Ongoing Data Entry in QuickBooks

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To end up with accurate job cost and profit margin information in Chronicle, you need to make sure that information is entered consistently and correctly in QuickBooks. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Associate Everything in QuickBooks with a Job

In QuickBooks, all customer related data must be entered against the appropriate job. Expenses for a department that aren’t associated with a job don’t get reflected in Chronicle. Even if a customer only has one job, you must pick the job and not just the person. Only information associated with a job in QuickBooks is associated with a job in Chronicle. If you have several jobs for a customer, make sure you pick the right job.

Break Out Expenses for Different Jobs & Departments

When you receive a bill that applies to multiple jobs or multiple departments, enter a separate line for each job and each department.

Use Multiple Invoices for Multiple Departments

If you’re doing departmental job costing (which we strongly recommend), then when you invoice customers for work done by separate departments, you need to create separate invoices for each department. This enables Chronicle to know what’s been billed for each department (and, when the invoices are paid, which departments the revenue is associated with).

If you aren’t doing departmental job costing, this doesn’t matter.

Choose a Class for Every Transaction in QuickBooks

If you’re doing departmental job costing, you must choose a class for everything in QuickBooks so Chronicle will know which department the item applies to. (Checking Prompt to assign classes in the QuickBooks Accounting Preferences forces users to use classes and so prevents accidentally missing this.)

Classes must be applied to the invoice as a whole and not to individual line items. This means, for example, that if you need to invoice a customer for work associated with two different departments, you must create two invoices: one for each department. (You would only see the class on as a column if you customized the invoice template. Since Chronicle cannot associate different lines with different departments, we strongly recommend that you re-hide the class column on invoices if you have made it visible. If you have the Class column on your invoices, on the QuickBooks invoice, click the Customize button by the Template entry, chose the appropriate template and click Edit, go to the Columns tab and uncheck Class. )

Apply All Payments to Invoices

Unapplied payments is a common problem, so we recommend that you periodically check for this situation.

Whenever you receive a payment for a job, you must apply it to the job’s invoices. If you’ve created the invoice first, and then receive the payment, QuickBooks prompts you to apply the payment to the invoice. However, sometimes you’ll get a deposit or other payment before you’ve finished the work and before you’ve created the invoice. If this happens, you go back and apply the earlier payment to the invoice. Failing to apply this payment will result in Chronicle listing an outstanding balance (and an unapplied credit) rather than regarding the invoice as being paid.

To check for this situation in QuickBooks, go to the Reports menu, highlight Memorized Reports, highlight Customers, and click Open Invoices. Any customers that appear on this report with a zero balance have unapplied credits.

When you go to the Receive Payments option and pick this job, you see a screen like this:

Notice that the two invoices have no payment listed, and that the bottom right lists Unused Credits that equal the value of the invoices. (You would have the same problem if an amount was listed in the Unused Payment line.)

To correct this, click each invoice line, click Set Credits (or Auto Apply), and click Done on the credit application screen that comes up. When you are done, the Unused Credits line should show $0.00. If you were to rerun the Open Invoices report, you should find that this customer is no longer listed because, now that the credits are applied, the invoice is no longer considered open.

Correctly Enter and Apply Credit Memos

A credit memo reduces an amount that has already been invoiced. It is critical that you use the same class as the invoice and that you apply the credit to the invoice. Unless you apply the credit memo to the invoice, in Chronicle you will still see the customer as having an outstanding balance even though the customer is paid in full. For example, suppose you invoiced the customer for $2,200, and then agreed to a change in the work that reduced the amount owed to $2,000. If you added a credit memo for the $200 difference without applying it to the invoice, in Chronicle, you would see that the customer had a $200 outstanding balance due. If you looked at the credits column, you’d see that the customer also had a $200 credit. Once you apply the credit, the customer will have a zero balance, which is what you want.

Do NOT Uncheck “Bill Received”

If you uncheck the Bill Received box, the amounts won’t appear in Chronicle until you recheck the box. We recommend always leaving this box checked so Chronicle can give you a daily update on actual job costs.

For Activity-Based Job Costing, Choose Items or Accounts for Every Transaction

If you are going to do activity-based job costing, you must choose an item or expense account for every transaction.

Keep Job Numbers in the Job Name in QuickBooks

When you add a new customer or job in Chronicle, we automatically transfer the customer to QuickBooks if the customer isn’t already there, and we add a job for the customer in QuickBooks as well. We name this job beginning with the job number in Chronicle.

Having this job number first makes it quick to find the appropriate job in QuickBooks; in QuickBooks, you can just type the initial digits of the job number in corresponding entries to find the job.

Having the job number in QuickBooks also makes it easier to compare information between the two programs because the same job numbers appear in both.

Because of this, we recommend that you keep this job number at the beginning of the job name in QuickBooks. However, it is acceptable to add additional text to the job name to identify the type of job, the location, or anything else that make it clearer to you which job is being referred to. For example, if the initial entry created by Chronicle looks like this:

12345 - Job

it is fine to change it to:

12345 - Fire loss job

or to:

12345 - Park St. Office Renovation

Just keep the Chronicle job number at the beginning.

Never the Same Invoice Number to Assign Multiple Invoices

Every invoice must have a unique invoice number; without it, the information won't work correctly in Chronicle. For example, if you are setting QuickBooks up and entering all of your opening balances, never use invoice #0 for all of them. (If you want your opening balances to be distinct from your regular invoice numbers, use numbers like OPEN-1, OPEN-2, etc. for your opening balances.)

Log Out of QuickBooks Each Night

If anyone is in QuickBooks at night when the link runs, this prevents the link from working completely.

Keep the Computer with QuickBooks Data Turned On

Chronicle can’t extract much from QuickBooks if the computer that contains the QuickBooks data gets turned off. Make sure your accounting data is on a computer that never gets shut down.