Updated: Oct 6
Is Your QuickBooks company file ready for 2022? Three things you can do to get your financial data in order.
When January comes each year, we often find ourselves in a rather transitional state. We're tying up loose ends from one of the most hectic times of the year: Thanksgiving to New Year. At the same time as we're looking back, we also have to prepare ourselves for year ahead, all while maintaining our day-to-day duties. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell sometimes which year we're working on!
And while you probably don't want to add one more thing to your to-do list, taking care of your 2021 QuickBooks data before it slips away from the top of your mind will make life as a business manager much easier in 2022. Once you start entering transactions and placing orders and welcoming new customers, it will help tremendously to have a clean slate.
We have four helpful suggestions for completing as much of the work you started in 2021 as possible.
Run four critical reports.
Sometimes, bills can slip through the cracks without being paid in December because there’s so much going on. This applies to both you and your customers. Make sure you're caught up on what’s owed to you and what you owe to your vendors. Generating these four reports in QuickBooks can help you determine what's still outstanding:
A/R Aging Detail. This report answers the following questions: Which customers are in arrears with their payments to you? How much do they owe you, and when should the funds have been received by your business?
Open Invoices. This report answers the question, "Which invoices have not yet been paid?" If you're sensing some duplication with the A/R Aging Detail report, you're right; the difference is that this report isolates only unpaid transactions.
A/P Aging Detail. This report answers the question, "Am I caught up with the money I owe to my vendors?"
Unpaid Bill Details. Like Open Invoices, this report sets apart only the bills that have unpaid balances.
Create statements for past-due customers.
If you don't want to communicate directly with overdue customers, sending statements is one collection method you can use.
You’ll have to decide how hard you want to lean on customers who are late paying your bills when it’s so early in the year. Certainly, if any customers are more than sixty days late (or thirty days, if they have sizable balances), you may want to make a phone call or send a personalized email asking them to fulfill their obligations.
Another helpful method to follow up includes sending statements to overdue customers. A statement provides details of financial activity between you and your customers during a set period of time, for example, the last thirty days, six months, etc. This can be particularly helpful if a customer pays sporadically, for multiple months at a time, etc. To create a statement, open the Customers menu and click Create Statements. Review the options listed in the window that populates and indicate your preferences. If, on the tenth day after sending a statement, a customer still hasn't responded , it may be time for a phone call.
Take a hard look at your inventory.
It may have been a while since you reviewed your inventory last, but a new year is a great time to begin regular reviews – most especially if you experienced a busy holiday season of sales. The best way to start on this is to open the Vendors menu, scroll down and hover over Vendor Activities, and click Inventory Center.
If you don’t have a lot of inventory, you could just highlight each entry under Active Inventory, Assembly over to the left. The window that opens on the right side of the screen holds an enormous amount of detail about each item. However, if you sell a great variety of items, this process will take too much time. Instead, you might run one or more of the reports linked from the Inventory Center. Even the QuickReport can be helpful.
You can gain a great deal of information about individual items you sell in QuickBooks’ Inventory Center.
Tip: If you need to adjust the quantity you have on hand, click the down arrow next to Manage Transactions in the lower left and select Adjust Quantity/Value on Hand. If this is a problem you're running into, consult with us and we can review any inventory issues with you.
Set Up Online Financial Connections
January is also a good time to be thinking about how you can better use QuickBooks in 2022. We tend to learn how to use the tools we need and not explore any further once we become comfortable using any kind of software. QuickBooks is such a massive program that this approach is understandable, but if there's a magic feature you wish the platform had, reach out to us; chances are you just haven't discovered it yet.
To start, there are two tools you might not yet have discovered that can have a tremendous impact on your daily workflow, your ability to get paid faster by customers, and your understanding of where you stand financially every day. They are:
Online Banking. Did you know that you can connect QuickBooks to many financial institutions and import your cleared transactions every day? That’s what the Bank Feeds Center is all about. If you sign up for this service, you won’t have to wait until your monthly statement comes to see what transactions have gone through. Check out our helpful tutorial here to get started.
Online Payments. If you’re only accepting checks as payment from your customers, you’re probably receiving payments more slowly than you could be. Signing up for QuickBooks Desktop Payments will allow you to process credit cards, eChecks, and ACH payments.
We know you’re busy catching up from the holiday breaks right now. But if you need our help with anything we discussed in this month’s column, please reach out to us. We’re always available to set up a consultation.