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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
April 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 4
In This Issue
Assessing Finance Charges
Resorting Lists
Going Paperless with SmartVault
Online Banking Update
From Our Inbox
Caesar's Brook
Greetings! 

April showersWelcome to the April issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
 
I hope you have all survived tax season.  If sorting through all that paper getting ready for your accountant got you down, take a look at this month's article on SmartVault, a paperless document management system for QuickBooks.
 
We also continue our series on managing accounts receivable with a look at using QuickBooks to assess finance charges on overdue invoices, we review the latest online banking update for QuickBooks 2009, and get a tip from a reader.


Assessing Finance Charges
 
Past DueQuickBooks can automatically calculate and assess finance charges on overdue accounts.  Late fees are a good incentive for your customers to pay you on time, and even if you have difficulty collecting the late fees, they send the message that you are serious about managing your receivables. However, you should assess late charges only if your client knew that you reserve the right to do so.  All of your invoices should clearly show the due date and include a statement indicating that accounts not paid within so many days are subject to an x% monthly finance charge.
 
Finance Charges are set up on the Company tab of the Preferences window.  You will need to establish the annual percentage rate (12 x the monthly rate indicated on your invoices), any minimum finance charge, the length of any grace period, the income account that you will post the finance charge income to, whether or not to access finance charges on overdue finance charges (laws vary by state on this point), what date to calculate the finance charges from (the invoice date or the due date), and finally, whether or not to mark the invoices that are created for printing. 

Once the set up is complete, Assess Finance Charges can be found on the Home Page, on the Customer pull down menu, and from the Create Statements window.  In the Assess Finance Charge window select the date that the charges will be assessed as of and you will be presented with a list of customers with overdue balances and the applicable charges.  Note that customers who appear with an asterisk have unapplied payments or credits.  Be sure to apply all payments and credits as appropriate before assessing finance charges.  Review the list and deselect any customers who are not subject to finance charges.  Use the Collection History button to get more detail on the customer's transactions, if necessary.    When you press the Assess Charges button, invoices numbered "FC n" will automatically be created.

QuickTip of the Month
 
Resorting Lists
 
Alphabetical OrderThis tip won't interest you much if you've never had this problem, but if you have, you are going to love it!  If your customers or vendors are not appearing in alphabetical order, you may need to resort the lists.  In the Write Checks window, click in the Payee field and hit Ctrl+L.  This will open a window with the combined name lists.  Click on the Name button at the bottom of the screen and select Resort List.  It's like magic! 
 
FeatureFeature Article
 
Going Paperless with SmartVault

SmartVault is a web-based document management solution for QuickBooks.  With SmartVault you can attach scanned documents directly to QuickBooks transactions, customers, employees, and accounts.  It's quick and easy to use.  You sign up for an account, download the SmartVault client software, install it and you are ready go.  SmartVault adds a toolbar with a paperclip icon, a file folder icon, and a sticky note icon. 
 
To attach a document to a transaction, for example a vendor bill, click on the paperclip icon (1) and scan.  You may also scan documents to an inbox in advance and browse to find the desired document when you are ready.  When you save the vendor bill in QuickBooks, the document is automatically uploaded to SmartVault's website for storage.  To view previously attached documents, click on the file folder icon (2).  To attach a note to the transaction, click on the sticky note icon (3).  It really is as easy as 1-2-3.
 
Smart Screen Vault
 
You can also use SmartVault to store remote backups of your QuickBooks Company files and to share files and documents with co-workers or your accountant.  Access to various types of files can be restricted by user.
 
SmartVault works with any TWAIN-compliant scanner as well as with the low cost Fujitsu ScanSnap series.   A single user SmartVault account costs $19/month and includes storage for up to 1000 documents, but you can try it for free.  They also offer a team account with 5 users and 5000 documents for $39/month.  Sign up through a registered ProAdvisor and save 10%.
 
SmartVault is an Intuit Gold Developer, winner of a Sleeter Group 2009 Awesome Add-on Award, and was voted Top QuickBooks Paperless Solution by readers of The CPA Technology Advisor.
 
QuickBooks 2009 Online Banking Update
 
Online Banking
Intuit released R7 for automatic update on March 27th.  In addition to a long list of bug fixes, R7 is another major upgrade to the online banking feature.  With R7, you are now able to have multiple windows open while in online banking.  This means that you can easily jump out of the online banking window to add a check with items or a sales receipt and when you return to online banking the information is updated in the window and available for matching.  Although the 2009 online banking interface still feels less efficient to me than the old interface, this release goes a long way to improving usability and I am no longer recommending against upgrading to 2009 for online banking users.  However, if you are an online banking user and you do upgrade, plan for a bit of a learning curve as you get used to the new interface.
 
From Our Inbox -- A Reader's Keyboarding Tip
 
Cat in InboxIn response to last month's article on keyboard shortcuts, Roger Goun of Brentwood Country Animal Hospital, www.bcah.com, wrote:   "I almost never use the space bar when reconciling. The ENTER key both checks the current item and moves to the next item. So I just hit ENTER repeatedly until I come to an outstanding check."
 
I love to hear from you and I learn new things from my clients all the time.  This is a great tip from Roger.  However, it only works if you have your General Preferences set to "Pressing Enter moves between fields".  I personally prefer the QuickBooks default of pressing Tab to move between fields, and generally train my clients to do the same, but hey, that's why they call them preferences.  And this is a good enough tip that if you are a Tabber like me and have long reconciliations, you might consider switching the preference while you are reconciling and then switching it back.
 
Thanks, Roger!
 
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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