Tutorials

Write-Off vs Write-Down: What’s the Difference?

When running a business, you may encounter the terms “write-off” and “write-down.” While similar, though, write-offs aren’t the same as write-downs. And if you use them incorrectly, you could inadvertently throw off your business’s financial records. So, what’s the difference between a write-off and write-down?

What Is a Write-Off?

A write-off is an accounting process in which the value of an asset is reduced to zero. If an asset currently owned by your business no longer has value — it’s worth zero dollars, in other words — you can write it off to reduce your business’s taxable income for the given year.

A common example of a write-off is bad debt. If your business allows customers or clients to pay after their product has been delivered or their service has been performed, you’ll have to collect payments. Hopefully, this doesn’t occur, but if a customer or client fails to pay, your business will have bad debt. Although the debt was originally valuable, it no longer holds value once considered “bad.” Therefore, it can be written off in your business’s books.

How to Record a Write-Off in Quickbooks

You can easily record write-offs using the Quickbooks accounting software. To get started, log in to your account. Next, create an account for write-offs by clicking the gear icon and selecting “Chart of Accounts” under your company’s name. Next, click “New” and select “Expenses” from the “Account Type” drop-down menu. You can then enter a name for the account, such as “write-offs” or “bad debt.” When finished, click “Save and close.”

After creating the new account, you’ll need to create a new product or service for it. Of course, this is done by clicking the gear icon from the home screen and choosing “Products and Services” below “Lists.” From here, select “New,” at which point you can complete the fields with information about the write-off.

What Is a Write-Down?

A write-down, on the other hand, is the reduction of an asset’s value. The difference between a write-off and write-down is that the former reduces the asset’s value to zero, whereas the latter reduces the asset’s value to a number above zero.

If your business owns inventory, for example, the value of that inventory may become lower over time, in which case you can write it down. Write-downs have a similar effect as write-offs, making them an important tool to lower your business’s taxable income for the year.

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How to Make an Employee Inactive in Quickbooks

While Quickbooks allows you to add and remove employees, the accounting software also allows you to make them inactive. What’s the purpose of this feature exactly? By making an employee inactive, you can remove them temporarily from your account, ensuring that you don’t accidentally send them a paycheck. If an employee is on leave, for example, it’s a good idea to make him or her inactive. Of course, you can still use this feature on employees who’ve quit or otherwise left your business. Regardless, you’ll first need to familiarize yourself with the steps to using this feature.

Steps to Making an Employee Inactive

To make an employee inactive in Quickbooks, log in to your business’s Quickbooks account software and select the “Workers” menu from the main screen, followed by “Employee.” Next, scroll through the list of employees whom you’ve added to your Quickbooks account until you find the employee whom you want to make inactivate. After locating the appropriate employee, click his or her name and select “Make inactivate.” Quickbooks will then ask you to confirm the process. Choose “Yes” to complete the process by making the employee inactivate.

Steps to Reactivating an Employee

If the employee whom you made inactive has returned to your business, you’ll need to reactivate him or her in Quickbooks. To do this, go back to the home screen of Quickbooks and choose “Workers,” followed by “Employee.” You should see a gear-shaped icon below the link to add an employee, which you can click to reveal more options. After clicking the gear-shaped icon, click the box next to “Include inactive.” You can then choose the option for “Make active” in the “Action” menu. If you need to reactivate more than one employee, simply repeat these steps with the appropriate employee selected.

In Conclusion

When running a business, you’ll have plenty of employees come and go. Some employees may stay longer than others, but the fact is that all businesses add and remove employees. When an employee no longer works for your business, though, you’ll need to remove him or her from your Quickbooks account.

The accounting software supports a simple “inactive/active” feature to overcome challenge. Just make the employee inactivate, at which point he or she will no longer affect your business’s accounting processes. And if the employee returns, simply reactivate him or her in your Quickbooks account.

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How to Add a Customer in Quickbooks

It’s not uncommon for customers to make multiple purchases over the course of their relationship with your business. As a result, it’s a good idea to store their contact information. By storing your customers’ contact information, you can track sales, personalize their experience and more. If you use Quickbooks to track your business’s finances, you can easily add customers to your account in just a few easy steps.

Steps to Add a Customer in Quickbooks

To add a customer in Quickbooks, log in to the accounting software, click the “Invoicing” tab on the right-side menu and choose “Customer.” From here, click “New Customer.” Quickbooks will then reveal several fields in which you can add information about the customer, some of which include the following:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mobile
  • Fax
  • Website


You don’t have to complete all these fields. If you run a business-to-consumer (B2C) business, there’s no need to complete the “Company” field, for example. Nonetheless, you should try to include as much information about the customer as possible. The more you know about him or her, the better service you can provide.

When you are finished adding the customer’s information, click “Save” to complete the process. If you need to add multiple customers to your Quickbooks account, simply repeat the listed previously listed.

How to Create a Sub-Customer

Quickbooks even allows you to create sub-customers for your business. A sub-customer is essentially a customer that’s placed under an existing, parent customer. Why would you need to create sub-customers? Well, one reason is to track customers for a specific job. You can place all customers associated with a specific job under a new parent customer.

To create a sub-customer in Quickbooks, go back to the accounting software’s home screen, click “Invoicing” and choose “Customers.” Next, choose “New Customer.” You can then complete the fields just like you would when adding a regular customer.

Before clicking the “Save” button, though, click the box labeled “Is sub customer,” at which point you can select the parent customer. Only after clicking this box and assigning the sub-customer to a parent customer should you click “Save.” Keep in mind that you’ll need to create the parent customer before the sub-customer.

Creating both customers and sub-customers is easy in Quickbooks, requiring just a few mouse clicks from the software’s home screen.

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How to Create an Estimate for a Customer in Quickbooks

It’s not uncommon for clients to request estimates from a business. If you operate a construction company, for example, a client may inquire about the rough cost of a project. While it’s always better to provide clients with a fixed, exact cost, this isn’t always possible. If you don’t know exactly how much a project will cost, for example, you’ll have to provide the client with an estimate. Using the Quickbooks accounting software, you can easily create estimates for your business’s customers.

Enable Estimates

Before you can create estimates in Quickbooks, you’ll need to activate this feature. While logged in to your Quickbooks account, click “Edit,” followed by “Preferences.” On the left-side menu, click “Jobs & Estimates” and select “Company Preferences.” For the question “Do you create estimates,” choose the “Yes” option. When finished, click “OK” to save the changes and exit this menu. You can now create estimates for your business’s clients using Quickbooks.

Steps to Create an Estimate

After enabling estimates, go back to the main Quickbooks screen and click the “Customers” menu, followed by “Estimates/Create Estimates.” From here, you can select the client for whom you are creating an estimate in the “Customer: Job” menu. If it’s a new client who isn’t listed in your account yet, click “Add New” to add him or her.

Once you’ve selected the client for whom you are creating an estimate, you’ll need to complete a few fields with information about the estimate, such as the “Date” and “#” fields. The former should reflect the date on which you creating the estimate, whereas the latter should be a unique number associated with the estimate.

You’ll also need to add the product or service for which you are creating an estimate in the detail field. Keep in mind that you can add multiple products or services, even if you are only creating a single estimate.

Adding a Discount to an Estimate

While optional, some business owners may want to provide clients with a discount in their estimates. To include a discount in your estimate, you must create a discount item. Of course, this is done by going to the “Item List” menu in Quickbooks, right-clicking on an open area and choosing “New.” Under the “Type” menu, you can then choose “Discount,” allowing you to create a discount for the estimate.

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Help! I Entered the Wrong Payment Amount in Quickbooks

When recording a payment in Quickbooks, you should double-check the amount to ensure it’s correct. If a customer pays you $75, for example, it’s important to record the payment as exactly $75. Placing the decimal in the wrong place will result in your business’s books being incorrect.

The good news is that you can fix incorrect payment amounts after recording them in Quickbooks. For a step-by-step walkthrough, check out the tutorial below.

Remove the Payment From the Deposit

To fix an incorrect payment, log in to Quickbooks and click the gear icon at the top of the page. Next, click “Chart of Accounts” from the “Your Company” menu. You can then scroll through your deposits until you find the one with connected to the incorrect payment.

After locating the deposit, click the “Edit” button. You should see then a see a list of all payments associated with the deposit. Go through this list and locate the incorrect payment. When you find it, click the box to remove the check mark from it. Doing so removes the payment from the deposit, allowing you to fix it before adding it back.

Edit the Payment Amount

With the payment removed from the deposit, you can now safely edit the payment amount. This is done by going back to the main Quickbooks screen, selecting the gear icon and choosing “Chart of Accounts” again. From here, locate the deposit in the action section and click “View register.”

Next, find and click the deposit to select it, followed by “Edit.” You can then edit the payment with the correct amount. When finished, click “Save and close” to finish editing the payment amount.

Add the Payment Back to the Deposit

The final step involves adding the newly corrected payment back to the appropriate deposit. You’ll need to go back to your “Chart of Accounts” where you can search for the deposit account. After locating the deposit account, click “View register,” followed by “Edit” next to the deposit. You can then enter the correct amount for the payment.

It’s frustrating when you accidentally enter the wrong amount for a customer’s payment. We’re all human, however, so mistakes are bound to happen. The next time this happens, simply follow the steps listed here to correct the payment amount and restore your business’s accounting records back to good health.

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How to Create Statements in Quickbooks

If you run a small business, you might be asked to produce a transaction statement for a customer. Maybe the customer needs it for his or her own accounting purposes, or perhaps they believed they were wrongly charged for a product or service. Regardless, there are times when customers may require a transaction statement. Rather than scouring through your receipts, though, you can easily create transaction statements using the Quickbooks accounting software.

Invoice vs Statement: What’s the Difference?

Some business owners assume that invoices are the same as statements, but this isn’t necessarily true. Invoices only reveal the details of a single transaction. This transaction may include the purchase of one product, or it may include the purchase of multiple products (or services). Either way, invoices are associated with a single transaction. Statements, on the other hand, reveal the details of all transactions a customer or client has made during his or her professional relationship with your business.

Steps to Creating a Statement in Quickbooks

To create a statement in Quickbooks, log in to your Quickbooks account and click the “Sales” tab in the left-hand sidebar menu, followed by “Customers.” Next, scroll through your list of customers and select the one for whom you want to create a statement. If the customer isn’t listed, you’ll need to add him or her to your account.

After selecting the customer, click the “Actions” drop-down menu and choose “Create Statement.” You will then be prompted to select the type of statement you with to create.

Next, enter the start and end date for the statement, as well as the statement date. The start date is typically the day on which the customer made his or her first purchase, whereas the end date is the day on which the customer made his or her most recent purchase. For the statement date, enter the current day’s date.

You’re almost finished creating a statement. Assuming you’ve followed all the aforementioned steps, you can proceed by clicking the “Apply” button. Quickbooks will then provide a preview of the statement. If everything looks correct, click “Save.” With your statement created, you can now print it from within your Quickbooks account.

Creating statements is a relatively quick and painless task. It only requires a few basic steps, at which point you can provide customers or clients with details regarding their transactions.

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Bill vs Expense in Quickbooks: What’s the Difference?

The terms “bill” and “expense” are often used interchangeably by business owners when recording financial transactions. Many business owners assume that all instances in which they owe money — either to a vendor or anyone else — is a bill or expense. However, this isn’t necessarily true. If you use Quickbooks to keep track of your business’s finances, you should familiarize yourself with the differences between bills and expenses. Only then will you be able to properly record your business’s financial transactions.

Overview of Expenses

In Quickbooks, an expense is money paid by your business for a product or service that’s related to its operations. If you run a retail store, for example, you may have to purchase inventory. When you buy inventory for your store, you’ll incur the cost of inventory as an expense.

Recording expenses in Quickbooks is a relatively simple process. After logging in to your account, click the (+) icon at the top of the page, followed by “Expense” and then “Suppliers.” From here, select the payee’s name and click “Add.” While optional, you can include more information about the payee by clicking the “Details” button. Next, select the account from which the money came. To finish up, select the payment date for the expense, payment method, category, description and amount, after which you can click “Save and Close” to complete the process.

Overview of Bills

In Quickbooks, a bill is money owed by your business that’s due at a later time. It’s similar to an expense with the only exception being that bills are paid at a later time. You pay expenses on the spot, whereas bills are paid in the future (according to the seller’s terms). Aside from this subtle nuance, though, expenses and bills are pretty much the same. Just remember that expenses are paid on the spot, whereas bills are paid at a late time.

To record a bill in Quickbooks, go to the main screen and click the (+) icon, followed by “Suppliers” and then “Bill.” From here, choose the supplier from which you made the purchase. Next, click the drop-down arrow for “Terms” to enter the payment terms of the bill, such as “Due on receipt,” “Net 15,” “Net 30” or “Net 60.” After entering the bill’s payment terms, choose a bill date and due date, followed by an appropriate category.

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How to Record Billable Expenses in Quickbooks

It’s not uncommon for businesses to purchase products and services on behalf of their customers and later charge those customers for this expense. Known as a billable expense, it’s a common practice used in a variety of industries. But if you’re planning to use billable expenses in your business’s operations, you’ll need to know how to record them. Assuming you use Quickbooks, you can easily record billable expenses in just a few simple steps.

Enable Billable Expense

To get started, log in to your Quickbooks account and click the gear icon at the top of the page, followed by “Account and Setting.” Next, click “Expenses” in the left-side menu to open up a new window with information about your business’s expenses. From here, click the pencil icon in the “Bills and expenses” area and go through the fields to ensure that the following are activated: show item table on expense, track expenses and items by customers and make expenses billable.

While optional, you can also use this opportunity to set a markup rate as well as change the income account associated with your billable expenses. When finished, click “Save,” followed by “Done” to complete the process.

You may also want to create a sub-customer when adding billable expenses. This is done by clicking Sales > Customers> New Customers. From here, you can enter information about the new sub-customer, while also assigning the sub-customer to a parent customer. A good rule of thumb is to add a sub-customer for each billable expense. This means you can have several sub-customers with the same name, though each one represents a different billable expense.

Create a New Billable Expense

With billable expenses enabled, you can now create new billable expenses in your Quickbooks account. This this is done by creating either an expense in which you can include all the necessary information, such as the account, amount, description, customer, billable and tax. When finished, save the transaction.

Add the Billable Expense to an Invoice

In addition to creating a new billable expense, you must add it to an existing invoice. Go back to the main screen of your Quickbooks account and click the (+) icon, followed by “Invoice.” For the “Choose a customer field,” enter the name of the customer for whom the billable expense is designated. Now click “Add” for the billable expense that you with to add, at which point you can save and close this window.

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5 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

If you’re still operating your business as a sole proprietorship, you should consider incorporating it. Whether you choose a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), it’s a smart move that can pave off in several ways. Below, we’ve listed five of the top benefits of incorporation, revealing why you should take the steps to incorporate your business.

#1) Stronger Brand Name

By incorporating your business, you’ll have a stronger brand name that’d distinguished with “LLC” or “Inc.” Depending on which business structure you use, you can affix one of the aforementioned labels to the end of your business’s name. Consumers generally view businesses with such labels as being better and more authoritative than their counterparts, meaning it will help you build a stronger brand name.

#2) Lower Taxes

One of the biggest benefits of incorporating your business is lower taxes. While tax rates vary, most LLCs and corporations — and their owners — pay less in taxes than sole proprietorships. This alone is a huge benefit that can translate into thousands of dollars saved each year.

#3) Separates Personal and Business Finances

Operating as a sole proprietorship means there is no separation of your personal and business finances. Rather, you’ll use the same bank account or accounts to handle both types of finances. You’ll have an easier time tracking your finances, however, by incorporating your business. LLCs and corporations are required by law to separate their personal and business finances. You may have one bank account for your personal finances, for instance, and another for your business finances.

#4) Protection of Personal Assets

Of course, incorporating also your protects your money and other personal assets from business liabilities. What does this mean exactly? When your business is incorporated, any judgements against your business won’t affect your personal assets. If your business is sued and loses, only your business’s assets are subject to forfeiture.

#5) It’s Easy

Incorporating a business is surprisingly easy — more so than you may realize. The exact steps vary depending on the state in which your business operates, but it typically requires contacting the Secretary of State to acquire articles of incorporation. You’ll need to complete a form with information about your business, pay a fee and register your newly incorporated business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All of this is relatively easy and painless, though. And once your business is incorporated, you’ll on

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Calculating Finance Charges in Quickbooks

Want to impose a finance charge on one of your business’s customers? Maybe the customer paid his or her late bill, or perhaps you want to add interest to a customer’s outstanding balance. Regardless, you can easily calculate and impose finance charges using Quickbooks. To do this, however, you’ll first need to set up your Finance Charge Preferences in the accounting software.

How to Set Up Finance Charge Preferences in Quickbooks

To get started, log in to your Quickbook Desktop account as the admin and click “Edit” at the top of the screen, followed by “Preferences.” From here, click “Finance Charge,” followed by “Company Preferences.” Assuming you followed these steps correctly, you should see a new window with information about your desired finance charge, including Annual Interest Rate, Minimum Finance Charge and Grace Period. Complete each of these fields before proceeding to the next step

After completing the aforementioned fields, click the drop-down menu for “Finance Charge Account” and choose the account from which you’d like to track the income generated by the finance charges. If you don’t see your preferred account listed here, you’ll need to add it to Quickbooks.

Disabling Late Payment Finance Charges

It’s not uncommon for business owners to waive late fees for their customers. In this case, you’ll need to click the “Assess overdue finance charges” box to remove the check mark from it. If the check mark is present, it will charge customers for late payments.

Completing the Process

You’re almost finished setting up finance charges. Quickbooks will ask you whether to charge customers on “due date” or “invoice/billed date.” Just click the box next to the option that you prefer.

You’ll also have the option of printing all your finance charges. This is done by clicking the box for “Mark finance charge invoices to be printed.” Keep in mind that this will print all your finance charge invoices at once. If you’re frequently assessing finance charges to customers, you may want to use this feature to keep a physical record of the charges. Otherwise, you may want to skip this optional feature. When finished, click “OK” to complete the process of setting up finance charges.

Assessing a Finance Charge

Now that your finance charge is set up, you can assess it on a customer. This is done by accessing Customers > Assess Finance Charges > Set Assessment date > choose the job or jobs >Assess Charges.

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