October 12, 2009

Save Time With Memorized Reports in QuickBooks

Memorizing ReportsWhen you make modifications and customize a particular report, you may decide that you would like to save the settings and modifications, so that you can later pull the same report without having to go through all of the modifications. QuickBooks makes this easy with Memorized Reports.

Click on the Modify Reports button and make whatever changes you would like to make. Complete your changes and click on OK to return to the report.

When you are done with report click on the Memorize button in the top left hand part of the report window.

QuickBooks will now prompt you to enter a new name for the report. You can name it anything that you would like.

Click OK to Finish.

To retrieve the report at a later time, simply click on Reports from the Main Menu, and then click on Memorized Reports. The report that you created will be on the list, and you can click on it to bring it up.

You can also create a Memorized Report group.

Click on Reports from the Main Menu and click Memorized Reports.
This will bring up a listing of the memorized reports.

Click the Memorized Report button at the bottom and choose New Group.

Name your group. For example Trust Reports.
Click OK when done.

Now click on a memorized report and click the Memorized Report button at the bottom.
Click Edit Memorized Report.
Add that report to your new group.

Now when it comes time to print out or display those reports you can just go to Memorized Reports, Choose the group and then Display or Print.

July 26, 2009

Moving Money from Trust to Operating in QuickBooks

The biggest mistake I see attorneys make while using QuickBooks for Trust Accounting is trying to get money from the Client Trust Account to the Law Firm Operating Account. If not done correctly, this can cause a major issue for your Client Trust Account Reports.

Don't make the mistake of just writing a check out of your trust account and code it to the operating account. Almost all of the trust account transactions should hit the client trust liability account and individual client's subaccount. By transferring or coding, you are skipping this step , and then you have no record of where that money is or who's money it came from.

Here is a quick breakdown of the proper steps for moving money for fees from your Client Trust Account to your Law Firm Operating Account.

1. Create a charge for your fees using statement charges or invoices.
2. Write a check out of the trust account and then choose the client's subaccount under the Client Trust Liability account.
3. Receive the payment against the charge just like you would if they walked in and paid you.
4. Make a deposit into your Operating account.

These steps will make sure that all of the transactions in the client trust liability account are balanced and will help you get the reports you need to stay in compliance with trust accounting rules and regulations.

If you are new to QuickBooks or would like more help with using QuickBooks in your Law Practice please take a look at my books; Law Practice Accounting Using QuickBooks and Maintaining a Trust Account Using QuickBooks  you can also call me at 904-284-4480 and we can setup a consulting appointment to go over your needs.  I specialize in this area of QuickBooks and offer training. 

You can visit me at www.attorneystechnology.com

QuickBooks for Mac

How did I live without it? I recently purchased a Mac for the sole purpose of writing my book for attorneys and property owners who use QuickBooks on their Mac. I was surprised to see that it had a different look and feel than the PC version of QuickBooks. I was having so much fun with my Mac that I got rid of Verizon and purchased the IPhone.

Some of the differences that I noticed right off was how much faster QuickBooks runs on the Mac. The help files load fast and reports load faster. I love the fact that I can link my contacts to my address book and my IPhone!

I recommend attorneys use statement charges and not invoices. It is so hard or impossible to get notes out of the invoice for any reporting purposes. When using statement charges I entered a note with 250 characters and they all exported to excel. This is great! When I used the time sheet to enter information I noticed it will only let me put in 99 characters.

QuickBooks for Mac does not currently have a multi-user version. You can save your QuickBooks data file on your network, and different individuals in your organization can access the file, but not at the same time. Also, Windows and Mac versions of QuickBooks cannot work together on a multi-user license.

Well the book should be back from review this week. If you would like to be one of the first to get the book at a special price in August, please feel free to email me at lynette@attorneystechnology.com

May 6, 2009

Attorneys can Track Time, Retainers, Conflicts and More using QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the number one small business accounting software and for good reason. It is easy to use and reasonably priced. QuickBooks can do the following things that Attorneys generally need:

Track Billable and Non Billable Time - QuickBooks has a great Time Tracking feature. An attorney can track their billable and non billable time for their clients. It also has a Timer program that comes separate and able to run without QuickBooks. This enables everyone in the office to track time and the bookkeeper and pull the time into QuickBooks.

Billing Rates and Price Levels - You can create custom price levels for your clients. It can also track Billing Rate levels that can be associated by the time keeper. (This is available in the Professional Services edition.)

Conflicts of Interest – In the 2009 versions of QuickBooks you have the ability to do advanced searches quickly and easily within your customer list.

Retainers – Yes you can track retainers in QuickBooks. Reports can easily be created and memorized so you will always know what money you are holding in retainers.

Trust Accounting – Easily track the money you are holding in trust and create reports to help you stay in compliance with Trust Accounting Laws.

QuickBooks also has the ability to:
Write checks
Link to online Bank Accounts
Accounts Receivable
Accounts Payable

Need help getting started or training I can help. www.attorneystechnology.com

February 25, 2009

Sample Chart of Accounts for Law Firms

Here is a link to two sample chart of accounts that Attorneys can use for their Law Firms. The Medium size chart of accounts was modeled after the American Bar Association.

Quickbooks for Attorneys Sample Chart of Accounts

February 11, 2009

Can Lawyers Use QuickBooks?

The answer is Yes. QuickBooks is the number one small business accounting software and for good reason. It is easy to use and reasonably priced. It allows you to keep track of your Trust account, Retainers, Billable Time, Clients and Income and Expenses. The key is choosing the right version for your law practice and setting it up right to begin with. I have written a book that is step-by-step on how to use in a Law Practice. You can find it at www.attorneystechnology.com.

QuickBooks has serveral versions available, Online edition, Simple Start, QuickBooks for Mac, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise. Choosing the right one for your business can be confusing. First let me tell you that I do not personally recommend Simple Start for attorneys. The following questions may help you decide which version of QuickBooks to get.

Do you need more than 5 people to have access to QuickBooks? If so you need the Enterprise Edition. This will allow up to 30 users.

Do you need access to the QuickBooks file anywhere any time? If so and you don’t use things like pcnow or gotomypc you may consider using the online edtion for QuickBooks. The cost starts at about $9.95 a month not including payroll $19.95 a month. If you need more than one person besides your accountant to have access to the file you will need to upgrade to the online plus which starts around $34.95 a month not including payroll $19.95 a month. This is not my favorite choice because I find it cumbersome when it comes to tracking time and billing clients. Also one feature I don’t like is it allows you to delete stuff that can reallly cause a problem later.

Do you want to setup rates for individual clients? This is a biggie. If you want to be able to charge a different rate for each client or type of client you really need to get the QuickBooks Premier Edition. This not only allows you to setup rates for clients but rates for your employees.

Do you track time? If so and you want to bill your clients using the invoice method the QuickBooks Premier Edition is perfect for this. It allows you to see unbilled time and expenses on one screen and bill for it.

Are you just starting your Law Practice? If you are just starting your law practice and you still don’t know which version to get I recommend getting the QuickBooks Pro version.

The main differences between the Pro and the Premier version that could affect your buisness type is the Premier version allows you to set indivudal rates for your clients, for your employees and allows you to bill your time in one screen. The cost is about $199.00 for the Pro version and $399.00 for the Premier version. If you think you will need to set individual rates for clients and employees I really recommend making the investment for the Premier version.

February 8, 2009

Before Updating to QuickBooks 2009 Read System Requirements

The system requirements have changed for QuickBooks 2009. It does not work on Windows 2000. Make sure your computers are upgraded before you install. Here is a link to the system requirements. http://quickbooks.intuit.com/product/accounting-software/small-business-accounting-software.jsp

Operating Systems supported:
Windows XP (SP2 or later strongly recommended), all editions
Windows 2003 Server
Windows Vista (w/UAC on), all editions
Windows Longhorn Server (database only, not client)

My Customer List in QuickBooks is Sorted Wrong on Reports

I got a call from one of my clients and she was so frustrated because her customer list was sorted wrong on her aging report and customer sales report. I couldn’t figure out what she could have done so I had to see for myself. YEP it was messed up. This is how you fix this if the QuickBooks gremlin gets in your company file.

Go to the Write Checks Window.
When the window appears click on the Payee field and press CTRL and L.
The Names List window will pop up. Click on the Name button at the bottom.
Choose Re-sort list.

This should fix it.