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QuickBooks Online (UK) - How to Enter A Supplier Refund or Credit

One of the tricky things to master when using bookkeeping accounting software is the less common postings that don't seem obvious.

One of those we have found is "How to enter a refund from a supplier?"

There is a good answer we found posted about posting supplier credits here which summaries it nicely for QuickBooks Online users in the UK.


QuickBooks Online - Payroll Improvements

It is good to see Intuit constantly developing and improving both QuickBooks Online and QuickBook Desltop versions.

Personally until now I have much preferred to stay offline for a number of reasons including my concern that we are becoming so reliant on internet access to get any work done these days or some people are at least.

Last week I had a fault on my internet connection and it took Sky a week to fix it.

As I live in a village tethering off my mobile at home is impractical as is mobile broadband as the signals are too weak. I even need a boost box to improve my mobile phone reception which using the home router and internet to increase the mobile reception to a full five bars.

Great when it is all working.

But last week for almost a full week the whole lot was down. What a pain in the rear that was but at least I could work on my Surface Pro offline and get some work done.

If I was a QuickBooks Online user personally for my own records that would have meant calling in a few favours using neighbours wifi etc to get anything done.

I have to pop to a neighbours a few times just to sort emails and online submissions etc.

Having said all that I think QuickBooks Online has improved significantly over the last year or so.

With Payroll now being included in the online version, and VAT since inception QuickBooks Online is a viable alternative if you can overcome the worries about relying on the web to get work done.

I also hear from QuickBooks that the first 5 employees (it is £1 per month for each additional employee) is to be be expanded to unlimited employees included in the subscription which for anyone with over 5 employees using QuickBooks online is great news.

All in all QuickBooks is a fabulous software for solving your business accounting needs now and clearly there are advantages for using QuickBooks online, if for no other reason than it it then even easier to share your live datya with our external accountants by them being able to login to your records live online.

I seriously hope QuickBooks does not fade out the Desktop versions. I for one would be much less of a QuickBooks fan if they did as online is not right for every business for sure but I think for some clients the online version has now become a great accounting solution.

Help With QuickBooks Beginners Guide to - How Do I Use QuickBooks?

So you are new to QuickBooks.

Good choice thats what I think after being a QuickBooks user for over 10 years.

I have to say I am a QuickBooks fan, it is actually one of those rare products that I use that I would say "I love" I feel the same about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet computer I purchased this January wickedly fast, easy to carry around and a full blown Windows 8.1 Pro PC in a touch screen tablet. That too is I would say the first computer I have purchased in a number of years that has such a good feel good factor to using it turns on in around 5 seconds battery lasts around 7 to 8 hours or around 5 hours with heavier use. Purchased the Arc mouse to go with it so cool and easy to use. Lightning fast and awesome. Love it.

Back to topic! Sorry.

New to QuickBooks Where Do I Start?

That is probably the first question you ask yourself when you start anything new?

Whether you are using QuickBooks Online version or a desktop version of QuickBooks here are a few pointers I suggest you keep in mind.

Let's start by considering why you are using QuickBooks and what you are trying to achieve.

  • To record accounting and financial data and information about your business
  • To monitor and record your income and expenses
  • To balance your books, i.e. for the bank records in QuickBooks to match your actual bank account and petty cash
  • To produce reports that help you see information about your financial records e.g. a profit and loss account 
  • To manage and control your business finances

OK with these aims in mind here is what I suggest you do first.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and take 10 to 15 minutes to observe undistracted by other things.

Often we rush in, when our mind is not focused, rush through something then wonder why the outcome was not ideal or what we wanted to achieve, then give up and move on to the next thing.

Let's take the desktop version for this purpose but the general idea is the same whether you are using QuickBooks desktop or QuickBooks online.

First Observe the QuickBooks Layout

In your first 10 to 15 minutes after installing QuickBooks (or accessing your online account) go exploring.

At the top of the screen (in the desktop version, my personal preference still) you have the usual windows style menu with File, Edit, View etc. Click each one and just observe what is in each drop down menu. The options are logically layout out.

For example under Customers in the main menu for which the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+J perhaps think of "Jobs" to remember "J" i.e. jobs for customers. You can find "create invoices" under the Customers menu item which you use for recording invoices for the services or products you sell to your customers.

Each item you open in QuickBooks opens in its own "window" in QuickBooks.

A window is the square or rectangular box with a title in the top band saying what the window is about, e.g the "home" window which has easy quick links to lots of the sections in QuickBooks again logically paid out.  Each box has the red cross in the top right which you can use to close each window or hit the Esc key to close the current window.

You can have lots of windows open within QuickBooks are any one time.

To move quickly between open windows a keyboard shortcut is Crtl+ tab (i,.e hold the Ctrl key down with one finger then tap the "tab" key with another finger). Personally I hold the Ctrl key down on the left side of the keyboard with my left thumb then use my left index finger to tap the Tab key. Quick and very easy.

Try it. Open a number of windows from the main top menu then Ctrl+tab between them. Then hit the Esc key to close them all one at a time.

Opps... the "home" window has gone, personally I like to leave the home window open for quick access to different sections in QuickBooks.

No problem click "Company" in the top main menu then "Home" is the first in the list tp open it again.

Personally I would leave it there and come back and do the same thing a few times over a cup of coffee before you try to get stuck in.

Feeling defeated too often means people give up feeling over whelmed or lost.

That's the key take a little time to "get familiar", take it in, observe and take small steps to start with.

QuickBooks Help Feature

The far right item in the main top menu is "Help".

Under Help is "Learning Centre" with tutorials and instructions for lots of cool stuff that is great for getting you started with QuickBooks.

Remember take it one step at a time and use QuickBooks frequently in short bursts at least to get started so you can remember all the new things you are learning as you build up your knowledge of QuickBooks.

Now you are focused on the aims and purposes for using QuickBooks (if you read and digested the list above that is!) and taking the initial steps in getting familiar with the menus and navigating your way around QuickBooks that is a great starting point.

If after your first look at QuickBooks you feel lost or don't understand don't panic. That is perfectly normal after all this is a whole new thing for you, right?

Soon you will be feeling a lot more in your comfort zone and flying with QuickBooks.

This Help with QuickBooks Blog has hints and tips for using QuickBooks plus you can post and find answers to questions about using QuickBooks in our online community of UK QuickBooks users forum completely FREE.

QuickBooks UK - Hints and Tips - Expenses Suppliers Bills and Payments

Okay in this blog post I want to take a look at suppliers and how suppliers are treated in QuickBooks and in particular one aspect which I think is a common mistake for inexperienced QuickBooks users.

Got questions or issues about using QuickBooks why not join in our new QuickBooks user forum?

What are suppliers?

Suppliers are people, companies or organisations that supply your business with services or products.

The way that you interact with your suppliers can vary from business to business and particularly noticeable is the difference between larger businesses and smaller businesses. Larger businesses with multiple staff and perhaps accounting departments or bookeepers often have credit with supplier and receive bills for purchases or use purchase orders. Smaller business more often simply pay for purchases at the time of acquisition.

Recording A Simple Supplier Purchase

A simple way that you interact with your suppliers is that you walk into a shop and buy something such as stationery, pay for it with a debit card or cheque book, and leave the shop with the stationery you paid for.

In this simple scenario you have not received a bill or taken delivery of the goods before paying for them and the two sides to the entry in QuickBooks are a debit from your bank account of the cost of the stationery purchased and the stationery expense item to be shown your profit and loss account as a stationery expense.

If you are a VAT registered business and claim credit for the VAT on the item purchased and will be accounting to HMRC separately for your VAT items when you submit your VAT return.

The simplest way to record this entry in QuickBooks is to record the expense via the “write cheque” (keyboard shortcut Ctrl W) within QuickBooks choosing the correct bank account and selecting stationery or whichever is the most appropriate expense account.

If the purchase was with a cheque, which is much less common these days, you will need to record the cheque number in the top right corner but if it was with your debit card you can simply leave the cheque number box blank.

If you are not VAT registered we could actually make the entry in your appropriate bank account ledger directly.

So that’s the easy bit, but where can entering bills from suppliers and recording expenses go wrong.

Entering suppliers bills

Being organised and methodical in the way that you approach QuickBooks will lead to more accurate accounting records and less errors to correct later that is why you invested in QuickBooks software after all, right?

Errors, especially if you are VAT registered and have filed your VAT return before spotting an error are more tricky to correct so avoiding errors in the first place by having a system of accurately recording expenses and paying for them is crucial.

The same would apply to any accounting record whether QuickBooks or not.

If you receive bills from suppliers for goods or services supplied to you and pay those bills later you need to avoid entering the expense twice, as this will lead to you recording the expense twice in QuickBooks and doubling up.

This can happen where you enter a bill that you have received but when you subsequently make payment to the supplier you don’t first check that you have an unpaid bill for that item and supplier which is the bill that you are paying but instead  enter the payment directly as a cheque or bank expense, leaving the previously entered bill as no paid!

In this instance the bill still exists in QuickBooks as an outstanding expense to settle plus you also have the expense repeated as a direct entry through the write cheque or posted to the bank directly entry.

Tips to avoid the error of doubling up expense items?

  • Have a folder or tray (manual paper) for unpaid bills, know what’s in it and always check before writing a cheque to suppliers who normally provide bills and get paid later.
  • Or if you are trying to operate a paperless office as far as possible scanned the bill and save the bill to and unpaid bills folder on your computer and move the bill out of the unpaid bills folder when you pay it to where you save your paid bills.
  • Always keep an eye on what's in your unpaid bills folder whether it is a paper folder or a folder on your computer so that you are aware of what's in it.
  • Perhaps set a reminder on your smartphone or computer for suitable regular times to review your unpaid bills folder.
  • Before entering cheque or credit card payments to suppliers within QuickBooks always review your unpaid bills entered in QuickBooks to ensure you haven't already entered a bill for that expense as then you should use the "pay bills" route instead.
  • Always check your un-paid bills report BEFORE filing your VAT returns to make sure you are satisfied that bills have not been settled by a direct "write cheque" entry in QuickBooks that way you can avoid doubling up the expense entry. Once your VAT returns filed in QuickBooks it finalises the entries and deleting or removing them is problematic and probably best done in the form of a credit note contra entry.
  • Don’t unnecessarily enter bills that we the quotes or bills that you know may get settled extremely quickly as it may be easier to record these at the time of payment rather than receipt of the bill then "pay bills".

Why Enter Suppiers Bills At All?

The main reason for entering bills received from suppliers for their paid is precisely so that you can monitor and control the money that you owe to suppliers for goods or services provided to you.

So unless you are using QuickBooks specifically to monitor and maintain money owed to suppliers by entering bills keep things simple, especially where payment is likely to be made to the supply quickly, and enter the expense just at the time payment then you can match your paperwork of the payment and the bill received at the same time as making the payment.

My QuickBooks Accountant - April Update

We are busy compiling an initial directory of accountants that we know support QuickBooks clients to feature on My QuickBooks Accountant.

Our target is the beginning of June 2014 to go live with our initial directory of QuickBooks accountants and then to build and enhance the directory further to make it easy for QuickBooks users in the UK to find an accountant that can help with year end accounts, tax returns and related compliance in the UK.

We are also linking up with accountants on Twitter with as many accountants in the UK that help, support and welcome QuickBooks users as clients.

So if you are looking for an accountant that uses and support QuickBooks clients our My QuickBooks Accountant site will be the place to find your QuickBooks Accountant.

My QuickBooks Accountant - Finding An Accountant That Uses QuickBooks

As a QuickBooks user it really helps if your accountant supports or uses the QuickBooks accounting software themselves.

Having an accountant that uses, knows and understands QuickBooks can be a real asset.

Why Use An Accountant That Supports QuickBooks?

  • easier to sort out year end accounts for HMRC and / or Companies House
  • support with using QuickBooks
  • easy of sharing accounting data, files and information with your accountant
  • potentially cheaper accountancy fees

We are working to make it easier to link up with QuickBooks accountants, accountants that use QuickBooks.

At present we are building a directory of UK QuickBooks accountants on "My QuickBooks Accountant".

The directory will be easily searchable to help you find accountants that support QuickBooks clients.

How To Register As A QuickBooks Accountant?

If you are an accountant or tax adviser in the UK that supports QuickBooks clients you should register on the My QuickBooks Accountant website.

We will be taking a few measures to ensure that accountants that register to feature in the directory really do use and understand QuickBooks but register for free.

It is our way at Help With QuickBooks to help QuickBooks users find QuickBooks accountants.