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Managing Duplicate and Outstanding Transactions in QuickBooks

August 22, 2011 | By | 5 Replies More

Do you frequently need to review accounts that have an obviously overstated balance? Do you have a recurring problem with duplicate invoices to your customers? Do you periodically review your Open Purchase Orders report only to discover that many of them should already have been closed? Let’s look at how to resolve these problems in QuickBooks.

Linking Transactions

QuickBooks works best when transactions are converted from one status to another, instead of entering transactions separately. This will “link” the transactions. Improperly linked transactions can result in transactions that either stay open indefinitely, or that end up being duplicated. Here are just a few potential scenarios:

  • Items are marked as billable on a Bill, and then the pre-existing Sales Order is converted into an Invoice. Later, someone notices the outstanding item on the “Unbilled Costs by Job” report, and so creates a second Invoice.
  • Items are marked as billable on a Bill, and then an Invoice is created from the Unbilled Costs by Job report. No one converts the pre-existing Sales Order into an Invoice, which results in it staying open indefinitely.
  • Enter an Item Receipt and then later, separately, enter the Bill without using Enter Bill for Received Items. This results in overstated inventory (both quantities and costs), as well as creating an Item Receipt that stays open indefinitely.
  • Enter a Bill and then use Write Checks instead of Pay Bills, which leaves the Bill open indefinitely. At some point, it’s likely that the Bill will be paid, resulting in a duplicate Check being issued.

Finding Outstanding Transactions

QuickBooks provides many great reminders along the way to help minimize these kinds of errors. We’re all familiar with pop-up warnings such as these:

QuickBooks Open POs Exist

QuickBooks Pending Item Receipts Exist

QuickBooks Job has an Estimate and Sales Order

However, sometimes even these reminders aren’t enough to prevent mistakes from being made. For example, perhaps your transaction volume is so high that you always have open transactions, so as a result you become immune to the warnings.

The good news is that you can take advantage of QuickBooks’ reporting capabilities to find and address these kinds of errors. Try using some of these reports as part of a monthly or quarterly process:

Inventory Transactions

  • Reports / Inventory / Pending Builds: It is important to review your Pending Builds with some regularity, because errors in dates or changes made to Bills or Item Receipts can re-open previously completed builds.

Purchasing & Vendor Transactions

  • Reports / Purchasing / Open Purchase Orders
  • Reports / Vendors & Payables / Unpaid Bills Detail: This report name is a bit of a misnomer; it actually shows any open payables transaction, including any open Item Receipts and Credits.


Sales & Customer Transactions

    • Reports / Sales / Pending Sales: Invoices marked as pending = pending sales.

 

  • Reports / Sales / Open Sales Orders by Customer – Item: Includes Backorders.
  • Reports / Customers & Receivables / Unbilled Costs by Job
  • Reports / Customers & Receivables / Open Invoices: Another misnomer. This report shows all open receivables transactions, including unapplied customer Payments and Credits.

QuickBooks Open Invoices Report

Reports / Memorized Reports / Open Estimates: If you use Estimates and would like a means to track them, start with your Open Sales Orders by Customer report. Click Modify, go to the Filters tab, and then change the “Transaction Type” to Estimate.

QuickBooks Open Sales Orders by Customer

  • Go to the Headers/Footers tab change the “Report Title” to Open Estimates by Customer.

 

QuickBooks modify report to be Open Estimates by Customer

  •  Click OK to close the “Modify” window, and then click Memorize to save the new report.

Memorize the new report

You’ve Identified the Transactions– Now What?

To close/cancel open transactions

  • Open the original transaction by double-clicking it from the report.
  • For Sales Orders or Purchase Orders, you can mark individual lines as closed, or you can mark the entire transaction as closed using the checkboxes.

    Mark QuickBooks Order as Closed

  • For other transactions, you can either void or complete the transaction by selecting Edit / Void, or Edit / Mark as Final from the menu bar.

Occasionally, you may also need to delete individual lines or even entire transactions. These functions are also performed from the Edit menu.

  • To cancel billable costs, open the original transaction and unmark the “Billable” checkbox.

To fulfill/complete any open transactions

  • Open the original transaction by double-clicking it from the report.
  • Next, convert it to the next status by clicking the Create button.
  • To complete billable costs, using information from the Unbilled Costs by Job report, go to Customers / Create Invoices, enter the customer’s name and choose Select outstanding billable time and costs to add to this invoice.

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Category: QuickBooks Tips/Tricks, Working with QuickBooks

About the Author ()

Lyn has over 12 years of experience as a Corporate Controller for a mid-sized communications company. She currently works for Informed Systems, Inc., an Intuit Solution Provider as well as a Microsoft Gold Partner, and has over 3 years of experience as an Applications Consultant specializing in QuickBooks, QuickBase and Dynamics GP. Areas of expertise include implementation, training, custom reporting, and integrations. Lyn holds multiple certifications from both Intuit and Microsoft, including QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, QuickBase, GP Installation & Configuration and SQL Implementation & Maintenance.

Comments (5)

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  1. Joyce says:

    Can this be used successfully in QB Online?

    Have new computer that keeps getting bluescreens–seems to always be when I am working on QB (not online version) and doing something online lke downloading payroll or an update…….. Any experience with this?? esp due to any prob with Win 7 an/or the 64bit vs 32 bit issues???? The HP & Costco techs are frustrated due to not being able ot find reason to fix.

    This is 3rd new computer in month, keep getting same blue screen with all of them. Have narrowed down to possibility of this issue—or 2011 ver 8 update.

    Any ideas???

    • Joyce, QuickBooks Online Edition is very different than QuickBooks Desktop, so they are hard to compare.

      As far as the other stuff, that is a bit off topic for this discussion. But I’ll say that I’m running QB 2011 R8 on a Windows 7 64 bit system without any trouble at all…

  2. Mindy says:

    Very well said and laid out. Thanks!

  3. Diana G says:

    but how do you link a payment made ( via checkbook) to a bill entered? what if there were multipal payments made to said bill. Would I have to recreate the bill in sections to match the payments? is there something simple I have missed. I cant find the “How to” anywhere.

    • Lyn Barr says:

      For the first question (linking payments already made), I would recommend that you make note of the original check date and amount.

      Then, go to Vendors>>Pay Bills, select the bill in question and mark the option to “Assign Check Number.” Then, click “Pay Selected Bills” and enter in the check number and date from the first step. To finalize this process, you then need to go back and delete the original check written, because at this point, there will be two (duplicate) checks for that amount/day/ck#. This first (original) check is not linked, while the second one is correctly linked.

      For the second question, normally, you can just manually enter in the amount you wish to pay against a bill in the “Amt. to pay” column of the “Pay Bills” window. When you are ready to pay an additional payment toward the bill, just follow the same process and enter the current “Amt. to pay” each time.

      If you need additional help, or perhaps some screenshots, please email me directly and I will do my best to assist you.

      Regards,
      Lyn Barr

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