Tutorials

How to Reconcile an Account With a Zero-Dollar Balance

Have you tried to reconcile an account in Quickbooks, only to discover that its beginning balance is $0? Reconciliations are a routine part of accounting. By performing them, you’ll be able to match your recorded transactions to those listed in your bank accounts. If an account has a $0 beginning balance, though, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to perform a reconciliation.

Why Accounts Have a $0 Beginning Balance

An account may have a $0 beginning balance for any number of reasons. Maybe you forget to enter the beginning balance when initially setting up the account, or perhaps your company file was damaged in a way that deleted the data. Regardless, you’ll need to recreate the account’s beginning balance before you can reconcile it.

How to Recreate the Beginning Balance

To get started, click the “Company” menu in the main Quickbooks home screen and select “Make General Journal Entries.” Next, select the statement date associated with the beginning balance. You can then choose the account from the drop-down menu labeled “Account.”

After following these steps, you should see a field for “Debit.” In this field, you can enter the beginning balance for the account. Before saving and closing this screen, click the option for “Opening Balance Equity.”

Perform a Basic Reconciliation

Now that you’re recreated the account’s beginning balance, you can perform a reconciliation. This is done by clicking the “Banking” menu and choosing “Reconcile.” Under the drop-down menu for “Account,” select the account that you want to reconcile. You will then need to enter a statement date as well as an ending balance, both of which must correspond with the account’s journal entry. When finished, click “Continue.”

You should see a field for “Deposits and Other Credits.” In this field, choose the appropriate journal entry. You can then proceed by clicking “Reconcile Now.” Quickbooks will then initiate the reconciliation process by comparing the account to your banking data.

Keep in mind that you can also undo previous reconciliations. If an account has a $0 beginning balance because of an improper reconciliation performed in the past, you may want to undo it. This is done by creating a backup of your company file, after which you can choose the option for “Undo Last Reconciliation” in the reconciliation window. Quickbooks will then delete the changes made by the last reconciliation.

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How to Specify Payment Terms for Invoices in Quickbooks

Quickbooks allows you to specify payment terms invoices. If you are sending an invoice to a customer, for example, you can specify the date by which he or she must pay it. When the customer receives the invoice, he or she will see the due date. As a result, the customer is less likely to overlook or miss paying the invoice on time. How do you specify payment terms for invoices exactly?

Steps to Setting Up Payment Terms

To set up payment terms for invoices, log in to Quickbooks and click the “Lists” menu at the top of the home screen, followed by “Customer & Vendor Profile Lists” and then “Terms List.” Next, click the “New” button under the drop-down menu for “Terms.”

From here, you’ll have one of two options: Standard or Date Driven. Standard allows you to specify the number of days the customer has to pay the invoice from its listed date. If you choose standard with 10 days, for instance, the customer will have to pay the invoice within 10 days of the invoice due date.

Date driven, on the other hand, automatically calculates the invoice’s due date according to date-based criteria. With date driven, you can specify the day of the month by which the invoice is due. If you choose date driven with the 20th day of the month, the customer will have to pay the invoice by the 20th day of the month.

Applying a Discount to Payment Terms

You can use discounts to encourage customers to pay their invoices on time. How do discounts work exactly? When setting up payment terms, you’ll have the option of applying a discount to invoices if certain payment conditions are met. When a customer meets the requirements, he or she will receive an automatic discount that reduces the amount owed by the invoice.

As you set up payment terms, you can enter a discount percentage for a specific due date. The discount due date doesn’t have to be the actual due date of the invoice. Rather, it can be an earlier date. If an invoice is due within 10 days, for instance, you can specify a discount due date of five days. If the customer pays the invoice within five days, he or she will receive a discount as specified in the payment terms.

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An Introduction to Class Tracking in Quickbooks

Class tracking is a feature in Quickbooks Desktop that allows you to segment account balances for tracking purposes. While not required, many businesses — as well as accountants — use it. With class tracking, you can create “classes” for your accounts that are independently tracked. You can then view the transactions and balances associated with those classes rather than the whole accounts with which they are associated. For a better understanding of class tracking and how it works, keep reading.

The Basics of Class Tracking

In Quickbooks, class tracking is used to segment account balances for tracking purposes. In other words, you set up classes to track specific segments of one or more accounts. A common example is a retail store with multiple locations. Instead of using a single account, you can segment the account into multiple classes. Class tracking allows you to create a class for each location. Quickbooks will then compile the data for each account, allowing you to see the revenues generated by each location. This is just one of many ways to use class tracking in Quickbooks. You can use it to track any account segment.

How to Set Up Class Tracking

To get started with class tracking, open your Quickbooks company file and choose “Preferences” under the “Edit” menu. Next, select “Accounting,” followed by “Company Preferences.” You should then see a box labeled “Use class tracking for transactions.” Click this box to place a checkmark in it. When finished, click the “OK” button.

With class tracking enabled, you can now set up classes for your accounts. This is done by clicking the “Lists” menu and selecting “Class List.” Next, click the “Class” drop-down menu and choose “New.” Quickbooks will then prompt you to enter a name for the class. Since it’s used for tracking purposes, you should give it a relevant name that’s easy to remember. After entering a name, click the “OK” button.

Assigning Classes: What You Should Know

Assuming you’ve followed these steps, you should now be able to assign the newly created class. Quickbooks supports the use of classes for many different types of transactions. You can assign them to invoices, estimates, bills, purchase orders, sales orders, sales receipts, paychecks, credit card charges and more. Once assigned, you can run reports for the various classes to view and compare their respective balances.

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How to Record Accounts Payable In Quickbooks

Does your business owe money to a vendor? Regardless of what type of business you operate, you’ll probably have to buy products and services from various vendors. Nearly all businesses spend at least some money to execute their own money-making operations. When you owe money to a vendor, though, you’ll need to record the bill so that you can keep track of it. Thankfully, Quickbooks makes it easy to record accounts payable records such as this.

What Is Accounts Payable?

Accounts payable is a financial record stored in a balance sheet or general ledger that symbolizes money owed. If your business owes money that must be repaid over a short period, you can record it as an accounts payable. It’s important to note that accounts payable is not the same as liabilities. A liability is a type of formal debt, whereas accounts payable is simply money that your business owes to a vendor — or a different individual or business — with the obligation to repay it over a short period.

Steps to Recording Accounts Payable in Quickbooks

You can record accounts payable in Quickbooks in several ways, one of which is to create a purchase order. Assuming you use Quickbooks Desktop, you’ll have the option to create a purchase order. A purchase order, of course, is a bill stating that you owe a vendor money for one or more purchased products or services. You can enable purchase orders in Quickbooks Desktop by accessing the “Vendors” menu and choosing “Create Purchase Orders.” From here, choose “Add New” under the menu for “Vendor,” at which point you can complete the fields by adding information about the bill.

Another way to record accounts payable in Quickbooks is to create a bill for the money owed. From the home screen, choose the option for “Enter Bills,” followed by selecting the vendor to whom your business owes the money. Next, enter the date by which your business is obligated to pay the bill. You can then specify whether the bill is for an expense or an item. Expenses are ongoing financial obligations, such as utilities, wheres items consist of inventory, shipping and other financial transactions.

Regardless of which method you use, you’ll need to pay the accounts payable by its due date. Once recorded, though, you’ll be able to see the due date for all your business’s accounts payable records.

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How to Record Equipment Purchases in Quickbooks

If you’ve recently purchased equipment for your business, you might be wondering how to record it in Quickbooks. Assuming your business needs the equipment to perform its revenue-generating operations, you can write it off on your taxes. There’s no option specifically for “equipment” in Quickbooks, however, leaving many business owners to believe that it’s not possible to record such transactions. While Quickbooks doesn’t have an option for equipment, you can still record the transaction.

Equipment Is a Fixed Asset

In Quickbooks, equipment is typically recorded as a fixed asset. Fixed assets, of course, are long-term resources that you don’t intend to consume or sell within the fiscal period in which you purchased it. As a result, most types of equipment are considered fixed assets. You may keep a piece of equipment for several years, all while using it to facilitate your business’s money-making activities. Because equipment is typically a fixed asset, that’s how you’ll need to record it in Quickbooks.

Steps to Recording Equipment Purchases in Quickbooks

You can record equipment purchases in Quickbooks by labeling them as fixed assets. After logging in to your Quickbooks account, click the gear icon on the home screen, followed by “Chart of Accounts” below your company’s name. Next, click “New” in the upper-right corner. You can then choose the option for “Fixed Asset” under the menu for account type.

Assuming you’ve followed these steps, you should now be able to enter the details about the equipment purchase, including the type and original cost. You’ll also be able to create a unique name for the fixed asseet account.

Keep in mind that Quickbooks supports depreciation tracking of fixed assets. If you click the box labeled “Track depreciation of this asset,” Quickbooks will add a subaccount for depreciation. Once created, you can track the equipment’s depreciation over time. Of course, depreciation tracking is optional, meaning you aren’t required to use it. Nonetheless, many business owners and accountants use this feature to track how much their equipment has depreciated in value.

After completing all the required fields, as well as setting up depreciation tracking, you can complete the process by clicking “Save and close.” Congratulations, you’ve just recorded the equipment purchase. You’ll now be able to view the transaction by looking at your business’s fixed asset purchases in Quickbooks.

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What Is an Expense Account in Quickbooks?

As a business owner, you’ll have to purchase products and services to facilitate your business’s operations. All businesses have expenses; it’s a regular part of running a business. You can keep track of your business’s expenses, however, by using the expense account feature in Quickbooks. To learn more about expense accounts and how they work in Quickbooks, keep reading.

Overview of Expense Accounts

In Quickbooks, an expense account is a category of transactions that’s used to track your business’s expenses. You’ll find expense accounts located on your business’s balance sheet. Alternatively, you can run a report of your business’s expense accounts by clicking “Reports,” followed by “Profit and Loss.”

Expense accounts allow you to categorize your business’s expenses. If you own a restaurant, for instance, you may want to create expense accounts for food deliveries, utilities, lease payments and payroll. Rather than grouping all these expenses together, you can categorize them into the appropriate expense account. Quickbooks doesn’t restrict you to using expense accounts for any specific type of expense. You can create and use an expense account for any type of expense. Therefore, they are a versatile accounting tool that can help you keep track of all your business’s expenses.

Expense vs Income Accounts: What’s the Difference?

In addition to expense accounts, Quickbooks supports the use of income accounts. As you may have guessed, income accounts are the opposite of expense accounts. While expense accounts are used to track expenses, income accounts are used to track revenue.

Most businesses, of course, make money through different channels. Even if your business sells a single product, it may generate sales through its brick-and-store as well as its website. Expense accounts allow you to separate these channels, thereby revealing which channel yielded the most sales during a given period and which channel yielded the least sales. You can even use an expense account to track income generated from franchising activities.

Running a Profit and Loss report in Quickbooks will reveal both your business’s expense accounts and its income accounts.

When using expense or income accounts, try to use a familiar structure that’s easy to recognize. In other words, don’t place a transaction into an account unless it’s an appropriate fit. If you have an expense account for payroll, only place payroll transactions into that account. Otherwise,  it will throw off the account’s true total.

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How to Allow Customers to Pay Their Invoices Online

When sending invoices to customers, you should provide them with a fast and easy way to pay. A customer may have the necessary funds, but if the process is too long or tedious, he or she may postpone the payment — or the customer may simply not pay at all. If you use Quickbooks Desktop, however, you can create a smoother and easier payment process by allowing customers to pay their invoices online.

Sign Up for Quickbooks Payments

In addition to Quickbooks Desktop, you’ll need an account with Quickbooks Payments. Available here, Quickbooks Payment is Intuit’s multi-platform payment solution for businesses. It allows your business to accept credit cards, debit cards and even bank transfers. Furthermore, customers can pay either by phone, recurring subscriptions, mobile card reader or online.

Quickbooks Payments doesn’t charge monthly fees to use, nor does it charge any fees to set up. It does, however, charge a flat fee per transaction, which varies depending on the type of transaction. For bank transfers, Quickbooks Payments charges 1% of the total transaction amount. For invoiced transactions, it charges a fee of 2.9%.

Enable Payments

After signing up for Quickbooks Payments, you’ll need to enable payments. Select the ‘Edit” menu on Quickbooks Desktop, followed by “Preferences.” Next, choose “Payments,” followed by “Company Preferences.” You can then specify which payment methods you’d like to offer to customers in the “Online Payments” field. Once you’ve selected your preferred payment methods, click “OK.” To finalize the process, click “Apply to existing customers.” All customers can now pay their invoices online.

Creating Invoices for Online Payments

Assuming you followed these steps correctly, customers should be able to pay their invoices online. You can create a new invoice by accessing the “Customers” menu, followed by “Create Invoices.” From here, simply choose the customer for whom you wish to create a new invoice in the “Customer: Job” menu. To ensure the customer can pay his or her invoice online, double-check the field labeled “Your customer can pay online using.”

After sending the invoice via email to the customer, he or she can pay it by clicking a link and following the instructions. When compared to other methods, such as in-person payments, it’s a far easier and more convenient method for customers.

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How to Create a Balance Sheet Report in Quickbooks

There’s no better way to assess your business’s financial health than by viewing a balance sheet report. This otherwise simple accounting shows you exactly how profitable your business was for a given period. On one side of the balance sheet you’ll see your business’s assets. On the other side, you’ll see your business’s liabilities. And at the bottom of the balance sheet, you’ll see the differences between these amounts reflected as equity. So, how do you create a balance sheet report in Quickbooks?

Steps to Creating a Balance Sheet Report

To create a balance sheet report in Quickbooks, log in to your account and click the “File” menu. Next, choose “Reports,” followed by “Balance Sheet.” You’ll then have the option to customize the date range.

When creating a balance sheet report in Quickbooks, the software will automatically use the current date by default. Of course, most businesses probably don’t need a balance sheet for the date on which they create it. Rather, they need a balance sheet report for a previous date, such as the previous month. Regardless, you can specify a time period for your balance sheet report by clicking the date field and entering your desired start date and end date.  When finished, Quickbooks will generate a balance sheet report for that time period.

What’s Included in a Balance Sheet Report?

A balance sheet report contains a breakdown of your business’s assets and liabilities for the specified time period. As previously mentioned, it contains two columns: one for assets and another for liabilities. This information is used to calculate your business’s equity for the time period for which the balance sheet report was created.

Regularly creating a balance sheet report will give you a better idea of how your business’s financial health. You’ll be able to see exactly how profitable your business was for a given time period. If your business had a strong period, you can attempt to replicate its success in coming months. You can also use a blance sheet report to show investors and lenders when seeking financing for your business.

Quickbooks supports a variety of accounting documents, one of which is a balance sheet report. This simple document shows your business’s assets and liabilities, which are used to calculate its equity.

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How to Delete a Vendor in Quickbooks

Has your business ended a contract with a business-to-business (B2B) vendor? Assuming you no longer purchase their products or services, you may want to delete them from your business’s Quickbooks account. Failure to do so means your business’s Quickbooks account may become congested with vendors whom you no longer use. Thankfully, you can remove vendors in Quickbooks by following just a few easy steps.

Steps to Deleting a Vendor in Quickbooks

To delete a vendor in Quickbooks, log in to your account and select “Expenses” under the main menu, followed by “Vendors.” Next, choose “Sales,” at which point you should see a list of all your business’s active vendors. Once you’ve found the vendor whom you wish to delete, click the “Edit” link.

After clicking the “Edit” link, you should see a box with an option for “Make inactive.” Clicking this box will prompt a message verifying that you want to delete the vendor. Assuming you click “Yes,” the vendor will be temporarily deleted from your business’s Quickbooks account.

How to Reactivate a Deleted Vendor

Even if your business no longer purchases products or services from a vendor, this could change in the future. Maybe the vendor offers you a better deal, or perhaps the vendor expands his or her product offerings. Regardless, you may want to reestablish a professional relationship with the vendor whom you deleted from your business’s Quickbooks account.

When you delete a vendor from Quickbooks, the vendor isn’t permanently removed. Rather, the vendor becomes “inactive,” meaning he or she won’t show up on your business’s Quickbooks account. If you decide to continue purchasing the deleted vendor’s products or services, you can reactivate the vendor.

To reactivate a deleted vendor in Quickbooks, perform the same steps as previously mentioned by clicking “Expenses,” followed by “Vendors.” Next, click the “Settings” icon, at which point you can select the option to show inactive vendors. After locating the deleted vendor, select the “Make active” option.

Keep in mind that you can delete customers as well. The steps are pretty much the same, except you’ll need to choose a customer rather than a vendor. Whether you delete a vendor, a customer or both, though, you can always go back and reactivate them later.

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How to Delete Multiple Transactions in Quickbooks

Do you have multiple transactions recorded that need to be deleted? It’s not uncommon for business owners to accidentally enter the wrong amount for a transaction or enter the same transaction two or more times. When mistakes such as these occur, you’ll need to delete the erroneous transactions so that they don’t harm your business’s financial records. If you use Quickbooks, though, you can perform a “batch delete” to wipe these erroneous transactions from your business’s financial records.

Requirements for Deleting Multiple Transactions

Not all versions of Quickbooks support the deletion of multiple transactions at once. Rather, this feature is only available in specific versions of Quickbooks. If you use Quickbooks Desktop Accountant 2017, Quickbooks Enterprise Accountant 2017 or a higher version, you can delete multiple transactions at once. If you use Quickbooks Online, on the other hand, you’ll have to delete the erroneous transactions individually.

Steps to Deleting Multiple Transactions

Assuming you use a version of Quickbooks that supports this feature, you can delete multiple transactions in just a few simple steps. To get started, log in to Quickbooks and change it to single-user mode by selecting the “File” tab, followed by “Switch to single-user mode.” Next, click the “Accountant” tab and choose “Batch Delete.”

After selecting “Batch Delete,” you should see a list of all your business’s transactions under the “Available Transactions” menu. As you go through this list, select the erroneous transactions that you’d like to delete. When finished, click the “Review & Delete” option. Quickbooks will then ask you if you’d like to back up the transactions before deleting them.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to create a backup. If you accidentally the wrong transactions, you’ll be able to restore them with a backup. Regardless, after choosing whether to back up the transactions, you’ll be prompted to confirm the deletion of the selected transactions. After clicking “Yes,” the transactions will be deleted.

Keep in mind that you can delete transactions individually in Quickbooks as well. If you only have a few erroneous transactions recorded, deleting them individually may be quicker. Just click the “Transaction Type” drop-down menu to view your recorded transactions, after which you can delete them individually. For many transactions, though, this may prove tedious, which is why it’s a good idea to delete them in bulk.

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