Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Undeposited Funds Account in Quickbooks

The undeposited Funds account in QuickBooks is an Asset Account (other current asset) and is a clearing account to record funds received from your customers but not yet deposited in the bank.

When I teach QuickBooks I tell my students to imagine their locked desk drawer or company safe where they place checks received during the week until they go to the bank on Friday and make the deposit.  As the week progresses, checks come in the mail and you record their payment in the customer center (accounts receivable) using the "receive payments" icon on the home page.  On Friday when you are ready to go to them bank to make your weekly deposit (or whatever day you do this, maybe even same day),  use the "make deposit" icon on the home page.  This will show all the checks you have recorded using the "receive payments" task in Quickbooks that have not yet been deposited in the bank.  You check off the ones you are taking to the bank or use the "select all" button and record this deposit.  Be sure you have the correct checking account identified that you are depositing the funds into.

If you notice when looking at your trail balance, balance sheet or chart of accounts list that there is a balance in the "undeposited funds" account you should be able to verify that you have that much ready to go to the bank which you have not deposited.

This is an excellent tool which allows you to get the customers payment recorded to their account immediately but not show it in your bank balance until it really is in the bank.

Remember:  record those customer payments on the date you receive them,  not the date the check was written.

If your undeposited funds account is not reflecting the correct amount (pending deposits that need to go to the bank) give me a call,  I can research and help correct the situation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Smartphone Revolutionizes Video Calling

On Monday June 7, 2010, Steve Jobs of Apple Computers introduced Apple's new smartphone, the iPhone 4. The sleek, ultra-thin device was presented to an audience of software designers at the Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco.

This is the design that was “leaked” and presented on the web by Gizmodo in April. Gizmodo claimed that the phone was left at a bar and sold to them by a third party.

While customer satisfaction rates higher for Android phone users, and Blackberry is the top selling smartphone on the market, Apple can boast that of all mobile web browsing, iPhone is the leader.

Steve Jobs, in his usual superlative manner, introduced several features of the iPhone 4. The design is thinner than any other smartphone on the market. The front and back consist of specially designed glass that is 30 times harder than plastic. Longer battery life allows 40% longer talk-time than previous models.

Many news sources have reported on the technical problems Jobs had when he tried to demonstrate online features of the phone. He openly expressed his frustration, and had to discontinue some of his presentation. Later he said that staff was scurrying backstage. He told the audience that they had discovered that there were 570 people using wireless devices in the immediate vicinity. Most of his audience members were actively communicating on their phones and laptops during the presentation. Steve Jobs laughed and let them know that if they would log off, he could resume his demonstration of the iPhone 4. Presumably enough of them responded, at least those working for Mr. Jobs did, and he was able to continue his demonstration.

Along with Global Positioning (GPS), compass and accelerometer, Apple has added a gyroscope to track movement. The phone can even demonstrate the effects of gravity. Jobs displayed these properties by playing a game of Jenga for the audience, spinning around on the stage, moving the phone in his hands while the audience watched the projected image and the changing perspective. The phone's representation of gravity was seen when the tower fell.

The iPhone 4's display is said to be four times sharper than previous smartphones. “Retina Display” presents 326 pixels per inch, providing an image as rich as the human eye can detect. Objects presented on the screen will appear as sharp as items held in your hand.

The phone's camera capabilities are the most innovative. A 5 megapixel camera with a lens on the front and back is standard on every iPhone 4. This camera has LED flash, and HD video capabilities. The iMovie application is available for $4.99 that allows you to edit and embellish video to create movies which can be shared through texting (MMS), email or youtube.

Steve Jobs brought “The Jetsons” to mind as he introduced the phone's camera-phone capabilities. Apple has designed “FaceTime” which compares to the laptop application, Skype. FaceTime provides video calling through the internet. Apple's demonstration of FaceTime emphasized the value this feature will have for deaf callers who use sign language.

The iPhone 4 retails for $199 for the 16GB model, and $299 for the 32GB model, with a two year AT&T contract. They will be available in the U.S. June 24, and will be in a total of 88 countries by September.

Contributed by :
Patty Harshbarger
Computer Renaissance, Bradenton, FL

Keyboard Shortcuts

This week, a friend asked a question I hadn’t heard lately: What are all the extra keys on the keyboard for? We all know the basic QWERTY and punctuation keys, but there are many other keys that can make life easier once you are familiar with them.

We teach ourselves how to move around and access our favorite tasks, but there are many shortcuts right on the keyboard to simplify things. As we know, each letter key has a lower and upper case that is determined by the position of the “shift” key. In the same manner, depressing the “control,” “alt,” and “Windows” keys change the function of other keys.

Keys that move the cursor around a document allow you to keep your hands off the mouse while typing. The arrow keys move one space at a time. Hold down Control with an arrow key and move one word at a time. “Home” takes the cursor to the beginning of the line, and “End” moves to the far right. Page up and Page down skip through the document.

Online, go to www.SEOConsultants.com/windows/keyboard/ to find a helpful tool. This page has a clickable keyboard with a description of the functions of each key. It is worth the time to check it out and discover the shortcuts that are right under your fingertips. As an example, in order to cut, copy or paste, simply highlight the word or selection, then hold down “control” and press x, c, or v. To switch between your current work and the desktop, hold down the “Windows” key (near the spacebar) and press “D.”

The F keys across the top of the keyboard perform various tasks specific to the program you are using. F1 accesses the Help menu. In Internet Explorer, F11 toggles between full screen and normal viewing mode.

My favorite shortcut when I am web surfing is the backspace key. Press it to go back to the previous screen without using the mouse. Use Page Down and Page Up, Home and End to move quickly through the site.

Customize your copy of Microsoft Word 2007 to meet your needs and make life easier. Click on the icon in the top left corner, or on “File” and go to “Word Options” near the bottom right of that drop-down. Browse through the options there to find new shortcuts and features.

Contributed by:
Patty Harshbarger
Computer Renaissance, Bradenton FL

Friday, May 7, 2010

Types of General Ledger Accounts

Following is a repost (edited) from a prior year post - it is a popular request of small businesses

Sometimes I find that people need the basics. Often in small businesses, employees earn their roles in the company by default. Maybe an experienced bookkeeper left the company so the accounting clerk gets promoted to bookkeeper. Sometimes a couple takes on the role of running a company and choose to take on the accounting, management, marketing and running of the business. This is a big role, too much sometimes for just a couple and can be draining on a relationship as well.

When I work with companies, I usually find an employee who is hungry for all the knowledge I can share and they appreciate the basics. One of the accounting basics I share that seems to be appreciated is a very basic description of the types of accounts in the general ledger. If you number your accounts, or use the standard numbering for your chart of accounts, this theorey will be correct. If your numbering system is a bit different, the numbers may vary but the structure is the same. See what you think:

Basic description of the general ledger acccount types:

  • Accounts beginning with a 1 are Assets. Their normal balance is "debit".  These accounts consist of what you own or what people owe you.
  • Accounts beginning with a 2 are Liabilities. Their normal balance is "credit". Liabilities are what you owe to others.
  • Accounts beginning with a 3 are Equity. Their normal balance is "credit" Equity is the worth of your business, it includes money the owner have put into the company and retained earnings (profit and losses from prior years).
 Assets, Liabilities and Equity appear on your Balance Sheet Financial Report

  •  Accounts beginning with a 4 are Income Accounts. (Sometimes the account number's differ depensing on your CPA, but this number structure is very typical).  Income accounts normal balance is "credit". These accounts record the Income also referred to as Revenue or Sales for your company.
  •  Accounts beginning with a 5 are Cost of Goods Sold Expense Accounts. Their normal balance is "debit". This is the cost for what you buy to make the money listed as Income ie:  the product you purchase (if you have inventory,  this is the cost of the item pulled from inventory).  It could include labor if you pay labor to build a part or to perform a construction job.
  •  Accounts beginning with a 6 are Overhead expense accounts. Their normal balance is "debit". This could include shop and warehouse expenses or equipment expenses.
  • Accounts beginning with a 7 are General Administrative expense accounts. Their normal balance is "debit". This is the cost of keeping your office open, rent, office supplies, utilities, office and officer salaries and wages, etc. for the current year.
  •  800 and 900 accounts may include other accounts not listed above, such as Other Income (normal balance of "credit"), Interest Expense (normal balance of "debit"), Federal and State Taxes (normal balance of "debit").
Income and Expenses Accounts make up your Profit and Loss Financial Statement also known as Income Statement

This numbering structure may vary depending on how your books are set up.  If you are using QuickBooks,  account numbers can be "turned on" in your General Preferences.  Consult with your CPA or financial consultant (or us) before turning them on.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Apple iPad Coming Soon

Apple's new iPad hits the market on April 3. CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in January, announcing that they have created a new product for the niche between the iPhone and the laptop. The iPad is a sleek device with an interactive touch screen. Consumers have been looking for an affordable tablet for years. It remains to be seen whether the iPad can perform up to our ever-increasing processing demands, and whether it finds the market Apple has imagined.

The iPad's 1.5 pound slim design is only a half inch thick and has a 9.7 inch screen. The touch screen senses various gestures to click, zoom and reposition the display. A half-screen keyboard can be displayed for typing. It utilizes standard wireless N and bluetooth. An accelerometer reorients the display when the device is flipped or turned. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours. Full specifications can be found at www.apple.com/ipad/specs/.

In addition to email, web browsing and date book utilities, the iPad makes use of the many newly popular applications designed for smart phones. Since the introduction in January, developers have already begun to provide new apps designed specifically for the iPad. Apple provides easy access to music and videos, and has set up a book store to facilitate eBook use at $14 per volume. Some believe that the iPad is destined to be a device for consumers, driving the ongoing purchase of videos, music, books and downloadable apps.

At the San Francisco unveiling, Steve Jobs smugly sited the Wall Street Journal's comment: “Last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.”

While Apple Inc. is heralding the iPad as a God-send, many are challenging its worthiness. Concerns focus on its processing abilities and the absence of ports for external devices. Others have said that iPad is “a solution without a problem.” It fills a gap between smart phones and laptops, but do we need a device that is too big to fit in a pocket, that cannot handle things as well as a laptop? Bloggers have called it “a big iPhone without the phone” and a laptop without a keyboard.

During his presentation, Jobs glowed that the iPad experience is “intimate” and the web is altogether new when “you hold it in your hands.” Perhaps this was his attempt to counteract slams that the iPad must be held in one or two hands or propped on bent knees.

Jobs also dismissed the closest competitor to the iPad, the netbook, as a slower, less effective laptop. The fact remains that the iPad is less powerful than many netbooks (1 GHz vs. 1.6 GHz). Pricing of the iPad is quite comparable to netbooks.

The appeal of iPad is its sleek, lightweight form. The rush to create applications that has enriched the smart-phone industry will surely bless the iPad as well. If it can live up to Apple's claims of being the coolest way to surf the net, and truly meet consumers' needs, iPad may create a new computer standard.

Patty Harshbarger, contributor to Success In-Formation LLC
PC Group LLC dba Computer Renaissance

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Structure in our lives

I have trained individuals for many years. I have observed and studied the way people learn. You cannot train a person who is an auditory person with only handouts to read, you must talk to them and connect with them verbally to get them interested in learning what you have to offer.

I also observe the structure that people need when they learn. Some people needs lots of structure, step by step instructions and they need to know I am available to help them anytime they need me for questions and help. Others like me to give them an overview of what we are to learn and where we want to be when we are done learning, and then they take off doing it on their own with minimal help from me.

I know that if you take a person out of their comfort zone not only will the end result be disrupted but you will put the person in a tizzy of fear of the unknown.

I was listening to NPR this weekend and I heard an autistic woman being interviewed. (Following is taken from what I remember, not verbatim). She talked about how autistic people think like animals, in pictures. She can visualize a situation all the way through to the end result, seeing it like a video with a successful ending. Like animals, if you put an object in her environment like a loud buzzing noise or an object out of place, it sets off a fear and inhibits learning or life for that matter. It puts her out of her comfort zone. One example is a school bell to break for classes. Once this is understood and modifications are made, she excels in learning. When asked “if you could be changed to not be autistic, would you do it?” she said “no, seeing the world in pictures is too wonderful, many people who only verbalize their thoughts, don’t think thru to the end result and speak in unfinished statements”.

My own comfort zone is disrupted when I don’t know where my next dollar is coming from; some say “faith” helps them know that things will be alright in situations like that. That may be but being a Taurus, I need evidence. My comfort zone is disrupted when papers get stacked too high and the filing is not done, when I take appointments and don’t get them on my calendar, when I don’t understand the new technological tools I need to use to make my life better. When I have company for too long or go somewhere that I don’t feel I “fit in”. But when I have a couple days set aside to clean my house, organize my office, do my bank reconciliations, review my accounts receivable to assure myself that things are moving forward and I have money coming in, I feel good. I need time to cook or bake once in awhile, workout, spend time outside, be with my family; those that accept me for who I am. When those things happen consistently I feel comfortable and am happy with my life.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pandora Music

A wonderful way of listening to your favorite music is to tune into Pandora.  This can be done anywhere you have an internet connection and speakers.  this means, your telephone (if you have internet on your phone), your blackberry or your computer.  Imagine:  You connect your laptop up to nice small speakers to host a party.  These days,  great speakers come in small size which is nice for being portable.  Going on vacation or to your office doesn't mean, you can't take your stereo with you!!

  1. Go to the internet,  then to http://www.pandora.com/.  Register for an account - don't be afraid, just do it.
  2. Once you choose your favorite type of music,  Pandora starts playing songs that are by your favorite artist or by similar artists of your favorite.  You have the option of saying it's not your favorite and Pandora will find another song to play.  This process creates a "saved radio station" for you.  With this saved station,  next time you sign into Pandora,  you just choose your station and all your saved songs are there, plus Pandora starts adding more. 

You can create several types of "radio stations".  I have stations called: "The Beatles", "Women's Music", "Easy Listening", "Blues", "Jazz", "Classical".  Which one I play depends on my mood.

Yesterday as I was painting,  I started out with "The Beatles".  The first song was "Hey Jude".  The songs morphed into a mix of Beatles, Rolling Stones,  Simon and Garfunkle and more from that era,  It was a wonderful nostalgic time for me and motivated my painting experience.

Have fun,  Pandora is free,  it may time out after an hour or so if you don't click "I'm still listening" when the message comes up.

Please let me know by leaving a comment if you liked this post.  If you saw the movie Julia and Julia you know that bloggers never know if anyone is reading unless they get comments.  I sure do appreciate any readers out there and would love to hear back from you once in awhile.  You don't have to register to comment, just be annoymous!