ProOnGo Blog

Posts are primarily about QuickBooks, Xero, expense reports, and other topics useful to small business owners, CPAs, and ProAdvisors.

 


Posts Tagged ‘expense report’

Power Users & Expense Report Gurus, We’re Listening!

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Power users and expense report gurus, by now you know that we’re on your side. In the past year, you’ve challenged us in ways that keep us on our toes, especially you QuickBooks ProAdvisors who bring us questions on behalf of your most sophisticated clients.

As your wish lists keep coming in, we’ve made a change to where we put our advanced options in our expense editor. In the past you probably looked for the relatively small yellow buttons near the top of the expense editor:

Expense Editor with Advanced Features: Old
Expense Editor with Advanced Features: Old

However, we’ve now moved those same options to a “gears menu” in the top-left of the expense editor:

Expense Editor with Advanced Features: New
Expense Editor with Advanced Features: New

Why the change? Because we’ve got a long list of requests for this area of the product, and the “gears” menu will be a sustainable clutter-free place to expand to house an increasingly large number of advanced options — far more practical than a dedicated button for each rarely-used advanced feature.

So, stay in touch, keep the requests coming, and we’ll keep improving!

3 Tools to Help You Stop Procrastinating

Friday, March 15th, 2013

It’s a huge challenge for some people to stop procrastinating. No matter how many excuses you might use, in whichever profession you are in, procrastination is procrastination, and leaves you to rush around at the last minute, ultimately producing sloppy work. Putting off work to the very last minute in exchange for some more time on reddit never makes sense in hindsight. But when procrastination takes hold, illogical choices are made and the hole you stand in is dug deeper.

Just as an alcoholic must decide to accept that drinking alcohol isn’t healthy, the first step to stop procrastinating is really admitting that you have a problem, and that you need to do something about it. Once you’ve admitted you have a problem, it’s time to defeat it! Here are three helpful and fun tools that we use around the ProOnGo offices to help us stay on task.

3 Tools to Help You Stop Procrastinating

#1: CARROT

At first glance, CARROT, with its rib-tickling humor turns into more than just an app that is designed to help you stop procrastinating. Simply put, it is a to-do list that you can download from the iTunes Store for your iPhone. You assign tasks, pick a time limit and CARROT will help you stay on task by expressing joy or frustration in how much time it takes you to complete the task.  One word of caution, when using CARROT: do not upset “her”.

#2: RescueTime

As the name suggest, you will rescue your time using this app that is a Web app. RescueTime monitors your activity on your computer so you can see just how much time you’re actually wasting. Seeing the breakdown of what you do everyday should surely be a motivation to change your ways, as well as spot inefficiencies in your schedule.

 

#3: Remember the Milk

We’ve been using this app since the beginning of ProOnGo in 2008. Remember the Milk is a simple task app that let’s you schedule tasks in advance so you’re always up-to-date on the next important thing you should be working on. Signing for a basic account is free but the pro account costs $25 a year. You can sync this app with Microsoft Outlook, Android and Apple devices, as well as Google Mail and Calendar.

 

How to Write off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Online

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Having to write off bad debt is one of those common business scenarios everyone. If you find yourself in a situation in which you need to write off bad debt from one of our customers, the first thing you should do is make sure you’ve exhausted all resources in attempting to collect.

Bad debt doesn’t necessarily mean you have a customer that is out to get you. Your customer may be going through a bankruptcy, so it’s important to reach out to your customer, obtain as much information about the situation, and see if you can come to an agreement to pay part of the debt, work out a payment plan, or get in line behind other creditors.

If all of that fails, there are two methods of writing off bad debt. Which one is good for you largely depends on how you currently do your accounting. The two options are:

1) Cash Accounting
2) Accrual Accounting

The following will detail how to write off bad debt for each of these situations.

Write Off Bad Debt – Cash Accounting

Void Invoice

The main difference between accrual accounting and cash accounting when writing off bad debt is how you count your income; with cash accounting, an open invoice is not considered to be income yet.

 

So to write off bad debt with cash accounting, all that needs to be done is to void the invoice.

 

Browse to Customers->Customer Center and select the name of the customer on the left hand side. Next to Show, select Invoices from the dropdown and double click on the invoice you wish to write off. Once you’re looking at the invoice you’d like to write off, just select Void.

 

 

Write Off Bad Debt – Accrual Accounting

Credit Customer with Bad Debt

With accrual accounting, as soon as an invoice is sent out, it is counted as income. So in order to write off bad debt, you must issue a Bad Debt credit to cancel out the invoice income.

Before you do so, you must make sure you have Bad Debt listed as a Product/Service item. To do so, browse under Company->Lists then choose Products and Services List. Then select New and enter ‘Bad Debt’ next to name. Choose ‘Bad Debts – Expense’ (or similar) next to Account and select Save.

Now that you’ve added Bad Debt as a Product & Service item, you’re able to write off the bad debt.  Select the Customers tab, then under More, choose Refund or Credit. In the pop-up, choose Credit and make sure “Give credit for something already billed to the customer” is selected. Then enter in the Customer name and under Product/Service, choose ‘Bad Debt.’ Enter in the description that you’re writing off bad debt and in the Rate column, enter in the amount you’re writing off. Select Save and you’ve successfully written off the Bad Debt!

 

As with all accounting practices, it’s always best to consult your accountant before you make any changes to your books. Speak with your accountant or a QuickBooks Pro Advisor to ensure you’re using the best method for your business.

How to Rebuild Your Company File – QuickBooks Help

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

If you have to rebuild your company file, it’s most likely to fix damage and ensure no damage to your company file & lists in the future. Rebuilding a company file has the potential to do a lot of damage, so before you rebuild your file, you must first make sure you have resorted your lists and that you have a backup copy of your company file. It’s very important to never cancel or abort the Rebuild Data Utility as it will corrupt your company file.

Here’s how to rebuild your company file:

 

  1. Select File->Utilities->Rebuild Data and select OK to create a backup
  2. Select Local Backup
  3. Click Options and locate where you’d like to save the backup
  4. Select Complete Verification and choose OK, then choose Next.
  5. Enter in a name for your backup, making sure you do not include any special characters (!@#$%^&*) and click Save. QuickBooks will begin the backup and automatically start the Rebuild Data Utility.


That’s it! Now, you’ll no longer be stumped if anyone tells you to rebuild your company file in QuickBooks!

How to Resort Lists in QuickBooks for Mac

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

If you’re rebuilding your company file, you may come across the instruction to resort lists in QuickBooks for Mac. Resorting lists in QuickBooks may not seem like something that is necessary as you might not notice any difference in the order of your list items. But resorting lists isn’t for you, it’s for QuickBooks. Resorting is often used to fix any damage to your lists that could hurt the process of Rebuilding your company file.

If you’re given instructions to Resort Lists, there are three lists to be concerned with: Master Name list, Chart of Accounts, and Items and Classes list.

To Resort Master Name List:

 

  1. Go to the Banking->Write Check
  2. Click in the Payee field and select Command (Apple Key) + L. That will bring up your Master Name list.
  3. Make sure All Names is selected at the bottom
  4. Go to Edit->Resort List and click OK.


To Resort Chart of Accounts, Items & Classes Lists:

 

  1. Go to Lists->Chart of Accounts
  2. Make sure All Accounts or Include Inactive is selected at the bottom
  3. Go to Edit->Resort List and click OK.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, only for Items & Classes.

Once you’ve resorted your lists, you’re ready to rebuild your data!

Your Expense Reports Stay Tidy with Dropbox

Friday, January 18th, 2013

ProOnGo is compatible with DropboxYour expense reports need a permanent home, and we’re happy to be that home. Our Archive tab is where you’ll find every expense report that you’ve generated as a subscriber to our service:

Expense Reports in their Archive at ProOnGo
Archived Expense Reports: In the ProOnGo Expense Web App

But, what if you’ve got all of your other documents sitting on Dropbox, and you want your expense reports to ‘land’ there too? No problem. From the Archive tab, you can send any report to Dropbox with a click of this button:

Send to Dropbox
Send to Dropbox

This works with any report that you’ve got in the Archive tab. Perhaps you use our standard Excel reports. Or maybe a company-specific Excel report template (yes, we support those). Or, you might use our auto-generated Excel reports during the send-to-QuickBooks process (if you use the “Send to Excel, too” checkbox). Whatever the case, know that you can send them to Dropbox to live with your other files.

Sending Expense Reports to Dropbox the First Time

The first time you click the Send to Dropbox button, you’ll need to authorize ProOnGo to send your expense reports to Dropbox. The team at Dropbox has done a great job making this screen explain specifically what access you are granting:

Authorizing ProOnGo to access Dropbox
Authorize: giving ProOnGo access to upload to Dropbox

Then, you can stay organized by choosing a specific destination folder when you send to Dropbox – perhaps organizing your expense reports by quarter, or by purpose, or by business trip:

Picking a destination for your expense reports on Dropbox
Choose Destination: for your expense reports

What’s Next

So, if you’ve got a habit of keeping your files on Dropbox, check out our Dropbox compatibility for your expense reports, and let us know what you think! We’re interested in expanding our compatibility with Dropbox, so send us your feedback if you have suggestions for improvements.

Credit Card Transactions + 2-Way Sync = Happier CPAs

Friday, January 18th, 2013

If your CPA helps you turn your mess of credit card transactions into a manageable report of tax-deductible expenses, you already know the value of keeping track of your expenses: you see it in your deductions at tax-time! However, one of our goals is to make you and your CPA work together as easily and smoothly as possible. If we can reduce the amount of busy-work and paper-shuffling involved in that relationship, to us that’s a success because we’ve helped your CPA focus on providing advice, and helped you get back to your day job faster.

Communicating with Your CPA about Your Expenses

One of the biggest messes, in our experience, is the process of collaborating to get your QuickBooks transactions up-to-date using a combination of your knowledge of the transaction, and your CPA’s knowledge of accounting. For example, you probably have some credit card transactions from the past year that were for meals, and you are probably already in the habit of jotting down a memo of who you dined with and for what purpose. But you might not be an expert in Publication 463 (2011), Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. So you might occasionally have trouble knowing what account to mark your expense with.

Meanwhile, your CPA would have no trouble navigating the IRS publications and more broadly the Internal Revenue Code, if not for a lack of insight into the purpose of the expense. So, it takes two: it takes your knowledge of the nature of the expense, and your CPAs expertise about the appropriate tax treatment of the expense.

So, the question becomes, how to get your description of each expense over to your CPA, and then how to get your CPA’s account-related judgement call back to you?

Credit Card Transactions & Two-Way Sync

That basic question is, in a nutshell, exactly why we went down the path of building a two-way sync mechanism that lets you and your accountant both modify credit card transactions (you on the ProOnGo side, and your accountant on the QuickBooks side). ProOnGo Expense, with the infrastructure of Intuit’s Cloud, become the go-between — shuffling your transaction updates over to your CPA, and shuffling your CPA’s updates back over to you — so that both of you have a real-time picture of the state of your company’s expenses.

Setting a Backstop on your Credit Card Transactions Sync
Two-Way Sync: Credit Card Transactions Flow Back-and-Forth with Your CPA

That way, in your busy life as a small business owner, whenever you have a few brief minutes to look over your expenses, you’ll know that you already have the most up-to-date picture of whatever progress your accountant has made. No need to email, coordinate, or plan — just sign into ProOnGo to review and revise your transactions.

Locking Down Your Old Credit Card Transactions & Two-Way Sync

That all leads to the question, how can you be sure that you are staying in ‘fair ball territory’, when you edit your transactions? I.e., how can you explicitly keep track of which transactions you still need to work on, versus which ones are now ancient history just sitting around for your permanent accounting records? The answer is simple:

Setting a Backstop on your Credit Card Transactions Sync
Limit the Date Range: Only Sync Transactions "Newer Than"

By setting a date limit on your credit card transaction sync, you’ll forbid ProOnGo from modifying or retrieving updated transactions for anything older than a specified date. So, you’ll be sure to save yourself from accidentally modifying a prior-year transaction, thereby helping your CPA stay “a little more sane” during this busy time of their business cycle.

Ready to check out two-way credit card sync in action? Just press the button below to register for a free trial account.

ProOnGo Joins Other Box Apps with Integration

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Have you moved beyond the days of piling up Excel spreadsheets, Word docs, and PowerPoints on your laptop, PC, or Mac’s hard drive? Good! With terrific cloud-based storage and collaboration options like Box (and it’s associated Box apps), there is no reason to take the risk of storing all of those important documents yourself.

Ready to hook up ProOnGo Expense to your Box account, to have your expense reports land alongside your other documents? Well, today we have good news for you: we’ve launched compatibility with Box, immediately available for you to try!

Send Your Expense Reports to Box
Video: Send Your Expense Reports to Box

If you haven’t yet set up a Box account, we’ll sweeten the deal: grab a free 10GB account complementary from Box, just for trying out ProOnGo Expense with Box! We have no doubt that you’ll prefer keeping your files on box, to have instant access to all of your files (far beyond just expense reports), from any web browser or mobile device. Enjoy your new 10GB account from Box, and we look forward to helping you get started with Box apps, particularly ProOnGo Expense.

Send Your Expense Reports to Box!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Starting today, you can now send your ProOnGo expense reports to box!

As a SaaS based service, we’ve often asked you “What else should we be compatible with?” and you’ve answered loudly that although you appreciate the backups we keep of all of your historic expense reports, sometimes you want to send them over to box to live with “all of your other documents”. We “get it” — we’re power users of box as well, and we can attest to the convenience of centralizing the ever-growing pile of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel docs that used to clutter our hard drives.

So, welcome to the new ProOnGo Expense support for box:

Getting started couldn’t be easier. Literally, it shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds to send your first expense report to box. Here’s how…

Sending an Expense Report to box

1

Create a Report

Go to the Expenses tab in our web app, and then (for example) the Out-of-Pocket subtab. Change your Filter to the date range that you want to report on, and click “Reports” to generate a spreadsheet.
2

View Your Report Archive

When prompted, choose to view your new report on the Archive tab. Find the report at the top of the tab (the most recent entry), and checkmark it.
3

Send to box!

Click “Send to box”, and follow the prompts. Within moments, your expense report will land in box.

Enjoy! And, as always, keep us posted with your feedback as you try out this new benefit.

Custom Excel Spreadsheets: Automate Your Expense Report

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

You’ve seen us post quite a bit about Excel expense reports recently. Perhaps the reason we’ve become a magnet for the good, the bad, and the ugly custom excel spreadsheets, is because we’re one of the few web and mobile small business expense reporting solutions that let you integrate your custom excel formats as just-for-you export types on a self-service basis.

Custom Excel Spreadsheets: Automate Your Expense Report
Video Demo: Custom Excel Spreadsheets

We say we’re “one of the few” that do this, but truthfully we haven’t heard of any competitor that offers the same. Maybe there are some that will write custom code or do some back-end magic to integrate your custom excel spreadsheets, but that’s different than what we do: we put the power in your hands, by letting you drag-and-drop your XLSX into our site, and answer a few automated questions, and “ta da!” your custom XLSX export format is available from that moment on.

Custom Excel Spreadsheets – We’re Ready!

Why would we offer such a service?  Because at the heart of our business plan is the persistent desire to serve small businesses with the easiest, fastest, most reliable web and mobile expense reporting solution available.  For many of you, we’re able to get you moved over entirely to using ProOnGo Expense in combination with QuickBooks, leaving your expense report spreadsheet in the dust — and that’s a beautiful thing.

But time and time again, we hear the call from folks deep within small businesses, saying “look, I’d love to move to the combination of ProOnGo Expense and QuickBooks, but I’m not in charge here, and I the soonest I can try to get the boss’s attention on this is probably next quarter”.

We’ll Help with Excel

So, we were faced with the choice of turning you away until you graduate to QuickBooks, or rolling up our sleeves and integrating your customize excel spreadsheets, to get you up and running “today” while we work together to plan for a better way in the future.

A Stepping Stone Towards Graduation

We’ve got to get you to the cloud, and fast.  You’ll love it.  Your expense report goes like this:

  1. Snap: You snap a picture of a receipt, or forward an email-based receipt to us
  2. Submit:  Your expense is added to ProOnGo Expense automatically, with the receipt image attached, and the merchant, date, and amount filled out
  3. Sync:  We send it to QuickBooks automatically, or (if you want), you designate an expense approver that becomes the gatekeeper for what’s been Approved and thus gets sent to QuickBooks

But, if you aren’t ready or able to graduate to that solution just yet, we can replace step 3 with “Export your Custom Excel Spreadsheet”. Catch up to QuickBooks when you can, though – you’ll like it.