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Nancy Smyth

Nancy Smyth has supported Intuit products and end users since 1986, with her primary focus being commercial/government construction contractors. She has been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 1999; and as President of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc., she is a key player in the development of several QuickBooks Add-Ons for the construction industry. She is also the author of the QuickBooks for Contractors blog and the Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business website.

How To Create a Payroll Deduction Authorization Form Using the QuickBooks Letters function

Payroll management isn't an easy task and certainly involves more than just getting paychecks distributed in a timely manner.   One area that businesses seem to have a hard time with is putting a plan in place to ensure payroll deduction authorization forms are properly collected and errors are prevented.  Payroll deduction authorization forms are a must if you are taking money out of an employees paycheck for anything other than required payroll taxes.  Yes, I know - more paperwork!  You can implement a simple system in which the authorization forms can be numbered as they come in and a log may be maintained to help keep track of the forms.  QuickBooks can help you to automate this process and even help you store this information electronically by attaching the authorization form to the employee record. Also, be sure to let employees know when the deductions will take effect. Generally, deductions would activate during the following payroll processing period after they were received.
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Recording & Tracking Employee Personal Tool Purchases

Quite often, especially in the construction industry, an employee will purchase tools for their own personal use; either using a company credit card or through a tool vendor account.  While most employers don't mind an occasional purchase such as this, it's important for you (as the bookkeeper) to track this information and make sure that the employee actually pays the company back for these purchases.  This blog post will provide you with instructions on how to track this in QuickBooks and provide tips for handling this situation if you use an outside payroll service.
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New Product Announcement: QuickBooks IIF Inactive Cleanup Utility

Intuit, for as many years as I can remember, has offered us a means of exporting various QuickBooks Lists into their own IIF format - so that we can import those lists into a brand new file.  However, they have never provided us with a method to quickly and easily remove inactive list elements - before we import that list into the new file.  This has caused much grief and aggravation over the years and as we all know; it's a horribly time-consuming task to manually remove those inactive list items. Enter, the QuickBooks IIF Inactive Cleanup Utility!  Saving you countless hours (not to mention headaches) caused by scrolling through long IIF files and removing the inactive list elements before you can import them into a new file.
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QuickBooks 2014 – Changes/Improvements to the Payroll Center

Color isn't everything that's new and better in QuickBooks 2014.  The Payroll Center got a long overdue overhaul as well.  It's new "tabbed" design splits out payroll tasks, such as Pay Employees, Pay Liabilities, and File Forms makes it neat, efficient and organized. Screenshots and words make the improvements difficult to explain, so I've put together a short YouTube video that actually shows you what's changed and why I think the changes are great.  Why don't you watch the video and let me know what you think!
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QuickBooks 2014 Announced-Biggest Improvement is COLOR!

QuickBooks 2014 was announced yesterday by Intuit to the ProAdvisor Community - which means after months of having to keep my mouth shut (because I've been under a non-disclosure agreement while beta testing) that I could finally talk about it. In QuickBooks 2014 the most noticeable improvement that you see as soon as you launch it is COLOR! When QuickBooks 2013 was released on of the most controversial topics of conversation when it came to the new version was COLOR - or rather the lack of it! Many people, myself included, really had a hard time working in QuickBooks 2013 all day long with that really dark (and yes ugly) charcoal grey/black background color of the left navigation pane.  For many of us, myself included, we couldn't work in QuickBooks 2013 for more than an hour without getting a raging headache. I think QuickBooks 2014 is going to be a HUGE improvement - here's why.
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How To Turn On and Use Manual Payroll in QuickBooks

How to turn on and use the manual payroll option in QuickBooks certainly feels like a highly guarded secret.  Intuit makes a lot of money selling payroll subscriptions and rightly so as keeping up with payroll tax laws and forms in each and every state is a lot of work! There are times when a company that uses QuickBooks for their day-to-day accounting has a need to record their payroll manually - without paying for an Intuit tax table subscription - one such instance is when the company has their payroll done by an outside payroll service, but need to record their payroll in detail for job costing purposes in QuickBooks. This article explains how to turn on and use the manual payroll function in QuickBooks.
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Experts And Those Who Would Like You To Think They Are

Anyone can say they are a QuickBooks expert and according to Google, at least 83,000+ people are making that claim! How valid that claim is, however, is another question! Most of these self proclaimed experts sure have a lot to say, but when it comes right down to it and you evaluate what they have actually said (or written) you find that they really haven't provided you with anything concrete to take away.

Remember the old saying "Jack of all trades - master of none"?

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QuickBooks Payroll Record Keeping Tips-How To Stay Organized

In order to be well prepared for a Wage & Hour audit that you need to keep your payroll records for the duration of EACH worker’s employment with your company PLUS 5 to 10 years! Most Human Resources and legal experts are suggesting this to ensure these records are available in the event a claim is filed,

Discover what records you need to have available for an audit and how to store that information without having to have a bunch of file cabinets in your office.

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Payroll Recordkeeping – More Than Just Getting Employees Paid On Time

In the past couple of years there has been an increase in the number of Federal and/or State payroll wage audits resulting in the repayment of back wages, in all industries – not just construction, plus fines and penalties. In May and June of 2013 U. S. Department of Labor audits have resulted in the payment of $5,750,693.00 in back wages throughout the United States.

Are your payroll records accurate and up-to-date? They need to be - because inaccurate payroll records can cost emBeployers BIG bucks!

See this article for information on what you need to keep and how long you need to keep your payroll records.

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QuickBooks Automatic Updates & Critical Fixes-What’s Your Policy?

A QuickBooks automatic update for QuickBooks Pro 2013, Premier 2013 (all versions or flavors - Contractor, Manufacturing, Professional Services, etc), and Enterprise 13.0 (all versions or flavors), beginning right around June 3, 2013 with the last round of the update being released today, has created more problems than it fixed for many users and 3rd party developers.

Some users said that the automatic update caused QuickBooks to crash more often and the update also caused many 3rd party desktop add-ons to error out when connecting to QuickBooks or crashed QuickBooks when it attempted to connect.

What's your policy for installing QuickBooks automatic updates?

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QuickBooks Tip – How To Handle Stored Materials and AIA Pay Apps

QuickBooks has no built-in ability to handle stored materials, like many of the more costly construction specific software programs. This causes problems for contractors who need to generate AIA Pay Apps and need to make sure that their books (or accounting data) syncs with their AIA Applications for Payments.

Because the General Contractor allows billing of stored materials on the AIA Payment Application you also need to include the amount of stored materials on your QuickBooks Progress Invoice in order for your accounting records to match your AIA billing records.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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