How to Maximize Time and Profitability via Online Tools

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your work done much faster? What would you do with the extra time? Work on more clients? Take more time off to spend it with your friends or family? Best of all, what if you were able to earn the same amount with less time required? Sound too good to be true? It’s not, and many of your peers have already figured this out! All you need to do to save a significant amount of time is to begin using QuickBooks® Online for your clients.

I’m a long time QuickBooks Desktop user. I first started teaching QuickBooks seminars in 1999, and I’ve written books and numerous courses about QuickBooks Desktop. However, over the past few years, I’ve developed a new love – for QuickBooks Online (QBO). Intuit® has many significant updates and changes to QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant. As I learned more about QuickBooks Online as I used it more and more, I discovered that I really liked it! In fact, now I prefer it over QuickBooks Desktop. Let me share a few of the super cool features that will help you save significant time managing your practice by using QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant.

Cloud Based 

Because QuickBooks Online is cloud based, we can realize significant time savings compared to using QuickBooks Desktop. There are many benefits from being cloud based including:

  • Anywhere, any time access. People can log in and share the company data whenever it is convenient for them.
  • Any Device. Peoplecan access QuickBooks from a PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet.
  • Mobile App. Enter transactions via the mobile app, and they are automatically synced with the QuickBooks company data. For example,a user can enter a purchase as an expense on their phone and take a pic of the receipt, and it will by synced with QuickBooks Online – along with the attached receipt. This means your clients and/or their employees can use the QBO mobile app (free) to enter expenses, estimates, invoices, sales receipts and receive payments remotely, and it will be synced automatically with QuickBooks.

Plus, because it is cloud based, we save time because we no longer deal with:

  • Sending desktop data files back and forth– a big time saver.
  • Problems with Accountant’s Copy and/or client removing the restrictions.
  • Version compatibility issues – requiring you to have multiple years of QuickBooks Desktopto be compatible with clients using various years.
  • Updating desktop files to newer versions of QuickBooks.
  • Maintaining passwords for various desktop files

These features, alone, provide significant time savings for accountants and bookkeepers, but wait – there’s more!

QuickBooks Online Accountant – Dashboard

QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) provides accountants and bookkeepers with a client dashboard to manage their clients. QBOA provides us with many features and benefits, including:

  • Log in once to QBOA, and switch between client companies much faster than using QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Bookkeeping alerts to let you know the date the books were closed, the number of downloaded transactionswaiting to be added or matched, if there are checks without a payee name, if there were changes to a closed period (if you’ve set a closing date password) and more. Payroll alerts for clients with QuickBooks Online payroll letting you know about upcoming due dates.
  • Status of Document Requests (details below).

The QBOA dashboard and alerts allow you to save time managing clients. You are able to quickly review the status and alerts to identify potential problems so they may be addressed quickly.

Team Access

With QBOA, you can invite your team members (employees or subcontractors) so that they can access client’s companies. Then, each team member is able to log in with his or her own user name and password, and access only the clients you specify. You can deny them access to your firm information and your books (the free QBO Plus subscription included with QBOA) to maintain security and privacy.

Document Requests and Management

With QBOA, you can send document requests to all of your clients (not just QBO clients). Your clients receive an email with an easy-to-use button to upload the documents requested. Then, all the team members with access to this client will have access to the documents as well. This saves time and improves efficiency vs. sending requests and receiving documents via your normal email.

Automated Reports

Customize reports and save them into groups (perhaps weekly, monthly or by recipient), and you can set an email schedule for the group of reports. Then, the reports will be automatically created and emailed to the recipient, as scheduled. This is a great way to save time and add value for your clients. For example, you could send your client weekly sales and collections reports. The client receives them in their email, making it convenient for them to review the reports.

Plus, if you are using an account for “Ask my Accountant,” then you can customize a report to see the details of this account. Set up the schedule for it to automatically send it to yourself. This allows you to monitor the activity in this account to determine when it’s time to schedule an appointment with your client to review and clean up the transactions. Again, a big time saver for us!

Accountant Tools

There are several tools for accounting professionals that help save us time as well. When you are logged in as the accountant user, you have the following tools:

  • Reclassify transactions. Quick and easy to find and fix transactions posted to the wrong account.
  • Write off invoices. This tool allows you to write off old, uncollectible invoices quickly and efficiently.
  • Undo the bank reconciliation. Very useful and a big time saver!
  • Trial Balance Utility. A great tool at year end, when preparing for tax preparation. Plus,reports for accounting professionals.

Desktop Conversion Tool 

With the desktop conversion tool, it is easier than ever to convert QuickBooks Desktop users to QuickBooks Online. Previous articles provided more details on preparing for, and converting, desktop files. Plus, there are free downloadable resource guides with more details here. As more small businesses convert to the cloud to use QuickBooks Online, this is a great way to grow your practice, too!

As you can see, you can realize significant time savings using QuickBooks Online for your clients. What will you do with your extra time? Grow your business with more clients? Enjoy more time off? You decide – the time is yours!

Steps you can take: