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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
October 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 10
In This Issue
Using Pending Sales Transactions
QuickBooks 2010 Review
Introducing Intuit's Workplace App Center
Caesar's Brook

Welcome to the October issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
 Autumn Trees
Along with leaf peeping and pumpkins, October brings us QuickBooks' annual product release.  I've had QuickBooks 2010 in house for a few weeks now and have had a chance to poke around a bit.  In this month's feature article, I share some of the new and improved features.  In addition, I introduce you to Intuit's Workplace App Center, and in this month's QuickTip, show you how pending sales can work for you.
Halloween Pumpkin
 Happy Halloween! 

QuickTip of the Month

Using Pending Sales Transactions
Sale PendingYou can mark an invoice, sales receipt, or credit memo as pending.  Right-click on the transaction header and select "Mark Invoice as Pending" from the popup menu or select it from the Edit menu.  QuickBooks will display and print "Pending" on the form.  Pending transactions are non-posting. When you mark a transaction as pending, it does not appear in registers, does not affect account balances or inventory stock status, and only appears on the pending sales report.  To mark a sale as final, edit the transaction and repeat the steps above, selecting "Mark Invoice as Final" instead of "Mark Invoice as Pending". 

Here are some ways you might use pending transactions:

  • Creating draft transactions for approval
  • Accumulating charges on an "in progress" transaction
  • Preventing a disputed charge from appearing on aging reports or statements
  • In QuickBooks Pro, in place of Sales Orders for sales of back ordered or out of stock items.  (Pending transactions do not affect inventory stock status.)

The Pending Sales Report found under Sales on the reports menu will show you a list of pending transactions.  You can get a list of items on pending sales transactions by filtering the Sales by Item report by "Posting Status" and selecting "Non-posting".


FeatureFeature Article

QuickBooks 2010 is hereQuickBooks 2010 Review
QuickBooks 2010 was released on September 28th.  I've had my copy for a few weeks now and have had a chance to try out some of the new features.  Here's a list of highlights.
QuickBooks Document Management
 --  Intuit has built online document storage management directly into QuickBooks.  You can attach scanned files or electronic documents to customers, vendors, employees, accounts, and transactions. They are uploaded to Intuit's server for secure storage.  You get 100 MB of free storage; additional storage is available for a very reasonable price.  The functionality is very similar to that of SmartVault, a third party product I reviewed in April 2009.  SmartVault supports QuickBooks 2006 - 2010, is optimized for accountants and bookkeepers managing documents across multiple clients, has stronger inbox features, and offers the ability to get a searchable archive copy of your documents (without the QuickBooks links) for local storage.  It's hard to beat the QuickBooks pricing, but according to the ProAdvisor hotline, at this point in time, if you want to cancel your subscription the only way to get your documents back is to download them one at a time.   
Add/Edit Multiple List Entries -- It is now possible to enter or edit Customers, Vendors, Service Items, Inventory Items, and Non-Inventory Items using a spreadsheet format.   The ability to copy and paste makes it easy to do wholesale changes and to create new list entries by duplicating existing ones.  If you are starting a new file or need to add a large group of new items, it is also possible to copy and paste these lists from Excel.
Improved Custom Fields (Enterprise Edition Only) --  I haven't had an opportunity to work with this yet, but there are more custom fields available, it is possible to require that data be in a certain format (e.g. date, phone number, numeric, or selected from a list), and there are advanced filtering and sorting options in running reports that use custom fields.  Unless they migrate this down to Pro and Premier in future versions, this will probably be a compelling reason for some users to upgrade to Enterprise.
Favorites Menu -- Akin to a web browser's favorites menu, this lets you create a pull down menu of frequently used items.  This is a small thing, but sometimes, it's the little things that really make a difference and I suspect this might be one of those.  Although you can still customize the icon bar, with the favorites menu you can bring things that are several levels deep in menus to the surface.
Forms Customization -- Creating customized forms can be tricky and time consuming, so I was excited when I heard this feature was coming.  Unfortunately, I can't say I'm impressed.  Selecting Create Form Design from the Template menu takes you to an Intuit website where you can select a background, fonts, and shadings, and apply the template globally to your forms.  Sounds good, but if you need to customize what is on the invoice, you are back to standard Layout Designer.  One really good piece of news is that they have finally added a Copy Format option to the Layout Designer.
Improved Company Snapshot -- The Company Snapshot was introduced with QuickBooks 2009, but it wasn't customizable, so if what is important to you wasn't on Intuit's radar screen, too bad.  With 2010, it is more customizable with a choice of 12 different reports and graphs.

Improved Report Center -- The new Report Center shows you samples of the standard reports allowing you to search visually for the report you need.  Some people may find this helpful.
Electronic Check Signature - QuickBooks has added the ability to print your checks with an electronic signature file.  This is another one of those small things that will make a big difference to some people.
My verdict: While some of the 2010 features are nice, most users running recent versions will not find any of them compelling enough to make the move to Pro or Premier 2010.
Introducing Intuit's Workplace App Center
App CenterIn keeping with Intuit's stated strategy to move toward "Connected Services", there is a new item on the Icon Bar called "App Center" which takes you to the "Intuit Workplace App Center" which contains web-based apps developed by Intuit and third-parties that synchronize with your QuickBooks data (2009 & 2010) to "stream-line business operations, improve collaboration, and increase productivity".
It includes apps for web conferencing, expense reporting, online paystubs, shared calendars, customer relationship management, email marketing, event and meeting registration, and much, much more.  Some of these look pretty cool and all of them have free trials, so you may want to check it out.

Traditionally, Intuit has made a Software Developer's Kit (SDK) available, certified 3rd party developers, and listed their applications on the Intuit Marketplace: what's new?

For the first time, there is no new version of the SDK to accompany the release of QuickBooks 2010.  Instead, Intuit has released the Intuit Partner Platform (IPP) software, which provides a mechanism for developers to create -- and sell -- internet applications that interface directly with QuickBooks.  

Most of the solutions found on Workplace App Center can also be found on the Marketplace.  The difference between the two sites is that the Workplace App Center applications store their data online or "in the cloud" and you purchase them and access them directly from Intuit's App Center, whereas many of the applications listed in the Marketplace are traditional desktop applications.
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.
Susan Dugdale
Caesar's Brook Business Solutions, LLC
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