I’m asked some questions over and over again: What’s the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? How do I check the status of my tax refund? What documentation do I need to support my charitable contributions?
This is where Quick Parts in Microsoft Outlook comes in handy. With this feature, I can put prewritten chunks of text into e-mails, similar to a copy and paste. The only problem is that Quick Parts might not be intuitive to a user …
Continue reading Outlook Quick Parts will speed up your e-mail
Online and mobile banking offer quite a bit more than bill pay, PDF statements and a summary of recent activity. Some of the best time-saving features aren’t as well known, such as:
Alerts. It’s common knowledge that it’s a good idea to frequently monitor bank activity for errors and fraudulent activity. I have signed up for e-mail alerts whenever there are international, Internet, phone or mail order purchases made with my debit card, as well as when purchases and ATM withdrawals …
Continue reading Three time-saving banking features
Just as a GPS is a handy gadget for a stubborn guy who refuses to ask for directions, Excel’s Go To Special feature quickly finds and selects cells in a spreadsheet without all of the U-turns and dead ends. The Go To Special window can be launched under the Find and Replace button in Excel 2010 and it offers a plethora of options to choose from.
One of the most useful abilities of Go To Special is selecting blank cells. For …
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One of the most underrated Excel functions that I use often is the SUMIF function. On my Excel function tournament bracket, SUMIF ranks slightly behind the SUM, AVERAGE, IF, COUNT, PMT, and RATE functions. Still, it has a shot at upsetting one of the higher seeds on any given day.
The SUMIF function adds the values in cells specified by a given condition or criteria. Tim Gavin, a fellow CPA blogger, wrote a great blog post last week for the Sikich …
Continue reading Using the Excel SUMIF function to find that out-of-balance journal entry
A coworker stopped by my office seeking a solution to a dilemma. She had received a large PDF document in reverse order (page 1 of the document was page 100 of the PDF, page 2 was page 99, and so on). Since backwards workpapers are the type of thing that can drive an accountant to the brink of insanity, there was a lot at stake here.
We brainstormed a few possible ways to reverse the page order. In the past, I …
Continue reading Reversing the page order in Adobe Acrobat
Recently, I had one of those “how did you do that?” moments with a tech-savvy client. This client, like me, set up his domain with Google Apps. During a meeting, he told me he wanted to show me a spreadsheet he created in Google Docs. In the web browser, he typed d.(his domain).com and the browser opened his Google Docs login page. Not long after that, as we were scheduling our next meeting, he typed c.(his domain).com in the browser, and his Google Calendar instantly appeared. I …
Continue reading Faster access to Google Apps products
One of my first blog posts was about how I use macros with QuickBooks reports exported from Excel. That post also contains a brief explanation of what a macro is, so please read it first if you are unfamiliar with macros.
In my work, I often find myself combining similar types of expenses provided by a client on a spreadsheet for a more condensed presentation on a financial statement or a tax return. The repetitive task of selecting cells, adding borders, and …
Continue reading A Simple Time-Saving Summation Excel Macro
Do you use the icon bar at the top of your QuickBooks screen? Do the icons represent the tasks you perform most often in QuickBooks? If you’re using the default icons, the answer is probably no.
I recently began changing the icons to my most frequently used functions. It makes a big difference in efficiency when the shortcuts are just a click away rather than three or four clicks away navigating the menus.
Continue reading Customizing the Icon Bar in QuickBooks to Work for You
With one click of a mouse button, I’ve been able to help some clients be more efficient in their use of QuickBooks. It’s worth taking the time to look through the preferences in QuickBooks and adjust them to your liking. Below are my top five QuickBooks preferences that you should know about!
Turn off pop-up messages for products and services (under General – My Preferences) – This is new in QuickBooks 2010 R5. If you’re new to QuickBooks and want to …
Continue reading Five QuickBooks Preferences That Could Make Your Life Easier
Since I began working in accounting, I have observed some fellow accountants exporting data from accounting software programs to Excel and then performing repetitive tasks of reformatting the spreadsheet (moving data to other cells, entering calculated fields, changing fonts, resizing columns, etc). This has provided me with the opportunity to use and share a valuable skill I learned in one of my classes in college so that these tasks can be completed automatically with the push of a button.
One of …
Continue reading Using Excel Macros to Manipulate QuickBooks Reports