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.