How I Use QuickBooks Accountant in My Accounting Practice

Every accountant and consultant needs the proper tools to do their job. QuickBooks® Accountant has the built-in tools we need to make our job easier by saving time and giving us the ability to help more clients. This article is about how I use QuickBooks Accountant for my practice.

Then and Now

Years ago (the end of 1998), I helped my second QuickBooks client. I didn’t know the software that well, but had joined the QuickBooks ProAdvisor® program and took my first certification. I was ready!

Problem: The client paid the sales tax through “Write Checks.” QuickBooks has a great built-in feature to pay your sales tax liability, but my client didn’t know this and I just learned about it.

Solution: I deleted every check and showed the client the correct way to pay the sales tax through “Pay Sales Tax.” At the time, this was overwhelming, very time-consuming because I had to clear the new checks through the bank register for the reconciliation to stay balanced.

Today, with QuickBooks Accountant, the solution is simple. We use our Accountant Tools. Simply go to the Accountant Center and choose “Fix Incorrectly Recorded Sales Tax.” It not only voids and replaces the incorrect checks but  also retains the cleared status on the checks. It’s a miracle!

Warm and Cozy

I’d like to share how I use QuickBooks Accountant with a particular client that I’ve worked with since 1996. Before we were able to use Accountant Tools, I spent hours fixing all the different issues. Not anymore.

Warm and Cozy (not their real name) first contacted me to train their bookkeeper, Jen. They had a retail store and service business, selling and installing pellet, wood and gas stoves. Through painful cleanup, I taught her the correct way to use QuickBooks and continued to monitor their books on a monthly basis.

The owner, Tom, decided Jen was doing a great job and thought they would be fine without my services. Then Jen left, and a new bookkeeper was hired. Tom called again for my services to train the new secretary. This time, I trained her, fixed any mistakes from Jen and went on my way, again.

This was an ongoing problem for many years: I trained four bookkeepers who came and went. Tom was very frustrated and decided to hire a CPA firm do the books. Two firms later, he hired another secretary and called to hire me to train her. After some serious discussion, we decided I would once again keep an eye on things.

Useful Tools in QuickBooks Accountant  

Warm and Cozy is set up as a remote client using Go To Assist. I use QuickBooks Accountant as a troubleshooting tool as well as a repair tool. Using the Accountant Center, it takes less than five minutes to check a few things. As it turns out, there are multiple users and mistakes are made often.

Sales Tax Example. Before QuickBooks Accountant, I would look at the Sales Tax Liability Report and the Pay Sales Tax window to compare the balance due. If there was a problem, I’d go to the sales tax vendor and view the Quick Report to see if there were payments made with a regular check. If there were, I would delete the check and pay through Pay Sales Tax. Painful!

Now, before doing any deep troubleshooting, I use the Accountant Center to see if there were any checks written to pay sales tax. In one click (Fix Incorrectly Entered Sales Tax), I have the answer.

Incorrect Balances Example. Warm and Cozy always has problems with customer balances being incorrect, and in the past, this wasn’t found until much later and no one knew what caused the problem.

Now, I use One Click (Fix Unapplied Customer Payments and Credits). If anything shows up in the list, they are addressed immediately. Simply scrolling through the list and a quick glance to the right shows me any unapplied payments or credits.

The above are just a couple examples. I do the same thing with the vendors and undeposited funds.

Find Incorrectly Paid Sales Tax Liability is different than the other features, but I use it because the report is perfect for troubleshooting the liability balances; it shows any liability paid for by a regular check.

I know that these aren’t the only accounting issues – and the Accountant Tools can’t address everything, but I think of it as “pre-maintenance.” I use these tools to check for the problems that can be addressed. If the windows are empty, that’s great, but I usually find something and the time saved is well worth the effort. When something can’t be addressed, I take the regular route and troubleshoot through reports.

The Accountant Center is invaluable and is only available in QuickBooks Accountant. I use the Reconciliation window for all my clients, but Warm and Cozy needs a lot of extra care because when I wasn’t involved in their books on a regular basis, the reconciliations were always behind. Now, I can send them a friendly reminder if the reconciliations aren’t finished in a timely manner.

Last but not least, when the end of year comes around, my job is much easier and I use another QuickBooks Accountant tool, Client Data Review to help prepare for tax time.

QuickBooks Accountant makes the entire process painless and gives me the confidence to tell Tom “Great year!”