QuickBooks Pro Menu Reference  
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File Menu Reference

File Menu Commands

GENERAL DISCUSSION

These are the menu commands under the File Menu.


File Menu Commands
Menu SubMenu Description
New Company...

You should never use this function.

This menu command will close whatever company file you have open and then start the EasyStep Interview, which is a function that will lead you through a series of questions and then create a new company file for you.

You DO NOT want to use this function, largely because the company file that will be created for you will have a Chart of Accounts that they believe is correct for a construction company, but is absolutely wrong.

Besides, you don't need this function to create a company file for you because that's what our QuickBooks Template File is for.

Open Company...

This menu command will close whatever company file you have open and then open a standard File Open dialog box, which will allow you to browse your hard drive and select a QuickBooks file to open.

In the event you should select Cancel, the program will then present you with a No Company Open dialog box listing the most recent company files that you have used, from which you can select a company file, or you may select the Browse button which will activate the previous File Open dialog box.

This is the first version of QuickBooks that does not allow you to have the program running without having a company file open.

EasyStep Interview

You should never use this function.

This menu command will start the EasyStep Interview, which is a function that will lead you through a series of questions and then create a new company file for you.

You DO NOT want to use this function, largely because the company file that will be created for you will have a Chart of Accounts that they believe is correct for a construction company, but is absolutely wrong.

Besides, you don't need this function to create a company file for you because that's what our QuickBooks Template File is for.

Close Company

This menu command will close whatever company file you have open and then open a No Company Open dialog box listing the most recent company files that you have used, from which you can select a company file, or you may select the Browse button which will activate the File Open dialog box.

This is the first version of QuickBooks that does not allow you to have the program running without having a company file open.

Switch Mode

This command will switch you between the Single-User and Multi-User mode, which is only an issue if you are in a multi-user environment with a network and you have multiple persons accessing and using the same company file simultaneously.

There are some settings in QuickBooks (such as the password settings) and some functions (such as merging accounts) that can only be performed in the Single-User Mode. The program will advise you that you need to switch modes if you should attempt to perform one of these restricted functions.

Backup...

You should be using this function EVERY day.

The Backup functions is relatively straight-forward and a backup copy of your company files will save your butt in the event you have a hard drive failure. However, it has only one design flaw: It doesn't work if you don't actually backup your files!

Backing up your files is fast and easy. I suggest that you have two backup discs labeled Odd and Even, and that you use them to copy the backup on odd and even days. This way, you will actually have two backup copies of your company file, which is extra security in the event you have a hard drive failure.

The backup process will compress your company file and save it to your selected backup location with a .QBB file extension, which simply means QuickBooks Backup.

You can backup to a floppy disc, zip drive, CD-ROM, a separate network hard drive or to a second hard drive on your computer. Please DO NOT backup to the same hard drive where your original company file is located, that would defeat the purpose of the backup.

Some QuickBooks users use the Backup function to copy their company file to a floppy disc for the purpose of restoring it on another computer, typically a laptop or home computer so they may review the file. This is a perfectly acceptable practice, just remember that you only have ONE primary copy of the file, and that's the one that remains on your primary bookkeeping computer. The second copy may be reviewed, but don't make changes or data entries into it.

Restore...

You should rarely need to use this function.

This function will restore a backup copy of a QuickBooks Company file from the backup location (typically a floppy disc) to your hard drive. The function will uncompress the backup file and then copy it to the location designated by you in the dialog box. This is the procedure for replacing a damaged QuickBooks company file on your hard disc with a backup file OR for copying a backup from a floppy dist to another computer such as your laptop or home computer.

Please recognize that the Restore function will generally copy over (replace) any existing company file with the backup copy. This is only an issue in the event that you are using the Backup/Restore function to copy/move QuickBooks company files between computers and you need to pay attention that you don't accidentally overwrite a newer company file with it's older copy.

Utilities

Import... You should rarely need to use this function.

This function will allow you to import list information from another QuickBooks company file. List information is essentially anything in a QuickBooks list, such as the Vendor List or the Customer List.

This function should generally be used only when you are first setting up a company file (such as the Template File) and you want to import your Customers and Vendors from an existing QuickBooks company file. It can also be helpful when you are setting up a second related business that will use many of the same vendors as an existing company file.

Before you can import any list information, you must first use the Export function from within the source file to export the desired list data into a special file with a .iil file extension, which stands for Information Interchange Format. This is simply a specially configured file format that QuickBooks files use to exchange list information.

Please use this function with caution. If you are using the QuickBooks Template File, you will not want to export/import any other lists except your existing Customers and Vendors. for example, you would not want to export then import your existing Chart of Accounts into the Template File because then you would have all of you old accounts intermixed with all of the accounts we've already installed in the Template File.

One thing you cannot do with the export/import function is transfer transactional data from one QuickBooks company file to another QuickBooks company file. For example, you cannot export the check register from one file and then import it into another QuickBooks file. Believe me, I've tried a dozen ways, because if I could figure it out, I could remove the only obstacle to switching over to my QuickBooks Template File, which is that you have to re-enter your some of your existing checks and other transactions into the Template file when setting it up.

Export... You should rarely need to use this function.

This is the function that creates an Export file that will include whatever lists you indicated should be included. This is the file that can subsequently be imported into another QuickBooks file.

The procedure is relatively straight-forward: Select what lists you want to export, and then give the file a name and select where you want the file to be saved. The file must have a .iil file extension, which stands for Information Interchange Format as indicated in the File Safe dialog box.
Export Addresses... This function will allow you to export all, a selected group of, or just one address from any of your names lists (Customer, Employee, Vendor or Other names) to a text file.

After you select your name(s), you will be prompted to name the text file in a Tab Delimited format and save it to a location of your choice.

Addresses saved to a text file with have a .TXT file extension, and may be imported and utilized by a large number of other programs such as popular address book, word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Convert from Quicken... You should never use this function.

This function will attempt to convert an existing Quicken file to a QuickBooks file.

I've experimented with performing this procedure with several clients over the years, with less than satisfactory results, largely due to the inherent differences between the contents of a Quicken file, which is designed for personal bookkeeping, and a QuickBooks file, which is designed for businesses. There are just too many mismatches between the programs, including such fundamental differences like QuickBooks has Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable modules that have no corresponding Quicken counterparts.

If you have been using Quicken and are converting to QuickBooks Pro, then my advice is to export your names and address from your existing Quicken file and then import them into a new QuickBooks file, presumably a new QuickBooks Template File.

Condense Data... You should use this function one every year.

This procedure will allow you to reduce the size of your QuickBooks company file by summarizing past transactions as totals for the year, then erasing the actual transactions. This allows you to continue to perform year-by-year comparisons, but reduces the size of the file.

Needless to say, this function should be used with caution. Nevertheless, condensing your file is necessary to keep it from becoming bloated and thus slow to use.

I recommend that you condense your file once a year, sometime in the middle of your fiscal year, condensing the file to include the current year and the past full year.

Before condensing your file, you should make a separate backup copy (separate from your regular backup) that you should label and store in a safe place. This will allow you to restore the file (as a separate file) in the event that there is a situation where you need access to the transactional detail.

The procedure is straight forward: Select the date and select OK. You also have the opportunity to remove unused names from various lists. What this means is that, if you select to remove unused Vendors, then the process will remove any vendors that haven't been used in any transactions after the date you entered.

I recommend that you NOT select to remove any unused names, and instead, after the procedure is completed or at any time thereafter, you can individually remove any such names from the corresponding list manually. In any event, it's not a tragedy because you can always add any inadvertently deleted name.

Verify Data This function will initiate a routine that examines your QuickBooks data file looking for any errors in the data structure, which it will attempt to correct.

Rebuild Data This function is nearly identical to Verify Data except that the function will rebuild your data file. Rebuilding a data file is analogous to emptying a drawer and then putting everything back in a neat order. QuickBooks will require you to make a backup before proceeding, a backup that can be made to your hard drive because if the rebuilding routine fails for any reason you'll know immediately if you'll need to restore the backup.

On those rare occasions when I have experienced QuickBooks acting "funny", 95% of the time it was cured by rebuilding the data and then closing and then reopening QuickBooks. If you're having unexpected results (won't print, checks not appearing in the register, etc.) I suggest you give this procedure a try.

Timer

Export Lists for Timer... You should not use this function.

I don't recommend that construction companies use the Timer function in QuickBooks.

The timer function in QuickBooks could certainly be a valuable tool for businesses that operate in an office environment such as a law firm or an accounting firm. However, it is impractical for use by construction companies largely because it's use requires the employees to input their time into a computer during the work day, something that just isn't going to happen with field employees.

Import Activities from Timer...
Accountant's Review

Create Accountant's Copy... These functions administrate the creation and use of what's called a Accountant's Review Copy of your company file.

The Accountant's Review Copy is a special copy of your company file that you can make and then copy to a floppy or email to your accountant, who can then open it, make changes and entries, and then return it to you at a later date, upon which you can subsequently import their changes made into the file into your existing company file.

The cool thing about using an Accountant's Review Copy is that while your Accountant has the copy, you can continue to use your file for perform your day-to-day bookkeeping functions. After your Accountant has made changes, such as year-end balance sheet adjustments, you can import the changes into your file.

The Accountant's Review Copy is perfect for allowing your Accountant to make balance sheet adjustments and year-end entries for depreciation and other similar tax-related issues in preparation for preparing your tax return, all while you can still keep your books.

There are a small number of restrictions placed on both your company file and the Accountant's Review Copy during this process, most notably that you cannot add or delete accounts form the Chart of Accounts in either file. The QuickBooks Help File has a complete list of these restrictions.

The Accountant's Review Copy of your company file will have a .QBX file extension.

Import Accountant's Changes...
Cancel Accountant's Changes...
Start Using Accountant's Copy...
Continue Using Accountant's Copy...

Export Changes for Client...

Print...

This is the function that will print whatever document, form or report that is currently displayed on the QuickBooks desktop.

The name of this menu will change depending upon what kind document, form or report is currently displayed.

You may also use the print button on the form or report to achieve the same result.

Print Postage for Form...

This is an attempt to sell you additional services.

This is just another way that Intuit, the company that publishes QuickBooks, tries to get you to buy other services.

Print Forms

Bill Payment Stubs These are your Print queues, which is a fancy way of saying that any form, check, etc. that you indicate "to print" gets sent here in a list, waiting your command to actually print them as a batch.

Like all things in QuickBooks, the procedure is very forgiving. Before printing any form, it will verify the check number, etc. and will allow you to re-print if there is a printer problem when printing the batch.

Most construction companies will want to make use of the ability to write a number of checks, send the to the print queue and then print them as a batch. When you get experiences in QuickBooks, this is much faster than printing them one at a time.

Checks
Credit Memos
Invoices
Mailing Labels
Paychecks
Paystubs
Purchase Orders
Sales Receipts
Timesheets
1099's You should be using this function at least once each year.

The 1099's print function is a little different that the other print function in that it's not actually a print queue. This function is the only way to print your 1099's. This function is simple and direct, it asks you what date range, and then it prints the 1099's.

Before you print any 1099's you will want to go to Preferences | 1099's and select the accounts that should be included, probable the GOGS and Expense accounts. You will also want to check the minimum thresholds, but they're probable accurate as pre-set by the program. In addition, you will probably want to run a 1099 report under Reports to check the resulting amounts, and you probably will also want to print a list report of your vendors to see who you have set to receive 1099's and if you have all the required information such as full address and Tax ID numbers.

The cool thing about printing 1099's in QuickBooks is that you can print them as many times as you may need, and you can print additional 1099's later if you forgot somebody. In other words, unlike many other accounting programs, printing 1099's is not a frantic, you-only-get-one-chance process.

Printer Setup...

This function will allow you setup your printer or printers for different forms and reports. The QuickBooks manual has a good explanation of these procedures, but there are a couple of notes to add.

First, you can setup different printers for different forms, a situation that arises most often when some users want to use a designated printer (like that old dot-matrix printer) to print the checks, but they want to send the reports to a different printer.

Second, you will most probably want to change the font for the checks from the default 9 point Times New Roman to something more legible like an 11 point Arial. The Menu path is Printer Setup | Check/Paycheck | Fonts | Font and then pick your a font and font size.

This is also the menu command where you would change the printing alignment on your checks. Just follow the and expect to waste a few checks in the process.

Update QuickBooks...

This function will, with your permission, connect to the Internet, go to the QuickBooks Website, check to see if there are any maintenance releases for your version of QuickBooks, and upon your approval, download the updated release and install it on your computer.

This process is a vast improvement over previous versions of QuickBooks that would download the maintenance release and perform the upgrade without your permission, a process that would wreck havoc on multiple users because then everyone would have to download the latest release in order to use the same file.

The prior process particularly irked me because the program would announce that it had already downloaded a new version of the program, even when it had been installed on a computer that didn't have an Internet connections.

Of course, the process includes a check of your serial number and the number of users on your system, so if you have a single copy of QuickBooks installed on multiple computers, or if you are using a "friends" copy of the program, you definitely DO NOT want to connect to their Website.
Exit

This menu command will close QuickBooks.

You may note that, unlike many other software programs, QuickBooks does not ask you if you want to save the file before closing. This is because QuickBooks saves your data EVERY time you record a transaction. What this means is that every time you enter a check, bill, invoice, address, etc. the program saves it immediately, so when you close the program, everything to that point has already been saved.

This feature also means that you won't lose any data if, while working on the program, you experience a sudden loss of power. It that event, when you power back up and open your company file, every transaction you entered is there.




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