Nov3rd banner
Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
August 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 8
In This Issue
Providing Feedback to Intuit
Hosted QuickBooks
Viewing a Transaction History
QuickBooks 2009 Release 8 provides Online Banking Fixes
Caesar's Brook
Greetings! 

Schooner Mary DayWelcome to the August issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
 
By the time you receive this we will have just returned from our annual cruise aboard the Schooner Mary Day.
 
This month we continue our summer get away series on remote access with an article on Hosted QuickBooks, catch up with the latest changes in Online Banking, look at all the cool things you can do with a Transaction History, and learn how to provide feedback to Intuit.
 
One of the things I love about writing this newsletter is that I almost always learn something new in the process.  I have always found the Transaction History useful, but I didn't know until I started to write this article that you don't even have to have the transaction open to view the history!  I hope you learn something new every month, too.   And remember, I always welcome your feedback, suggestions, comments, and questions.
 

QuickTip of the Month

 
Providing Feedback to Intuit
 
Customer Service FeedbackIs there a QuickBooks feature that you are not happy with?  Did you have a good or bad experience with a sales or support person?  Do you have a suggestion for additional functionality?  Let Intuit know.  Use the Feedback button on the Icon Bar or select Send Feedback Online from the Help pull down menu. This opens a window that allows you to send feedback directly to Intuit.  You can offer a suggestion, report a bug, suggest improvements in the help, and share your experiences with sales and support personnel.
 
While you may not get a response to your feedback, I have been told by more than one QuickBooks Product Manager that information coming through this channel is taken very seriously by Intuit and can influence changes, so don't be shy.
 

FeatureFeature Article

 
Hosted QuickBooks ASP Network Data Center
 
This month we look at using an Application Service Provider (ASP) to host your QuickBooks file, a good solution for businesses with multiple locations or workers who are permanently.  It is also a much better solution for Road Warriors than carrying your QuickBooks file around on your laptop! If you have an office server, your IT provider can configure it to allow remote access for your workers, and you can allow them to share the QuickBooks file as if they were part of the local network.  However, not everyone needs or wants the infrastructure required to support this. 
 
You can think of ASPs as renting IT infrastructure and services.
  Your applications and data reside on their systems, which you access via a secure Internet connection.  This means you can access your QuickBooks information at any time, from anywhere with an Internet connection.  You do not need to have QuickBooks installed on your local system to have access to the full features of the Windows desktop version of QuickBooks.  Multiple company files, multi-user access, and Intuit extended features such as integrated credit card processing, payroll subscription services, and online banking are all available in most ASP environments. 
 
However, for security purposes, unless the ASP maintains a dedicated server for you, the ability to use other third party integrated applications is generally limited to a set of approved, supported applications.  ASP implementations typically provide file transfer and printing to your system's locally attached printer, but may or may not recognize other local resources such as scanners.
 
Generally, you pay a per user monthly fee, which starts around $50/month for a single user with access to QuickBooks, Excel, and Word, and varies with the number of users, additional software applications that you use, and your data storage requirements.  Although the monthly fee may seem steep at first, if you utilize an ASP as an alternative to maintaining your own server, you will save on hardware, software, and maintenance.  If you weigh the monthly fee against the hours you would spend doing your own IT support or paying someone else to do it for you, and throw in the fact that they are providing highly reliable, redundant servers and regular offsite backups, it may suddenly seem like a bargain.
 
If you are an accountant or independent bookkeeper who needs to share files with your clients, most ASPs who host QuickBooks will provide access for you to all of your client files from your user account, while your clients logging in from their own accounts will see only their own files.
 
Do an Internet search for "hosted QuickBooks" and you will come up with a long list of companies that offer QuickBooks hosting.  However, there are only three companies that I am aware of who have licensing agreements with Intuit - Right Networks (www.rightnetworks.com), InsynQ (www.cpaasp.com), and myownasp.com (www.myownasp.com).  InsynQ is the only ASP I know of that hosts both QuickBooks and Fishbowl  Inventory Software.
 
If you use an ASP, they will provide backup services for you, but you still need to run a backup from within QuickBooks on a regular basis to verify the data and reset the log file.  See QuickBooks Backup and the TLG File from the November 2008 issue for more information.
 
Viewing a Transaction History
 
HistoryYou can view a transaction history for any QuickBooks transaction, such as an estimate, invoice, credit memo, customer payment, or vendor bill, that has "linked" or related transactions.  For example, a customer payment is generally linked to both the invoice to which it was applied and the deposit of which it was a part.   Viewing the payment's transaction history will show you both of these other transactions.
 
There are several ways to very quickly access this information and go directly to the linked transaction:
  • With a transaction open, click on the History button at the top of the transaction screen
  • With a transaction open or selected, but not opened, in the Vendor or Customer Center
    • Choose Transaction History from the Edit pull down menu, or
    • Right-click and select Transaction History from the popup menu, or
    • Type CTRL + H
Any of the above actions will open a transaction history window containing summary information about the transaction and a list of linked transactions. There is a Print button that will print the contents of the window, an Edit button which will open the transaction for editing if it is not already open, and a Go To button which will take you directly to the selected linked transaction.
 
Without even opening a transaction you can quickly:
  • See if an invoice was emailed and the date it was last sent
  • Find a payment or credit memo applied to an invoice
  • View a list of bills paid by a vendor bill payment
  • View progress invoices against an estimate
  • View item receipts and bills for a purchase order
  • View invoices against a sales order
Here are some other ways you may find the Transaction History handy:
  • Printing a transaction history is a quick way to respond to either a vendor or a customer query.
  • If you applied a vendor credit that pays a bill in full, it will not print on the payment stub but does show on the transaction history.
  • Using the Go To button on the Transaction History window is the fastest way to get from a deposit to the payments it contains. 
QuickBooks 2009 Release 8 - More Online Banking Fixes
 
Online BankingIntuit recently announced Release 8 for QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2009 and Enterprise 9.0.  Although Release 8 is a significant maintenance release with fixes that address a number of issues, the most exciting thing about it is the changes to Online Banking.  This release contains multiple fixes in the redesigned 2009 online banking interface that restore functionality available in previous versions, such as support for account numbers, remembering accounts for all names, and QuickAdd for new names. 
 
U It also includes a preference to switch back to the exact same online banking interface that was available in QuickBooks 2008.   The 2008 online banking interface is now known as "Register View" as opposed to "Side by Side View" for the new interface.  This preference can be set on the Checking tab of the Preferences dialogue box available from the Edit pull down menu.
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
QuickBooks and QuickBooks ProAdvisor are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc.
Copyright 2009 Caesar's Brook Business Solutions-All Rights Reserved
 
Caesar's Brook Business Solutions LLC | PO Box 1102 | Amherst | NH | 03031