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.