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tlb services is an accounting systems and business analysis support organization for small businesses. we are committed to you managing your business through good accounting systems, not letting accounting systems manage your business.

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31 October 11

Focus on Fraud Prevention

A sad fact of business life is the risk of employee theft or fraud. There are a lot of alarming statistics out there, but they don’t  really matter until your business is the victim.  And, unfortunately, based upon my experience this year, this problem seems to be on the rise.   

 

I’ve had a lot more calls this year about theft and fraud then in the past and it has resulted in me putting together some tips for preventing and detecting theft or fraud in your business. 

A sad fact of business life is the risk of employee theft or fraud. There are a lot of alarming statistics out there, but they don’t  really matter until your business is the victim.  And, unfortunately, based upon my experience this year, this problem seems to be on the rise.   

 

I’ve had a lot more calls this year about theft and fraud then in the past and it has resulted in me putting together some tips for preventing and detecting theft or fraud in your business.    

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself……..

22 September 11

More QuickBooks 2012 Features

I’ve got another feature in the new 2012 release I’m really excited about.  Its a feature that allows you to attach notes to specific transactions.  Read more about this here…

Posted: 4:09 PM
You may be cold.  You may be wet.  You may be tired.  But, keep going.  You’re what’s moving this boat along!

You may be cold.  You may be wet.  You may be tired.  But, keep going.  You’re what’s moving this boat along!

9 September 11

New Features for QuickBooks 2012

With the changing of the seasons comes the release of the new versions of QuickBooks.  For those of you on Enterprise (with an active maintenance plan), you will get the 2012 version sometime starting around the middle of September.  For those of you on Pro or Premier, you will have to choose (and pay) to upgrade. 

QuickBooks started a program this year to allow you to “lease” Pro or Premier on a monthly basis.  Here is an article about that:  http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2011/02/quickbooks-plus-subscriptions/  If you use this feature, then you will also get the new version automatically (and have already seen some of these features added). 

For the first time I can remember, a new version of Point of Sale won’t be released until next Spring.

Remember also that Intuit “sunsets” old version of QuickBooks in the Spring after a new release in the Fall.  So next May, those of you still on 2009 versions will no longer be supported.  This is an issue if you use payroll, credit card processing, QuickBooks email and online banking. 

So – here are some of the highlights of changes coming:

  • Multi-user:  Many more functions will be available in multi-user instead of single-user.  (BIG WIN as far as I’m concerned!)
  • To-Do List:  Doesn’t seem that sexy, since most user’s don’t use it.  However, it has been enhanced to make it really functional.  Now you can use the list a lot more like a real to-do list with status’ and alerts.
  • New Centers:  Two new centers have been added – Inventory and Leads.  I’m not sure if they are both Enterprise only.  Leads is a new concept in QuickBooks which will help you keep potential customers separate from actual customers.
  • Calendar:  I like this one – because I started on Quicken and always used the Calendar as my main screen.  A calendar view has been added to QuickBooks that shows transactions and to-dos!
  • Utilities:  New features have been added to condense your file, create a new copy starting from a certain date, or create a file from an existing file.  These are good when you’re file is huge and really bogged down.
  • Excel:  Love this!  Now you can create a “link” from an Excel export report to Excel to allow you to “Refresh” from within Excel, as well as keep format changes you’ve made in Excel for the next time you import!  Sounds like Statement Writer, but perhaps more straightforward.
  • Help/Search:  A search bar has been added to the Icon Tool bar which is very, very slick and helps to find things (transactions, lists even Help information) very, very quickly.
  • Inventory:  Lots of changes here – both inside QuickBooks and in the Advanced Inventory tool.  This area I’m not sure about which are Pro/Premier and which are Enterprise…more to follow on that!
  • Pricing:  Now QuickBooks will ask you if you want to have it change prices automatically when a product cost changes.  Also, more Price Levels.
  •  Images:  You will be able to load images in your Inventory list.
  • Receiving:  Big change here.  You have the option to separate the Item Receipt date and the Bill date.  This is supposed to be a tricky function – so proceed with caution.  Lots of chatter about it on the QuickBooks blogs.
  • Advanced Inventory:   For those of you unfamiliar, this is a service add –on for Enterprise that adds multiple locations (among other things) to your QuickBooks Inventory.  Cost is minimal for those who have these issues.  Big changes here – that I’m super excited about:
  • FIFO Inventory:  Huge change!
  • Serial Number/Lot Tracking:  Apparently an “either/or” choice, and features are not robust, but LONG needed in my opinion.

There is a lot more – and I’m sure I’ve not mentioned what will be your favorite feature, but hopefully, this has gotten your juices flowing.  I’ll send out more when I get my hands on the final version.

 As always – be sure to call your QuickBooks ProAdvisor before your upgrade so you know what to expect and can have the best experience in upgrade.  If you use Third Party apps this becomes even more important!

18 July 11
Posted: 5:23 PM

my “Excel-ent” adventure

Over the last two or three weeks, I’ve been reading a book about Excel 2010.  A 1200 page book about Excel 2010.  I realize most people think I’m nuts - and they don’t have any problem telling me that.  I understand that opinion.  But for me, it turns out this admittedly geeky book has become an eyeopening - perhaps even life changing - adventure!

I got the book because I recently made the change over from Excel 2003 to 2010.  I had worked on 2007 a little, at some of my client’s offices and I found I was very, very lost. 

I am a power user of Excel.  I use it nearly every day and have for 20 years.  I knew I needed a little kick start to get me back up to my previous level of proficiency, rather than just slogging through day by day until my skills were back up to par, so a reference book seemed like the way to go.

The book is/was VERY enlightening, and quickly did what I hoped it would (probably in about 100 pages, really).  What else it did was unexpected.  It reminded me that we get into ruts and don’t even realize we’re there.

I learned Excel in 1991 or 92, which was something like Excel 4 or 5.  I was a convert from Lotus 123 and I went kicking and screaming.  It was the early days of my career as a corporate accountant, and I did lots and lots of spreadsheets.  There was a small group of us who all tried to “one up” each other with our Excel skills - and that kept us on our toes and learning.

However, somewhere along the way I got really good at what I needed to do, in the way that I knew how to do it and I never really looked at whether there was another way or not.  People came to me for tips and help, so why would I think I had more to learn, right?

So over the years I plowed through Versions 95, 97, 2000, 2002 and 2003.  With each version I’m sure I added some things to my arsenal of skills, but probably not much.

Along comes the 2007/2010 era and suddenly it is almost as if it is a new program, and so I approached it that way.  What an eye opener!  In the course of reading over this book I have found dozens of features, shortcuts, or tricks that have been added to the program over the years that I never knew.  I knew how to do the same things, but in many cases in a much slower and arcane manner.

The bottom line is when you’ve been doing something for a very long time, and are very good at it, you might - even then - step back and take a look at it with new eyes.  You might learn a few things and get even better at it then before!

Posted: 5:01 PM
Keeping track…..

Keeping track…..

20 June 11
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
— Aldous Huxley
Posted: 6:11 PM

Perception vs Reality

We’re all guilty of it…making decisions based upon our perceptions of our world, vs taking the extra steps to sort out the unvarnished facts.  It doesn’t happen every time. And, sometimes perception is reality.  But, when we’re making decisions about our businesses, it is amazing how far off our perceptions can be from the reality.

We do it because we have experience and “know our own business”.  Or we do it because we don’t have time to sort through the facts and figures to develop the data that shows us the reality of our situation.  It’s quicker to work with what we believe.  Isn’t it?

Well, I’ve found it isn’t.  It may feel quicker on the front-end, but time after time, I’ve found that it often costs me time…AND money on the back end. 

So my challenge is to find the data, in a quick and meaningful way, without spending all my time crunching it. 

Last week I started playing with an add-on tool for QuickBooks called QQube.  I decided to try to build a report that I’ve been struggling with for years.  One of my clients refers to it as the “Beat the Book” report.  It is something retailers have done on paper for years.  The report shows by day of the month, total sales, year-over year.  It needs to be quick to update and it should let me dice up the data in lots of ways…including by week of the year, or day of the week.

Well… with the power of QQube and Excel 201, in very short order, I was able to create the report, and it is amazing.  Using Excel 2010 pivot tables and the new Slicer feature I can slice and dice my data literally at the push of a button.

Needless to say, I am a HUGE proponent of QQube now.  I’ve got several other report ideas that I’ve played with and all have been phenomenally easy and powerful. 

If you haven’t seen it…you need to.  If you want to look over  a couple of the reports I’ve created, give me a call.  They will blow you away!

15 June 11
Welcome to the world, Kosovo!

Welcome to the world, Kosovo!

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh