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QuickBooks Reports – Formatting Columns To Show Debit / Credit

June 26, 2009 4 comments

 

Often times when we run reports in QuickBooks there is one column with the Amounts. This is hard to read especially when you are for example looking at a Customer Balance Detail:

 

When looking at customer balances, it is much more handy to have the amounts split into two columns – one for payments, and one for Invoices. This way it is very clear to see invoices and payments leading up to the current balance due. So in order to change this (and since by default QuickBooks gives it to you as shown above):

So Click ‘Modify Report’

You will see the modify report dialogue. Once there you are in the ‘Display Tab’ and that is where you want to be. Under Choose Columns, scroll way down and uncheck ‘Amount’ and check ‘Debit’ and ‘Credit’ as shown below:

Then click ‘ok’ and look how much better this reads:

 

That’s it! You’re done. Now you can enjoy hours and hours of reading QuickBooks reports that are easy to read and which give you lots of valuable information!

Conditions – a previous newsletter we sent out from our parent site

June 24, 2009 Leave a comment

People sometimes ask me. Seth why is it so important to you that you and for that matter others have a good handle on their finances? Isn’t it true that money can’t buy happiness?

My initial response is usually something like… stand outside of a car dealership and look at the faces of the people who are driving out in their brand new cars? A chuckle follows and then I explain that of course money doesn’t buy happiness. I have a theory though in terms of how money and happiness are related.

True happiness comes from being able to live truly in the moment. When I am spending time with friends, family – people I love I want to be able to be present. This means that both mind and body are right there with the people. I am paying attention and getting the most out of my time with them. It is when I am truly in the moment that I am the happiest. Usually when I am worried I am thinking about tomorrow. Most often when I am sad, I am thinking about something in the past. There can be exceptions, but the truth about this is where the expression “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the Present.” comes from. Think about the last time you were upset about something. In that moment were you thinking about what was happening at that moment? Now think about the last time you felt really happy. I know for me at that moment I was thinking about how good life was and how good it felt. My mind wasn’t wandering, worrying about what might be or regretting what did or didn’t happen that I was disappointed about.

Aren’t finances one of the biggest causes of people’s worries? How many marriages break up over finances? How many times when things were tough financially were you able to go out and enjoy yourself? Imagine being worried about your finances and then going out and spending money. So no, money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can cause trouble when things are tough. If times are tight and I am out with friends and family how much of that time do you think is really spent enjoying the moment and how much time is spent worrying about finances? Out of 100% of maximum potential happiness during those moments, what percent do you think you get when your mind is wandering and wondering about the bills you have to pay?

So my theory is made up of 2 parts essentially. First, that if you have a good handle on your finances you can enjoy your downtime that much more because you are more able to be in the moment when you are with loved ones. Second, you don’t have to make a lot of money to be able to have a good handle on your finances. The second part often baffles people so let me explain because I have experienced it first hand. Good financial management starts with application of two principles. Organization and planning. Whether I make $30,000 or $300,000 or $3,000,000 really doesn’t matter. Bottom line my starting point in general terms is the same at any level of income. Income has to be higher than expenses. How many of us really know this for sure about our own situations? Unless you have actually sat down and drafted a budget, you can’t know. Not for sure and this is where the worries come in. My own direct personal experience has been that when I sit down and start this process I feel better within minutes. The reason is that the cure for the worrying is in the knowing. Worry comes from not knowing what the outcome will be, so our minds speculate and many of us have a natural inclination for speculating the worst. When you have a detailed financial outline in place then you know pretty much exactly what you can afford and what you can’t. Then it’s just a matter of living accordingly. The knowing will lead to a built in barometer for this. When I am spending money I know I can’t really afford to spend I am uncomfortable. When I know that I can afford to spend it, I am at peace and able to live truly in the moment – worry free. When I don’t know whether or not I can afford it, I worry.

So I am going to leave you all with this. Once I know what the conditions are I can change myself to meet the conditions. If I try to change the conditions I will likely only meet with frustration. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be ambitious and strive to earn more income – if anything the opposite is true. In fact knowing exactly where I am right now is the best possible starting point for planning the future and then setting and reaching new goals. It goes back to the planning and organization.

There are so many tools out there that you can use to help you keep the information you need organized so that it is easy to create and maintain what you need to find the peace of mind I am talking about. I have re-constructed my own budget at least 3 times this year and each time within a day. Partly because that’s what I do, but also because I am organized and I have everything I need right at my finger tips.

Coming Soon..

June 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Coming soon..How to create great looking invoices you would never know came from QuickBooks!

We’ll redesign the Nerd Enterprises, Inc. Invoice template in a free web cast that you can watch on the web. Visit our main website after 10am tomorrow (Thursday June 25) and click to watch “This week’s Web Cast”. If you watch it now you will learn the 10 minutes household budget.

Did you file an extension this year?

June 24, 2009 Leave a comment

How many times have you told yourself that you weren’t going to file an extension this year? Then how many times after filing that extension have you said you were not going to wait until the deadline only to find yourself scrambling in September or October to get it all together? 

You don’t have to do that again this year! We can help. Lack of planning is the single biggest and yet most avoidable cause for stress! How can Nerd Enterprises, Inc. help?

I’m glad you asked. We can send you a staff member to evaluate your current status, what needs to be done and how long it will take. Then we can either train you or your bookkeeper as the case might be on how to tighten things up or we can go to the next step for you and have our staff do the work to get you cleaned up and ready for Year End, tax planning (i.e. estimating what you owe for the year and helping to plan on setting that aside if necessary between now and March Or April).

Now what about the plan for Next Year? How many of you have sat down and spent some time thinking about what you expect your income to be next year, compared that with your expenses and now have an idea of what you might be able to afford to do much less save during the year? I have already spent hours on it for my Company as well as for myself personally. Even if you are an “employed” person you should do this. My experience has been that unless you do this you will not likely generate a significant savings. I’ve read articles that people my age (in their 30’s) have substantially less savings on average than our parents did by the time they were our age. And we make a lot more money!!! 

I’ll give you a few reasons besides the obvious, why you should do this and how it can help.

First and foremost… Peace of mind! When my mind is at ease, I am much more productive and I have found that my mind is MUCH MORE at ease when I understand exactly where my finances stand. Then when I am not working I find it much easier to relax – I don’t have to worry about spending because I know exactly what I can afford to spend.

Second… Goal setting and reaching. This applies more to the self employed (but not entirely). When I know what I should be able to make at a minimum, I can then see what I can do to raise the bar. For the employed person maybe that means putting in an extra 10% in order to lock in that raise and promotion. Sometimes it might mean a lateral move in order to position yourself within the organization for an upward move. What ever the case might be, plan it and see what you can do in order to make that happen. For the Self employed this means thinking both in and out of the box. Inside the box it is the obvious – how can I get more business? Outside of the box means thinking about new ways to generate revenue and perhaps most importantly, how do I generate residual / recurring revenue. Come up with some ideas and add that in to your model or projection. The idea is to have the same effort invested one time continue to generate revenue.

Third… Motivation. It is a lot more likely that you are going to get excited about where you are headed if you have that concept well defined. If I know that I can earn $250,000 this year but I am going to need to work to do it – as long as this is a realistic goal for me, then I will get excited about it and I will in turn be motivated to do what it takes to make it happen. Caution here! If I set unrealistic and unachievable goals then I am setting myself up for failure and I will be overwhelmed and disappointed. This is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. So be realistic but do plan and do set the goals. If you have never operated this way before then I suggest you start off by setting fairly easy to attain goals and then each time you achieve one, set the next bar a little higher over your head than the last one was.

So there you have it. A few reasons. We can help you with all of this using two very important tools (and the very things that have made my life what it is today) – QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel.

Remote Bookkeeping Services

June 16, 2009 2 comments

Remote bookkeeping is going to become more and more prevalent for small businesses for a few basic reasons. First, it is efficient for the bookkeepers. This means we can charge less because we can go from one client to the next with no travel increasing our billable hours. This is good. Second, it is convenient for the client because you don’t have to make space for a physical human being. Depending on the setup option you choose, you might have to reserve a computer while we are logged in, however if the computer that hosts the QuickBooks file is is used during the day, we can have a bookkeeper log in during the evening hours when no one is there. This means less interruption during normal business hours. Because of the portability of QuickBooks we can also log in and upload a copy of QuickBooks to ourselves. This will mean 5 minutes that someone has to stop working on that computer while we do this. Then when we are finished we can log in after hours and download the updated copy of QuickBooks to your computer. Of course during this time no changes can be made by anyone at your office to QuickBooks. I have one client that I work this way with (actually through a VPN, no computer needed) and it works beautifully. I can even pay his bills by setting the checks “To Be Printed”. When the QuickBooks Company File is back on his server I e-mail him to let him know, and he just opens up his QuickBooks as if it never left his server. Then he prints the batch of checks and signs them. This is convenient for him and I, and it is really efficient while still allowing for him to review all checks before they are sent.

I mentioned “portability of QuickBooks files”. The reality is that with services like yousendit and other FTP site options it is easily to seamlessly transfer your file without interruption on your part. If the file is particularly large, then we simply save a QuickBooks Portable Company file before we upload. None of this really matters to you as the business owner, all you care about is that we will get your file, work on it and put it back without you even feeling it!

So how do we get your information in order to work on your books remotely? There are a few ways to do this. The BEST way is when the client is comfortable and trusts us with the login info for their bank & credit card accounts. It is possible to give us read only access with most banks so that all we could ever do is download the information into QuickBooks and categorize the transactions. The other way is you send us the PDF’s and we enter them manually. It really doesn’t matter to us. In some cases we will set up a private blog site – you can easily upload documents as well as post notes for us as far as things you need us to follow up on. Yes of course you could e-mail that too, but the blog gives us nice platform to track the progress on things while e-mails get filed and forgotten!

So how do we log in to your computer?

The best way is that we set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your server where the QuickBooks file is hosted. This enables us to get to your file without you even needing to interrupt anyone at any computer there. The other way is that we set up one of our gotomypc accounts on your computer. Finally you can set up your own gotomypc (or other remote access) and give us the information we need to log in to your computer. If we provide the gotomypc account there is an annual charge of $150 (about half of what it costs to have your own) and you can use it all you like to get access to your files and of course your own QuickBooks file. As long as you are a client the account is yours to use.

Setting up the VPN will of course require about 3 hours of time with our IT department at $150/hour, once this is done, however you have permanent remote access set up and it doesn’t cost another dime. Oh and yes – we can do this remotely!

In the process we will also be working with you to go as much paperless as possible – scanning bills and other documents in order to make them available to us for input. This is better (more efficient) for you and of course better for the environment – and we like that!

What About Security?

Of course we do everything in our power to protect your information. Everything we see is confidential and treated as such. Our service agreement provides for a bi-lateral NDA (we give you information about our company that we do not want disclosed to the general public as well). The VPN’s are all very secure as is gotomypc.

You can read more about remote bookkeeping services in our main website:

http://www.nerdenterprises.com/accounting/in_house_bookkeeping.htm

Please feel free to post your questions in the form of comments here.

Take our Poll and get a free hour of QuickBooks Training

June 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Click here (or visit the page to your right –>) and take this month’s poll. We’ll give you a free hour of online QuickBooks Training.

Today’s Question: Saving QuickBooks for PC to QuickBooks For MAC

June 12, 2009 Leave a comment

 

Hi Seth 🙂

Since you are my go-to Qbooks guru, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind answering a personal question for me? 🙂  My freelance client wants to get his Qbooks file to his CPA who is out of state.  I tried to use YouSendIt, which would’ve worked fine except I realized the CPA is on a Mac and my client is on a PC.  Do you know of any way to make a Mac formatted Qbooks file compatible with a PC?  Is this even possible?

A CPA with a MAC. This is a first for me! I suppose we can expect to see more and more of this as time goes on. I’ve learned I need to know how to work with both. My Main IT guy here, Ed knows both MAC & PC platforms very well.

Here’s your answer:

You can save a copy for QB For MAC, and you can also copy back from MAC to PC (Round Trip). You can also start with a copy for MAC and convert round trip that way as well. There are a few limitations which won’t affect you for this purpose, but you should be aware of since you are servicing clients, more and more of whom will be using QB for MAC. The MAC version does not have all of the features that the PC version has in terms of customizing forms such as invoice templates. You will lose some of this in translation going from PC to MAC. Going from MAC to PC you can use the custom templates & features, but any invoices that were created on the MAC will need to be opened, the template chosen in the drop down and then the invoice needs to be saved again.

Click on ‘File’ – ‘Utilities’ – ‘Copy Company File For QuickBooks MAC’

Here is a screenshot:

Figure 1 – Convert QuickBooks from PC to MAC

Then you will be prompted of course for a location to save the file. Then send that QuickBooks Backup File via yousendit.