Last month, we talked about time-tracking setup, single-activity data entry, and user permissions. This month, we’re exploring additional time-and-billing steps.
By now, you’ve set up QuickBooks Online for time tracking and entered your first timed activity. If you have employees who only need to get on the site to complete their timesheets, we showed you how to give them restricted access.
Let’s start here by looking at what’s involved in completing timesheets. We’ll assume for this example that you are entering your own billable time. You can see how this screen looks by clicking the plus sign (+) at the top of the screen, then Employees | Weekly Timesheet. The screen looks very similar to a paper timecard.
You know about QuickBooks but you’re still hesitating. Here’s why you should make the transition.
Even if you’re a very small business, you’re at a competitive disadvantage if you’re still doing your accounting manually. You might be doing okay using Microsoft Word for invoices and records and Excel for reports. But many of your rivals manage their financial data digitally. Some of them likely use QuickBooks; it’s the market leader, and it’s on millions of desktops. Their products and/or services may not be superior to yours, but they have an edge because they’re running their businesses more efficiently. They’re presenting a more modern image to their market and building better customer relationships. Now is the time to update your accounting system. Here’s what your competition has learned and what you, too, can experience.
You work hard to make sure your QuickBooks data is accurate. Make sure it’s safe, too.
Your QuickBooks company file contains some of the most sensitive information on your computer. You may have customers’ credit card numbers and employees’ Social Security numbers. An intruder who captured all that data could create tremendous problems for you and a lot of other people. That’s probably the worst-case scenario. But other situations could also spell disaster for your business, which involve losing your company data through fraud, hacking, or simple technical failures.
Last month, we created product and service records in QuickBooks Online. This month, we’ll explore how they’re used on the site.
If you ever did your accounting manually, you probably remember how tired you got of writing or typing the same things over and over. You may have had your customers’ addresses practically memorized, and your product price list was always close at hand, though you knew that by heart, too.
QuickBooks Online eliminates that duplicate data entry, saving time and reducing errors dramatically. Because of the product and service records you’ve created, completing sales and purchase forms can now be an easy, accurate task. You’ll also have fast access to information about your inventory levels and the profit you make on items. You’ll know what’s selling and what’s not, and when it’s time to reorder. Here’s how.
The invoices and other forms you send to customers and vendors should reflect your company’s attention to detail, accuracy, and consistency.
Every opportunity you have to interact with your customers and vendors is critical. Whether it’s a phone call, an in-person connection, or an email, how you present yourself reveals a lot about you. Are you efficient? Friendly? Do you handle orders and problems and payment issues quickly and carefully? Your accounting forms can also contribute to your image. They should always be:
Are your customers slow about paying their invoices? QuickBooks can help accelerate your receivables.
Your company’s cash flow depends largely on how quickly your customers pay the invoices you’ve sent. And if you’re like most small businesses, those checks tend to dribble in close to—and after—the due date. If you operate on a slim margin, this often means that you’re late at paying your own bills. It’s essential, then, that you do what you can to get incoming revenue moving as quickly as possible. QuickBooks offers numerous ways to help you accomplish that critical goal.
Taking on your company’s payroll with QuickBooks Online? Knowing what you’re up against ahead of time will make your setup tasks much easier.
Payroll is probably the most complex element of small business accounting. Not only are you directly responsible to your employees, but you also have to make sure you’re handling everything related to benefits and payroll taxes correctly. Whether you’re switching from a manual system to QuickBooks Online, or you’ve just hired your first employee, you’ll soon discover that the site can make your payroll-related tasks much more organized and accurate – speeding up the process tremendously.
But before you start getting ready for your first payroll run, you have a lot of setup work to be done. Be sure to leave yourself time before those first paychecks are expected.
We’ll be continuing the two-part series we started last month.
Last month, we learned about getting QuickBooks ready for time-tracking by activating it in Preferences. We also created a record for a service item. This month, we’ll actually use that record in the two ways you’ll be using it in QuickBooks: to pay employees for their hourly work and to bill customers for services.
Recording Employee Hours
There are two ways to enter hours for your employees who provide services to customers and are paid by the hour. The first is to create a work ticket for a single activity. Click Enter Time on the home page, and then Time/Enter Single Activity to open this window:
You can start using QuickBooks Online the first time you sign in. However, your tasks will be easier and faster, if you customize it for your company.
QuickBooks Online was designed to be used by a variety of business types; that’s one reason why it’s such a popular small business accounting website. It was built to be versatile. That is, whether you sell hard drives or you service HVAC systems, you can customize it to “fit’ your company.
This is why your first order of business when you start using QuickBooks Online should be to click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner. The window that opens displays links to all of the site’s options – a collection of choices that’s called “Preferences” in desktop QuickBooks.
If your company sells services, you can track the time spent providing them in QuickBooks.
When you sell a product to a customer, you know it. It goes away, and your inventory count in QuickBooks is reduced by one. This tracking helps you know what’s selling and what’s not, and it signals when a reorder is due.
If your business provides services to customers, though, you’re selling your employees’ time and skills. There’s no inventory count; you can sell as many hours as you have workers to fill them. Tracking time accurately and comprehensively, though, is as important as knowing how many hard drives or tote bags you’ve sold.