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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use

June 2011 - Vol 4, Issue 6

In This Issue
QuickBooks Memo Fields
Changing Item Prices
What's "Behind the Scenes"
Caesar's Brook

June is Adopt-A-Cat month 


Welcome to the June issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings!


Did anyone notice that there was no May issue?  I took a little break to catch my breath after a hectic tax season, but I'm back.


This month's feature article is on QuickBooks memo fields.  Adding memos to your QuickBooks transactions can be tremendously helpful when you or your accountant is reviewing your books, but which memo fields show up where?  Read on to find out.

The short topic covers a little known feature that allows you to update your item prices quickly and easily, and our QuickTip shows you how to get at the "behind the scenes" account.

Happy Summer!  


FeatureFeature Article

QuickBooks Memo Fields

MemoMemo fields abound in QuickBooks.  In fact, even if it doesn't appear so at first, most QuickBooks transaction forms actually have multiple memo fields.  I hadn't really given this much thought until recently.  I created a transaction with a memo that didn't show up on a report where I expected it, so I started investigating.  If you know a little bit about accounting, what I discovered will make perfect sense to you.

Although Intuit goes out of their way to hide it, QuickBooks is a true double-entry accounting system.  That means that every transaction has at least 2 parts.  For example, when you write a check to pay your rent, you decrease the amount of money in your checking account and increase the Rent expense account.  The Write Checks screen has two memo fields, one on the face of the check and one on the line item detail.

 Check Memo fields

The memo on the face of the check is associated with your checking account.  It appears in your checking account register and in reports that show activity in the checking account, such as a Check Detail Report. The line item memo is associated with the Rent expense account.  It appears in reports that show activity in the Rent expense account, such as a Profit and Loss Detail Report.

Here's a table that shows the memo location and the account that it is associated with for common transaction types.  

 Transaction table

As noted in the table, there are a few transaction forms that only have one memo field.  In those cases, the same memo text is associated with both parts of the transaction.  The same is true if you are entering transactions directly in a register where there is only one memo field.

Memo fields associated with the Accounts Receivable account, such as those on the bottom of invoices, appear on customer statements and (if you customize the columns) in Customer Center. See the February 2010 article "Customizing the Customer Center" for more information.

If you set the Company Checking preference "Autofill payee account numbers in check memos", QuickBooks will automatically add any account numbers found on the Additional Information tab of the Vendor and Customer records to the memo field in the Write Checks windows and to the memo field on Bill Payment Checks. 

If you add your own memo to a bill, the account number will still appear on the check, but your memo will be associated with the Accounts Payable account and show up on related reports.  If you need to change what appears on a Bill Payment Check, you will need to open the Bill Payment and edit the memo field before printing.  Note: if you pay multiple bills for the same vendor with a single check, no memo prints on the bill payment check unless you edit it before printing.

As with the Customer Center and Accounts Receivable transactions, you can customize the Vendor Center to display the memo fields associated with the Accounts Payable account.

And finally, you can customize the columns in the Bank/Credit Card Reconciliation window to show the memo field (look for the "Columns to Display" button at the bottom right).   

Changing Item Prices


Item PriceYou can always open the item list and edit individual item prices, but if you are changing a lot of items, there is an easier way.  From the Customers pull-down menu, select Change Item Prices at the very bottom of the list.  Select the Item Type and QuickBooks will present you with a list of your items.  Select the items you wish to change. 

You can adjust all the selected prices up or down an amount or a percentage based on either the current price or the unit cost.  You can also specify how you would like the prices rounded.  Once you've made your selections, click the Adjust button and review your prices.  Make any changes and click OK.  If you prefer, you can skip the adjustment and manually update your prices on this screen as well.

The new prices will appear in the Item list and will be used on new sales transactions.  QuickBooks does not update the item prices on existing transactions.  If you use the items on memorized transactions, you will have to edit the transactions and re-memorize them with the updated prices.

QuickTip: The "Behind the Scenes" Accounting


Behind the ScenesAs I explained in the Feature article on memo fields, QuickBooks is a double-entry accounting system and that means that every transaction impacts two (or more) accounts.  For instance, writing a check impacts both your checking account and some "behind the scenes" account (such as the payee).

If you want to see the "behind the scenes" accounting in QuickBooks, press CTRL-Y on any form -- Invoice, Vendor Bill, Check, etc. -- and QuickBooks will show you the back-end Journal Entry in debits and credits.   

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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