Accessing QuickBooks Help: A Tutorial

 quickbooks-popularUAC’s Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks is a tutorial-based course enabling students to master this popular accounting software.  In this article, we share a tutorial on QuickBooks Help System, taken directly from the course. 

Sometimes in QuickBooks you need help determining what forms to use or what to enter into those forms once you find them.  QuickBooks has a pretty good help system.  Some people are disappointed when they receive the QuickBooks software and realize that it didn’t come with a 1300 page user’s manual like they used to distribute in the good old days.  But to be honest with you, the help that’s available in the QuickBooks program itself is better and more complete than the assistance or help that we used to get in those 1300 page user manuals.

One thing that’s different in newer versions of the software is the position of the Help display.  If you click on Help and then select “QuickBooks Help” or press F1, help displays on the right-hand side of the screen.  To get help on something, click on this search topic and then type in a search phrase. In this example, we’re going to search for “job costing.”

Once you type in “job costing” and press enter, QuickBooks displays 15 different topics related to job costing.  You can view those different topics to see if any of them are helpful.  Let’s imagine you want “unbilled costs by job report.” You click on that link and QuickBooks tells you exactly how to get that report and what information should be on it.

The next Help feature that we want to talk about is the Learning Center Tutorials. To access these, go into Help and Learning Center Tutorials.  These are small videos that Intuit has created to help you understand how to use the program.  They’re very brief, but they provide an excellent overview.  Some of you might have your clients use them to get a general idea of how to use QuickBooks.

Let’s talk just a little bit about Support.  If you click on the support option, QuickBooks connects to the Internet and details the different support options available.  You have 30 days of free technical support when you first register your software, and that’s available immediately after you purchase it.  You can purchase support from Intuit as well.  You also might want to contact Universal Accounting Center to check on the support that we offer for QuickBooks and the Professional Guide to QuickBooks training program.

There are a few other Help features we wish to discuss. First of all, let’s talk about “About QuickBooks Pro XXXX.”  This is the information the software gives you about your specific program.  It provides your license number, the product number and the user licenses.  You want to hold onto these numbers because you will need them if you ever install this software onto another computer (for example, if your system crashes, you’ll need these numbers to install it on a new machine).

Under Help there are two other options that we should talk about:  New Business Checklist and Year‑End Guide.  You use the New Business Checklist when you first start a company; QuickBooks poses questions to ensure that you have done the right things in setting up your business.  There are explanations on each one of those checkpoints, and after you’ve completed them you can check them off.  So if you want information on, for example, choosing a name, you click on “Choose a name,” and QuickBooks displays Help to the right; you can look at that information and click on any of those different topics and then click through the checklists as you complete them.

The same sort of thing is available under Help and “Year‑End Guide.”  This is something you use at the end of the year, and frankly you might want to go through everything to ensure that you have covered all your bases.  You don’t necessarily have to do all these things at the end of the year, but they’re things that you should at least consider doing.

You can also access QuickBooks Help in each of the different areas of the program.  For example, if you have a transaction up on the screen, say, for example, Pay Bills, you can click on the Help feature, which displays as a question mark, and QuickBooks will show help topics that are context sensitive.

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks

If you found this tutorial useful, you’d probably like Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks program which will teach you all this and more with training targeted for all user types.  To enroll in this program today, call Universal at 1-877-833-7908!

Is Your Job Satisfying?

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Are you looking for the Wellspring of Professional Gratification?

He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again. – Sydney Smith

How much time have you wasted trying to draw empty buckets from empty wells by working tirelessly at an unfulfilling job?  You

spend more time working than you do just about anything else.  Is it both mentally and financially rewarding? Or do you count the hours every day, waiting for your day job to end so you can get back to your real life?

It’s a new year—time to take control of your career and steer it towards a more gratifying professional future.  And as you consider an occupation that is both satisfying and lucrative, we suggest you look for two things: 1) a service that is in demand, and 2) something about which you can get a little excited.

Consider tax preparation.

What?  No, really.  Tax preparation.  Nearly every individual and every business is legally required to submit a tax return (talk about a prospective client base!).  In addition, not many people like to do their own taxes, and the truth is many are leery to try.  And with increasingly complex tax regulations, who can blame them?  Thus, tax preparation will always be a service that is in demand.

Enter the Professional Tax Preparer who can expertly prepare both individual and business returns with grace and ease, submit them faster than a speeding bullet and file any necessary extensions in a single bound.  Okay, so maybe tax preparation isn’t that brand of super, but it is pretty cool.  And if you possess a penchant for numbers, you just might be able to get a little excited about tax services.

Increase Your Options and Your Earning Potential

Becoming a tax preparer opens up countless career options.  You could supplement your current income with part-time work in the evenings or on the weekends.  You could expand your bookkeeping service by adding tax preparation to your menu.  Or you could replace your full-time income by becoming a Professional Tax Preparer.  Whichever option appeals to you, the training necessary to become a tax preparer isn’t as long and painful as you might expect.  Universal Accounting Center has made it easy.

Our Professional Tax Preparer program includes the following:

  • Informative video instruction
  • Full 1040 training
  • Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
  • One Year Follow-up Support from expert tax preparers

Many programs will lecture you on tax law and preparation practices, but Universal’s program is much more effective because it provides you with the hands-on practice that will perfect your skills.  Theory is taught as guiding principles, but the focus is on actually doing taxes to gain proficiency.

The PTP course consists of 20 hours of video training. Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability. Our instructors know what challenges you will face because they have been there themselves.

You know better than anyone whether or not it’s time for you to move to another well.  If you’re looking for a wellspring of professional gratification, enroll in the Professional Tax Preparer program today.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to get started now!

A New’s Years Message from Roger Knecht

roger-knechtDear Readers,

Happy New Year!  We hope you’re ringing in 2015 with family and friends.  It’s a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones and generate good will with neighbors and acquaintances.  It’s also a good time to assess your current trajectory and determine what you’d like to do differently in order to secure the future you desire.

Generally people prepare for the New Year by making resolutions intended to enhance their lives, both personally and professionally. Regardless, it’s the perfect occasion to hit the reset button and start afresh.

Universal Accounting Center (UAC) is in the business of helping accounting professionals start afresh, providing the opportunity to advance careers in a new field or a financial practice where you’re in charge and get to call all the shots.  Whether it’s New Year’s Day or the middle of the year, UAC is in the business of helping people hit the reset button on their careers.

Is that something you would like to do?

Universal has found the most success enrolling students in what’s called the Accountrepreneur Program, which includes everything individuals need to launch their own full-service financial practice:

Students can enroll in any one or combination of the above programs.  Our graduates have found great success upon completing the training and applying what they learn to their careers, many of them launching profitable and life-changing financial practices of their own.

We hope that you consider Universal as you make plans for your future.  Celebrate your fresh start by calling us as 1-800-833-7908 to find out how we can help you customize the career of your dreams.

Happy New Year!

Roger Knecht

President

Universal Accounting Center

Overcoming Common Entrepreneur Fears

 Business Woman Series 19“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

Launching your own practice can be scary.  And while many entrepreneurs may appear fearless, the truth is, they’ve managed to succeed in spite of any fears they had.  If you want to launch your own business, you’ll have to do the same.

In a recent Entrepreneur.com article, author and entrepreneur Jayson Demers shares “5 Fears You’ll Need to Conquer before Starting a Business.”  Here we share 3 of the most common:

1. Not being good enough.  Some worry that their services won’t be competitive enough or their personal nature won’t be as assertive or ambitious or willful or persuasive as necessary.  These concerns are common.  However, they are a not predictor of future failure.  As Demers explains, “Your product doesn’t have to be perfect when it first launches, and it doesn’t have to be the best.  It just has to be acceptable.  From there, you’ll have plenty of room to make improvements over time.  No product ever starts out perfect – some of the greatest businesses in the world probably started with a product of a similar quality to yours.”

2. Failing. This is Daddy of all fears, isn’t it?  We’re afraid we will fail.  And if we’re good at imagining worst-case scenarios, we have probably constructed—in our minds—the way this business could go down with the biggest bang.  First of all, failure is unavoidable.  But fear of failure is completely avoidable.  Change your thought paradigm so that failure is defined simply as a learning opportunity.  As long as you’re willing to learn, and improve as a result of what you learn, you can only get better at your business regardless of the obstacles you’ll most certainly encounter.

3. The unknown.  This one is scary because it’s impossible to prepare for.  Your business plan can anticipate problems, but it can’t foresee all those unknown variables, obstacles, and setbacks.  But Demers states, “Entrepreneurship isn’t a job.  It becomes a lifestyle.  You’re choosing to be in this role because you’re a risk-taker, you’re passionate, you work hard and you believe in your idea.”  If necessary, take the time to express your passion for this practice so that when things get a little dicey, you can remind yourself of the force that propeled you to launch your business in the first place.

Become a QuickBooks Consultant

One way to ensure your practice’s success is by enhancing your service offerings by becoming a QuickBooks Specialist, adding QuickBooks help, consulting and set-up services to your menu.  It’s a great marketing tool that will bring your part-time business closer to being full-time ready.

In addition to the skills you acquire in completing the Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks (PBG), you will also receive the following:

  • Thorough and complete training on the latest and greatest version of QuickBooks Pro
  • 6 months’ worth of access to our experienced, qualified QuickBooks professional accountants and CPAs to answer your questions
  • Accounting 101 Review
  • 30 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits in most states
  • A 100% money-back guarantee
  • A valuable addition to your reference library 

The PBG offers the most competitive QuickBooks training on the market.  Master QuickBooks and add QuickBooks consulting services to your menu. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll in this valuable training program now!

Resource

Demers, Jayson. “5 Fears You’ll Need to Conquer before Starting a Business.” 1 December 2014  Entrepreneur.com

Increase in 2015 Tax Benefits

profit-expertDue to inflation adjustments, more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, have been changed for the 2015 tax year.  In a recent press release, the IRS shared those changes of greatest interest to most taxpayers:

  • The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $413,200 ($464,850 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $406,750 and $457,600, respectively. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.

  • The standard deduction rises to $6,300 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,200 and $12,400, respectively, for tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9,250, up from $9,100.

  • The limitation for itemized deductions to be claimed on tax year 2015 returns of individuals begins with incomes of $258,250 or more ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly).

  • The personal exemption for tax year 2015 rises to $4,000, up from the 2014 exemption of $3,950. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly.)

  • The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2015 is $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly). The 2014 exemption amount was $52,800 ($82,100 for married couples filing jointly).

  • The 2015 maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,242 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,143 for tax year 2014. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.

  • Estates of decedents who die during 2015 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,430,000, up from a total of $5,340,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2014.

  • For 2015, the exclusion from tax on a gift to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen is $147,000, up from $145,000 for 2014.

  • For 2015, the foreign earned income exclusion breaks the six-figure mark, rising to $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.

  • The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015.

  • The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (FSA)  rises to $2,550, up $50 dollars from the amount for 2014.

  • Under the small business health care tax credit, the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,800 for tax year 2015, up from $25,400 for 2014. 

For more information on recent IRS tax news, please visit their official site at www.irs.gov.

Increase Your Options and Your Earning Potential

Tax law is continually changing, and because it can be difficult for individuals and small businesses to stay ahead of these changes, they generally enlist the help of a tax professional.  As an accountant, becoming a tax preparer enables you to increase your competitive advantage and your earning potential by taking advantage of this continual need!  And the training necessary to become a tax preparer isn’t as long and painful as you might expect.  Universal Accounting Center has made it easy.

Our Professional Tax Preparer program includes the following:

  • Informative video instruction
  • Full 1040 training
  • Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
  • One year follow-up Support from expert tax preparers 

The PTP course consists of 20 hours of video training. Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability. Our instructors know what challenges you will face because they have been there themselves. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today.

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