Product Registration Tip

I have not been a huge fan of the  QuickBooks® registration process ever since version 10, when it became necessary to use an Intuit log in to register the product.  As Intuit Solution Providers we are able to order product for our clients and have it pre-registered, which means we get the validation codes with our orders.  With the Intuit login method this doesn’t really do much good as the client must still create an Intuit user name and password, which they might never use again.  However, there is a way around this process.  When you open QuickBooks®, click on Help and then About Intuit QuickBooks®…  With the Help window open click Ctrl+R+P and the old registration window will appear, you can then enter your validation code.  This is a much easier way to get the process done when you have clients who have never created an Intuit user name or if they do not remember the information.

Recently we received a call from a client letting us know that they had gotten a new computer and installed their copy of QuickBooks® on it.  After 30 days it was now asking them to register the product before they could continue to use it.  The individual whose login was used for the original registration was not in the office at the time, and there was work to be done.  We had saved the product registration number on the license key label, so we were able to use the method above to get the product registered and keep the client running with no lost time.

It’s little tips and tricks like these that are nice to have tucked away for occasions such as the one above.


Custom Reporting And QuickBooks® Enterprise 2011

We are very excited about one of the new features in QuickBooks® Enterprise 2011!  We haven’t really seen anything written about it yet so we thought we might as well take the opportunity to do so.  The Intuit Press Release “ QuickBooks® 2011 Saves Small Businesses Time in the Back Office” mentions most of the new additions to QuickBooks® Enterprise, however, one thing is not mentioned, the new Open DataBase Connection (ODBC) Driver.

This is not a replacement to the QODBC driver that has been available for some time now from FLEXquarters.  It is an additional tool that has been made available by the developers at Intuit.  This tool provides direct access to the QuickBooks® database via table views.  Alembic has been working with the Intuit development team since early in the development stages of this great tool and we have found it to be a very nice addition.  This driver provides strictly read only access to the database, unlike the advanced driver available by FLEXquarters which provides both read and write access.  However, when it comes to custom reporting read access is all we need and this driver is FAST!  Unlike the QODBC driver that uses the QuickBooks® SDK to build a secondary database to work from, this new driver works directly with the data.  We were able to develop a report that pulled thousands of records in just a few seconds.

In addition to being fast we also have access to data that is unavailable via the QODBC driver, due to limitations imposed by the SDK.  An example of this improved access is that we can now report on budget information contained within the QuickBooks® file.  In the past if we wanted to report on budget data we had to export the info into another program, such as MS Access, pull additional data in, and then develop our report off of that.  It was a very tedious and time consuming process.  With this new tool this will no longer be an issue!

Since this is a new tool it does take a little bit of getting used to.  You must create a reporting user within QuickBooks®, the driver is a File DSN as opposed to a System DSN, and the QuickBooks® file must be opened when accessing the data.  We were fortunate to work directly with the development team at Intuit, learning first-hand how tables are related to one another and what relationships are needed to get to the data correctly.  It was a great jump start for us.

We look forward to using this great new addition to QuickBooks® Enterprise 2011, which will be available for purchase September 27, 2010.  Contact us today to learn how you can purchase this #1 Rated financial solution.


Credit Card Security Standards And QuickBooks®

If you process or store credit card information within your QuickBooks® file you must have secure passwords for your users.  This is to ensure that you are in compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS).

QuickBooks® facilitates this compliance; however, there are additional steps outside of QuickBooks® you and your business will need to perform in order to be in compliance with these security standards.

The PCI requirements are as follows:

  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  2. Do not use vendor supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  3. Protect cardholder data
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
  5. Use and regularly update antivirus software
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
  8. Assign a Unique ID to each person with computer access
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  11. Regularly test security systems and processes
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security.

Functionality in QuickBooks® will assist you with item 3 above by implementing the QuickBooks® Complex Password Requirements feature and number 10 can be achieved by using the QuickBooks® Credit Card Audit Trail.  The other 10 requirements will require actions from you in order to be completed outside of QuickBooks®.  If you have questions about these requirements please feel free to contact us.  We will be happy to assist you in any way possible.


Intuit GoPayment

There is a great tool for businesses that have sales or service people out in the field and need to take payments; it’s called Intuit GoPayment.  This tool allows anyone with a subscription to process all major credit card payments right from their web enabled mobile phone.  There is even an optional blue-tooth credit card swipe that you can use if you receive many payments in the field and you’re looking to get the swipe rate on your transactions.  No terminals or imprint machines to hassle with.

This service will allow your staff to receive payments on the spot, rather than waiting for a check to arrive and clear, plus it gets your cash flow moving faster.  I haven’t met anyone that didn’t want to get cash coming in as fast as possible.

If you find yourself out in the field and you receive a “GoPayment” and you client would like a receipt, no worries.  Another great option is the ability to e-mail or text a receipt to the customer.

With Intuit GoPayment, you have the ability to easily manage users and transactions online; or, if you use Intuit QuickBooks®, you can download transactions directly into your company file.  Could they make this any easier?

It’s all about getting paid faster!  If this is something you’re interested in please contact us today for more information.

Consulting, QuickBooks

QuickBooks® – Pay For Items When You Order Them

We recently converted one of our clients from a different accounting system; where things are done quite a bit different than they are in QuickBooks®.  Once we got them up and running, they went off on their merry way.  It wasn’t long however, before we realized that we need to spend a little time on training.  Prepaying for an order is quite a different process in QuickBooks® than in their previous system, in order to do this properly here is what you need to do…

  1. Create a Purchase Order for the items
  2. Create another current asset account, name it “Prepaid Inventory,” or something similar
  3. Enter charges for the item, either by writing a check or entering a credit card charge.  When QuickBooks® identifies open purchase orders for the vendor, do not select the purchase order.
  4. On the Expenses tab of the check or credit card charge, click the Account field.  Choose the current asset account that you created in step 2.
  5. Save the transaction

To receive the items

  1. Find the check or credit card transaction you created above
  2. On the Expenses tab, select the line that contains your current asset account created earlier
  3. Go to the Edit menu and click Delete Line
  4. Click on the Items tab
  5. Click Select PO
  6. Click the purchase order you created in the ordering steps above and then click OK
  7. If necessary, record additional expenses on a new check or credit card charge.  Don’t add additional expenses to the existing check or credit card charge
  8. Save the transaction
Fishbowl, QuickBooks

Auto Numbering In Fishbowl

There are times when auto numbering is a very convenient thing to have, but there are other times when it creates trouble that we really don’t need.

One of these times is when we have two departments that utilize different numbering schemes for their sales orders. One department is happily moving along entering sales orders and all of a sudden their next number is hundreds or even thousands of numbers ahead or behind the last number they entered. After a few moments they realize that the number matches the format of the other department. How did that happen? Auto numbering! The system takes the last number that was used and adds one to it, then stores it in a hold location until it is called upon by the next sales order.  Again this is not always ideal.

This is something that recently happened with a client of ours,  and one of our recommendations to remedy this issue was to turn off the auto numbering feature in Fishbowl Inventory. This,  however, is not as simple as un-checking a check box. In Fishbowl you go to the Property Module (located in the Setup Module), from there  you will double click on the option you want to remove; in this case “Auto SO Number”, and delete it using the delete button in the menu bar. To turn this feature back on, go to the Sales Order Module (located in the Sales Module), click on Tools/Modules Options and check the “Auto-Assign SO Numbers” checkbox and enter the number for the next Sales Order in the “Next Number” text box.

This was not our only recommendation to fix the problem they were experiencing; however it was a rather simple one when it came right down to it.


Multiple List Entries, I See A Future For It!

A data migration issue was brought to our attention one day last week.

We were bringing data from Macola over to QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions 10. All seemed well after verification, however, we realized something was amiss. When setting up the Vendor in QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions 10, you MUST put the Company Name on line one of the Address if you want it to appear when printing things such as Purchase Orders.

To correct this minor issue we are utilizing the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries option in QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions 10. This is a great way to reduce the clicks necessary to change information in a situation such as this. It allows you to change information on multiple entries at once and in the long run can be a huge time saver.

This new feature has GREAT potential!