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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.