principal amounts.

Sorting Bills by Due Date.


I have QBooks Basic 2004 Windows

I can't sort a unpaid bill report by Due Date ----- nothing happens.



You are not the first person to bring this up. This repost I believe is fundamentally flawed in that it breaks the bills down by vendor FIRST. So when you sort by due date it will only sort multiple bills to the same vendor. Unfortunatly the report you are looking for…sorted only by due date isn’t available except by viewing bills in the Pay Bills Screen (Vendors – Pay Bills).

Problem with Customer Balance.


I recently posted a payment through the Receive payment window. Somehow I got the amount in the system twice because when I go to my receivables report, it is showing up a negative balance due. I have tried repeatedly to change the payment, delete it, etc. I always get an error message that I have to delete it from the deposit before I can delete the payment. I go the deposits and delete it and it takes it out of my check register, where it is only recorded once. Then I go back to receivables and it is still showing up a negative….HELP!


This sounds strange. The only possibility that I can think of is that the payment was applied to the invoice and not deposited in the bank. While at the same time an additional deposit, or maybe the same deposit was applied to the customer and deposited in the bank. If this were the case, the customer would show a credit balance…which your customer does. When you go to “Make Deposits” is the amount still waiting to be deposited…or is that amount in undeposited funds?

You will need to search through the “Receive Payment” transactions to see where the amount was applied twice.

Balance Sheet Problems.


I have having problems creating an accurate balance sheet. I have used QB for several years but, I have not needed to create balance sheets with it. Unfortunately, now I do.

Under current assets, all of the amounts showing up with the exception of National City Bank should be zero. How do I eliminate these amounts?

The accounts payable should be zero. How do I eliminate this balance?

Total current Liabilities should also be zero. How do I eliminate this entry?

Opening balance equity is $16,000. How do I make the report show $16,000

Retained earnings should also be zero. How do I eliminate the retained earnings amount?

This company is an LLC which I purposely keep to a minimum of assets for liability reasons

Thanks for your help.



Your question is difficult, without knowing your situation. I would urge you to talk to your accountant.

Assuming that all current assets should in fact be zero, you will need to find out what is in those accounts.

To do this open a "Balance Sheet Standard" report, and click modify report. In the window that appears, change the dates to beginning of your company’s existence or some date way in the past such as 01/01/1975 to today's date.

Now look at the current asset accounts that are on the balance sheet. Double click on the ones that should be zero. You will be given a list of transactions that make up your balance. You can either reclassify them at the transaction level by double clicking them again or make a journal entry to reclassify them.

Again, I can't recommend any of this...especially if the transactions in the current asset account are from prior years. (This could create a current year tax problem if they were assets on your prior years returns). But this is how you would do it from a QuickBooks operations standpoint.

As for opening balance equity, this is an account created by QuickBooks when you open an account that has an existing balance. Generally this account should be zero. Many times it is capital or retained earnings.

Retained earnings should in fact have a balance if you have been in operation for more than a year and have either a collective profit or loss.

As you can see there are many issue involved, however it shouldn't take a CPA long to correct it to your specifications and within the constraints of the law. This would be money well spent.

Changing the QuickBooks Invoice Templates.


I am using a QuickBooks template for my company invoicing, and I want to change the font, add my company phone number, Which I have put on the original template but it does not print on the invoice. I also want to change the size of the columns on the invoice template?


QuickBooks doesn't allow you much flexibility when you are using one of their predefined templates. However, if you go into the customize invoice feature, you can create a new template based on the predefined one you are using. From this point you can go into layout designer and fiddle with it until your heart is content.

Applying Payments


How do you mark several invoices paid that were made as one deposit in the checking acct?


If you have deposited funds, and the invoice is not marked paid, then you have not properly applied the payments.

To apply payments, right click on the invoice screen and select "Receive Payments". Select the customer and fill in the screen accordingly...applying the payment to the correct invoice at the bottom of the screen.

Since you have already deposited the funds, you will need to see how the deposit was applied. Possibly, it may not have been applied at all.

You may have to void the previous deposit and start over.

I Deleted a Transaction...I Need it Back.


I accidentally deleted a reconciled split deposit. I know the amount but is there anyway I can get the split details back? I am using QuickBooks Version 2000.


If you delete a transaction (instead of voiding it) then it is gone forever. Unless you have a back up for that time period that includes that deposit. If you do have a back-up, you can restore it using a different file name and find the transaction. Then re-create it on your working QuickBooks file.

In the future unless you are sure that you want to delete a transaction, you should probably VOID it instead.

I Don't Have My QuickBooks Password.


For a variety of reasons, I have purchased a new computer. The sales team dutifully transferred my files to the new hard disc. However I learned that I could not start QuickBooks on the new drive without re-installing the program. I have now installed my old QuickBooks Pro 2003 but my account will not open without entering the password. As far as I know, this would be the password I installed when closing out my 1996 year and I can not find a record of what I used. I have tried the passwords I typically use for various programs but none of these seem to work. Is there a way I can eliminate the password (which serves no purpose in my situation), learn what I used in 1997 or change it, without opening the account? - Bill K


There are basically two types of passwords in QuickBooks.

1. Login passwords
2. Closing date passwords

The password that you seem to remember is the closing date password, which does nothing more than lock prior periods to editing. The problem that I believe that you are having is with your login password. Forgetting this password would prevent QuickBooks from opening the file.

I am afraid that this is more serious.

If in fact this is the password that you don't have then you will have to have Intuit remove the password for you.

The following is a excerpt from the QuickBooks Help Menu:

For those instances in which you cannot recover the Administrator's password using the troubleshooting suggestions, contact our Data Services group or use the Online Service Request Form located on our Password Removal Service site. There may be a fee for this service. You will be asked to review the terms of our Service Agreement online before uploading your data file to Intuit.

I think the fee is like $65 or so. You may want to have a QuickBooks professional in your area determine that this is the problem before you go through this.

Duplicate Deposits in the Check Register


Found your blog site and thought I would get advice,

1- Our small co. has a duplicate deposit that it seems QuickBooks will not allow me to delete from the QB check registry

2- Three of the first deposits were made, however still show in the undeposited funds, when we try to remove them they end up as deposited again, thus the balance of the registry doubles the original deposit.

QB Pro2005

Any/All advice would be appreciated


These types of questions are always hard to answer without seeing the problem. One thing to remember is that you must always trace the documents back to the source to delete it. For example, you can’t just delete a deposit; the problem may be with how you applied the payments or the you need to find the source of the problem. Without seeing it I don’t know where that problem is. If worst comes to worst, you could recreate the invoice and redo the whole process for that deposit, or make a journal entry. If you use a journal entry please be careful, because you can cause many headaches for your accountant in December.

Believe me...that’s not what he needs then.

Trouble with Backup.


When I attempt to back up my company to cd or floppy I get a message that I do not have permission to open the file and that I must get permission from the owner or administrator. I am the owner/administrator and have set my self up in set users as such complete with password. I can only back up to my hard drive. Any suggestions?


First log on with the user mane "Admin" and the password that you set up when you created the file. If you still have the problem I would have to say that the problem is not with QuickBooks. Check with your network administrator.

Recording Merchant Fees.


How do I account for merchant card fees if my processor deposits sales into my bank account after discount fees?

If I receive a $400 payment for services from a customer and deposit $400 in QB's but my bank received $392, it doesn't reconcile. I use to have the whole amount deposited from my previuos merchant provider and would just write a check for merchant expenses they billed each month.



You can do one of two things.

1. You can make a journal entry either after every deposit or once a month, to record the merchant fees. (You would DEBIT - Bank Fee and CREDIT - Bank Account)

2. You can create a check with "Draft" where you normally have a check number for the amount of the merchant fees. Again, you could do this after each deposit or monthly.

It would probably be easiest to do it monthly when you get your merchant statement.

Rental Business Sample File.


I am new to QB and was wondering if you know of where I might find a
sample company file for managing rental property or other resource for
setting up QB for Rentals? Thanks in advance, Sarah


I am not aware of a place where you can get sample files...other than the ones included with QuickBooks.

If you want to practice with a file, you can use the service based business sample file that QuickBooks provides.

I use QuickBooks to do the books of a property management firm, and the setup was one of the more simple ones that I have done. You probably will not need an extensive chart of accounts.

Hopefully this will help.

If anyone knows about a place where you can get sample files let me know.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tracking Salesman Commissions.


Specifically, we are interested in automatically generating commissions for sales reps associated with a given invoice and setting up the system to notify that a commission is payable based on entry of payment received in the system. Basically, when I enter an invoice into the system can I link each line item to a specific sales rep at a specific commission rate?


This one is actually new to me. After reading your question, I didn't think it was possible. I did a little reasearch and found that it can be done. It looks like you can do it by invoice...not necessarily by line item.

The first thing that you need to de is customize your invoice so that the "REP" field is displayed.

Now you will need to enter all fo your sales reps. To do this go to Lists - Customer and Vendor Profile Lists - Sales Rep List. In the bottom left of the window you will see "Sales Rep." Click and select add new. Choose the applicable employee from the drop down list and ensure that the other information is correct. Click "Next" and repeat as many times as necessary.

You will now need to go into the employees list (Employees - Employees List) Make sure that they are marked regular in the type field. On the Payroll Info Tab, add a commission payroll item and enter the commission rate (as a %) in the Hourly/Annual field.

Now when you enter invoices make sure you apply them to the correct sales rep.

After this you will be able to generate a sales rep summary report that will show the current commissions owed.

To pay the commissions, you will use the above mentioned report to enter each salesmans total sales in the quantity field of the preview paycheck screen.

If you continue to have trouble with this, open QuickBooks help (F1) and search for commissions.

Good question.

Saving to Pay the Tax Man.


When using QuickBooks basic for Mac, can I transfer money between accounts- such as transferring money form checking to savings? Can I do this as a historical transaction? As a contractor, is there a recommended method, or account, to set aside money for quarterly taxes? I currently am using a savings account. Is there a recommended method for taking money out of payments from invoices and setting it aside for tax purposes?


To transfer money between bank accounts, such as your checking account and a savings or money market account is very strait forward. Go to the "Banking" drop down menu and select "Transfer Funds". From here I think you will be able to fill out the rest.

If you are transferring funds to something other than a bank account, you can use a general journal entry. If you are unfamiliar with accounting principles, then you should probably clear this with your accountant first.

As for the second question, this is more subjective. There are usually two types of quarterly taxes...payroll taxes and corporate income tax.

If you are referring to payroll tax, and you do your payroll in QuickBooks, then you can know exactly what your payroll liability is at any given time. Go to Reports - Employees and Payroll - Payroll Liability Balances, then select the range of dates that you are concerned with. Assuming your payroll is setup and prepared properly, the total is what you should be prepared to pay.

Corporate income tax is much more complicated. That why most people pay a pro to do it for them. As for how much to set aside, much of that depends on the type of business entity you are using. For instance if you are a C corp., you are subject to a federal tax rate and a state tax rate at the corporate level. If you are a subchapter S corporation, then all the profit will flow through and is taxed at your personal federal and state rate. If on the other hand you are a sole proprietor or a partnership you may also need to prepare for self employment taxes.

As you can see there is no quick way to answer your second question. I believe that it would be well worth it to sit down for a few minutes with your accountant to get a better idea of how much you should be stashing to pay your tax bill. If you already have an accountant that prepared your taxes last year, check with them...they may offer mid-year planning as a free service. If not...they should be willing to do this on a fee basis. If you are just starting, most CPA's will give you a free initial consultation with the idea that you will allow them to prepare your taxes for you.

Finally, I applaud your discipline to save money through the year to pay your taxes. I have seen businesses nearly go out of business after some of their best years, because they didn't have the money to pay taxes. I agree with you that I think it is best to keep funds reserved for this purpose in a separate account.

Here are links to a couple of good money market accounts that I use. Their rates are pretty good.

ING Direct (Sole Proprietors Only) 3.00%

ord Money Market Account (Not FDIC Insured) 3.60-3.90%

Capital One 3.15%