June 15, 2022
How To Create and Print Custom Reports in Xero
We’re pleased to present this tutorial in Xero, our pick for one of the best QuickBooks alternatives and leading small business accounting software. In this fifth and final lesson of our free Xero tutorials, we’re going to cover how to print reports in Xero, along with how to create and export them. We’ll also show you how to customize basic reporting options. You’ll benefit most from this guide by following along in your own Xero account. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the platform, you can try it for free for 30 days. Step 1: Access the Reports Section To access reports in Xero: Step 1: In the top menu bar, click Accounting. Step 2: Select Reports. The reports screen is divided into five tabs, which you’ll see at the top of the screen: Home: All of the available reports can be viewed here, where you can run a new report Custom: Reports that have been created and saved for your company are shown here Draft: All reports saved as draft either by you or someone else in your company Published: All reports that have been published by you or someone else in your company; these reports are read-only and require an adviser role to create and delete Archived: Any published reports that have been archived by you or someone in your company; these archived reports can be restored if necessary Click on the tab that displays the type of report you’re looking for, then find and open the report. You can use the search field in the top right corner if needed. Search options include report name, description, keyword, report group description, or user who prepared the report. Step 2: Select From the Available Reports Xero ranks high with both its available reports and the ability to customize them to obtain the desired information. You can select from basic financial statements, specialized reports, and other accounting reports—but it’s missing two reports that would be useful in some cases: unbilled time and income/loss by customer. However, it more than makes up for it with 48 reports to choose from and the ability to create your own report with an empty template. Here’s a summary of a few of the most popular reports: Balance Sheet: View your company’s financial position, and what you own and owe at a particular time. Income Statement: Also referred to as a Profit & Loss (P&L), it shows your company’s income, expenses, and profit for a certain period. Aged Payables Summary: View a summary of the amount you owe to each vendor, based on the age of the balance owed. Aged Receivables Summary: View a summary of the amount that each customer owes you, based on the age of the receivable. 1099 Report: Prepare your 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC forms by setting up rules to generate your 1099 report ready to file with the IRS. General Ledger: The activity and balances for all of your accounts are shown here. This includes the General Ledger Exceptions report, which shows irregular transactions. Bank Reconciliation Summary: Compare your balances in Xero with your bank balance, and check for missing, duplicated, or deleted transactions. Depreciation Schedule: View a list of your fixed assets, additions and disposals, and depreciation values. Favorite a Report You can mark a report as a favorite to access it easily from the Accounting menu or at the top of the Home tab in the Reports screen under Favorites. Step 1: In the Accounting menu, click Reports. Step 2: Select the Home tab. Step 3: Search the Reports screen for the report you want or scroll down the report in the list. Step 4: To add a report favorites, select the star icon next to the report’s name. Step 3: Customize the Basic Report Options This will assist you with how to create custom reports in Xero. When generating reports, you can choose how you want to display selected information. To do this, you need the Standard + All Reports, or Adviser user role. The specific settings and how to apply them vary, depending on the report you want to run. You’ll find all report setting options at the top of the report. Here are a few common options that are available with most reports: Columns: Select the checkbox for each column you want to display on the report. Clear a checkbox to hide the column. Grouping/Summarizing: Set whether transaction data is grouped or summarized on your report and what variable it’s gathered by. Select Grouped by to view individual transactions sorted by your selected variable, such as by invoice date. Select Summarize by to display totals only for your selected variable. Filter: Click Filter and select a column to filter by, then enter or select details. As you add more filters, the report displays results based on all of your combined filters. More: Click More to add or remove additional details, such as the two described below. Accounting basis: Located under the More button, select Accrual to show revenue and expenses according to the transaction date. Choose Cash to show revenue and expenses according to the payment date. Decimals: Located under the More button, you can determine whether numbers show two or four decimal places, depending on the column. To show only round numbers, clear the Decimals check box. While it may not be as prevalent, using four decimal places can come in handy if you want the most accurate unit price when calculating inventory costs. Once you have made your changes, click Update to view the results of your report. The next time you open your report, it’ll reset to the default settings. In the example below, we have shown how to customize the date range, comparison period, and accounting basis for an Income Statement. Save a Custom Report Xero allows you to save a report that you have customized to access it easily later. To save a custom report: Step 1: Find and open the report you want to edit. Step 2: Apply the report settings you want to save for reuse. Step 3: Click the Save as Custom button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Step 4: Under Name, enter a new internal reference for the report. This is the name that will show for your custom report, and it can be different from the title displayed on exported versions of your report. Step 5: Select Make custom report the default if you want to apply your custom settings to this type of report (for example, an Income Summary) whenever someone runs it in the future. Step 6: Click Save. To update a custom report, open it to make your changes, and then save it using the same name it was previously saved with. Or you can save the revised report with a new name to create a second custom report based on the first. Step 4: Export & Print the Report Before you can print or export a report, you’ll need to have the Adviser, Standard + All Reports, or Read Only user role. You can export reports in PDF, Excel, or Google Sheets formats. Once you have exported the report to the desired format, you can print it. The below information is useful for how to print reports in Xero: Xero reports in PDF: For a read-only format, you can export reports to a PDF file. It’s recommended that you use Adobe Reader 6 or above to view PDFs. Xero reports in Excel: Old-style reports are exported to XLS, and new-style reports are exported to XLSX. If you’re using a version of Excel that’s older than 2007, then you’ll need to install a compatibility pack to export new-style reports to Excel. Xero reports in Google Sheets: You’ll need a Google account to export reports to Google Sheets. You can share the report with anyone, even if they don’t have a Google account. You can also set the sharing settings to read-only. Export Report Step 1: Select the report you want to export. Step 2: Click the Export button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Step 3: Select either PDF, Excel, or Google Sheets. Step 4: Save or open your exported report. Once the report has been exported, you’ll be able to print it. See below for an example of how to export an income statement to PDF and print the report. Bottom Line You have now learned how to create, customize, and print reports in . This concludes our series of free Xero tutorials. We hope that you have found this information helpful and encourage you to revisit these tutorials as questions while using Xero arise. You may also enjoy our Xero Review where we provide in-depth analysis of Xero pricing and features.
June 15, 2022
5 Free Xero Training Tutorials
Welcome to the Fit Small Business free Xero tutorials. Whether you’re new to Xero or could benefit from a more in-depth understanding of the software, we have five tutorials that will help you. Each Xero tutorial includes an in-depth lesson, complete with text and images.. You’ll find that these tutorials are much more useful if you have a copy of Xero open in front of you so that you can follow along with your own data. Tutorial 1: How To Set Up Your Company in Xero In this tutorial, we’re going to cover how to set up your company in , which includes adjusting your settings, adding users, viewing and modifying your chart of accounts, and importing contacts. Bottom Line You have now set up your company in . Be sure to check out our other four free Xero tutorials. Our next tutorial is “How to Manage Customers and Send Invoices,” which will cover how to adjust settings for your customers and preferences for sending invoices. Read our Xero Review to learn more about pricing and features.
June 14, 2022
How To Pay Bills in QuickBooks Online
In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of how to pay bills in QuickBooks Online by printing checks. You’ll also learn how to submit electronic payments for free through the QuickBooks Online bill payment feature. This guide, one in our series of free QuickBooks tutorials, is designed to help you better learn how to use QuickBooks, our best small business accounting software. To get the most out of our video and step-by-step instructions, we encourage you to follow along in your own account. If you don’t have one yet, you can choose from a 30-day free trial or 50% off for three months. Pay Bills by Check Pay Bills Electronically Why You Should Use QuickBooks Online Bill Pay The QuickBooks Online bill paying service is ideal for businesses wanting more control over when bill payments clear their bank account. If you have several bills and have had difficulty making on-time payments, then QuickBooks Online bill paying can help. To use the QuickBooks Online bill paying service, you must first enter your bills into QuickBooks and then pay them using the QuickBooks Online bill payment feature. QuickBooks will make the accounting entry automatically to show your bills are paid and no longer outstanding. Wrap Up You’ve just learned how to pay bills in . You can now pay bills by either printing checks or using the free QuickBooks Online bill payments feature. The next tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course is How to Enter Bank Transactions in QuickBooks Online Manually. ← Previous Tutorial QuickBooks Tutorials Next Tutorial →
June 10, 2022
Best Small Business Accounting Software for 2022
The best accounting software for small businesses isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and your choice will vary greatly by industry and your personal preferences, which we’ll cover in this guide. We selected our top accounting software for small businesses based on pricing, ease of use, and how they perform across various accounting tasks, such as invoicing, project management, and inventory accounting. Our experts developed an internal case study to evaluate each application and compare them head-to-head. Based on it, here are our top five recommendations, plus a couple of bonus recommendations for alternatives to traditional bookkeeping software: : Best overall small business accounting software with project, class, and location tracking that can be customized for any industry (8.8 out of 10) : Best for use on a mobile app (8.7 out of 10) : Best for managing the books of multiple companies (8.5 out of 10) : Best for unlimited users (8 out of 10) : Best free accounting software for businesses needing only basic tracking of income and expenses (5.7 out of 10) : Best online bookkeeping service as an alternative to do-it-yourself (DIY) accounting software (no score*) : Best accounts payable software for advanced bill pay features and approval workflows (no score*) *Bench and Bill.com aren’t complete bookkeeping systems and, therefore, weren’t evaluated in our case study. However, they’re excellent alternatives to traditional accounting software for small businesses with specific needs. Comparison of Best Small Business Accounting Software See fullscreen table × QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Small Business Accounting Software is our best small business accounting software because of its strong feature set, including the ability to create classes and locations for tracking income and expenses. In our case study analysis, it excelled in inventory accounting, bank account management, invoicing, bill management, and reporting. It’s easy to see why it has 5.5 million small business subscribers. Despite the cloud-based platform’s sophisticated feature set, it’s easy to use and allows you to share data and files effortlessly with employees, certified public accountants (CPAs), and tax professionals. It’s a versatile program that you can customize to industries, such as churches, restaurants, and nonprofits. With tiered subscription levels, it can scale as your business grows or your needs change. Zoho Books: Best Accounting Software for Use on a Mobile App stands out from the other accounting software with its powerful mobile app. We recognized it as the leading mobile accounting app because it can perform almost any accounting task, including sending invoices, accepting online payments, entering bills, and viewing reports. The app also allows the creation of recurring invoices and tracking of time worked, making it our pick for the overall best accounting software for freelancers. The software is one of the many Zoho apps—which includes Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Projects—that can be integrated to give you a comprehensive solution to all your business needs. Zoho Books can be purchased separately as part of the Zoho Finance bundle or as part of Zoho One, which includes all of Zoho’s apps. QuickBooks Desktop: Best Accounting Software To Manage Multiple Companies If you manage multiple businesses, then is for you. All its editions, which we mention later, can be used to keep the books of an unlimited number of companies for a single price—a big advantage over QuickBooks Online. Because of this, QuickBooks Desktop is our top-recommended multicompany accounting software. Another reason to use the program is it works even when you have no internet connection because it’s locally installed. QuickBooks Pro and Premier are the most popular desktop versions of QuickBooks for Windows, and QuickBooks for Mac has similar features to Pro and is even one of our best accounting software for Mac. Xero: Best Accounting Software for Unlimited Users is cloud-based accounting software with features very similar to QuickBooks and Zoho Books. However, unlike those two, all Xero plans include unlimited users. If you need multiple seats to access and work on your accounting software, then this provider is an ideal choice. While its features are comparable to QuickBooks, it’s considerably less expensive, making it one of our best alternatives to QuickBooks. Sunrise: Best Free Accounting Software for Basic Tracking of Income & Expenses by Lendio offers free accounting software for small businesses needing basic tracking of income and expenses and a solid invoicing function. Its main weakness is the inability to reconcile your bank accounts to your bank statements, which isn’t a major problem unless you issue a lot of paper checks. If you’re a small business or a freelancer wanting to know where money is going, you should do well with Sunrise, our best free accounting software. Bench: Best Online Bookkeeping Service as an Alternative to DIY Accounting Software Your time is valuable, and you should consider outsourcing some of your bookkeeping tasks. is our best online bookkeeping service and will complete your bookkeeping for you in their proprietary software starting at only $299 per month. This is far less than you would pay a local independent bookkeeper, and you can even add on tax filing and advisory services for an additional charge. Bill.com: Best Accounts Payable Software for Advanced Bill Pay Features & Approval Workflows makes it easy for businesses to track and pay large numbers of bills quickly and easily by importing bills from email automatically and allowing for a customized approval process—which is why it’s our top-ranking accounts payable software. What’s more, it integrates easily with both QuickBooks Online and Xero. Honorable Mentions for Best Small Business Accounting Software While not rated as best for any particular industry or function, these accounting software programs provide quality options that should be considered. Accounting Software for Niche Industries Some industries have specialized accounting needs that require specialized software. Here are our top picks for specialized industries: Bottom Line There are many terrific small business accounting software applications available, but none of them are as versatile and comprehensive as . However, it isn’t always the best solution, especially if you only have very basic needs and wish to save money. If your priority is mobile accounting, Zoho Books might be more suitable. If your business operates in a very specialized industry, you may find QuickBooks Desktop Premier a great choice.
June 10, 2022
10 Invoice Examples: What To Include + Best Practices
An invoice is a document prepared by a bookkeeper on behalf of a vendor or service provider that shows the details of a transaction and requests payment for the product or service provided. It’s an accounts receivable best practice that you design an invoice that is both effective and personalized to your company. Besides being a request for payment, well-crafted invoices can serve as promotional material with a customized look consistent with your business and industry. 1. Minimal, Classy, and Detailed This invoice, although minimalistic, is highly functional, and includes all of the information necessary in one sheet. It includes the logo, contact information, billing addresses, information table, terms and conditions section, and a small calendar at the bottom. All of these elements add to the sophisticated and trustworthy design. 2. Clean, Sharp, and Professional This invoice design by Aaron Dickey keeps things sleek and professional by using a simple page layout, with a muted, calming block of color. The varying font sizes effectively draw attention to certain points of the design. The title, terms and contact information, and the final thank you note jump out immediately in this invoice example. 3. Vintage If you wish to achieve a more vintage-inspired look, then check out this invoice by Rob Brink’s design and printing service. It efficiently incorporates the critical elements of an invoice and brings in some print-inspired textures throughout to evoke that vintage feeling successfully. 4. Bold Do you consider your brand both friendly and bold? This invoice by BGG Design Studio uses elements that may be suitable for you. It evokes friendliness and confidence as it greets you with a big, confident ‘hello’ and directs you through the document. It plays with scale, color, and font weights effectively to draw all the right kinds of attention. 5. Paper-like Look Have a look at this simple but fun invoice design. This design by Dimitar Stojanov has a paper-like look and feel. Generally, the design is rather simple, but with the added elements of the ruled lines and margins, this invoice is transformed easily from a regular invoice to a fun, memorable one. 6. Accent Color This design is clean, professional, and sharp. It contains all the essential details of a commercial invoice while sporting an interesting color palette. When picking out a color palette, try to choose one accent color so that you can maintain a level of sophistication. 7. Friendly and Personal If you’re looking for a warmer, more personal feel, then this design from BGG Design Studio is for you. It uses a catchy heading, interesting font styles and sizes, and complementary colors while still providing all the necessary details. This invoice looks and feels so friendly that it could make your customer happy to pay for it. 8. Graphic Not a fan of minimalism? This invoice design by Evgeni Yordanov will give your invoice a whole lot of character. The geometric and colorful graphics along the side will give your brand a voice of fun, excitement, and confidence. 9. Playful and Practical Do you want to project a playful image in your invoice design? This one features large lines, easy-to-read forms, and complementary colors, which make it fun and practical to use, although it may not be suited for every brand. Always consider tailoring your invoices with your brand’s image. 10. Assertive This example uses color, scale, and hierarchy to draw emphasis to the most important parts of the invoice, particularly the total sum. It efficiently incorporates all the critical elements while providing clarity for the reader—something that your client will appreciate. Bonus Invoice: Payment-friendly Getting your invoice paid as quickly as possible is probably your priority. This example from Bonsai shows how integrating a quick response (QR) code in your invoice could help you get paid faster. It provides your client with the essential information regarding your invoices and easy access to pay online via their phone or computer. Invoicing Best Practices Bottom Line Look good when you’re billing your customers. Use the above examples of invoices to make sure you know how to create professional invoices that reflect well on your business. If you want your invoicing process to become easier and faster, then try using . QuickBooks Online has different invoice templates that you can use plus an excellent invoice management system that tracks and organizes invoices in one place.
June 3, 2022
How To Write & Print Checks in QuickBooks Online
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to write and print checks in QuickBooks Online for bills that haven’t yet been entered. A subsequent tutorial will cover how to pay bills that have already been entered in the platform. This is part of our Free QuickBooks Tutorial Series, which is designed to help you learn how to execute key tasks in QuickBooks Online, our best small business accounting software. To get the most out of this, you should follow along in your own QuickBooks account. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can choose from a 30-day free trial or 50% off for three months. Why You Should Write and Print Checks in QuickBooks Online Creating and printing checks in QuickBooks Online generally is better than writing checks by hand for several reasons: Checks created and printed in QuickBooks are entered in the check register automatically and will make your bank reconciliation easier. Your expenses are more up-to-date since your bank register is always current. Printing checks is not only easier than writing them by hand, but also looks more professional. There are two methods of paying expenses in QuickBooks Online. The first is to wait until the expense payment is due and then write a check, which is the method illustrated in this tutorial. The second, covered in our next two tutorials, is to enter a bill when an invoice is received and then pay the bill when it is due. Wrap Up You’ve just learned how to write and print checks for expenses that haven’t been recorded as bills in . The next tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course is How To Enter Bills in QuickBooks Online, where you’ll learn the benefit of entering bills as they’re received. ← Previous Tutorial QuickBooks Tutorials Next Tutorial →
June 3, 2022
How To Enter Bills in QuickBooks Online
In this tutorial, you’ll learn step-by-step how to enter bills in QuickBooks Online, which will allow you to track upcoming payments and generate up-to-date expense figures. We created this free tutorial to help you learn how to use QuickBooks Online, our leading small business accounting software. It’s best that you follow along in your own QuickBooks account, but if you don’t have one yet, you can choose from a 30-day free trial or 50% off for 3 months. Why Entering Bills in QuickBooks Is Important Vendors that allow you to make purchases on credit will send a bill with a due date for payment. By entering bills when received, QuickBooks Online can help you track upcoming due dates to make sure bills are paid on time. It’s also helpful to know the total amount of bills or accounts payable (A/P) that your company owes. In a later tutorial, you’ll learn to run an A/P aging report, which depends upon all bills being entered. By entering bills in QuickBooks and paying them as close to the due date as possible, you’ll have better control over your cash flow. Cash flow is often a problem for small businesses, and better control over it’s a major benefit of a good bookkeeping system like QuickBooks Online. Wrap Up Congratulations on learning entering bills in . The next tutorial in our QuickBooks Online Training Course is How to Pay Bills in QuickBooks Online, where you’ll learn how to pay bills by either printing checks or making electronic payments. ← Previous Tutorial QuickBooks Tutorials Next Tutorial →
June 1, 2022
What Is Fixed Asset Accounting? 3 Things You Need To Know
Fixed asset accounting is the process of capitalizing the purchase cost, allocating the cost over the asset’s useful life via depreciation, and removing the fixed asset from the books following a disposal. We go over each in detail and provide examples below. 1. Accounting for the Fixed Asset Cost The largest chunk of a fixed asset’s cost is its purchase or construction price. However, costs incurred to place the asset in service should also be included in the total cost of the fixed asset. It’s a fundamental task of bookkeeping to correctly determine the total cost of the fixed asset because this amount must be capitalized and placed on the balance sheet as an asset versus being deducted against current earnings. You can read our Capitalize vs Expense article to learn more about expenditures that must be capitalized. Here are some examples of expenditures that must be capitalized as the cost of the asset for a few common types of fixed assets: 2. Accounting for Fixed Asset Depreciation Depreciation is a method of allocating the cost of a fixed asset over the life of the asset. Since fixed assets generate revenue for more than one period, it’s important to deduct the cost of the asset over the same period as the life of the asset. Common depreciation methods include the straight line method, double-declining balance, sum-of-the-years digits, and units of production method. Here’s a quick illustration of depreciation. Let’s assume that we have a fixed asset with a cost of $50,000 and salvage value of $2,000. It has a useful life of five years. By applying the straight line method, our annual depreciation expense would look like this: Straight line depreciation = ($50,000 - $2,000) ÷ 5 years = $9,600/year By the end of the asset’s useful life, the book value―cost less accumulated depreciation―will be its salvage value of $2,000 ($50,000 - $48,000). 3. Accounting for a Fixed Asset Disposal At the end of a fixed asset’s useful life, the business owners can either sell the asset or retire the asset. When we dispose of fixed assets, we need to remove the cost of the asset and its accumulated depreciation from the books. If we sell the asset for more than its book value, we recognize a gain. If we sell it for less than its book value, we recognize a loss. By using the preceding example, let’s assume that we sold the asset with a $2,000 book value for $1,100 to a scrap dealer. Our entry to record this disposal transaction would be: Bottom Line Fixed asset accounting consists of recording the asset’s cost, the periodic depreciation over the asset’s life, and the asset’s eventual disposal. You can get a much better measure of profit and loss if you account for your fixed assets properly versus deducting them when purchased, which is often allowed for federal income tax purposes.