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When you realize you need bookkeeping help, how do you identify what is the best resource for your business?

Call in your accountant (CPA) or hire a Bookkeeping Service?

Each option has different skill sets and different pricing.   You don’t want to end up paying two twice to get the job done.  Therefore, do some homework before making your hiring decision, and really think about what your business needs.

In this blog post, I’ll explore the appropriate situations for these options and hopefully make your job a little easier.

Hiring an Accountant

Your CPA should be brought in for:

  • tax matters
  • tax planning
  • financial statements
  • complex accounting issues
  • to interact with financial advisors and/or banks

CPAs are very important to your business, but you have to understand that their expertise is usually in taxes and they may or may not have QuickBooks expertise.

Hiring a Outsourced Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers, either full time or freelance, can be a good alternative if you find the right one, but remember: you must have time to oversee them on a day-to-day basis.  Some business owners hire a bookkeeper to help save time, only to add another management headache to their already busy lives.

You can reduce this risk by adhering to the old adage of “you get what you pay for.”  TustinTim has been engaged many times to come in and clean up messes that inexperienced bookkeepers have created. It is not a pretty sight in most cases and the root cause is  lack of accounting knowledge.

With our services you have the opportunity to upgrade the quality of your bookkeeping department while cutting costs! By using TustinTim Bookkeeping Services you can replace the wages, payroll taxes, fringe benefits, worker’s compensation insurance, employee training and management, accounting software, office space and other costs associated with an in-house employee. Your costs could be reduced up to 40%! And TustinTim can provide you with the reports you and your CPA need to verify the accuracy of your books.


Whichever route you elect, make sure it’s based on strategic thinking about your business’ needs.  Then do your homework by interviewing, asking questions, checking references, and finding the right person, firm or mix of several professionals to meet those needs.

If you have Internet access, you can send an Accountant’s Copy directly to your accountant using an Intuit Web server. With this feature, you don’t have to save the Accountant’s Copy file to your local disk and deliver the Accountant’s Copy to your accountant.

Instead, your Accountant’s Copy file is automatically sent to an Intuit server. Your accountant receives an e-mail with a link that automatically downloads your Accountant’s Copy file. All you need is an Internet connection and your accountant’s e-mail address.

Here’s how to do it:

Go to the File menu and click Accountant’s Copy, click Client Activities, and then click Send to Accountant.

Confirm you want to send an Accountant’s Copy and click Next.

Choose a dividing date; you may want to coordinate with your accountant before choosing this date. The dividing date allows you to
keep working on transactions after the dividing date (so you can keep working) and the accountant can only work on transaction before the dividing date.

Enter your accountant’s e-mail address, your name, and your e-mail address.

Enter your accountant’s e-mail address and reenter it to confirm it is correct. QuickBooks uses this e-mail address to send your Accountant’s Copy to your accountant.

Enter your name so your accountant knows who sent the Accountant’s Copy.

Enter your e-mail address. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when the Accountant’s Copy is successfully uploaded to the Intuit server.

Choose a password to protect the Accountant’s Copy.

Your accountant will use this password to access the Accountant’s Copy. You can use the same password you use for your Admin password. Be sure to tell your accountant this password. Strong passwords include:
At least seven characters.
At least one number.
At least one uppercase letter.

(Optional) Write a note to your accountant with instructions for the Accountant’s Copy. For security reasons, do not include the Accountant’s Copy password.

Click Send.

Your accountant will receive an e-mail with a link that downloads your Accountant’s Copy. He or she will then use the password you created to open the file.

Pondering the confusion question

When faced with a mound of paper, in banker boxes and in drawers it can all appear overwhelming and insurmountable. Months or even years of no data entry, it’s enough to make a grown bookkeeper weep.

Something can be done about it, as distasteful as it may seem. Start somewhere.

The basic idea of bookkeeping – CASH IN, CASH OUT. This command tells you where to start, no matter what the boss or the client says. After all, the boss or the client created the mess in the 1st place….right?

So….start with CASH IN, CASH OUT. What’s that in the real world? It’s the bank accounts where money comes in to the business and exits the business for day to day bills and expenses.

Your weapons of choice in this quest are the sequential bank statements covering the period of no data along with the super QuickBooks tool of “remembering transactions”.

You can have QuickBooks pre-fill new transactions based on previous transactions.

To do this task

1. Open the general preferences.

2. Click Automatically remember account or transaction information.

3. Click one of the following two preferences.

Automatically recall last transaction for this name:
Sets up QuickBooks to remember the previous transaction for a person. When you enter a new transaction, QuickBooks
automatically fills out the form with information you entered in the last transaction of that type for that person. For example, when
you enter a vendor’s name on a bill and press Tab, QuickBooks fills in the bill just like the most recent one you entered for that


This preference works only with bills, checks, credit card charges, invoices, and sales receipts. For invoices and sales receipts, it
completes Ship Via, Ref Doc (PO Number), and Free On Board (FOB) values. This preference has no effect on purchase orders,
payroll liability checks, or credit memos.

Pre-fill accounts for vendor based on past entries: Sets up QuickBooks to pre-fill the account for a vendor transaction based on
previous transactions for that vendor. QuickBooks remembers all your recent transactions for a vendor, not just the most recent
one. If you consistently use the same account for a vendor, QuickBooks will automatically pre-fill that information any time you
select the vendor in a bill, check, or credit card transaction.

How does QuickBooks know which account to pre-fill?

This preference is “smart” about when to pre-fill account information when you select a vendor. For example, if you pay the rent
every month from the same account, QuickBooks will soon start to pre-fill the bills you enter to your landlord with the usual

When you use different accounts for a vendor, the account will not be pre-filled. For example, you might write checks to a
warehouse supplier out of several different accounts, depending on the purchase. So the next time you write a check to that
warehouse, QuickBooks will not pre-fill the account.

4. Click the OK button.

You can always override any pre-filled information in a transaction.

Bad news? At first, the data entry task will be huge. Good news? As you proceed with your data entry, based on the sequential bank statements, you will build up the history of transactions in QuickBooks. Each entry gets you closer and closer to your goal of re-creating a true and accurate picture of how the business lives and breathes.


Although I never graduated to the level of being a blindingly fast typist, I have managed to use certain of the QuickBooks®   Keyboard shortcuts to greatly enhance my data entry speed.

Here are the QuickBooks® keyboard shortcuts used to navigate various windows within QuickBooks. My data entry speed and accuracy improve alot when I can keep my fingers on the keyboard, instead of interrupting my flow by reaching for the mouse. Try these out, I think you’ll find them helpful!

Next field


Previous field

Shift + Tab

Beginning of current field


End of current field


Line below in detail area or on report

Down arrow

Line above in detail area or on report

Up arrow

Down one screen

Page Down

Up one screen

Page Up

Next word in field

Ctrl + Right arrow

Previous word in field

Ctrl + Left arrow

First item on list or previous month in register

Ctrl + Page Up

Last item on list or next month in register

Ctrl + Page Down

Close active window

Esc or Ctrl + F4

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Having been around personal computers since the very beginning, using keyboard “shortcuts’ has become almost 2nd nature for me. Even highly experienced PC users are sometimes pleasantly surprised to see just how well QuickBooks utilizes general Windows shortcuts.

Using keyboard shortcuts can vastly improve your data entry speed. Here is a list of shortcuts I’ve found useful.

General Keyboard Shortcuts

To start QuickBooks without a company file

Ctrl (while opening)

To suppress the desktop windows (at Open Company window)

Alt (while opening)

Display product information about your QuickBooks version


Close active window

Esc or Ctrl + F4

Record (when black border is around OK, Save and Close, Save and New, or Record)


Record (always)

Ctrl + Enter

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