There comes a time in every small business owner’s life when you reach a ceiling in your QuickBooks Online knowledge. 

You’ve mastered the basics: you can enter bills, send out invoices, and generally not burn the place down when reconciling your bank accounts. You even categorize your expenses right most of the time — You Go Glen CoCo!

But now that you’ve got a taste of what QuickBooks Online can do for your small biz books, you want more.

This training article is all about getting past that knowledge ceiling and learning how to advance your QuickBooks Online super powers. I’ll show you three QBO techniques to take your QBO learning to the next level.

A big WARNING before we dive in: These are advanced QBO tips. Things you can’t UNDO! If you are uncertain about the task you are performing, definitely check in with your bookkeeper BEFORE hitting “Save”. You don’t want to end up with messier books than what you started with! 

Merge Duplicate Vendors

“AP” or “Associated Press”? “Xfinity” or “Comcast”? Tomato or tomato?

Vendors love to use abbreviations, nicknames, and all sorts of naming conventions in their invoices that don’t quite match up to what their business name is. While this is certainly annoying for small businesses, the real issue pops up when you enter bills under two different vendors who happen to be the same company. When looking at reports like your Vendor Balance Summary, you’ll show two lines for one vendor, causing confusion to both you and your bookkeeper. 

Here’s how to advance your QuickBooks Online super powers: merge duplicate vendors.

A great way to fix the problem of duplicate vendors is by merging them into one vendor. Here’s how using the AP/Associated Press vendor names as an example:

  1. Identify the two vendors you’d like to merge from your list of vendors located in the left hand toolbar “Expenses” > “Vendors”. For this example, we want to keep Associated Press and do away with AP. Copy down the exact name of the vendor you’d like to keep – “Associated Press”. 
  2. Click on the vendor you do NOT want to keep – AP. Next, click the down arrow next to the “Edit” button, and select “Merge contacts” from the dropdown menu. 
  3. Change the display name from AP to Associated Press. 
  4. Click the “Save” button and then “Yes” to confirm the merge.

This will move any transactions from the AP vendor to the Associated Press vendor, merging the two! 

Big fat disclaimer: You can’t UNMERGE! Be sure to be careful and concise when doing this advanced QBO technique to clean up your accounts payable vendors. Bookkeepers go through diligent training when becoming QBO Certified and can help you out if you find yourself in a bind. 

Remove Unused Accounts from View

Something I see very often is a messy chart of accounts. This is the big list of all of your accounts in your books found in your left hand toolbar under “Accounting” > “Chart of accounts”. 

You may not have known what you know now when you first set up QuickBooks Online and probably have some unused accounts cluttering up your chart of accounts. 

Here’s how to advance your QuickBooks Online super powers: deactivate unwanted accounts.

For an account you’ve never used before whose balance is $0, click the down arrow in the Action column and select “Make inactive”. And voila! You’re one step closed to a clean chart of accounts.

Another big fat disclaimer: Do NOT deactivate accounts you are still using! Check in with your bookkeeper for how to handle deactivating an account that you’ve used before. 

Create Custom Forms in QuickBooks Online

You may already be familiar with QuickBooks Online’s excellent invoicing system as a small business owner. With a few simple clicks, you can create and send invoices to your customers – all without having to leave QBO. 

But many people ignore a pretty useful feature of QBO that elevates your business’s brand. And the best part? It takes very little training to master this super power. 

Here’s how to advance your QuickBooks Online super powers: custom forms.

You can customize forms to fit your business branding, which gives that much more gravitas to the way you present your business to your customers. Invoices, estimates, and sales receipts can all be customized. 

Here are some ways to step up your QBO form game:

  • Change up the layout
  • Add your logo
  • Incorporate your brand colors
  • Use your brand font
  • Adjust your margins
  • Add a custom message
  • Design how the emailed version looks

To start customizing your forms, simply click the “Settings” button (the small cog in the top right corner) and select “Custom form styles”. 

The Best Way to Advance Your QuickBooks Online Super Powers

The best way to advance your QuickBooks Online super powers is by learning – duh!

Signing up for training is hands down the best way to grow your knowledge and your business. 

I offer all levels of 1:1 QuickBooks Online training for my clients: 

  • Keep It Simple – For those with base knowledge looking for some best practices & guidance
  • A Little Extra – For those with more advanced knowledge looking for more in-depth training
  • All About You – Customized to whatever you need help with!

I’m all about enabling you to up your QBO game and grow those QBO super powers. Let me know how I can help!