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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use

October 2012 - Vol 5, Issue 10

In This Issue
QuickBooks Can Do Much More Than You Think
Another Phishing Scam
Tax Planning Time Again
Customizing Email Forms
Caesar's Brook

Halloween Cat  



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


This month our feature article highlights some of QuickBooks' lesser known features, our QuickTip shows you how to customize the email that goes with the forms you send from QuickBooks, we have a warning on a new Intuit phishing scam, and a reminder that it's tax planning time. 

 Happy Halloween 


FeatureFeature Article

QuickBooks Can Do MoreQuickBooks Can Do Much More Than You Think


No, you'll never max out all of its features, but here are some tips on tools that extend QuickBooks' usefulness - and save you time.

Zero In On Key Report Figures

You've undoubtedly created reports that were so lengthy that you got tired of scrolling up and down to find totals for each individual section. QuickBooks lets you collapse and expand reports to see primary totals only, but this command affects the entire report.

If you want to just collapse a section or two, here's how you do it. As an example, go to Reports | Company & Financial | Balance Sheet Standard. In QuickBooks 2012, you'd click the Excel button (your version may say Export). Indicate that you want to create a new worksheet and click Advanced. This window opens:


Figure 1  

Figure 1: The Advanced Excel Options window displays the formatting tools you can carry over from QuickBooks and the features in Excel that you want to be active. 

Make sure that Auto Outline (allows collapsing/expanding) is checked, then click OK and start the export. When your report opens as an Excel spreadsheet, you'll notice that there is a series of vertical lines to the left of your data, and a group of numbers that corresponds to them running above horizontally.


Figure 2 


Figure 2: Excel's Auto Outline feature adds tools to the left of your data that let you collapse and expand subsections.

To collapse a section so that only the totals show, click on the minus (-) sign next to the line that should remain (in this example, it's Total Checking/Savings). Do the same for Total Accounts Receivable and Total Other Current Assets. Then scroll down and do the same thing for the other asset subtotals. Here's what you'll see: 


Figure 3 


Figure 3: As you can see, the minus (-) signs have turned into plus (+) signs, which allows you to expand the rows back to their original states.

Hidden Gems

Here are some other less-commonly-used QuickBooks features that you may want to try:

  • Getting ready to send an invoice but want to check a related transaction from the same job a few months ago? You could use the Find tool, which is a seriously underused feature that can often answer a question quickly. But that takes a few clicks. Instead, just hit Ctrl + L, and that Customer/Job screen pops open in the Customer Center. Click Ctrl + E from that screen to see the Edit Job dialog box.
  • CTRL+Y on transaction screens opens the Transaction Journal, which shows you the behind-the-scenes debits and credits. If the Account column is truncated, click and drag the little diamond symbol to the right.
  • QuickBooks offers numerous helpful payroll reports, but it also transfers your data into Excel for more comprehensive views of your employee compensation information over customizable date ranges. Go to Reports | Employees & Payroll | Summarize Payroll Data in Excel and More Payroll Reports in Excel.

Figure 4    

Figure 4: Summarize Payroll Data in Excel is actually a series of reports, available by clicking this navigational bar at the bottom of the screen.

  • Allowing multiple windows in QuickBooks and tired of clicking the little x repeatedly to start with a clean slate? Click Window | Close All. This drop-down menu also displays the list of open windows; click on one to go there.More Than You Think 
  • There may be no more frustrating task than reconciling your bank accounts. If you're using online banking, consider doing this more than once monthly. Also, don't let QuickBooks do an automatic adjustment for a considerable discrepancy unless it was a mistake made by a financial institution: Click the Undo Last Reconciliation button and try to find the error. And don't forget about the Leave button. You may do better attacking it later.

There's more than one way to do a lot of things in QuickBooks. We can tell you about more, and evaluate your workflow to see how else we can improve your accounting experience.

Yet Another Intuit Phishing Scam

Phishing Email  

The latest phishing scam email making the rounds is an order confirmation email purporting to be from Intuit. It's very real looking right down to the security warnings at the bottom and I fell for it even though I hadn't recently placed an order and there were some very obvious flaws with the mail header. Here's a pointer to the article on the Intuit website:


Tis the Season ... for Tax Planning

Tax Planning Time  

If your fiscal year ends December 31st, right now is an ideal time to pick up the phone and call your accountant or tax preparer for a review of your books.  Need some clean up first? Contact us.


Don't wait until it's too late to implement tax saving strategies!

QuickTip: Customizing Email Forms

Sending Email   

If you use email to send out QuickBooks forms such as Invoices, Estimates, Statements, Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, or Pay Stubs, you can customize the default message that goes with them. You'll find the option under Edit | Preferences | Send Forms | Company Preferences. Each form has its own default message. You can edit the salutation, set a blind cc for all emails to copy yourself or someone else, and edit the subject line or the body of the message.

Note that the salutation is pulling from the name fields in the customer record. If your emails are showing up addressed to Dear Customer, the name fields you have selected in the salutation box are empty in that customer's record. Edit the customer's record and add their name in the appropriate fields.

You can also have QuickBooks insert the form number such as the invoice number into the subject line by including <NUM>, for example, "Invoice <NUM> from Caesar's Brook Business Solutions". (The <NUM> is included by default in QuickBooks 2013, but it works in the older versions I tested as well.)

And don't worry, if you are having trouble getting the default message right for all circumstances, you can edit the message that goes with any individual form at the time you send it, whether you are sending your forms one at a time from their individual screens such as the Invoice screen, or in a batch from File | Send Forms.


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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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