It’s that time of year to look at payroll options…

If you are unhappy with your current payroll system, or if you want to automate the process of recording payroll; it’s the perfect time to evaluate payroll options.
I would like to tell you about Intuit Assisted Payroll. . This is the payroll service that I recommend for the following reasons

Payroll checks post directly to your QuickBooks file.

Intuit handles all tax payments and filing of forms.

Intuit is the largest provider of small business payroll services.

Pricing is competitive and most clients save money by switching to Intuit.

I can also offer a  20% discount on the monthly fee, for first year.
Call or email now to sign up! Ilene Eisen 831.373.8200 ilene.eisen@ie-solutions,biz

Don’t spend another year typing  payroll transaction in your QuickBooks Company file!!!

Starting a new payroll service in January, is both the best time to make a change and the busiest time to make the change.

Intuit is scheduling the conversion process appointments beginning November 1st o Be one of the first to receive training in 2016 and be ready to process your 2017 payroll timely!

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

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.

 

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.

Saving Money on Monthly Expenses

Lately I’ve been working with clients on their budgets.  I notice they spend a lot of time on maximizing the income section and then they treat the expense section like a ball and chain and feel they have no options.  I suggest clients review monthly expenses at least once a year.  Call vendors to see if they can reduce fees or change service plans.

I will call my vendors and ask about plan changes for cell phones, internet, software contracts, website hosting, and fax service.  I often find that my usage is examined and a plan change will save me money or provide additional benefits that I need.  These calls take time, but the benefit is ongoing savings.  Many times we wait until a contract expires to re-negotiate.  Sometimes these contracts auto renew or we are too busy to make changes when they expire.  Calling the vendors on your schedule gives you time to consider the options and make better choices.

I also suggest that clients call their banks about fees.  Quite often clients are paying numerous fees or keeping minimum balances on a large number of accounts.  One client had a credit line that he was using to maintain minimum balances in numerous accounts at the same bank. The banks want to keep business accounts and are often willing to write off fees or update the account to a different fee structure.

If you schedule a call once a year for multi-year and recurring expenses and you will be surprised at the ongoing savings that you can achieve.  Also look at the vendor and see how their services are meeting your needs.  I often find that changing vendors can also save me money, however this involves more time and unless you see significant advantages, this may not be the best strategy.

Tax Time Resolutions

Once again we’ve seen another tax deadline come and go!  Each year preparing the books and records for the tax preparer is a task that takes time and energy from things that we would prefer to do.  For many it’s also a learning experience to see what your annual profits actually were.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know how you are doing during the year so you could make adjustments and increase your revenue?

Now is the time to talk to your tax preparer and accounting staff about your recordkeeping practices.  I have found that additional training and/or upgrading bookkeeping practices usually saves considerable time and increases the accuracy and timeliness of your records.

Accounting Software Formats

Many firms are looking to upgrade or replace their accounting software.  They look forward to a more efficient system but are concerned about making such a large change and the consequences of making the wrong decision.  In the past we looked at fairly similar features and the higher the price the better the software we found.  Today all bets are off and it’s hard to even compare prices of possible solutions. 

The accounting software ecosystem has changed and there are terms that we may not be familiar with or we may not completely understand.  In this article, I’d like to discuss the options:  cloud applications, hosted software, client-server software, and desktop software.  All of these options are very different and the option you choose will significantly affect your access, functionality, workflow, and costs.

Cloud Applications are programs that reside on the software provider’s servers and they are installed and updated by the provider.  You will not need to maintain servers or take daily backups, examples of such applications are QuickBooks Online, NetSuite,and  Xero. 

Hosted Applications are not really a program but a hybrid solution where you select an accounting solution that meets your needs and it is installed on a server provided by a “hosting” company.  This option allows you to choose a software package that meets all your needs without having to maintain a server and the necessary IT staff. 

Client Server Applications are programs that reside on your server and are accessed from various workstations.  The computing is performed at the server and therefore is faster and does not require as robust workstations.  

Desktop Applications are programs that vary from very basic to advanced software that reside on your workstation/computer,  These applications can be single user or accessed by other users on your network. The computing is performed at your computer and will be dependent upon the speed of your computer (and network if shared with other users) Examples of such applications are QuickBooks, and Peachtree. 

I hope this summary has helped you understand the Accounting Software options and will help you narrow down an appropriate software for your business.