QuickBooks is a complex platform and there's so much to know, which is why I was happy to contribute to FitSmallBusiness.com's piece on tips and tricks for utilizing QuickBooks for your small business or venture. Reach out to me if you have any questions!
QuickBooks is a useful accounting software for small and medium-sized enterprises. Though it’s generally an easy program to use, there are many things you may not be aware of that can help increase your productivity and decrease the amount of time you spend in the software. We spoke with the experts who shared different ideas, tips, tricks, and other QuickBooks shortcuts.
Here are the top 23 QuickBooks shortcuts and tips from the pros:
Change Default Email Text Settings for Invoices, Pay Stubs, Statements
Brian Walls, Founder, Walls Financial Group, LLC
Within the preferences of the QuickBooks company file, change the default email text for invoices, pay stubs, statements, etc. For example, for payroll and emailing the pay stub to employees, you can change the template text that employees receive in their encrypted file. Change the default text from “your pay stub is attached” to “your attached paystub is password protected. Your password is the first four letters of your last name and last four digits of your Social Security number.” It will save you time because you won’t get the “what’s my password to access my pay stub?” question repeatedly.
Integrate Your Digital Order-Taking Solution with QuickBooks
Kym Ben-Ivgi, Marketing Manager, Pepperi
When you’re in debt, it’s important that you take a 360° view of your business and assess where you can make cuts, what’s working for you and what is not. If you’re a B2B sales company, you should look at shortening your order-to-cash process. This can be achieved by integrating your digital order-taking solution with QuickBooks so the whole process is automated, resulting not only in increased efficiency but also in a reduction in administrative costs and fewer order errors. Reducing your costs in this way is a great first step to tackling your business debt.
Enter Multiple Items with the Same Name & Account Type All at Once
Candy Johnson Bellau, Owner, Kramerica Business Solutions
Make your life easy in QuickBooks Online with bank feeds. Link your bank to your QBO account. If you’re trying to enter multiple items with the same name and account type, you can do them all at once. Sort by description and check off all of the similar items. For instance, Office Depot. Select all charges to Office Depot by checking them off. Then go to Batch Actions and from the drop-down, choose Modify Selected. Then select Vendor (Office Depot) and Account (Office Supplies, or whatever account you use for this type of expense). Select Apply and you will see all of the transactions have now been coded correctly. From there you can go back to Batch Actions and select Accept Selected.
Save Time by Creating a Custom Report
Danielle Burrows, Accounting Manager, Momentum3
If you run the same report regularly, you can save customized reports by choosing your preferred filters, renaming the custom report, and saving it. The next time you want to run the report, all you should do is choose your new custom report from your list and it will apply the filters you have saved. To create a custom report, go to the reports list in QuickBooks and choose the report you want to customize. When the report opens, choose “customize” to change the data, filters, rows, columns, etc., click “run report,” and “save customization.” You can add the report to a group you have created and you can even share with other people in your company.
Make Use of Attachments
Carla Caldwell, Founder, Caldwell Consulting and Training
Being able to attach documents is one of the best features of QuickBooks. For example, you can directly attach a document like a lease agreement, contract or resale certificate to a customer’s detail page. You can also upload your bank and credit card statements to the attachments folder so you and/or your accountant can easily access them whenever necessary.
Set Up Bank Rules for Common Expenses
Michelle Long, Founder, CPA Long for Success
QuickBooks allows you to set up bank rules for common expenses like utility payments, regular vendors and suppliers, and others. If you don’t need to review payments made to water, electricity, and other common expenses every month, you can set up the bank rule to auto-add. This will save you a lot of time.
Customize Your QuickBooks Icon Bar
Bijan Abdi, Founder & CEO, Freedom National Insurance
You can customize your QuickBooks icon bar by moving icons around and modifying the existing ones to meet your needs. You can remove an unnecessary icon by going to the “view” menu and clicking on “customize icon bar.” Then just pick and click the icon you want to delete. You can also follow the same process when adding an icon. Go to “view” menu, click “customize icon bar,” and choose an icon from a list by clicking “add” and “OK.”
Invest Time to Learn QuickBooks Correctly
Crystalynn Shelton, CPA & Staff Writer, Fit Small Business
Invest some time to learn how to use QuickBooks correctly. Often, business owners books are disorganized because they decided to “wing it” when it came to entering their income and expenses in QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a non-accountant’s software—you don’t need an accounting degree to use it.
Check out Fit Small Business’ free course for beginners, which includes both step-by-step instructions and video tutorials to teach you how to properly use QuickBooks.
Be Consistent in How You Classify Your Expenses
Paola Garcia, Small Business Advisor, Excelsior Growth Fund
While business owners have discretion in how they want to classify certain costs, it’s important to make a rule for how they will be classified and stick to it. If you change how you classify your expenses each quarter, your financial statements will show unusual fluctuations and inconsistencies that could negatively impact decisions by lenders and investors. Establish rules for how expenses will be classified and ensure that anyone on your team using QuickBooks follows these rules for consistent information.
To learn more, check out Fit Small Business’ tutorial on how to set up expenses online in QuickBooks.
Use the QuickBooks Audit Trail to Protect Against Risk
Tiffany Couch, CEO, Acuity Forensics
The QuickBooks Audit Trail is invaluable. It quickly bolds and italicizes any transaction that has been manipulated or changed. If more clients are using the Audit Trail report as part of their ongoing monthly review and management of their company, they would likely uncover fraud more quickly, limiting the emotional and financial impact to their organization.
Research How External Apps Integrate with QuickBooks Before Integrating
Courtney Barbee, Co-Owner & COO, The Bookkeeper
If you’re a small business owner who does your own bookkeeping, you should understand exactly how your integrated apps are supposed to work before you integrate them. Some business owners had to clear out duplicate transactions, or manually add missing transactions, when apps didn’t sync with QuickBooks the way they were supposed to.
Log All Payments in Your Undeposited Fund Account
Stephanie Booth, Staff Accountant, Velo IT Group
Many QuickBooks users are confused to find a figure in their business’ balance sheets called “undeposited funds.” The undeposited funds figure is an automatically generated amount in your balance sheet to account for money that has been received, but has not yet been deposited into the company’s bank account. Seeing funds in this account doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem or error, but if the amount begins to increase significantly, it might mean that funds being deposited into the bank account aren’t being recorded properly. Upon delivery of a client’s payment, open the deposit module and log all payments in QuickBooks.
Use Keyboard QuickBooks Shortcuts to Decrease Processing Time
Zondra Wilson, Owner, Blu Skin Care
Just as in other Windows-based applications, there are numerous keyboard shortcuts you can use in QuickBooks. Here are a few:
Ctrl+I – Create invoice
Ctrl+E – Edit transaction selected in register
Ctrl+F – Find transaction
Ctrl+J – Open Customer Center
Ctrl+M – Memorize transaction or report
Ctrl+N – New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
Ctrl+Q – QuickReport on transaction or list item
Ctrl+T – Open memorized transaction list
Ctrl+W – Write new check
Ctrl (while opening) – Start QuickBooks without a company file
Be Detailed when Adding Transactions
Yuko Kawamoto, Finance Staff, Founder’s Guide
In accounting, every detail is important. When adding transactions in QuickBooks, make sure to include the complete details related to that particular transaction. Make sure to add a description, the vendor, and a detailed breakdown of each transaction. This will save you days of research time when you need to review the details of a certain transaction later on.
Use the “QuickMath” Calculator Inside Fields
Aside from the QuickBooks calculator, Corsica Technologies recommends using the QuickBooks’ QuickMath calculator, which lets you calculate directly inside a field. Select an area, type the “=” key, and a mini-tape will appear. This allows you to do your calculations inside the field so you won’t need to go to QuickBooks calculator.
Reconcile QuickBooks Accounts
According to SLC Bookkeeping, reconciling all your QuickBooks accounts is the most important task and should be done first before making any transaction. This is the only way to ensure that all your transactions are recorded. Reconcile all your accounts, including bank accounts, credit cards, loans, lines of credit, and any account that has a beginning and ending balance.
Backup Your QuickBooks
Kabbage provides different useful QuickBooks tips and one of them is to keep your data secured by backing up your QuickBooks. You can setup an automatic schedule to back up your data so you won’t forget this important process.
Use Shortcuts when Inputting Dates
Using keyboard shortcuts for QuickBooks is one way to save time. There are different keyboard shortcuts, and Yeo & Yeo recommends using keyboard shortcuts for typing a date in your transaction. These date shortcuts include the following:
w = first day of the week
k = last day of the week
m = first day of the month
h = last day of the month
y = first day of the year
r = last day of the year
Use the Right-Click Menus
One of the tips MyVao.com suggests is using right-click menus, which makes a good alternative to relying on the toolbar. Right-click menus allow you to pull up menus by right-clicking and selecting the desired action. This feature is available in different sections.
Use the Program Preferences Feature
According to S&O Chartered Professional Accountants, you can setup your own company’s program preferences to make your QuickBooks transactions more efficient. You can do this by going to the Edit menu and clicking on Preferences. You can set the default accounts for writing checks, the default annual interest rate, sales tax, and so much more.
Use the Reports Tab to Easily Access the Transaction History
Did you know that you can easily find the history of a QuickBooks transaction by simply clicking the “Reports tab” and “Transaction history”? EmergeApp.net recommends using this feature the next time you need to get all the related invoices and credit memos for a certain bill payment to save time and energy.
Clear Your Cookies & Cache Regularly
If you’re using QuickBooks Online, Enix & Associates LLC suggests that you clear your cookies and cache regularly to make your QBO work best. QuickBooks is a software as a services (SaaS) product, so cookies affect your QuickBooks experience. Click on your browser’s menu icon found at the upper right corner. Click “tools” and “clear browsing data.” Check the “Cookies and other plugins” and “Cached images and files” from the popup menu, and click the “clear browsing data” button.
Protect Your QuickBooks with a Password
It’s important to keep your QuickBooks secured and protected with a password to minimize risk and control access. To do this, setup users by clicking on “company” from the menu bar. Assign a password for the QuickBooks Administrator account. According to Woltman Group, you can also setup different user accounts, passwords, and different levels of access for multiple QuickBooks users in your company.
Bottom Line – QuickBooks Shortcuts & Tips
QuickBooks is designed to help non-accountant business owners perform their own business accounting. It has many user-friendly features to make your accounting transactions more efficient. While QuickBooks is generally easy to use, there are other tricks to help keep things a lot simpler. Use the above QuickBooks shortcuts and tips from the pros for an enhanced QuickBooks experience.