Get the Tips and Tricks that every Bookkeeper should have in their bag, courtesy of our Accounting Services staff.
Automate/Memorize Transactions in QuickBooks
If you have reoccurring items, use the memorize transactions function in QuickBooks for quick entry. It is easy to set up and is fully customizable. This function is great for reoccurring bills and invoices.
You can have it set to remind you to enter the bill or invoice. If the amount is the same each period, then set the “Automate Transaction Entry” feature and it will enter it automatically into your books.
You can memorize checks, deposits, invoices and even journal entries. This feature is available in QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.
Well Defined Bookkeeping Procedures:
Having clearly defined procedures and workflow for the accounting team is vital for keeping the books current and accurate. It is important to have to do lists and bookkeeping procedures. The more organized the bookkeeping processes the better the workflow.
Create a notebook or even better a digital file that lists the step by step instructions and/or to do lists for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks. Use your accounting software to automate some of these tasks and set up reminders.
Pro Tip: Use your digital calendar to set reminders of important due dates and reoccurring tasks.
QB Tip: Use the Reminders and To Dos feature in QuickBooks and customize your tasks. Use the home page visual template as a basis for creating procedures for workflows.
Separating Business and Personal Expenses:
Co-mingling expenses might not seem like a bad idea, wrong! This can quickly cause huge headaches for your company. Having a dedicated business bank account for checking and savings saves you time when it is time to sum up deductible expenses.
You should get in habit of using different bank accounts for business and personal purchases. If your contributing capital to your business out of your personal assets, make sure you clearly document the contribution.
In general, you cannot deduct personal expenses as a business expense. If you use property both for business and personal use such as car or home office, then the portion of time you use the property for business if deductible. Otherwise, deducting personal expenses on a business is not allowed.
Keeping Your Records Organized (even those pesky papers!):
Organizing and keeping accounting records like business invoices, receipts, and expenses can help you run your business smoothly.
If you are a fan of keeping paper records:
- Store them in a secure and safe place.
- Make sure you keep your paper accounting records organized using different labels, different color of folders and sorting strategies (e.g., chronological order).
If you are not a fan of paper records, go electronic instead:
- Scan and saved all documents and create a folder for each accounting records as if you are to save them on a paper record.
- Keep electronic document of accounting information on your devices or in the cloud for safekeeping.
I suggest keeping both a paper and electronic version. That way, you have a backup in case accounting information is destroyed, misplaced, or lost.
Review A/R Frequently:
Enter your invoices as close to the time of service or sale of a product. Once you have created the invoice and sent them to your customer it is important to follow up on the payments. Many times, those invoices can get lost in the mail or misplaced.
Collect emails from your customers and send digital copies of the invoices to ensure timely delivery. Check your A/R (Accounts Receivables) weekly and send friendly gentle reminders. It becomes increasingly difficult to collect as time passes on old invoices.
Pro Tip: Offer alternative forms of payment ACH, credit card, Zelle, or Paypal and let your customers know about these quick payment options
QB Tip: If you provide a reoccurring service have your accounting software automatically create the invoice.
Keep Your Books Up to Date:
Keeping your books updated close to real time will give you information on how much cash the business has available and if there any fraudulent charges. Entering or downloading bank feeds daily if you have lots of transactions and weekly if your transactions are moderate.
Enter A/R (invoices) as soon as you or the staff provide the services or sells the product and enter A/P (bills) as soon as you receive them to take advantage of discounts for paying early and tracking due date to avoid late fees.
QB Tip: Set up bank feeds so transaction download into your account.
QB Online Tip: QuickBooks online has an option to download transactions automatically with direct bank feeds.
Reconcile Your Accounts Monthly:
Review incoming banking and credit card transactions daily or weekly depending on number of transactions. This gives you an opportunity to review bank and credit card transactions for accuracy and catch fraudulent charges in real time or missed deposits due to bank error. If your books match your bank, you can monitor your cash balance and avoid costly bank charges due to bounced checks.
After you have reconciled all the transactions to your monthly statement, it is important to print the reconcile report and review the uncleared transactions. Clean up any old transactions.
Checks that are lost should be cleared out and reissued if necessary. The only items that should be in the uncleared section will be current transactions
QB tip: Use bank feeds and clear transactions for quick reconciles at month end.
Use the memo section to take notes for your bookkeeper or accounting professional:
For example, you purchased some desks and you are not sure if it is an expense or asset. No worries. Classify it as “unallocated expense” and write in the memo section “purchased two desks for $200.00 each for the back office”. You got a new loan and the account has not been set up in QuickBooks, but you want to enter it into the books. Put the deposit in “unallocated income” and write “new loan from USABank please set up new account.”
This will save time, and the transactions you are not sure about are all in one place and your bookkeeper won’t have to ask you later about the transaction.
Not sure how to classify a purchase or deposit “unallocated expenses” or “unallocated income”. let your bookkeeper or accounting professional categorize them correctly.
Attach the receipt or document to the transaction in QuickBooks.
Document tracking for 1099 Vendors:
It seems like it is always a mad dash to collect W-9 in January of the filing year. A tip to avoid the stress is to collect the document in real time.
Before you cut that check to a service vendor or outside service provider, request a W-9 right away from the vendor. Even if you are not sure, it is always a good practice to request one anyway. And if turns out you do not need a to file 1099 for them it’s good to have that W-9 as a record of not qualifying for filing. You can download a PDF here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf and email it to the vendor
QuickBooks Tip: You can attach and store that W-9 digital document in the vendor information in QuickBooks. No separate file system needed!
QuickBooks online Tip: QBO has a feature you can invite contractors to fill out their W-9 and sign them electronically, securely inside their intuit account
Use your phone as a document tracker:
It is important to keep track of all receipts. It is amazing in our high-tech digital world there is still paper documents. We need to have those documents available especially for large purchases. Getting all receipts digitize can save a lot of time.
Our smart phone has changed our lives. Use that pocket computer to your advantage.
Use your phone to take pictures of receipts and checks and any document you think you or your accountant might need as backup and email them to yourself or your bookkeeper.
QuickBooks Online Tip:
Use the QuickBooks mobile app and it automatically uploads the data from your receipt and stores your receipt
Pro Tip: use a mobile app for receipt tracking that automatically https://www.receipt-bank.com/us/
Using QuickBooks to store your documents:
If you are digitizing those receipts and other source documents, another place to file them is right in QuickBooks. Whether you are entering or downloading your bank and credit card transactions or creating an invoice each transaction window has an attachment icon button.
Keep all receipts and documents in digital format. Request documents to be email for a quick digital copy. Otherwise scan or take a picture as soon as possible. Attach the receipt to a bill, invoice, or check as back up for the purchases.
Click on the attachment paper clip icon or drag and drop the receipt or document.