The majority of the QuickBooks® for Mac 2014 new features and improvements will excite accountants the most, we think, since they include several features accountant users have been asking for years. Here is an alphabetical list of changes in QuickBooks for Mac 2014: Adjust Sales Tax, Convert Estimates into Purchase Orders, Customize Columns in Customer and Vendor Centers, Import Journal Entries, Income Tracker, Redesigned Home Page, Redesigned Snapshot, Redesigned Toolbar, Sales Reps, Search in Reports and User Setup Checklist.
Editor’s Note: A special session on QuickBooks for Mac 2014 will be held during the Intuit® Accounting Professionals Conference, Sept. 24-26. Click on the link for details.
The first thing you’ll notice about this new version of QuickBooks for Mac is that is consistent with Intuit’s® new overall “look” of QuickBooks 2014 and the new release of QuickBooks Online. The Toolbar is no longer on the top of the screen, monopolizing space and moving the lower buttons outside the workspace on some transaction screens. Instead, you decide if you want the Toolbar to live on either the right or the left side of the screen, and by dragging the corners of the Toolbar, you can adjust it’s size. The toolbar can also be turned off by clicking Toolbar in QuickBooks>Preferences.
Icons appear on the toolbar, and by hovering over the icons, their descriptions are revealed.
To add or remove icons on the Toolbar, or change the order in which they appear, click the “Customize” icon at the bottom of the Toolbar. It may not be apparent that there are more options than appear immediately, but scroll down or use the small slider on the side of the window to enable access to a range of standard tasks. You can also add custom tasks and reports to the Toolbar by dragging any open window to the bottom of the Customize screen.
For accountants who work in different files, the Toolbar can be custom colored; just click on the gear icon at the top right of the Customize screen. Clicking on the QuickBooks icon on the top of the Toolbar opens the redesigned Home Page.
Redesigned Home Page
The big news here is that the Home Page is now resizable!! This has been an issue for years with Mac users, since there was no way to really get QuickBooks for Mac to fill up the computer workspace. This meant that users often inadvertently clicked on another program in the background and lost focus on QuickBooks, confusing new Mac users in particular, who thought that QuickBooks wasn’t “open” because it didn’t fill up the entire workspace.
The new Home Page is also now really more of a central control panel with the traditional functional navigation area called “Getting Around” at the top of the screen, joined by a redesigned Snapshot and links to Help resources like Intuit Community and Little Square. Clicking on the Intuit Community link, for instance, will take you to the new redesigned Community site, automatically filtered for Mac questions.
New Income Tracker
The redesigned Snapshot also includes the new Income Tracker, a feature that will be familiar to anyone who has used QuickBooks Online. At one glance, company owners see a summary of Paid, Unpaid and Unbilled revenue streams.
Having the Unbilled and Unpaid revenue front and center like this should be valuable to the service providers who represent the bulk of QuickBooks for Mac users, but the feature goes far beyond providing valuable information.
Clicking any category in the Income Tracker takes you to the Transaction Center, where taking relevant action on transactions is fast and easy. Just mouse over a transaction, or select a group of transactions, and an arrow appears. Click on the arrow and a menu of related actions appears – for example, creating an Invoice from Unbilled Time and Costs or converting an Estimate to an Invoice. What’s transformative about the new Income Tracker is that it leads the small business owner into taking immediate action to increase the company’s cash flow.
QuickBooks for Mac now includes a separate Sales Rep list, just like the Windows version has always had. This is great news, because the program now allows the designation of Vendors as Sales Reps, which facilitates 1099 reporting for outside sales reps. This is one of the features we’ve been requesting, so thanks, QB Mac team! The Sales Rep list is accessed from the same place as the Windows version, under Lists>Customer and Vendor Profile.
Adjust Sales Tax
The sales tax feature and related reports in QuickBooks for Mac have been another source of angst for accountants and bookkeepers. In the 2014 version, there is now the option to adjust sales tax due, something that required a cumbersome 3-step process previously in the Mac version. You can adjust before you pay by accessing a separate menu item from the Vendor menu, or directly from the Pay Sales Tax window.
Convert Estimates Into Purchase Orders
You can now create a Purchase Order from the Estimate screen, in addition to creating an Invoice. This is a huge time-saver for small contractors and companies that drop ship goods.
Clicking on Create Purchase Order from an Estimates will open up a screen where you have a choice of creating a PO for all the Items on the Estimate or selecting just the ones you want.
If you select just one item for the PO, such as Appliance, QuickBooks will prefill with the preferred Vendor information for that Vendor.
Import Journal Entries
We may be the most excited by this feature! QuickBooks for Mac 2014 now includes the ability to import Journal Entries made by the Accountant’s version of QuickBooks for Windows 2013 and above. The process is very similar to the Windows version. After creating the entries in the Windows Accountant’s version, save and send them to your client as a .qbj file.
Just like in the Windows version, the client can choose to import some or all of the Journal Entries you send.
This is a significant enhancement for accountant users and their Mac clients because it removes much of the need to roundtrip files between Mac and Windows on a regular basis – something we have been recommending against for years.
Other Improvements/New Functions
In summary, the newest version of QuickBooks for Mac contains several valuable features for accountants and their clients. These new features and improvements will save us time while helping our clients to tune in to the health of their businesses and take action to improve their cash flow and grow their revenue streams. That’s what accounting is really about!
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