Jan 12th 2010
By Esther Friedberg Karp, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
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I admit it — I like to save time. I'm lazy and I'm proud. When I find a shortcut, it makes me happy. QuickBooks accounting software has all these neat little features hiding under the hood. Some of them are so cool, and yet unknown to even the most experienced users.
Just to make it clear, these aren't your standard list of keyboard shortcuts. Longtime users will remember them on the back cover of the thick green QuickBooks user guides that used to accompany the software in its 3.5" floppy and early CD days. I share a list like that with my clients, and if you are looking for one to share with your clients, you can find a PDF of the list here.
No, here just among us professionals, I am sharing some of the niftiest shortcuts I've found so far. These are shortcuts you can show your clients, but aren't ideal for putting together in a handout.
Save Time by Ensuring You're Choosing the Right Report
Here's a cool shortcut that saves a lot of time, especially in large files. Have you ever run a report, waited for it to display, only to find out that you chose the wrong report in the first place? I hate that.
I've never been a huge fan of the Report Center, because I'm an old-time QuickBooks user and I'm used to the menu items. However, there is a really neat feature in the Report Center I'd like to show you.
Open the Report Center and hover your mouse pointer over the square bullets next to each report name. You will see a pop-up window showing the format of the report. The details and numbers in these pop-up samples will be meaningless, having nothing to do with your data file. But what counts here is that you see the format your proposed report will take. Then you can decide to run it… or not.
Experiment with Right-Clicking Your Mouse
A lot of extra functionality is hiding in areas that you can find by right-clicking with your mouse. Experiment on your own and you'll be quite surprised.
For instance, you can customize your icon bar by right-clicking on it:
And that takes you directly to the icon bar customization window that you would normally access by choosing View > Customize Icon Bar:
Experiment Elsewhere with Right-Clicking
Right-click inside an invoice to see what it does, and it does plenty. However, it depends where you right-click.
(Note: In the screenshot below, the image has been modified to keep enough information on the left-hand side to make it clear you are looking at the invoice. For the purposes of this article, and still fit in the available space.) At this particular invoice, I right-clicked in the header area and found a drop-down list which included the following:
· Mark Invoice as Pending (or Mark Invoice as Final if the invoice is already pending)
· Duplicate the invoice (one of my favorites)
· Memorize the invoice
· Void the invoice
· Transaction History (another one of my favorites)
· Assess Finance Charges
· Receive Payments
· QuickReport (for the customer or job in this invoice)
In the example below, I right-clicked in the body of the invoice, as opposed to the header. Again, where I clicked in the body determined how much of a pop-up window I got.
I right-clicked in the Item column to get a pretty good idea of what's available:
- Cut (and then Paste would be available)
- Copy (and then Paste would be available)
- Insert Line
- Delete Line
- Select All (didn't seem to do much in this context)
Next, I right-clicked in a check, which happened to be a paycheck:
I was able to bring up a menu that allowed me to find checks (of any kind), delete the current paycheck or void it, use the register for the bank producing the check, pay liabilities and taxes, pay bills, bring up a list of memorized transactions, or, of course, a QuickReport for the payee.
And, of course, in any transaction that is already recorded, hitting Ctrl+Y shows the "behind the scenes" debits and credits. That is equivalent to hitting the "Journal" button at the top of the transaction. Also, hitting Ctrl+H shows the history for that transaction, if any (e.g. bill payments for a bill, etc.). That is equivalent to hitting the "History" button at the top of the transaction. Those buttons do not appear at the top of transactions in QuickBooks Pro or non-Accountant flavors of Premier, so those keyboard shortcuts are very handy to have.
On Entering New Customers and New Vendors in the Centers
Here's something I just learned by watching a colleague of mine. He was entering a new customer name in the Customer Center (but this can also work entering a new vendor in the Vendor Center). At first I thought he'd made a mistake, totally bypassing the Customer Name field, entering only the Company name:
As soon as he hit the TAB key to go the next field, the name "Joe Customer" appeared in the previously bypassed Customer Name field, as if he'd entered it there himself (as well as in the first line of the Bill To field).
This also worked upon entering a new vendor in the Vendor Center, bypassing the Vendor name and just entering the Company Name and hitting the TAB key:
The Vendor Name, first line of the Name and Address field, and the Print on Check as field became populated with the same name this way, with no extra effort from me.
I'm hoping you have already learned some new shortcuts in this article. I have more shortcuts to share next month.
About the author:
Esther Friedberg Karp is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in both Canada and the United States. She is President and Owner of CompuBooks Business Services and a frequent contributor to the Canadian edition of Intuit ProConnection.