Intuit Accountants News Central

Optimizing Your Workflow Using QuickBooks® Accountant

Article Post Date
May 25th 2011 by Amy Vetter

CDR, ISW, Multi-Instance, Accountant’s Copy, File Manager and more – all really great features in QuickBooks® Accountant – but how do they all work together? In this article I am going to attempt to bring it all together, as well give you an efficient roadmap and resources. I find that most Accountants I speak to do not use even 30% of what is available to them in QuickBooks Accountant, so I will attempt to show you what you have been missing if you haven’t fully taken advantage of QuickBooks Accountant features before!

All of the functionality available in QuickBooks Accountant is intended to save you time and eliminate duplicate entry when working with Client files. You save the most time when you bring all of these features together.

Step 1: Request your client send you an Accountant’s Copy File. There are two options: 1) They can choose to send you the file through Intuit’s servers using the Accountant’s Copy Transfer File Service, or 2) They can save the File to their hard drive and send it to you on a disk or through email. Here’s a detailed article on Accountant’s Copy Files.

Step 2: When you receive the file, save it to your network or hard drive. You can then drag the file into File Manager so that it is organized under your Client’s folder and easy for you to access. Click here for a more detailed article on File Manager.

Step 3: Launch the Accountant’s Copy File from File Manager. Under the Accountant menu in QuickBooks Accountant, choose Client Data Review and begin the clean-up process in the client’s file. This provides a checklist of tasks to be completed, as well as tools to fix some of the most common errors that clients make.  If you would prefer to go straight to making Adjusting Journal Entries rather than cleaning up the transaction, select the Working Trial Balance and make your Adjusting Entries there. Here’s a video on Client Data Review. An extremely convenient feature in QuickBooks Accountant is to be able to open more than one QuickBooks file at the same time. For a more detailed article on Multi-instance, go to this link.

Step 4a: If you are preparing financial statements for a client and want to use Microsoft Excel to customize a report, launch Intuit Statement Writer from the Accountant menu. This is a live link to the QuickBooks data and allows you to create the financial statement templates in the format that you want and can be reused! Here’s a link to a more detailed article on Intuit Statement Writer.

Step 4b: If you prepare your tax returns using Lacerte®, under the Accountant menu in QuickBooks, you can export the QuickBooks data to Lacerte. Lacerte has a unique feature called SmartMapping that allows you to drag and drop data into the correct lines in the tax return before posting the data to Lacerte. Click here for more information on SmartMapping.

Step 4c: ProLineTM Tax Import will allow you to scan in 1099s and W-2s into Lacerte, eliminating manual entry. Intuit’s ProLine News Central has a detailed article on this.

Step 5a: Using ProLineTM Tax Research in Lacerte allows you to have the research you need at your fingertips and attach your findings right to the tax return.

Step 5b: Export your Accountant’s Copy File changes back to your client, either through Intuit’s servers using the Accountant’s Copy File Transfer service, delivering it with a disk or through email. Before sending the Accountant’s File, be sure to set a Closing Date and Password so that the client cannot make changes to the work you did in the client’s QuickBooks file.

Step 6: Client imports the changes so that his or her QuickBooks file matches the tax return you generated.

After reviewing this workflow, wouldn’t this save time when working with your clients? Each one of these features has been proven to save time with Accounting Professionals that use them. The Return on Investment of taking 4-8 hours of non-billable time to test these features – and create a process to implement them – could generate a big boost to your bottom line!

One of the ways you can begin to figure out how to implement new processes into your practice is by building a business plan. At Intuit, we are launching a new program this Summer to help you do this. Find out more about the Intuit Practice Excellence Program or email ipep@intuit.com for more information. Take the time this spring and summer to optimize your workflow with the tools you have available to you – and build new efficiencies into your practice.

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  • About Amy Vetter

    Amy Vetter Amy Vetter, CPA.CITP, is an Intuit Key Account Manager responsible Intuit's Major Accounts in the Southeastern Region of the United States. Prior to Intuit she ran a successful QuickBooks and outsourced accounting practice that delivered end-to-end financial, operational and technology solutions and services to clients. Amy is an accomplished author of QuickBooks reference materials and is a contributor and speaker for Intuit's courses for Certification and Training of QuickBooks ProAdvisors and Accountants; as well as a contributing author to many of the Sleeter Group Teaching System materials since 2004. Amy is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Sleeter Certified Consultant and a Certified QuickBooks Enterprise and Point of Sale ProAdvisor. Amy is a member of the AccountingWEB’s Bloggers Crew, authoring the Blog called “QuickBooks Uncensored,” an Author for Intuit ProLine News Central and serves on the AICPA’s Journal of Accountancy Technology Advisory Panel. Amy has been recognized by The CPA Technology Advisor as an outstanding 40 under 40 technology-based Accountant in 2006 and 2009 and was also awarded South Florida Business Journal's Up & Comer Award in 2007 for her expertise in accounting. See all of Amy's articles…

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