Monday, June 29, 2015

Customer List Out of Control? One Word - MERGE

Do you have customer names listed two or more times with only slightly different variations, when they're actually the same company? This often occurs when another QuickBooks user in your office can't find a customer who's already in the system and creates a new record with a slightly different spelling. Good news, you can merge them. Merging customers will combine the sales history of the duplicate records into a single record. QuickBooks then deletes the other records.

Before you begin you will need to switch to single-user mode. To do this, all of the QuickBooks users except you must log out of the data file. Go to "File" and select- "Switch to Single-User Mode". 

To merge customers complete the following steps:

Click Customer on the menu bar, then click Customer Center, you may also click the Customer Icon on the icon bar.

Select the customer that was mistakenly created. 

Double-click the customer you don’t want to use. This is the customer that cannot have any jobs attached to it. The “Edit” window will open.

In the Customer Name field, you must type the name of the customer that you want to merge with. The name must be spelled exactly like it is in the customer list. In this example, I am going to merge the companies Southside with South Side. I will type South Side exactly like it is spelled in the customer list.         

After you type the name, click OK at the bottom and then click OK to confirm that you want to merge the two customers.

More than two "same" customer names? Repeat the above steps for each of the remaining "same" names until you have the one correct customer name.
Need to merge vendor names? Follow the same procedure as you did for customers, just use the vendor list.

Tips and Warnings:
  • Only two customers can be combined at a time.
  • Only one customer can have jobs attached to it. If the other customer has jobs attached as well, then the jobs must be deleted or moved
  • Once two customers’ names are merged, the process cannot be reversed.
  • Merging two customers may affect previous financial reports.
  • When merging two customers, the data that was associated with the customer will be deleted. This includes all contact information.
  • You cannot merge a customer with a vendor
  • The data associated with the merged customer or vendor, such as address, phone number, Email, etc., is removed from your records along with the name.

Need further assistance please contact us at

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Speak Up Before You're In Too Deep

One of my favorite scenes from the movie The Replacements is when the Quarterback Shane Falco, played by Keanu Reeves, during a team meeting speaks of his greatest fear.  "You're playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can't move... you can't breathe... because you're in over your head. Like quicksand."

In my business I see a variety of companies and all sorts of office situations. I find that far too many employees have a tough time speaking up when they are in over their head with tasks given them; whether it's they can't handle the extra work or in some instances they're not as qualified as they said they were. Speak up, don't wait until you're in "quicksand" and have no way out. Not only are you hurting yourself and damaging your business reputation; you're potentially costing your company a lot of money, as they will need to bring in qualified people to correct your errors and to get caught up with the work you were not able to do. 

Bottom line: It is better to fess up and admit you're in over your head and need help than to cost yourself a job.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

4 Tips for Successfully Managing Accounts Payable

4 Tips for Successfully Managing Accounts Payable

Laura A. Ehle | June 3, 2015| LAE Business Services, Inc.
APNo what matter what size your business is, paying bills will always be part of it. Whether it’s the monthly operating expenses, an occasional order to pay or a fully staffed accounts payable department managing hundreds or thousands of invoices.  By implementing best business practices you can streamline your accounts payable process and be prepared for future growth.

Below are 4 tips to help you successfully manage your accounts payable:
1. Simplify Your Accounts Payable Process
  • Reduce the number of check runs to every other week.
  • When the accounting staff prepares check runs, they should have the invoice, any backup (packing slips, pod’s, etc.) ready and invoices approved by the appropriate department heads before coming to you for signatures.
  • Make Accounts Payable aware of any cash disbursement ceilings for each check run so they can then select the most important invoices to pay if cash is tight during that payment cycle.
  • Empower your staff with decisions that will make your life easier and are not dangerous for them to make. The decision to make partial payments on larger balances, or delaying payments to vendors who have a higher tolerance on due dates are a couple of examples.
2. Use Technology
  • Analyze and reduce errors such as paying incorrect amounts, incorrectly entering check numbers used to pay vendors, and paying too early or too late.
  • Make sure your accounts payable module is set up correctly so that transactions flow properly. You may need to use a consultant to make sure your accounting software and accounts payable module are correctly configured, or you could cause more problems than you solve.
  • Have Accounts Payable staff enter terms for each vendor in which the system can default to, such as Net 30, Net 60, etc. Terms are often provided by the vendor, and are usually printed on the face of their invoice.
  • If they don’t send them already, require your vendors to send monthly statements to ensure you’re not missing any invoices.
  • Run aging reports so you know what is in the pipeline.  You may have a small check run this period, but could have a large one coming up that you didn’t know about until looking at these reports.
  • Use laser printed checks, which will update the system automatically, marking which invoices have been paid and with what check numbers.
3. Vendor Terms May Be Negotiable
  • Usually invoices will come with set terms-Net 30, Net 60, 2%10 Net 30, etc.
  • Give you vendors a schedule of when your check runs are so they know when to expect payments.
  • Regardless of the terms given, you can call your vendors and negotiate terms for your own company.
  • Vendors will often give discounts or special terms to customers that purchase large volumes and on a regular basis.
  • Even if the normal terms can’t be changed, if you run into an issue and must pay late, it’s best to call and discuss it with your vendor rather than avoiding them. Follow the phone call up with an email with what was discussed to there is no miscommunication.
4. Reduce CFO Impact to Verification & Signature
  • Typically the CFO signs checks or in the case of small companies, an owner will often sign the checks, but should not be assembling the check run.
  • Accounts Payable should run the aging, choose which invoices to pay, assemble the invoices, print the checks, and verify that all invoices are approved before bringing them to the appropriate party for signature.
Regardless of the size of your company, start managing your accounts payable process more efficiently to save time and money.