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Friday, May 27, 2005

Where Do You Put a Tax Refund?


I got back a check from the US Treasury for an overpayment of taxes. I don't know how to post it. It is a deposit but against what? It isn't income either. Help.


This is a very common problem. The answer is it depends. First you need to find out what account you put your tax payments into. If they were posted to “Prepaid Income Tax” then you put the refund amount back against that account. More likely though, when you wrote the check to the government, you posted it to some tax expense account. In this case simply put the deposit back into the same expense account reducing your expense. After all it is a refund of that expense.

Invoices posting to Checking Account?


When I create an invoice, it's reflecting the balance due as a debit in my checking account register. I cannot figure out how to "unlink" invoices to my checking account so that they just reflect in Accounts Receivable and other behind-the-scenes reports. What am I missing here?


This is very interesting…I have never seen Invoices post to anything other that accounts receivable.

Let me give you a couple of things to try.

1. Go to your invoice screen. At the top where it says account, make sure the correct accounts receivable account is showing. If for some reason it says checking…change it.

If that doesn’t work…

2. Go into the “EasyStep Interveiw” (File -> EasyStep Interview) that you completed to set-up your file. On the right side of the dialog box, there is a “General” tab. On the top click the “Preferences” tab. Now click previous until you get to a screen that asks if you want to use the cash or accrual method of accounting. Make sure it says accrual.

If that doesn’t work…

3. While still in the “EasyStep Interveiw”, click the “Income Details” tab on the right side. Click next until you get to a screen with the heading “Receipt of Payment”. Make sure that you haven’t selected “Always”…select “Sometimes” instead.

If none of these work then you should probably have someone look at this for you, this should not be happening.

Invoice Numbering Problem

To be honest with you, I can’t re-create the problem that you are dealing with. I do agree with you however that it sounds like a simple set-up problem. Also, I have never used a Mac much less QuickBooks for Mac.

I do however have one suggestion. I believe that your problem would be solved and in the process your invoices would be more professional looking if you customized the invoice templates. Assuming that your Mac navigates similar to its windows counterpart here is what you do.

Click Invoices on the toolbar. On the top right of the invoice screen, you should have a drop down box with the name of your current template. Click it and select “Customize.”

On the dialog box that appears, select “Edit” then click on the “Header” tab. There you will find that you can change the wording of the field that show up on your invoice.

So now instead of numbering your invoices “Assessment XXXX” you can put the number “XXXX” in the “Assessment #” field. Then the auto numbering would no longer be a problem.

Since you probably use the invoices for special assessments, dues, member usage fees, etc. you would have to copy the template and change the fields on each to match what you are using it for (i.e. Dues #, User Fee#, etc.). I am sorry that I couldn't be more help...check back though as other users may have helpful solutions.

Is Quickbooks Right for Me?


I am a Benefits Coordinator for a Children's Hospital and I am in charge of the Tuition Reimbursement Department. Currently we are only using Excel Spreadsheets and paper to track and execute the process. I was wanting to bring the program into the 21st Century and someone suggested QuickBooks.

Would this, in fact, be a viable solution to track and monitor all of the employees and the funds?

I truly appreciate your advice and help in this matter.


I think that you have made a wise choice to switch from spreadsheets to an accounting software package. With all the choices in accounting software it can be a daunting task to make a decision.

Obviously I like QuickBooks a lot. Its simplicity makes it a viable option for most users, and I am sure it would work for you as well. From your question I am not sure how you will use the software from an operational standpoint, but QuickBooks gives you a lot of flexibility so I am sure it would allow you to meet your objectives. However, before you jump into it I would recommend that you get the free trial version and play with it for a week or so. (You can order a free trial, or download it by clicking here). I would also recommend that if you choose to go with QuickBooks that you have a professional, or at least someone who is familiar with the software help you set it up. For example someone with knowledge of your needs and the software could help you decide if you would be better off to set up employees as venders. It could make a difference depending on the reports you want to run.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Today's Tip: Set a Closing Date...Save Some $$

One of the biggest problems that I see with my QuickBooks clients is that they incorrectly post current transactions in a prior period. This accounting system is very date sensitive, so it is important to get the date right.

To prevent yourself or anyone with access to your Company from accidentally posting to prior periods you should set a closing date.

To do this, go to preferences (Edit -> Preferences) and on the left side of the dialog box select “Accounting”. Now, select the “Company Preferences” tab and enter a closing date. In most cases this should be 12/31/2004.

The benefits of this will be twofold. First, it will limit posting errors…making your reports more accurate. Second, it will save you money when it comes time to prepare your taxes. Every year I am brought files where retained earnings is out of balance and I can spend literally hours correcting what could have been prevented by this simple step.

Sorting Customer Lists by Classes

Hope asks:

I am running a customer report and want to filter by class. Class is not an option on the filters section - can I add it? If so how?



I assume that you are trying to run a customer phone list or a customer contact list, because all of the other “Customer and Receivable” reports have class as an option. This is because class tracking does not apply to customers themselves only to the balances and transactions done by a customer. If you try to edit one of your customers, you will notice that there is no place to enter a class for a particular customer. That being said, there is no way to apply a class filter to the above mentioned reports, because that information is not associated with the customer.

The only way that I can think to filter out certain customers on that report is to go to the customer : Job list (Ctrl + J). Right click on each customer and select edit. On the “Additional Info” tab under “Categorizing and Defaults”, you can add and select a customer type. They could even be the same names as your classes. This field may be filtered on both the above mentioned reports.

I hope you find this helpful.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Problems Importing into Quickbooks

Shawn in Alabama Asks:

I am a QuickBooks novice. I have recently imported accounts into QuickBooks, but during the import it required the accounts to be imported into different ‘companies’. I want to consolidate my multiple ‘companies’ into one, so that all of these accounts show up under a single ‘company’. How do I move an account from one company to another? Thanks so much for any input.


A lot of my response should be based on what software you are importing into QuickBooks. Without knowing that and trying it myself; my answer cannot possibly be detailed enough.

What I do know is this. During your initial import into QuickBooks you shouldn’t have allowed it to create two companies. I don’t know why QuickBooks required this …unless the previous software you were using held your information in separate companies.

I also know that you will not be able to “Consolidate” separate QuickBooks files into one.

That all being said, and without knowing the specifics of your situation, here is what I would suggest.

Pick one of your two companies, preferably the one with the most transactions already recorded, and the chart of accounts that you find to be most complete.

Go into the chart of accounts of the company you have selected. Add any accounts that are in your second company (the “old one), that are not in the one you picked (the “new” one).

At this point all you would need to do is add any account balances that are in your “old” company to your new one. The best way to do this is to run a “Trial Balance” report (Reports -> Accountant & Taxes -> Trial Balance). Select this calendar year as the range of dates. Print this report.

Go into the “new” company. And make a journal entry using the information on the trial balance report. (Company ->Make Journal Entry).

The other option is to simply start from scratch by setting up a new QuickBooks company using the easy step interview. Frankly, If you don’t have a ton of data already entered this may be your best bet.

If you have further questions please post them on the comments thread.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Today's Quickbooks Tip: Add-On's

Do you use QuickBooks for a specialized industry such as a union, church, insurance agency, etc.? If you do, there may be a third party add-on that may make you life easier. Intuit maintains a catalog of these on their website (Click Here). It is wise to do research on these add-ons, as they are not associated with Intuit, therefore there functionality may not be as great as you may expect. You may find the ratings helpful on the above linked sites.