It’s that time of year again. If you’ve been using QuickBooks desktop for a while now, you probably know that new versions of the software typically release each fall. This year is no different, and with the impending release of QuickBooks desktop 2019, Intuit had included several new features that are going to save a lot of us some time and effort.
This year, two of the biggest new features we’ve seen are a new invoice status tracker that integrates with the sending of invoices out of QuickBooks to track status, as well as a new take on the Condense Data option that allows you to reduce file size by clearing old audit trail reports.
There are also improvements to avoid common issues with both A/P and A/R workflows. Let’s look at these first.
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How Does QuickBooks Desktop 2019 Make it Easier for You to Manage Bill Payments?
Better Track Bill Payments with Increased Visibility of Who You Owe, What You Owe, and When
Too often, we’ve seen confusion over issues such as vendors with zero total balances listed in open A/P reports, and bills for which the vendor has been paid still showing as open. These are often caused by a check written to the vendor against A/P, rather than paying a bill through the open bills screen.
It’s an understandable mistake to make, especially if one is new to QuickBooks or doesn’t regularly handle accounts payable.
With the new version, Intuit has added a warning screen to the write checks window, should you select a vendor that you have an open bill for as the payee:
There are sometimes valid reasons to write a check to a vendor who you have bills from.
Your Bill Payment Options in QuickBooks Desktop
If you select “Write your check”, you’ll be able to proceed to the write checks screen as normal and create your check. Just make sure it’s not a check to Accounts Payable.
If the intention was to pay a bill for that vendor, the “Go to Pay Bills” button will take you to the Pay Bills window filtered for that vendor, to easily allow you to record the payment through the expected channel instead.
How are Customer Credit Transfers Handled in QuickBooks 2019?
Transfer Credits Across Jobs at the Click of Your Mouse!
For a while now, we’ve heard some frustration and confusion from customers on being able to apply customer credits to their jobs as expected.
In the past, you might have a credit for one job under the customer but may need to apply it to an invoice under another job for that customer, or for the parent customer.
We had to create journal entries (a pair each time, since we can only use A/R once per journal) to move the credit from A/R under one job, to a clearing account, back to A/R under the job where we wanted to apply it. What a hassle.
New in 2019, QuickBooks will handle these journal entries for you. If you’d like to transfer a credit, all you’ll have to do is open the invoice you want to apply that credit to and receive payment.
How to Transfer Credits Between Customer Jobs Under the Same Customer
- Click the Discounts and Credits button, and you should see available credits from the parent customer and other jobs under that same parent.
- If the credit you’re applying is from another job, you’ll see the following warning when closing the Discounts and Credits window.
- Select yes, and QuickBooks will create the journals needed to move these credits.
- Under the hood, the process is the same as it used to be, a part of journal entries moving the credit out of A/P and back under the name we need.
- For this purpose, QuickBooks creates an inactive Other Current Asset account called “Account for Credit Transfer”.
- It’s important not to use, rename, or activate this account.
- It should only be used by QuickBooks for credit transfers, and so should always have a zero balance.
- If you see a balance in this account, or it has been made active, you may want to have it checked by a specialist.
How is the QuickBooks Invoice Tracker Improved?
Real-Time Invoice Status Tracking Moves A/R and Cash Flow Faster
This version also adds a neat improvement to allow you to quickly see the status of invoices, especially those sent through QuickBooks. When viewing a saved invoice, you’ll see a link in the upper left, near the title, that says “See History”.
The pop-up window this brings up will show you a four-step history of steps completed for this invoice. You’ll also see a small log with details including when the invoice was created.
At the top, you’ll see a check mark in any of the steps completed so far. If the invoice was sent through QuickBooks, you’ll see when that was sent out, and when the customer viewed it.
If the invoice has been paid, you’ll see the details of that, and if the payment was deposited, you’ll get information on that step as well. This can be a great way to keep track of the activity of a particular order.
How is Data File Optimization Improved From Previous QuickBooks Versions?
You are Given Another Way to Reduce Your Company File Size!
QuickBooks 2019 also brings a new option to the Condense Data utility. The option to condense your data by removing transactions before a certain date, or to slice out a period copy, are still present and still work pretty much like they did before.
However, if you open the Condense Data window in 2019, you’ll find that there’s now an entirely new type of condense that’s more focused on reducing the file size than just trimming the data set.
This has historically been one of the more popular reasons QuickBooks users have considered condenses, but the traditional condense didn’t always reduce file size much and sometimes had unexpected results.
If all you want is to reduce file size, you may want to see if this looks right for you.
With the new option, we see that QuickBooks doesn’t actually remove any transactions. Instead it reduces the file size by removing the Audit Trail.
This is a report that lists every change ever made to every transaction in your data, and as such it can become very, very large.
The new condense will strip this out, and before you run the process QuickBooks will estimate the amount of file size reduction you’ll see from this, to determine if it’s worth it for you. While this will reduce file size, which may in turn lead to improved performance, it does mean that your data file no longer has any history of what was changed or who changed it.
Because of this, QuickBooks creates an archive copy of your data file, named with the date the audit trail is effective through.
It’s vital that you keep this archive file in a safe location, because you never know when that information will be needed. Future changes, entries, and deletions of transactions will continue to be recorded in the live file’s audit trail going forward.
How Does QuickBooks 2019 Make It Easier to Bring IIF Data into my Company File?
Data is Reviewed After Import Then Explains Why It Failed.
For this first time in a while, IIF imports are getting an update as well. Many people import IIF files to QuickBooks from various third-party apps, such as online stores or payroll processors.
Until now, this has been a bit of an arcane, mysterious process. You’d import your IIF without any real feedback from QuickBooks, hope for the best, and then spend time after the import hunting to check whether your data had imported successfully or not, and what was missing or incorrect if anything had failed.
In 2019, there’s now an IIF import wizard that will review your IIF for errors as it imports and will produce an error log at the end denoting why it was unable to import a given transaction or list element.
It even outputs this error log as an IIF itself, with commented lines explaining the issues, so you can correct it right in the error log IIF and re-import that file with just what needed correcting.Even with the new protections in place, this can never be said enough: please, make a backup of your file before importing.
Imports still cannot be undone, and even if only good data is being imported, having a partial import in there until you figure out what’s wrong with the rest may really throw things off.
As before, access the IIF Import Wizard through:
You’ll need to be logged into QuickBooks as the Admin or a user with Import permissions.
- Clicking File at the top menu
- Clicking Utilities
- Then clicking Import
- Choosing IIF Files.
- A standard file browser window will appear, and you’ll select your IIF file.
If you’d rather just import without going through the IIF wizard
It's an option as well, but it’s not recommended. The link to skip this is at the bottom of this window, but be careful.
When the IIF Import Finishes
QuickBooks will work through checking and importing your IIF file, with a progress bar to estimate your time to completion.
When the wizard finishes, you’ll be met with the following results screen if anything failed:
From here you can open the IIF itself to see the errors, or the folder to copy the IIF for later examination.
In the IIF, each list item or transaction that was in error will have a commented line beginning with a semicolon telling you what the problem was.
If you can correct these within this IIF, you can then re-do the import using this as the source file, and only re-import what failed on the first pass.
If the import was successful with no errors, you’ll instead see a similar but simpler results screen:
How Does QuickBooks 2019 Improve Inventory Tracking?
1. Updated Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet
Enterprise Platinum only: As part of the Advanced Inventory module, the Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet has a new revamped option, and now looks a lot more like the income tracker and bill tracker screens you may already be familiar with.
Where to Go for The Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet
Turn it on, as with all Advanced Inventory functions, from the Edit > Preferences menu, in the Items & Inventory Company Preferences.
Going to the Site Operations Tab in Advanced Inventory - Turning on Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet
The new Site Operations tab in Advanced Inventory settings has options to turn on the new worksheets, and to add barcode scanners or Android devices to connect via the warehouse app.
The Site Operations Tab Up Close
- Click the box next to 'Enable Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet.
- Click 'OK.'
Where to Go Once Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheets are Enabled
- Click 'Customers' from the top menu
- Select the Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet.
The Sales Order Fulfillment Worksheet Up Close
If you have Advanced Inventory but haven’t turned on the new worksheet in the preferences yet, you’ll see a prompt reminding you about it.
3. A Purchase Order Management Worksheet
Enterprise Platinum Only: As another addition to Advanced Inventory, Purchase Orders have a new worksheet option as well.
Activate this on the same screen as the new Sales Order worksheet outlined above. There are just two tabs on this worksheet.
Getting to the Purchase Order Worksheet Once It's Enabled
1. Click 'Vendors' at the Top Menu
2. Click Purchase 'Order Management Worksheet'
The First Tab of the Purchase Order Worksheet
You see your currently open purchase orders that can be received.
The Second Tab of the Purchase Order Worksheet
From here, you’ll select the site receiving the order, if applicable, and you can send orders out for receiving.
Orders can be sent assigned to a particular warehouse worker, or unassigned so that it can be claimed by whomever is available to receive the shipment.
The receiving orders can be printed or sent to the QuickBooks Warehouse app on Android or MC40 barcode scanners, so that unassigned orders can be claimed, and workers can update via the app to let you know when orders are received.
Print and Receive Window Up Close
Once the order has been received, and you have gotten confirmation either through the app or a returned receipt slip, you can check the order’s status in the PO Progress tab.
If you’re using printed receiving slips, you can update the information here showing what was received.
After confirming or updating the receiving information as necessary, you can create an item receipt or bill as needed from this screen, to record those items into your inventory.
4. A Toggle to Include or Exclude Inactive Inventory Items in QuickBooks Reporting
One of the most common reasons for a discrepancy in the inventory asset account balance vs reports is often because there are inventory items with a value that have, for one reason or another, been made inactive.
While, ideally, you’d want to adjust items to zero before making them inactive, there may be some situations where this doesn’t work for you.
QuickBooks 2019 now includes a filter on inventory valuation reports that allows you to quickly include inactive inventory items.
QuickBooks Inventory Valuation Report Up Close
From the Inventory Valuation Summary, Inventory Valuation Summary by Site, or Inventory Valuation Detail reports, there is a checkbox on the toolbar to toggle between including or not including inactive inventory items.
This is a shortcut to a new report filter, “Inactive Inventory Items”, which can also be added like any other filter if you’re in there making other report modifications anyway.
This Toggle Can Be Found in the Modify Report Window
With this option turned on, inactive items will now be included in these reports, which can give you a much more accurate representation of your total inventory value if you have any inactive items with value.
There won’t be an indication of which items are active vs inactive, they’ll just be included if the option is turned on. This is one thing I’ll probably put in a product suggestion on, for an option to let us add active status as a column on these reports.
Inactive Items in QuickBooks Desktop Use Case Scenario
QuickBooks Desktop Item List
QuickBooks Inventory Valuation Summary Report Active Items
QuickBooks Inventory Valuation Summary Report with Inactive Items
How Does QuickBooks Desktop Enable Me to Better Control Access to Payroll Data?
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2019 Gives You More Control Over Who Sees Payroll and Who Doesn't
While its custom roles are incredibly useful, one thing some users have struggled with in QuickBooks Enterprise is ensuring that their users have the permissions they need to work in QuickBooks, while also making sure they’re not able to see any payroll information if they don’t need to.
Sometimes just removing all explicit payroll permissions didn’t help, because there were other avenues where users could view those transactions. In 2019, there are some changes to the permissions that will allow you to see what gives this unrestricted access, and disable it as needed.
Specifying Access Levels to Payroll Reporting Data
To see the changes, you’ll need to open the Company menu, Users, and Set Up Users & Roles. Remember you’ll need to log in as the QuickBooks admin
To avoid users seeing this information, we can make our own custom role, or edit a duplicate of a default one.
On the New or Edit Role screens, we’ll get further information on which specific permissions would allow users to view all transactions, including payroll info. These permissions are marked with two asterisks.
One example of such permissions is in the Company section, the permission to Find All Transactions.
Some further permissions like this are found in the Reports section, specifically the Detail reports under Accountant & Taxes, Company & Financial, and Custom Transaction.
Once You Confirm Giving Permission to Access Payroll Data
If you activate one of these permissions, you’ll receive a warning that lets you know that this permission is one that allows users to view transactions they may not be otherwise authorized to view, including payroll.
The message will be slightly different depending on the permission selected, but they are all essentially the same warning. If you like, you can turn this message off by checking the box to not display it in the future.
Enabling 'Find All Transactions'
Enabling 'Company & Financial Detail'
The last thing to note here is that custom roles that allow one of the permissions above will also be marked in the Role List with an asterisk, allowing you to quickly see at a glance if a particular role is one of these that allows unrestricted access through Find or reports.
I Want To Take Advantage of QuickBooks Desktop 2019. What if I'm in Transition?
QuickBooks Helps You Move to Another Computer - From Start to Finish
Another new feature coming to 2019 is the ability to quickly and easily move your installation of QuickBooks and your company files to another computer with only a few clicks and a flash drive.
Start by logging into one of your company files and look in the File > Utilities menu for the option “Move QuickBooks to another computer”.
Step 1: Preparing the Move to Another Computer
You’ll get a prompt that QuickBooks will need to close all windows, after which the program will close completely. A new window will pop up telling you what you’ll need to get started on this process.
We can see we’ll need the old computer, the new computer (which must have an internet connection) and a flash drive with a given amount of free space. This seems to hover around 250 MB needed at a minimum to move the program, plus space for your company files which will depend on their size.
Step 2: Secure Your Company File During the Move
After telling QuickBooks that you’re ready to start this process, you’ll be asked to enter a password for the move. This is completely separate from your QuickBooks password, and it’s an added layer of security should the flash drive become misplaced between the old computer and the new one.
Step 3: Plug in the USB Flash Drive Where You'll Transfer the QuickBooks Company File
After entering your password for the move, QuickBooks will prompt you to select a flash drive for the move, or give you a chance to insert it if you haven’t already. Select the flash drive, making sure it has at least as much space as the initial screen suggested, and click “Copy data” to begin the process.
Step 4: Copying Your QuickBooks Installation and Company File Data
When the copying process finishes, you’ll get a message that QuickBooks has finished copying what it needs for this move, and some instructions on the next steps.
As that screen indicated, we’ll now need to plug the flash drive we used for copying into the new computer. If autorun is enabled, the copier should start right away to restore on the new computer. If not, simply open the flash drive and double click “Move_QuickBooks.bat” to start restoring onto the new computer. Windows Administrator permissions may be required to run this utility, especially when restoring on the new computer
Step 5: Putting QuickBooks Desktop and Company File onto Your New Computer - Insert Your Flash Drive
When the copier starts up its restore process, you’ll be asked to enter the password you created for the copy process on the old computer. Enter the password and click “Let’s go” to start restoring.
Step 6: Entering Your Password
The copier will download and install QuickBooks, setting up information automatically as needed. It will automatically enter the license and product codes from your previous installation, and register for you, simplifying the usual install process.
Step 7 - Migration of QuickBooks and File Data
When the install and copy process completes, you’ll get a success message and a prompt to launch QuickBooks.
If we click Open, QuickBooks starts up and we’re ready to go, no further registry or configuration needed. A look at the files listed in the No Company Open screen shows us that it has copied over the files we had from the previous computer and added them to this quick access list for us, so we don’t have to manually browse to them as is often the case with installing QuickBooks on a new computer.
This feature should be a great time-saver for users who need to switch to another computer. With fewer clicks and more automation, this will hopefully make sure the process is as smooth and simple as it can be.
There you have it, a quick look at the biggest new features in QuickBooks desktop 2019 that we’re excited about.
Please keep an eye out for our upcoming webinar on What’s New in 2019 as well, where we’ll take a deeper dive into each of the new features, with video to illustrate them in action. Do you have other questions about QuickBooks 2019? Please reach out or leave us a comment! Do you need to order QuickBooks 2019, so you can access these great new features? Give our amazing sales team a call to make sure you’ve got the best package to start out on the right foot with 2019!