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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
February 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 2
In This Issue
QuickBooks Merchant Services and Billing Solutions
Customizing the Icon Bar
Recording Barter Exchanges in QuickBooks
Shop Your ProAdvisor and $ave
Caesar's Brook
Greetings! 

Welcome to the February issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings!
Cupid Groundhog
In a down economy, one of the most important things that a small business can do is stay on top of their accounts receivable.  QuickBooks has lots of tools for helping you manage accounts receivable and starting this month with Billing Solutions, we'll be looking at some you may not be familiar with.

Bartering for goods and services is another way to manage cash flow, but recording those transactions in QuickBooks can be tricky.  This month's feature article shows you how.

QuickBooks Merchant Services and Billing Solutions
 
Credit CardsIf you do not currently accept payment by credit card, this may be a good time to review that decision.  Merchant service fees do take a bite out of the profits, but it can be easier to survive a drop in profits than a cash flow crisis.

There are many merchant service providers out there and the fee structures are complex.  Comparison shop and read all the fine print before signing up with anyone. 
 
In addition to your local bank, one of the providers you should have on your list to consider is QuickBooks Merchant Services.  Why?  Because it is tightly integrated with QuickBooks, allowing you process credit card charges directly from an invoice or a sales receipt, and has tools for helping record deposits and manage applicable fees.  Intuit also offers an add-on called Billing Solutions which allows your customers to pay online.

With Billing Solutions, you check a box to "Allow payment online" on your invoice and when you email or print the invoice it is uploaded to an Intuit server.  A special web address is automatically added to your printed invoice telling customers they can pay online; emailed invoices include a link to the site.  Customers can pay a single invoice without logging on or can create an account to view all their uploaded invoices and payments made through the site.  This is very well integrated and it makes it very, very easy for your customers to pay you.

Billing Solutions normally costs $14.95/month, but if you sign up for QuickBooks Merchant Services through your accountant or ProAdvisor, you get discounted rates and FREE Billing Solutions.  See Shop Your ProAdvisor and $ave below. 

 
QuickTip of the Month
 
Customizing the Icon Bar
 
Do you have a register that you open frequently or a report that you would like to run at the click of a button?  Add it to the Icon Bar.  You will find the option to customize the Icon Bar on the View pull down menu.  It allows you to add, delete, or edit the items that appear on the icon bar.  You can select from the list of available options or, even easier, open the report, register or task (such as Create Invoice), then from the View pull down menu, select Add "open item" to Icon Bar.

 
FeatureFeature Article
   
Recording Barter Exchanges in QuickBooks
 
A Square TradeIf you have customers who are also vendors, you may choose to exchange your products or services for theirs rather than paying each other.  These are a little tricky to record correctly in QuickBooks, but you will want to be sure that the accounting is accurate, especially if you sell taxable products or inventory items.  Here's how to do it.
 
Step 1 - Set up both a customer record and a vendor record for the company you will be trading with.  You cannot have a customer and a vendor with the same name so you will have to distinguish between them with a slight variation.  I like to use a "-C" for customer and "-V" for vendor so I can quickly tell them apart in a list of names.

Step 2 - Set up a Barter Clearing bank account in your Chart of Accounts.
 
Step 3 - Invoice the customer for goods or services as you would normally do.  Enter a vendor bill for the goods or services that they have provided to you as you normally would.
 
Step 4A - If the amount of the vendor bill is greater than or equal to the amount of the customer invoice:  Receive a payment from the customer equal to the amount of the customer invoice. If you do not use Undeposited Funds as your default deposit account, select your new Barter Clearing bank account as the Deposit to account.  If you do use Undeposited Funds, make a deposit for the payment you just entered selecting the new Barter Clearing bank account.
 
Step 4B - If the amount of the vendor bill is less than the amount of the customer invoice:  Receive a payment from the customer equal to the amount of the vendor bill.  The customer will owe you the balance on the invoice. If you do not use Undeposited Funds as your default deposit account, select your new Barter Clearing bank account as the Deposit to account.  If you do use Undeposited Funds, make a deposit for the payment you just entered selecting the new Barter Clearing bank account. 
 
Step 5 - Go to the Pay Bills window and select the vendor bill to pay.  In the Amt. To Pay column at the far right, enter the amount of the customer payment.  Select the Barter Clearing bank account as the Payment Account on the bottom of the screen.  If the amount of the customer payment does not fully pay the vendor invoice and you will be paying the balance by check, select Pay & New.  Select the vendor bill a second time; the Amt. Due column should now show only the balance due.  Change the Payment account back to your normal checking account and pay the balance of the bill as you normally would.
 
Step 6 - Open the register for the Barter Clearing bank account.  It should show the customer payment deposit and the vendor bill payment offsetting each other.  The balance in the account should be $0.
 
 
SavingsShop Your ProAdvisor and $ave

It should come as no surprise that ProAdvisors get discounts on Intuit products and services.  While I've always been willing to pass my discounts along to my clients, until recently, I could never beat the volume discounters.   However, Intuit is now offering deeper discounts on selected products and services through their ProAdvisors. 
 
Merchant Services is one example; signing up through a ProAdvisor will save you $50 on your set up fee, get you a reduced monthly fee and better discount rates, eliminate a monthly minimum, and give you free Billing Solutions. 
 Savings
QuickBooks Online is another example, where signing up through a ProAdvisor could save you up to 40%. 
 
Some of the offers are limited time only and the discounts are subject to change, but if you are shopping for Intuit products or services, add Caesar's Brook to your list of places to check.
  
banner 2I hope you found these babblings useful.  Your feedback is important to me.  Please drop me a line and let me know what you think.
 
Sincerely,
 
Susan Dugdale
Caesar's Brook Business Solutions, LLC
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