Lets take a look at changes to QuickBooks Accountant 2014, as well as other issues of interest to the accounting professional.
Changes in QuickBooks Accountant 2014
Intuit continues to add features to QuickBooks Accountant as a part of their effort to make this version a more powerful tool for the accounting professional.
There are a few smaller changes, plus one potentially BIG change:
- Client Collaborator: This is a very interesting feature that will help improve communications between the client and the accountant. It is a way to exchange messages from within QuickBooks that relate to specific QuickBooks issues. It is important enough that I’m going to devote an entire blog post to it, later in this series.
- Reclassify Source Account: This is an enhancement to Reclassify Transactions Tool in the Client Data Review feature. It allows you to batch change transactions “written from” the wrong account.
- Batch Enter Transactions: This was a new feature in QuickBooks 2013 and it has been VERY popular with accounting professionals. This year they have expanded it to allow the entry of Bills & Bill Credits as well as Invoices & Credit Memos, which are very welcome additions.
- Send Journal Entries to QuickBooks Mac 2014: This allows an accountant in QuickBooks Accountant (Windows) to use the send general journal entries function to update a Mac client.
Reclassify Source Account
This is an enhancement to the Reclassify Transactions tool in the Client Data Review feature. It allows you to batch change transactions “written from” the wrong account.
This takes a little bit of thought to see how this works.
Using a check as an example, you have a from account (the checking account) and one or more to accounts (the detail expenses, or the items). The Reclassify Transactions tool has only allowed you to reclassify the to account up until now.
Let’s show you how this works in QuickBooks 2013, with a fairly simplistic and contrived example (sorry about that).
Here’s a check that I wrote. I messed up big time. It is a check to our insurance company. However, I use the savings account and made it out to the office supplies expense. Oops.
Here’s the check in the reclassify transactions tool of the Client Data Review (CDR). I’ve selected expense accounts on the left, and All for show transactions on the right. You see the check listed twice, but I can only select the office supplies line – the “to” account. At the bottom, I’ve selected the insurance expense account to use to reclassify this transaction.
If I click Reclassify then this will correct the check to post to insurance expense, but the check will still be coming from the Savings account. So that is only half the battle.
There are no other options in this window that will let me correct the “From” account to be checking.
Now let’s look at the same thing in QuickBooks Accountant 2014. I have the same check, with the same mistakes.
If I select expense accounts in the View dropdown, it looks pretty much the same. I can only change the expense account.
However, if I select Balance Sheet Accounts on the left, and Written from selected account (reclassify FROM) on the right, I now have the option of changing this from savings to checking.
This is a nice addition. Keep in mind that normally you are going to be using this tool if you have to manipulate a large number of transactions at one time. Lets’ say, for example, that I’ve written 50 checks from the wrong account – I can reclassify them all here easily. Prior to this I could only reclassify the “to” account, not the “from”.
Batch Enter Transactions
This was a new feature in QuickBooks 2013 and it has been VERY popular with accounting professionals. It allows you to enter a large number of transactions in a spreadsheet-like format – you can even use it to paste transactions in from Excel. In 2013 you could use this to enter checks, deposits and credit card charges/credits.
This year Intuit has expanded this feature to include Bills & Bill Credits as well as Invoices & Credit Memos, which are very welcome additions.
Send Journal Entries to QuickBooks Mac 2014
QuickBooks for Mac doesn’t have an “Accountant” version. There are accountants who are supporting their QuickBooks for Mac clients by “round-tripping” between the client Mac product and their own Windows product (QuickBooks Accountant). QuickBooks Accountant 2014 will make this process a bit easier.
The normal process (as I understand it, it is something I’ve not done myself), is:
- The client makes a QBB backup of their file (Backup to QuickBooks for Windows in the file menu).
- The accountant restores that file on their Windows system using QuickBooks Accountant.
- The accountant makes whatever adjustments and changes necessary.
- The accountant creates a Mac file using the option in File/Utilities.
- The Mac user restores that file.
QuickBooks Accountant 2014 adds another option to this process, the ability to Send General Journal Entries back to the Mac client. Intuit introduced the Send General Journal Entries feature in QuickBooks Accountant 2013, which allows you to create a “journal entry” file that you can send to the client to update their file. Now you can do this from your Windows product to send GJE’s back to the Mac client. Of course, you still have to retrieve the QuickBooks file from the Mac client – but now you have the option of just sending GJE’s back to them.
- If all your work with the client file are just GJE’s, then you can avoid the whole step of sending back the entire company file for them to restore. This saves a conversion step, AND it means that the client can continue to work with their file while you are examining your copy. Just send them GJE’s to adjust their file.
- If you are doing more complicated work (which can’t be done just with GJE’s) then you have the option of sending the file back to the client, and then you have the ability to do additional adjustments via GJE at a later time.
Keep in mind that the Send General Journal Entries function is very flexible. It can send more than just the journal entry – it has the ability to add list records that might be needed for the GJE also.
This seems like a useful improvement if that is your working environment.
QuickBooks Accountant Plus
I mentioned this in my first QuickBooks 2014 article, I want to make sure that everyone understands what this is. “QuickBooks Accountant Plus” is a new term this year, but for a concept that has been around for a bit. Note, though, that there may be some confusion over some aspects of this if you aren’t paying attention to the details.
QuickBooks Accountant Plus is a program where you can purchase QuickBooks Accountant on a subscription basis. You pay a monthly (or annual) fee and you get a number of services. This has been available since September 2012, although it hasn’t been called that in the past. You get the price locked in for a year and get the next version of QuickBooks Accountant automatically, as long as you keep paying your subscription fee.
This is NOT the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program (which has a pay-monthly option also), as it doesn’t include all the other benefits that you get as a part of that program, and it doesn’t open the door to getting any QuickBooks Certifications.
The QuickBooks Accountant Plus subscription program is being expanded this year. If you don’t want the cost of the full QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, you can subscribe to QuickBooks Accountant Plus. You get:
- A copy of QuickBooks Accountant, which is the version that lets you work with clients who have Pro and Premier. This does NOT get you a copy of Enterprise Accountant, QuickBooks for Mac, or QuickBooks Online.
- Automatic update to the latest version of QuickBooks Accountant after it is released, as long as you continue to pay your subscription fee (as before).
- A subscription to the Accountants Copy File Transfer service, which you can use to exchange Accountant’s Copy files with your clients via a web service.
- Access to the new Client Collaborator feature that provides you with the ability to communicate with your client from within QuickBooks.
Note that support is not included, although it is available for an additional fee.
So, Intuit is ramping up this lower level program for people who just want to work with the Pro and Premier level of clients, who don’t want all of the added benefits of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program (PAP), and who want to keep their costs low. It makes sense to me, I do run into quite a few accounting professionals who say that they have no interest in the Mac, Enterprise and Online products that the PAP gets you.
One thing that I found a bit confusing at first, if you are a current member of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program you are essentially getting the QuickBooks Accountant Plus product, with many additional benefits and features. It is important to note this because there are times when you’ll see people at Intuit say that “this is a feature in QuickBooks Accountant Plus” – and what they really mean is “this is a feature in QuickBooks Accountant Plus and the ProAdvisor version of QuickBooks Accountant” – which is too long to say each time.
QuickBooks Professional Bookkeeper
This edition of QuickBooks was introduced in June of 2012. It is a version that is less capable than QuickBooks Accountant, but available at a slightly lower price. To be honest, this was a “ho-hum” edition to me. If you are a bookkeeper, I still think you should be using the more capable QuickBooks Accountant version. The price difference wasn’t that great. Perhaps if you have a very large firm and you want to save money by providing all your bookkeepers with a lower cost version, it might make some sense (but why not try to negotiate a discount on QuickBooks Accountant instead?).
Well, this product is being discontinued. I have to say, I don’t miss it. I have run into very few people who used it.