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Here are my favorite Newbies in QuickBooks 2014....
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Slide 1 - QuickBooks 2014 Color Scheme Options
Even though Intuit has made a change in the 'default' color scheme of QuickBooks 2014 to something I call 'Blue-Black", they still are offering users 14 optional colors for their QuickBooks files.
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Slide 2 - Batch Enter Transactions (Enhanced for QuickBooks 2014)
Save time by entering multiple checks, deposits, and credit card charges and credits in a spreadsheet format. For 2014 this feature has been enhanced to include Vendor Bills & Bill Credits, and Customer Invoices & Credit Memos. This improved feature is faster than traditional methods, you can even 'cut and paste' data from Excel directly into this interface.
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Slide 3 - Improved Batch Entry for QuickBooks 2014
Another improvement is the ability to use Items when the Multi-location Advanced Inventory feature is turned on (although at the time of this review, the in-product Help menu will still tell you that you cannot do so.) Even the ‘Split’ transaction screen now supports Item, Site and Location functionality.
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Slide 4 - Customized Split Window (New columns for 2014)
You can add a greater variety of columns to the split screen for 2014, for example Items and Location can be used together if you are using the Advanced Inventory feature for QB Enterprise. Note some columns are required and can not be removed, but can be repositioned using the customize columns feature.
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Slide 5 Enhanced (QB-2014) Multiple List Entries Feature
Use the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window to add and edit multiple customers, vendors, service items, inventory items, non-inventory items, inventory assemblies (new for 2014) and inventory sites (if using the Advanced Inventory feature with QuickBooks Enterprise). You can also copy and paste list information from Excel directly into QuickBooks using this window.
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Slide 6 - New (QB 2014) Job Work in Progress (WIP) Summary Report
This report shows a summary of job-related information, including estimated and actual cost, the percent complete, and the estimated, earned, and actual revenue. The Earned Revenue column shows the amount you've earned for the job but haven't billed the customer for. The Act. Revenue column shows the amount you've already billed the customer for.
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Slide 7 - New (QB-2014) Committed Costs by Job Report
This report shows the committed costs for each job. Committed costs are the costs incurred for a job but for which you haven't billed the customer. The amount in the Total Cost column is the actual cost (that is, expenses you've already billed the customer for) plus committed costs and unpaid wages. The amount in the Remaining Cost column is the estimated cost minus the total cost.
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things”1
A few weeks back I wrote a blog asking Intuitive Accountant readers to let us know what new or expanded features they would like to see in QuickBooks 2014; hundreds of people sent in comments. In the back of my mind, at the time I wrote that blog, I had a list of my own wishes for QB-2014. Of my list several wishes did ‘come true’, at least to some extent.
Years ago, I loved to write with an old fashioned fountain pen which I filled from an ink reservoir; I always used a unique color of ink blended from blue and black called “Blue-Black”. Well Intuit has brought a sense of color back to QuickBooks-2014 once again, with what appears to be my old friend, Blue-Black. I could be totally wrong on this, but I compared the 2014 “default’ color screens with the 2013 “Dark Blue” option and found that the new 2014 was a little more ‘black’ then the ‘dark-blue’; both ‘black’ and the ‘dark blue’ are no longer listed in the Company file color options of the Desktop preference so in my way of thinking Intuit has blended the two colors together and I personally ‘love’ it, it looks ‘very sophisticated’ to me. Of course you may not like the new ‘default color’ but you have options, (See Slide 1) there are 14 other colors to select from in customizing the appearance.
The next two changes I want to give you the ‘quick-n-dirty’ on are Batch Enter Transactions and Add/Edit Multiple List Entries. I know you are saying, “Murph, we already had those things”, that is true but each of these features has been expanded for 2014 and while they can still be improved, this year’s expanded capabilities are a step in the right direction.
BATCH ENTER TRANSACTIONS - EXPANDED FOR 2014 (Accountant versions)
QuickBooks has expanded the capabilities of the Batch Enter Transactions feature for 2014 by adding Bill & Bill Credits, and Invoices & Credit Memos. (See Slide 2) This provides a speedy data entry methodology as well the capability to ‘paste’ data from another format, such as Excel. I was able to hand enter 10 Vendor Bills (involving items) in less than a minute; try doing that from the traditional vendor bill interface.
Customize the columns for all of your requirements. In my example we added Quantity, Item, Site and Location. Vendor bills are entered as positive amounts and vendor credits are entered as negative amounts. (Slide 3) The new display gives you the total of both charges and credits to help insure that your entries are accurate. Now if Intuit had only given us a way to ‘link’ the Credits to Invoices within this interface that would have ranked right up there with 'whiskers on kittens'.
Another improvement is the ability to use Items even when the Multi-location Advanced Inventory feature is turned on (although at the time of this review, the in-product Help menu will still tell you that you cannot do so.) Even the ‘Split’ transaction screen now supports Item, Site and Location functionality. A major improvement, especially for those using QBES-Advanced Inventory features. (Slide 4)
I personally like this expanded capability; and I would like to see the QuickBooks development team continue to add functionality to this feature. I can one day see this method as the preferred data entry interface for many transactions, especially for seasoned QuickBooks professionals.
ADD/EDIT MULTIPLE LIST ENTRIES – EXPANDED FOR 2014
Inventory Assemblies has been added to the list of items that can be added or edited from the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries function. This is a great new functionality, especially for users who have a lot of smaller assemblies. It provides an easy way to update basic information such as cost or sale price, build points, and custom field data. (Slide 5) Oh for the heavy manufacturer with the need for nested assemblies (which is another new feature itself that we will discuss another day), the ability to edit assemblies in Add/Edit Multiple List Entries may not seem like much of a help, but I think the small guys will really appreciate this expanded capability.
I really would like to see every ‘QuickBooks list’ accessible from this interface. For example how many times have you needed to update 10 or 15 different sales tax values; you have to go in and edit each and every one of those codes. If Sales Tax Items were an available option under the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries interface you could make those changes in seconds verses minutes. Come on Intuit we the people (your customers) want more. Expanded capabilities for this QuickBooks feature will definitely remain on my ‘wish list’ for 2015.
A Couple of New Reports I Really Like
Not everything new in QuickBooks 2014 is an enhanced feature; there are a lot of other improvements as well. A couple of new reports caught my eye, in part because I have seen these requested time and time again in forums, and listened to customers ask why there is no report available. The two reports I want to bring to your attention can both be found under the Jobs, Time and Mileage menu of Reports; they are the new Job Work in Progress (WIP) Summary and the Committed Costs by Job report.
The Job Work in Progress (WIP) Summary shows a summary of job-related information, including estimated and actual cost, the percent complete, and the estimated, earned, and actual revenue. (Slide 6) The Earned Revenue column shows the amount you've earned for the job but haven't billed the customer for. The Act. Revenue column shows the amount you've already billed the customer for. This report is very similar to the Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary report; however it contains the new “percent completed” column. You use to have to export data from QuickBooks into Excel in order to compute the difference between Estimated and Actual Cost in order to determine the percentage complete; now QuickBooks does all this for you. This is an important report for contractors or anyone who is job costing.
The new Committed Costs by Job report shows the costs incurred for a job but for which you haven't billed the customer. The Est. Cost comes from the job estimate, the Act. Cost represents the costs you have already billed the customer for. The amount in the Total Cost column is the Act. cost amount plus committed costs and unpaid wages. Committed costs are those amounts that appear on unpaid purchase orders for a job. Unpaid wages come from time entries that have not yet been posted to a payroll check. The amount in the Remaining Cost column represents the Est. cost amount minus the Total cost amount. This again is a very beneficial report if you actually use all aspects of Job Costing in QuickBooks following the flow from Job Estimate to Purchase Orders to Time Keeping and Progress Billing. (Slide 7 shows examples of where both proper and improper use of this report.) As you can see from the example, if you don’t start with an estimate, this report spits out a lot of meaningless information.
Let's not forget, I wrote this article based upon pre-release versions of QuickBooks 2014 products, so it is possible that some of the newbies I described might be slightly different, or updated by the time QuickBooks 2014 is actually released. Over the next few weeks Intuitive Accountant will be reviewing more of the new features, functions and enhancements in the various versions of QuickBooks-2014. Feel free to use the ‘comments section’ of this article to tell us about your favorite “newbie in QB” if you already have it running.
1-"My Favorite Things; Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music (1959).Composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein.
Figit Friends Newbies (as shown in this articles' headline) are the registered trademark of Mattel, Corporation.