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QuickBooks Online Tips and Tricks

March 27, 2012 | By | 21 Replies More

Since I told you about some of the latest updates to QuickBooks Online (QBO) in my last article, I thought this might be a good time to go over a few tricks that I’ve learned along the way. Some of them I’ve been using for years, and some are new to me.

Using Multiple Windows: This is one that I am asked about often, and see in quite a few of the online forums. By using CTRL + N (or, on a Mac, CMD + N), you are able to open a new window. There are different results, depending on the browser that you are using.

If you’re using Internet Explorer, you’ll already be logged into a QBO screen. With Firefox and Chrome, you’ll have to type the QBO URL into the address bar, but you won’t need to enter your username and password. Another option, and the one that I use often, is to open a new tab in the current browser window. Just right click on the tab you’re in, and then click duplicate.

Opening a new tab

I know, I know – the first thing everyone says is: “But what if I need to see reports side by side?”. When I need that, I just pull the tab out into it’s own window, and when I’m done, I put it back. Having used all of the browsers with QBO, I’ve found that Chrome handles this best.

Working with Multiple Companies: This is a new one to me, and I love it. Before, the only way to do this was to use different browsers: Open Company A in Chrome and Company B in Internet Explorer. This bugged me because I’m not a huge IE fan. At all.

To get around this, you need to make use of Profiles in Chrome or Firefox. Once you add an additional user, you can open up a browser window for each user and login to QBO separately. I love this, since I love Chrome (and QBO really does seem to run faster in it). I’m still getting used to it, but so far I think it’s great.

Multiple Companies with Profiles

QBO in the Chrome App Store: At first, I thought: so what? I usually just type in into my browser and I’m off and running when I login to QuickBooks Online. You’re probably all thinking the same thing: wouldn’t clicking one big fat icon be easier than typing in the URL? Um. Yes.

QuickBooks Online Chrome App

See that? You just click on it. Soooo much easier.

And you have options as to how you want it to open:

QuickBooks Online Chrome Preferences

You have it open as a regular tab, a pinned tab (this is just a little bitty tab that only has the favicon, and no text) or in this case, full screen for my Mac.

This is what a pinned tab looks like – isn’t it cute?

Pinned Tab

Find it in the Chrome App Store.

Document Management for QBO (well, sort of): This is absolutely brilliant, and I would love to take the credit for it. But I can’t, so I’ll try not to dwell on it. QuickBooks Online doesn’t have an integrated system to attach documents to transactions (or accounts, or customers, etc.). You could use something like to do it, but there’s a FREE work around that I also found out about recently. GOOGLE DOCS. Considering that I use Google Docs all the time – to share data with clients (I have a time card that I use for one of my payroll clients), budgets (I use a Google Doc spreadsheet to keep track of our household’s monthly budgets), file share/transfer (I can upload a file that’s too big to email to send to a client, then share it with them), I’m so bummed I didn’t think of this. But I need to let it go, right? And just get on with the telling of what it is? In the words of my fellow host, Woody Adams: “right on”.

You can upload the document to Google Docs, where it will have a unique web address. You can change share settings to anyone with the link or specific users. In the example below I chose anyone with a link:

Google Docs setting

You can always make it private, and then each person accessing it would need a Google account to open the document. An example of how it can be used would be on an Estimate – maybe you’ve scanned the signed approval from your customer and uploaded it. You can enter the link in the memo field (the customer doesn’t see this) and have quick access to the document from QBO:

Adding Google Docs link in memo

That’s it for this week. I have more to share, but I think this is a good start!

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Category: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Tips/Tricks

About the Author ()

Stacy Kildal is owner/operator of Kildal Services LLC, located in Waterford Michigan—a full service bookkeeping company that specializes in all things QuickBooks. As a Certified Professional Bookkeeper and Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor, she supports QuickBooks clients all over the country, offering payroll, bookkeeping, training and consulting. She regularly teaches QuickBooks workshops through the local county planning and economic development department, along with community college and continuing education classes for various school districts.  Stacy is one of the three hosts for the Radio Free QuickBooks weekly online radio show. As a member of the esteemed Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, Stacy has presented many live seminars and webinars. Her attendees enjoy the passion she exhibits for her work and can easily relate to the many real life examples she uses during these presentations. She has also been featured frequently on Intuit’s Community "Ask the Expert" forums, at various Intuit Academy To Go podcasts, as well as hosting a number of Intuit Small Business Online Town Hall sessions. She an big fan of working mobile and has been recognized by Intuit as being an expert on QuickBooks Online, having written the Intuit Academy courses for the US, Singapore and Canadian versions. Kildal Services LLC provides consulting, speaking and writing services to clients (including other accounting professionals) nationwide.

Comments (21)

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  1. Andrea Lee Carter says:

    Thank you, Stacy, for these tips…I’m still exploring QB Online and look forward to giving these tips a try.

  2. Stacy says:

    Thanks Andrea! My favorite right now is the different Chrome users – I prefer that browser so to be able to access multiple companies from one browser with that is great :)

  3. Ed Jaworski says:

    I, too, love to use Chrome. But I never knew about the “drag a tab to a new window” trick – very neat.

    I was helping a new client on QBO yesterday for the first time in a while. QBO has come a long way since I last used it a couple of years ago. I’m starting to like again. There are definitely a few things it does better than the desktop versions that many ProAdvisors are missing out on.


    • Stacy Kildal says:


      It has come QUITE a long way in the last few years. They just released new features today, next article will talk about some of those. Maybe the article after that, I’ll delve into the advantages QBO has over desktop…


    • Ed, that tab trick works in Internet Explorer 9 as well – and my thanks to Stacy as I didn’t realize I could do that…

  4. Stacy, congrats on sharing the QB tips & tricks, it’s really useful. I appreciate your sharing and expect more tips and tricks soon.

  5. Carmen says:


    As a QuickBooks Online Customer Care agent, I never thought to use Google Docs. Thank you for a wonderful bright idea!

  6. Anthony says:

    Hi Stacy:

    Nice tips!

    I need help and can’t find it anywhere, perhaps you could assist…(This is only one of 30 things I need help with but I cannot go on without this one.)

    Both my Invoices and my Estimates are carrying the same Form Name as I have changed it under Customize Change Form –>Title. I need to change the form name Invoice to Delivery Order and have Estimates remain as Estimates. This is a HUGE problem right now for me. Could you help with this? if you are not comfortable with this on your blog, please remove it. Thanks, Anthony

    • Stacy Kildal says:

      No problem Anthony

      Go to Company>Prefences>Form Delivery>Customize Forms
      Click the Customize Forms Button

      Go the section where it says “Form Type Names”
      There are 4 drop down menus for Estimates/Sales Receipts/Invoices/Credit Memos.

      For Estimates you can choose Estimates, Proposals or Quotes.
      Unfortunately, the only options for Invoices are Invoices or Pledges…

  7. Ok. I did a double take where you said you can use qbo to manage multiple companies. I have never used Firefox or chrome browsers so can you explain what your saying? Do you mean that under chrome you can just have multiple users and each user can be for a different company for the same qbo subscription?



  8. Barb says:

    Are these tips only for QBO or can the work with QB ACCOUNTANT ? Where can I find other tips and tricks for QB?

  9. Rick says:

    Hi…is it possible to run two separate p&ls for different divisions of the same company? We want to track the revenue, expenses and profit separately for each. Thanks

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