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Caesar's Brook Babblings
QuickBooks News You Can Use 
September 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 9
In This Issue
Organizing Your QuickBooks Items
Navigation Tips
QuickBooks 2010 R8 Update
Getting Started Workshop
Caesar's Brook
Greetings! 

Welcome to the September issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings.
 
September is the time of year when I start itching to get organized and get everything back on track after the summer break.  In keeping with that spirit, this month our feature article discusses organizing your Item list to optimize reporting and data entry, our QuickTip will have you zipping through long registers, lists, and reports, we've also got a quick run-down on the changes in the recent R8 update for QuickBooks 2010, and an announcement of an upcoming workshop I'll be presenting for SCORE.
 
As always, I hope you find these babblings useful.  If you have a suggestion for a topic, you'd like to see covered, please send it along.
 
Friendly School Bus 
 
School's back in session, so drive carefully!
 
FeatureFeature Article
 
Item OrganizerOrganizing Your QuickBooks Items
 
QuickBooks items represent things that you buy and sell.  They control the behind the scenes accounting in QuickBooks, and they play an important role in both data entry and reporting.
 
If you've been using QuickBooks for a while and never really thought about how your item list is organized, it may be time to consider an overhaul.  A well-organized item list can speed up data entry and reduce errors, as well as providing more meaningful reports.
 
Before you set up items (or go about revamping them), you should think about what information you need to manage your business.  Then take a look at the Report Center and see what standard reports QuickBooks has to offer that you may not have previously utilized.  I am surprised at how few of my clients ever look at a "Sales by Item Summary" report.
 
As with other item based reports, items on the Sales by Summary report are grouped by Item Type --  Inventory, Parts (Non-Inventory), Service, Other Charges, etc. -- and then alphabetically within each type.    
You can make this report more useful by using sub-items to group similar items together.  For example, suppose you sell three different product lines, Widgets, Gadgets, and Wing Dings.  If you create an item for each of the three product lines, and make each of the items in those product lines a sub-item under the product line item, the Sales by Item Summary report will group the items in each product line together and sub-total them.  If you wish to see less detail on the report, you can collapse the report to just see the totals by product line.  Although many businesses will wish to have more than one income account on their Profit and Loss to reflect different lines of business, with a properly organized item list, the QuickBooks sales reports are a far better tool for identifying issues and trends. 
 
Once you've got an organizational scheme in mind, give some thought to data entry.  If you have the General Preference set to "Automatically open drop-down lists when typing", you can get a list of all Widget sub-items by typing the parent item name, and QuickBooks will autofill when the first unique character is reached.  Therefore, from a data entry standpoint, the best item names are short and unique, closer to a code than a description.  Just make sure they aren't so cryptic that you can't read the reports.  Also, consider how much detail is appropriate.  If you aren't tracking your tee-shirt inventory in QuickBooks, do you need an item for each size and color, or can you combine them and still have meaningful reporting?
 
Overhauling your item list can be a big project, but if you are considering it, here are a few additional tips.  
  • You can't change item types.  If you set something up as the wrong item type, you will need to create a new item.   If you want to reuse the same name, you will need to rename the old item.
  • Items can be merged, but I don't recommend it.  You can impact closed accounting periods. Your best bet is to create a new item and make the old items sub-items of the new item and then make them inactive.
  • If you are in single user mode, you can rearrange items in the list by grabbing the diamond in the left-hand column and dragging it up or down and in or out to make something a sub-item.
  • If you are using QuickBooks 2010, use the Add/Edit multiple feature accessible from the Item button at the bottom of the screen to change multiple items at once.
 
QuickTip of the Month
 
NavigationNavigate lists, reports, and registers more quickly

If you are scrolling through a register, a long list, or report, use Page Up and Page Down to quickly move a page at a time.  For reports, be sure to click in the report first.
 
In a long list, Home will quickly take you to the first list entry and End to the last.
 
In a register, pressing Home once will take you to the beginning of the current field, pressing Home twice will take you to the beginning of the current transaction, and pressing Home a third time will take you to the first transaction in the register.  Likewise, pressing End, once, twice, three times will take you first to the end of the current field, next to the end of the current transaction, and finally to the end of the register.
 
Quickbooks 2010 R8
 
QuickBooks 2010Intuit recently released R8 for QuickBooks 2010 and QuickBooks Enterprise 10.0.  This release includes:    
  • Support for QuickBooks Letter Templates and exporting reports to Excel with Office 2010 64 bit (except for Premier Accountant and Enterprise Edition)
  • Elimination of the "QBw32.exe Application" error or "QuickBooks has stopped working" when closing.  Note:  This error occurs on QuickBooks 2009 and 2008 as well and no fix is yet available for those versions.
  • Vendor Direct Deposit is now available to anyone with a payroll subscription currently using Direct Deposit for Employees.  See the QuickBooks help topic "Direct Deposit for Vendor" for more information.
  • Numerous updates to payroll
You can find a full list of the changes at:
 
 
Getting Started with QuickBooks Workshop
 
SCORE LogoI'll be presenting an introductory QuickBooks workshop for SCORE at the Eastpoint Executive Center, 264 South River Rd, Bedford, NH on October 28th 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, please pass the word. 
 
Register online at www.score-manchester.org.
 
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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