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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use


March 2012 - Vol 5, Issue 3

In This Issue
Portable Productivity
QuickBooks Workshop
Help Bail Susan Out!
Accessing Product Information
Caesar's Brook
Happy Spring

   

Greetings! 

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

 

In this month's feature article on portable productivity we take a look at three web-based apps that give you access to your QuickBooks data while you are on the road.  Our QuickTip tells you how to access important information about your QuickBooks product and data file.

 

Behind Bars For Good badgeWe also have a couple of upcoming local events.  Susan will be teaching a Getting Started with QuickBooks Workshop on May 1st and she'll be behind bars at the MDA Lock-up on May 3rd raising funds to help send kids to camp this summer.

 

Happy Spring!  

  

FeatureFeature Article
 

Cell Phone AccountingPortable Productivity: Smartphones Do Invoices, Expenses, Time Billing

  

These three web-based apps - accessible via your smartphone -- provide mobile access to QuickBooks data.

 

Accounting in the cloud is closer than you might think. In fact, it's here, in some cases. QuickBooks Online, of course, is entirely cloud-based, but it does not yet offer all of the features found in Intuit's top-of-the-line products, Premier and Enterprise.

 

In the meantime, Intuit itself, as well as third-party developers, have built online apps that fill in some of the gaps. These add-on solutions exist on websites, but they can collect data and synchronize it with desktop QuickBooks. So can that iPhone or Android that's sitting on your desk right now.

 

While not all of these apps have received great reviews in the App Center, your experience with an app is likely to be closely related to how well it fits your particular needs.  If you see something that you think would improve your productivity, download the free trial and test drive it yourself.  After all, your mileage may vary.  

 

QuickBooks MobileMany Mobile Applications

 

To find these apps, go to the Intuit App Center and click on All Apps. There are dozens of them, arranged by category (Billing and Invoicing, Customer Management, Inventory Management, Apps by Intuit, etc.).

 

Your first stop should be at Intuit's QuickBooks Connect (this is the name of the online application that you'd use on a remote PC or laptop; the name of the smartphone app is QuickBooks Mobile). This app gives you easy access to your customer and sales data when you're away from your office.  

 

Figure 1  

Figure 1: QuickBooks Mobile, shown here on the Android operating system, gives you sales tools when you're away from desktop QuickBooks.

 

Remote Sales Tools

 

Whether you're working in web-based QuickBooks Connect or on a smartphone, your data and transaction options are similar. QuickBooks Connect has a few more features, like an Item List and Customer Center, but both let you:

 

  • Access multiple company files
  • View, add, and edit customers, estimates, invoices, and sales receipts, using QuickBooks' custom templates
  • E-mail these forms to customers

 

QuickBooks Mobile and QuickBooks Connect use the Intuit Sync Manager - located on the desktop where QuickBooks is installed -- to keep data current everywhere. That computer must be running for syncs to work. 

 

Figure 2 

Figure 2: You can create and e-mail invoices from QuickBooks Mobile.

 

Prices start at $9.95/month for one user; a 30-day free trial is available.

 

Manage Travel Expenses

 

Concur Breeze grabs the data you need (customers, employees, jobs, etc.) from QuickBooks to record expenses on the road. You can enter charges directly into a form or snap a picture with your phone - it'll be attached to your expense report. These charges are then sent to a report template that thoroughly documents the charge, letting you specify variables like the trip purpose, travel policy type, project and client. The status of your approval and payment are also included here.

 

You can send travel itineraries from your free TripIt Pro account and credit card charges directly to an existing expense report to accelerate the process. And once an expense report is approved, money can be moved automatically from the designated company bank account to an employee's account. $8 per month per user; free 30-day trial.

  

 

Figure 3

Figure 3: Concur Breeze provides mobile expense management.

 

Mobile Time-Tracking

 

If your company has employees or contractors who work remotely and submit hours for approval, consider eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks. After it pulls in customers, service items, and employees from QuickBooks, you can invite workers to track their time on their smartphones by either entering it manually or using the timer, and then sync it with the online application.

 

Mobile workers can use the application in offline mode; entries are uploaded when they reconnect. Prices start at $10/month for Admin and one user.

 

Figure 4

Figure 4: eBillity Time Tracker for Intuit QuickBooks is a great companion app for remote workers.

  

The Cloud = Convenience And Accessibility

 

Synchronization - especially across three or more devices - is a simple concept whose implementation can be not-so-simple. We can help you determine which apps make sense for you and get them up and running.

 

Integrated, web-based applications accessed by whatever computing device happens to be nearby are the essence of cloud-based accounting. Intuit and its companion mobile apps offer the convenience and accessibility that the Internet is making possible.

  

If you need help with any of these applications, or questions about "the cloud", please email or call us. We are your partner in building a successful business. 

 
Getting Started with QuickBooks Workshop on May 1, 2012

 

SCORESusan will be presenting an introductory QuickBooks workshop for SCORE at the Concord Chamber of Commerce in Concord, NH on May 1st starting at 5:30 PM, 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 at www.score-manchester.org.

 

Help Bail Susan Out!

 

MDA Lock-upSusan is being summoned on Thursday, May 3rd to appear before an MDA judge on charges of supporting a worthy cause.  MDA (the Muscular Dystrophy Association) combats neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and support services, and far-reaching professional and public health education.  

  

And just as importantly, they help send kids to camp!  Susan's bail has been set at $2400 - enough to send 3 local kids to camp this summer.  Caesar's Brook Business Solutions is proud to be supporting the MDA Lock-up and you can help.  Stop by the MDA Lock-up at The Homestead Restaurant in Merrimack, NH between 12:00 and 1:00 pm to catch her behind bars or help bail her out.  You can make a donation on Susan's personal page of the MDA Lock-Up website.  Every dollar counts! 

  
QuickTip: Accessing the Product Information Screen

  

F2 KeyHere's a cool little keyboard shortcut. Hit F2 while you're in QuickBooks, and you'll get the Product Information screen. It'll tell you everything you want to know about your specific copy of QuickBooks, like your release and license number, the file size, number of users logged in, audit trail status and the total number of accounts, customers, employees, etc.

  
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I 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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