Lesser known QuickBooks shortcuts, Part II

Elsewhere I’ve shared some of the neat little features I’ve found hiding under the hood of QuickBooks® accounting software. (That article also includes a PDF showing standard keyboard shortcuts that you can use to reach out to your clients.) Many of them help you or your clients work faster and save time.

Here I want to share more of such QuickBooks shortcuts. As before, I’m guessing some of them will be new to many of the most experienced users of the software.

Working in the Registers Quickly

As you know, all balance sheet accounts with the exception of Retained Earnings have registers.  Also, all Customers and Jobs have registers.

The first thing I do when perusing any register is checkmark the box next to “1 Line Display.” That allows me to cover more transactions when browsing through the register.  Also, the resulting color-and-white stripes in the 2-line display version of a register usually give me a headache, so the one-color one-line display is easier on the eyes.

Next, depending on what I’m looking for, I temporarily change the sorting order. This often-overlooked feature is very useful to find transactions quickly.

I can sort by Amount (either ascending or descending – all payments, which are really negative numbers, will be shown separately from all deposits, which are positive numbers), Number, Order Entered or Date and Order Entered (great if you’re looking for transactions entered during a particular posting session), Cleared Status (leaving all unreconciled transactions to the end of the register). The register can really help you find something in a pinch, without looking through QuickReports and other reports, the Find function, or Google search.

Tip: Just remember to change the “Sort by” order back to the default of “Date, Type, Number” so that the next time you look at a particular register, you’re not misled by weird balances.

Multiple Windows

I often find that having Multiple Windows open (View > Multiple Windows) allows me to minimize, maximize or re-size screens and get work done much faster because required screens are not hiding behind and completely obliterated by others.

Choosing Multiple Windows View

While I’m working, I can click on the title bar of any particular window to bring it to the forefront. Or I can choose the Window menu item for a variety of choices. I can choose from the numbered list at the bottom to bring any of the windows it lists to the forefront, Tile all windows vertically, horizontally, or cascaded.  Try them!

Options on Title Bar of Any Window

Lastly, I can choose Window > Close All if I have too many windows open and I don’t want to hit the Esc key repeatedly or the X in each open window.

Investigating Your List Choice While Entering it in a Form

Have you ever been in a form, contemplating choosing a list choice (e.g. Customers, Vendors, or Items) and you wished that the drop-down list offered you more information upon which to make your choice? I have.

Example Drop Down List: Creating Invoices Dialog

If I am about to enter a Customer or Job name in an invoice and click on the drop-down box, I get the list of Customers and Jobs but I don’t get enough information about my choices, especially if some of the choices are similarly named.

Instead, to get more information, when I’m in the Customer:Job input field, I can press Ctrl + L to pull up a much more detailed list.  In fact, it makes the Customer Center pop up.  I can then peruse the Customer:Job list with all the information that was lacking in the drop-down list. When I find the Customer or Job I want to use, I right-click on it and choose “Use” to put that choice directly into the input field on the form.

Not only can I merely use the chosen list item, I can edit it without really leaving the transaction that I’m entering.

If I hit Ctrl+L in the Item field of an invoice, for example, I get the Item List. I can customize the columns on the Item List by right-clicking on the column headers, but I can also just peruse the items and either double-click or hit Ctrl+E to edit the highlighted item.  I can then make a change such as entering a price in the item’s setup.  I then click OK to save my change to the Edit Item window.

That would take me back to the Item List.  Unfortunately, unlike the Customer Center, right-clicking on the changed item yields a pop-up menu that does not include “Use.” 

Instead, though, I can stay in the Edit Item window, right-click in the Item name/number field and choose “Copy” or just choose Ctrl + C.  Then after I close the Edit Item window (having saved my changes) and escape from the Item list, I can choose Ctrl+ V or right-click and choose “Paste” to put that item name in the Item input field.

Editing Shortcuts

Copying Information into Form from Edit Dialog

The Ctrl + L works in many input fields, giving you more information than the typical drop-down list. Combine it with Editing (Ctrl + E or double-clicking on the choice) and choosing “Use” or “Copy” / “Paste” and you’re entering with less second-guessing and fixing of wrong guesses later.

Memorized Report Groups

You know all about Memorized Reports.  I leverage these reports by creating Memorized Report Groups.  I do this by creating the Memorized Reports I want, and making sure they belong in a Memorized Report Group.  I choose Reports > Memorized Reports > Memorized Report List.  I then click on the Memorized Report button at the bottom of the list and choose New Group with a name. 

Creating Memorized Report Groups

I then drag any memorized reports I want to be part of my new group (by the diamond to the left of the memorized report name in the list) under the group name and drag the diamond one notch to the right to make it part of that group. Alternately, I right-click on the name of the memorized report in the list and choose Edit (or press Ctrl + E), and check the box next to it and choose OK.  Any new memorized reports I wish to put into that group can be selected as inhabitants of the group when they are first saved, or they can be edited after they are saved in this manner.

Example of Adding Memorized Report to a Memorized Report Group.

When I’m ready, I run the reports in any selected group or groups all at once by choosing Reports > Process Multiple Reports. I can choose any of the reports, any reports from a particular group, or any reports from a list of ungrouped reports.

I can checkmark the ones I want to run, review and, if necessary, change their “from” and “to” dates, and choose “Display” or “Print.”

If I select “Display,” the reports all generate immediately and tile themselves.

I can print them one at a time from these windows, or I can choose “Print.”  Of course, I can also select File > Save as PDF to save each report individually as a PDF.  If I have an external PDF creation program, I can choose to print to that program, thereby creating all the separate PDF’s at once.

There are many more ways to save time and effort than these tricks alone.  I’ll never tire of having an “Aha!” moment when I stumble over a new one. Experiment and you’ll be saying “Aha!” time and time again.

About the author:Esther Friedberg Karp

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.

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