Assigning Paper Bags to an Account in QBPOS & QBF

Submitted by Will on September 19, 2014

Q & A with Will English

Today’s topic: Assigning Paper Bags to an Account in QBPOS & QBF

Client’s employee: I can set the bags up in QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) as a Non-Inventory Item:  POS will track the monies collected and we won’t have to include the bag as an item to count when we do year-end inventory.  POS will need to liaise with a QB acct:  what do you want that to be?  (ie, Do these need to be defined as COGS and as income?)  If this item is considered an Income Acct, I’m not sure if that puts the item over into a sales tax category. 

Client’s question: We recently decided to purchase paper bags in case our customers want to buy one (like the supermarkets do). The rules on this seem a bit hazy, but it appears that 1) we are supposed to collect the money, but 2) we can only spend it on buying more bags. We need some advice on how to account for these (and the collected money) in POS & QuickBooks Financial.

Will: Create a non-inventory item Paper Bag with a charge of 10 cents or whatever you want to charge.  Create an Other current asset account called Paper Bag Replacement.  Every time you sell a paper bag, it will add to this account. When you buy more bags, code the check to this account. The balance is what you have available to spend on bags.

What is the best way to handle inactive items in QuickBooks?

Submitted by Will on September 02, 2014

Q&A with Will English

Will is a member of a QuickBooks forum where member’s posts issues and questions. Colleagues provide information and solutions to help the consultant properly support their client. They explore and share ideas and advice.

Question from a colleague to the group: One of my client’s has many departments and now has items that are no longer active. They don't want to mark them as ‘Unorderable’ as that is not the case. The items are inactive simply because they no longer carry them, but could order again if needed. Is there a way to simply make items inactive or would it be a good idea to set up a new department for inactive items and move them there?

Will’s reply: You could do that, but they would still show up in the dropdown lists, etc. Assume that you don't want to delete them because they may be reordered. In the olden QuickBooks days when you couldn't make things inactive, we would add a Z to the name. Maybe something like that would work so that they wouldn't see them as they search for things, but they would still be there. By the way, if you do switch departments or change the name, it will not change prior transactions unlike QuickBooks so be careful.

Colleague: Correct me if I'm wrong but if we were to delete them, we would lose all history of them as well.

Will: In Point of Sale (POS) you can delete items without losing history. They will still show up on all of your reports and unlike QuickBooks Financial, you can delete items even if they are used in transactions.

Another group member: To tag onto what Will said, if you think about who POS is built for, it makes sense that you can delete items without losing the history. If you think of a ladies boutique, for example, they will never carry the same fall line of items again. So every item they had in for fall will never be sold again, so they certainly don't want them in the dropdowns or search functions but do still want them in reporting.

Will: You should also keep in mind that if you delete an item and then do something with a document that uses it, like copy a Purchase Order or a Receiving Voucher, it will add the item back in.

Another group member: Funny but true story. Had a client change department names and didn't exactly get the result you would expect. Changes you make to the Department list do not impact the items that are connected to that department. So while the reports will pull the same data as before, I will tell you that I don't delete or change department names for fear of making a mess happen. My point is that unless you are the one doing it, I would just discourage changes to the Department list altogether since as I mentioned and learned the hard way, changing names in the list does not give you the result you expect in reporting since it does not change the departments at the item level. So if you change the Cat department into the Dog department, the change does not occur at the item level so the items are still in the Cat department. Fun huh?

Will: So we have revamped a number of companies’ department lists. As you might imagine, we have seen almost every bad thing done in POS. You can export the item list, edit the department field and then reimport the list. Keep in mind, though, that there is the Before Change reports and the After Change reports, so doing the change at a natural break point, month end, etc., year end, etc. makes the most sense. Then delete any departments that are not needed.

Got a question? Drop us a line: or Contact Us.

Remote File Sharing Solution for QBPOS & QBF

Submitted by Will on July 25, 2014

In our more than 10 years of experience with QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS), one of the most problematic issues is the inability of QuickBooks Point of Sale to synch to a QuickBooks File (QBF) that is not on the local network. What that means practically is that the owner/bookkeeper has to do their accounting work on a machine at the store.

There are several approaches to work through this limitation. Will English has been testing the various configurations and thinks he has determined the best one for the Point of Sale User. In this article, he provides a thorough explanation with step-by-step instructions and screen shots.

Due to the length of this article, we have provided a it as a PDF. Click on Attachment below.

Void or Remove Items from a Receiving Voucher

Submitted by Will on June 26, 2014

Q&A with Will English:
One of our National Park clients uses QuickBooks Point of Sale V2013 and QuickBooks Financial Pro V2014. They recently received an item in QB but it didn’t actually arrive at their store, only a back ordered item. She needed to know the best approach without a lot of clean-up work.

Will’s reply: If you copy the voucher and then change it to a Return Voucher, including changing the date to match the original, then copy it again and make the correction, you should be fine. There will be a Credit Memo that will be created to offset the wrong bill, but other than that, no harm no foul.

QBPOS Tax Codes

Submitted by Will on June 20, 2014

Will is a member of a QuickBooks LinkedIn group where ProAdvisors ask questions and share valuable information to help one another better serve their clients.  A colleague ran across an issue that she needed some advice on.

Colleague: Point of Sale (POS) Tax codes question. I believe the sales tax locations have been set up properly and are properly integrated with QuickBooks Financial Software (QBFS) but all these tax codes are creating some of the problems.
It's a new POS V2013 client. He has about 10 tax codes that he set up himself. In addition to “Tax” and “Non-tax” he has set up other tax codes including “out of state,” “resale,” “gov’t,” etc. His Bookkeeper, an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, has asked for my help because they are having problems with sales tax. Any thoughts?

Will: So, unless you have specific requirements to map the Point of Sale (POS) tax codes to the QuickBooks Financial Software (QBFS) code, I never do. I run the sales tax report out of POS and pay the sales tax that it creates in QuickBooks. I have never found it to be off and all of the inactive items that POS creates are related to how POS creates sales receipts in QBF. By the way, if you think about locations as who you are selling to and codes as what you are selling that will help. I always set up tax locations for Out of State and Resale and instruct my clients never to use the exempt tax location. If they have government sales, we set up a government location, etc.

Non-Inventory Items & Lot Numbers in QB Enterprise

Submitted by Will on May 14, 2014

Q & A with Will English
As a global company offering affordable access to high-quality reproductive health products for women and girls, our client has many facets to their business. They use the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions V2014 financial software to manage the business accounting. They recently wanted to issue a sales order to a customer for a non-inventory item but they couldn’t assign a lot number to it. They immediately reached out to Will for the solution.

Client: We have created the non-inventory item for one of our items but it will not allow her to assign a lot number to it.  Is there a way to add this?  Also, since this is a non-inventory item we need to also figure out how to issue a sales order to the customer for this product.  As there is no inventory to assign to the sales order, how do we do this?

Will: By default, non-inventory items can’t have lots.  I think you guys are thinking of it as non-inventory since you don’t receive it physically, but that is not how QuickBooks looks at it. If you use an inventory type item, it should solve the problem.

Client: Any suggestion going forward? As it stands now, entering the part as a non-inventory part, I cannot receive it in to issue an invoice to the customer.

Will: Why can’t we enter the item as inventory?  I know that you will never receive it but it is still a form of inventory, just not yours.

Client: I will have to receive the part. I need to receive it in so that I can issue an invoice to the customer.

Will: I meant physically. The problem is I can’t assign lot numbers to non-inventory parts, therefore, let’s make it inventory.

Client: Understood. This will have to be Accounting’s call.  The inventory should not sit in inventory for a long period of time. Maybe we can assign a different asset account to explain to the auditors.

Our QuickBooks Class Schedule

Submitted by Will on May 09, 2014

You want and expect to get the most out of your QuickBooks Point of Sale (QBPOS) and QuickBooks Financial (QBF) system.

We now offer a variety of QBPOS classes, held in a webinar format, where you will learn from one of the nation's QuickBooks experts, Will English. Webinars make the classes easily accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
Will is also teaching QBF for San Diego SCORE, an organization that offers small business mentoring and counseling plus low cost education.These classes are onsite in San Diego County.  WillSee below for more information about the speaker and the schedule of all classes.

*If you are new to QBPOS, you need to start with the Fundamentals so you learn the necessary daily tasks. The most fundamental step is learning the building blocks of the software.  

See the 2014 schedule for the EMS Webinars. Register by sending us an email, fill out the online form, or call us.
QuickBooks Point of Sale Fundamentals
QuickBooks Point of Sale Beyond the Fundamentals (various topics)

San Diego SCORE QuickBooks Financial classes. View the schedule, class details and locations.
QuickBooks Financial Basis: July 16th from 1 - 4pmPST

Why are QuickBooks external backups important?

Submitted by Will on March 13, 2014

Q&A with Will English:  Recently one of our retail clients experienced a computer crash, and it was their main computer. What should they do if they can only find the QuickBooks files for last year to extract but not this year? Why is it important to make regular external backups?

Client: I had my main computer crash on me last week and it’s not recoverable.  I have a computer company trying to extract the files out of QuickBooks Financial and QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS), however, they are only coming up with data through 2013; all of 2014 is missing.  Is there a file/folder somewhere that perhaps they aren’t looking at/for that I can guide them to where maybe the software automatically backs up the information?  I did backups myself but even those are missing some of the data as I didn’t do it on a daily basis.  Do you have a suggestion for recovery?

Will: So each time you exit out of the POS program, it should create a backup file depending on the setting.  It will be a folder as follows
c:\users\Public\public documents\Intuit\QuickBooks Point of Sale X.0 (where X is your version)\data\X (where X is your company file name)\backup
The newest backup there can be restored.  If you want to try to get the data file, it has the file name qbpos.db and is in the company file name folder.

As for QuickBooks Financial, the backups could be anywhere. Search for *.qbb for the backup files and *.qbw for the QuickBooks files.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Make external backups on a regular basis so if anything ever happens to your computer, your data will still be stored for easy access.


QB Pro Item Limit Maxed Out

Submitted by Will on February 27, 2014

Will is an integral part of the QuickBooks network of Consultants & ProAdvisors. One of the members needed some input on a QuickBooks Point of Sale (QBPOS) issue their client was having.

Initial question/issue: My client is using QB POS 8.0 Pro level with QB Financial Pro 2009. He is aware that these products are no longer supported by Intuit, but everything has been working smoothly until now. The last POS import to QB was unable to be completed, because the maximum item list limit had been reached. 
Total accounts = 111; Total names = 2164; Total items = 14500
The items do not appear in the Items list in QB Pro.

It has been awhile since I have worked with POS, but since the items "live" in POS, why has the limit been reached on the financial side? What am I not seeing? This is not a great time for upgrading.
Thanks for any insight you POS gurus can offer. 

Answer from one colleague: QBPOS marks the items as inactive so if you changed your view to active items, you would see them. You are in a situation that I have been in before. You could advise the client to upgrade to Enterprise which would immediately solve your problem. Other options would be to build a new file in Pro or condense the file in Pro. The issue though will be how many items do you have in POS currently? If your answer is close to the 14,500 or will be again soon, then Enterprise is your answer. If your client could or already did delete a bunch of items in POS, then you could look at the new file option.

Another colleague replied: Actually the items are in QB Financial Pro, they simply are all 'inactive'. Point-of-sale does this so that QB users are not tempted to make item changes inside QB rather than inside POS. The only way you prevent POS from updating QB with items is to turn off the 'detail level' of sending data to QB from POS. If you ever send details to QB, then items are sent with them; otherwise, the details would not appear within the transactions.

Your client probably should have started a new QB file as of the first of this year, after having gone through and eliminated no-longer sold/stocked items from QB.

Karl at


QuickBooks Financial 2-day Sale

Submitted by Will on February 17, 2014

This is a great deal, & who doesn't love a deal!

Today & tomorrow (Feb. 17 & 18, 2014) only, the QuickBooks (QB) Financial Pro, Premier, & Mac are $100 off MSRP. QuickBooks Accountant is $180 off MSRP. Follow the link below to view a document that shows a side-by-side comparison of the Pro & Premier. QBF for Mac is for the consumer who uses a Mac computer.

QuickBooks helps you get organized to save time. As a business owner or manager, there’s a lot of paperwork to keep track of. Don’t you want an easy way to be organized while saving time? Intuit is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. As a Premier Reseller, we are dedicated to that same goal. Our mission is to empower business owners with the financial information they need to make well informed decisions & be successful.

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See what's important right away: Elegantly designed dashboards and feeds instantly show you the health of your business and your next action steps. That's the beauty of the new QuickBooks homepage.

Work seamlessly across your devices: Have the same information on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android1 so you can stay productive on whichever device you use throughout your day.

Expenses made effortless: Capture receipt photos on your mobile device and attach them to your QuickBooks expenses. No more saving paper receipts and remembering to manually enter them later.

Invoices that make a great statement: Now you can create custom invoices in minutes. Add your company logo, choose your own font, and add a background image and custom fields.

Get your invoices paid fast: Your customers can simply click the Pay Now button on your invoice to pay you instantly online via credit card or bank payment.

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Collaborate with your accountant: Invite your accountant or bookkeeper to securely access your QuickBooks data and collaborate at the same time on documents, anywhere, across all devices.

*Even if you already have the QB software & feel that this information doesn’t apply to you, I bet you know someone who would benefit from it, so please pass this along. Share the helpful information that you find! Also, as your business grows, remember that you will need to add additional users, upgrade software, &/or add the necessary hardware/equipment. Don’t be reactive but be responsive! Plan ahead & be ready.