By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs
It is not uncommon for business owners to find themselves knee-deep in the daunting task of “catching up on the books.” At our firm, we often see clients spending more time than is required doing so because they are not aware of some very handy features of the accounting software. There are several tips and functions within QuickBooks — a popular choice for many business owners — that can save hours when preparing financials and performing bookkeeping functions. Some of the most common and most time saving functions are listed below.
For transactions that occur every month and are the same amount, QuickBooks can memorize these transactions and book them automatically on a certain day of the week, month, or year, saving a significant amount of time entering the same information over and over. For transactions that vary in amount every month, there is an option to memorize the transaction for when you want to use it. Even though it’s not automatically created, it saves time required in selecting the vendor, customer, or accounts in a journal entry. The entry and all of its information is saved in the memorized transaction list. When selected, amounts can be changed before booking.
Setting up your bank account to feed any activity into QuickBooks is a huge time saver. When set up correctly, QuickBooks pulls activity from your bank account into the file, where you then review it. When reviewing, a vendor or customer is selected along with the correlating account to which it is coded. By using bank feeds, the time spent manually entering each individual transaction is eliminated. It also ensures that all activity from the bank statement is imported, making the bank reconciliation process less time consuming.
Even though keyboard shortcuts may only save a couple of seconds when they are used, those couple of seconds can add up to minutes, saving valuable time in doing the bookkeeping. Some of the most common keyboard shortcuts are listed below.
- Pull up Chart of Accounts — Ctrl + A
- Create an Invoice — Ctrl + I
- Pull up Customer List — Ctrl + J
- Create Journal Entry — Ctrl + Y
- Write a Check — Ctrl + W
- Delete the selected line in a transaction — Ctrl + Del
- Insert a Blank Line — Ctrl + Ins
- Save Transaction — Alt + S
- Print — Ctrl + P
Using the search feature of QuickBooks can save hours and hours of time looking for a transaction that may have occurred several months or years ago. If you know some of the information about a transaction you are looking for, then the search feature is the way to go. After pressing Ctrl + F a box will appear that allows you to search in various different ways. Whether searching for a bill, check, invoice, payment, vendor, customer, or journal entry, this feature can find it all, no matter when the transaction occurred. There is also the option to search by the dollar amount of the transaction. This feature has saved not only my client’s time, but I also find it very useful and a huge time saver myself.
For those business owners who want to minimize the amount of time needed to keep up their books, these tips and tricks can make the process a lot less tedious. For more information on QuickBooks or QuickBooks training, contact us today.
Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com or at BRavencraft@HolbrookManter.com.