August 2013
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Maintaining Your Company Organized

Many service and retail organizations are able to use the software “right out of the box.” On the other hand, some organizations may find QuickBooks Pro unable to meet their needs “right out of the box.” Manufacturers may require more robust cost accounting features including the ability to track inventories from raw materials through work-in-process to finished goods and calculate production variances. While these approaches may work, there have been downsides. In some cases, a viable answer to the organization’s need simply did not exist in QuickBooks. Intuit has also continued to create new products and add new features to address the needs of its users.

Costs and support options range from no additional cost and virtually no support to several hundred dollars per year and Intuit handling government filings and deposits. Beginning with QuickBooks 2008, Time Tracker included an optional interface with Microsoft Outlook. Online Payroll Basic, Online Payroll Plus, Online Payroll for Accounting Professionals, and Full Service Payroll do not require QuickBooks. Payroll cannot be processed manually until QuickBooks has been set up to do so. Once the option to process payroll manually has been chosen, QuickBooks cautions that any active subscription to a QuickBooks payroll service must be canceled to avoid future charges. “Payroll Setup” should now be visible on the Employees menu. Notice that one can choose from a number of payment schedule settings, or opt for none at all. Direct Deposit to an Intuit-branded prepaid VISA card is also available and does not require an employee bank account.

The individual assets, class life assignments, and transactional tracking for equipment costing, equipment usage, etc. was made elsewhere. Although the Fixed Asset Item List is a substantial improvement over earlier versions of QuickBooks, it still falls short of the tools small and micro business owners need to independently manage fixed assets and depreciation. A better approach for QuickBooks Pro users is to set up control accounts for each asset class and use subsidiary ledgers (in supplemental worksheets or databases) in conjunction with the Fixed Asset Item List and the general ledger to manage fixed assets and depreciation. In essence, the Fixed Asset Manager provides an integrated subledger to the General Ledger – but as indicated earlier, this subledger is not intended for use by the average small or micro business owner. The current design promotes a relationship between business owners and external accountants such that the external accountants using the Fixed Asset Manager bookkeeping advisor will be the source for all asset-related calculations pertaining to the small and micro businesses. It would also seem contrary to Intuit’s goal of providing tools such as QuickBooks and TurboTax for a “do-it-yourself” user experience.

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