Looking to start 2024 off on the right foot in your business? These five tips can help you improve your financial management (and maybe even your profits!)
Congratulations on closing out another year in business! QuickBooks Online is one of the most critical tools a small business can have in its toolbox, digitally optimizing your bookkeeping process so that you can focus more energy on growing your business.
With so many incredible features available through QuickBooks, you may not be using all of them to your greatest advantage! We've pinpointed five ways you can make better use of all that QuickBooks Online has to offer.
Reconcile your bank and credit card accounts proactively.
You know what bank account reconciliation is, even if you practice it sparingly. It's essential, and QuickBooks Online simplifies the process, allowing you to review transactions as they come in directly from your bank feed, making your monthly routine more manageable.
Hover over Banking in the toolbar and click Banking in the menu that opens. Select the account you want to work with. Ensure for review is highlighted so only new transactions appear in the register. Edit the transaction if necessary, assign it to an account on your chart of accounts, upload supporting documentation like a receipt, and click Add to move it into the Categorized register.
We also have a few suggestions from previous articles to help you optimize this process. To learn how to automate the categorization of certain types of transactions, click here. If you want to learn how to import receipts into QuickBooks more efficiently, click here.
You can edit imported transactions and move them into the Categorized register.
Use QuickBooks Payments to accept online payments from customers.
We've talked about this before. Setting up a merchant account through QuickBooks Payments will allow you to accept credit and debit cards and ACH transfers as customer payments (and if you contact us first, we can help you secure lower processing fees as QuickBooks Solution Providers! More on that here). You can even accept Apple Pay, PayPal, and Venmo. (There are transaction fees, but they're competitive.) You'll have access to tools that allow you to take payments in three ways:
Online invoices. QuickBooks Online's invoices will contain easy instructions for paying online.
In person. You can buy the Intuit GoPayment card reader ($49) and use the companion app to connect wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet. Customers can insert or tap cards and use digital wallets.
Over the phone. If customers are hesitant to put their payment information online, you can key in their numbers yourself.
Generate Financial Reports Regularly using QuickBooks Online.
How often do you run reports? If you're only taking an occasional look at the site's pre-formatted reports (click Reports in the toolbar), you're missing out on the insights that QuickBooks Online can provide. Could you make it a resolution to run them regularly? We recommend Accounts receivable aging (detail or summary), Accounts Payable Aging (detail or summary), Open invoices, and Unpaid bills. Keep a close eye on your item sales to see what's selling and what's stalling with Sales by product/service (detail or summary).
Other, more complex reports (For my accountant) should also be generated regularly. They don't just deal with things like money coming in and going out. Instead, they provide a more comprehensive view of your finances to help you understand your current financial status and help you plan for the future. They include Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, and Statement of Cash Flows, and they should be run monthly or quarterly depending on the size of your business and the number of transactions you have monthly. QuickBooks Online can create them, but analyzing them will be difficult. We can help you make sense of them.
Ensure your inventory records are complete in QuickBooks Online.
Are your inventory records complete? Do you go back and fill in the missing inventory information later? You won't get the inventory tracking benefits the site offers with incomplete records. QuickBooks Online allows you to add new product records on the fly while creating transactions. Go through your product records and fill in the missing information, especially the Reorder point. You can always see where you stand with stock levels by clicking Products and services in the toolbar.
If you complete your inventory records, you'll always know what the status of your stock is.
Improve your invoices, statements, and estimates by customizing them in QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Online's default sales forms are good, but you can improve them by customizing them to reinforce your company's brand. Click the gear icon in the upper right and select Account and settings. Click Sales in the toolbar. If you want to work with the forms' design, click Customize look and feel. You can also edit the Sales form content by toggling options off and on. We have an entire article about customizing your invoices and other sales forms here. Certain aspects of changing your sales forms are more complicated, and the blog post we just referenced covers this in greater detail. If you're interested in applying these more advanced edits to your customer sales forms, please reach out to us first --this is one of the most common issues we're brought in to fix for companies!
QuickBooks Online allows you to modify the design and content of your forms.
We know you're especially busy this time of year, and we want you to enjoy the season while you wrap up your business for the year. We hope you'll remember our suggestions as you turn the calendar page to January. Let us know if we can help as you continue to explore QuickBooks Online and use it to better understand—and maybe even improve—your company's finances.