Do you have too many Inventory Adjustments in QuickBooks?

In recent months, I have noticed several new clients had a HUGE number of inventory adjustments.  Some even had a couple dozen a day.  Large numbers of inventory adjustments are a warning sign that this feature is not being used correctly or that there is an internal control issue.

Inventory adjustments are used to correct quantities on hand, value, and/or Lot/Serial numbers.  Usually inventory adjustments are made after a full physical inventory or cycle counts. If numerous errors are detected during the counting of inventory, it’s possible that transactions are not entered properly, or it may be a sign of internal control issues, or theft.

Inventory adjustments should not be used to create assemblies or transfer inventory from one site to another.

  1. If you create inventory assembly items you can build assemblies.  Using this feature in Pro, Premier, and Enterprise finished goods are added to inventory and the raw materials used to make the finished goods are subtracted from inventory.
  2. If you have multiple warehouses, using Advanced Inventory on QuickBooks Enterprise gives the user an option to transfer inventory without affecting the value or lot/serial number.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please let me know.

Is QuickBooks EMV Compatible?

Many clients have contacted me regarding Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip credit cards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMV requesting more information on the technology, process, and requirements.

Cards with EMV Chips

Many of you have already received one or more EMV chip cards which have a small computer chip in the card that stores information digitally rather than relying upon the magnetic strip that we are used in the  in the past.  This change is to enhance security and reduce credit card fraud, more information on implementing these changes can be found at http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/visa-merchant-chip-acceptance-readiness-guide.pdf & http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/emv-migration/what-is-emv-and-why-do-i-need-it

Processing Transactions with EMV Chip Cards

EMV chip cards can be processed using three different methods.  However only the 1st option will increase security and reduce credit card fraud.

Equipment that uses an EMV Chip Reader AND EMV Compatible Software

Swipe the Magnet Strip in a card reader

Manually enter the Credit/Debit Card number

For more information on the EMV process see http://usa.visa.com/personal/security/chip-technology/emv-chip.jsp & http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/technology-and-security/step-by-step-guide-to-emv-migration-for-small-businesses

EMV Compliant Software

Is QuickBooks EMV Compliant? The answer is, it depends on the version of QuickBooks the following QuickBooks Software versions are EMV compatible.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Point of Sale Version 12 is EMV Compatible

2016 Quick Books Pro/Premier/Accountant is EMV compatible

16.0 QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is EMV compatible

Keep in mind that having an EMV compatible version does not make the reseller’s sales transactions compliant.  You also need to process the EMV card with equipment that reads the EMV chip.

Is EMV Compliance Required by a Given Date?

Starting October 1st, 2015, liability for fraudulent credit/debit card transactions will shift from the card issuer to the merchant if the transaction uses an EMV chip card and is not processed on EMV compliant software & card reader.  HOWEVER,

Intuit is extending the EMV liability shift by six months for its QuickBooks Payments customers to allow everyone more time to transition. If you are a QuickBooks Payments customer and unknowingly accept a counterfeit EMV card using your magnetic stripe reader, Intuit will assume your liability for the fraud until March 31, 2016. For further details around Intuit’s extended liability shift, please refer to the liability chart here.Intuit has extended this date to March 31, 2016 for customers using their credit/debit card processing solutions.  https://support.quickbooks.intuit.com/support/articles/inf23795

Conclusion

I hope this helps explain the EMV concepts and implementation.  Please contact me if you have any addition questions regarding QuickBooks and the processing of EMV transactions at Ilene.eisen@ie-solutions.biz

QuickBooks 2016 at QuickBooks 2015 Prices

I’m currently taking orders for QuickBooks 2016 desktop versions.  The new version will be released next month, however if you purchase the 2015 version now you will get a  free 2016 version of the same product since your purchase is within 60 days of the product release.

Buying now works really well going into the busy season if you could use an additional copy of the 2015 software.  Also you will be purchasing at 2015 prices rather than 2016 in the event of possible price increase.

Please note that Intuit is also selling the Desktop versions and the  “Plus” versions.  The feature differences in the two products are as follows:

 QuickBooks Accountant Desktop – Advantages

Not a subscription will work this year and in following years

QuickBooks Accountant Plus – Advantages & Disadvantages

Client Collaborator – In product messaging that can be used rather than email.

Access to Accountant Toolbox from Pro or Premier Versions – This is helpful ONLY if you are working on the client’s books offsite and they have QuickBooks Pro or Premier

Subscription Product – software will cease to work if the subscription is cancelled

 Please let me know if you are interested in placing an order for the Desktop Version.

 

Should I Start a New QuickBooks Company File?

Quite often prospective clients call and say that there are so many errors in their QuickBooks Data file that they are thinking about starting the New Year with a new company file.  I discourage creating a new company file for the following reasons:

Using the Accountant Toolbox, company files can be quickly cleaned up or the general ledger balances can be corrected as of a given date.

If you create a new file you will need to maintain two files to access historical data and you may lose all your settings, memorized reports, templates, bank feed rules, etc.

Re-creating a company file with all the lists (Chart of Accounts, Customers, Vendors, Items, Terms, Unit of Measure, etc.) and open items (Estimates, Sales Orders, Open Invoices, Purchase Orders, Bills, etc.) can be daunting and prone to errors.

Please think twice before starting a new company file for an existing business that is currently using QuickBooks!

QuickBooks Webinar Schedule

Ilene Eisen has scheduled webinars to be broadcast from May 2015 – December 2015.

Each webinar is two hours and will qualify for Continuing Professional Education (CPE).  All webinars will be scheduled at either 1 PM Eastern or 4 PM Eastern

The webinars will include

  • QB15 – QuickBooks 2015:New Features that Improve Reports & Save Time
  • QBBK – QuickBooks: Saving Time with Bank Feeds
  • QBBS – QuickBooks: Systematic Approach to Reconcile Balance Sheet Accounts
  • QBCR – QuickBooks: Customized Reports – Getting Information You Need Quickly
  • QBDR – QuickBooks: Client Data Review- Tools to Easily Correct Errors
  • QBES – QuickBooks: Getting the Most Out of Enterprise Solutions
  • QBIC – QuickBooks: Improving Security and Internal Controls
  • QBTK – QuickBooks: Tips & Tricks for Accountants
  • QBIN – QuickBooks: Inventory Fundamentals to Improve Efficiency and Reporting

Dates are listed on the ie-Solutions website http://ie-solutions.biz/seminars-and-webinars/

QuickBooks 2015 Accountant Toolbox

QuickBooks 2015 changes the way that Accountants and Bookkeepers can access Client data Review (CDR) and other features included in only the Accountant Versions of QuickBooks and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (QBES) .  The new process uses the “Accountant Toolbox”, a new menu option on the Company Menu in both QuickBooks Pro and industry versions of Premier and QBES

Accountant Toolbox

The Accountant Toolbox gives full access to Client Data Review (CDR), Batch Enter Transactions, Period Copy, Working Trial Balance, and Accountant Center in QuickBooks Pro & Industry versions of QuickBooks Premier, and Quick Books Enterprise Solutions.    The toolbox is an amazing resource when working on the client’s records in a non-Accountant version.  The ability to “unlock” the toolbox is included in both the Intuit Pro Advisor program and QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Plus subscriptions and is accessed by using your Intuit login in conjunction with the External Accountant user rights.

Unlock Accountant Toolbox

In the past if you were on a non-Accountant QuickBooks edition either in your office or at a client’s site, logging into QuickBooks as an “External Accountant” user would give you access CDR with limited functionality.   In version 2015 non-Accountant versions you can still access CDR however you will now have full functionality.  To use the Accountant Toolbox log into the company file as and External Accountant user and then select the Company Menu – Unlock the Accountant Toolbox and login to your Intuit account when prompted.  The login account will tell Intuit if the rights to “unlock” the Accountant Toolbox.  After the toolbox is unlocked, the menu option will change from “Unlock Accountant Toolbox” to “Accountant Toolbox” and there will be a sub-menu with the toolbox features.

 

QuickBooks Options for Mac Users

Recently I’ve been working with many Mac users who want to use QuickBooks software for their business.  These clients usually have QuickBooks for Mac.  However if this program does  not meet the needs of your business, you can also use QuickBooks Online  or one of the Windows versions QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, Enterprise) using  Hosting, Dual Boot, or a Virtual Machine.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a web-based version of QuickBooks available in three versions http://quickbooks.intuit.com/online/compare/ . .   Using QBO and an internet connection, you will have 24/7 access and can integrate the software with other applications designed to work seamlessly with QBO.  Intuit has also developed a free download for the Mac that gives the user a native Mac experience when using QBO http://quickbooks.intuit.com/quickbooks-mac-app/ . Using QBO, you pay per user per month/year. This is the only option discussed in this article where you do not purchase or lease the software.

Hosting Services

QuickBooks can be hosted by authorized QuickBooks Hosting services.  In this scenario, you would purchase or lease the software.  You will also pay an annual or monthly fee to the hosting company to access their server.  The software is installed on the Hosting Services’ secure server and you would access the software application by logging into the site.  Using this option you can pay per user per month/year.  You would NOT be responsible for maintaining a Windows network and you would have 24/7 access.  Hosting software is a great option to reduce the cost supporting multiple platforms and managing a network.  This option usually includes backups and additional security.  Check References and perform due diligence before selecting a hosting service.  This is the only one of the three Windows options that I would recommend for multi-user access to QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, or Enterprise) on Mac, however it is also the most expensive option since it includes additional services.

Dual Boot

Mac users can install Boot Camp software on newer MACs to have the option of loading Windows on start-up rather than the native operating system. http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/ . Before selecting this option, verify that your Mac is compatible with Boot Camp at http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204048 . Once you have set-up Boot Camp you will need to purchase and install the desired Windows operating system.  Once the installation is complete, start the computer using Windows and then install a Windows version of QuickBooks.  You could then access the software anytime you start the computer using Windows.  With a Windows operating system loaded you can run Windows programs taking full advantage of all the computer’s components.  This is a good option if the user will be using Windows for an extended period of time and does not mind restarting the computer to access Mac programs.  This option works best with only one Windows user.  For multi-user access, hosting, QuickBooks Online or the QuickBooks for Mac are better options.

Virtual Machine (VM)

A Virtual Machine gives the computer user the ability to easily work in multiple operating systems on the same computer without restarting the machine.  Two very popular programs to create a Virtual Machine on a Mac to run Windows software are Parallels http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ and Fusion http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/ .   Once you have loaded software to create a Virtual Machine (VM) you would then load the Windows operating system and then install a QuickBooks Windows version.  My clients who use these programs tend to go back and forth between the Mac & Windows throughout the day and love the convenience of using the software. The cost of this solution would include both VM software and also purchasing the desired Windows operating system. I would recommend this solution if you have just a single QuickBooks user in the office and do not need multi-user access.  For multi-user access, hosting, QuickBooks Online, or QuickBooks for Mac are better options.

For additional information please contact Ilene Eisen at ie Solutions Ilene.Eisen@ie-solutions.biz

Do I Really Need to Update My Accounting Software?

Many clients that I work with are skeptical about updating their accounting software on a regular basis.  I believe that if you plan to stay in business you need accounting software.  If you plan to continue using your current software you should update it regularly and if you plan on changing or upgrading to another version, make the change as soon as possible.

If you are interested or currently using a cloud application upgrading is not an issue and the publisher will install updates for you.  Keep in mind that some applications with limited functionality are free.  My personal preference is to use applications that do not  limit functionality like QuickBooks Online (QBO) where you can expect to pay an annual or monthly fee.

Accounting software is changing at a rapid pace and so is the way we pay for it.  Many firms are going to a subscription model that requires monthly or annual payments in order for you to continue to use the software.

This year QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (QBES) moved from a purchase model to a subscription model.  If you are currently using QBES, and paying for the annual Full Service Plan (FSP) make sure you look at the new subscription levels to evaluate your costs and functionality using either method, if you choose to stay with the FSP rather than subscription, you must continue to pay on an annual basis to remain in this discontinued plan.

If your software requires an annual payment to receive updates and  you do not pay the fee you will not receive new features, your software may not work with new operating systems, and security issues will not be addressed.  All these items will cost money, time, and reduce productivity.

If your software does not have an annual plan and you must re-purchase the software, evaluate the new features each year to identify changes.  Also consult with the vendor to identify how long they “support” a version and will continue to issue free updates.  I recommend only using supported versions.

Intuit supports QuickBooks Desktop products for a little more than three years.  After that period the technical support staff cannot answer questions, free updates for minor changes are not created, and connected services like payroll may not be supported.

Many clients are concerned about installing updates and fear that it will “break” the software and do not want to make any changes.  I understand your concern.  My suggestion is that you wait on installing  software updates for 1 – 2 months for annual updates, in this time software publishers will generally be made aware of any issues and correct as much as possible, or warn users regarding known issues.  If your software is updated less regularly, I would wait longer and consult to reseller to determine when it is advisable to update.

This article was inspired by the following article Accounting Software Updates: Are they Necessary?

If you have any questions regarding this article, or would like further information,  please contact Ilene Eisen, CPA.CITP at ilene.eisen@ie-solutions.biz

Ilene Eisen to Speak at Inuit Virtual Conference

Ilene will be speaking that the Intuit Virtual Conference , Wednesday December 10, 2014  she will be presenting:

QuickBooks Desktop Accountant: Your Friend at Year End (Part 1 of 2)

This course has been designed to introduce the accounting professional to strategies for working with your clients’ QuickBooks company files at month‐end or year‐end. It provides an overview of  the tools and features that streamline the process of evaluating and correcting your client’s QuickBooks data as well as those tools and features that enable you to work efficiently and directly with your client on month‐end and year‐end accounting processes & financial reporting. These tools are available with your QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Plus 2015 subscription or QuickBooks Accountant Desktop 2015 software, and QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 15.0 software

QuickBooks Desktop Accountant: Your Friend at Year End (Part 2 of 2)

Your clients’ QuickBooks data is seldom clean enough or complete enough for you to use when preparing their year‐end financial statements and / or income tax returns. In this session, we will “walk through the Balance Sheet” using the tools and features covered in the previous session (QuickBooks Desktop Accountant: Your Friend at Year End ‐ Part 1) to quickly find AND correct mistakes, allowing you to confidently use the QuickBooks trial balance to prepare your clients’ returns. You will also learn proactive steps you can take with your clients to keep their data accurate throughout the year – to streamline both income tax return preparation and periodic financial statement preparation.

 

Ilene Eisen to Speak at QuickBooks Connect

Ilene will be speaking that the Intuit Conference QuickBooks Connect in San Jose, California, Monday October 20, 2014 she will be presenting Mastering QuickBooks Inventory in Pro and Premier. This session will highlight the inventory features and strategies that Ilene uses when working with client to create an efficient workflow and accurate reports.  The session complete description is:

Managing Inventory can be quite complicated in any business! QuickBooks has features and tools that will help non-accountants manage the process. This course covers inventory concepts to help you understand the process and then introduces features and tools to purchase inventory, sell Inventory Parts, and enter Inventory adjustments.

Management should also understand the concepts, and use the tools provided, review reports, and be an active participant in the process to enhance internal controls. For this reason, we will also discuss reports, the reconciliation process, and an evaluation tool to easily identify errors and issues.

There are various versions of QuickBooks and we will discuss the inventory features that are available in QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Accountant version so that the user can assess their needs and purchase or upgrade to the version that is best suited for their Inventory needs.