BGH Blog Series: QuickBooks Most Common QuickBooks Mistakes & How to Fix Them - Lists

BGH Blog Series: QuickBooks Most Common QuickBooks Mistakes & How to Fix Them - Lists

Lists are an essential foundation of QuickBooks functionality.  Two of the lists that may become cumbersome are the Chart of Accounts and the Items List.   The Chart of Accounts is the complete list of all the company’s accounts and balances. In QuickBooks, it represents and organizes the company's assets, liabilities, income, and expense. You can tell how much money your company has, how much money it owes, and how much money is coming in and out by simply looking at your Chart of Accounts. Items are important for effective tracking and reporting.

Chart of Accounts is a Mess

When setting up QuickBooks for your company, make sure your chart of accounts is clean and easy to understand. If you make your system too complicated, it is inevitable that items will get coded incorrectly. Do not create a million hyper-specific accounts. In addition, remember to group similar accounts together in parent-child relationships.   When you enter data, make sure to enter it in the lowest level (child) account rather than in the parent account.  

To clean things up merge accounts.

QuickBooks action to merge (combine) accounts:

  1. Go to your Chart of Accounts.
  2. Right click on the account you want to keep and click Edit Account.
  3. Copy the name of the account you want to keep.
  4. Go back to your Chart of Accounts and right click on the account you want to merge with the account you are keeping.
  5. Paste the name of the account you are keeping over the name of the account you want to get rid of
  6. Click Save & Close
  7. QuickBooks will display a message that says: "This name is already being used.  Would you like to merge them?”
  8. Click Yes and your accounts will be merged

Your “Items” List is Jumbled

QuickBooks defines the product(s) you sell as "items." Over the years, it is easy to just throw inventory anywhere and forget to keep amounts updated. Here is a quick list of ways to clean up your items list:

  1. Deactivate any items you no longer sell.
  2. Make sure each item is correctly labeled "inventory," "non-inventory," etc.
  3. Double-check the amount in stock.
  4. Make sure you keep the costs for each item updated.
  5. Tag each item correctly with the proper revenue and cost accounts.

For further assistance on any of these issues or with QuickBooks, please contact our office.  410-792-7259

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The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington has worked with Bormel, Grice & Huyett, P.A., since 1988. Their knowledge of the arts and the arts community make their services invaluable. They can translate accounting terminology into a comprehensive language. For many organizations, the accounting firm of Bormel, Grice & Huyett provides the financial "information bridge." We whole-heartedly recommend Bormel, Grice & Huyett, excellent accountants who care about our arts organizations.
Jennifer Cover Payne, Executive Director, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington

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