October 21, 2021
How To Set Up Recurring Payments To Vendors in QuickBooks Desktop
If you have a vendor or vendors that you pay on a regular basis, you should consider setting up recurring payments in QuickBooks Desktop to streamline your transaction process. Once your payment details are set up, you can move forward confidently, knowing that your vendors get paid the right amount and at the right time. Today, we’ll show you how to set up recurring payments to vendors in QuickBooks Desktop, including how to edit and delete recurring payments. The initial step of setting up recurring payments in QuickBooks Desktop depends on whether you have an existing check for the vendor you wish to pay on a recurring basis. If you haven’t purchased a QuickBooks desktop product yet, consider signing up for QuickBooks Desktop Pro, one of our best small business accounting software, or check out its other desktop products. Visit the Intuit website to learn more about each product, or read our comparison of all QuickBooks Desktop software to help you decide. Watch the video tutorial below and the step-by-step instructions that follow: How To Set Up Recurring Payments in QuickBooks Desktop With a New Check If it’s your first payment, then you need to enter the first check to set up a recurring transaction. To do this, follow the steps below: Write a new check. Memorize the transaction. 1. Write a New Check To write a new check, select the Write Checks icon under the Banking menu on your QuickBooks Desktop homepage: The Write Checks window will appear. To enter your check, you need to enter the following information in QuickBooks Desktop: Bank Account: Select the bank account from which the payment will be deducted. Print Later: Click the box if you want to create the check now but wish to print it later. Pay to the Order of: Select the vendor’s name. No.: If you’re printing the check now, enter the number from the check you’ll place in the printer. Date: Enter the date when you’re issuing the check. Amount: Enter the amount. Address: This field is populated automatically based on the information entered during the payee setup. Memo (optional): Enter additional information to describe the transaction. Expenses or Items tab: Assign the check to an expense account or item. Click on the Save menu on top of the screen. If you need a guide in creating a check, check out our tutorial on how to write and print checks in QuickBooks Desktop. 2. Memorize the Transaction To set up a recurring payment, you need to memorize the check that you created. To execute this, click on the Memorize button on top of the write check screen as indicated by the long arrow in the screenshot above. QuickBooks Desktop will display the Memorize Transaction screen. From here, select the Automate Transaction Entry button, and fill in the following fields: How Often: Select the frequency of the payment. Choose from the options provided, such as daily, weekly, every two weeks, and twice a month. Next Date: Enter the schedule of your next payment. Number Remaining: Indicate a specific number of payment times. For instance, if it’s a 24-month loan, enter 23 (24 including the first check). Days in Advance to Enter: Set a specific number of days prior to the transaction date. Click OK to memorize the transaction. The transaction is recorded in the check register. To view it, click on the Check Register icon under the Banking menu: How To Set Up Recurring Payments in QuickBooks Desktop With an Existing Check If you already have an existing check, follow the steps below to set up a recurring payment: Find the check in the register. Memorize the transaction. 1. Find the Check in the Register Select Check Register from the Banking menu. Highlight the transaction you want to memorize by simply clicking anywhere on the line entry. Tap on the Edit button in the upper right corner of the screen, and then click the Memorize Check drop-down menu: 2. Memorize the Transaction QuickBooks Desktop displays the same Memorize Transaction screen that appears when memorizing a new check. Select Automate Transaction Entry, provide the required information, and click OK to continue. Edit or Delete a Recurring Payment To view memorized transactions, click on the Lists menu on top of the screen, and select Memorized Transaction Lists. As you can see in the screenshot below, QuickBooks Desktop recorded our two memorized transactions: Edit a Recurring Payment If you want to make some changes to your recurring transaction, click on Edit on top of the screen, and select Edit Memorized Transaction. Again, it’ll bring up the memorize transaction screen. Make your desired changes, and click OK to proceed: Delete a Recurring Payment You’ll notice that there’s no option to edit the amount in your recurring transaction. In this case, you need to delete the recurring payment and enter a new one. Deleting a recurring payment also makes sense if your payment has ended and you want to take your transaction out of QuickBooks. To delete a recurring payment, tap on Edit, and select Delete Memorized Transaction: A message prompt will appear, asking if you want to delete the memorized transaction. Click OK to continue: Wrap Up That’s how easy it’s to set up recurring payments to vendors in QuickBooks Desktop. Thank you for your time, and we hope you found this helpful. You might also want to study our tutorial on How to Reconcile a Credit Card Balance in QuickBooks Desktop. If you want to take your desktop file to the cloud, be sure to check out our tutorial on how to convert QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.
October 19, 2021
Dext Prepare Review: Features and Pricing in 2022
Dext Prepare is a business management software that features receipt scanning, expense reporting, and bookkeeping and analytic tools. It integrates with popular accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage Accounting. Especially intended for accountants and bookkeepers, interested users can get Dext Prepare, starting at $25 per month. What We Recommend Dext Prepare for We recommend Dext Prepare for businesses that process a considerable number of receipts per month. With its receipt scanning and item extraction features, it can reduce your workload and automatically record receipts with all important data encoded automatically. Moreover, accountants and bookkeepers will love Dext Prepare because it makes receipt processing easy as Dext Prepare can publish receipts directly into major accounting software. Dext Prepare Is Especially Good for Accountants and bookkeepers: Dext Prepare has Partner Accounts especially built for accountants and bookkeepers. These Partner Accounts allow them to create multiple accounts for their clients and manage them in a single space. Clients can also submit invoices, receipts, and other financial documents straight to their accounts, making Dext Prepare one of our best receipt scanner apps. Business owners: For solopreneurs and manager-owners, Dext Prepare can save you hours of clerical work. You can snap receipts and upload them to Dext and save hours of data entry with line item extractions. Users of major accounting software: Dext Prepare is software dedicated to accountants and bookkeepers. It aims to make accounting work easy because Dext Prepare can integrate with Xero, Sage Accounting, and QuickBooks, our best small business accounting software. Dext Prepare Is Not a Good Fit for Companies needing to manage employee expense reimbursements: Dext Prepare can record receipts but it cannot manage reimbursements. is a great alternative because you can reimburse employees directly via manual reimbursement or bank card. Companies that want assistance scanning receipts: Manual scanning of receipts takes time. If you have that burden in your workplace, you might want to go with . This software also has receipts scanning features and outsourcing options. Through Shoeboxed’s MagicEnvelope, you can outsource receipt scanning to them and wait for your receipts to be uploaded to your account. Companies looking for a receipt scanner within accounting software: Paying for separate software for receipt scanning and accounting can be expensive. Instead, you can go with , which is complete accounting software that includes receipt scanning and expense tracking features. Dext Prepare Pros and Cons Dext Prepare Pricing Dext Prepare, formerly known as Receipt Bank, offers three pricing plans available for monthly or annual billing. You can save up to 20% if you choose the annual billing option. Dext Prepare Features Dext Prepare offers features that can help businesses and accountants manage their books conveniently. Let’s look at Dext Prepare’s most notable features. Workspace Dext Prepare’s workspace is clean and easily understandable and isn’t intimidating for first-time users. Its tabular-style format is neat and doesn’t look cramped, making it easy to read. You can also reorder the items by user, date, supplier, category, and total. The toolbar is a recent addition to Dext Prepare’s user experience redesign. It includes new buttons for easy access and use. 1. Publish: All checked items will be published to the accounting software integrated with Dext Prepare. 2. Archive: All published, downloaded, or processed items will be transferred to the Archive page, where they’ll be stored permanently. 3. Add To Expense Report: Selected items can be included in an expense report that Dext Prepare can generate. 4. Tools: Click to access other tools like bulk edit, export, convert to sale, clear publishing data, flag, unflag, and delete. 5. Search Bar: Search for items in your system through Advanced Search where you can look specifically for particular items based on certain categories. 6. Filters: It can help you see specific items that match the categories. You can check several categories to narrow down your search. 7. Table Settings: You can edit your workspace through the table settings. You can add or remove columns based on the following categories: User Supplier Total Date Category Tax Invoice number Base total Payment Project Type Note/Message Due Date Description Customer Project Item ID 8. Vertical Menu Button: You can see additional features here like the Outstanding Paperwork function. This function is available in Dext Streamline and Optimize Partner. Adding Documents There are several ways to add documents on Dext Prepare. You add through the following: Upload from computer: Upload directly from your computer or use the drag-and-drop feature for ease of use Collect directly from suppliers: By establishing a Fetch Connection in the Connections tab, Fetch will collect documents automatically from authorized suppliers and post them on Dext Prepare within 48 hours Send through email: Send documents using your Dext Prepare email Dropbox: By establishing a Dropbox Connection in the Connections tab, Dext Prepare will have a dedicated folder on your Dropbox account; upload any file and it’ll upload it to your Dext Prepare account automatically PayPal: By establishing a PayPal Connection in the Connections tab, Dext Prepare will check your PayPal account for payments and automatic payments automatically at 24-hour intervals When adding documents, you can immediately classify them into three major categories: Costs, Sales, and Bank. Use the Costs panel to add bills, receipts, and purchase invoices. For sales invoices, use the Sales panel. All of your bank statements go to the Bank panel. Effortless Expense Reports Dext Prepare can generate expense reports automatically with the Effortless Expense Reports feature. With this feature, you have the option to choose weekly, bimonthly, or monthly as the period of reporting. When you activate this feature, you need to select employees that you want to have the Effortless Expense Reports feature on their account. Dext Prepare recommends that only employees submitting expense items should use this feature. Data Extraction Once you’ve uploaded documents to Dext Prepare, the software’s automatic extraction will gather all the necessary information. Dext Prepare can extract the following information: Original document image Type of document, including receipt, sales invoice, and credit note Document date Supplier Currency Total amount paid or due Tax amount Invoice number Payment method Dext Prepare Alternatives Bottom Line shows promising features that can compete with its direct competitors. Moreover, we find Dext Prepare―formerly known as Receipt Bank―as a suitable app for any business. Dext Prepare is best suited for small businesses since it provides a convenient way for them and their accountant to upload invoices and receipts. With Dext expanding into different software solutions in the near future, we’re excited to see how Dext will interconnect software products.
October 18, 2021
5 Best Recurring Billing Software in 2022
Recurring billing is a feature of some invoice software that many businesses use to invoice their customers automatically on a specific schedule, such as on a monthly or annual basis. Creating recurring invoices can save you time and help you to avoid invoicing errors. There are two common reasons to create a recurring invoice: either you’re invoicing a customer for the same purchase on a routine basis or you’re invoicing a customer on a certain date on a routine basis. We looked at a variety of software that provides these solutions. Here are our top choices for the best recurring billing software, including the best free and best stand-alone software: : Best overall recurring billing software : Best recurring invoice software when collecting sales tax : Best recurring billing software with a customer portal to manage invoices : Best free recurring billing software in a bookkeeping system : Best stand-alone recurring billing software FreshBooks: Best Overall Recurring Billing Software first became known as an invoice generator, but it has evolved into a comprehensive bookkeeping software that’s able to create personalized invoices seamlessly. We selected it as the overall best invoicing software, and for good reason: it combines professional-looking invoices with a full bookkeeping system. With its intuitive user interface, creating a recurring invoice is simple, and the additional sales forms available allow you to customize your interactions with every client. FreshBooks is an ideal choice for freelancers and independent contractors who are looking for an effective solution for invoicing their clients. Creating a Recurring Invoice With FreshBooks, you can create a recurring template that generates invoices automatically based on the frequency you choose. This is useful for businesses that charge a monthly subscription fee for their services, such as a software company, or ongoing work that occurs on a regular basis. Recurring invoices can also be paid using recurring payments. To set up your recurring template, you would fill it out like any other invoice, and then adjust the settings, which allows you to set up a recurring schedule, accept online payments, and send reminders at customizable intervals: Key Features Estimates and proposals: FreshBooks supports two additional sales forms—estimates and proposals, both of which can be converted to invoices. They can accommodate descriptive text and tables and can span several pages. Mobile app: Available for both iOS and Android, the FreshBooks mobile app allows for accounting and invoicing on the go and automatic mileage tracking. Invoice customization: FreshBooks has a wide range of customization options, and you can choose from a gallery of free invoice templates in PDF, Google Docs, Word, or Excel. Expense tracking: All FreshBooks plans include expense tracking features, with the ability to set up auto-categorization of expenses, manage multicurrency expenses, and assign recurring expenses. You can also take a photo of receipts and store them in the cloud. Our Expert Opinion The invoicing features available with FreshBooks’ plans distinguish it from other recurring billing software. Although recurring invoices aren’t included with the Lite plan, you can select from a variety of customizable designs and receive updates when invoices have been viewed or paid online with all plans. These features are also available on the powerful mobile app. QuickBooks Online: Best Recurring Invoice Software When Collecting Sales Tax Our pick for the overall best small business accounting software, has a couple of unique features that assist with collecting sales tax on invoices. Unlike the other software in this guide, QuickBooks can add the correct sales tax to invoices based on the location of the transaction. This is especially useful if you make taxable sales in multiple jurisdictions like cities or states. The software tracks the sales tax you have collected, making it easier to prepare your sales tax returns. Because there’s no limit to the number of clients invoiced or invoices sent, you have the freedom to send recurring invoices as needed. Creating a Recurring Invoice When you create recurring invoices in Quickbooks Online, you’re leveraging a powerful tool that will assist in streamlining your invoicing process. To schedule a recurring invoice, you can either make it recurring via the View/Edit menu or create a template from scratch by clicking the gear icon on the dashboard as shown above. The Recurring Transactions screen in QuickBooks Online summarizes the invoices that have been created, showing the status of each: Key Features Customized billing: You can use recurring invoices even if some of the billed items may change on each invoice. QuickBooks will save the standard items as a template and allow you to input the remaining items when you’re ready to send the new invoice. Recurring Transactions screen: This screen lists all recurring transactions, which include the template name, type of transaction, interval, previous and next transaction dates, the customer or vendor, and transaction amount. It’s important to review this information on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. Invoice reminders: When an invoice goes unpaid, it’s a good idea to follow up with an overdue invoice reminder email. You can send these types of emails either in a batch or individually. Sales tax calculation: When you record a sales transaction in QuickBooks Online, you can accept the default tax or choose a different tax item if needed. QuickBooks will calculate the sales tax amount for the sales transaction, tracking it for future sales tax payments. Our Expert Opinion QuickBooks Online is an excellent accounting and invoicing software that will let you create, send, and track your invoices. It gives you access to different types of invoice templates, making it customizable and more convenient to use. Its sales tax features make it an ideal choice for product businesses that have customers from a variety of multiple tax jurisdictions. The recurring invoice function also provides your customers the option of when and how much to pay. Zoho Invoice: Best Recurring Billing Software With a Customer Portal to Manage Invoices One of over 40 apps in the Zoho suite of products, has the distinction of being free forever for all small and medium-sized businesses. Sharing invoices is simple, with the option to schedule emails for a later date or time or send out invoice links with expiration dates. Zoho Invoice’s client portal is better than any of the software in this guide, and allows your clients to access their estimates, invoices, and unbilled time for projects in one place. They can also access their statement of accounts and accept or decline estimates and make payments in the client portal. Creating a Recurring Invoice To access recurring invoices, you must first enable this module from the preferences. You can do this by clicking on the gear icon, then Preferences, General, and Recurring Invoice. As shown above, you can create a new recurring invoice template and customize the billing interval with optional start and end dates, assign the invoice to projects, enter payment terms, and specify a salesperson: Key Features Client portal: With the client portal, your clients can keep track of all of their transactions with you. You’ll receive a notification when your clients have viewed or paid for an invoice with a real-time status view. You can also enable project details, so your clients can view projects, associated tasks, and logged or unbilled hours. Recurring invoice reports: You can obtain consolidated information of all recurring profiles in the system, along with the details about payment failures, payment retries, and card expiration dates. Estimates and proposals: You can convert estimates and proposals to invoices in one click and add customer notes or terms and conditions. You can also view the estimate history, including discounts offered and client interaction. Project invoicing: With Zoho Invoice, you can create multiple projects per customer and assign time and expenses by project. You can include these expenses as part of client billings once they’re assigned to projects. Our Expert Opinion Zoho Invoice’s client portal allows you to collaborate with your clients in real-time, allowing you to finalize an estimate or negotiate a deal quickly. You can accept online payments from customers. For subscription billing, Zoho Invoice integrates with Zoho Subscriptions, and it also allows for digital signatures with the Zoho Sign integration. You also have the option to give discounts at item level or invoice level, depending on your requirement. However, Zoho Invoice isn’t a complete bookkeeping system unless you subscribe to Zoho Books. Sunrise: Best Free Recurring Billing Software A free cloud-based accounting application for small businesses and freelancers, allows users to create customized invoices, add discounts, and process refunds. While Sunrise doesn't have all the invoicing options of the paid software in this guide, it will likely suffice for service-based businesses that don't need to track hours. The recurring billing feature sends invoices to clients and charges their credit card automatically. We also ranked Sunrise as the best free accounting software for freelancers due to its comprehensive suite of features and ability to send status updates when invoices are paid. While there’s a paid version available, the free version is generally sufficient for freelancers. Creating a Recurring Invoice Sunrise helps you to put your invoices on auto-pilot, and creating a recurring invoice is as simple as selecting the recurring invoice and clicking “Create recurring invoice.” As shown in the example above, you can also make a line item recurring, or leave it as a “one-time line.” Once you have added the product details and pricing, pick the start and end date for the sequence of recurring invoices, set the repeat time frame, and customize the message you want to send: Key Features Email reminders: Once you set up recurring invoices, Sunrise will send out reminders to your customers. It’ll also allow them to set up automatic payments, ensuring that your invoices will be paid on time. You can also send an extra reminder when you feel like your customer might need one. Mobile app: The Sunrise mobile app performs most accounting functions, including attaching images of receipts. You can view, create, and edit invoices and see their status, as well as send them directly from your device. Status updates: Invoices will be clearly marked as unpaid, paid, or overdue, eliminating guesswork as to their status. Customer discounts: You can easily offer discounts to your customers by selecting the percentage or dollar off that you want to apply per product. Our Expert Opinion Sunrise supports much of the functionality that a sole proprietor or freelancer might need, which includes recurring invoices, quotes, and estimates. If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a complete bookkeeping system, Sunrise is a good option. Invoicera: Best Stand-alone Recurring Billing Software With a variety of automations and customizations, strongest feature is invoicing. “Invoicing simplified” is its motto, which is evident with its ability to automate invoicing, subscriptions, and payments. It’s an all-in-one invoicing software that allows for template customization and you can accept payments directly from the invoices with your choice of more than 30 payment gateways. You can also activate an invoice approval workflow and invoice PDF protection. Unlike all the other software in this guide, Invoicera is only an invoicing system, so you'll need to integrate it with a bookkeeping system if you want financial statements. Creating a Recurring Invoice If you want to send recurring invoices to your clients automatically at chosen intervals of time, you need to fill in the form for recurring invoices, as shown above. Be sure to select the frequency, and you can also select Auto Billing if you want to receive payments from your clients automatically without entering credit card details manually every time: Key Features Multilingual and multicurrency support: Invoicera supports more than 120 currencies and you can send invoices in at least 16 different languages. You can opt to set your own exchange rate or let the software handle it for you. Client portal: The easy-to-use client portal allows clients to pay for or dispute invoices as well as accept, reject, or comment on estimates. Estimates: You can duplicate and copy estimates to quickly create a new one for a client. You can also convert estimates to invoices and auto-schedule estimates. Project management: Projects and tasks can be created and assigned to specific staff members or clients, and you can attach billable and unbillable time to projects as well as important documents and incurred expenses. You can also set task priorities within a project. Our Expert Opinion Invoicera offers strong recurring billing features with the ability to send invoices in at least 16 different languages and more than 30 payment gateway options for accepting online payments. Other features include project management, estimates, and auto-billing. Its subscription billing platform offers real-time reporting and the robust mobile app allows you to create invoices on the go. How We Evaluated Recurring Billing Software There are a few important features to keep in mind while evaluating the best recurring billing software, which includes the ability to customize invoices and to accept multiple currencies. Our criteria to help assess the best recurring billing software included the following: Customer portal: You can give your clients an easy, professional, and secure portal that allows them to view and pay invoices as well as approve or reject estimates. Invoice customization: These options vary from changing the color or font, uploading a logo, or adding custom messages. Estimates and proposals: The best recurring billing software allows you to easily convert estimates and proposals to invoices, saving you time and increasing your productivity. Reports: The best recurring billing software provides detailed reports that help you to understand your customers’ behavior better. This includes detailed invoice reports, payment failure reports, and cancellation reports. Invoice restrictions: Many recurring billing software have restrictions on the number of invoices or clients allowed per month. Ideally, there would be an unlimited number for both. Multicurrency and multilingual support: For companies that want to expand internationally, the software you decide to implement must be accessible to users from different countries, whether that’s with multilingual invoices or the ability to accept global payments. Bottom Line Recurring billing software is specifically designed to prevent late payments, automate invoicing, and take the stress out of the process. Whether it’s a free solution or software that provides extra features such as a client portal or automatic sales tax calculation, these options are suitable for many types of small businesses. The best option for you is the one that suits the needs of your particular industry.
October 18, 2021
How To Pay a Credit Card Invoice in QuickBooks Desktop
The process of paying a credit card invoice in QuickBooks Desktop depends on whether you’re reconciling your credit card account. In this tutorial, we’re going to cover the process of paying a credit card invoice in QuickBooks Desktop when you’re reconciling your credit card account and paying without reconciling your account. To understand each step in this lesson better, we recommend that you follow along in your QuickBooks Desktop account. If you haven’t purchased a QuickBooks Desktop product yet, you can choose from QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, or QuickBooks Desktop Accountant. We compare QuickBooks Desktop products to help you decide which product is best for you. We included QuickBooks Desktop Pro in our list of the best small business accounting software. If you subscribe to Pro, you’ll get a 33% discount on your first year of subscription. You can visit the Intuit website to learn more about QuickBooks Pro and the other desktop products. The following video tutorial is illustrated using QuickBooks Premier, but the process is essentially the same with QuickBooks Pro: How To Pay Your Credit Card Invoice When Reconciling Your Credit Card Account While you can write a check to pay your credit card invoice without reconciling your credit card account, we always recommend performing a reconciliation. Reconciling your credit card account before you pay your credit card invoice is a good practice because it allows you to catch potential errors made by your vendor or your credit card company easily. Reconciling your credit card transactions also helps reduce the possibility of fraud in your company. Paying a card invoice when reconciling your credit card account can be accomplished in two simple steps: Reconcile your credit card account. Make a payment or enter a bill to pay later. 1. Reconcile Your Credit Card Account First, you need to reconcile your credit card account. If you’re not familiar with the process, you can check our tutorial on how to reconcile a credit card balance in QuickBooks Desktop. When you have successfully cleared your transactions, click on the Reconcile Now button on the lower left side of the reconciliation screen, as shown below: When you click Reconcile Now, a small pop-up screen will appear asking how you want to make your payment. You can write a check for payment now (A) or enter a bill for payment later (B). Click on your desired payment option and tap OK. This is where the payment process actually starts: A. Write a Check for Payment Now The Write a Check for Payment Now button leads you to the Write Check screen, as shown below. From the Write Check screen, make sure to enter the required information, including the following: Bank Account: Select the bank account where you want to pay the amount. Print Later: Check this box if you want to create the check now but wish to print it later. Pay to the Order of: Enter the name of the vendor. This will be generated automatically by QuickBooks Desktop. No.: If you wish to print the check now, make sure to enter the correct number from the check you’ll place in the printer. Date: Enter the date when you’re issuing the check. Amount: Enter your desired amount. You can enter a portion or the total amount due. Address: This field is generated automatically based on the payee information you entered in QuickBooks Desktop. Memo (optional): Enter additional information like the purpose of the payment. Expenses or Items Tab: QuickBooks will record this payment in your credit card liability account automatically as shown in the Expenses tab. After entering all information, click Save & Close, and your credit card invoice will be paid. You can check out our detailed tutorial on how to write and print a check in QuickBooks Desktop for more information on the Write Checks screen. B. Enter a Bill to Pay Later Now, let’s go to the other option which is to enter a bill for payment later. When you click on the Enter a Bill for Payment Later button, you should see the Enter a Bill screen. From here, you need to populate several fields, including the following: Vendor: Enter the vendor for whom you’re paying the bill. Address: This field is automatically populated based on the information you entered during vendor setup. Date: Enter the date of the credit card statement. Ref. No (optional): Assign a unique number to your bill. Amount Due: Enter the total amount of the credit card bill that you wish to pay this month. Bill Due: Enter the due date of the bill. Terms (optional): This is generally not applicable for a credit card bill. Memo (optional): Enter additional information, such as ”Bill for October Credit Card Payment.” Expenses and Items Tab: As with a check, QuickBooks will record the bill as a reduction in your credit card liability. Review your entry and click Save & Close. Paying the Bill When you’re ready to pay the bill, click on the Pay Bills icon on your QuickBooks Desktop homepage: From here, you should see the bills that you entered previously: Simply click on the checkbox next to the bill, enter the date when you’re paying the bill, choose the check method, and enter your company checking account. Tap Pay Selected Bills and your bills will be paid. So, that’s how you pay a credit card invoice when you’re reconciling your credit card account. How to Pay Your Credit Card Invoice When You’re Not Reconciling Your Account If you’re not reconciling your account, follow the steps below: Write a check. Print the Check (optional). 1. Write a Check Click on the Write Checks icon on your QuickBooks Desktop homepage: From the Write Checks screen, provide the required information, such as the bank account, pay to the order of (vendor), and amount. Click Save & Close, and your credit card invoice is paid: Be sure to choose your credit card account on the Expenses tab. 2. Print the Check You can choose to print the check now or print it later. Make sure to enter the number of the first check in the starting check number: Wrap Up There you go—the process of paying a credit card in QuickBooks Desktop. Again, it’s a good practice to always reconcile your credit card account when paying a credit card invoice in QuickBooks Desktop. We hope you found this tutorial helpful! If you’re considering a switch to QuickBooks Online, be sure to check out our tutorial on how to convert QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.
October 11, 2021
What Is QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping & Why Use It
QuickBooks Live matches QuickBooks Online users with a dedicated QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor that will help you get your books up-to-date and then will do the basic monthly bookkeeping tasks of categorizing your monthly expenses and reconciling your bank accounts. Since QuickBooks Live is owned by QuickBooks, you can rest assured you’re getting the highest quality QuickBooks assistance available. Even if you’re capable of performing these tasks yourself, QuickBooks Live can do it better and faster for as little as $200 per month, so you can focus on managing your business. 8 Ways QuickBooks Live Will Save You Time & Money Before dismissing QuickBooks Live as unnecessary or too expensive, think about the opportunity cost of performing your own bookkeeping. You might think doing your own bookkeeping is free, but is it really? What else could you be doing if you weren’t spending time on bookkeeping? If you typically charge customers $80 per hour, and you’re spending just 10 hours a month on bookkeeping, you’re missing out on $800 of revenue. Here are the top ways that QuickBooks Live will save you time and money. 1. Dedicated QuickBooks Contact Even though QuickBooks Online is easy to use, you’ll most likely have questions while you’re learning to use it. With QuickBooks Live, you’ll be assigned a dedicated QuickBooks ProAdvisor that will handle your account. You’ll contact them if you have any questions. You won’t have to start each conversation from scratch, as they’ll know all about your business. That will save a lot of time and frustration. 2. Year-Round Assistance QuickBooks Live will help you year-round. Too many business owners waste their time doing bookkeeping during the year, only to have to pay a professional to fix everything at tax time. Not only is this inefficient, your books are only accurate once per year. With a ProAdvisor keeping your books, you’ll have accurate numbers anytime you need them. 3. Transactions Are Imported and Categorized Automatically The days when expenses and income had to be entered manually are over. QuickBooks users can connect their bank and credit card accounts to have transactions transferred automatically. With QuickBooks Live, your ProAdvisor will manage the bank connections and classify the transactions as they’re transferred. Of course, you’ll have the opportunity to change their classifications, and they’ll ask you if they’re unsure of a category. 4. Eliminate NSF Charges By tracking your bank account transactions and reconciling them monthly, QuickBooks Live allows you to always know exactly how much money you have available in your account. 5. Professional Up-to-Date Financial Statements Good books are not just for tax returns. Banks and insurance companies will often request financial statements from small companies, and you can impress them by immediately providing up-to-date statements for the prior month. 6. Reduce Tax Preparation Fees The reduction in tax preparation fees alone might pay for your QuickBooks Live subscription. As an experienced tax professional, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the time spent cleaning up a client’s books far outweighs the amount of time actually spent preparing the tax return. Thanks to your QuickBooks Live ProAdvisor, your tax accountant can use your financial statements to prepare your tax return with very little extra work. 7. Leading Small Business Accounting Software QuickBooks Live works exclusively with QuickBooks Online, which we rate as the Best Small Business Accounting Software and dominates the market for such software. If you’ve outgrown your spreadsheets or free accounting software, QuickBooks Live will make it easy to get set up and start using QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Live will help you with the process by setting up your chart of accounts and transferring your prior transactions. You can learn more about the features of QuickBooks Online in our detailed review or learn about its most popular uses in What is QuickBooks. 8. QuickBooks Live Has Your Back You’re still in charge of your books. You’ll need to invoice customers, accept payments from customers, and pay bills, among other things. However, you can schedule multiple monthly meetings with your dedicated bookkeeper for assistance in learning how to do these and other basic bookkeeping tasks. How QuickBooks Live Works QuickBooks Live requires a subscription to QuickBooks Online. Once subscribed to QuickBooks Online, you can activate QuickBooks Live easily, schedule a meeting with your QuickBooks ProAdvisor and be on your way to clean, worry-free accounting. Subscribe to QuickBooks Online If you don’t already have a subscription to QuickBooks Online, you can visit and easily sign up. New users can choose between a free 30-day trial or 50% off for three months. If you need help choosing between Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus, you can read our comparison of QuickBooks Online plans. QuickBooks Live doesn’t support QuickBooks Self-Employed, so be sure to choose the Simple Start or higher plan. Activate QuickBooks Live and Schedule a Consultation You can activate Quickbooks Live from the left menu bar of your QuickBooks Online account by clicking on Live Bookkeeping: The next screen allows you to schedule a consultation by clicking on the green Get a free consultation button: You can schedule your consultation by chat, telephone, or choose your date and time in their online scheduler. Cleanup Existing Bookkeeping Once you’ve completed the initial consultation and chosen the plan and a ProAdvisor that best suits your business needs, the first task will be to get your business set up in QuickBooks Online. If you’re brand new to QuickBooks Online your ProAdvisor will help you customize your books from scratch and then bring over any existing financial information into QuickBooks Online. Once all the information is in QuickBooks Online, they’ll bring everything up-to-date and provide you with current financial statements. Monthly Service Once your existing bookkeeping is clean and up-to-date, you’ll settle into your monthly bookkeeping routine. Your ProAdvisor will use a bank feed to import all of your banking activity from both bank and credit card accounts. They’ll need your help classifying the expenses, especially at first, but as time goes on, QuickBooks will start making recommendations that you can simply accept. At the end of the month, your ProAdvisor will reconcile the transactions in your QuickBooks accounts to your actual bank and credit card statements to identify any discrepancies. These monthly reconciliations are the heart of any good bookkeeping system and ensure that your books are complete and accurate. Once all the accounts are reconciled, your ProAdvisor will provide you with financial statements including a balance sheet and a profit and loss (P&L) statement. Under a monthly service plan, you can meet with your ProAdvisor virtually to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding your books or how to use QuickBooks Online. There’s no limit on the amount of time you can spend with your bookkeeper per month, but you’re only allowed to schedule one appointment at a time. Most users meet with their bookkeepers once or twice a month. You can read our full review of QuickBooks Live for additional information on the features and processes of their service. Quickbooks Live Pricing QuickBooks Live charges a one-time fee of $500 to help set up your QuickBooks Online account and update your books. After that, the monthly bookkeeping fee varies depending on your average monthly expenses over the prior three months: What QuickBooks Live Does Not Do The QuickBooks Live service is limited to importing your bank and credit card transactions, reconciling your accounts, providing financial statements, and helping you to learn to use QuickBooks. There are still several important tasks that you’ll need to do on your own: Manage customer invoices: You’ll be in charge of issuing invoices to your customers and assigning customer payments to the proper invoices when received. Manage and pay bills: QuickBooks Live will record your expenses as they clear your bank or credit card account, but you’re still responsible for actually making the payment. You may also want to record bills when you receive them so that QuickBooks Online can keep track of how much you owe each vendor and when it’s due. Payroll: QuickBooks Live doesn’t provide any payroll services. However, you can enroll in for an additional cost. Sales tax payments and filings: QuickBooks Online has a great sales tax function for collecting and remitting sales tax as well as filing the return but you’ll need to learn to do this yourself. Income tax filing: You’ll need to work with a separate income tax preparer to file a tax return. However, the process should be simple since you can invite them to view your QuickBooks Online account as an Accountant User, and your books will be clean and up-to-date. We have 46 Free QuickBooks Online Tutorials to help you learn to use QuickBooks to bill your customers and pay your bills, plus many other great features. Your ProAdvisor will help you understand your financial statements but cannot provide any further financial or business advice. They also cannot provide tax advice. Bottom Line While doesn’t completely relieve you of your bookkeeping burden, it does make sure the heart of your bookkeeping is sound and up-to-date by importing transactions, reconciling accounts, and printing financial statements. At only $200 per month for small businesses with less than $120,000 in annual expenses, it’s a bargain that won’t only provide you with more reliable financial statements but should also save you time and money on your tax return preparation.
October 6, 2021
7 Best Free Invoice Generators in 2022
Any freelancer or small business owner is familiar with the headaches that can come with creating and managing invoices. One of the easiest ways to deal with this is by using an invoice generator, which simplifies the billing process. These invoice generators were designed to assist you with your invoicing needs and are also free—ideal for any budget. The right solution for you will depend on your particular needs and how complex your invoices are: : Best overall free invoice generator : Best free invoice generator for occasional invoices : Best free bookkeeping software that includes invoicing : Best free invoice generator for sending invoices without setting up an account : Best free invoice generator for accepting POS and online payments : Best free invoice generator for mobile devices : Best free invoice generator for frequent invoicing Zoho Invoice: Best Overall Free Invoice Generator is a free invoicing and billing software for small businesses. Along with a free invoice generator, it also comes with other free features including an estimate generator, revenue forecaster, income tax calculator, expense report generator, and stock keeping unit (SKU) generator. Zoho Invoice seamlessly integrates with other Zoho apps and also with Stripe, PayPal, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Its interface is easy to navigate, and it supports multiple currencies and languages. Key Features Self-service client portal: Your customers will log into the portal to view and pay invoices, and you will receive an alert. Users can also share project data with clients, accept or decline estimates, or provide comments and feedback. Customizable invoices: You can select the invoice template and customize it with your logo, font, and colors. Mobile app: Zoho Invoice has a full-featured mobile app that is also available on Apple Watch. It allows you to send invoices, estimates, and account statements to customers via iMessage, and use the time tracking widget for billing. Multiple currencies and languages: Not only do you have the ability to send your invoice in your customer’s currency, but you can also select from a variety of languages. Time and reimbursements: You can track time, mileage, and billable expenses, which you can add to invoices. Creating an Invoice You can create invoices in Zoho Invoice by either importing them from other systems or by creating them manually. There is an option to create either recurring or nonrecurring invoices. Zoho Invoice will generate recurring invoices automatically and send them via email at a scheduled date and time. Nonrecurring invoices can be created on the Invoicing tab, as shown below: Our Expert Opinion Zoho Invoice is a comprehensive invoicing website that is suitable for startups and sole proprietors. It is both flexible and easy to navigate, with intuitive features and a powerful mobile app that allows you to create invoices on the go. It also integrates with several other Zoho products, including an expense report generator. You will have access to many advanced features, such as time tracking and the ability to invoice in multiple languages and currencies, all at a price that is free forever. Read Zoho Invoice Review ZipBooks: Best Free Invoice Generator for Occasional Invoices is a free cloud-based invoicing software for small businesses. In addition to its invoicing capabilities, it also has time and expense tracking features. Its user interface is easy to navigate, and it has an intuitive design. Its Starter plan offers a good variety of features, including the ability to connect a single bank account, track unlimited customer and vendor details. ZipBooks also has a unique feature in that it assigns each invoice you create an “Invoice Quality Score,” which suggests what details matter so that you can get paid faster. Because you have to type each invoice and this can take time, ZipBooks is best for occasional invoicing. Key Features Customizable invoices: ZipBooks offers a variety of customizable invoices that can be sent as a PDF, or it creates a link automatically for your customer to access the invoice. Late payment reminders: The ability to send late payment reminders to customers is a convenient feature that allows you to stay on top of your accounts receivable (A/R). Ease of use: ZipBooks consistently receives high praise for its ease of use as well as its highly intuitive and color-coded user interface. Invoice Quality Score: ZipBooks created the Invoice Quality Score to let you know how your invoices rate on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more likely you are to receive optimal outcomes like getting paid on time. Time and project tracking: You can track time by multiple activities, create projects and assign them to customers, and then add specific tasks to those projects. These are paid features that are available with the Smarter and Sophisticated plans. Creating an Invoice ZipBooks gives you the option to invoice your customers manually or to set up a subscription for continuous billing that you can customize to your needs. As shown below, you have the option to add a logo, either save your invoice as a PDF and email or print and send it. ZipBooks will also automatically create a link for your customer to access the invoice: Our Expert Opinion ZipBooks is an intuitive bookkeeping software that comes loaded with an extensive feature set. It simplifies the complexity of accounting by automating as many processes as possible. It is also uniquely programmed to give you business advice and health scores based on the data you’ve entered. Although lacking in some areas such as inventory management, ZipBooks offers an easy-to-use interface and an excellent time tracking capability. The free Starter plan is especially beneficial for new businesses or businesses that would like to save money while not compromising capable accounting. Read ZipBooks Review Sunrise: Best Free Bookkeeping Software That Includes Invoicing is user-friendly free accounting software that allows you to send unlimited invoices to your customers. Its invoice template can be customized with your company logo and colors. You can set up payment reminders easily for overdue invoices as well as recurring invoices. Sunrise also has a basic client portal where customers can view and pay their invoices. It has a great feature set for small businesses and freelancers, which includes the ability to send customized invoices with your logo. Key Features Customized invoices: You can create invoices with an invoice template that has custom fields and automated price calculations. You also can include discounts and set up recurring invoices. Double-entry accounting: Sunrise has a complete general ledger that allows you to perform double-entry accounting. You can also customize your chart of accounts and opening balances. Multiple currency support: This feature allows you to bill your customers in their currency of choice. Mobile app: Available for both Android and iOS, Sunrise’s mobile app lets you view, create, and edit invoices as well as track their status. You can also send invoices and collect payments directly from your mobile device Creating an Invoice Sunrise supports four types of sales forms: invoices, estimates, quotes, and recurring invoices. Although there is only one invoice template, you can customize it by changing the layout, adding a logo, and a background image if desired. As shown below, you are also able to indicate the types of payment methods that you will accept—bank drafts, cash, check, Stripe, PayPal, or Square: Our Expert Opinion If you want simple, basic bookkeeping at an affordable price, I would consider Sunrise. It provides an excellent user experience and supports much of the functionality that a freelancer or small business might need. Although it lacks some advanced features such as time and inventory tracking, it makes up for it with its functionality with its customizable invoices, quotes, and estimates. Read Sunrise Review Invoice Generator: Best Free Invoice Generator for Sending Invoices Without an Account allows you to create and send invoices to clients and accept payments online without having to create an account and log in first. You just need to type the relevant information, add your logo, and opt for any tax, shipping, or discount costs. Invoice Generator doesn’t keep a copy of invoices that you create, so you won’t be able to track your accounts receivable. When creating the invoice, you can choose which payment methods you plan to accept. Invoice Generator allows you to add links for PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash. Key Features Ease of use: With only one main page to navigate, it can’t get any easier than this when it comes to creating and sending invoices to your customers. Payment links: You have the option of adding payment links for PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash to any invoice. Invoice customization: Although customization options are limited, you can add your logo to invoices. No sign-in required: The only option in this buyer’s guide that doesn’t require you to create an account to create and send invoices, Invoice Generator is a great option if you need quick access to billing customers. Creating an Invoice It’s simple to create an invoice with Invoice Generator. You just need to fill out the template with all of the details you want on your invoice and, once you are finished, you can opt to download a PDF or send invoices to customers through the Invoiced Business Network which is free to use. Once you are registered you can send digital invoices to your customers securely. Our Expert Opinion A web-based invoice generator tool, Invoice Generator excels with its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t require you to log in to an account to send invoices or receive payments from customers via PayPal, Venmo, or Square Cash. If you are looking for more features, consider upgrading to Invoiced, Invoice Generator’s parent company, for access to customer relationship management (CRM) features and a dashboard. Square: Best Free Invoice Generator for Accepting POS and Online Payments works with almost any ecommerce platform, making it an ideal choice if you’d like to accept point-of-sale (POS) and online payments. It also gives you the ability to send estimates that you can convert easily into an invoice as well as share contract templates along with your invoices. The Square Invoice free mobile app lets you track the status of invoices from any digital device. Square also lets you create recurring invoices, schedule invoices to be sent at a later date, and schedule automatic payment reminders. Key Features Invoice customization: Within your account settings, you’ll find a few options for customizing your invoices. These include adding a logo, selecting a color, adding a custom message or return policy, and choosing whether or not you want your address displayed. Item library: To speed up the invoice creation process, Square allows you to build an item library of your products and services. Once an item is in your library, it can be added to any invoice. Invoice scheduling: For your convenience, Square allows for both recurring invoices and scheduling your invoice to be sent in the future. Mobile app: No matter where you are, the Square Invoices mobile app allows you to send digital estimates and invoices, track status of payments, sent payment reminders, and accept payments. Creating an Invoice With Square, you have the option to send invoices from your mobile device via the app, or from your Square dashboard. You can do this by selecting Create Invoice, add your invoice details, and customize the appearance by changing the color and uploading a logo. As shown below, you can preview your invoice to see how it will appear to your client. Once you’ve sent it, you can easily track the status of when the invoice was viewed and paid: Our Expert Opinion If you want to synchronize your online and in-person payments, Square is your best option. It comes with ecommerce capabilities for your online sales and also POS hardware that lets you accept payments in person or post-sale payments from an invoice. For invoicing, you can opt to use the Square Invoices or POS app. Square’s item library and additional features such as recurring invoices make invoicing customers quick and efficient. Read Square for Retail Review PayPal: Best Free Invoice Generator for Mobile Devices One of the biggest names in online payment processing, is a mobile-friendly invoice software that allows you to create and send invoices in just minutes on any digital device. You can also save online invoice templates for quick entry, send automated payment reminders, review account activity, and issue refunds on the go. Once logged in, you’ll see a dedicated tab just for invoicing and PayPal will pull in data from your recent contacts to create the invoice. The invoice editor is configured for mobile devices, with large buttons and easy data entry. Access to invoicing features requires a PayPal business account. Key Features Mobile app: PayPal has been configured for mobile devices, making invoicing a breeze. Ease of use: With a user-friendly display and intuitive navigation, it is a great option for new businesses or computer novices. Batch invoicing: PayPal allows you to send up to 100 invoices simultaneously, making your invoicing process more efficient. Multicurrency support: You can invoice customers and accept payments in 25 currencies. Creating an Invoice You can create a professional-looking invoice in PayPal for free, and your customers can pay even without a PayPal account. As shown below, once you log into your account click on Tools and then click Invoicing. Click Create Invoice, and you only need your customer’s email address to send the invoice. They can pay securely by credit or debit card, PayPal, or PayPal Credit: Our Expert Opinion The experience of using PayPal for invoicing is quick and intuitive, and you can create an invoice with just a few line items or something more advanced that allows for tips, partial payments, or photos to be included. Customers receive the invoice through their PayPal account, where they can pay with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance. This ease of use makes PayPal an easy choice if you’re looking to create invoices on your mobile device. Read PayPal Commerce Platform Review Invoice Ninja: Best Free Invoice Generator for Frequent Invoicing is an excellent tool for small business owners who invoice frequently because of its ability to accommodate bulk invoicing and to set up automatic payments for recurring customers. If you sign up for the free user plan, you can manage up to 100 clients and unlimited invoices, plus advanced features like branded invoices, auto-billing, time tracking, and direct payment integration with more than 40 gateways. However, the drawback is that each invoice has a “Created by Invoice Ninja” watermark unless you upgrade to the paid plan for $10 per month. This increases your maximum clients to unlimited and grants access to 10 professional invoice templates. Key Features Client portal: Invoice Ninja provides a portal for your clients that allows them to open and view your invoices and make payments. You can also view when a client has opened your invoice and track the status of payments. Bulk invoicing: If you have a need to send the same invoice to multiple customers, you can take advantage of this time-saving feature. Automatic payments: You can set up automatic payments for recurring customers, and also automatic reminders for late payments. Time tracking: Invoice Ninja also comes with a free time tracker, which can be launched from within your online account or by using a downloaded desktop icon. Once you have completed the task, you can simply click and add your time to an invoice. Fully customizable: Invoice Ninja also has a free, open-source version for local installation and customization. Creating an Invoice Invoice Ninja’s real-time PDF creator shows you exactly what your invoice will look like as you are creating it. When you fill in details such as service descriptions or payment information, you’ll see the text appear right away. You can also create a custom domain URL for your online invoicing. Multiple payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, WePay, and Authorize.net are also supported: Our Expert Opinion Invoice Ninja is a cloud-based invoicing, billing, and payment management software. It is not just an invoice generator, however. It's also features basic CRM software for task management and inventory. Users can create professional invoices from scratch or use built-in templates. The software also integrates with more than 50 payment gateways, including PayPal and Stripe. Read Invoice Ninja Review When To Use Bookkeeping Software If you’re looking for a solution that offers more than just invoicing capabilities, then you might want to consider full bookkeeping software that also offers great invoicing, like . You should consider bookkeeping software for: Tracking income and expense to file a tax return Tracking cash flow Managing bills from vendors Analyzing profit and loss from specific projects Printing financial statements for banks, insurance companies, or other interested parties Check out our article on the best small business accounting software for a list of great bookkeeping software. How We Evaluated Free Invoice Generators We considered many factors when determining the best free invoice generators. These factors include: Free forever: We placed top priority on invoice generators that are free forever, not just for a limited time. Invoice limitations: We looked at whether each software has limitations on the number of customers or invoices that are sent per month as well as whether it is possible to email invoices from within the program. Templates: While most offer some form of invoice customization options, we considered the depth of these options, like whether it is possible to add your logo, change the color scheme, and add a personalized message. Sales tax: We looked at whether it is possible to collect and track collected sales tax, to simplify sales tax filings and payments. Reports: The types of reports available were a focus here, whether that is an aged A/R report, a balance by customer summary, or a list of outstanding invoices. Automation: Any features that automate frequent tasks were evaluated, such as setting up recurring invoices and creating items that can be added to invoices without retyping the entire description. Payment: The ability to accept short payments from customers, or less than the amount due, was also considered. We also looked at whether it is possible to issue a credit memo and apply it to a future invoice. Ease of use: Ranging from basic to requiring developer skills, we looked at the skill level required to use these invoice generators. Inventory management: While not a deal-breaker, we looked at whether the software contained an inventory management feature. Mobile app: If a mobile app is available, we considered whether it is possible to create and send invoices from your device. Are you willing to pay for an invoice generator with more features? Check out our guide to the best invoicing software for additional options. Bottom Line Invoicing customers for the products and services that you sell is a key component of your cash flow. Using an invoice generator is a great option if you’re on a budget or a new small business with very little expenses. Each of the options discussed allow you to create professional-looking invoices and, in many cases, accept payments online. The best option for you is the one that suits the needs of your business.
June 30, 2018
How to Get Bookkeeping Clients in 4 Steps [+ Free Marketing Ideas]
Learn how to get bookkeeping clients quickly by first identifying your target audience, then implementing marketing ideas to reach your potential clients, followed by joining a few networking groups and finishing off by offering additional services like payroll or tax prep to your existing clients. You can typically get started with all of these steps for around $1,000. Before you start to take on too many clients, make sure that you are ready. is the most popular accounting software for small businesses, which means that most of the clients you encounter use QuickBooks. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no credit card required. The four steps to get bookkeeping clients are: 1. Identify Your Target Audience & Niche Identifying your target audience gives you the insight you need to market to the people who actually need your services. Bookkeeping services are something that every type of business needs. However, because you don’t have the resources to service every business, you’ve got to spend some time narrowing down the specific type of customers you spend your marketing efforts on. To narrow the search, you could talk to other bookkeepers who have been in business for a while to see what type of customers they service. You also want to give some thought to focusing on a niche market. This can give you the specialty you need to receive a steady flow of clients looking for your exact expertise. To help you identify your target audience, start with answering a couple of questions: Is there a specific industry that has many businesses in your local area like industrial, manufacturing and automotive? Do you patronize any small businesses that you could chat with about who they are using for bookkeeping services like dry cleaners, yogurt shops and yoga studios? Make a list of these businesses and think about the types of services that they might need. If it’s an industry that you’re not familiar with, do your research. Before you sit down with potential customers, you want to make sure that you have some familiarity with the industry. Keep in mind that no two businesses are alike. For example, if you plan to start with local coffee shops, expect to see different processes and procedures in place for the same type of business. Focus on the customer’s pain points and ask questions like the following: What is your biggest pain point in your business? How much time do you spend managing the books, payroll, and similar processes? What needs to improve so that your business can grow? Whatever your target audience is made up of, it’s important to know who they are so that you can properly market toward that audience. Throwing your name at any potential client is a sure way to get zero clients. These days, you need to stand out from the crowd, but you can’t do that if you don’t know who you’re trying to stand out for. 2. Start Marketing Your Bookkeeping Business After you have obtained your credentials and identified who your target audience is, it’s time to take action. Whether you are a brand new business owner or an established bookkeeping business, we’ve got several ideas to share with you on how to find bookkeeping clients quickly through free marketing efforts. Download our Top 25 Marketing Ideas for Accountants Listed below are several effective marketing ideas on how to get bookkeeping clients: Create a Professional Website Nowadays, having a website is just as important as having business cards. You don’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars hiring someone to create a professional website. Instead, you can have a custom website designed by webmasters who specialized in creating CPA websites to convert traffic to sales. With , you spend less than 15 minutes of your time speaking with a website professional and they will build a website with your logo, images, and content -- and it’s free for 60 days. . Learn the Basics of Organic & Paid Google Advertising Google advertising is a great way to market your business. As you might have guessed, there are some tips and tricks to advertising on Google. We’ve got a step by step guide on How to Advertise on Google to help you get started. There are three primary ways that you can rank on Google: Paid Google results: Businesses that pay Google per click have a very high chance of their websites showing up on the first page of Google. However, there are a number of other factors to consider, which are outlined in our How to Advertise on Google guide. Local results: Lists businesses in the visitor’s local area. For example, if someone searches for "bookkeeping services Los Angeles," they will see website listings for companies located in L.A. that offer this service. Typically, the locations closest to the individual’s location will show up first. Organic results: Organic results are not just limited to the local area. These results are determined by the authority of the website, which will typically include websites like Facebook and Yelp. For more details on how you can get your bookkeeping business to rank on Google, check out our How Small Businesses Can Rank on Google guide. Sign Up for Freelancer Websites as a Bookkeeper or Accountant One of the most proactive ways you can build up your client list is to visit freelancer websites that are dedicated to helping businesses locate qualified freelance bookkeepers and accountants. Most of these websites don’t charge anything for you to use them. However, some will charge you a fee if you do land a project that you bid through their website. To find freelance bookkeeping jobs, follow these three steps: Sign up for every free job site we included in the article mentioned below. Complete your profile in its entirety, including profile picture, work experience, skills, services offered, rates, and so on. Sign up to receive job alerts. Create Professional Social Media Accounts Focused on Bookkeeping One of the areas that a lot of folks in our profession don’t embrace quickly enough is social media outlets. I am guilty of this myself and wish I had joined a lot sooner because many people use social media to search for just about anything that they need. Social media is one of the best ways for you to learn how to find bookkeeping clients online. Be sure to create a professional account for many of the popular social media feeds like: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram I recommend you sign up with the social media platform that you are most comfortable with and then gradually add new feeds when you are ready. This is where at least 25 percent of your clients will come from. To engage yourself in the world of social media, follow these four steps: Create an account for the social media outlet: Don’t use an existing account that you have posted personal photos and content to. Keep your personal and business accounts separate. Complete your profile: Include a picture, your credentials (such as certified public accountant), services you provide and other pertinent information. Follow people within your industry: Check out the content they are posting and how they interact with their followers. Establish a schedule of when you will post content and stick to it: There are some great resources that you can use to schedule content that will automatically post to your social media feeds. Establish Referral Programs for Clients & Professionals Some of the best clients I’ve ever gotten were referrals from existing clients and other bookkeepers. Create a referral program for clients and other professionals that interact with small businesses often. If you do a really good job, most customers will tell other people about you and before you know it, you’ve got a new client. Referral Programs for Clients One of the fastest ways to build your client list is to tap into your existing client list. Remember that your clients are already happy customers so why not ask them for referrals? While most of your customers will do this for free, it doesn’t hurt to provide them with a little incentive. Listed below are three steps to establish a referral program for your clients: Decide what you are willing to give in exchange for a referral. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot, but it does need to be something that would motivate someone to send a referral your way. For example, you could give a $5 gift card or give them a discount off their next billing. Get the word out. Create an email blast to send out to your clients to let them know you are looking for referrals. Find a way to track referrals. Set up a system to track new clients who have been referred to you so that you can make sure you reward the client who referred them. Referral Programs for Professionals Another way to expand your client list is to partner up with other businesses that offer professional services like lawyers, tax professionals and bankers. They have small business clients that need your bookkeeping services. In addition, they trust these advisors and will often ask them for advice and referrals depending on their business needs. Start with the financial institution that you have your business accounts with and then talk to your lawyer and your insurance provider first. They can introduce you to their peers. As a thank you, you could offer a cash bonus for referrals or even send a referral their way in return for a referral that you have received. Join the Fit Small Business Bookkeeper Directory As part of our goal to build our bookkeeper/accountant community, we have a bookkeeper directory that includes bookkeepers in every state who provide bookkeeping, payroll and tax services. Often, we have small business owners who are looking for a local bookkeeper in their area and we always refer them to our bookkeeper directory. Join our directory so that our 2 million-plus monthly readers can find you. 3. Start Networking Become a Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist small business owners with starting and growing their business. The SBDC offers free and paid workshops as well as one-on-one counseling with SBDC business advisors free of charge. Some of my very first clients were SBDC clients. I was an SBDC business advisor for three years, and I also taught a monthly QuickBooks workshop. To establish a partnership with the SBDC, take the following three steps: Find your local SBDC office. Visit their website to see if they currently offer workshops on bookkeeping basics or QuickBooks. Make an appointment to speak with the director or assistant director to make a pitch for a new seminar or workshop or to offer your expertise as an advisor. The SBDC will pay you a set hourly rate for meeting with its clients. However, it is on a budget so it sets limitations on the rate and the number of consulting hours per client. While you cannot take on an SBDC client as your own, this is a good way to hone your consulting skills and get paid while you are doing it. Become an Adjunct Instructor Establishing yourself as an expert in your field builds trust with prospective clients. One of the ways that you can do this is to teach part-time at a local community college or university. Many community colleges and universities look for professionals in a variety of industries to teach on a part-time basis. I must admit that when I started my career as an accountant, I never envisioned myself in front of a classroom teaching students bookkeeping and accounting. As a matter of fact, like most people, I had a great fear of public speaking. However, I got over that fear by joining Toastmasters. I’ve been an adjunct instructor at UCLA Extension for 10 years now, and I truly enjoy it. I let my students know that I do provide one-on-one consulting services, and I give each of them my business card. As a result, I’ve had countless clients who have been former students of mine. To become an adjunct instructor, follow these four steps: Join a local Toastmasters group to get over your fear of public speaking or teach an online class instead but keep in mind you won’t get many local clients through the online platform alone. Make a list of local colleges and universities in your area. Take your list of colleges and go online to see what courses they currently offer in your area of expertise like bookkeeping and accounting. Contact the college or university to see how you can apply to its adjunct instructor pool, and many colleges take applications year-round. Join Meetup Groups Meetup groups consist of like-minded people who get together on a periodic basis to connect on a common goal. For example, there are meetup groups on topics like learn how to cook, training for a marathon and how to build an app. I’m a member of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor group here in Los Angeles. While our initial goal was to come together to build our QuickBooks skills and assist each other with our client pain points, it has become a great resource for getting new clients as well. To find a local meetup group in your area, follow these four steps: Find and visit a “meetup” site. Do a keyword search for “bookkeeper,” “accountant” or “QuickBooks” to see what groups exist. Attend a meeting to see what the group is about. If you decide to join, be an active member and make sure people know where your expertise lies so they know what type of clients to refer to you. While you might think joining a group of bookkeepers and accountants that offer the same services as you do would not help to grow your client list — you would be mistaken. For example, I enjoy teaching and training, but I have no desire to offer bookkeeping services. Therefore, someone in the group who does not like to train their clients will send them over to me and, in return, I send them clients who are looking for someone to provide bookkeeping services. Plus, there’s a wealth of knowledge in the group that can teach you how to get bookkeeping clients quickly. Join a Local Business Group There are a number of local business groups in major cities. The challenge sometimes is to find a group that will support you in your goals and one that you can also make a contribution to. During my research, I found a networking group that seems to be getting some great results, which is Business Network International (BNI). BNI claims to be the world’s largest referral network. They have more than 232,000 members globally and more than 8,000 chapters worldwide. To ensure members are reputable, the application process includes an interview with the membership committee, a background check is done and references are checked. One of the unique aspects of this organization is that they only allow one person from each profession specialty to join a BNI chapter, eliminating the competition among members. This means that you may have to visit multiple chapters before you find one where your specialty is not represented. For more information on how to join a BNI group, find a local BNI chapter near you. 4. Get More From Your Existing Bookkeeping Clients One of the fastest ways you can increase your billables is to tap into your existing clientele. The first question to ask yourself is what services are you not providing to your client but you know they are paying someone else to do? For example, does your client have employees but you are not providing payroll services? If so, as their bookkeeper, you probably already know who they are using to do their payroll and how much they are paying. If you don’t, ask. To upsell to your existing clients, take the following four steps: Make a list of the services that you are not providing to your clients. Find out who’s providing the service and how much your client is paying. Crunch the numbers to see if you can save your customer money or provide them with better service than what they are currently getting, at a bookkeeping rate that is fair to both you and them. Create your presentation and schedule time with your client to make your pitch. Remember that your clients trust you. If there is a way that you can save them money or provide them with a benefit that the current provider does not offer, I promise they will at least listen to your pitch. Prerequisites for Getting Bookkeeping Clients One of the “selling points” to get a new client is to convince them that you know what you’re doing. There are a number of ways that you can obtain the knowledge that you need to do bookkeeping work. If you’ve got your CPA license then you can skip this section. Otherwise, read on to learn more about how to become a certified bookkeeper and an accounting software expert. Be sure to check out our How To Start A Bookkeeping Business guide to learn how to get bookkeeping business up and running. Get Certified If you don’t have any formal education in bookkeeping then you should consider getting certified. There are two prestigious organizations that offer the bookkeeper certification credentials: the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and the National Association of Certified Professional Bookkeepers (NACPB). Both organizations have qualifications you must meet to complete certification, including a certification exam. If certified through the AIPB, you can put the letters CB (certified bookkeeper) behind your name and, if certified, through the NACPB, you can put the letters CPB (certified professional bookkeeper) behind your name on business cards and other marketing materials to inform prospective clients that you have the knowledge and skills required to manage their books. You can typically take the available course and complete the test for less than $1,000. For more information on how to become certified in these programs, check out our guide on How to Become A Certified Bookkeeper. Become an Accounting Software Expert After you’ve proven your bookkeeping knowledge through certification, you need to get familiar with the accounting software programs that most small business owners use and prove your knowledge in that software. The best way to become an accounting software expert is to sign up for accountant or advisor programs. Most of these programs are free to join and include free access to their software so that you can gain hands-on experience with the program in order to successfully pass an assessment/exam to become a certified expert. Once you are certified, your profile will be included in a directory that small business owners who use that software use to search for a local expert in their area. I’ve been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for more than 10 years now. Millions of small business owners who purchase QuickBooks search the Find a ProAdvisor directory looking for a local expert to help them with QuickBooks. This has been one of the most successful ways that I have built a clientele through the years. Check out our article on How to Become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor to learn more about this program. You should also check out the advisor programs for other accounting software programs like , , Wave and . The Bottom Line Now that you have learned how to get bookkeeping clients quickly, we recommend that you take a sequential approach and start with getting certified, become an accounting software expert and determine your target audience. Once you have achieved those three, you can implement the marketing ideas that you are most comfortable with first and then work your way down the list. Don’t forget to sharpen those QuickBooks skills by taking our free QuickBooks Course. It includes step-by-step video tutorials on setting up customers, vendors, paying bills, invoicing customers and much more. You can start with the first video or pick and choose the tutorials that you need to take. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of to check it out for yourself.