QuickBooks 101: How to Make Accounting Software Work for You

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If you own or work for a small business, chances are high that you’re using QuickBooks software. And with good reason. Intuit’s line of accounting products are user friendly, cost-effective and they allow small business owners to leverage countless features that deliver greater efficiency and powerful insights.

But what many business owners don’t realize is that they’re probably not maximizing QuickBooks’ capabilities. This is most likely because they’re not aware of all the features available or what it takes to use those features and functions most effectively.

The good news is that with the right training, business owners can take full advantage of this powerful, industry-leading accounting software. And even better news is that there are excellent local options to get you connected with the best QuickBooks training resources in Richmond, VA.

But let’s start by taking a look at some of its most popular features and functions, and how, with the right training, you can make QuickBooks work for you.

Controlling Cash Flow

A huge number of small business owners report regularly losing sleep over cash flow concerns. That’s where QuickBooks can be a life (and sleep) saver.

When properly configured and regularly updated, QuickBooks can provide business owners with up to the minute stats on metrics like sales, payables liabilities and bank balances, taking the guesswork out of earmarking sufficient funds to cover things like payroll or loan payments.

QuickBooks also offers a budgeting feature which allows users to input data (and even copy prior year budgets) to create reports displaying budget versus actual numbers once a period has been closed out.

Customer Invoicing and Receivables

QuickBooks has a powerful accounts receivables function. When configured and used to its full potential, it can help close the gap between when a customer is invoiced and when payment is received on that invoice. This ensures there’s cash available for financing and other vital activities.

Business owners can use QuickBooks to email invoices directly to customers from within the software— gone are the days of snail mail, paper invoices and window envelopes. Users can see exactly when it was sent and even whether a customer has viewed the invoice or not.

With QuickBooks, businesses also have the ability to accept online payments thanks to embedded links that make it easier than ever for customers to pay your bills.

The QuickBooks receivables function even has some light CRM capabilities so you can stay on top of customer relationships and can personalize communications when sending or following up on invoices.

Maximizing Accounts Payable Features

QuickBooks makes cash planning easy, allowing users to input purchase orders, bills, and payments. You’ll know exactly what’s due when and how each payment will affect cash flow.

Users can input vendor bills at the time of receipt, then use the reporting or ‘pay bills’ function to identify which checks should be cut during a particular check run with eyes on how that run will affect account balances. Owners can keep vendors happy with timely payments, while ensuring cash flow stays positive.

If a vendor contacts the payables department to follow up on an invoice, users can pull up a complete history on that vendor including payments made on a specific invoice with the click of a button.

QuickBooks also allows users to attach supporting documentation, creating a robust audit trail and providing other users with complete history and information for a given transaction.

Another huge value to using QuickBooks’ payables function is its vendor management system, which among other things allows users to flag independent contractors, so all qualifying payments are captured when it comes time to prepare and issue annual 1099-MISC forms. This feature also allows users to filter for payment totals that meet IRS reporting thresholds.

Leverage the Power of Automation

QuickBooks allows you to directly connect bank, loan and credit card accounts to the software so transactions are downloaded in real time, and held in suspense until a user codes them to the proper account. Users no longer have to enter all transactions manually which eats up valuable time and resources and increases the likelihood of keying errors.

Within the account connect feature, QuickBooks can be configured to recognize vendors and customers and automatically assign the appropriate coding, creating even greater efficiency.

When downloading vendor payment transactions, QuickBooks will suggest outstanding bills which the user can then match to the appropriate payment, so payables that should be closed aren’t accidentally aged and overstated in the system.

QuickBooks can be configured to pull up historical data when users are entering transactions, saving them the time and hassle of having to look up codes or key in descriptions for repeat transactions.

Users can configure journal entries to book automatically according to a set schedule, again saving time and mitigating user error.

These are only a scant few of the near infinite ways QuickBooks can be configured to automate transactions and accounting functions, saving time, reducing user error and increasing productivity.

Making QuickBooks Work for You

Without a doubt, QuickBooks is a user friendly workhorse. But like so many other potent business software packages, QuickBooks requires a level of training and expertise to make it sing— training and expertise most business owners don’t have when they start using it.

So to fully maximize the benefits of running QuickBooks, many businesses are investing in online or in-person training for themselves and their staff.

And that’s why, for the best QuickBooks training resource in Richmond, VA, more and more business owners are turning to Steiner Business Solutions for help. Our certified instructors are experts in all versions of QuickBooks, so we are prepared to teach all the functions and features that can positively impact your business.

We invite you to connect with us today to set up a free consultation!