Archive for December, 2011

QuickBooks Invoice Printing Problem

Friday, December 30th, 2011

How to Resolve a QuickBooks Invoice Printing Problem

A reader sent e-mail that started with, "Help, I'm going crazy trying to send invoices". Here's what happened. He usually sends invoices weekly, but on this particular week his assistant created the invoices and printed them. All of the invoices printed incorrectly, with a very large top margin (almost 2" deep). The same thing happened when he voided and re-created the invoices. He tried using the QuickBooks Layout Designer but it didn't work. He opened another company file, and he also opened a sample company file, but the same thing happened. If he prints to another printer, including a PDF converter printer, the large top margin is always there. He verified the file and everything is fine. What's the most likely cause of his problem?

The most common reason for this problem is that somebody selected "Letterhead" as the paper type for printing invoices (instead of Blank Paper). QuickBooks moved everything down to make room for the pre-printed letterhead. The change could have been made in any company file, including a sample company file. Once a printer setup is changed in any company file, the change is replicated to all company files because QuickBooks configures printers for the entire installation of the software instead of individual company files (which we think is a preposterous and unwise way to design accounting software).

Printing a List of Bank Deposits in QuickBooks

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

How to Print a List of QuickBooks Bank Deposits

A reader wrote to say that her employer wants a list of all bank deposits made for a given period, and she doesn't know how to produce the list in QuickBooks.

  1. In the QuickBooks Chart of Accounts window, select (highlight) the bank account and press Ctrl-Q to open a QuickReport of all transactions for the account.
  2. Set the time period for the dates you need.
  3. Click Customize Report (Modify Report in pre 2012 versions) and move to the Filters tab.
  4. Select Transaction Type in the Filter list.
  5. Select Deposit as the Transaction Type.
  6. Click OK.

Memorize the QuickBooks report, naming it "List of Deposits" (or something similar) so you don't have to go through the configuration steps in the future.

QuickBooks Inventory Costing

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

How to Analyze Inventory Costs in QuickBooks

As is typical at the end of the year, we recently received several messages from readers asking how to analyze QuickBooks inventory costs. All of our correspondents said they knew that QuickBooks does not track costs by FIFO or LIFO, but they were having problems rectifying their year-end inventory values (for tax returns) with a meaningful analysis of those costs. Many of the messages included the statement, "This doesn't add up correctly". Several accountants said they were trying to evaluate client businesses that were for sale, and couldn't present accurate monthly, quarterly, or yearly inventory analysis figures to potential buyers.

Here's the problem: QuickBooks computes the average cost over the life of the inventory item, not as a weighted average. Weighted average (which is the generally acceptable paradigm for accounting) means measuring and tracking costs for an accounting period (fiscal year for most small businesses).

To get a weighted average, you must customize QuickBooks reports that show your purchases and sales for the accounting period in question. Then export the reports to Excel in order to perform the calculations you need.

Businesses that have sophisticated inventory needs should not be using QuickBooks unless they can find a third party application that will help them track inventory the way they have to. QuickBooks was originally designed for service businesses, and even though Intuit added the ability to track inventory, the software does not track or report on inventory the way that accounting applications that are designed for inventory-based businesses do.

Paying Commissions Only On Paid Invoices in QuickBooks

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

How to Pay Sales Commissions in QuickBooks

A reader wrote to ask how to set up QuickBooks so that she pays commissions to outside reps when an invoice is paid, not when the invoice is created. She has a REP field on all invoices, and has customized reports to total the invoices for each rep. But she has to drill down on each report, opening each invoice to see whether it's been paid. If she includes a "Paid" column on the reports, she sees a Paid or Unpaid notation, but no totals for paid and unpaid.

Change the QuickBooks report to Cash basis instead of Accrual so that only paid sales are displayed.

Resending a Printed QuickBooks Check

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

How to Reissue a Destroyed Check in QuickBooks

A reader had the following problem: "A vendor inadvertently destroyed a check I sent to him two months ago (it was in a pile of paper going through the shredder). The check was printed and sent in January and if I void it my January reports will change, and they've already been sent to the bank that holds my line of credit. How can I re-issue the check in QuickBooks without changing anything in the reports?"

Open the check and select the TO PRINT check box, and print it using the next check number. QuickBooks will just change the check number on that check; the date, amount, etc. stays the same.

If you track the check numbers of voided checks (so you don't have any missing check numbers) in QuickBooks, just create a check with the original number and void it.