When it comes to updating business records, proper management of bookkeeping and information not only improves accuracy but also saves time and money. In this episode of the Mission Business Podcast, Bernard Roesch shares various ways to manage your accounting and bookkeeping information within QuickBooks aimed at making business operations more efficient.
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When you’re running a business, there’s a lot of things that you want to make sure you’re doing efficiently. That’s going to enable you to have more time to do things that are going to have a big impact on the business.
What we want to talk about today with Bernard is, in your bookkeeping and your accounting routine, there are a number of things that you might be doing manually right now that can either be automated within an accounting system or at least made more efficient. What some of those things might be, so that out of today’s episode you can start doing things more efficiently when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.
How to Setup Recurring Transactions in QuickBooks
Interviewer: So, Bernard, to start off with, can you give us an example of something that the listener might be doing periodically that they could probably do in a more efficient way?
Bernard: Well, a very good example is rent. Most people have rent that they have to pay every month and that rent transaction, that rent bill and rent check is always going to be the same at least for several months in a row. So, QuickBooks enables you to;
- Set up QuickBooks so that a few days before the rent is due you can create what’s called a memorized bill.
- That bill will automatically come up as you set it up so that it will be available to you, already entered when it’s time to pay the rent.
- It will not only save you some steps in terms of entering the transaction, but it will also remind you that the rent is due.
It automatically sort of guides you with what you have to do.
Interviewer: That’s a good point. You mentioned that you can automate the actual creation of that bill in QuickBooks. Is QuickBooks able to actually send the money and do a money transfer from a bank account, or somehow trigger that bill to actually be paid? Is that possible?
Bernard: Well, QuickBooks doesn’t do things automatically because I don’t think you want QuickBooks to do things automatically. You want to keep control of what you’re doing.
- QuickBooks is merely facilitating the process or setting it up for you so that you are reminded it needs to be done and
- Then when you’re ready to do it, you just go ahead and pay the bill and use whatever payment system you normally use.
Interviewer: Okay, that’s definitely a good point to really use QuickBooks to kind of be more efficient.
How To Identify And Prioritize Tasks in QuickBooks
Interviewer: Why don’t we start with helping the listener basically identify and prioritize which types of things in QuickBooks they should start trying to make more efficiently first? How do you go about identifying what to work on or what to make more efficient and how do you prioritize that list?
Bernard: Well, I think anything that is recurring is something that you should try to automate or you should try to set up because it’s going to be much easier for you from a process flow standpoint and also from the standpoint of the actual date of entry. So, the rent isn’t a very good example, but you may also be billing. For instance,
- You may be billing either the same amount to a particular customer every month or maybe a different amount but on a fixed schedule.
- Once again, you can set up memorized transactions so that QuickBooks will automatically enter transactions.
- Sometimes you can also enter transactions as spending. Meaning, that they’re not real transactions, but they will be sort of prepared or preset for you to review and approved.
So, to answer the question, yes. We want to start with anything that’s recurring, predictable. Accounting is very nice because it tends to repeat itself, so there’s a huge potential for automation because of the repeat-ability of what’s going to happen.
Using QuickBooks Features to Customize Client Contacts
Interviewer: Apart from different tasks such as creating invoices and creating bills, we talked about how you can make those more efficient by having them automatically created.
Can you walk the listener through some of the things you might do within QuickBooks related to messaging? For example, sending out invoices to clients, sending out payment reminders if an invoice has been missed. Are there any steps that can be done in QuickBooks to make that part more efficient? Maybe either sending the reminders automatically or possibly pre-populating a message or using some sort of templates. What type of features are there related to contacting clients?
Bernard: Well, generally speaking, QuickBooks is not going to do things automatically for you so that it does things and when you come back, it’s all done. But, it has lots and lots of tools you can use to make things much more efficient. For instance,
- You can create statements. So,
- Rather than creating a statement for one person, emailing it; create another statement for another person, emailing it, you could set up a process so that every month or every couple weeks you create statements per certain parameters for all your customers, and
- You can stage your statements to be emailed either through your own Outlook or directly from QuickBooks.
So, this is a great time saving. It makes things more efficient, more systematic. Just a great example how you can use some process automation in QuickBooks.
How to Keep Your Records Updated Using QuickBooks
Interviewer: Let’s talk through some of the data entry side of things. For example, taking a credit card from the bank and entering all of those transactions manually into QuickBooks. I know a lot of our listeners are probably entering those things manually from a statement or from the online banking records. What are some things that are available to the listener to be able to make that process which can be really time consuming, more efficient?
Bernard: Well, they are at the very basic level. QuickBooks is a very nice program because it automatically by default remembers what you did last time.
- If we have for instance, the bill from AT&T, the first time you enter in QuickBooks, QuickBooks doesn’t know it’s phone. So you enter it as phone.
- Then a couple of times you enter AT&T, the phone, QuickBooks will remember that it is phone. You can still change it to something else.
- Let’s say you bought a piece of equipment or telephone rather than telephone services. So, QuickBooks will do all data entry because they will remember what the distribution was, what the amount was, so you end up entering very few keystrokes when you enter transactions.
Now, speaking of credit card;
- You can also download credit cards directly from your bank into QuickBooks,
- Either getting a file from your bank and importing into QuickBooks or
- Using Direct Connect and have that credit card transaction information downloaded in QuickBooks.
Now, obviously, QuickBooks does not necessarily know what the transactions are, but at least you’ll have the vendor and then you’ll have the amount and the date automatically set up in sort of a staging area, your online banking staging area. So, you’re going to quickly say, oh, this is pizzeria, this is a meal then it goes into this place.
- The good thing about it is you work with online banking and you start coding vendors and transactions.
- Then QuickBooks will remember where things usually go and the process will be more and more efficient as you download more transactions and QuickBooks will remember where to put them.
But, the point is, QuickBooks does not do things automatically from the sense that it does it for you, but it will sort of propose or suggest what it thinks should be done, but you can always change it. You always have full control of what the amounts are, where it goes so that you’re in full control of your accounting and bookkeeping.
Interviewer: Great. Well, I think this has been really helpful for the listener.
A Quick Recap And Next Actions
Interviewer: A couple of take aways that you can get out of today is to;
- First of all, identify things that you do often and in a recurring manner and try and see if you can do those more efficiently using the lessons that Bernard talked about today.
- The second thing that I would encourage you to do is to visit the website at MissionBusinessPodcast.com and learn more about the other things that you can do to really run your business in a more efficient way and feel free to reach out to Bernard. He’d be happy to share some additional insights related to your business.
Thank you so much for your time today, Bernard.
Bernard: Thank you Jon.