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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
December 2009 - Vol 2, Issue 12
In This Issue
2010 Mileage Rates
QuickBooks 2009 R9 Issues
Free Events for Small Businesses
Fishbowl 2010
QuickBooks Date Warnings
Why You Should Consider Using the Accountant Edition
Cheap Checks and Year End-Tax Forms, too
W-2 and 1099 Reminder
Getting Started With QuickBooks Workshop
Employee Bonus Reminder
Clearing "To Print" items
QuickBooks 2010 Certification
Caesar's Brook
Greetings! 

Welcome to the December issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
 
December is such a busy time, especially for anyone responsible for managing a fiscal year-end.  With that in mind, this month I offer you twelve short topics - one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.  Here's hoping YULE find them useful!

Happy Holidays!

Bringing in the Yule log

IRS Announces 2010 Mileage Rates
 
A Partridge In A Pear TreeBeginning on Jan. 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 50 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The new rates for business, medical and moving purposes are slightly lower than last year's. The mileage rates for 2010 reflect generally lower transportation costs compared to a year ago. 

QuickBooks 2009 and Enterprise V9.0 R9 Issues
 
Two Turtle DovesQuickBooks 2009 R9 was released on December 1st.  It's a significant maintenance release with a long list of bug fixes, but what makes it different from most maintenance releases is that it contains an update to the underlying database software.  That means that QuickBooks company files that have been upgraded to R9 are not backwards compatible with 2009 R8 and lower.  If you are running in a stand-alone environment, you probably will not encounter a problem with this update.  However, if you are in a networked or multi-user environment, you will need to ensure that all users and the database manager upgrade at the same time. 
 
For more information on this, see the following QuickBooks Knowledge Base Article:
Intuit Offers Free Events for Small Businesses
 
Three French HensIntuit offers a series of free events for small business on their Community Forum including live webinars, podcasts, and an Ask the Expert series.  Topics fall into one of three categories: Small Business, Intuit Products, and Tax Tips.  Some recent (and timely) topics include: "QuickBooks Payroll at Year End" and "Necessary Employee Forms from W-2's to 1099s".  
 
The following link will take you to the Events homepage where you can register to participate in a live event, submit a question to an expert, view a previously recorded event, or sign up to receive a newsletter listing upcoming events.
Fishbowl 2010 with Manufacturing Option Released
 
Four Calling BirdsFishbowl Inventory Software has released their 2010 version.  The 2010 release has a substantially enhanced Pick Module and a new optional Manufacturing Module.  If you are still running Fishbowl 2009 and have a valid support contract, now is a great time to consider upgrading to 2010.  Version upgrades are included in your support contract, the first maintenance update for 2010 has been released, and Fishbowl has told VARs that through the end of the year, customers with support contracts may add the new Manufacturing Module at no additional charge.
QuickBooks Date Warnings Help Prevent Mistakes
 
Five Golden RingsIf you enter a transaction date as 12/15 or as 1/5, by default, QuickBooks will post the transaction to the current year.  Most of the time, this speeds up data entry, but this time of year it can be dangerous.  It makes it too easy to unintentionally back date transactions to January 2008 or future date them to December 2009.  
 
To help prevent these kinds of errors, be sure that the QuickBooks date warnings are turned on.  Logged in with Admin privileges, select Preferences from the Edit pull down menu.  Select Accounting, Company Preferences and check the boxes to warn if transactions are more than x days in the future or past.  By default, the warnings are set at 90 days in the past and 30 days in the future.  In general, this range will keep you out of trouble, but if you are doing a lot of catch up work or your business frequently posts items outside these limits adjust them as required.  You want the warning to actually alert you to a problem rather than simply being another annoyance you click right through.
Why All QuickBooks Premier Users Should Consider Using the Accountant Edition
 
Six Geese a-LayingIf you are using a QuickBooks Premier Industry edition (Contractor, Retail, Manufacturing & Wholesale, etc.) and are considering upgrading to QuickBooks 2010, I recommend that you consider the Accountants Edition instead of the edition for your specific industry.  If you purchase an industry edition directly from Intuit, you will get a generic CD that allows you to choose your industry at the time of installation.  Some industry editions have features that are not available in other editions, but with only one exception that I am aware of, the Accountant Edition has them all.  And it includes the ability to toggle between editions, allowing you to even use that one.  If you have questions about the features of the various editions, feel free to contact me for more information. 
Cheap Checks and Year End-Tax Forms, too
 
Seven Swans a-SwimmingIf you are in the market for new checks, deposit slips, or year-end tax forms such as 1099s, check out EiPrinting for good quality products, great customer service, and guaranteed low prices.  I've been ordering checks, deposit slips, envelopes and other forms from EiPrinting for several years now. 
 
Their homepage is at http://www.checksforless.com/home.aspx but the link above includes my affiliate code "CAE1" so that it will be automatically included when you check out electronically.
W-2 and 1099 Reminder
 
Eight Maids a-MilkingSave yourself time and trouble later!  Verify that all employee and 1099 contractor name, address, and tax id information is up-to-date in QuickBooks before you are up against the deadlines.  Filing corrected forms is no fun. 

Getting Started With QuickBooks Workshop
 
Nine Ladies DancingI'll be presenting an introductory QuickBooks workshop for SCORE at the Bedford Public Library on January 27th starting at 5:30 PM.  I'll be covering how to decide if QuickBooks is right for your business as well as the important set up decisions that will help make the software more effective.  If you know anyone who is thinking about implementing QuickBooks in the New Year, pass the word.  More details and registration are available at www.score-manchester.org.
Employee Bonuses are Taxable Income
 
Ten Lords a-LeapingDon't forget that employee bonuses including gift certificates and gift cards are treated as wages subject to all employment taxes.  This is true even for a de minimis item. For example, a gift certificate for a turkey is taxable income, even though the gift of a turkey is not.
Clearing out old items marked "To Print"
 
Eleven Pipers PipingsIf you have old invoices or other forms showing up as "To be printed", you can quickly clear them out by selecting Print Forms from the File pull down menu and selecting the appropriate form.  De-select any forms you really do wish to print later, then click on the Okay button.  In the printer dialogue box, select any printer that will print to a file.  On my system, I have a PDF print driver that I use.  I have also used the Microsoft XPS Document Writer.  When prompted, save the file some place you will be able to find it easily (such as on the desktop).  Click Okay in the print confirmation window.  The "To be printed" flag will now be cleared on the forms.  Find the file you printed to, delete it from your system and you are done with the cleanup.
Now Certified on QuickBooks 2010
 
Twelve Drummers DrummingI am pleased to announce that I am now certified on QuickBooks 2010.  I currently hold certifications on every version of QuickBooks back to 2005.  That's 6 years.  Where does the time go? 
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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