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Ready your QuickBooks Desktop File for the New Year

Let's tie up those loose ends from 2022 by reviewing your AP and AR. Now that it’s January, it’s time for a fresh start in many ways, including your bookkeeping. However, it can be hard to look ahead when you're not sure where you stand today! Therefore, we recommend taking stock of the state of your QuickBooks Desktop company file. Are you caught up on bills? Do customers need to be invoiced? Are any of them past due on their payments to you? QuickBooks can serve as a barometer of your overall financial health if this information is accurate. Let’s look at what you can do to update your company file and prepare for what's next in 2023.


Who Do You Owe?

With so much going on during the last two months of the calendar year, it's possible to miss a bill payment here or there. So, let's start by taking stock of your outstanding payables. The first thing you should do is run an A/P Aging Detail report. Open the Report Center (Reports | Report Center) and click Vendors & Payables. Locate the report and click the green arrow button. When the report opens, click Customize Report in the upper if you want to change the Dates. Then look to see if any bills are past due. Finally, Double-click on any row to see the original bill and pay it. You can also run the Unpaid Bills Detail report.


The Unpaid Bills Detail report


If you’re past due on any bills, contact the vendors and let them know when they might expect payment. It can make a difference in your relationship.


Who Owes You?

Just as you may have missed some bills in December, your customers might have let invoice payments slip, too. Now is the time for you to find out who is in arrears. There are two reports you can run to help. First, open the Report Center again and click Customers & Receivables. Next, run the A/R Aging Detail report and look at the Aging column to see if any customers have gone past due on payments. Open Invoices, too, can alert you to those customers.


How Should You Approach Past-Due Customers?

This is a problem for every small business. You don’t want to come on too strong and threaten the goodwill you’ve built with your customers, but you have your own cash flow to consider. Here are some approaches:

  • Set up payment reminders so you’ll remember to send follow-up emails. Go to Edit | Preferences | Payments | Company Preferences. Answer the questions under Payment Reminders.

  • Automate reminders. Open the Customers menu and select Payment Reminders | Schedule Payment Reminders. This is a little complicated, so you may want our help. You’ll be creating schedules to automate the sending of invoices or statements at intervals you define. So you might dispatch an invoice to All customers when their payments are 15 days after the due date, for example. Click Add reminder to see the default text for the email accompanying the invoice and edit it.


QuickBooks can automatically send out reminder invoices and statements when customers are a specific number of days past due.


Don’t know how to create statements in QuickBooks? Go to Customers | Create Statements. Here, you’ll tell QuickBooks who should receive statements and specify any other preferences you might have for their content. We have an article that details the differences between different types of sales forms, including Statements, here.


How Do You Turn On Reminders?

Turning on the Reminders tool in QuickBooks can help keep you current on bills, invoices, and other critical tasks. Open the Edit menu and click Preferences. Click Reminders and make sure the box is checked under the My Preferences tab so Reminders will open every time you run QuickBooks. Next, click Company Preferences and tell QuickBooks which reminders you want to see and when.

QuickBooks’ Reminders tool can help you stay current with bills, invoices, and other critical activities.


Making 2023 a Better Year Using QuickBooks Tools

Now that you know how to clean up your receivables and payables from 2022, look out for next month's article, which will discuss steps you can take in QuickBooks to make 2023 a more productive—and hopefully, prosperous—year, including evaluating your inventory.


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