There’s no better way to get to know a product than to TEST it and USE it. Intuit has created several playground environments for this very purpose. The Your Books inside of QuickBooks Online Accountant has been left for you to decide how you want to use it. Whether you choose to have it as your playground for testing new apps to see how they integrate and insure functionality before going live with a client's file, or your firm’s own company file running in QuickBooks Online Accountant, either way it’s free for you to use.
If you haven’t moved your company’s file to the cloud this is the perfect time and place to do just that. Remember this is included as a bonus for being a ProAdvisor. If your company’s file is located in a different location, then instead of leaving the 'Your Books' empty, try using it as your testing area.
Apps are a great reason to visit the playground. Every month, more and more Apps are being added to aid in the specialized needs of our clients. With so many solutions available for us and our clients to choose from, it’s great to try before your client buys. As their ProAdvisor it is best to recommend a solution you are confident will work. Testing the App in your QuickBooks Online Accountant 'Your Books' lets you connect an App without the client watching, thus giving you the opportunity to become an expert and provide them with a tested solution. Another benefit is that you can upload a specific situation, or set of books, and test how the App will work inside a controlled environment and monitor the books for a trial period. When you are finished testing you can overwrite the data in the Your Books, this process can be repeated over and over just as long as you do not add a data file with PAYROLL. Intuit is very specific about this, once you add a data file with payroll, the data is stuck forever. Recently Intuit has talked about creating a solution so a company file with payroll does not stick, but for now the rule is, data with payroll stays forever, so be mindful.
To import data into “Your Books” for either the first time, or for testing, the import the procedure is the same. When importing into “Your Books” there is not an end date for importing; however, Intuit only allows a 90-day import period for all regular QuickBooks Online accounts. Be mindful, if you test products in “Your Books” it does cost you the normal per month price,so if you are testing a product for a client then this is the most economical method for doing so.
Step 1 - From inside QuickBooks Desktop: Company > Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
Import to QBO Step 1
(Note: there are several articles and videos about how to upload a data file which include verifying your data for fragments, size, clean up before you convert and run reports to verify data.)
Step 2 - Use your QuickBooks Online Accountant credentials to log-in.
Step 2 - QBES 2 QBO
Step 3 - Choose “Your Books” company (if you have named it already choose the “Your Books” custom name)
QBD to QBO Step 3
Step 4 - Once the upload is initiated you can sit back and wait till Intuit emails saying the data file is ready. How long this process takes depends on how much data is in the file being uploaded.
Step 6 - QBES 2 QBO
Step 5 - Upload Complete - when your file upload is finished, you will have 'Your Books' ready for play.
Now it's time to 'get your hands dirty.' By playing with Apps in your playground you may find absolutely the perfect solution or solutions for your client’s needs.
Apps via QBOA
Currently there are two different looks for your QuickBooks Online Accountant Dashboard; the standard Navigation Bar, and the new Navigation Bar. These two dashboards each have their own look and somewhat different features, or at least feature arrangements. For purposes of using “Your Books” you can see below that they look quite a bit different.
Tool bar comparison
Using the Standard Navigation Bar (on the left above) simply click on “Your Books” and the view looks the same as other files. But if you have switched to the New Navigation Bar (on the right above) then there is no need to open “Your Books”, instead choose what you would like to view inside QuickBooks Online Accountant because the company file stays available.
So go ahead, get dirty. Play to your heart's content. You have my permission, after all 'Your Books' can be your personal playground if you want it to be.
Preview of next week - I have seen in many forums where people are saying, “hey where did the ProAdvisor portal go?” Next week I will tackle the topic of the ProAdvisor portal missing from the New QuickBooks Online Accountant dashboard.