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Lester Bahr CPA, LLC
(484) 707-5934
Allentown, Pennsylvania

QuickBooks Advanced Certified Advisors such as myself have gone through hundreds of hours of rigorous technical training on QuickBooks applications and are tested annually through Intuit's ProAdvisor Program in the areas represented below. This training when complimented by my experience as a CPA will insure you are getting the best possible advice and guidance for how best to run your business. The Advanced Certification is a level over and above the annual QuickBooks certification.

The reason it is so important to combine the software skills of an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Advisor with the skills of a CPA is that many QuickBooks matters are NOT software issues at all. Rather, they are decisions which have implications related to accounting theory concepts, financial statement reporting and tax filing compliance matters. A non-CPA computer consultant who is not a specialist in understanding IRS and state tax codes and filing proceedures, GAAP and other financial reporting standards will not have sufficient depth of training or experience in these areas to give the proper advice when making QuickBooks setup and processing proceedure decisions for clients. A special ALERT flag is indicated below for some of these areas as an example, but is by no means intended to be all inclusive. You really need to consult with me as an accountant as to specific issues that may be related to your company.

How to use this outline: Scan down the list of topics covered in the Intuit QuickBooks Certification Program (or do a page search) looking for situations that pertain to your company or where you need a greater understanding of how to do something or use a feature in QuickBooks. Can't find what you are looking for or want more information? Then feel free to contact me.

QuickBooks files: sharing, managing and maintaining data integrity
 >  Installing and using QuickBooks in a network environment
 > QuickBooks Database Server Manager
 >  Avoiding file corruption problems as a result of unsupported configurations
 >  Multi user data file access
 > Setting up data file security
 > Working with different types of backup files
 >  How to create archive files, purge old transactions to reduce data file size
 >  Verifying the integrity of a data file
 >  What options exist to fix file corruption problems and/or rebuild the data file
 >  Using remote access to QuickBooks data file through WebEx

Managing information accuracy of your QuickBooks data
 >  Understanding the importance of Opening Balance Equity account, detecting errors
 >  Understanding the role of using the Undeposited Funds Account
 >  Using reports to locate changes to previously closed accounting periods
 >  Using the audit trail
 >  File cleanup and correction techniques

Using QuickBooks Inventory
 >  Troubleshooting inventory problems
 >  Costing and/or quantity accuracy issues
   ALERT:   it is important to know what costing proceedure your company uses:
  First in First Out, Last in First Out, Average, Specific Indentication, or other. QuickBooks inventory WILL NOT support all these different methods which can pose a problem for an existing company already locked into a specific inventory costing convention.
 >  Alternative solutions to using QuickBooks inventory functions

QuickBooks based financial statements and reports - customization
 >  How to find the report you need
 >  Managing your QuickBooks reports using logical organization & batch printing techniques
 >  How to save your reports as PDF files
 >  Using ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) with QuickBooks data to share data between applications.

QuickBooks job costing
 >  Contractor edition
 >  Determine profitability by job
 >  Compare actual versus estimated revenues and expense at the job level
 >  Determine your estimated costs to complete the job
 >  Generating reports to assist in mangement of your jobs
 >  Setting job costing preferences based on the type of work you do and the work flow process
 >  Creating jobs. Without them, it will be impossible to determine if you are making a profit on your projects
 >  Managing jobs
 >  Merging two or more jobs together
 >  Using the time tracking capabilities in QuickBooks

How to handle reimbursable expenses
 >  Correctly setup preference to track these transactions
 >  Invoicing your customers for these expenses
 >  Using items to bill reimbursable expenses (versus recording them as expenses)

Working with estimates, change orders, and invoices
 >  Using estimates and preparing printed bids to potential customers
 >  Tracking change orders to jobs, alternate methods to accomplish this.
 >  Converting estimates into invoices to bill against the estimate
 >  Using progress invoicing, even down to the specific line item of completion
 >  How to handle retainage in a way that will not distort your financial reporting
 >  How to clear retainage once all the "punch list" issues have been cleared
 >  How to handle customer deposits and then seperately track each deposit

Tracking job expenditures
 >  Generating job-specific purchase orders to manage the procurement process
 >  Tracking job-related expenditures
 >  Issuing inventory to jobs. Avoiding problems associated to inventory tracking complexities
 >  Perpetual inventory tracking: should you use this method or not?

Accounting for work in process using QuickBooks
 >  How to understand the different methods of accounting for and tracking w.i.p.
 >   ALERT: You must get your accountant's advice as to which method you are using as there are significant tax and financial statement reporting issues involved with:
 >  Completed contract method
 >  Percentage of completion method
 >  Process costing
 >  Inadvertently making a change could pose a situation where IRS change approval must be received

Performing other job costing tasks
 >  How to reconcile your job costs to the Profit & Loss Statement
 >  Tracking customers that pay vendor bills directly
 >  Creating a bill payment stub
 >  Recording a vendor refund
 >  Using journal entries when job costing
 >  Reconciling profit & loss totals to profit & loss by job totals
 >  Preparing an Over/Under Billing Report for percentage of completion projects
 >  Shortcomings in using the Cost to Complete Summary Report for this purpose
   ALERT: Used to prepare compiled, reviewed or audited financial statements
 >  Accounting for shared expenses using overhead allocations
 >  Using class codes to properly burden other classes by account
 >   ALERTDiscuss with your accountant how overhead formulas are determined 
 >  How to use the various job costing and item profitability reports

Exporting QuickBooks data to Excel
 >  For enhanced reporting above and beyond whats provided by default in QuickBooks
 >  Customizing the export process & understanding how to use formulas
 >  Using Auto Outline to selectively expand or collapse individual groupings of subaccounts
 >  Enhancing the audit trail with auto-filter to better find and identify answers to: Who did what? and When did they do it?

Using QuickBooks to create budgets
 >  Understanding budgets
 >  How to gather the appropriate data for creating your budgets
   ALERT: Most of the value in creating budgets is derived from forecasting skills your accountant can help you with
 >  Creating the budgets in QuickBooks versus expanding capabilities into use of Excel
   ALERT: Budgeted Balance Sheets, Income Statements & Cash Flow Statements are inter-connected. By changing one assumption, impacts another statement. Your accountant should be skilled in understanding this cause & effect scenario
 >  Turning your budgets and trend reports into insightful graphs

How to profit from QuickBooks using data analysis features
 >  Using the Cash Flow Projector to predict your cash flows
 >  Using QuickBooks Business Planner to create a step by step business plan
  RELATED LINK: Refer to my article explaining how to write a business plan

Using the Financial Statement Designer tool in Enterprise Solutions
 >  Customizing financial statements
 >  Creating supporting documents using the document editor
 >  Printing a complete set of financial statements

Troubleshooting accounts receivable and accounts payable
 >  Understanding the Open Invoices Report
 >  Troubleshooting A/R balance problems when using cash basis accounting
 >  Resolving negative / positve offset balances

Troubleshooting sales tax reporting in QuickBooks
 >  How to properly setup and use sales tax codes and items
 >   ALERT: State sales and use tax reporting rules and exceptions related to taxable/non-taxable products and services can be complicated. Seek the advice from your CPA before setting up sales and use tax reporting in QuickBooks
 >  Reconciling sales tax payable liability report with your balance sheet

Understanding the Profit & Loss Statement (Income Statement)
 >  Cash versus accrual basis accounting
   ALERT:  Discuss this with your accountant as there are pros and cons associated with each method as well as IRS reporting requirements based on size and industry of company.

Payroll
 >  Various subscription level services
 >  QuickBooks Basic Payroll
 >  Enhanced Payroll
 >  Enhanced Payroll for Accountants
 >  Assisted Payroll
 >  Online Payroll
 >  Setting up employees, payroll items
 >  Tracking workers compensation
 >  Applying payroll burden to jobs
 >  Setting up scheduled liabilities, depositing collected taxes, filing reports
 >  Special issues related to payroll setup and troubleshooting
   ALERT: Payroll is an area which requires proper application registration with federal, state and local governments, collecting and remitting withheld payroll taxes as a trust funds agent, filing of quarterly and annual reports & W-2's. Due to the many rules and stiff government penalties that can result in this area, it is strongly advised that you consult with an accountant first. We can advise you of your payroll processing options.

Extending the functionality of QuickBooks through integration
   ALERT: Integration with other software applications outside of QuickBooks is technically complex and only recommended for advanced QuickBooks users. It is imperative to have a thorough understanding of what data is being exchanged, where it is going and what it is updating, and what debit and credit accounting entries to what combination of accounts is being generated in the process.

 >  Exchanging data with Excel
 >  Using data maps
 >  Creating ODBC (Open Database Connectiviity) connections with QuickBooks
 >  Allowing Windows applications to access multiple data sources through a single method regardless of file formats.
 >  Installing the QODBC driver
 >  Working with PivotTables dynamically linked to QuickBooks data
 >  Ingtegrating QuickBooks with Microsoft Word, merging data
 >  Integration with other add-on applications through the QuickBooks Software Development Kit which acts as the bridge that connects QuickBooks to other business software applications.
 >  Provides a consistent and safe method or reading and writing data to QuickBooks
 >  Factors to consider when integrating QuickBooks with other applications
 >  Understanding data fields "mapping" between applications in order to maintain the integrity of existing QuickBooks data.
 >  Tracking transactions posted to QuickBooks by third-party applications.
 >  Point of sale integration
 >  Applications that integrate with QuickBooks available through the Intuit Developer Network
 >  Finding complimentary industry software add-ons through the QuickBooks Solutions Marketplace
 >  Construction
 >  Retail
 >  Nonprofit
 >  Transportation
 >  Real Estate
 >  Hundreds of products
 >  Finding software products by business function such as:
 >  Ecommerce
 >  Wireless and PDA
 >  Billing and invoicing
 >  Banking integration, credit card processing
 >  Shipping

QuickBooks Advanced Certification