Unlocking the Untapped Potential of Your QuickBooks Software

The financial management and controls of businesses and not for profit organisations tend to come under the spotlight at times of economic difficulty. QuickBooks won’t open with password

When business is increasingly competitive and cash flow tight it is important to make sure you are making best use of your investment in your accounting system. Many businesses view there accounting software as a tool for creating invoices and to provide information for the accountant. Little if any use is made of the data on a day to day basis to assist with Financial Control and Financial Planning.

Driven by the changing business environment there is an increasing number of requests for assistance in optimising the investment made in QuickBooks.

Request can include assistance in

1. Developing new reports for management.(management reporting is no longer a one a month activity).
2. Refining existing reports which do not meet the organisations requirements.
3. Providing information from QuickBooks to replace information generated in other systems (consolidating systems to improve efficiency and reduce cost).

1. Developing New Reports

The reporting function in QuickBooks has always been a strength. The software provides 120+ standard reports available at the click of a button. New users of QuickBooks will often ask ‘which reports should I focus on?’

The Standard Profit & Loss Report , Standard Balance Sheet report, A/R (Debtor) summary report and A/R (Debtor) detail reports are often sited as a good start point.

QuickBooks can of course provide much more. The question should not be ‘which reports should I focus on’? but ‘I need to find a report that will tell me:
Which customers have not ordered from me recently?
Who are my most profitable customers?
How does my turnover this month/ quarter compare to the same month / quarter last year?
How am I performing against budget?
Who is my best salesman?
Who have I invoiced this month?

I am sure you can think of a few more relevant to your business

2. Refining Existing Reports

A simple refinement of a standard report can provide valuable information to business owners.

The Profit and Loss standard report can be amended by selecting an option from the columns box (to the right of the date field) to transform the reports, Try selecting a date range of ‘This financial year’ and column ‘Monthly’ to view a Profit & Loss Report per month for your current year.

Too much detail? Perhaps a ‘Quarterly’ view would be better.
Other popular refined reports can let you view
Invoice in sequential numbers
Purchase Orders / Sales Orders with the outstanding balances detailed

3. Consolidating Systems to Improve Efficiency

QuickBooks is primarily an Accounting package and many businesses use other systems to perform non accounting tasks (and sometimes accounting tasks). A review of system usage may lead to an increased use of QuickBooks functions and improve efficiency.

Businesses who have previously produced an invoice in one system e.g. word may find it more efficient to generate invoices in QuickBooks (printed on letter headed paper or with a logo added). QuickBooks can take customer data to create standard letters replacing a mail merge in word. Data held in excel or access detailing customers by group / type may also be held in QuickBooks. Depending on the requirement for the data duplication could be removed with resulting operational efficiencies. Whilst QuickBooks cannot provide all the functions of a true CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system the data held in your QuickBooks file can be extracted for non accounting usage. e.g. sending out marketing letter or producing address labels.

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