The 3 tricks to a great 2021 with QuickBooks

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2021

The new year is here and I have a confession to make… I love January.

I don’t love the weather (I’m a summer kind of guy) but I love that a new year represents untapped potential. It’s a chance to:

  • Take advantage of the things you learned in the previous year
  • Correct the mistakes you made
  • Push to grow in different areas of your life 

The new year is also a great time to take stock of your key business processes through that same lens of learning and preparation. With that in mind, here are 3 key areas to take a look at as you enter 2021.

Keep reading for actionable tips on how to ensure your QuickBooks account can keep up with your growth plans!

1. Start with a QuickBooks clean up

QuickBooks has a well-deserved reputation for being a comprehensive accounting platform.

Growing businesses, however, often rely on it as the core “system of record” for all their data. Which isn’t the best approach. 

When it comes to your QuickBooks data, accuracy and accessibility are key for smooth business operations.

And while a great deal of attention goes to inputting data correctly, very little review happens after this. Just think… when’s the last time you looked at what data is in your QuickBooks account?

If, for example, your QuickBooks account stores leads, sales estimates, and other non-accounting information — it’s time for a clean-up!

A better way

The general rule of thumb is that if it’s not accounting-related, it doesn’t belong in QuickBooks. And trust me when I say that this is one of those problems that perpetuates itself as your business grows.

Pro-tip: Take the time now to make the split between your accounting data and your sales data. Better yet, investigate how a QuickBooks CRM like Method:CRM can help you get a better handle on your data in 2021. 

The warning sign

  • Your leads and other non-accounting contacts are housed in QuickBooks

Your action plan

2. Review who has the keys to your QuickBooks account

With your data in the right tools for the job, the next order of business is to ensure that the right people have (and don’t have!) access to your financial information.

Many businesses default to providing every user with the same level of access but this isn’t the smartest approach. Here’s why.

When it comes to QuickBooks, all of your core financials are exposed to every user that has a login. This means data like your customers’ credit card details or your employee’s social security numbers are at risk. 

Fortunately, QuickBooks has a great user permission system that allows you to segment your users and provide access to the right level of information they need to do their job.

For example, your AR and AP specialists don’t need access to your bank statements. So, why give them full access to all your QuickBooks data?

A better way

When in doubt, default to providing less access and raising it as you receive questions and requests from your team — versus opting to provide unrestricted access to your QuickBooks account. 

Bonus: This is a great time to change your passwords and make sure that every platform you use has a separate password in case one ever gets compromised!

The warning signs

  • All your QuickBooks users have the same level of access
  • Banking information is accessible by non-accounting users like sales reps in QuickBooks
  • Sales teams leverage QuickBooks for daily tasks such as lead management and estimate creation

Your action items:

  • Leverage QuickBooks’ capabilities to manage access level by user
  • Change your passwords

3. Build solid foundations for growth

As you head into 2021, make sure that you have the systems in place to reach your growth objectives.

Currently, many businesses are powered by static Excel accounting spreadsheets that require double-entry of data. This is a great example of a tool that “kind of” works but would be great to upgrade in 2021. And luckily you can make this happen.

A better way

QuickBooks has a great directory of apps for both QuickBooks Online and Desktop users. Making it a great place to find tools that will increase your productivity and extend the power of your accounting software!

Some of my personal favorites are:

  • Mailchimp (for engaging with your prospects and customers via email)
  • Hootsuite (for scheduling and managing your social media platforms)
  • Zapier (great for integrating your tools and moving data seamlessly between them)
  • Zoom (but really…who hasn’t started using Zoom lately!)

Your action items:

  • Audit where you spend your time and review the top QuickBooks apps that can automate and streamline these processes
  • Review data that’s housed in your Excel/Google Spreadsheets and determine why this information lives here. This will likely provide great clues about the tools that your tech stack needs!

QuickBooks tips wrap up

Now that 2020 has wrapped up, it’s time to set yourself up for success in 2021.

Here at Method, we believe 2021 is going to be the year that your small business thrives. Especially, if you action the QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop tips you learned today. 

While you may still be busy figuring out which personal resolutions you want to take on, here’s a recap of the QuickBooks tips you need to kickstart the year with:

  1. Look at the information in your QuickBooks account and find a new home for any non-accounting data.
  2. Empower your team with the exact level of QuickBooks access they need.
  3. Get the most out of your QuickBooks account by using the many apps for QuickBooks Desktop and Online. 

Here’s to making 2021 the year you spend less time managing your business and more time growing it!

Looking for more QuickBooks tips? Register for this free webinar for advice from top ProAdvisors on QuickBooks Online best practices.

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

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