Love it or hate it, QuickBooks by Intuit is arguably the most successful accounting software on the market. The software categorizes income and expenses; generates robust, interactive reports; handles payroll, quarterly taxes; and interfaces with virtually every major financial institution. It is full of features, fairly inexpensive as compared to other accounting software packages, and has several versions that are scalable to the size of your business.
Reportedly, about 29 million businesses in the United States use QuickBooks as their accounting solution and approximately 80% of small businesses that use such software turn to Quickbooks.* That’s a lot of people using this product and they all have one thing in common: they’re all having the same problems you’re having.
Fixing QuickBooks Quirks
Despite its phenomenal success since 1983, QuickBooks is known by everyone who has used it to be somewhat quirky. It throws out random errors from time to time with mysterious error codes. Other times, it won’t open in multi-user mode for you. On a Monday morning, it takes 20 minutes to load the company file. On Wednesday, error 202 pops up when you log on. Then on Friday, it will not open at all. And let’s not even talk about what happened on the last payroll date. It seems like something is wrong on any day ending with “y”! We’re going to discuss what Infinity can do for you, and what you can do to help solve four of the most common problems with QuickBooks.
What We Can Do
1. Setup for Success
Many issues can be solved by having your IT support team at Infinity properly install and configure QuickBooks. We have several individual team members who have worked with QuickBooks for over 20 years from both the IT and Accounting aspects. That’s a sum of over 100 years of experience dealing with QuickBooks. Without getting too far into the technical details, your Infinity support team knows how to set up the software properly to eliminate many of the problems you have seen. Improper installation is one of the greatest causes of problems down the road. Think everything was set up properly but want to make sure? Contact your team to check.
2. Keep Updates Up-to-date
For both security and stability, QuickBooks should be updated regularly. However, it is never a good idea for different users to open a company file with different versions of QuickBooks. If one person updates and another does not, it will cause problems with the QuickBooks database. When you see a pop-up that tells you an update is available, select “Update Later” and open a ticket right away to get the updates applied for all of your QuickBooks users. Your support team at Infinity will schedule a convenient time with you to get the updates applied.
What You Can Do
Like any software, there are also things that you can do to keep your software running at its best. Our next two items are things that each QuickBooks user can do to keep things running smoothly.
3. Close Out
Some software products—Outlook is a good example—work best when opened and left running. Outlook loves for you to open it first thing every day and leave it running all day to check your email. QuickBooks, not so much. QuickBooks runs best when you open it, pay some bills or enter some invoices, and then close the company file. Because of the way the QuickBooks database is structured, the less time it is open, the more stable it is. This is even more true when using multi-user mode. Do your best to make closing out after each use a habit.
Of course, there will always be times when the program stays open all day, either because it gets left open by mistake or because there is just that much work to be done in QuickBooks. That’s okay; the database is still very sturdy and can run well. It just means there will be internal errors that you won’t even see. And Intuit has a way to fix those. See #4.
4. Verify Regularly
Your QuickBooks program is a database filled with thousands of links connecting dates, transactions, amounts, categories, etc. These links sometimes get disconnected, and that’s normal. QuickBooks has the ability to find these errors and heal itself through a utility that, unfortunately, many people don’t even know about.
In the File > Utilities menu, there is an item called “Verify Data.” If the “Verify Data” step finds any errors, it will ask you to use the “Rebuild Data” option. QuickBooks will then put all of the pieces back into place. This simple process takes only a few minutes to run. Without this regular maintenance, the database will be more likely to crash. And if the database crashes, it has to be sent off to Intuit for recovery or restored from the last backup, which means downtime while waiting for recovery or while re-entering transactions since the last backup. A good habit is to run this on some sort of routine schedule, and many QuickBooks pros will suggest that it be done each month when bank accounts are reconciled. Make this part of your routine, and you’ll notice immediate results!
To recap, we have looked at four things that break QuickBooks and four ways to prevent them:
- Improper installation.
- Not updating, or only partially updating.
- Leaving the company file open when not in use.
- Skipping the Verify/Rebuild Data features.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of your Infinity support team today.