Last month’s Quick Books article explored the benefits of having QuickBooks on your desktop. Among those listed were three that impact every business. To recap, QuickBooks helps you:
- Save time.
- Save money.
- Minimize errors.
There are numerous examples that could be used to illustrate how this software accomplishes this but for this month the topic is using memorized transactions. These are templates you set up that contain most if not all the information that could be repeated at specified intervals, eliminating the need for you to enter the same repetitive data regularly and reducing the chances that you’ll make a mistake.
You can create these transaction “models” for both sale and purchase transactions. For example, you might have wireless service bills that remain the same every month or vary by just a bit. Or, you have customers who have monthly standing orders for the same products, or services, or subscription fees.
QuickBooks makes it very easy to set up transactions for repetitive use, and you’ll see how it works in more detail below. We recommend you use one of QuickBooks’ sample files for this tutorial.
Creating a Template
Let’s start by creating a repeating bill. Click Enter Bills on the home page and complete all the fields that will remain the same every time the bill is created. In our example, we’re paying a utility bill whose Amount Due will change every month, so we’re leaving that blank. When you’re done, click Memorize in the toolbar to open this window:
Figure 1: Once you’ve created a transaction template, you’ll have to complete the fields in this window to memorize it correctly.
The vendor name appears automatically in a field in the upper left. Below that is a list of four options. These have to do with how/if you want to be notified when it’s time to process a memorized transaction. Your choices are:
- Add to my Reminders List. QuickBooks will display an entry in your Reminders List for each memorized transaction. Not using Reminders? Please call.
- Do Not Remind Me. Nothing will be done.
- Automate Transaction Entry. You would only select this option if nothing but the date of the transaction changes when it recurs. QuickBooks would automatically process and dispatch the transaction.
- Add to Group. If you have multiple recurring transactions that come due at the same time, you can create Groups and assign transactions to them (more on this later).
On the right side of the window, open the drop-down list in the field next to How Often and select from the options provided. Click the calendar icon to choose the transaction’s Next (Due) Date. If you only want QuickBooks to automate the entry a specific number of times, add that in the field next to Number Remaining. Then enter the Days In Advance To Enter.
Further Explanation Needed
Let’s expand on two of the concepts discussed here. First, advance notice for transactions. If you’ve selected Add to my Reminders List for any memorized transactions, you need to tell QuickBooks how far in advance your reminders should start to appear. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Reminders.
Figure 2: If you want Reminders for memorized transactions, you’ll need to tell QuickBooks what your Preferences are.
Memorized Transactions Due appears toward the bottom of the Company Preferences list. Click on the appropriate button to indicate whether you want to see a summary or a list in your Reminders (or nothing at all) and how many days in advance the alert should appear.
Next, Groups. As mentioned earlier, you can combine memorized transactions due at the same time within a group. To create one, go to Lists | Memorized Transaction List. Click the arrow next to Memorized Transaction in the lower left, then click New Group and give it a name. Choose from the options available for notification and click OK.
Now you can add memorized transactions to this Group by right-clicking on it, selecting Edit Memorized Transaction, and clicking in the button next to Add to Group. Click the down area to the right of the field assigned to Group Name and select the one you just created.
Figure 3: You can add memorized transactions to a Group and process them at the same time.
This particular QuickBooks feature has been shared with you because software like this can save time and minimize errors. There are many other features that can help you as well, so don’t hesitate to call if you would like to learn more about them.
The mechanics of creating memorized transactions are fairly simple. But mistakes can be costly in terms of bills that don’t get paid on time (or at all) and items or services that don’t get invoiced. If you’re new to QuickBooks, call for assistance as working on your own could be tricky. Even if you’re a seasoned user, you may want help setting up memorized transactions for the first time. Please contact the office if you need assistance with this or any other element of QuickBooks accounting. Help is just a phone call away.