top tips and tricks shares some of our best tips and tricks to make the QuickBooks experience more functional and efficient. If you need additional help or information, please contact one of our partners.


View the Financial Effect of a Group of Transactions 

Do you ever need to see the financial effect of a single, complex transaction or a group of transactions?

  • Use the Journal button or Ctrl Y on the Data Entry screen.


Or try this trick we used several years ago to analyze the effect of three complicated sales transactions:

  • Modify the date on the transactions to a future date like a Sunday or a holiday and then view the transaction detail report.


Invoice Register

Do you miss the Invoice Register Report from your previous systems?

  • Create and memorize a sales report and mark where there are gaps in the numbering


Landed Costs

If you need to allocate freight, customs, duty, and other delivery-related expenses to your inventory items, then you need to receive your items at landed cost, not product cost.
To place your merchandise into inventory at landed cost, use the following procedures:

  • Create a chart of account called “Clearing Account – Landed Costs.”
  • Issue your purchase order with your product costs and send to your vendor.
  • As you enter the bills from the vendors for the landing costs, book them to the “Clearing Account – Landed Costs” account (this will create a debit entry).
  • When you receive the items and enter the bill, adjust each item cost appropriately by the proportional cost of the landing costs, thereby placing each item into inventory as its landed cost. This will cause the bill to be higher than the bill you receive from the vendor.
  • Enter a credit for the landing costs (this will create the credit entry).You may elect to enter each cost as a separate line to preserve cost details.
  • Use the “Clearing Account – Landed Costs” to book the credit.
  • When you are complete, your inventory will be valued at the true landed cost and the “Clearing Account – Landed Costs” will balance to zero.

Hint: For ease of issuing future purchase orders, you may wish to preserve the last cost into a Preserved Item Price/Cost field.


Add Your Own Customer Fields to Estimates, Orders, and Invoices

Have you ever wanted to add a custom field to an invoice by customer? Like a CREDIT HOLD message, special shipping instructions, or shipper numbers for customers? If you would like to enter and preserve information on a customer-by-customer basis and then have it appear on the sales invoice header screen or invoice, use the following process:

  • Create a custom field for your customers. (If you are not using QuickBooks 2010 or Enterprise and higher, there are some amazing features you are missing out on here!)
  • Customize the data entry form to include the new field on the screen and/or printed form (You can even place hidden notes on the screen that do NOT have to appear on the printed form!)


Add Your Own Custom Item Fields to Estimates, Orders, Purchase Orders, and Invoices

Would you like to show unit weights on an invoice or vendor SKUs on a purchase order? If you would like to show custom item information on a form, use the following process:

  • Create a custom field for your items. (If you are not using QuickBooks 2010 or Enterprise and higher, there are some amazing features you are missing out on here!)
  • Customize the data entry form to include the new field on the screen and/or printed form in the item grid box segment of the form. (You can even place hidden notes on the screen that do NOT have to appear on the printed form!)

If you need totals or weight totals, see CCRQInvoice under our favorite QuickBooks add-ons page.


Use Your Keyboard to Enhance Data Entry

Data entry speed can be improved dramatically by using keystrokes to open list, enter data, and move between fields. Here are some of our favorite keystroke time-savers:

Date Fields

Press multiple times to advance (back up) by day, week, month, and year.

T                  Today
+                  Advance one day
-                   Back up one day
W                 First day of the week
K                  Last day of the week
M                 First day of the month
H                  Last day of the month
Y                  First day of the year
R                  Last day of the year


Tab               Advance to next field  
Shift Tab       Move to previous field
Ctrl N            Create a new transaction in the current window
Ctrl Enter      Save current transaction
Ctrl D            Delete the current transaction
Ctrl Ins          Insert a line in the current transaction window
Ctrl Del         Delete a line in the current transaction window
Ctrl L            Open a list
Ctrl U(se)      Select current item on the list
Ctrl F            Open Find window
Home End    Move to first position (last position) in current field


Ctrl C            Copy highlighted item or text to clipboard
Ctrl V            Paste from clipboard
Ctrl X            Cut highlighted item or text
Ctrl Z            Clear changes made to current field
+                  Increase form number by 1
-                   Decrease form number by 1

Other Handy Keystrokes

Ctrl H            View transaction history (e.g. from payment see invoice and deposits)
Ctrl Y            View underlying journal entry
Ctrl P            Print

Customer Credit Hold

Unfortunately, at this time there is NO CREDIT HOLD capability within QuickBooks, only a credit limit and credit warning. (Intuit product managers, do you remember our conversation from the  last ISP meeting?)

If you need or want more controls for customers requiring credit hold, try some of these ideas:

  • Make the customer inactive.
  • Modify the customer name to include “CREDIT HOLD” as a prefix or suffix to their name.
  • Create a CREDIT HOLD shipping location and make it the default shipping location.
  • Remember to change all open and blanket sales orders to reference the CREDIT HOLD when needed.
  • Create a customer level field called “Credit Hold” and place spaces into the field except when a customer goes onto credit hold when you enter “CREDIT HOLD” into the field.
  • Place the “Credit Hold” field onto sales orders, pick lists, invoices, and all other shipping documents in HUGE, BOLD letters at the top of the form.


Hidden Item Lines on Printed Forms

Have you ever wanted to enter comments or hidden product details on the screen but NOT have them print on the form? If so, you can use items groups.

  • Using the Item list, create a service item named “Hidden Notes”
  • Then create a group called “Hidden Group”
  • Add the “Hidden Notes” item to the group and check the box “Do not print group items”

When you enter the group on the form, you can see the notes on the screen but they will not print on the form.


Export Cleaner – Filtered Reports to Microsoft Excel

Do you want to send your reports from QuickBooks to Excel in a more user-friendly manner?
Before you export your information to Excel, experiment with “auto outline/collapse and report look” on the screen within QuickBooks. When you export, click on “Advanced Settings” and make the following adjustments:

  • Uncheck the “Space between Columns” box
  • Check the “Auto Filtering” box – This will allow custom filtering

If you are looking for the ultimate management tool to create more sophisticated data or sales analysis using the  Microsoft Excel files created from QuickBooks exports, see Tableau Software under our favorite QuickBooks add-ons page.


Track the Workflow Status on a Sales Order or Estimate

Would you like to use QuickBooks to show the status of a sales order, such as “Waiting for Parts”, “In Production”, or “On Hold”?

  • Create a custom field for customers called “Sales Order Status”. If you are using QuickBooks Enterprise, choose “User’s Multi-Choice List” in the “What Kind of Data?” column. 
  • Select “Edit Multi-Choice List” and enter your status choices.  For ease of entry you may want to code them, such as 1-Sales Order Approved, 2-Parts Ordered, 3-Parts Received, 4-In Production, etc.
  • Customize the sales order template by adding the data field “Sales Order Status” to the header section by checking the screen box.


Starting Balances for Jobs Already in Progress

Have you ever needed to enter starting balances for a job that is in process? Either payroll hours or material costs?

  • In Payroll Entry, using the starting balance date, enter the hours, rate, job, and service item for regular hours, with hours as a positive number with the job number filled in
  • Make the exact same entry with hours as a negative number but do NOT fill in the job number field


True Sales Reports

Do invoices you create for miscellaneous assets and for customer deposits distort your true sales reports, such as “Sales by Customer”? If you want sales reports to show the “true sales” number as reflected on the Profit & Loss:

  • Modify the report filter to show ONLY “All Income/Expense Accounts”.

This will exclude other sales items such as customer deposits (which should be booked as liabilities).


Open Amounts for Sales and Purchase Orders

Beware: when you run reports on open sales orders and open purchase orders, the amount field is the original total of the orders and NOT the open portion.

  • In QuickBooks 2010 and earlier releases, you should modify the report to display the column named “Open Balance”.
  • In QuickBooks 2011, this column has been automatically added to the default reports as an important clarification.

For additional help and information on Intuit accounting software, please call a software accounting specialist right away.


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