QuickBooks ProAdvisor

In The Know: Journal Entries Import

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Jaclyn Anku, ProAdvisor Training & Certification Leader: Hey, I'm Jaclyn, and welcome to In The Know. This is our weekly video show designed to keep you up to date on the most exciting innovations across the QuickBooks online ecosystem

Today we're exploring an exciting update importing journal entries. We heard that manually typing in offline journal entry records is really painful, especially for ProAdvisors. In fact, it's so painful that many accountants resort to a third-party tool to import the data.

So we're so excited to share the launch of the new Journal Entries Import feature. Now, you can upload journal entry CSV files with up to 1,000 lines.

Here are the Fast Facts:

  • Journal entries Import is available to users of QuickBooks Online Ledger, Simple Start Essentials, and Advanced.
  • You can access it by visiting Settings, then Import data, then Journal Entries. 
  • This feature was launched in April 2024, in the United States, and is also available in Canada and the United Kingdom. 

If you find this update interesting or helpful, go ahead and like, subscribe, and hit the bell to get notified.

Let me introduce you to Emma, the talented product manager behind this exciting update. Emma, welcome.

Emma Wang: Hi, Jaclyn. Thank you so much for having me. Today, I'm super excited to share the Journal Entries Import feature. What we've learned is that manually typing in long and complex journal entries can be super painful.

So let's walk through a demo to access this feature.

Simply click the gear icon on the top right, click Import Data, and on the screen, you see Journal Entries. Before importing, we provided some guidelines for customers to set up their CSV files, including mandatory fields such as account name, debits, credits, and journal numbers. We also provided a sample CSV file for customers to play with. When your files are ready, simply upload them. It could be up to a thousand rows. Click next and you can map the column headings with the QuickBooks’ fields. Some of the optional fields are also available for CSV upload, including location, class, multi-currency, and then click Complete Import. Your journal entries will be uploaded. You can access these uploaded records through the register and through recent transactions.

That's the Journal Entries import feature. Thank you so much for having me on and I’m excited to see you soon.

Jaclyn Anku: Emma, thank you so much for being here. Let's take it now to ProAdvisors Terrell Turner and Roman Villard for them to weigh in.

Roman, Terrell, thank you so much for being here. We're so happy to have you on this episode of In The Know where we’re talking about Journal Entries Import.

Roman, I would love to understand an example of when you or your team had an offline journal entry that you would have had to import in that icky manual way before the new feature was launched. 

Roman Villard: Listen, journal entries are a huge part of all of our lives, right? And so there's many circumstances in which we are taking information out of disparate systems, formatting them in Excel or Google Sheets, pulling them back into QuickBooks, and then manually copying and editing a new journal entry, or creating a new journal entry.

An example for us revolves around payroll allocations, which are not native to how payroll is running. We need to create allocations between operating expenses and cost of goods sold. And sometimes this could be upward of 10 to 20 employees where we're allocating payroll. This is generally done offline, and then we bring it into QuickBooks to create that journal entry. Now [with Journal Entries Import] we have the capability to just format and upload the journal entry, so when you multiply one entry by five, 10, 20, 50, or 100 clients, the time-saving component on that among the entire team is massive.

While journal entries might not be the most exciting thing in the world from a process standpoint, it's a huge win for us to be able to import them directly.

Jaclyn Anku: Oh, that's fantastic. What about you, Terrell? How does having the Journal Entries Import feature help your team work more efficiently?

Terrell Turner: First, I will say that when this feature came out, I was like … oh my gosh! We had just purchased third-party software to do the same thing. So I said, “you know what? I'm going to get my money back so we could start using this!

For us, this is a very big deal, especially with law firms, because they have a massively important topic called trust accounting. They have tons of money coming in large chunks, but need to allocate it to, let's say, 20 to 30 different clients at once. Before we were manually going in and creating a manual journal entry on the liability side, and you have to do the same thing on the income side if it's going the other way.

That was taking my team a lot of time. And we had to actually structure our entire accounting process to start doing it more frequently, because it was such a tedious process. But with an importer like this, we set up the template and can see the numbers because all the data was coming in spreadsheet form. Now we just transfer that data into the format that's being imported. This process that used to take about, you know, let's say 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how detailed it is, can now be done in a matter of minutes. That person can move on to doing something else.

From the staff standpoint, they are extremely happy because they don't have that tedious job to do anymore. Their process can move faster, plus their manager now doesn't have to stay on top of them to ask if they are going to hit their deadline.

From a firm perspective, we can be a lot more profitable because now the team can be more efficient. I think all around this is a great idea and a great tool.

Jaclyn Anku: That's awesome. Okay, so Terrell, you gave the example of law firms and something specific to those workflows you set up. Roman, you gave the payroll example; are there any other types of industries or clients you serve where this new feature will really come in handy?

Roman Villard: I think about subscription-based businesses that operate with long-term contracts. So maybe they have multi-period contracts with various revenue drivers. You really need to be intentional, particularly in accrual or a GAAP-accounting environment, that you're allocating the revenue appropriately, you're organized on the back end, and then pushing that back up to QuickBooks in a journal entry format to allocate the revenue and ensure everything is done according to ASC 606 and the contract.

For SaaS businesses and any that operate on a long-term contract basis, we have to be really intentional about how we spend our time in order to bring them into the system really intelligently. To Terrell's point, this not only creates efficiency from a time investment perspective, but can also allow the team to then spend more time on advisory-level items with the client. We want them to strategically understand how we can make this one process efficient, and then move into other areas where we can really create change for the business moving forward.

Terrell Turner Can I add something? Recently, I was doing some consulting with a nonprofit organization where they were getting federal funding; their funding was tied to expenses and revenue being appropriately allocated to programs. When they brought me in, they were struggling to get through an audit. And there were some things that were allocated, you know, incorrectly. So when they had to do their reporting, those allocations weren't correct because they were being done manually. It ended up costing the organization about $30,000, so a tool like [Journal Entries Import] can actually help us improve that whole allocation process—as Roman was saying, because there are some very serious consequences for industries and companies that need allocations. It's a very serious matter.

Before, all we had was this manual process or we would go with a third-party tool. And we all know a third-party tool is going to have some glitches because it has to integrate. Having a native solution in QuickBooks is a huge game changer and a business saver for a lot of companies.

Jaclyn Anku: Well, Roman, Terrell, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of In The Know and exploring the magic of journal entries import. I appreciate you both and I'm sure I'll catch you soon. Thank you.

And thank you for watching this episode. I'm Jaclyn, the host of In The Know and leader of ProAdvisor Training and Certification. Be sure to like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell so that you don't miss a single episode. We'll catch you next time. 

Meet the ProAdvisors

ProAdvisor Roman Villard: Founder, Full Send Finance

ProAdvisor Terrell Turner: Founder, TLTurner Group

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