5 Tips & Tricks for QuickBooks Online (QBO)

QuickBooks Online Pro Advisor NewmarketIn the past month I’ve spent numerous hours training new and transitioning clients in QuickBooks desktop and QBO. While some are new to either version, I’ve found those transitioning from the desktop version to the online version experiencing a bit of a culture shock. To ease the transitioning hiccups, here are 5 tips and tricks for QBO to make the entering and retrieving of information go a little smoother.

1. In order for you to allocate the GST/HST in QBO you must first set-up Sales Tax. You do this by selecting the Sales Tax tab from the menu bar and follow the on screen guidelines. QBO then automatically adds two default accounts; GST/HST Payable and GST/HST Suspense. You cannot allocate a payment amount directly to the GST/HST Payable account. But, you can allocate it to the GST/HST Suspense account. If you can’t easily relate to the word Suspense you can rename it to something that will be more familiar to you i.e. Clearing.

2. Generating reports in QBO. There are not as many reports available in QBO as there are in the desktop version, but generating them is pretty straight forward. Balance Sheets and Profit and Loss statements are about the same, but other reports are significantly different. As an example; to inquire and generate the total amount you paid to a supplier is different. Go to:

  • Reports,
  • Expenses by Supplier Summary,
  • Select the Date Range and then
  • Customize. Remember, this shows the amount expensed without HST.

3. Customizing transaction reports in QBO is much different in appearance and handling. i.e. Reviewing Bank transactions in the General Ledger. Until you save your customization, the debits and credits all appear in one column. I prefer to see the debits and credits in their own column, then the running balance in the last column. To do this go to:

  • Customize Transaction Report,
  • Change Columns, and then
  • Click on the accounts you want to Add or Remove.

Once you’ve selected the account columns you want on your report you can then determine the order you want to see them but clicking on the account name and to the right, there are arrows that you use to move the accounts up or down to display in the order that meets your needs.

4. Downloading your financial reports. This is one of the first items you want to set-up once you’ve established your company in QBO. Besides insuring that all your transactions are recorded, if not necessarily matched, the Home Page will indicate the discrepancy. Your bank account could show 2 difference values; one would be the actual bank balance when you downloaded the transactions, and the other will indicate the QuickBooks balance.

The closer those numbers are to each other indicates that your bookkeeping is up to date. The same is indicated with Credit Card accounts and Lines of Credit. It also indicates how many entries have been downloaded that hasn’t been matched to QuickBooks entries. It’s a great dashboard for information at a glance.

5. Uncategorized Income and Uncategorized Expenses. These are the account names that are used when you have downloaded your financial transactions and QuickBooks doesn’t know who the funds were paid to or received from. These are the gross amounts. You can access them by either going to your downloaded information and add the correct information to each line or go to the Profit & Loss reports, and each account and total will appear. You can click on one of them then drill down (every time you see a magnifying glass you can access more information by double clicking) and allocate accordingly. These amounts are the gross amounts, so don’t forget to apply the GST/HST where applicable.

If you’re overwhelmed on where to start with QBO, or handling of the day to day transactions contact a ProAdvisor Online Accountant. We can walk you through the process remotely and answer all your questions.  As always we are here to help. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,


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