Monday, July 27, 2015

Confusion over upgrading QB

From a Client:

Subject: Using QB on Mac

Hi Kerry,

I’m planning to make a QB upgrade and I’m considering moving to QB for Mac version. Do you work with Mac version of files as well? If not, do you have any clients which have QB for Mac and how do you work with them?

I can still stay on Windows version (i.e. running QB on Windows virtual machine on Mac), if moving to Mac is going to complicate work for you. Please let me know what you think


My Reply:

I'm glad you asked about this because I do have some experience, opinions and advice on it.

We do have one corporate client in the San Francisco Bay Area who has always used nothing but Macs, including for her QuickBooks.  That was one of the reasons I bought a Mac Mini a few years ago, to be able to work on her QB data without needing to convert it.

I was extremely disappointed in the features of the Mac version of QB. Many things that I have long taken for granted in the Window version do not exist in the Mac version.  The most critical omission is the ability of clients to send me a special Accountant's Review copy of the data and my ability to send my changes back to be imported into the client's master file.

What I discovered was, rather than just having the Mac version of QB copy all of the features of the Windows version, Intuit developed it from the ground up, as they proudly boast.  As a computer software pro, you may better understand the logic behind that decision than I can. For my sake, I think it was a stupid decision and I avoid using the Mac version as often as possible.

For a few years, the client would send her Mac QB data file to me and I would have my Mac Mini run the Mac QB program to convert the data file to be compatible with the Windows program.  This takes the mini several hours to actually do.

The Mac version of QB does have a feature to allow its data file to be converted to Windows compatible. This is what the client did this past year, saving me a lot of conversion time.  However, I am still unable to send her a change file to import; so I sent her an Audit Report and complete General Ledger and she has to manually make the adjusting entries in her file in order to keep her data in sync with what I used on the tax returns.

Since we have plenty of Windows machines, I haven't ever tried running Windows on my Mac Mini; so I don't know how well it can handle the Windows version of QB.  If you are going to switch everything over to Mac, I would advise trying to run the Windows version of QB on your system, so that we can work more efficiently together with the data files.

If you do have big problems doing that, you can switch to the Mac version and then use it to convert your data file to Windows before sending it to me.

You didn't ask about using the online version of QB, which Intuit is pushing hard in order to generate much more revenue than by selling stand alone programs.  However, if you are considering that, I would strongly advise against it.  I have a few clients using QB Online and it's even worse than the Mac version.

I hope this info helps.  Let me know if you have any other questions or issues to consider.



Hi Kerry, Thanks for this excellent and detailed explanation! It helps a lot and makes my decision simple - I'm going to upgrade my QB Windows version, and will stick to running it in Virtual Machine on Mac, as I did for the past few years already. It works just fine this way.

BTW, the reason I'm even considering the upgrade is the Intuit's decision to stop supporting online banking access in version 2012 (the one I use) - which seems to me very offensive. We're talking here about forcing users with just 3 years old version of the product to force them into an upgrade!


My Response:

The basic bookkeeping functions in QB will work essentially forever. I just worked on a client's books yesterday who is still using the 2007 version.

However, you are correct that Intuit needed a way to motivate users to buy newer versions of the software, so they started a Sunset policy several years ago, under which they cease official support for any version of their program that is more than three years old. As part of this support cut-off, most optional services will also no longer function.  It happens most often with Payroll, where clients have had to upgrade to a newer version in order to continue using the QB Payroll utility.  Yours is the first case I have heard of where online banking functions have been cut off.  I don't use any of the optional QB services myself, so it's good to get this kind of info from others.

As I mentioned in my earlier email, Intuit hasn't been satisfied with the level of sales generated by the three year Sunset policy.  A person can buy a desktop version of the program and use it on multiple computers, with multiple company files, for three years before he bumps up against the problem you are having.  Their "solution" is the classic SAAS route with their very inferior online program, where they charge a monthly fee per company file.

It could be worse.  Luckily, they haven't shortened their Sunset period to one year from the current three, as some other software companies have done to force users to upgrade more frequently.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any problems or questions.


QuickBooks Premier 2015 Software - Enjoy $120 off! Save Time & Get Organized!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Features in QB 2015 Programs

Intuit recently posted this 18 minute video, showing the new features in the 2015 QB desktop programs, which they recently released to us ProAdvisors.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

New features in QB 2014

This article from has some links to reviews of some of the new features in the QB 2014 programs.

Surveying the Reviews of QuickBooks 2014


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Installing QB on Multiple Computers

Subject: Quickbook 2012
Hello there,

I found your blog and was reading this page:

“In regard to the QB installation issue, I have never had any problems installing a copy of the program on multiple computers with one user license.”

and am wondering if this is still the case with QB 2012?

Was just about to install it over my existing QB 2009 install and wanted to be sure I could install it on my 4 workstations without a problem.

Thanks for any guidance,

I haven't had any problems installing any QB programs on several computers, including all the way up the most current 2013 programs.

I just got a new computer a few months ago and have installed all of the QB programs from 2007 up to the 2013 on it with no problems, even though these programs are also installed on four other computers with the same licenses.  When I registered each one, I used the same phone number and zip-code for all of them, with no problems.

I hope this eases any concerns you may have.

Kerry Kerstetter

Payments between accounts


Hi Kerry,

I just had a question about how to handle transfers between separate bank accounts for separate QuickBooks files (same client).

I was sure if I should make the deposit into an Equity account or Other Income.

The money from the first account ("A") is the Business account. The client writes checks from A account to the Family Trust Account ("B").

The deposit into B account is not income because it was already income in the A account. 

Just no sure how to categorize the deposit from A to B...

Please let me know if you can help.




How to properly handle these kinds of transfers in QB depends on the ownership of the accounts.  Each QB company file should coincide to a tax return.

If both bank accounts are owned by the same tax entity, they should both be in the same QB company file.  You can then use the "Transfer Funds" function to move money between accounts.

You mentioned the second account as being a family trust.  What kind of trust is this; revocable (aka Living) or irrevocable?

If it is a living trust, that is considered for tax purposes to be a disregarded entity (no separate tax return required) and the account should be in the same 1040 QB company file as all of the other personally owned accounts.

If the trust is irrevocable and a 1041 is filed for it each year, it should have its own QB company file that will match up to the trust's 1041s.

If the trust is a separate tax paying entity and has its own QB company file, it should have balance sheet accounts to handle payments between it and the trust's owners.  If there are to be repayments back to the owners, a Liability account would be appropriate.  For money that won't be repaid, an Equity account for the owner's investment in the trust would be appropriate.  Entries into either of these accounts would have no effect on the trust's income.

To mirror the payments to the trust, there should be Asset accounts set up in the 1040 company file; one for Loans To Trust and another for Investments in Trust.  At any point in time, the balances in the 1040 accounts should match their corresponding accounts in the 1041 company file.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.  As always, it would be best if the tax preparer for the 1040 and 1041 is involved in helping to set up and synchronize the QB company files with the tax returns.

Kerry Kerstetter



Great, thank you so much! I have been struggling with this and recommending for a year now to combine the accounts. I do not file their taxes, so I do not know if there is a separate return for each account. I will find out and take appropriate steps!

Thanks again!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

QuickBooks Video Training

I have always stressed how important good bookkeeping is for making financial decisions, as well as for preparing the most accurate tax returns.  Several years ago, I made a video showing people how to best use the Quicken programs for bookkeeping and tax return preparation purposes. 

 I have long  wanted to do a similar one for QuickBooks.  While I have made some short instructional videos and guides for certain QB tasks, the program has far too many features for me to be able to cover everything it can do.  Also, since I don't use a lot of the features in QB, such as invoicing, inventory and payroll, I don't feel as qualified to do as good a job on these specific topics as someone who does use them on a daily basis.

I had been unable to recommend a good training video to clients and other readers who wanted to learn how to work with QB.  Every time  I saw an ad for a hands-on live class or seminar on QB, they were always using a two or three year old version of the program instead of the most current one.

That's why I was glad to learn about a new instructional video series focusing on the QuickBooks 2013 program from a company that has a ton of excellent instructional videos.  This one is broken up into 115 separate videos totaling nine and a half hours. making it easy to just focus on those aspects of QB that you need to use but are unfamiliar with.  At only $99.95, it's a lot less expensive than most live seminars and much less costly than my time would be to explain these topics one on one.

It's available on DVD or as a download.  They also have 17 free videos from the course that you can check out to see if it will work for you.

   Beginners QuickBooks 2013 Training Videos  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

QB Videos

Intuit has posted a series of videos on YouTube showing the new features in the 2013 QB programs.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Keeping QB Up To Date

From a client

I just got an update box that popped up that reads:
"QuickBooks has recently downloaded the R14 product update. Would you like
QuickBooks to install this update now?" This is the software you sent to me
on a disc last year. Should I go ahead and install this update? 


My reply:

Yes, you should install that new update.

QB releases an update to the programs that are still being supported three or four times a year to fix bugs that they find.  The QB 2012 program is already up to R6, which is five updates since the original program was released last Fall.

A good site to check whether you have the latest update for your version of QB is at:

You will see that R14 is the newest update for the 2009 program.

You can always find the version you are running by holding the Control and the 1 keys down at the same time while you are in the program.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.




Friday, December 23, 2011

Mac Shortcuts

I recently purchased my very first Apple computer, a Mac mini, so I could work with the QuickBooks for Mac, as well as some other Mac only software. I'm still learning my way around the Mac system, but I have had a chance to do a little work with the Mac QB program.

First off, I have to say that the Mac program is a crippled version of the Windows software and should only be used if you only have access to Mac computers and can't run Windows programs on them, such as with the Parallels program that allows Macs to emulate Windows. 

The biggest limitation of the Mac QB program is its lack of the special Accountant Review copies of data files that allow us to work with client data files while the clients continue to work with them.  This is an essential feature of QB that must be added to the Mac version before I can ever feel good about recommending its use.

However, for those who are using the Mac QB program, I recently came across this handy listing of the keyboard shortcuts that work with it.  I have printed out a copy and will refer to it when I work with that program. 



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sending QBX Files

With the newer versions of QB, it has become somewhat more confusing for clients to send me the special QBX Accountant's Review copies of their data files.  I sent this quick explanation to one client who sent me a QBX file with which I was unable to even start the conversion to QBA process because the password he gave me wouldn't work.

That password didn't work.  I tried it several times and no go.

I think the problem is how you are making the QBX file.  A few years back, Intuit added a new twist to sending QBX files.  There are now two main ways to do it.

1. There is one way that sends the file to me through Intuit's online system (File - Accountant's Copy - Client Activities - Send to Accountant) where you do need to enter a special password.  However, to work properly, you need to actually have the file sent via Intuit's server, not as an email attachment.

2. The other way, in which you can send the file to me directly as an email attachment doesn't require the special password.  To do this, select File - Accountant's Copy - Client Activities - Save File - Accountant's Copy.

It seems that the best thing here would be for you to start over by canceling out the previous QBX copy (File - Accountant's Copy - Client Activities - Remove Restrictions) and then make a new QBX copy via the second option which you can then attach to an email.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Keeping Your QuickBooks Program Up To Date

Intuit is constantly releasing updates to its programs to fix problems that arise among the real world users.  These are free and are different than an upgrade, which is the new year's program (2010, 2011, 2012, etc.), which you have to pay for.

To tell how up to date your program is, hit the Control and 1 keys while you are in the program.  A Product Information window will pop up, such as the example below from my 2011 program after I ran the most recent update, Release 8.


There are two main ways to upgrade your program. 

First is to run the Update QuickBooks function from the Help menu in the program, which is the method I had been using until a few years ago.


My current choice for updating the program is the manual option, where I download the newest release and run it on each of the computers that has that version of the program.  This means I only have to download the files, which are very large (388 mb for R8), one time instead of separately for each computer.  With our very slow and limited internet service, that is very useful.

The other big benefit is the fact that the updates are normally available about two weeks earlier on the manual update page than they are in the update function from inside the program.

You can find updates for almost all versions of QB on the update page:


From TaxGuru's QuickBooks Tips

Intuit usually puts out a news release when they issue new updates, but I also like to check the update page every so often to see if the dozen or more versions of QB I am running are all up to date.  Since they only have back to the 2004 program, I am pretty much SOL for verifying the status of my 1999–2003 programs; but those programs are technically obsolete and shouldn't even be used nowadays.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working with multiple QB files at same time...

One of the annoying limitations to QB has long been the inability to open more than one company file at a time.  With a lot of people having multiple company files, such as one for the personal 1040 and another for the corporation 1120, being able to work on both files simultaneously to ensure consistent posting of transactions between them, is a huge time saver.  I know a number of clients who actually have one entity on one version of QB (2003 for example) while their personal info is on a different version (2009 for example) because it has long been possible to have two versions of the program open at the same time.

Now, with the 2011 version of QB, they have finally added the capability to open two different company files in the 2011 program at the same time.  You actually click on the program icon to start the program again to trigger the following pop-up window.

From TaxGuru's QuickBooks Tips

The second company file has the following in its window heading.

From TaxGuru's QuickBooks Tips

I had heard about this new feature several months ago, but didn't have a need to use it intensely until last night, as I was working on a corp tax return and needed to match up the payments between the personal and corp files.  Having each QB file open in a separate monitor (I have four active monitors on my main computer) made the process so much quicker than the old way of  having to go back and forth opening and closing each company file several times.   

Every year, the Intuit developers add a few new features to the program.  This may be the one many people have been waiting for to justify upgrading from an older version of the program.




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Loan Payments



Subject: Quicken Tips.

I need some help which I am sure is quite simple but I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong! I have Quicken Rental Property Manager and in my check register I make a payment to the bank for a mortgage on the property I am renting. This payment is split category with principal having the category of the loan account [loan] and interest categorized as “Mortgage Interest Expense” The problem is only the principal shows up in my loan account.

Do I need to create two subcatagories under my loan account [loan] such as “principle” and “ mortgage interest expense”

I am lost.

Any help is appreciated.



It actually sounds as if you already have it set up properly. The principal portion of the loan reduces the liability balance of the loan and is the only portion of the payment that should be showing up in the loan's Quicken account register.

The interest portion of the payments is a period expense and should show up when you run an Income Statement (aka Profit & Loss) for a particular time period.

Your own professional tax advisor should be able to set up your Quicken so that it is easier to understand and coincides more closely with your tax returns.

Good luck.



Thanks for the quick replay Kerry and help. With your input and my looking at it again I think I am comfortable with what I have done.

Thank you very much!



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some Client QB Tips

It is still the case that the bulk of my time preparing tax returns is involved in cleaning up QB data.  Once the QB data is in good shape, the actual tax return prep is a snap.  In order to reduce the number of adjustments needed to the QB files, I do send back comments to the clients so we can avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.  In order to avoid having to repeat myself with other clients and help other QB users to have more usable data, I want to share some of my comments that are applicable to all QB users.

1099-MISC is only required to be submitted to IRS if you pay someone more than $600 during a calendar year for business services that you are claiming a deduction for.


Please try not to use generic non-descriptive accounts, such as "Other" and "Misc."  Add new accounts if no existing ones suffice.  This is especially important with income because IRS always starts off with the presumption that every penny deposited into your bank accounts is taxable income unless you show otherwise.


I see an expense account called "Mission Trip" with a lot of fuel and motel costs.  Was this for a church sponsored trip?  If so, we can deduct this as charitable deduction.  [Follow-up:  This was for a church sponsored trip, so I edited this account to make it a sub-account of Charitable Donations.]


Try not to lump too many different kinds of things into "Outside Services."  Large numbers attract IRS attention; so use more detailed accounts, such as Repairs & Lawn Care, which is where I moved a lot of the items for 2009.


Only make inactive balance sheet accounts that have zero balances. Use a general journal entry to zero out any balance sheet account that you want to set as inactive. 


Monday, May 24, 2010

Bank Reconciliation Problem


Subject:  Quicken Reconcile Question

Hi! Wondering if you can help?

Use QuickBooks for business, Quicken for Personal for many years.

Just entered the WRONG closing bal in a Quicken reconcile, and for the life of me, can't figure out how to fix it. Didn't like their 'fix' of adjusting the balance at end of month.

Have the latest Quicken 2010.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



As I've explained several times, I haven't been using Quicken for several years, as I realized that QuickBooks is a far superior bookkeeping program for everyone's purpose, both personal and business.  In fact, you would probably find things a lot easier to deal with if you only used QB for both your personal and business accounting instead of trying to cope with two different programs.

However, I do recall that the reconciliation function in Quicken was set up the same as in QB; so there are a number of ways to fix the situation you have.

I'm assuming you finalized the previous reconcile, with an adjusting entry put into a discrepancy account.  If you didn't finalize the reconcile, you can just cancel it and start again with the correct bank balance.

In QB, when you pop up the reconcile window, there is a button that allows you to Undo Last Reconciliation.  If you have that, just undo the old one and do a new one with the correct balance.

Another option would be to do a new reconciliation as of the same date as the previous one, using the correct bank balance.  It should end up with an adjustment to the discrepancy account of the same amount in the opposite direction as your earlier adjusting entry.  Those should zero each other out and bring everything into sync with your bank balance.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.

Kerry Kerstetter



Hi, Kerry!

You are so kind ~ thanks so much!

Didn't know I could 'cancel' the reconcile.

Wish I would've read your note sooner, but I've been doing the personal on Quicken and businesses on QB Pro for many years now.

What I ended up doing was reload the previous backup, so I just lost a month of bookkeeping.

I don't what I can do to help you, but if you ever need a quick graphic (I was an award-winning designer for years), or a poodle skirt, please give me a holler!


My Final Word:

You didn't specify why you are using Quicken for your personal data.  If you are under the impression that you are stuck having to stay with Quicken, that isn't the case.  QuickBooks has the capability to import Quicken data so you can convert without losing any of your previously entered data.

You do need to be using a version of QB that is at least as current as the version of Quicken you have.  If you are currently using Quicken 2010, that means you can only import it into QB 2010 or 2011.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter


Entering Classes


Subject: In Quickbooks, entering classes on the expense side

Saw your posting on the use of classes (via a Google search). We are new to Quickbooks, running a non-profit. We are attempting to use classes, and can easily see how to enter classes when entering income (deposits). However, we cannot figure out how to get to classes when we are entering expenses. We can't find anything that "gets" us to our list of classes on the expense side. Can you please help?

Thank you very much for your time.



There is a column with a drop-down list of classes in the windows for writing checks, entering bills, entering credit card charges and general journal entries.  However, unless you have selected "Use class tracking" in the Accounting Preferences setup, that list doesn't show up.

Which version of QB are you using?

Kerry Kerstetter



Thank you for your help. We were able to find the drop down menu, turn on classes, and can now enter classes on the expense side. Appreciate your help.



QB or Quicken?


Subject: Quicken or Quickbooks
I'm a realtor in San Francisco, ran across your blog. So with all your experience, which should I buy? I have a mac also. Thanks for your help.

I have a ton of info on QB and Quicken on my main website:

You can see that I definitely advise everyone to use QB.  However you need to coordinate whatever bookkeeping system you use with your professional tax advisor so you can keep everything in sync and make it easier to exchange data.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.

Kerry Kerstetter

Tracking Loans In QB


Subject: Accounts Receivable

I have searched high and low in QBs on establishing Accounts Receivable with Amortized Loans. I have printed Amortization Schedules and could record via monthly splits but surely QBs has such an animal and can be “memorized”. Surely, Uncle Sam will want his take based on Interest Income.



Actually, QB does not have a function that will automatically do the amortization between principal and interest for loans receivable.  They do have that feature, called the Loan Manager, for loans payable.  However, this is another of the many features in QB that I don't like or use.

It is much easier to just split the deposit entry into two lines yourself; one for the principal portion and one for the interest portion.  Use an estimated allocation if you are not positive what it is at the time of the payment and then go back later and correct it when you have coordinated your figures with the borrower's.

For various reasons, please do not set up any loans you make as Accounts Receivable for the type of account in QB. That type of account make things very messy.   I already have an Other Assets account set up for Loans Receivables, with sub-accounts for each loan.  Set up a new sub-account as the need arises.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.



Friday, February 19, 2010

Remote Hosting

As someone who has been very disappointed in the quality of Intuit's Online QuickBooks service, I have been researching the various methods of allowing clients to access their QB via a remotely hosted version of the QB desktop programs for the past several months.

I recently saw this very interesting article on Intuit's plans to actually promote this method of working with clients' data files.

Intuit introduces hosting program for QuickBooks

I have already sent an email to Intuit asking them to send me info on signing up for this program. I will keep everyone posted on my progress with it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Features In QB

Even though Intuit does produce a new version of QB every year, and would love for all users to buy the new version each year, most people wait a few years between upgrades.  Older versions of the program will still work.  I have some clients still using the 1999 version of the program. I’m just glad they’re using QB; so I don’t push them on upgrading

The changes and new features that are added to each year’s program are somewhat subtle when compared year to year.  However, when you jump to a version of the program that is many years newer, the difference is much more extreme.

I was reading the latest Intuit ProConnection Newsletter and noticed that they have a pdf chart showing when many of the newest features since 2005 have been added to the program.  It’s interesting for anyone considering upgrading.

They also have this 7 page pdf focusing on the changes specifically for QB 2010.


Using QB For Rental Properties



Hi Kerry,
I stumbled on your blog by typing in Quickbooks VS Quicken and you came up. I am trying to figure out what program to use. QB or Quicken and am confused. I hope you can help.
Here is the scope of my business on what I would use it for.  My wife and I are Realtors and re developers and own several rentals. We do about 20 million a year in sales under a corporation name, I do land and building development under different LLC' etc  and we have 15 residential and commercial rentals
I see with QB offers little or no property management capabilities, but Quicken has a whole program devoted to it. I would find it important to keep track of all mortgages, payoffs, expenses etc.....I do see people selling management software that is compatible with QB that I can by online
I would be nice to keep track of all our Stocks etc......(would not know how to do)
Some advise online suggests that unless I am carrying inventory in a store to keep track of then Quicken is the way to go, but I do see mainly accountants recommending QB.
Last question, I do not know what to do with, I am hiring a gal to process our transactions as well as bookeep all these for us, but I really do not want here to see what we are depositing as income. Is there an easy way to do that like her entering it at office then editing at home. Our office handles payroll so that is not important
Right not we use no programs only hand logs and some excel sheets and it is a nightmare especially at tax time, so we need to do something fast.Our accountant would be happy since I just did my taxes, luckily we paid in to much
I currently reside in Washington St but do have family ties to Arkansas where I see your from. I have tons of family from the Danville and Havana area's
Anyways any suggestions would be much appreciated
Thank you for your time


I have addressed this issue several times.  While I used to be a proponent of Quicken, I stopped trusting it a number of years ago and only recommend QuickBooks for reliable double entry accounting.  I even forced all of our clients to switch from Quicken to QB.

QB can handle everything you need for your rental properties on its own without the need to purchase any add-on programs.  Many of our clients have dozens of rental properties each and have been able to maintain very useful books with QB; so it is entirely possible for you and your tax pro to set up your QB to properly coincide with your tax returns. Your tax pro should definitely be an integral part of the design process for your QB files.

In regard to having a bookkeeper only enter checks without the ability to see your deposits, I'm not sure how practical that would be.  It's also an obvious indication that you may not be working with a properly trustworthy individual if you aren't able to trust him/her with maintaining the confidentiality of your finances.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.

 Kerry Kerstetter 


Kerry than you very much for responding. I really appreciate it, the more I investigate I am finding all the same answers so I bought Pro 2010. Now I just got to figure out how to do it all.


Thank you!

My reply:

As I said previously, your professional tax advisor should be part of the process of setting up your QB, especially in regard to the Classes and Chart of Accounts.

Since our clients send us copies of their QB data files for tax planning advice mid-year and for tax prep work after the year is over, it makes things much more efficient to have the QB data synchronized with the tax return data.  You tax pro should be able to save you a lot of time in this way.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter  



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Installing QB on Multiple Computers

From A Client:

Hi Kerry,

Part of why I've been holding off on sending you the corp data file is because I have a copy of QB 2009 and that should eliminate our Accountants copy problem with my 2007 version (I think) but I'm concerned to upgrade - I have only one license to use and I'm currently running 2007 on 2 machines (yeah w/1 license still but I'm concerned that they've improved their license algorithms....can you offer any insite? i.e. has the file structure changed from 2007 - 2009 whereby I could keep 2007 on my wife's machine and her still be able to make entries?)

My Reply:

In regard to the QB installation issue, I have never had any problems installing a copy of the program on multiple computers with one user license. The user license for QB programs is more for simultaneous users of the program rather than on the number of computers it can be installed on. They do sell versions of QB for multiple simultaneous users so that several people can access a data file at the same time. That is not the same thing as having a single user version of the program installed on multiple computers. As long as you register the program with the same phone number on each computer, there shouldn't be a problem. I have been doing that for several years, including the 2009 programs.

Just in case you don't want to lose your 2007 settings, it is also possible to install multiple versions of QB on the same computer. I have every version from 1999 to the 2010 beta installed on my computer because clients upgrade at differing times. The key is to not use the default installation folders. I manually set up a main folder called QuickBooks and then I have a subfolder under that for each version of QB. When installing the program, I manually select the appropriate folder to install into. I also manually set up folders for where I want the data files to be held. This keeps each year's program nice and separate. I can also actually have multiple versions of QB open at the same time on the same computer; which I have needed to do on a few occasions.

Since you already have the 2007 program working, I wouldn't mess with its installation folders. You should set up a new folder for the 2009 program and install it into that folder.

As always, once your data file has been upgraded to work with the 2009 program, it will no longer be accessible from inside any earlier version of QB

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions or problems.




Thank you for the advice on QB. I now have 2009 installed and am using it for the personal and 2007 running for the corp. This way I can have both company files open at the same time having 1 set of books on 1 monitor and the other on the other - makes things easier!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Password Requirement

From a client:

Not too happy with the Quickbooks new program I bought. It is now requiring a password to encrypt! Password is ******.

My Reply:

I was glad to see that you upgraded your QB program to the 2009 version. I hope it is easier for you to use

One of the new 2009 features that you used is the ability to send me QBX copies of your data files directly from within the program and via an online storage service hosted by Intuit. As you discovered, that feature does require you to add a new password security layer to prevent anyone who may accidentally download your file from being able to open that file. Once I have the file converted from the QBX format to the QBA format I actually use, the password is no longer relevant. This feature has been working well from my end for those clients using this new feature.

You also have the option of sending me files the old fashioned way. To avoid confusion, I made some short videos showing how to do this with the 2009 program. I have links to them on my website.

Thanks for your help with this.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Creating Accountant Review Files in QB 2009

From a client’s new bookkeeper (T):

I need the instructions as to what I do from inside quick books itself to create the zip file. I am sorry but I have never done this before.

Thank you,


My Reply:

What version of QB are you using (2007, 2008, 2009, etc)? There have been some changes in the process for sending Accountant Copies in the most recent versions; so I don't want to confuse you. 



We upgraded from QB 2006 to QB 2009.


Thanks for the update on the QB version you are now using.  The process for sending accountant's review copies of QB files was actually changed  quite a bit between the 2006 and 2009 programs.  There are now two main  ways to do it.
I am going to try to use a new software tool to make some little mini  videos on how to do this, which will hopefully be easier to follow than 
a written description.  I will send those on to you as soon as they are  done.



Thanks for your help.  I will get the information to you as soon as you send me the videos.  Thank you so much.


I've created and uploaded short videos showing the two ways how to create a QBX file in the QB 2009 program to send to me.

The first is the Save File function which is when you are going to send me the file yourself as an email attachment, an upload to my online storage service, or by copying onto a CD or flash drive.  The video can be found here.  

The second is the new feature that Intuit has, allowing you to send me the QBX file directly from within the program via their online storage service.  This doesn't work well if you have a very large file and/or slow internet service.  The video can be found here

I hope these are helpful. I will also be posting these to my QB blog and to my website.

Let me know if you have any problems or questions.



Friday, April 24, 2009

Quicken or QB with online banking

From a client:

Subject: Quicken

Does Kerry do any taxes for people still using Quicken?  First Federal Bank has where you can download your bankstatements to Quicken but not Quickbooks.  So I have been meaning to ask about trying to use Quicken again in place of Quickbooks. 

My reply:

I used to use the online bank interface with Quicken for my accounts; so I have some experience in knowing when it makes sense and when it doesn't.

If you are going to enter all of your info into Quicken manually and use the online interface to match everything up, that will actually be a waste of time and money if the banks still charge extra for that service.  A lot of the times when this is done, the data from the bank doesn't match exactly with what you have entered in the Quicken file, so it enters the unmatched transactions as brand new entries, giving you a lot of duplicates that you then need to clean up.
If you don't want to print checks from your computer or enter your transactions yourself as you go, using the online banking interface to have the items imported into your Quicken file might make some sense. You will still need to code each entry with the proper accounts and classes, but it would save you a little time.

If you just want to check your entries against what has cleared the bank, you don't need to use the special Quicken interface.  That is what I do with our Regions and First Federal accounts.  I can see the current status of the accounts online for no additional charge and then match them up with what I have entered into our QuickBooks files.  That allows me to reconcile the bank accounts much more frequently than just once a month with a paper bank statement.

If you want to use Quicken to import transactions into your file, that would be fine with me.  You can then send me the data files.  I am no longer using Quicken, so I will probably import your data into QuickBooks in order to work with it for your tax returns.  However, if this works for you and other clients do the same thing, I may even buy myself a new copy of the latest version of Quicken and work with your data that way.
Good luck.  I hope this helps.



Business Plan Pro


Entering bank account interest...


Subject: Bank Dividends

I am trying to add in a checking acct dividend that you would receive monthly from your bank.  Do you know how I would add this to my Quickbooks? I am from the US...I think they're a rules in how this should be done.




You are actually referring to Interest income; not dividends.

I can easily think of at least three ways to enter interest income into QB.

1.  You can use a General Journal entry with a debit to the bank account and a credit to the interest income account.

2.  You can enter it with the Deposit window.

3.  While you do the bank account reconciliation, there is a place to enter the interest income, right below where you enter the service charges.

Either of those methods will achieve what you need. Just make sure you use the exact same date for the entry as the bank is showing so that your books will match up with the bank's.  FWIW, I use #3 for our accounts.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.

Kerry Kerstetter




New QB for a new computer?

From a client:

Subject: Computer

My laptop is dying. Should I get a new Quickbooks on the new computer?

My Reply:

According to my files, you have been using the QB 2003 program.  Technically, if you still have the original program disc, you can install it on your new computer.  The problem will be in updating it for maintenance releases that were issued after the original program CD.  Intuit doesn't provide any official support for any version of QB that is over three years old.  Support for the 2006 program is expiring in May 2009.

That means that this would probably be a good time for you to upgrade to the newest version of the program, which is 2009.  Your data can be rolled over into this new version without losing anything.  
You should actually like the newer version of QB better than the 2003 program.  It includes a very handy way to send me QBX files directly from within the program, using an Intuit online file storage service that is better integrated with the program than the one I use.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any problems or questions.



Thanks. I will probably do that.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Moving from Quicken to QB


Subject: Data Transfer - Quicken to QB

Dear Kerry – I have Quicken back-up files but no longer have Quicken software. How do I transfer those back-ups to QB, please?

I hope you can help!

Kind regards


It's been a while since I have worked directly with Quicken files. However, one of my big problems with that program was the fact that its backup function pretty much consisted of just making regular size copies of the multiple data files that are used by the program instead of a compressed file that could be stored and transferred much more efficiently, as has always been the case for QuickBooks.

This means that your Quicken backup files should be just as accessible to the QuickBooks conversion utility as the normal files would be. As long as you are working with a version of the QB program that is as current as the Quicken program, going into File - Import - Convert From Quicken should work for you. For example, if the Quicken data had been created using the Quicken 2005 program, you should be able to convert that data into QB by using the QB 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009 program.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter


Dear Kerry - Thank you very much for getting back to me. It was a bit of a leap of faith that I got in touch with you (details from your website!) and I didn't really expect a response. I'm really pleased and grateful that you took the time and trouble to think about my problem and give me the benefit of your experience.

In the meantime, I found my Quicken software and just reloaded it. However, the day is probably not too far away when we'll move to QB - and your advice will be very useful then.

Thanks again and best wishes from Scotland.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Compressing QB Files



Hi Tax Guru – thanks for the info.

But……my regular file is 21 MB – when I create a portable file 16 MB and even an accountants copy only goes down to 16 MB.

And believe me – my company is pretty small – neither my accountant nor my bookkeeper have any suggestions.

Any other ideas – maybe something is set up incorrectly?

The last time I created a portable it went through e-mail at 16 MB – it’s not going through any more.



That is very strange.  I have always seen the QBM and QBX files come out at about a fifth the size of the QBW files.

What version of the QB program are you using?  Make sure it has been updated to the most current maintenance release.  If your program version is over three years old, you may also want to consider upgrading to a newer one.

I have seen clients squeeze even QBX files down to a little smaller size by zipping them, so you may want to give that a try.  The zip program should be able to shrink the file down even more.

Good luck.  I hope this helps a little.

Kerry Kerstetter


Hmm - I'll run and see if I can update my version - but it's 2007 premier.


Using Older QB Programs


Subject:  Quickbooks


My bookkeeper at the C21 was talking to QB support the other day.  They said the the 2006 version would quit working completely in the near future and recommended upgrading to the 2009 version.  Do you have any knowledge of this?  Do you recommend the 2009 version? 

Thanks a bunch,


Your bookkeeper misunderstood the situation.  The QB programs will work forever.  I have several clients still using the 2001 and 2002 versions just fine.
Intuit doesn't like the fact that people are holding on to their QB programs for several years and not buying their new versions as often as they would like. In order to motivate more upgrades, a few years ago, Intuit started a sunset program, where they announced that they will only provide technical support for the most recent three versions.  That means, as of the middle of April this year, they will only answer technical questions about the 2007, 2008 and 2009 programs.  The earlier programs will continue to work just as they did before.

I don't do any payroll work, but I do understand that Intuit doesn't allow its built-in payroll for earlier versions of the QB program to be updated after a certain number of years; so that may be a motivator to upgrade to a newer version of the program if you are using QB for payroll.  If you are just doing bookkeeping, your 2006 will continue to work for several more years.

I currently have about a dozen versions of QB installed on my computers in order to maintain compatibility with client data files.  I have heard that some bookkeepers don't like the hassles of maintaining so many versions simultaneously, so they require their clients to upgrade to whatever version the bookkeepers are using.
I do have some clients who upgrade every year on their own, which is fine, but not required.  Whether you want to move to a newer version is up to you.  You won't lose any data in the transition to a newer version of the program; but you can't later roll it back to be usable in an older version of the program.
I hope this helps explain this issue for you.



Quicken Reports


Subject: Quicken

Good afternoon Mr. Kerstetter.

I am a QB Pro Advisor but am not that familiar with Quicken.  I have a client that just began using Quicken, but when I was talking to her, she could not find the Reports tool bar,  I am truly embarrassed to ask, which way do you print the p&l and the balance sheet from Quicken?


I recall that printing reports in Quicken was always very intuitive, much like in QuickBooks.

I don't actually use Quicken any more, but I do have the 2003 program installed on one of my old computers.  I checked and see that there is an item called "Reports" on the top menu line.  That drops down to different categories of reports.  The P&L is under the "Cash Flow" section and is actually called "Income/Expense."

I hope this helps.  You may want to explain to your clients the benefits of using QuickBooks instead of Quicken; especially the ability to more easily exchange data files with you.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sending QB files to your CPA


Subject:  emailing Quick Books

Hi karen, I found you on line. What are the simple steps of emailing quick books to my cpa?

Please detail step by step, I did not find on your web page. Thank you,



I have this page of instructions for my clients on my website.  

You should check with your CPA as to how s/he prefers you to send large files and which type of file s/he wants you to send.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter


Thank you so much, happy new year!!



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lost Passwords

From a client’s bookkeeper:

Dear Kerry,
I do hope you can help me, I have lost the password for the client’s books ! I know that the last time I up loaded it to you I included it on the message that accompanied it. I really would appreciate it if you would look it up on your system. If I can get it again, this will never happen again! It has been along time since I worked on the file. We  are working on the data entry for the year end for 2008
Thank you so much for your Time

Dear Kerry,
Eureka! I found it! Thank you for your time. I will get started on all that I have to do.
Thanks Again

My reply:

I'm glad you found your password.

If you are going to be working with a lot of people's QB files, there is a very handy program available to uncover passwords in QB files that I have been using at last once every few weeks for the past several years when clients either forget to tell me the password or tell me the wrong one.  The first thing I do when I open a file with a password is to remove it from my copy because they are a nuisance I prefer to avoid.

You can order it from PassWare at their website.

Good luck.




Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More QB 2009 Info

Intuit has another new page describing the new features of QB 2009, plus an online test drive.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

QB 2009 Features

Intuit has publicly released a lot of details on the new features to be included in the QB 2009 programs.

As has been the case every year, if you are considering buying the latest QB program, you should hold off and wait a few more weeks to get the more state of the art 2009 version instead of starting off a year behind the times with the 2008 program.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

QuickBooks 2009 New Features and Improvements – Courtesy of the less famous NBA, the National Bookkeepers Association

Actually, I have been beta testing the Enterprise edition of QB 2009 for the past few months, but have honored the confidentiality agreement and not discussed its features on any of my websites. 



Friday, May 30, 2008

Date Warnings


Subject: Question

Kerry, if you’re willing to give us an answer to this, we’d be grateful! We have Quicken 2006. Our bookkeeper, who uses our program, is asking if it is possible to have Quicken prevent or give a warning if, by mistake, she makes an entry with last year’s date. Is that an available option?

Thanks very much,


Because QuickBooks is such a better program, I haven't been using Quicken for a long time. The most recent version I have on any of my computers is Quicken 2003. I just checked the settings available in it and I found the ability to check a box in the Miscellaneous tab of the Register options under Preferences to Notify When Entering Out-of-Date transactions.

(Click on image for full size)

(Click on image for full size)

Checking the Help description of this, we see the following:

Notify options
When Recording Out of Date Transactions
Select this to be warned when you're about to record a transaction for a different year.

I'm sure there is a similar selection in the later versions of Quicken, such as 2006.

In QuickBooks, there is an option to be notified of any transaction being posted that is more than a selectable certain number of days prior to or after the current date.

(Click on image for full size)

Good luck. I hope this helps.

Kerry Kerstetter


Thanks very much, Kerry. You led me to what I needed!

Business Plan Pro

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Updated Website Info

I have updated my website page on how to send me QB data files to include:

(1) Info on the new feature in QB 2008 that allows you to send your QBX file directly from the program to me via a free online Intuit storage service:

(Click on image for full size)

(2) A reminder that clients need to review the financial statements for the tax period before sending me the data files. Too often, clients assume everything is perfectly done just because they have a bookkeeper posting their info and then I have to spend hours of expensive billable time going over everything with them. Catching the obvious mistakes ahead of time will save a lot of time and money in regard to the tax return preparation.