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Usually, when people talk about habits, they’re trying to figure out ways to break bad ones. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to trace negative habits back to their point of origin. They’ve just become something habitual that we engage in ritualistically without conscious awareness.
Establishing new ones is typically easier than breaking old, entrenched, deeply rooted ones. And when it comes to knowledge about your company’s overall financial position, it’s good to develop positive practices early on that eventually become habitual and second nature.
With that in mind, here’s what we suggest you do every time you open QuickBooks:
Open The Income Tracker
Go to Customers – Income Tracker (QBO Sales – Customers). This is the best way to get a quick look at your accounts receivable status. Colored bars across the top of the page show the number of transactions and dollar totals for Unbilled Sales Orders, Unbilled Time & Expenses, Unpaid Open Invoices and Overdue Invoices, and the Amount Paid Last 30 Days. Click any of the bars, and the list below displays only those transactions.
QuickBooks’ Income Tracker can tell you quickly about the status of your receivables.
Click the down arrow under Action at the end of each row, and you can complete related tasks like Create Invoice, Receive Payment, and Email Row. You can also do Batch Actions like Invoice and Batch Email. Additionally, you can create new transactions from here.
Take A Peek At Your Snapshots.
You may have already developed a routine for your QuickBooks sessions. You might send a few invoices and pay a few bills and record payments that have come in since you last session. Those are the things you know about. But what about the hidden tasks and potential problems that you don’t know about? You might be able to prevent trouble down the road by anticipating it and being pro-active.
QuickBooks’ Snapshots are a good place to start (QBO Dashboard – Business Overview). There are three of them: Company, Payments, and Customer. Take a good look at the charts and tables in the first two especially. You can learn a lot in a short period of time.
Assess Your Inventory Levels
You certainly don’t instill faith in your customers by running out of items on a regular basis. If you don’t keep a close watch on your inventory levels, you run the risk of:
- Incurring extra costs to expedite shipping if you’re a reseller
- Having to drop everything and create new products if you sell one-of-a-kind items, and/or
- Losing customers because you can’t fulfill orders quickly
One of the things you should be consulting every time you open QuickBooks (if you sell products) is the Inventory Stock Status by Item report (QBO Inventory Valuation Summary and Detail Reports). Go to Reports-Inventory to find them. Look at the Reorder Pt (Min) and Available columns. You don’t have to wait until you hit the reorder point. Try to anticipate times when products are selling rapidly, and change the Reorder Pt if necessary and accordingly.
Edit your own Reorder Point when you create an inventory item in QuickBooks.
Check Your Payments To Deposit
Often, funds received from invoice payments and sales receipts go into the Undeposited Funds account. To see this account, go to Company | Chart of Accounts | Undeposited Funds (QBO Transactions – Chart of Accounts – Undeposited Funds). You should be checking occasionally to see if there is money that needs to be deposited. On the home page, under Banking in the lower right corner, click Record Deposits. QuickBooks will display a list of payments received that haven’t yet been deposited in your bank account.
Click in the Select Payment to Deposit column in front of payments you want to deposit. Click OK. Select the correct Deposit to account in the upper left. If you want cash back from this deposit, indicate that in the fields in the lower left. Add a Memo if you’d like and confirm the Date. When you’re done, save the deposit record. Now you can create a physical deposit slip and take it and the checks and/or cash to the bank.
Take A Look At Bill Tracker
If you’re tracking you bills in QuickBooks’ Bill Tracker, you can find out quickly if you have any outstanding bills or ones that are coming due soon. Go to Vendors | Bill Tracker (QBO Expenses – Vendors). This works just like the Income Tracker. Colored bars at the top of the screen divide your bills into:
- Unbilled purchase orders,
- Unpaid open bills,
- Unpaid overdue bills, and
- Bills paid in the last 30 days.
Check the Due Date column to see where you stand with payables. Options in the Action column include Convert to Bill, Close PO, and Pay Bill.
Make It A Habit
It may take you some time at first to get acclimated and fully understand the above steps. However, if you do it regularly, it will eventually become a habit and start to come more naturally – and quickly. There are, of course, additional ways to get a handle on your finances, but if you consult these screens regularly, you’ll have a good foundation in place. Remember we’re always here to help without whatever QuickBooks concerns/issues you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you need professional guidance or support with this powerful accounting software.