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.
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.
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).
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.
You can see that QuickBooks shrinks the report vertically to fit on one page instead of two.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
Here’s a credit.
I select Pay Bills and select that bill to pay. Click the Set Credits button.
I can select that credit to set the amt to pay to be zero.
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.
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.
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).
And if I select File/Print Forms/Bill Payment Stub I can see this bill, ready to print:
And here is the stub. Finally!
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.
This opens the Manage Bounced Check window.
Click Next and you see this summary page.
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.
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.
There is another general journal entry for the bank charge.
Here’s the invoice that was created, for the service charge.
Here’s how this all looks in the Customer Center.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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”:
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.
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…