How to Send a QuickBooks File for Review

One of the fastest and easiest ways for us to provide a free review, evaluate a potential new client and/or to provide a quote for services is for us to take a look at the QuickBooks file currently in use. The question is, how to send it, since these files are often large (depending on how old they are) and saving them isn’t as straight forward as you would think.

So I’ve put together a guide for transferring files to us for review, depending on the type of QuickBooks you are using. Each one has a slightly different process.

I also specifically excluded options like sharing through Dropbox or Google Drive. Not because those aren’t great options, but I would be writing this forever if I covered all the possibilities. Let’s just say if you know another way to get us the file (like using a dropbox link share) then great! If not, the methods below will work just fine.

QuickBooks Online Users:
After you log on, click on the sprocket symbol in the upper right next to the company name. From the
menu that appears, choose Manage Users. This will open a new window. Under the regular users is a section
to “Invite Accountant”. Enter our email there: and click Send. That will allow us to log
on and review. You can uninvite us if you like once the review is complete (or any time you want really!)

QuickBooks PC Desktop Users (2012 and Newer):
Under the file menu go to Accountant’s Copy -> Client Activities -> Send to Accountant. A window with some info
will pop up, click Next. Choose “End of Last Month” as the dividing date, and click Next.
Enter (Important- won’t work here) as the Accountant email and include your email,
click Next. Enter Capforge1 twice as the transfer password, click Next. This will send us a copy of the file (if you also have a
password for your file, please send it to us in a separate email).

Once it has sent, go to Accountant’s Copy -> Client Activities -> Remove Restrictions and click OK and Yes.
This will remove the “Accountant Changes Pending” notice. Note- this option requires an internet connection. If it doesn’t
work, please use the directions for 2011 and Older files.

QuickBooks for MAC Users:
Under file go to Create Backup for Windows. Save the file. Then send the file to us as an email attachment (if you also have a password for your file, please send it to us in a separate email). If the file is too large to send as an email, go to and follow the steps to send a file using their service. Send
it to The service is free, secure and requires no registration.

QuickBooks PC Desktop Users (2011 and older):
Under the file menu at the top, select Create Copy and select portable copy. Save the file. Then send the file to us as an
email attachment (if you also have a password for your file, please send it to us in a separate email). If the file is too
large to send as an email, go to and follow the steps to send a file using their service.
Send it to The service is free, secure and requires no registration.

Still have questions? Let us know and we can help.

Handling Sales Tax in QuickBooks

The majority of states charge their shoppers sales tax and so it is the business owner’s responsibility to collect it for qualifying transactions. The collecting part usually isn’t hard. But it can be a bit of an issue after that!

Sales tax is a little bit of a tricky concept in accounting because although you get the money and you handle the money and you deal with the money- it isn’t yours. So you need to account for it as though it isn’t.

The problem is the sales tax funds are mingled right in with your funds and it all looks the same. If you are creating invoices and collecting sales tax that way then it is easier to keep it straight by making the appropriate items taxable and then just making sure when you pay your sales tax you are reducing the sales tax liability account. There are lots of lessons on how to do this correctly online.

But what if you are collecting sales tax as part of credit card or cash sales- like in a restaurant? When you see the deposits in the bank, some of that money is really sales tax but QuickBooks doesn’t know that.

In this case, you first need to create a sales tax liability account. Then, at the end of the month or the week or whatever period you are working on, you need to make a journal entry to move whatever portion of your sales is sales tax into your sales tax liability account and out of sales.

For example, suppose your restaurant shows you have $10,000 in deposits into your bank account for the week. You check your POS report and it shows you had $10,500 in sales and of that total $525 was sales tax. So now in QuickBooks, you move $525 from sales income (were deposits normally go) to sales tax liability. Now QuickBooks will show you only have $9475 in sales for the week. The sales tax is gone- not as an expense (sales tax is not your money so it can’t be an expense!) and won’t artificially inflate your sales.

When you pay your sales tax bill, you write the check against the sales tax liability account so your balance goes back down.

The main things you don’t want to do are A) include sales tax as part of your sales, or B) include sales tax as part of your expenses.

You may be thinking- if I include it in sales AND as an expense- won’t it just wash out? Yes, but that isn’t the right way to do it and if you are in a place where you pay any local or state taxes (many, many places) on a revenue basis you are now overpaying because your revenue is being inflated by sales tax that isn’t really revenue at all.

How to Get Your QuickBooks Balances Right Every Time

Reconciling is the process of matching your transactions in QuickBooks with a source document- usually a bank or credit card statement.

This simple function is the way you make sure the balances you are seeing in your books actually match with reality. The longer you go without reconciling the more likely it is the books are off- maybe way off, depending on how you do things.

If the beginning balance is correct and you have checked all the transactions for the period are correct then your ending balance is correct and all is well. Some people don’t bother do this step because they assume that the downloads are already taking care of that but that is definitely not the case!

Surprising as it is, bank downloads are very often not quite correct and they may include duplicates, errors or missing items that will only be caught by a reconciliation.

If you aren’t downloading transactions there is even more chance of making a mistake and missing something or just typo-ing an entry and not realizing it. If you have no way to check your work then you won’t automatically see that kind of error.

Another way it goes wrong is in transfers between accounts- a transfer should only be entered once and include movement from one account to the other. But if you download your checking account and it shows all the movements to your savings account, and then you download the savings account and it shows all the movements to your checking account you may have just duplicated a lot of cash in QuickBooks that isn’t really there in reality.

Most people think of reconciling as only being for bank accounts but credit card accounts, lines of credit, paypal accounts and anything else with a starting and ending balance can be reconciled.

We always reconcile active accounts for clients and strongly recommend anyone doing their own books make it a regular part of their process. I can also guarantee if you don’t reconcile your books there are errors- the only question is how big and in which direction.

On a side note- when you do reconcile, it should match! QuickBooks gives you an easy way out to enter a reconciliation discrepancy- the difference between what it should be and what it is. But that only means you’ve got a problem you are ignoring, not that you fixed the problem! If you are regularly using the discrepancy account to cover differences you may as well not bother reconciling in the first place.

And on another note- as you go through and find items that haven’t cleared in a while- more than 30 days for a credit or debit transaction or 60 days for a paper check- take them out! They probably aren’t ever going to clear. or at least investigate further to see what is going on. These items will reduce your balance (or inflate in the case of uncleared deposits) in QuickBooks so if they aren’t real and never happened in the bank they are only contributing to having your ending balance be off. Dump ’em.

Why “No” Is a Great Business Strategy

saying no to the right thingsThere are lots of things in business driving you toward saying “yes” but that is often not the best idea.

For example, everyone’s heard “the customer is always right” but that isn’t always the case and you can be led down the wrong path by mindlessly following that saying. Sometimes the customer is right, but not right for you.

And sometimes the customer is just plain wrong . You don’t want to make enemies but if you can extricate yourself from the situation you can move on to better things and not go through the brain damage of trying to make a bad situation livable.

Learning how to say no is a matter of figuring out Continue reading

Does Postcard Marketing Work?

boxofreceiptspostcardThe question of how to grow a business is one that nearly all of our clients ask themselves on a regular basis.

Very few businesses can survive for long if they aren’t growing because costs never stop rising and there is virtually always attrition in sales no matter what you are selling.

So some amount of growth is necessary just to stand still. And most small business owners are looking to do more than stand still.

It’s also a question I ask myself frequently, since I too am interested in growing CapForge well beyond its current size. The basic response to the question is usually in the form of your choices for growth:

  • Sell more of the same to existing customers
  • Sell new things to existing customers
  • Add more customers

For us, I think we are doing the first two pretty well, although of course there is room for improvement. But I want to focus on the third option for right now, and so then the question becomes: what is the best way to add more customers?

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Planning Your Shark Tank Debut

I’ve been watching a lot of Shark Tank recently, partly because I like the show and partly because there isn’t much elshark-tankse on I want to see. You can only watch so many Modern Family reruns…

Although the primary goal of going on the show for the business owners is to get an investment in their business, there are a lot of things a business owner can learn by watching even if they aren’t seeking an investment.

Things a lot of business owners would be wise to consider!

For example, how would you do on Shark Tank if for some reason you were invited to go on there?

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Don’t Sell Your Business (Until You Read This!)

biz for saleIf you have owned a business for any length of time (and I am including periods as short as a few weeks!) you’ve thought of selling it.

Everyone has days where one thing after another goes wrong and you think maybe I should just sell this thing and go do something else.

Sometimes you get into a funk where all you can think about is how great things would be if you sold the business and didn’t have to come in. Not. One. More. $%^&*@! time.

I’ve certainly been there. I’ve thought to myself that if someone offered me a fair price today I’d take the money in heartbeat. They can have the business and they’re welcome to it!

But there is a big problem with that. You can’t sell it for enough. Not nearly.

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