QuickBooks Tips & Tricks

April 1, 2016 by Laura Schmitz
Copeland Buhl

Well maintained and accurate Financial Statements are the most important tool a small business owner has to take control of their Cash Flow and make decisions to help ensure continued success.  Yet very few business owners chose their profession because they had a deep passion for developing and maintaining bookkeeping procedures.  Having worked as a bookkeeper for nearly 10 years, I’ve encountered a wide range of function (and dysfunction) in my client’s accounting systems.  Luckily there are a handful of tips that you can use to help make your work in QuickBooks faster, easier, and more accurate so that you can take back control of your cash flow.


QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

QuickBooks is loaded with features aimed at making data entry as rapid as possible.  Use these keyboard shortcuts to save time with each transaction.

Date Related:  Typing these into any Date Field will automatically enter the date as described

“Y”          First day of the Year

“R”         Last day of the yeaR

“M”        First day of the Month

“H”         Last day of the montH

“T”          Today

“W”        First day of the Week

“K”         Last day of the weeK

“+”         Next day (also could be next in sequence, such as Invoice or Check #s)

“-“          Prior day (also could be prior in sequence)


Up and Down Arrows can be used to navigate through the fields in the same way that tab is used

Alt + Down Arrow will display the list for a field

Ctrl + I to create a new Invoice

Ctrl + W to begin writing a new Check


Using Account Numbers

When working on your file, we use account numbers for your Chart of Accounts as a way to organize the data and to work with it quickly.  Though it is not the default setting, QuickBooks can use account numbers as well.  I find this to be a huge time savings when entering bills for common expenses or when trying to juggle multiple checking accounts and make sure each transaction is applied to the correct one.  Once you have worked with them for awhile, you will easily memorize some of your most commonly used accounts and typing the number is much faster than writing the entire word in the field.  There is also an added bonus that by strategically designing the account number sequence, I can better customize the layout of the Financial Statements so that they are more organized and informative.

To Do It:

Go to the Edit drop down menu and select Preferences:  Along the left select Accounting:  Click the Company Preferences tab: Select Use Account Numbers checkbox

QuickBooks will automatically assign account numbers to any of their standard accounts, but these are easily changed to better align with the numbering sequence used for your file here at Copeland Buhl or one of your own design.


“Print Name on Check As”

Often the name that I use for a vendor differs from the name that should be printed on any checks or other documents sent to them. Sometimes, I want the name in QuickBooks to give me some clue about who the vendor is or what I use them for but I wouldn’t want them to have to see those specific details every time that I pay them. Most often, I am trying to juggle several different accounts with the same vendor and want a way to distinguish them.  In this instance, I add a new vendor for each of the independent accounts.

To Do It:

In the Edit Vendor Window, for the Vendor Name, I also note the last 4 digits of my account number with them (or some other identifying feature).  Down below, I remove that detail from the Billed From section so that the business name and address will print properly on any checks.  Then select the Payment Settings tab along the left and put the appropriate name in the “Print Name On Check As” field.


Memorized Transactions

For many businesses, there are certain transactions that occur exactly the same month after month.  Save the time of entering those manually each time they happen by Memorizing the transactions so that QuickBooks will automatically repeat it for you.  This is perfect for regular monthly Invoices, Bills, and even checks to be printed.

To Do It:

With the desired transaction screen open, review it to make sure it is exactly the way you always want it to be entered.  Click the Memorize button near the top of that window.  A window will pop up to help you customize the transaction.  You can have QuickBooks remind you to make the transaction or let QuickBooks automatically generate it for you, Customize the frequency of the transaction and specify exactly which dates it should be entered on.



Most of these ideas are easy to implement into your daily bookkeeping processes and will save you plenty of time.  There are many more bookkeeping methods and procedures that you can use to increase efficiency, improve accuracy, protect from fraud and even reduce the cost of your Tax Return.  Copeland Buhl and Company has experienced QuickBooks Pro Advisors on staff who can combine access to your previous tax returns with details from your own QuickBooks file to help you customize the best approach for your needs.

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