"Find my iPhone" App Saves the Day

On Holiday vacation, my iPhone was stolen. I used iCloud "Find My iPhone" app to locate it. It was in a city where I have a friend. I locked the phone, and sent an alert to call my friend for a reward. I set the reward at the street value of the phone. My friend was an angel to drive to a dangerous neighborhood in the middle of the night to retrieve it, and mail it back the next day. Happy Holidays!

New Year; New Database?

It's time to think about if you're going to want a new database for Jan? Also, it's time for you to get setup if you're moving to QuickBooks for the first time for 2014.
There are many advantages to a new database for the new year, including:
  • Faster data retrieval. A huge database can become unbearably slow. One client has a database hit the wall in August. Trust me, you don't want to start a new database midyear if you run payroll or pay taxes by the calendar year.
  • The ability to start fresh. A new database gives you the opportunity to clean up your chart of accounts, customer, vendor, and other lists, and especially payroll problems. Only lists transfer; no transactions. Modify that last sentence. I can transfer transactions with special software that I've used for clients before, but you'll have to keep your lists the same in order to move the data. Once data is moved, you can delete any list item that's not included in one of the transactions. 
  • The security of having only a single year in a single database; electronic information can become corrupted over time. I've rarely seen a QB database that lasted longer than 7 years electronically.
  • The convenience of giving your tax preparer last year's database while continuing to run your day-to-day business without interruption.
  • Last year, the IRS purchased QuickBooks. If you get audited, having a single year in a single database enables you to provide the IRS with just the information they demand, and nothing more. If you've just been audited I can get you a single year in a single database but it won't be pretty. The only way to get pretty is to create a new database for the new year. 
While there are many advantages to creating a new database for the new year, there are a few disadvantages.
  • You'll need to hire help to setup a new database.
  • If you're using Enterprise edition will you be able to print out reports cross databases for comparison. Otherwise, you'll have to do that with print-outs, Excel, and Intuit Statement Writer.
Ultimately, the decision to create a new database for the new year depends on what's best for your business?  If you're must moving lists, I can get you ready for the new database in less than 4 hours, which leaves time to discuss any other QuickBooks questions or business concerns.

QuickBooks Online Looks Different

If you've been using QuickBooks Online edition, you'll notice that Intuit has totally changing the "look & feel". 

The updated design (interface is the techie word for this) is not superior to the existing layout, just different, and confusing at first. Don't let the new screens throw you. All the functionality you are familiar with is there. You just just have to hunt around for the menu options you want. And there is new functionality. I can show you some new features in our next consulting session.

An Easy Way to Tithe (Donate 10% to charity)

Fall is a great time to donate stuff to thrift stores. Charities have their highest demand for stuff before Christmas. When people get desperate they turn to crime, but first they turn to charity. So why not provide charity? Donating stuff is an easy way to tithe. 

My favorite thrift store is at the ritzy Bellevue Mall. Weblink to LifeSpring Thrift Store at the Bellevue Mall  It's an interesting concept. Take a shopping bag to the mall and drop it off. Come home with a new shopping bag.

This is the best organization with the most qualified volunteers, so more money is going to recipients. Bellevue LifeSpring has other charitable events and programs if you are interested?

They will give you a tax deduction receipt. (If you're serious about taking a non-cash tax deduction, take photo's of the stuff first.) I personally never take a deduction for the stuff I donate, but I do save the receipts in case I'm audited for all the cash I donate and claim. 

It's Feng Shui to eliminate 10% of your stuff. Your home or office will look better with less clutter. When you get rid of clutter, you accent the nice stuff (and find it!). Try having spaciousness and see how many compliments you get? I've never done a big clean out without finding something precious, so even your time won't be wasted. Plus, now you've created space for new stuff, right? 

Why is Thanksgiving Important in Accounting?

Seems like an unlikely connection, but you really want to get your accounting all caught up by Thanksgiving, and review your P&L Report and Balance Sheet for a clear analysis. That's because Thanksgiving leaves you only one month to make any end of tax plans. Here are your questions to answer as an analysis:

  • Do you have profit, and need to buy some fixed assets? Now is the time to research, shop, and buy before year end. 
  • Do need to reign in spending for the last month? You don't want to show an overly large loss in any one year. So make a list of what you'll need in Jan. Those expenses will count against 2014 profit, which will hopefully be much better. 
  • Do you need to do a big account's receivable collection effort, before year end?
  • You know that your subcontractors will be getting 1099's in Jan. Do you need to collect Social Security #'s, and addresses now? 
There's enough to do at year end without worrying about catching up on routine bookkeeping. If you stay current, you'll start paying bills on time, pocketing the late fees for your own take home pay. Sound good? Now is a good time to count your blessings!

QuickBooks 2014 Roll-out and Improvements

Here are the noteworthy improvements to QuickBooks 2014. If you chose to upgrade, please do so via my website for a 20% discount (and free shipping if you order the CD on top of the default download option). The 2013 icons take you to 2014 software.

QuickBooks Pro/Premier 2014

Online Banking Center is renamed to Bank Feeds. The selecting of transactions to be imported, and renamed, has been streamlined for faster data entry.

Emailing customers invoices has been improved too. You can customize email templates, and add another attached document (in addition to the invoice) to your email.

There's a new ribbon banner collection screen, where it's much easier for the A/R person to do their job of managing and collecting on overdue invoices.

Something nicer for the A/P person is that if a credit is used to pay a vendor's bill, the credit will now show up on the stub.

QuickBooks Enterprise 2014

Enterprise has an important nice new job costing reports, especially the Job Work in Progress Report, used to calculate over/under billings. This report can be filtered by Salesrep or Job Status.

There's also a Committed Cost by Job Report, that includes Open purchase orders, and wages on time sheets (not burdened yet).

For manufacturers using inventory management, there are some cool new assembly features.

For distributors or light manufactures, there are new purchasing & pricing options. There always was a low reorder point, but now there is also a new top reorder point. If you run an automatic Purchase Order, it'll know how many to order for you. Of course, you can adjust that for reasons only the human mind would know. There's even an advanced Pricing Discount feature that costs $399 annually that gives Enterprise POS type features.

Mac Version

All the "improvements" on the Mac version are screen changes. I don't consider these improvements, just change. If you've had me setup your QuickBooks environment on a Mac or PC, the screen is optimized to be as fast as possible already. I'm happy to do it again.

If you do want to upgrade, please do it via my website for a 20% discount (and convenience, as it gets you there fast, plus free shipping if you order a CD on top of the download default option). The QuickBooks icons take you to the 2014 software.

Fiver - New Online Business

Fiver.com is a hot new website that I've come to love. Marketing is not my cup of tea, so I came here with a long to-do list. It's really a question of being precise, because at $5 a pop, everyone is specialized. Many vendors are useless, so take advantage of my learning curve and go with these exceptional vendors: 

Beeusso, graphic designer for simple business cards, fixed the color on my business cards, and sent me the source file so that I can easily get future changes made for $10!

Socialmediamama reviewed my linked in profile and gave me 5 relevant and helpful suggestions to improve it for $5. She was spot on.

Twentytwomedia designed both a timeline graphics for my FB page, and a cover for my free Report for $10. I especially love the timeline.

Bizlogoz designed a logo for a new business. His creativity is exceptional. Plus, he gave me tons of variations, including the one I really needed but did not know enough to ask for, for $30.

ProTips fixed my Facebook page for $10. Finally! It has been a long journey to find someone who really "gets" social media.

Have you tried Fiver yet? Anyone you want to recommend?

POS Important FREE Update

Great news! 3:00 p.m. batching is gone! The new release for QuickBooks Point of Sale 2013 features 12 a.m. midnight (local time) batch reconciliation/processing. since it's 2013, that means you can download the update for free. You'll love this change!

GoPayment is now linked to QuickBooks POS

Intuit has integrated QuickBooks Point of Sale with GoPayment free credit card mobile payment app. This is in direct competition to Square, and it's iPad register.

Finally the 200,000 customers who use QuickBooks POS hardware and software have an easy way to combine a traditional POS experience with a mobile payment service. Plus, new business owners who need a remote selling option and want to use QuickBooks software will be jumping onto the POS bandwagon. 

QuickBooks POS starts at $1,499 for the pro version, the minimum version worth buying. With hardware, the pro version costs $1,899. The pro multi-store software sells for $1,799 and $2,299 with hardware. Square will obviously continue to do very well, but it doesn't integrate with QuickBooks yet. Plus, Intuit has an advantage with POS being a more robust solution for bigger merchants with more transactions. 

First you setup QuickBooks software, and get that working. Then you setup POS and mark each inventory item you want to sync to the GoPayment iPhone app. You use your iPhone to take payments anywhere you're not connected to a cash register, or computer, such as trade shows or events. At day's end, you sync the sales back to POS for accurate inventory counts, and then sync the financial data back into QuickBooks software for sales receipts & deposits. Your sales receipts determine sales tax liability, and income figures on the P&L Report. Overall, Intuit has provided an excellent solution to managing inventory and financials. 

If you need help setting up any of this, please contact me. I'd love to help you!