Need Live Bookkeeping Support?
Millions of small business owners and their bookkeepers depend on QuickBooks. There may be a growing number of alternatives, but QuickBooks continues to be the go-to software for bookkeeping. Therefore, a true understanding of how the software functions is the key to having reliable and accurate reports. Live bookkeeping support can guide you and recommend best practices and workflows for QuickBooks.
Yet you may not have the cash flow to pay someone else to work on your day-to-day bookkeeping. Fortunately, live bookkeeping support is an affordable service. Live, continuous data is what empowers you to make business decisions. The way to getting this information is by having consistent and routine bookkeeping practices.
Live Bookkeeping Pointers
INVOICING AND DEPOSITS
You will get paid faster by routinely invoicing your clients and continuing to improve upon your invoicing cycle. An Accounts Receivable Aging Report provides a list of clients and their invoices. By routinely updating QuickBooks, you can track and know when a client pays. And, for any sales transactions that can be memorized and automatically entered, there is a feature in QuickBooks, Recurring Transactions, which can assist you.
Payments via cash and checks can be time-consuming to process and track. If feasible, you could also accept payments via QuickBooks Payments or other systems that can send the payment info into QuickBooks properly.
If you have clients who still pay you via check, ideally, those payments should be deposited the day you receive it. In a perfect world, the individual opening the mail and examining the checks ought to be a different individual from the person who makes the deposits at the bank. This is an internal control tip that can avoid any future ugliness should a deposit go “missing” or not match the bank teller’s receipt.
BILLS AND EXPENSES
Dropping everything you’re doing to cut an “emergency” check is very disrupting to your business. Pick a day of the week that is conducive to entering bills and cutting checks. This method, together with utilizing an accounts payable (A/P) report, puts you in control. Tracking A/P gives you the ability to gauge your cashflow and prioritize which vendor(s) to pay. On the off chance a vendor says “I need a check now,” we say, “great, we cut checks on Wednesdays, is that quick enough?” It should be a real crisis for us to do so otherwise. And, if you have to cut that “emergency check”, don’t let that vendor walk out the door without ensuring you have his or her Form W-9 on file!
If possible, pay your vendors via a third party app or tool that can post to QuickBooks automatically. For credit cards, you can set up rules for common transactions that download to your QuickBooks banking screen. Automated bill payment apps, such as Bill.com. increase efficiency and control. It’s a great tool, if you have the room in your budget.
Don’t create a crisis! Waiting until the end of the month to get a credit card statement and chasing receipts and/or staff is no fun. Once again, Quickbooks allows you to download this activity on a regular basis. If it’s a repeating vendor, QuickBooks will categorize it to the last category that was used. You can change that, or add descriptions, but you need to be putting every single charge into QuickBooks. And, make sure you add the Vendor! You can pull reports to see what you’re spending with specific vendors.
You can connect most bank and credit card accounts directly to QuickBooks. If you cannot easily find your bank’s logo, then type the website address that you use for online banking. If it still doesn’t show as available, click the link for you to “suggest” your bank.
It used to be that some bank and credit card companies would require you to allow third-party access in order to connect your account to QuickBooks. Those institutions may charge a fee to allow this access, so confirm with your financial institution.
Waiting on the mail for a monthly bank statement is becoming obsolete. You can log onto most banks quickly. We log into QuickBooks and check bank or credit card account balances against QuickBooks balances every day. If the balances differ, we are able to quickly identify why that is.
After you have connected the business’ bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks, it learns how to help you keep track of your expenses. Bank connections allows you to do a “soft reconciliation”. You’re essentially building a bank or credit card reconciliation on a weekly basis. However, you still have to do the month end reconciliations! Sometimes there are glitches between QuickBooks and banking institutions which may lead to some transactions either being “missed” or duplicated. During reconciliation is an ideal way to catch these anomalies.
We’ve found that most business owners react, or wait for the banking downloads. This is usually ok for those who are routinely bookkeeping. However, don’t forget to enter your handwritten checks! If you’ve written a check, you still have to ensure there’s enough money in your account to cover it. If you do not enter it, you may have an unexpected surprise.
It is very important to add any missing transactions into QuickBooks. If not, you will not have a complete accounting of your income and expenses for your business. Your financial reports will become unreliable and it will be very difficult to reconcile your accounts each month.
When you first connect a bank or credit card account to QuickBooks, a limited number of account transactions download. Learn how to download any missing transactions into an Excel CSV file directly from your bank or credit card website. Once downloaded, you can import them into your QuickBooks banking screen.
If you don’t know what a Form 941 is, then you probably shouldn’t be doing your own payroll. Outsource it! You may not like the fees that big payroll service companies like ADP or Paychex will charge you. However, it’s better to pay them than have the IRS freeze your business’s bank account due to withholding tax errors, or worse—fraud. Beware if the payroll services fail to pay your payroll taxes, you are still liable.
Even if you have an outside service to process the payroll, you are not done. A big net number for the payroll itself, and a big net number for the payroll taxes, need to be entered into different accounts in QuickBooks. You’ve got to record it correctly, and you’ve got to report it timely.
Live Bookkeeping Support Keeps You Clean
Keep the numbers simple, and you’ll see your profits improve. You can gauge your business’s productivity and stability through standard reports that you can generate within minutes. A Profit and Loss Report, for instance, gives an overview of how profitable your business is, while a Balance Sheet Report provides a comparison of assets, liabilities, and equity.
Having clean books is essential to the success of any business. You need to know how much money your business makes and how much it costs you to make it. If you “manually” enter income and expenses into your account registers, you risk making data entry errors or omissions. Those errors, in turn, will make it difficult to reconcile and audit your books against your account statements. By ensuring all transactions are recorded in QuickBooks, you can easily reconcile and generate reliable reports.
Live Bookkeeping Support From an Expert
My Live Bookkeeper offers personalized QuickBooks live bookkeeping support and coaching for your skill level. Together, you create the best way to learn QuickBooks for you and your business. Learn tips and tricks, how-tos and procedures, “accountant speak” translation, explanations of important processes or features (such as reconciliation), and an accountability partner to keep you on track.
Regardless of your reason for QuickBooks training, you can rely on My Live Bookkeeper to be an ally and collaborator when you need it. If you get stuck or need help with correcting a more complicated issue, My Live Bookkeeper can coach you through it with QuickBooks training. Reach out to [email protected] or Schedule an Appointment for a free consultation.