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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
May 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 5
In This Issue
QuickBooks Time Tracker
Control-L Opens a List
What are those Other Names?
Intuit Merchant Services' Go-Payment
"Getting Started with QuickBooks" seminar
AVG Anti-virus software problem
Caesar's Brook

Welcome to the May issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
This month we continue our series on tracking time in QuickBooks with a look at Intuit's web-based QuickBooks Time Tracker.  I've been using this product for about 6 weeks now, and while it won't meet everyone's needs, with my 30 day free trial up, I've decided I like it well enough to pay for it.
This month's QuickTip shows you how to quickly get more information about a list item.  I also pass along some information on an issue with QuickBooks and AVG Anti-virus software, answer the question of who should be on the Other Names List, and for those of you with on-the-go businesses, I've got a pointer to information on Intuit Merchant Services' mobile phone application
Ruby-throated HummingbirdSpring has truly sprung now.  The Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds who entertain us at the feeders all summer long are back! 
FeatureFeature Article
QuickBooks Time TrackerQuickBooks Time Tracker is a web-based service built into QuickBooks.   It allows non-QuickBooks users to capture time that an administrator can then download into QuickBooks.   Selecting "Let Your Employees Enter Time..." from Enter Time on the Employee pull-down menu takes you to a web page that walks you through the set up process.  It uploads your customer:job, employee, vendor, and item data, and sends email invitations to the employees and vendors you select.
When the users receive the invitation, they follow the link to the website and establish log in credentials.  They can then enter time in a format similar to the QuickBooks weekly timesheet or utilizing a calendar view with start and stop times.  Users can also view reports summarizing their time.  At the end of the time period, users submit their time to be downloaded onto QuickBooks by the administrator.
Downloading the time couldn't be simpler.   Once you have signed up, "Let Your Employees Enter Time..." will be replaced with two new entries on the Employee pull-down menu as well as on the little menu available from the down arrow next to Time on your Home page.  Selecting "View/Download Online Timesheets" takes you to the website where you can view user timesheets, report on them, or download the data.  The other new option is "Edit Time Tracker Settings".  This takes you back to the set up page; you will need to edit the settings any time you add new customers:jobs or items that you want to make available to your time users.
QuickBooks Time TrackerI am currently using this product to track my own time and the thing I like best about it is the Outlook plug-in available as a download from the user home page.  (There is also a desktop gadget for Vista, but I haven't tried it.)  With the Outlook plug-in installed, you can create time entries in your calendar without going to the website.  You can create an entry with start and stop times, run a timer, or convert an existing calendar entry into a time entry.  You can also create entries from emails or other Microsoft Office applications using the Outlook Journal feature.  (I tried this, but didn't find it practical.)
On the whole, I like this product very well.  It is very easy to use and very affordable.  The first month is free.  Subsequently, it costs $10/month for a single user, $25/month for 2-5 users, $50/month for 6-10 users, and so on with deeper discounts for larger numbers of users.
On the downside:
  • It doesn't support classes. (What were they thinking?)
  • It doesn't have any timesheet routing or approval process making it less than ideal for payroll.
  • Support is limited to a knowledge base and the Community Forums.
  • The Outlook plug-in is a little buggy and it creates lots of calendar entries which in turn get synched to my smart phone.  Fortunately, they are all in the past and hence relatively easy to ignore.
If you have 6 or more users, need classes, or want timesheet routing and approval, stay tuned for next month when I'll be reviewing a competitively priced 3rd party offering called Virtual Time and Expense.
QuickTip of the Month
Control-ElUsing Control-L to open a list
If you find yourself in a drop-down list but need to see more detail on the choices, pressing CTRL+L will open the full list for you so that you can quickly find the information you need.  For example, CTRL+L in the Vendor field on a bill will open the Vendor Center, CTRL+L in the Item field will open the Item List, CTRL+L in the Customer field on an invoices will open the Customer Center, etc.  This works on any list.
One additional handy feature is that if you have a list item selected in the field, pressing CTRL+L will open the list and take you directly to the selected list entry.  For example, if I am entering a vendor bill that shows a prior open balance and I want to see whether or not that bill has already been entered and paid, I enter the vendor name and press CTRL+L before leaving the field.  QuickBooks immediately takes me directly to the vendor record where I can very easily see what has been entered previously
Other Names
Other NamesThere are four name lists in QuickBooks: Customers, Vendors, Employees, and Other Names.  Customers are people you sell things to, Vendors are people you buy things from, and Employees are people you hire to work for you.  But who are the Other Names?
Because the only things you can do with Other Names is write checks and enter credit card charges, most of the names that end up on the Other Names list are really vendors and should be on the vendor list even if you will never eat at that restaurant again.  If you have ever searched for a purchase transaction and haven't been able to find it, it may because you used an Other Name.  Since Other Names are not Vendors, Customers, or Employees, filtering a search for any of those options will cause transactions using Other Names to drop out.
The best use of the Other Names list is for owners and partners who take draw.  Using an Other Name for these transactions will make them less visible to employees who have access to Accounts Payable.  In addition, you might set up a few utility names such as VOID, but I put nearly everyone else including the IRS in the vendor list.
I have also seen a suggestion for using the Other Names list to manage a mailing list for prospective customers, but I've never seen anyone do it.
A Rose By Any Other NameIf you have Other Names who should be something else, you can easily move them to the appropriate list by editing them and selecting the "Change Type" button.  Other Names are the only names that can be converted from one type to another and the change is permanent.
Intuit Go-Payment
Intuit's Go-PaymentDid you know that Intuit Merchant Services now allows you to accept credit card payments on the spot with your mobile phone?  You can use any web-enabled phone or install the application directly on popular models.  Optionally, you can add a pocket-sized Bluetooth card reader or a lightweight Bluetooth card reader/printer combination to speed processing and reduce errors.  This is a great option for on-the-go businesses.  More information is available at:
"Getting Started with QuickBooks" workshop in Concord NH
SCORE LogoI'll be presenting an introductory QuickBooks workshop for SCORE at the Laconia Savings Bank, 167 N. Main Street, Concord, NH on May 13th 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, pass the word. 
QuickBooks problems using AVG anti-virus software
AVG Anti-virus SoftwareThe following notice was recently sent to QuickBooks ProAdvisors alerting them to an incompatibility with an AVG anti-virus definition update.  There is an available fix, described in the notice.
"An issue has been identified for QuickBooks users who have downloaded an update for the AVG Anti-virus software used. The following error message occurs when trying to open QuickBooks:

An error occurred when QuickBooks tried to start the database server that manages access to the QuickBooks company file. Error (-6094,0)

What You Need To Do

1. Update AVG to the latest virus definition Signature file 271.1.1/2832 (AVG v9.0.814) - this update was just released to correct the issue where AVG unnecessarily detects QuickBooks as infected with a virus.

2. Restore QuickBooks files that were quarantined by the Anti-virus.


Repair the QuickBooks installation. For detailed instructions, please view KB Article located here."
If you, like me, are cautious about following "blind" links, the detailed instructions can be found here:
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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