Expediting Tax Prep Using QuickBooks Online Accountant
The end of year is here, again, and 2015 tax prep is upon us. Clients are asking if we can review their books. New clients, old clients … they all need us now.
QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA) takes the stress out of these demands. If these are clients you have worked with all year, you’ve had access to their account through QBOA anytime you needed to review or troubleshoot their file. This makes End of Year a breeze, but you still need to do some year-end review and final adjustments. Gathering information can be time consuming, but QBOA makes this rather easy.
Let’s say you have a client you have worked with all year and now you’re ready to reconcile and verify certain account. You need the bank statement for December. When you first log into QBOA, you will see a list of your clients. Hover over the client name you are working with and click on New Request on the far right column.
From this window, you can send email and request documents. You can also attach documents for your client. First, choose a user from the drop down menu. Send a message with your requirements. You can set a due date for this request. When finished, click Send Request.
How are these requests tracked? From the client list, click once on the client name. This shows the requests and any documents sent from the client, along with any comments. What a great communication tool; QBOA is like having your own personal virtual secretary! Now, you can move on to another client. You can do this with all of your clients and work with any client you need to in your timeframe. This saves lengthy phone calls back and forth and keeps all communication in one place. Great organization!
Once you’ve gotten the documents and answers you needed, it’s time to verify, fix and adjust, if needed.
QBOA gives you all of the tools you need for these “chores.”
Open your client’s file. The Accountant Tools are packed neatly in the little suitcase next to the client name at the top left-hand corner of the window. One of my favorites is “Reclassify Transactions.” This is a huge timesaver. Click on the little suitcase, and then click on Reclassify Transactions. Choose a date and accounts you would like to see. Highlight an account and the transactions show on the right. Select the ones you want to change. At the bottom right-hand corner, check the box next to, “For all selected transactions change Account to.” Select the account from the drop down menu. Choose reclassify. There is no “Undo” button, so verify your changes before clicking Reclassify. What a timesaver – no journal entries needed.
Another great feature is “Manage Your Own Firm.” When you give your staff access to client files, the workload is distributed to others, freeing up your time for other work, while also giving your staff their own virtual assistant. When you are finished, your year-end tax prep for the client is good practice to “Close the Books.” Click on Accountant Tools and choose Close Books. This takes you to Company Settings. Click edit on the Accounting section. Enter the date, which is normally the end of year. Once you file the client’s tax return, you do not want anyone making changes to that year. Choose “Allow changes after viewing a warning and entering password.” Decide what the password should be, but protect it and write it down in a secure location.
There are a lot of topics that could be covered, but it would take a small booklet. I wanted to give you an idea of how easy it is to prepare for end of year tax prep. QBOA has given accountants the ability to view and work in client data throughout the year, making Year End even easier.
Here’s wishing you as little stress as possible as you enter another tax year!