QuickBooks Pro Menu Reference  
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Vendors Menu Reference

Vendors Menu Commands

GENERAL DISCUSSION

These are the menu commands under the Vendors Menu. Please note that some of these menu commands may be worded slightly differently, and some menu items not even appear on your menu simply because the QuickBooks menu will change depending upon how many times you've opened the file, how long you've been using that particular version of QuickBooks, and how you have your preferences set.


For example, when you first install QuickBooks, they will try to sell you a number of their other services by placing these items on the menu. These other services include creating a Website, buying postage online, etc. As you use the program over a period of time without signing up for these services, the menu items will stop appearing.


Another factor that will influence what menu commands appear on your menu is your preferences. For example, if you turn the Navigator off under the preferences, then the Navigator menu commands will not appear on your menus.


If you think all of this is confusing, you should try to write a manual about it.


Vendors Menu Commands
Menu Description
Vendor Navigator

This menu command will start the QuickBooks Navigator Customer page, which is a specially designed screen that attempts to bring menu commands related to the Customer menu (Estimates, Invoices, Receive Payments, etc.), activities (Send Forms, Write Invoices, etc.), and some related memorized reports.

Now, don't get me wrong here. If you like using the Navigator, then use it. However, for me personally, I find it useless and a bit cumbersome, largely because everything displayed in the Navigator is already available on the regular menu bar, so why would you want to wait for it to load up and anyway why do you need a second way to access the same commands?

Vendor Detail Center

This menu command will open the Vendor Detail Center, which is a specially design screen that provides a nice snapshot of a specific vendor, including their contact information and outstanding bills and purchase orders.

Enter Bills

You should be using this function all the time.

You should use this function to create invoices for every payment you receive from a customer or in behalf of a customer (like bank draws). There are NO exceptions to this rule.

Creating invoices will allow you to track your draws against the draw schedules, track your allowances and extras, and allow you to use the Statements to summarize your transactions with your customer during an at the end of the project.

For a complete description of the nuances of creating invoices and the strategies behind their use, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.

Pay Bills

You should be using this function all the time.

This function opens the Pay Bills dialog box, from where you can select individual bills to be paid, whereupon QuickBooks will automatically create the check(s) and send them to your Print Queue.

For a complete description of the nuances of using the Pay Bills feature, including taking discounts from bills, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.

Create Purchase Orders

You should be somewhat cautious about starting a purchase order system.

This function allows you to create Purchase Orders, which in the construction industry can sometimes help you control your costs, especially on charge accounts where a number of your employees may be making charges in your behalf.

The decision to use a Purchase Order system must be made carefully because the system will add another level of administration to your office procedures. For example, if your office is not staffed all the time during business hours, and one of your employees is at the lumber company trying to pick some nails to finish some forms that are going to be poured is a couple of hours, and there's nobody in the office to authorize the purchase order, what happens?

For most Builders, I generally recommend a limited purchase order system for those expenditures that you typically make several weeks in advance (like trusses and cabinet packages) and for the multi-payment subcontractors (mostly the mechanical subcontractors). This way you can enter the basic terms of your agreement with them into QuickBooks as a purchase order, and later, when the bill arrives in your office, it can quickly be compared to the original purchase order. With the multi-payment subcontractors, you can enter the actual agreed upon draw schedule as separate line items

For a complete description of the nuances of creating purchase orders and the strategies behind their use, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.

Receive Items and Enter Bill

You should not need to use these functions.

All of these functions are essentially related to using Inventory in QuickBooks, which is not generally a function that most contractors need.

If you build speculative homes, or if you carry an inventory of model home, these assets should be individually listed as assets on your Chart of Accounts, not carried as inventory in the inventory module in QuickBooks.

If you are using purchase orders in QuickBooks, you will still not need to use the Receive Items function because you will apply the bill to the outstanding purchase order when you are entering the bill in Accounts Payable with the Enter Bills function.

If you are a supplier, or a subcontractor that actually carries inventory in stock in a central location such as a warehouse, then you might consider using the Inventory features in QuickBooks, although you will need to develop careful procedures for distributing the cost of the inventory to your projects as it is being consumed every day.

Receive Items

Enter Bill for Received Items

Inventory Activities

Print 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.

Detailed instructions on printing the 1099's can be found in the QuickBooks Users Guide and in the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.

Vendor List

This menu command will open the Vendor List, where you can add, edit or delete your vendors.

For a complete description of the nuances of entering your Vendors, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.



Item List

You should rarely need to edit your Item List.

This menu command will open the Item List, where you can add, edit or delete Items.

Generally speaking, your use of Items should be limited to a few Items that are connected to Income Accounts for the purpose of writing invoices. I know that this is directly contrary to the advice given in the QuickBooks Manual, but the rational is grounded in careful research and experimentation.

For a complete description of the nuances of entering and using Items, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.

Purchase Orders List

This menu command will open the Purchase Orders List, where you can add, edit or delete purchase orders.

For a complete description of the nuances of creating purchase orders and the strategies behind their use, please read the QuickBooks Users Guide or the Template Manual, both of which are included in the printed manual and the PowerTools Software Website.




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