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Getting Started: Automating Your Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online

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Getting Started: Automating Your Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online

Getting Started Series:

Getting Started Automating QuickBooks Online and Downloading Transactions!

As your bookkeeping and financial thought partners, we want to make your bookkeeping as quick, easy painless (and inexpensive) as possible – for you and for us. One big way we do that is: automation. So today we’re going to talk about automating your bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online.

We do our best to automate as much of our process as possible. So that as much as possible machine learning and the internet is handling making sure your banking transactions get into QuickBooks Online as possible.

Many people want to be able to download transactions into QuickBooks or Xero or some other bookkeeping or accounting program. Nearly all banks have that capability these days.

But you’ll need to make sure you’re all set up to have online access to your bank and credit card accounts. And it will save you and your bookkeeper a lot of work if you get that handled BEFORE you meet with them to get your bookkeeping all set up.

Where to Start with Making Your Bookkeeping Faster

We all want bookkeeping to be faster. But where do you start?

For us we start with bookkeeping automation.

My go to is to use existing online banking log ins to connect to (and automate with) our favorite online bookkeeping software: QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online is the clear leader in helping to automate accounting software – even for us Culture Making types. Even for those of us that aren’t mainstream numbers people. And know we want to do it differently. They have more apps (their version or plug ins) for each unique kind of thing than any where else.

So QuickBooks Online can accommodate a wide variety of businesses and automation need.

By the way – if you sign up with QuickBooks Online with us you get a 25% discount. (And sometimes more.)

If you trying logging into your bank and that doesn’t work, you’ll have to call your bank and make sure that they have online banking. And that you can use online banking with QuickBooks Online.

Some banks won’t allow you to download QuickBooks formatted transactions from personal accounts sometimes (though this has changed a lot in recent years). And there are fees for the privilege – though less and less these days.

Working with Your Bookkeeper And Automation 

In automation your bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online, we know that setting up bookkeeping automation can be a pain. (Which is what we’re here for!) When I was reviewing this post, it’s based on one I wrote in…2009. I realized that a lot has changed.  Feel free to check that one out for a bit of a laugh (well ok, it’s accounting humor to say reviewing a post on documents and bookkeeping from 2009 is funny, but well, hopefully you’ll forgive my super-geekiness and retro ways).

QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor Badge

You used to have to jump through a lot of hoops to make the bookkeeping automation work in terms of downloading transactions. But these days, the the invention of bank level encryption, most banks talk to QuickBooks Online and other software very consistently.

So that’s the first issue that’s been made easier.

Various banks still sometimes have hoops – you can’t always just connect or just download. Sometimes you have to grab a CSV file and upload it. So having a professional experienced bookkeeper, on standby is key here.

There are time limits to how long the transactions remain on the bank’s website as well (usually three months, but American Express seems to have an entire year’s transactions for download and have been the easiest to work with).

If the Transactions Are All There, What’s Left?

That’s a great question!
Often business owner’s think that if the transaction get into QuickBooks Online, Xero, or etc, that that’s it!
For example:
  • those transactions need to be categorized
  • each bank and credit card account needs to be reconciled with the bank
  • the chart of accounts needs to be clear and in alignment with your values and intentions for your business
  • And you must review your reporting to make sure you understand what’s happening in your bookkeeping and with your money. (More than just the nourishing brilliance report!)

And that’s all BEFORE you and begin to work on profitability!

Whew! That’s a lot of things!

As this blog gets going, we’ll be adding more details so that you can have a deeper understanding of what’s happening with your bookkeeping and money.

Making things Even Easier!

With the invention of cloud storage and some services, we can even set up a service for you that will fetch your bank statements, documents, check copies, deposits and those pesky CSV files AND link it to QuickBooks Online or Xero.  We’ve been testing it with a number of clients and it’s ready for prime time.

So if you’re curious about how to increase the amount of automation and ease with which you get your books done, let us know below – we’d love to help!

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