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David Geller: Save a Tree (and Time) — Log On To Quickbooks

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Writing checks and paying bills can be a real chore. Wouldn’t it be great if it were really a pleasure?

[span class=notice] Catch David Geller at The Smart Jewelry Show, being held in Chicago April 23-26, 2010. Check our full education schedule here. [/span]

[dropcap cap=M]any jewelers are still hand-writing checks and handing off the check stubs to their accountant at month’s end. As a result, they often wind up with inaccurate data. By using QuickBooks to write checks, you’d save 60 percent of the time it takes to write them by hand. [/dropcap]

In QuickBooks, when you start to type the payee, QuickBooks knows it, fills in the complete name and mailing address on the check, remembers the amount from last month, and fills it in along with “rental expense” as the account. Just this one feature saves you a huge amount of time.

Even faster than that is using QuickBooks for online banking. It’s the same basic procedure, except you also tick a box on the check window that says “Pay Online.” Your bank would send the payment electronically to your vendor (and that could be anyone, from Stuller to your landlord). You wouldn’t touch another piece of paper.

This is different than going to your bank’s website and paying bills online there. If you pay a bill online with your bank, you still have to enter the check in QuickBooks. Most banks today have an alliance with QuickBooks and allow QuickBooks to connect to your bank and pay the bill through them.

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First, go to your bank’s website and sign up for online access. Then, edit your bank account in QuickBooks and add your account number with routing number. Go to the “Chart of Accounts” (shortcut: Control+A); at the top is your bank account. Right click on it and choose “Edit” and fill in the required data.

Next, in QuickBooks, go to “Banking” at the top and choose “Set up account for online service.” You’ll be taken to the Internet to choose your bank, and the bank and your computer will make a magic connection. After you’re finished, if you go back to the “Chart of Accounts,” you’ll see a little lightning bolt next to the account, showing that it is electronically connected.
Now you are ready to pay your bills online.  Here’s how you do it:

Fill in the check as normal, and under the signature line there will now be a new box titled “Online Payment.” The date must be at least five days out.

To write a check and send it online, go to the “Pay Bills” command. After you hit “Send & Receive,” QuickBooks will upload your items to be paid on the dates you specify. If they can be electronically paid, the bank will do it. If not, they print a check with your name on it and drop it in the mail.

After you have sent your checks for payment, you’ll have a “View” box that will show you the checks and deposits that cleared the bank last night. These usually match up with what’s in your check register. is

See www.instoremag.com for more details on this QuickBooks feature.

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David Geller is a consultant to jewelry-store owners on store management and profitability. E-mail him at [email protected]

[span class=note]This story is from the March 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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