The weather’s hot, but we’ve got plenty of cool updates designed to make your work easier—so you can get it done and have plenty of time left over to enjoy all your favorite summer activities.
What’s new in July
Industry benchmarks now available
New month-end review workflow
New Bill Pay by Melio now available for QuickBooks Online Accountant
Business View now available to all QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant users
Evolving expert connections and My Accountant
Customizable email address for receipt and bill forwarding
Workflows: Invoice approvals (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
New user productivity center – Tasks (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
Two new custom roles for QuickBooks Online Advanced—inventory manager and payroll manager
Custom fields: Now supported in three more reports (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
New “fiscal year” option for chart creation (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
HR Services now available through QuickBooks Payroll Elite
Credit card next-day funding in Payments for QuickBooks Desktop
Auto-reconciliation in Payments for QuickBooks Desktop
In a nutshell: In the past, providing industry insights to your clients required you to collect, analyze, and update internal and external data. To help you efficiently provide expert-level information to your clients, we’ve added industry benchmarks to the Business Performance Dashboard as part of QuickBooks® Online Accountant.
With the addition of industry benchmarks, you can see how your client’s business is performing, analyzing gross and net profit margin individually and in comparison to local industry peers.
How it works:
- Select your client’s industry and the Business Performance Dashboard generates benchmarks based on nearby businesses with similar revenue. Anonymized QuickBooks data ensures that your benchmarks are accurate and up to date.
- Compare the present month’s data to see how your client is performing today, and review the trends data to see how they compare over time.
In a nutshell: Month-end review is designed to help your firm create a consistent and best-in-class monthly process for closing your clients’ books. We combined the best practices of accountants with the power of QuickBooks to create an easy-to-follow workflow that delivers more accurate books in less time.
- Easier transaction review: With month-end review, missing information and errors are automatically identified.
- Quickly spot accounts that need attention: Unreconciled accounts and other potential account issues are automatically flagged.
- Greater accuracy: The process automatically creates financial reports for the review period, so you can identify any open issues and review common reports for accuracy.
- Customizable checklists: Recommended checklists are provided that you can customize for the specific needs of each client.
- Track client status: In the near future, the month-end review will allow you to easily track the status of clients across your firm.
In a nutshell: We can’t make paying bills fun, but we can make it easier with the new Bill Pay feature by Melio—an upgraded embedded bill payment capability available to U.S. customers using QuickBooks Online Essentials, Plus, Advanced, and now QuickBooks Online Accountant. The new capability helps you or your clients better manage cash flow by offering the flexibility to make payments directly from QuickBooks and decide how vendors receive payments.
How it works:
- Access Bill Pay from your expenses page or by choosing any bill on your Pay Bills list.
- Schedule and pay bills right from QuickBooks Online via bank transfer, debit card (for free) or credit card (2.9 percent fee).
- Choose the method of payment each vendor receives—direct deposit or paper check.
Is there an option to opt-out of the new bill pay experience?
The embedded and default option in QuickBooks will be the new bill pay experience, which can be accessed by selecting “Schedule payment” from the Expenses Page or Bill Page. If you or your client do not wish to use the new bill pay experience and want to continue to access the print check option or mark a bill as paid, you can do so by following the steps below:
- From the Expenses page, click the “Action” dropdown and select “Mark as paid”
- From any bill page, select click the dropdown next to “Save and schedule payment” and select “Save and print”
In a nutshell: Earlier this year, we introduced a new view in QuickBooks called “Business View,” designed for small business owners. This week, all QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant users can opt in to Business View from the gear menu and easily toggle between Business View and the classic “Accountant View” in QuickBooks.
How it works:
- Users who did not previously have access to Business View will continue to remain in Accountant View, but can opt in by using the toggle in the gear menu to switch between views.
- In Business View, users will be able to access the cash flow widget on their dashboard to see a 12-month historical view of money in and money out from all connected bank accounts.
In a nutshell: We’ve made it easier than ever for small businesses to connect to their accountant or find their first match. Based on customer feedback and research, we’ve created the My Experts menu next to Help in the top navigation of QuickBooks Online. This serves as the new access point for your clients to invite you as an accountant user, and to access requests and shared documents through My Accountant. With a proven increase in the number of small businesses connecting to accountants, we’ll be releasing this new access point to the rest of our U.S. subscribers over the next few weeks.
How it works:
- When instructing clients to invite you to their books, have them start in the “My Experts” tab in the top navigation bar.
- Click “Get Started” in the Accounting pros card. This will navigate you to the My Accountant page.
- Enter the accountant’s email address to send an invitation to connect.
- Once connected, access requests and shared documents by clicking on the accounting pro card.
In a nutshell: Getting receipts and bills into QuickBooks is fast and easy—just forward them to email@example.com, but what if you’re working with multiple clients or companies? That’s when things can get a bit trickier—and you certainly don’t want to risk sending the wrong bill to the wrong company. To avoid that sort of snafu, you can now create one unique customizable email address per company, so you can make sure every receipt and bill gets forwarded to the right place.
How it works:
- Instead of using a standard firstname.lastname@example.org email, create your own unique customizable email address using this format: email@example.com.
- Send receipts and bills to your new email address just like you did with firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once you switch to a custom unique email, you will no longer be able to send to email@example.com—this address will expire on Oct. 1, 2020.
In a nutshell: Save yourself valuable time each day by automating your invoice approval process. In QuickBooks Online Advanced, you can set the conditions in “Workflows” to approve invoices automatically—so you never have to go outside of QuickBooks with either a manual process or a third-party solution. It’s an easy way to increase your efficiency, improve accuracy, and simplify scaling.
In a nutshell: Staying on top of endless tasks, such as remembering to make a bank deposit, send invoices, and about past due invoices can be daunting and inefficient. Now you can make managing these tasks less overwhelming.
Tasks is a new tab added to the left-hand menu of QuickBooks Online Advanced that makes it faster and easier to delegate tasks by automating the process, allowing you to assign tasks to individual users automatically. Task Manager helps you keep task delegation all under one roof so you can better manage remote teams and increase collaboration. At this time, Task Manager is available for the invoice approval process.
In a nutshell: Have you been hesitant to add users who are only responsible for managing inventory data or payroll information into QuickBooks Online Advanced, because of the complexity of granting access to the right reports and data to get their jobs done? Check out these two new custom roles.
The custom roles drop-down menu now includes two new options: Inventory Manager and Payroll Manager. The permission set is pre-populated for these roles, so you can grant permissions for inventory and payroll management with a single click.
In a nutshell: With custom fields, you gain more of the power and flexibility to help your clients run their business successfully. Now, you can use custom fields in three new reports: customer contact list, vendor contact list, and unpaid bills in Detailed view. This is in addition to sales and customer detail reports and transaction list reports that already support custom fields.
How it works:
- You can drive more insights in these reports by adding custom fields as an additional column and by using functionality such as sort by, group by, and filter on your custom fields.
- Select any of your custom fields across customers, vendors, sales forms, PO, and other expenses.
In a nutshell: If your company operates on a fiscal year, you can now track your financial performance more quickly and efficiently. That’s because we’ve added “fiscal year” as an option in the “time period” drop-down menu.
How it works: During chart creation or chart edit mode, just select your preferred time period option—either “This fiscal year” or “This fiscal year to date.”
In a nutshell: Managing HR tasks is critical to business success, but many small business owners don’t have the time or skill set to handle HR issues effectively. In fact, 81 percent of small business owners say they’re uncomfortable performing HR tasks and 12% will eventually face an employment claim related to compliance.
Faced with this challenge, many small business owners may turn to you for help. That’s why we’ve included access to HR services in QuickBooks Payroll Premium and Elite for new customers.
How it works: QuickBooks Payroll Elite provides easy access to HR resources for small business owners who don’t have internal HR staff. The plan offers:
- Access to custom HR handbooks.
- Help with compliance issues for hiring and firing.
- Ability to connect with a personal HR advisor for consultations and advice.
No one likes waiting to be paid. With credit card next-day funding in Payments for QuickBooks Desktop, the wait time for credit card deposits is being cut in half, from two days to one. Look for the change later this month.
How it works:
- Credit card deposits from QuickBooks Payments will be made to your bank account the very next business day—at no extra charge.
- Starting on July 28, 2020, next-day deposits apply to credit card payments processed before 3 p.m. PT (excluding weekends and holidays).
- Deposit times may vary for other payment methods, such as ACH bank transfers, third-party delays and risk reviews.
- Learn how to start accepting credit card payments in QuickBooks Desktop Payments,
In a nutshell: Tracking deposits just got a whole lot easier because Payments for QuickBooks Desktop now does it for you—automatically matching and recording each one.
How it works:
- QuickBooks Payments automatically matches your deposits and fees and records them on your chart of accounts.
- Deposits are automatically recorded as Accounts Receivables, while fees are automatically recorded as Expenses.
- Note that the auto-reconciliation feature works with payments received from transactions initiated within QuickBooks, but does not support GoPayment and transactions created in the Merchant Service Center.
Original article from the Firm of the Future Blog.