QuickBooks can do WHAT? Client Overview
When it comes to cleanup, just about every accounting pro has had “that moment.”
That moment when you open a client’s file and discover that cleaning up the data will take a bit longer than originally anticipated.
Even with the best planning and scheduling, it can be difficult to know just what may be waiting for you inside your client’s books. Fortunately, QuickBooks® Online Accountant has a solution. With the powerful Client Overview tab, you can get a clear picture of a client’s books BEFORE you dive in headfirst.
By pulling out important health indicators and highlighting potential issues at a glance, you can peer beyond the top-level numbers and be better prepared for any cleanup project – helping save you time, money, and lots of headaches down the road.
What can it do?
No two clients’ files are identical, which makes it challenging to set a standard cleanup fee, or estimate a project’s time commitment from a distance. But, whether you’re planning a cleanup strategy, estimating the cost of a cleanup job, or scheduling an ongoing maintenance timeline, the Client Overview tab gives you the important information you need to make smart decisions.
The Client Overview tab is organized into four sections: Company Setup, Banking Activity, Common Issues, and Transaction Volume. You’ll find a wealth of real-time information to give you a quick sense of the health of a client’s file. And, because the tab is full of links to the source data, you can dive in a little deeper if you need more context, or if something doesn’t quite add up.
Where do I find it?
The Overview tab appears at the top of the Menu sidebar when you log into a client’s file via QuickBooks Online Accountant. It is also available to all company administrators in QuickBooks Online Advanced.
How do I use it?
There’s no single way to use the Client Overview tab, so take some time to explore and figure out what information is most important to you. We’ve laid out some steps below to take you sequentially through each section, but you can always go straight to an individual metric once you get more familiar with the layout.
Click the arrow at the left of a section to open the drop-down and reveal the information.
Step 1: Review the Company Setup
View basic information such as subscription level and app integrations.
TIP: If the client doesn’t use QuickBooks Payroll, check if they use another payroll system such as Gusto or ADP. If you see several apps, check carefully, as a multi-app workflow could be the result of smart streamlining or messy redundancy.
Step 2: Analyze recent Banking Activity
Check out the status of all your balance sheet accounts.
TIP: Compare the “Bank Balance” and “In QuickBooks” columns. They should be reasonably close, if not equal, differing only by currently pending transactions. A large discrepancy is a sign of deeper issues.
Step 3: Fix any common issues
Resolve problems with a client’s Banking Feed categorization, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and asset/liability account balances.
TIP: To fix incorrectly categorized items or analyze the accounts, click on the corresponding link to jump to that register or report. From there, you can investigate further and solve the issues.
Step 4: Note the transaction volume
Examine the workload for a given timeframe. Click the links to view transaction reports.
TIP: Set a date range to see snapshots of the last week, month, quarter, or year. This will help you see the client’s past bookkeeping trends and let you better forecast your time and billing rate for the future.
Tips and tricks
Look for quick health indicators
While each piece of information in the Client Overview tab can provide useful insights, a few indicators can help you get pretty good sense of the health of a client’s books:
- App integrations (in Company Setup): Check which (if any) apps the client has connected. If there are a lot of them or several that accomplish similar tasks, it might be a sign of a complicated workflow.
- Reconciliations (in Banking Activities): Compare the date of the last reconciliation date against the number of unreconciled transactions.
- RECENT date, LOW count: Nice! Odds are pretty good that the client’s books are organized and up to date.
- RECENT date, HIGH count: This usually means one of two things: either this client has a high-volume account, or has a lot of duplicate transactions. Regardless, you’ve probably got some work to do.
- OLD date, LOW count: This is likely a low-volume account, and it shouldn’t take you long to get caught up. Confirm the date of the most recent download to make sure the bank feed is synchronizing properly.
- OLD date, HIGH count: This is often a cause for concern. Plan to spend a fair amount of time digging through duplicate entries or incorrectly categorized items.
- Billing info (in Transaction Volume): Finding lots of bills, but not a lot of bill payments? The client may be writing checks instead of making bill payments, or they might have cash flow problems.
Stay on top of undeposited funds (in common Issues)
Watch this video for a detailed walk through to help you clean out undeposited funds.