Working on financials in QuickBooks

As the saying goes, time is money. Every moment spent performing necessary but time-consuming tasks that don’t generate revenue takes away from a business’s bottom line. For those small businesses that use QuickBooks® to help streamline their accounting processes, here are some quick tips that can help make QuickBooks even quicker.

Not an accountant? Not a problem.

Learn the 6 finance essentials every business needs in our free eBook: Finance Fundamentals.

1. Take advantage of built-in QuickBooks keyboard shortcuts

QuickBooks has developed a set of keyboard shortcuts for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online to help you save time during common tasks and workflows.

QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

Image credit: Intuit Inc.

Once you’ve mastered the shortcut list, tasks will take a fraction of the time. Use a simple keyboard shortcut, instead of manually maneuvering around the software using a mouse or trackpad. For example:

  • The use of Ctrl+Del can delete the selected line in a transaction
  • Ctrl+F opens up a search box to let you find text within an open window
  • Alt + down arrow opens a pop-up calendar icon to the right of the date field

The list of keyboard shortcuts can vary between Desktop and Online versions, as well as between PC and Mac platforms, so make sure you download and use the one most appropriate for your application.

2. Create your own customized QuickBooks icon bar

The common tasks and workflows that you use will be very different from another business, which is one of the reasons QuickBooks lets you customize the icon bar to suit your individual needs. Within minutes, you can add, remove or edit icons within the icon bar to make the functions you use most be the ones that are easiest to access. You can also select certain shortcuts and customize them for your daily use.

QuickBooks icon bar

The icon bar allows you to create a mini-dashboard, so that you can easily see current balances across your various accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash accounts.

3. Integrate QuickBooks with Deluxe eChecks to make sending payments fast and easy

Simply use one of the free add-ons for QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop and start writing QuickBooks eChecks the same way you create paper checks.

Deluxe eChecks and QuickBooks


Deluxe eChecks are a low-cost payment solution offering all of the benefits of paper checks, with the added convenience and speed of an online payment system. All you need is the recipient’s email address, and you’ll be able to create, sign and email check payments directly from QuickBooks in a flash. They’re just like paper checks, only faster. No more printing, stuffing, signing and mailing paper checks only to wait days, if not weeks, for them to be received and deposited. Thanks to the seamless integration between Deluxe eChecks and QuickBooks, you’ll be able to enjoy the savings and convenience of eChecks without changing your accounts payable process. QuickBooks integration with Deluxe eChecks takes less than 10 minutes to set up, and it can save you countless hours by cutting down on cumbersome and time-consuming accounts payable processes. Learn more about eChecks.

4. Right-click your way to time savings

Using the right-click button on your mouse opens up shortcut menus that are specific to the particular task your mouse is on. For example, performing a quick right-click will display any available commands for deleting, voiding or editing a selected transaction. You can also use the right-click button to create a QuickReport about that specific the transaction.

Right clicking in QuickBooks

The available commands will vary based on the window you’ve right-clicked or the transaction you’ve selected, but — in general — this handy shortcut allows you to quickly and easily access associated tasks or reports without having to locate them within the larger menu.

5. Create regular backups to avoid time and data loss

There are few things that can be as detrimental to business efficiency as a computer crash. You lose valuable data. And it’s time-consuming to recreate the work you’ve already done while trying to remember everything you did so that something doesn’t fall through the cracks.

QuickBooks backup

Image credit: Intuit Inc.

By creating a regular schedule of backups, you avoid the loss of time and data that can occur if you do experience an unexpected system crash.Image credit: Intuit Inc.Based on the system you are using, you may have the option to back up your QuickBooks to a local backup or onto the cloud. If you back up locally, make sure it is not on the same drive as your main QuickBooks system, in case that computer drive suffers from a total hardware malfunction.

6. Set up a dual-monitor desktop

Most of today’s computers can easily be configured to support two display monitors, and for the relatively small cost of that second monitor, the efficiency and time savings is well worth it.Image credit: Intuit Inc.By utilizing a dual-monitor display, you can have a variety of QuickBooks windows open side by side to perform tasks simultaneously without having to hop back and forth within the system. You can also have additional systems, windows or programs open if you need to copy data from outside sources.Image credit: Intuit Inc.The ability to move quickly between windows can significantly reduce the time required to perform common accounting tasks, saving you hours and hours of time navigating your own Windows desktop. Saving just a little bit of time each day by using some of these tips can allow a small business to focus more time on what they do best.

Not an accountant? Not a problem.

Learn the 6 finance essentials every business needs in our free eBook: Finance Fundamentals.

Editor’s note:This article was originally published in August 2018 and has been revised for accuracy and relevance. Because there are different versions of QuickBooks available on the market, including QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online and versions of each of those for Mac and PC, it’s possible that not every tip listed here will work for you. However, we have tried our best to focus on QuickBooks tips that will work across a variety of versions. QuickBooks and Quicken are registered trademarks of Intuit, Inc.

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