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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
July 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 7
In This Issue
Using the Audit Trail
Clearing Previous Companies
Job Costing Corner
Qbw32.exe Application Error
Caesar's Brook

Welcome to the July issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
This month our feature article is on the Audit Trail Report.  This little gem is a great way to figure out what been changed in your QuickBooks file.  Our QuickTip tells you how to clear out the Previously Opened Company list, and at least for the next couple of months, I'll be including a Job Costing Corner with short tips on using QuickBooks to track expenses by Job.  We also have an update on that qbw32.exe - Application Error you may have seen
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FeatureFeature Article
The Audit Trail Report
QuickBooks provides an Audit Trail that allows you to see every change that is made to each transaction in your file.  You will find this report in Accountant & Taxes report category. 
In the example report below, starting at the bottom, you can see that Bill #A4576 was entered, modified a minute later changing the amount from $200 to $240, and then deleted from the system entirely.  In this case, all actions were taken by the Admin user.  However, if there is more than one person accessing your QuickBooks file AND each user has their own user name and password, the audit trail report will tell which user made the changes to the file. 

Audit Trail
If you are having trouble seeing the details, click on the report image or here to open a larger version.
Obviously, the Audit Trail report can be a powerful internal controls report.  You can also use it to: 
  • Find the information you need to fix a transaction that was accidentally changed or deleted
  • Identify the source of discrepancies between reports covering the same time period but run on different dates
  • Find changes to previously reconciled transactions that throw your bank reconciliation off
  • Identify areas where a user may need additional training 
Because you are not viewing current transactions, there is a limit to the modifications you can make to this report. You can modify it to show transactions that fall within a specific date range regardless of when they were entered or modified and you can filter it by transaction type.  By default, the report is set up to show transactions that were entered or modified "Today".  Use caution extending the date range as this report can become very large very quickly.
If you are looking for transactions modified by a specific user or need to search for a specific transaction in a long report, your best option is to export the report to Excel and use Excel's filter and search features.
The Audit Trail Report tracks transaction data only.  It does not track other changes made to your company file such as changes to list items, memorized reports, or user privileges.
If you have been using QuickBooks for a while, you may remember that in versions prior to 2006 you could turn the audit trail on or off via a Company preference.  Beginning with 2006, this is no longer an option.  The audit trail is always on and cannot be turned off. 
QuickTip of the Month
Clearing Previous Companies
Trimming It Back 
QuickBooks keeps track of the location of company files you have previously opened.  Up to 20 company files are displayed in the "No Company Open Window" and when you select "Open Previous Company" from the File pull down menu.  This is convenient for folks like me who work on a large number of company files, but it can be confusing if you see the same file name listed more than once.  Usually this happens because you moved your QuickBooks file from one location to another or made a copy of it for some reason.  If you accidentally open the wrong company file, you may suddenly find that you are mysteriously missing the last month's worth of work.  To avoid this problem, you can prune the companies you do not use from the list.
From the File pull-down menu, select "Open Previous Company".  Opening a company file moves it to the top of the list; companies that you have opened recently will be at the top.  If you see a company that you want to keep on the list below something that you want to remove, open and close the company you want to keep to move it to the top.  Once you have the companies you want at the top of the list, count them.  Then select "Set number of previous companies" from the bottom of the list and set it to the number you counted.   The remaining companies will be deleted from the bottom of the list.
After you have cleared the unused companies from the list, you can set it back to a higher number if you like.
Job Costing Corner
Assigning Job Costs with a Journal Entry
Job CostingIf you use Journal Entries to post expenses to customers or jobs in QuickBooks, you may have noticed that the results are not always what you expect.  There is a long standing bug in QuickBooks.  If there is a Customer:Job on the first line of the Journal Entry, QuickBooks will assign that Customer:Job to any line in the Journal Entry that does not have its own Customer:Job.  The results can have some interesting effects on reports.

The work around is easy. It also solves the problem that QuickBooks doesn't have a General Journal, thus requiring you to run a report if you wish to see a list of Journal Entries.

Simply set up a new bank account in QuickBooks called Journal Entries and use that account on the first line of every Journal Entry you make.  You do not need a debit or a credit amount, but do put in a memo indicating the purpose of the Journal Entry.  Do not assign a Customer:Job to this first line.  With the first line of the Journal Entry blank, QuickBooks correctly assigns the Customer: Job in subsequent lines.  And the register of your Journal Entries bank account serves as a General Journal, listing all your entries in one place without having to run a report. 
This trick is particularly useful if you use QuickBooks add-ons that post transactions into your QuickBooks file as Journal Entries.  Using the Journal Entries bank account on your own entries will segregate them from those posted by the add-on.
Qbw32.exe -- Application Error

Application Error

If you have suddenly started seeing this error (perhaps with different addresses) when you close your QuickBooks file, you are not alone.  A recent Microsoft security update caused a conflict with QuickBooks.  Although there are steps you can take to repair the problem, they will replace the updated Microsoft components with the older ones that came with the QuickBooks distribution.  As of July 3rd, the QuickBooks knowledge base simply states that they are working to resolve the issue.  Follow this link:
for the most up to date information.
QuickBooks Support 
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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