Intuit Accountants News Central

How I Use QuickBooks® Accountant to Prepare My Clients for Tax Time

Article Post Date
February 27th 2012 by Bryce Forney

Truth be told, I don’t get excited about learning new functions of software. My goal is to prepare tax returns that are complete and accurate, and to do so in the shortest amount of time possible. As a practitioner, a few functions of QuickBooks® Accountant make preparing tax returns faster, and have little to do with interest in knowing QuickBooks software.

Consider the issue where you find that last year’s balances don’t agree with last year’s tax returns. Whether the client didn’t post your prior period AJEs, you didn’t send them or the client modified a prior period transaction doesn’t really matter. However, this can be maddening because it throws a monkey wrench in your ability to prepare the current tax returns. Imagine if you could enter last year’s balances, spreadsheet style, and let the software create the prior year AJE.

Well, that’s exactly what “Troubleshoot Account Balances” within the Client Data Review tool does.

How easy is it? First, from the Accountant menu bar, choose Client Data Review (or click on the Accountant wrench from the icon bar).

Once in the tool, enter the correct prior year balances. In the screenshot below are some common adjustments to the inventory balance, accumulated depreciation, open balance equity and retained earnings.

Once balances are entered as correct, simply select the “View Suggested Adjustments” button. QuickBooks creates the journal entry as of the final date of the prior period to true up balances.

Because the result is a journal entry in QuickBooks, there are a few limitations:

“Troubleshoot account balances” is a function within client data review of QuickBooks Accountant that reduces the time I need to spend on the aspects of QuickBooks accounting that are not going to generate great value in the eyes of my clients. This translates into more time to do more valuable analysis of client accounting, or more time to move on to the next tax return in the queue.

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1 Comment »

  1. In QBA 2010, 2011 and 2012, there is an option to Copy the balances from the client balances columns to the accountant balances column. This will save you time instead of entering the balances one at a time. And, most importantly, when you mark the review Complete, and send this file back to your client (best if using Accountant’s Copy process so you can export your changes and client can import them into his existing QB file) the next time you troubleshoot the account balances, all your prior year balances will be there, and the tool will compare what you had last time you did the review to what the client has now for those prior period balances. Finds the differences immediately. You then just make the suggested adjustments. The Accountant’s Copy file and Marking the Review Complete are critical to this CDR tool really increasing your efficiency.

    Comment by Woody Adams — March 19, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

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