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5 Things You Should Do Every Time You Open QuickBooks Desktop

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Strong habits are the foundation of your business's processes. These five recommendations will help you stay informed about the health of your business's finances.

As a business owner, you know that financial success requires efficiency. Efficiency is achieved when processes are standardized, and processes are standardized by forming good habits. And when it comes to your business's finances, good habits equate to good data. In this blog post, we outline five steps to take whenever you open QuickBooks that will help you establish good financial habits that will benefit your business in the long run.

Open the Income Tracker

The Income Tracker is the best way to get a quick look at the status of your receivables. Go to Customers | Income Tracker. Colored bars across the top of the page indicate the number of transactions and dollar totals for Estimates, Unbilled Sales Orders, Unbilled Time & Expenses, Unpaid Open Invoices and Overdue Invoices, and the Amount Paid Last 30 Days. Click any of the bars, and a list will populate below, displaying only those transactions.

QuickBooks Desktop Income Tracker Screenshot from 2023, showing how to review time and expenses based on customer.

QuickBooks’ Income Tracker can tell you quickly about the status of your receivables. At the end of each row, you’ll see a down arrow under Action. You can click it to complete related tasks like Create Invoice, Receive Payment, and Email Row. You can also do Batch Actions like Invoice and Batch Email. You can also create new transactions from here.

Look at your Snapshots

The Snapshot feature provides real-time and consolidated information and lets you perform tasks from a single place. You have three types of snapshots: Company, Payments, and Customer (Company | Company Snapshot). The Customer tab in Snapshots is also the only place where you can see the average number of days it takes a customer to pay their invoices and the number of years they've been your customers. Take a good look at the charts and tables in the first two especially. You can learn a lot in a short period.

QuickBooks Desktop screenshot from 2023 showing the snapshots feature. This is the only place you can see how long you've had a customer, and the average number of days it takes them to pay their invoice.

Check your inventory levels

If your business model involves inventory, checking the Inventory Stock Status by Item report is something you should be doing every time you open QuickBooks. To find this report, go to Reports | Inventory. Look at the Reorder Pt (Min) and Available columns. Checking this regularly will help you avoid unexpected shortages when products begin selling rapidly. You don’t have to wait until you hit the reorder point. Try to anticipate shortages when products are selling rapidly, and change the Reorder Pt if necessary.

Screenshot of QuickBooks Desktop from 2023, showing how to set the reorder point for inventory

You can set and edit your Reorder Point when creating an inventory item in QuickBooks.

Check Your Payments to Deposit

Do you check your Undeposited Funds account regularly? If not, You should be. Leaving your Undeposited Funds account unchecked for long periods can cause discrepancies in your AR reports and bank balances. If you have revenue sitting in your Undeposited Funds account, we have an entire tutorial on what to do, which you can read here.

Look at Bill Tracker

If you’re tracking your bills in QuickBooks’ Bill Tracker (and we recommend you do), you can quickly determine if you have any outstanding bills or any that are coming due soon. Go to Vendors | Bill Tracker. This works just like the Income Tracker. Colored bars at the top of the screen divide your bills into:

  • Unbilled purchase orders

  • Unpaid open bills

  • Unpaid overdue bills

  • Bills paid in the last 30 days.

Check the Due Date column to see where you stand with payables. Options in the Action column include Convert to Bill, Close PO, and Pay Bill. This is also a place where you could batch close purchase orders that you needed to clean up.

Make It Second Nature

It may take you some time at first to run through all of these steps. But if you make them a habit, they will start to come naturally – and quickly. There are, of course, additional ways to get a handle on your finances, but if you consult these screens regularly, you’ll have a good idea of actions you need to take and potential problems looming. Remember: We’re here to help with any of your QuickBooks concerns. And if you're just getting started with QuickBooks, we can provide one-on-one training that's custom-tailored to the needs of your business and team.

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