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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use

September 2012 - Vol 5, Issue 9

In This Issue
QuickBooks 2013
Other New Features
Finding Missing and Duplicate Invoice Numbers
Caesar's Brook


Cat with Pumpkins


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


It's that time of year again, fall foliage, pumpkins, and the new QuickBooks release. QuickBooks 2013 is due out any day. ProAdvisors got their copies about two weeks ago and I've been checking it out. The major new feature is a complete overhaul of the user interface. Catch a sneak peak. We've got a feature article on the user interface changes and a second article with a list of other new features. In addition, our QuickTip shows you how to keep your invoice numbering straight.


Get out there and enjoy those last few warm days.  



 Fall Foliage 

FeatureFeature Article

QuickBooks Premier 2013QuickBooks 2013 Debuts a New User Interface 

Tired of QuickBooks' cramped, claustrophobic screens and uneven interface? You'll be pleased to see the 2013 version.

You chose QuickBooks for a variety of reasons, a major one being its simplicity and usability.

But the software is more than 20 years old now, and hundreds of features have been added over the years. QuickBooks looks old, tired and in need of a makeover.

Not anymore. Intuit has totally redesigned the program's interface and navigational tools, providing a more consistent, streamlined, state-of-the-art look and feel.

Figure 1 

Figure 1: The QuickBooks 2013 home page.

Clean, Efficient, Customizable

What Intuit heard from customers was that they wanted a clean, simple experience. They wanted QuickBooks optimized for efficiency, and they wanted to be able to customize it quickly.

So Intuit built a brand new interface, one that offers:

  • An across-the-board, consistent look and feel
  • A minimal learning curve, aided by familiar software conventions
  • A clearer, more obvious workflow.

QuickBooks 2013's dramatic changes are evident from its first screen. The home page has been cleaned up, and many icons removed (with their functions available elsewhere). But the interactive flowchart graphic is still there, along with icons for other commonly-used features.

You can still use the software's standard drop-down menus. But you now have a choice between the old horizontal Icon Toolbar and a new vertical navigational panel (or neither of the latter two). Switch between them on the View pull-down menu. If you choose the new panel, you can customize it to give you quick access to the functions and reports you use most often, saving time and unnecessary clicking.

Figure 2 

Figure 2: The new vertical navigational panel can be customized to display the icons you want.

Colors and Visual Cues

QuickBooks 2013 uses colors and other visual cues to provide helpful hints and speed up your work. If the same option occurs within more than one screen, it's always the identical color. When you're completing an invoice, for example, the Save & New button is a bright blue color, as it is on many other screens. The Save & Close and OK icons are the same shade within the forms and records where they occur.

Color is also used to signify related actions in the new navigational Ribbon, a familiar interface convention that replaces the mismatched icons that used to be displayed at the top of transaction forms. In QuickBooks 2013, the icons for related tasks are the same color, and the graphics themselves are much cleaner and well-positioned.


Figure 3: QuickBooks 2013's new navigational Ribbon is designed to accelerate workflow.

A Pleasure to Use

No area of QuickBooks remained untouched in this massive overhaul. Every screen has been modified to enhance readability and speed. Fonts look larger and clearer, and the overall design is more aesthetically pleasing.

Updated Customer, Vendor, and Employee Centers

There are a few new things under the hood in this new version - it's not just an interface update. For example, customer and vendor records are more flexible and thorough. You can attach to-do's to them, assign multiple contacts and store more contact options, like Facebook addresses and Twitter handles.

Figure 4 

Figure 4: Contact records in QuickBooks 2013 are more readable and thorough.

Don't Be Afraid of Change!

I always groan when someone tells me that they've changed the user interface, but I really think you are going to like the new look and feel. I have not experienced any difficulty finding anything and my tired old eyes love the larger fonts. I'm not sure I'd upgrade just to get the new interface, but if you have another compelling reason to upgrade, don't let it put you off.

QuickBooks 2013 -- Other New Features


Here's a rundown of many of the other new features available in 2013.

QuickBooks Pro and Above

  • Time and Expense Billing Preference - In previous versions of QuickBooks, time and expense entries were always marked billable by default. With the new preference you can now elect defaults.
  • Invoice Totals Print on Last Page - Previously the total printed on all pages, now it only prints on the last page.
  • Print Bills - The Enter Bills screen now has a Print button, another much requested feature. One drawback: if the bill has items and expenses only the details from the Items tab will print.
  • Credits Print on Bill Stubs - Yay!!! Previously if you used a credit to completely pay a bill, neither the bill nor the credit printed on the bill payment stub. Long overdue.
  • Control Online Payment Methods - If you are using the Intuit Payment Network, you can now default the type of payment link to accept only e-checks, or both e-checks and credit cards.
  • Report Preference for Item Based Reports - You can now elect to see the Item Name only, the Description only, or both.
  • Paste into Search Field - You can now copy and paste into the search field rather than having to type.
  • Selectively Expand and Collapse Reports - Financial reports which previous featured the Expand/Collapse button can now be selectively expanded and collapsed by clicking the little triangle next to the line item.

QuickBooks Premier Accountant

  • Send Journal Entries - Your accountant can now email you entries that can be imported into your QuickBooks file right from your email.
  • Enter Batch Transactions - You can enter checks, deposits, and credit card charges in a spreadsheet format with cut, paste, and copy functionality.
  • Write Off Invoices - Improved over previous versions, this functionality now creates a credit memo and allows you to select the item to use.

QuickBooks Enterprise

  • Default Class Assignment - You can now assign default classes to items, accounts, or names. When filling out transactions, QuickBooks automatically assigns the default class which you can override at any time.
  • Increased List Limits - Chart of Accounts, Classes, Customer Types, Vendor Types, To Do's and Customer Message list limits have all been increased from 10,000 to 100,000. I don't even want to think about working in QuickBooks file with 10,000 accounts, never mind 100,000!

QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Inventory

  • Use Available Quantity for Re-Order Points - The Inventory Reorder Report now includes the option to include or exclude available quantity from being considered making it easier to factor in committed inventory still on the shelf.
  • Auto Create Purchase Orders - Available as a new button on the various Stock Status Reports, allows you to create all your purchase orders with a single click.
  • Bin Tracking - The ability to track inventory by location has been expanded to include bins within locations.
  • Barcode Scanning - You can now assign barcodes to items then scan barcodes when you buy or sell items.


QuickTip: Finding Missing and Duplicate Invoice Numbers


No Duplicate InvoicesQuickBooks automatically numbers invoices, but it also allows you to create your own numbers and if you get the numbers out of sequence, it can be difficult to figure out where you are. Here's a quick way to get a list of all your invoices and find missing or duplicate invoice numbers.

On the Reports pull-down menu, select Banking, Missing Checks. When prompted to select an Account, select Accounts Receivable. By default, this report includes all dates, but you can easily change the dates to narrow the range down to an appropriate period.

If you'll use this report frequently, click the Modify button and change the report title on the Headers & Footers Tab to "Missing Invoices" or "Invoice Listing". When the report refreshes, memorize it with the new title.


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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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