10 things you may not know QuickBooks Online Accountant can do

10 things you may not know QuickBooks Online Accountant can do

Have you heard the exciting news? Intuit® is upgrading our QuickBooks Online Accountant version to include QuickBooks Online Advanced. Yes, you heard that right; you can now manage your books with the features that make QuickBooks Online Advanced great.

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a powerful platform with so many great features. Some of these new features will continue to roll out over time, but as of launch, Advanced users will be able to access:

  • Advanced custom fields
  • Advanced workflows
  • Batch transactions
  • Task management

We expect to see user permissions, and backup & restore added to the list of cool new features available right at our fingertips soon. Be sure to join us each week for our weekly live stream in the Facebook Group QB Community Live as Matthew Fulton and I keep you informed when new features are released!

Matthew and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the ways we plan to use with 10 new features below. Check out our different examples and tell us what ideas you have, too! To give you even more information, here’s a video we created:

Advanced Custom Fields

Lynda’s custom field examples

I think this is one of the most powerful features of QuickBooks Online Advanced. You can get very creative and use the various types of custom fields to track all sorts of data and metrics. Here are a few of my all-time favorites use cases for custom fields for law firms that would also work in “Your Books” for your accounting firm:

  • Tracking lead generation
  • Net Promoter Score
  • 1099/1099 NEC

#1: Lead generation. Imagine being able to track every single client that walks in the door. You can track how they found you with a dropdown list-style custom field. Now you know where your marketing dollars or efforts are spent and how effective they are. It will help you determine what you need to target more time or money.

#2: Net Promoter Score (NPS). I like this one because you can track how satisfied the client is with your firm. Use a score range of 1 to 5. You can do this with a form such as Mailchimp or Google form as a survey that goes out after an engagement. However, using an automated process is only about 2% effective in getting a response because it takes the clients time to answer the questions. Instead, it’s far better to have your assistant or admin help you with the follow-up phone call and ask just a few quick questions. Don’t overcomplicate it, but a NPS it is a useful metric to know.

#3: 1099/1099-NEC. This one is less about metrics and more about the speed in getting your lists together. I use this for my attorney clients who have more complicated vendor lists. Who receives a 1099-NEC form as an outside contractor for professional services? Who gets one for rent or other items on the 1099 miscellaneous form? It does quick work when you can run this field off a list report and quickly sort through the various vendors who need this type of reporting. The other benefit of having this field on the form is that you see it each time you enter a bill. It will remind you to get that information from your vendor such as the W-9.

Matthew’s custom field examples

#4: Using Advanced custom fields to determine your niche. One of the most challenging things to determine for a growing accounting firm is selecting a niche for my practice. Thanks to the addition of advanced custom fields in our “Your Books,” we can make this decision much clearer.

The first thing you will need to do is review each of your customer records. Create a list of the different industries you have or are working with; once you have a complete list written down, head over to the custom fields section and create a customer information-based dropdown field that includes all of those industries.

Next, update each of your customer records one by one and add the appropriate industry in their customer card. Once this has been set up, all future invoices and sales receipts under that customer name will automatically populate with the industry you selected.

Now, this is the point where you have an important choice. Suppose you do not care about historical information. In that case, you can just run these fields moving forward and run a custom report after 12 months, OR you can take the time to manually update the custom field on previous invoices as far back as you wish to go.

#5: Tracking revenue by accountant with Advanced custom fields. Much like tracking a niche, you can also use the new custom fields to track which accountant is responsible for bringing the revenue into the business. After setting up a new dropdown custom field with the different accounting partner names, you will need to update the various customer records to reflect who gets credit on the reporting. If established as a customer information type, all future money in transactions will auto-populate with the provided name. This can, of course, be changed in a case-by-case situation, primarily if you have split deals on special projects.

#6: Track engagement renewal dates through Advanced custom fields. Depending on how you currently handle your service contracts with your clients, you may find that you need a reminder throughout the year to determine when an agreement needs to be updated. Thanks to the new custom date (customer information) field, you can quickly keep track of all your renewal dates right from the primary customer dashboard. The dashboard allows you to sort by custom field values, making it very easy to quickly review who needs a new contract during any given month!

Batch Transactions

Matthew’s batch transaction examples

#7: Batch transactions clients for payroll processing. The billing process for payroll services often becomes a manual process, especially when you have clients with many turnovers. When we bill for payroll, our clients usually pay a base rate and a per-employee charge, eliminating the option of automatic billing.

Fortunately, with the addition of batch transactions, we can now quickly create billing for all of our payroll clients simultaneously with only a couple of extra clicks on the computer. Even if the number of employees paid that period changes, we could quickly update the quantity before we have QuickBooks Online generate and send out the invoices to all clients at the same time!

#8: Save time billing clients for 1099 services. Hopefully, you already set up Lynda’s cool trick for tracking the different types of 1099s that need to be filed for clients. If so, the billing for 1099 services will be even easier when you use the Batch transactions option and quickly create a multiple-line invoice for each client breakdown by each 1099 form type. Once you create an invoice for the first client, duplicate the layout for each of your other clients and then modify each line item’s quantity. Once you are done, QuickBooks will create and email individual transactions for each client you generated a bill in a fraction of the time!

Advanced tasks and workflows

Lynda’s task example

#9: Tasks for day-to-day reminders to-do list. I am on a mission to remove all paper from my desk, including the ever-moving sticky-note. Using tasks will help me with essential items I need to remind myself to do something. I typically pit stop into “Your Books” a few times a week, generally in the early morning. What a better place than using tasks to remind me to do the important things I need to do in my day or week.

Matthew’s task example

#10: Using tasks for client upsell opportunities. It can be challenging to remember for each of your clients what time of year different upsell opportunities present themselves. With the new Advanced tasks feature available within your QuickBooks Online Accountant “Your Books,” you can establish scheduled tasks to remind you or your team members when to suggest new services. Some of the possible reminders included:

  • Workers’ Compensation Policy Review
  • R&D Tax Credits
  • Adding Payroll Services
  • Offering Sales Tax Filings
  • Quarterly Tax Liability Review

Implementing workflows

As Intuit releases more of the new features such as custom roles into our new Advanced, features like Advanced workflows will become more powerful.

Currently, one of the best uses of the Advanced workflows would be to track and improve your DSO (days sales outstanding).  Some of the workflow templates include the ability to remind your team when you have not billed for time and the ability to notify your client that a bill is about to come due.

Finally, if an invoice has become overdue, leaving a note in the memo and resending it stating it is outstanding, and creating a custom email as you wish.

Combining these different versions of workflows can dramatically help you improve your business’s cash flow and ultimately reduce the total days your accounts receivable is outstanding.

With so many different suggestions of how to use the new powerful features of QuickBooks Online Advanced,  I am sure you are wondering, “where should I start?”

Our suggestion, start by implementing custom fields and let your transactions help you make important decisions on the future of your firm.

Implement custom fields to track specific data points for your firm and create the reporting to analyze the data.  You can track your niche, track a revenue stream, or track some other area of your business, using the unique custom field to work for you.

How wonderful will it be that you will have that ability to refocus your attention on your own firm’s profit centers of your business?  Using the custom field that you determine is best for your firm will set you in the right direction for future growth and a prosperous future.