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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use

July-August 2012 - Vol 5, Issue 7 & 8

In This Issue
Maintain Balanced Inventory Levels using QuickBooks Reports
Create A Payment History Report
Finding Uncleared Items
Caesar's Brook
Schooner Mary Day

Welcome to the July & August issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings!


It's summertime and the living is easy.   At least, I'm taking it easy with a combined July/August newsletter.  This issue is all about reporting -- using the QuickBooks inventory reports to help manage your stocking levels, and creating a custom Payment History Report showing customer payments and the invoices they are applied to.  We also have a QuickTip to help you quickly find Uncleared items in your registers.


Savor the summer.  After our annual week sailing aboard the Schooner Mary Day, Caesar's Brook Babblings will be back in September.


  Savor the Summer



FeatureFeature Article

QuickBooks Reports Help You Maintain Balanced Inventory Levels Managing inventory levels


Running out of products too frequently? Having to sell cheap because inventory is overloaded? Use QuickBooks' reports.


It seems so simple in theory. Don't overstock goods because you'll tie up too much money and perhaps need a clearance sale to get rid of the excess. On the other hand, don't let yourself run out of anything and lose orders.


In practice - especially if you stocks dozens or hundreds of items - it's impossible to ensure this if you're managing your inventory manually. Guesswork can be costly.


It's a complex element of accounting, but QuickBooks comes equipped with a handful of reports that can keep you on track. They don't teach you how to balance your inventory to improve profitability, but we can help with that.  


Building Precise Records


There's a critical number in your item records that must be completed: Reorder Point. You'll see it at the bottom of the Edit Item window (click Lists | Item Lists and double-click on the correct entry or click New in the Item drop-down list). Without it, QuickBooks can't alert you when you're running low.


QuickBooks also tells you how many items are currently on hand. If you had reached the reorder point and created a purchase order, you'd see a number under On P.O.


Ideally, you would do this when you're first adding item records, but you can go back at any time and add it.  


Figure 1  

Figure 1: Be sure to enter a figure in the Reorder Point field so QuickBooks can remind you to reorder.


Rigorous Reporting


Running reports regularly will keep you apprised of your inventory status. To see what QuickBooks offers, click Reports | Inventory or go to the Report Center. Select Inventory Valuation Summary. You can also see this report in detail, but if you carry a lot of inventory, it's difficult to get a birds' eye view. Do run it, though, if you want to see the transactions that affected your inventory's value.


Figure 2  

Figure 2: The Inventory Valuation Summary does just what the name says.


In addition to what's pictured here, this report displays columns for Sales Price, Retail Value and % of Total Retail. As always, you can click Customize Report to change the date range.


Figure 3  

Figure 3: This report provides a real-time update of the status of every inventory item. 


Precise Tracking


The Inventory Stock Status by Item report should be consulted frequently. It tells you exactly where all of your items are in the pipeline.


Watch for checkmarks in the Order column; they appear when you've hit or exceeded your specified reorder point. Three other important figures populate columns in this report: the number on purchase order, the date the next shipment should arrive and average sales per week.


Reminders can come in quite handy here. To set them up, go to Edit | Preferences | Reminders | Company Preferences. And you'll find the most comprehensive view of your items in the Inventory Center. Go to Vendors | Inventory Activities | Inventory Center. This screen also provides quick access to commonly-used reports.

Figure 4  

Figure 4: The Inventory Center tells you everything you want to know about your items.


Automate Your Inventory Reporting


Here's a quicker way to grab your reports:


  • Go to Reports | Memorized Reports | Memorized Report List.
  • Click the down arrow next to Memorized Report at the bottom and select New Group. Type in Inventory and click OK.
  • Open an inventory report and click Memorize. The Memorize Report window opens. Check Save in Memorized Report Group and select Inventory from the drop-down list. Click OK. Repeat for others you want in this cluster. Figure 5
  • Click Reports | Process Multiple Reports. Select Inventory from the drop-down list and make sure that there's a check mark next to the reports you want. You can click on the dates in the From and To column to change them.
  • Click Display or Print.

If you operate a product-based business, the success of your company depends in large part on your ability to find the sweet spot: neither too much nor too little inventory. It's an ongoing, daily challenge. Let us know if we can provide guidance on this critical balancing act.


Creating A Payment History Report


Have you ever wanted to see a report listing all a customer's payments and the invoices that they were applied to?  Well, here is how to create one.

  1. From the Reports Menu, select Banking, and open a Check Detail Report
  2. Click the Customize Report button
  3. On the Display Tab, select the desired date range.
  4. On the Filters Tab, remove all existing filters by highlighting them and clicking on the Remove Selected Filter button.
  5. Add a new filters for Transaction Type = Payment and Detail Level = All Except Summary
  6. On the Header/FooterTab, change the name of report to "Payment History Report"
  7. Click Okay

Payment History Report  

Figure 1: This report shows payments, the invoices they were applied to and, if you use undeposited funds, the deposit it is linked to.


Click the Memorize Report button to save it for future use.


NOTE: You can also filter this report for a single customer.


QuickTip: Finding Uncleared Items


I Love To Reconcile My File When I review my QuickBooks files at month end, I always look for any items that have been outstanding more than 90 days.  I've found that the absolute quickest way to find them is to sort the register by cleared status.  You'll find the Sort By dropdown at the bottom of the register window.  Just select Cleared Status.  The uncleared items will sort at the end of the register in date order.   If necessary, scroll up to find the oldest ones.



Don't forget to change the sort order back to your usual view when you are done or you'll be scratching your head trying to figure out where something went!


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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.


Susan Dugdale
Caesar's Brook Business Solutions, LLC
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