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QuickBooks 2014 Miscellaneous Features

September 20, 2013 | By | 27 Replies More

There are always a lot of miscellaneous features scattered about in a new major release of QuickBooks, and QuickBooks 2014 is no different. So, let’s take a look at a collection of random tidbits that should apply to all versions (Pro, Premier and Enterprise) unless otherwise mentioned.

Fit to Height

We’ve had a Fit report to x pages wide option report printing for some time now. It is useful if you have a report that is wider than one page – it will shrink the report to fit on one page horizontally. Let me give you an example of how that works.

Here’s a Profit & Loss Detail report – it spreads across multiple pages sideways. A bit hard to work with.

P&L report wider than one page

In the print dialog you can check the fit report to x pages wide box, and QuickBooks will shrink that to fit the page width. This is very convenient.

Fit Report to 1 page wide

Same report fit to 1 page wide

In QuickBooks 2014 we now have an additional option, Fit report to x pages high.

For example, here is a report that is two pages long (and one wide).

Two page report

In the print reports window you can see that there is a new option, Fit report to. Note that in this case I also changed the report orientation – you will have to play with the options to get a report that is readable.QuickBooks 2014 Fit Report to 1 page high

You can see that QuickBooks shrinks the report vertically to fit on one page instead of two.

QuickBooks 2014 Fit Report to 1 page high

This will work better for some reports than others. When you shrink vertically the report also shrinks horizontally a bit, which can make it too small to read. That is why (in this case) I also changed the report orientation.

This may seem small, but quite a few people have been asking for this.

Add/Edit Multiple List Entries

There are a number of additional columns for some of the lists used in feature. These mostly related to new features in inventory for Enterprise, such as Site Max, Margin and Markup. It is always nice to have additional columns to work with.

A more interesting addition is the search within results option.

Add/Edit Multiple List Entries Search within Results

Using this, you first do your main search with that box unchecked. If your search yields too many records then you can refine your search WITHIN those first results by checking the box and doing an additional search. This retains the first search results, then looks for matches to your second search only within those results.

Clear? I don’t have a good database set up to give you an example, but it does seem to work well.

Changes in Installation and Product Registration

Many of us have an online “Intuit ID” account. It is used in different places, such as in the Intuit App Center where you can see the App Center applications that you subscribe to, and other Intuit services. This was discussed in my article on the Client Collaborator as well. With QuickBooks 2014 you’ll see questions about the Intuit ID popping up in the installation process as well, which may seem to be a bit odd if you don’t know how things are working.

So let’s talk a bit about the installation and registration process that you’ll see. Please note that Intuit has been changing this right up to the date of product release (and possibly beyond), so some of the screens may change. Also, I’m not totally sure that I understand all of the impacts of these changes.

Note – this will only apply to users of the US versions of QuickBooks for Windows.

There are multiple paths through the installation sequence (you should see my flow chart on this, I should have used Seth’s Brain program to organize things), but there are just a few screens that are different from prior years. They just pop up in different places depending on the path you take.

When you are installing there is a long period of time when you have a progress bar and messages that tell you what component is being installed. You’ll also see “billboard” messages rotate through, telling you about features of your new product. At one point in this sequence, probably early on, you’ll see a window like this:

Product Registration?

This is where you would enter your Intuit ID information (online account user ID and password). In testing initially this didn’t seem to work correctly – it says “let’s take care of your registration” and I assumed that this meant that I would not have to do the normal “register QuickBooks” step the first time that I ran the program after installing.  In my case, even if I entered my information here, I still saw the “Register QuickBooks Now” window later on. However, that was in a pre-release version, from what I understand this should work now. If so, this is a nice feature to avoid that annoying registration screen.

Late Additional Note: The reason that it might not be working for ME is that the “silent registration” will only happen the first two times you install, after that you would have to validate in the normal way. Given that I’ve been installing my test versions multiple times, that could be the issue.

In addition to “registering” your product, this also is  associating your installation of QuickBooks with your Intuit ID so that the program can save your License number and product number with your online account, which can be helpful later on.

Another place where your Intuit account comes into play is in the installation window when you are entering your license and product numbers. You’ll see this new link:

QuickBooks License Screen

The main reason to use this is if you are reinstalling this same version of QuickBooks on a second system – you can use your Intuit ID account to retrieve your license and product numbers.

If you click on that link you will get the following screen:

Intuit ID Login

Once you connect to your Intuit ID the program will fill in the product and license numbers for you, which is very convenient. Often when people install on a second system they don’t have their license information handy.

How does your license information get into your Intuit ID account?

  • If you chose to log in to your Intuit ID account the first time you installed, as shown above – that process served to save the numbers from your product into your account.
  • If you have purchased your product through an Intuit sales agent or through their web sales channel, the information will have been saved to your account.

Note that if you are reinstalling on a system where this had already been installed before (reinstalling), most likely your license/product info will be filled in for you without having to do this.

This process will not always work, it requires the following conditions:

  • You must have only one QuickBooks 2014 license on file. If you have multiple copies, the system doesn’t have a way for you to pick the right one.
  • The Intuit ID account you use must be the primary contact for this company. Multiple people in your business could have an Intuit ID, but only one will be the primary contact.

None of this is a big deal, it is just a change (with a bit of confusion) so I wanted to point it out.

Enterprise Upgrade Notifications

If you are on a Full Service Plan for Enterprise V13, you have received (or will receive) a notice “introducing” Enterprise V14. In that notice there is a “tip” that says your upgrade will be smoother IF you update your V13 installation to the R9 release BEFORE installing V14. That seemed a bit odd to me when I first saw this, so I asked Intuit about it.

If you are and Enteprise V13 user on a Full Service Plan, and you update to the R9 release, then when the V14 release is ready for you there will be a popup message alerting you that the upgrade is ready. If you click on it, you will be taken to the download site. THEN, when you install the program, your installation process will be a bit simpler because it will already have your license and product keys embedded for you. This saves you the hassle of looking up your license info in the email that you will recieve, and saves you a few steps.

Bill Payment Stub when Paid By Credit

This is one of those nagging things that bugged people, so I’m glad they fixed it.

Prior to this version, if you paid a bill in full by using a discount or credit, you couldn’t print a bill payment stub. Annoying. Let’s go through the steps using a simple example.

Here’s a bill.

QuickBooks Bill

Here’s a credit.

QuickBooks Credit

I select Pay Bills and select that bill to pay. Click the Set Credits button.

QuickBooks Pay Bills

I can select that credit to set the amt to pay to be zero.

Apply the credit

Now, if this is QuickBooks 2013 or prior, when I click the Pay Selected Bills button in the Pay Bills window, you aren’t told that you can print a payment stub.

QuickBooks 2013 Payment Summary

If I select File/Print Forms/Bill Payment Stub I see that there are no forms to print. So I can’t show my vendor that I applied the credit to that bill.

QuickBooks 2013 Bill Payment Stub

Looking at QuickBooks 2014 I can see that the Payment Summary now tells me how to print the stub (it should also have the Print Payment Stub button here, though).

QuickBooks 2014 Payment Summary

And if I select File/Print Forms/Bill Payment Stub I can see this bill, ready to print:

QuickBooks 2014 Select Stubs to Print

And here is the stub. Finally!

QuickBooks 2014 Bill Payment Stub

Bounced Checks

In QuickBooks 2012 R8 Intuit released a new bounced check feature to the QuickBooks Plus users (and QuickBooks ProAdvisors). That feature had a few problems, and it was not incorporated into QuickBooks 2013.

Well, it’s back…

So, I received a check to pay an invoice, but the check bounced. What do you do? You’ll notice that there is a new Record Bounced Check button.

Customer Payment but the check bounced

This opens the Manage Bounced Check window.

QuickBooks 2014 Managed Bounced Check

Click Next and you see this summary page.

QuickBooks 2014 Bounced Check Summary

Now let’s see what this has done. Here’s the customer payment, with a stamp for “Bounced Check” and two new detail lines. One for the service charge (dated the date of the original customer payment) that uses the next invoice number in that sequence, one dated today for the open amount of the payment, and I’m not sure where that transaction number came from? The “totals” look a bit odd to me.

image

OK, one mystery solved. The “2010-12” transaction for $35.00 is a general journal entry and that is the next number in THAT sequence.

General Journal Entry for Bounced Check

There is another general journal entry for the bank charge.

General Journal Entry for the bank charge

Here’s the invoice that was created, for the service charge.

Invoice to customer for service charge

Here’s how this all looks in the Customer Center.

Customer Center after bouncing the check

Behind the scenes, QuickBooks has created:

  • An expense account in the chart of accounts called Bank Service Charges
  • An income account in the chart of accounts called Returned Check Charges
  • An other charge item in the item list called Bounce Check Charge that posts to Returned Check Charges

If you have account numbers turned on for your chart of accounts it is annoying to see these added accounts, as they won’t have account numbers. A small annoyance.

So, all you accountants out there, is this working right? Feel free to leave comments on what you think. I’m not an accountant myself.

I will admit that I need to dig in further – particularly looking at how this works with Classes, which was one of the problems with the prior version of this.

Certainly this feature makes things simpler. You click on the icon, it creates all these transactions, postings, accounts and items for you. The process is very simple. To do all this manually can take a lot of steps (see the QuickBooks Consultant’s Reference Guide for an example of how to do this manually).

Customize Checks, Bills and Credit Card Charges

Here’s an interesting change that is available only in Enterprise – the ability to do a small degree of customization to the on-screen transaction form for checks, bills and credit card charges. It is a nice addition for some situations (mainly job costing).

Note that I already talked briefly about this feature in the article on Job Costing, although not in as much detail as here. I wanted to repeat this in case you skipped over the Job Costing article.

These three transaction forms have, until now, been impossible to “customize”. You couldn’t alter the appearance of the printed form or the form on screen. Now (in Enterprise only) we have the ability to add (and delete) columns in the detail section of the form on screen. This has no effect on the printed form (such as a printed check).

Here’s a standard check, looking at the Items tab. If you right-click on the form you get a popup menu – there is a new option at the bottom, Customize Columns.

Enterprise 2014 Check customization

Selecting that new option, you get a typical QuickBooks customization dialog. On the left, the new fields will be any custom fields you have defined in the item list, as well as the sales rep field. You can add these as new columns, and you can remove SOME of the columns from the right.

Check customization

Here’s the result – I dropped the description field to make room, and I added sales rep and the “Approval” custom field. If there is a value in that custom field in the item record, that value fills in automatically (just as it would if you have a custom field in an invoice). Also, if I select a Customer:Job for the detail line, then the Sales Rep field will be filled in with the default sales rep for that customer, or job (this is VERY USEFUL in job costing situations).

Customized check

These new fields won’t show on the printed check, but I am happy to note that these values DO show in several of the check reports, if you customize the report to add the columns. For example, here is a check detail report that I customized to add the two new columns, and the values from the custom fields DO appear.

Modified check detail report

In checks, you can define different columns for the expenses and the item tab. The customizations only apply to regular checks, they do not affect paychecks, sales tax payment checks, or bill payment checks (none of which you can customize).

The same features I’ve shown here with checks apply to credit card charges and bills.

It looks like they have covered the basics here, I can’t see any problem. The big advantage is when you are doing job costing as this is the only way that you can associate a Sales Rep with an expense, so that you can filter by Sales Rep.

Some people will be disappointed that they can’t have the customizations apply to the printed form (as in, the check stub), but that is a different issue than what is being covered here. Note that I can’t tell if these changes will be available to any add-on programs at this time – I hope that they will, but I’m not holding my breath on that.

Error Messaging Changes

We don’t always know about all of the changes that Intuit implements in a new release. I like to get down to the picky details, Intuit only gives us the “big picture” items.

Here’s a change in 2014 (which is also implemented in the recent 2013 R9 release). If you have a multi-user installation, only one computer should be set up to “host” the database. It isn’t difficult for someone to get this set up wrong so that more than one computer is set to be the “host”, but you will probably get one of several different errors that can pop up when you try to switch to multi-user mode – such as H101, H202, H303 or H505 (see KB article SLN40493).

Here’s the kind of error message you would get in QuickBooks 2013 (before R9), for example:

H101 Error in older QuickBooks

One problem with this is that NORMALLY you would want to click “No”, but the default is Yes, and that isn’t good.

Now the message is updated to be clearer, and the default button is “No”:

H101 Error in QuickBooks 2014

Is Something Missing?

You don’t see any mention of one of the hot topics these days, compatibility with Microsoft Office 2013. While many features in Office 2013 WILL work with this product, some might not (Outlook is a notorious problem, and Excel with QuickBooks Statement Writer is another). The 2013 R9 release added compatibility, why not 2014 R1?

Officially, this release doesn’t support Microsoft Office 2013. I do, however, expect that they’ll address that soon.

Features for QuickBooks Canada and QuickBooks UK Users

I always have a hard time in determining what features are available, or NOT available, in the QuickBooks products that are available in Canada and the UK. Here are a few tidbits to throw out that relate to those versions, and QuickBooks 2014:

  • The Alerts feature, which was added mid year in the US version of QuickBooks 2014, should now be available in the UK and Canadian releases (QuickBooks ProActive).
  • QuickBooks Attached Documents should now be available in Canada and UK versions.
  • QuickBooks 2014 for the UK (not Canada) now includes a Flat Rate VAT which can be set up to automatically calculate within QuickBooks without using a workaround. This should be a company file preference (I haven’t been able to access this as I don’t have a UK version). If you use this feature you pay VAT as a fixed percentage of your VAT inclusive turnover, where the actual percentage you use depends on your type of business.

Thank You!

It’s been a wild ride for the last few weeks, I hope that I haven’t buried you all with too many articles about QuickBooks 2014. THIS IS THE LAST of the in-depth articles on R1. Now, on to the next thing…

 

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Category: Product Reviews, QuickBooks Tips/Tricks, Software Updates

About the Author ()

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He's been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had a one-floppy disk drive system, loading the program from one floppy and then replacing that with the other floppy to hold the data. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. He also is a Xero Certified Partner. Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. Charlie can be reached at charlie.russell@sleeter.com He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog Connect with Charlie at Google

Comments (27)

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  1. Brett says:

    Actually, the “registration” during installation didn’t work. I still had to register afterwards.

    • Brett, like I pointed out, it often doesn’t work. It is hard to test because once I’ve installed a time or two, that feature will not work any longer. Many variables here which conspire to make it not pop up right. I’m not a fan of how this was implemented. HOWEVER, I have talked to at least one person where it seemed to work the way it was expected…

  2. Lance Wilkins says:

    Just to add to the registration discussion. The new procedure, registration during installation, worked perfect for me. It really made the process painless.

  3. Bryce Jones says:

    I had difficulty in logging into Intuit to go through the registration process. After a couple of chat sessions with the help desk, I realized that my account password had been changed to match my new QBO “account”. So the bottom line is that Intuit has just one username and password for me whether I am signing in to my ProAdvisor account or to QBO. That was not made clear up front. It’s not a problem, just a surprise.

  4. Jim 'Rustler' Ernest says:

    The accounting for the bounced check feature is fine, but the implementation is problematic for accrual based companies. One side note, the only way to find the payment in-order to click the bounced check button, that I have found, is to use the previous button on receive payments. Selecting the customer only lists current open invoices.

    And while the entry in the bank register notes the bounced check number, the original invoice which is re-opened does not have any notation on it.

    And the customer listing, while it shows the general journal entry make no reference to what it is for unless you double click on it, nor is the a field to add to the column display that would show something.

    • Thank you, Jim. With all the new features in QB 2014, I haven’t had a lot of time to dig into all the details.

      When you say it is “problematic for accrual based companies”, can you explain what you are seeing there?

      • Jim 'Rustler' Ernest says:

        I mis-spoke I should have said cash based companies.

        suppose they issue an invoice in Dec, and receive payment in Dec. Then the cash based company files its taxes. For whatever reason in the last part of January or February they get a bounced check, QB will open the paid invoice – which changes cash basis reporting for the previous year.

        If the invoice to be opened is in a closed period, you have to open that period first to change the payment applied.

        All companies I deal with, will not pay an invoice they get that is a duplicate of one already shown as being paid in their a/p accounts. Under this system QB expects you to send an invoice for the bounced check charges PLUS reprinting the old invoice once you find it.

        And re-opening the old invoice adds it to the aging reports which some companies look at monthly.

        • That makes more sense. Since QB is essentially an accrual system with “cash basis” being an overlay in some reports, essentially, it is not surprising that this feature doesn’t automate cash basis situations the way you might like. In those cases, you are back to doing manual adjustments as we had before.

  5. I didn’t have a problem registering my QuickBooks Premier Accountant or Enterprise Account 2014 this year. I also found the process easy and painless. I’ll see what happens when I register my copy of QuickBooks for the Mac 2014 later this year.

    I’m looking forward to showing my Seattle aree client how to use and using the new print format utility for reports, printing stubs for payments by credit cards that many of my clients like to use (something about miles, smile), the easier to use bounced check feature (I found the old process cumbersome), customize columns for checks, bills, and credit card charges, and clearer error messages, particularly for multi-user setups.

  6. Jeff says:

    We saw the upgrade notice today from within Quickbooks. Are there any reports of major bugs now that a few people have installed the 2014 version?

    • It is the R1 release, I would not rely on it yet. Bug fix revisions are on their way in another month or so

    • Greg Goodgame says:

      There is a major payroll bug in the Enterprise version 14. In some instances, you cannot print payroll checks. There is more information in QuickBooks support article SLN76523.

      • Jim Larson says:

        Major payroll bug is right!

        I have run 3 payrolls in the past 3 weeks
        and printed 30 paychecks / direct deposits
        each time.

        At the rate of 1 or 2 checks at a time before freeze-up,
        it’s frustrating.

        QB Support says it will be fixed on Enterprise 14
        Release 2 but not sure when that might happen.

        • Technically there won’t be a “release 2″ (or R2), but that is a technical quibble. There will be an R3 release next, and when it is publicly available I’ll have a detailed article on what it includes, in this blog. Subscribe so you get notified! There are a LOT of changes coming up…

  7. Just wondering if you had any info on the Canadian versions Attach Documents feature. This is something I have been waiting for for a long time, but now that we can get it, I am a bit worried that it may not be as smooth as I had dreamed. You have had this in the US for awhile, is it something people are happy with? How many use it? Is it time consuming? Are there good articles on it to read? Thanks in advance!

  8. Cindy says:

    Hi Charlie,

    We use QB Enterprise to process payroll for approximately 400 employees. All things considered, it is a fairly efficient process. However, sorting payroll checks for distribution across many departments is very difficult for companies who have a lot of employees. Do you think QB will ever allow a home department name or number to print on the stub? If not, perhaps the ability to print the checks by department, rather than alphabetically? Right now, we are using a separate pay schedule for each department to enable us to print the checks in batches, but this is very time consuming. However, this takes less time than trying to match the checks to a listing. Perhaps there is a custom solution available that we can purchase. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Cindy, I’m not a payroll expert. I doubt that an add-on product would be able to work well if you are using an Intuit payroll product, since Intuit does restrict access to that data. Perhaps you would find what you need in a non-Intuit payroll product?

  9. Cindy says:

    Thanks!

  10. Mary says:

    any luck getting Outlook 2013 to work with QB’s 2014?

  11. RHill says:

    Quickbooks Pro 2014 – Single PC Version

    HOW CAN WE CHANGE DATE ON THE STAMP “PAID” ON INVOICES ?
    When we open old Invoices from 2011, 2012 the stamp shows a 201′

    Can the Stamp be manipulated ? Moved ? Updated ?

    Thanks !

    • Richard, you can’t manipulate the “stamp” other than deciding to have it show or not. However, are you running the R4 or R5 update? I’m looking at invoices in my R5 installation and the full date shows properly.

  12. Shawn says:

    Thanks for the great article.

    I was wondering if you knew anything about printing signatures on checks in the Canadian version,
    because i don’t think it’s officially available, but maybe there is a way to work around it?

    Thank you,
    Shawn

  13. Belinda says:

    Quickbooks 2015′s statement writer is STILL not compatible with Office 2013. Why isn’t Intuit keeping up with technology. With recent computer upgrades QSW will be a useless tool for us.

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