5 Awesome Things You Didn't Know About QuickBooks Online

I’m a big fan of QuickBooks® Online (QBO) for a lot of reasons, but if I had to explain “why” in one short sentence, I would say this: I love it because it makes my life easier, which translates into making my clients’ lives easier.

Here are 5 examples of the awesomeness of QBO:

Discovery #1: Getting transactions into QBO is quicker and easier than ever thanks to the magic of the Banking screen. In my opinion, data entry is the least interesting – but sometimes the most time intensive – part of our jobs. Yet, if you connect your bank and credit card accounts to QBO so that the transactions are downloaded automatically into the file, data entry suddenly becomes a magic act.

My favorite part about the downloaded transactions is that if you change the category of a transaction in the Add/Match queue, and there is another transaction sitting there that has the same vendor, the category of those transactions changes as well! For example, if I change the category of a Home Depot expense sitting in the Add/Match queue to Cost of Goods Sold, then the category of any other Home Depot expense also sitting in the Add/Match queue is automatically changed to Cost of Goods Sold.

As an accountant, have you ever felt that you don’t get to tap into your creative side as much as you’d like? Well, now your client’s file is your canvas because in QBO, you are an artist. Discovery #2: There’s a little plus-sign button top and center in QBO that is the CREATE button. It’s a lovely little button that does anything and everything related to creating transactions – whether it’s an invoice, journal entry, paycheck, time activity or anything else under the sun. And, when you select a transaction from the CREATE menu, a new screen drops down with artistic flair (without freezing up your screen, might I add), and you, the QuickBooks ProAdvisor® artist, are invited to create to your heart’s content.

That sounds really flowery and cheesy, but you know what? That little CREATE button makes it easy and fun to work in QBO. It also makes it easier to train your clients, too, now that they don’t have to remember where to go to create a bill, sales receipt or journal entry … it’s all accessible from one central location.

Discovery #3: Using QBO eliminates version control issues, provides complete transparency into the work you do for your clients and allows for simultaneous access by multiple users. Are you spending time making Accountant’s Copies, backing up company files and transferring QuickBooks files between yourself, your clients and your employees? I’m just going to be completely blunt with you about this one: that is a really dumb use of your time!

You’ve worked hard to gain the knowledge you have that makes you a good accountant or bookkeeper, so why waste your time on things that don’t add any value to your business or your clients’ businesses? When you use QBO, you don’t have to spend a single minute on version control or updating your clients’ versions of QuickBooks. Your clients can get into their file any time they wish to poke around, enter data, run reports or look at past payroll tax filings, and they don’t have to bother you to do it.

Do you serve a specific industry or have a specific chart of accounts setup that you like to use when working with new clients? Do you want to see how others have set up their charts of accounts and company preferences? If so, you need to check out Discovery #4: Templates in QBO.

When are setting up a new QBO file, you can save yourself a ton of time by using a public template or by creating your own template using one of your existing QBO files. When you use or create a template, QBO pulls in the chart of accounts, preferences and tax settings from the template to use for your new QBO file.

You wouldn’t do this for an existing client with data that needs to be maintained, but it’s an awesome option for brand-new clients or for clients that want to start over with a new QBO file that don’t want to pull in data from prior years.

There are dozens of apps out there that integrate seamlessly with QBO – don’t be afraid of checking them out and learning how they work. You might just stumble upon an app that could transform your clients’ businesses, which leads us to Discovery #5: Unleashing the power of app integration within QBO will make you look like a superhero to your clients.

Sure, it typically costs some money to integrate an app, and you’re already paying a monthly subscription for QBO, but if you do the math, I think you will find that the additional cost of the app is a small price to pay for the time savings and efficiencies you will gain by using it.

For example, I am a heavy user of Bill.com. I use it to pay my bills and to invoice my clients. The beauty of the Bill.com integration with QBO is that now I spend less than two hours each month paying bills, invoicing my clients, following up on past due invoices and receiving payments against my invoices. Bill.com makes those things simple and painless because the app allows you to automate a lot of the work involved in those processes. It’s seriously beautiful.

Automation, ease of use and powerful timesaving tools are the hallmarks of QBO. Are you taking advantage of all that QBO has to offer?

 

About the Author

Ali Maloy

Ali Maloy

Ali Maloy, CPA, is manager of Client Accounting Services with Bland & Associates, P.C., CPAs, in Omaha, Nebraska. She served on the Intuit Accountant Council from 2012 to 2014, and serves on the Board of Directors for Launch Leadership, Inc. a nonprofit that provides leadership training and development for middle and high school students.

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