What Does E-commerce Look Like in 2021?

Electronic Payment Systems: Moving Beyond Cash, Checks

Through 2020, the world has seen an increase in consumers turning to e-commerce and electronic payment methods. Did you know that Forbes magazine says there has been a 149% increase in US and Canadian online retailers since April 21st, 2020? Along with that, shopping at small and medium-sized businesses are becoming more popular. With the online payment methods that PaymentCollect ® supports, local businesses have the ability to successfully explore a digital space. With a new year upon us, e-payments will further advance and change to the current situation. Here are the upcoming predicted e-commerce trends for 2021, and how PaymentCollect ® and QuickBooks® Plugins can help your business stay current and efficient. 

Creating a Personalized E-commerce Experience 

Users have moved away from generic experiences, and everything is beginning to be more customized and personal. This includes the experience consumers are looking for when using online customer service. Personalization can include product recommendations, human interactions, and helping customers achieve their goals. With fully integrated online plugins, PaymentCollect ® and QuickBooks® can assist in providing the personalization you are searching for. With our POS Payment Processing, information reaches the user quickly, in real-time, making their experience specific to them. Also, by using PaymentCollect ®, your QuickBooks® receipts are organized to your preferences. If you have questions regarding ways to incorporate your business’s unique needs into your current QuickBooks® online systems, please contact us!

Providing the Best Electronic Payment Environment for the Customer

Over 50 million users are relying on electronic payment systems such as Intuit QuickBooks® to operate their businesses comfortably. With e-payments being such a large part of people’s lives, it is important for customers and business owners to feel safe. In 2021, security is everything, from your smartphone to your online purchases. PaymentCollect ® allows you to feel confident that essential information remains private during credit card processing and other online payment activity.

Advanced Speed and Workflow

According to Shopify, 10 years of e-commerce growth happened in just 90 days. As more users are seeking digital options to retail, the competition in the online space is growing. More brands are introducing online stores, which means consumers will have more providers to choose from. In order to make your business stand out, your software must be simple, and efficient in order to maintain the consumer’s attention. By choosing PaymentCollect ® you will have access to the new features in QuickBooks® Online Advanced Speed Workflow, including streamlined invoicing without upgrading your current system. QuickBooks® Desktop 2021 also offers more options to save time and boost productivity. We are always thinking about user solutions as we design our software, so you can focus on building brand loyalty from your beloved customers.

Choose PaymentCollect ®

Allow PaymentCollect ® to guide your business through 2021. We will be a partnership that is consistent, efficient, and will always keep your brand at the top of our priority list. You can feel confident that we are constantly studying the e-commerce trends, and will work hard to ensure your current systems are able to manage all of your electronic payments.

QuickBooks Online Accountant: Everything a Pro Needs to Know

Quickbooks Accountant

QuickBooks Online Accountant is an essential tool for professionals to use. The platform makes it easy to manage all aspects of your practice from just one login. Learn more about the platform and how it can help improve your day-to-day tasks as an accountant below.

What is QuickBooks Accountant?

While QuickBooks Online and Desktop versions are for business owners, QuickBooks Accountant is designed for professionals who support multiple accounting clients. It even supports practices that have clients who are not on QuickBooks.

Benefits of QuickBooks Accountant

There are many benefits of choosing QuickBooks Accountant for your practice, which lead to an overall improvement in efficiency. Some benefits of the platform include:

Easily Manage Your Workflow

Having one log in makes it easy to track every project from start to finish. This helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Share Documents Securely

QuickBooks Accountant allows you to communicate with clients and manage deadlines all within the platform.

Manage All of Your Clients

It’s easy to add all of your clients to QuickBooks Accountant, where you can include information, notes, and details about the client all on one consolidated list.

Add Apps to Customize Your Experience

There are hundreds of third-party solutions to help customize your QuickBooks Online Accountant experience. Apps can fill out forms, simplify payroll, track time, manage customer relationships, and more. There is even an option to save 25% with the Accountant Apps Program.

Practice Management Features on QuickBooks Accountant

Many of the new features of QuickBooks Accountant dramatically enhance practice management capabilities. You can create projects and tasks for a to-do list, delegate tasks to your employees, check progress in real time, and see clients’ QuickBooks notifications. Intuit will also suggest actions for you to complete for your clients, like payroll deadlines and reconciliation.

This platform keeps you constantly connected to your clients. You can send and receive messages without leaving your workflow. All shared documents can be easily accessed, and they are kept organized in a password-protected environment. In addition, it can be accessed anywhere, as practice management is compatible with your phone and desktop devices.

For more information about project management on QuickBooks Accountant, visit their FAQ section.

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program

The ProAdvisor Program is designed to help practice owners succeed. This training program helps grow your expertise while helping you earn CPE credits. While it is always free for accountants, you will need to pass the certification exam to earn unlimited phone support (in the United States) and to receive a listing on the ‘Find-A-ProAdvisor’ online directory. This listing is key to showcasing your skills, which will help you attract more of the clients you want to work with.

By taking advantage of the ProAdvisor Program, you can stay up to date on the latest software, receive discounts for you and your clients, find out about exclusive third party apps, and more. The program ensures QuickBooks Accountant is doing all that it can to help your practice flourish.

ProConnect Tax Online

ProConnect Tax Online is one of the top cloud-based pro tax softwares available on the market. With advanced tools like automatic updates, efficient data collection, and an Intuit e-signature option, this platform provides ease to many different aspects of your workflow.

Integrating ProConnect Tax Online inside of QuickBooks Online Accountant allows you to streamline your tax preparation. By importing client data directly into tax forms, this integration saves you time and helps you avoid critical errors. ProConnect Tax Online gives you access to over 5,600 forms and tax returns, which easily covers all tax essentials your practice may need. In addition, with everything securely backed up in the cloud, you have access to your files from anywhere.

Now that you’ve learned all that you need to know about being a pro with QuickBooks Accountant, get started with a free sign up today.

New Features in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks New Features

Updates to QuickBooks Online- Summer 2018

Intuit is always hard at work in hopes to improve their products and help business owners maximize their efficiency. The latest updates to QuickBooks Online is a mixture of new features on the platform, as well as many performance improvements to ensure QuickBooks Online runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible. While many of the recent changes have the self-employed in mind, overall performance updates are helpful to all businesses. Keep reading to learn what’s new to the platform!

New Features in QuickBooks Online

Failed E-Invoice Notification when Email Fails to Send

As a business owner, you rely on receiving payments from your customers. But you can’t blame them if they never receive the invoice! That’s where QuickBooks newest notification comes in handy. With this latest feature, if your e-invoice fails to send due to an error, QuickBooks will immediately send you an email informing you of what happened and how to successfully resend the message.

If for whatever reason you miss the email in your inbox, don’t worry! Intuit will inform you of the failed e-invoice in a few other ways. They include: an updated status within the invoices list, an explanation within the invoice tracker, support steps under the ‘Needs Attention’ filter on the invoice list, an in-line explanation within the email modal, and step-by-step community help articles.

Redesigned Invoicing in QuickBooks Self-Employed

Your invoices should reflect your personal style, not Intuit’s. The invoicing experience has been completely revamped on QuickBooks Self-Employed, and gives users the option to leave a personalized impression while continuing to improve efficiency and organization. Some new updates to the invoicing feature include: customizing the subject line and main message of the email, duplicate prior invoices that you want to create again, send receipts for paid invoices to allow customers transparency, and the option to send a mobile reminder to customers before payments are due.

Two New Reporting Options

The two most-requested new reports are now available! You can now create reports for bill and invoice payments. This is an easy way to show vendors and customers which bills and invoices correspond to which payment. It will also be a quick way to settle any disputes.

The days of cobbling together vague payment trails using the transaction list are over. To find these new features, visit the ‘Reports’ tab and run reports that clearly associate payments with the bills and invoices they cover.

Customize Payment Accounts on QuickBooks Capital Loans

Through QuickBooks Capital, you will be able to group principal and interest payments into separate accounts. This is important because it allows users to write off the interest at tax time, which help keeps the principal from being taxed as income.

To do this on future loans, the first step will be to login to QuickBooks Online (after you have accepted the loan agreement from QuickBooks Capital), and navigate towards the ‘Capital’ tab on the left-hand side. From there, you will choose the bank account that received the initial loan deposit, a loan payable account to track the loan principal, and an interest expense account to track the interest. These accounts can be changed at any time. As you make payments, you’ll be able to track the activity by category, which keeps you organized.

Bulk Receipt Exporting to Save Time

This new bulk receipt exporting feature helps you save valuable time during tax season. Instead of exporting receipts individually to file them in your records, you can now run a report that will download all of your digitized receipts at once. This provides business owners maximized organization while using minimum effort.

Automatic Sales Tax

Sales tax can be confusing. Let QuickBooks do the work for you! Because they keep track of more than 60,000 tax laws, the platform can save you time and automatically calculate your tax rate. To turn on automatic sales tax, click the ‘Taxes’ option on the dashboard. Then, select ‘view return’ on your monthly return, followed by ‘make the switch.’ It’s that simple!

QuickBooks Assistant in the QuickBooks Self-Employed App

There are many obstacles for those who are self-employed, and oftentimes they can leave self-employed individuals overwhelmed and feeling like there is no one to work these challenges out with. Introducing the QuickBooks Assistant: Intuit’s virtual aide found within the Self-Employed app. This aide gives you on demand help and insights to solve your questions about the platform.

To find this tool, first open the app, and then select the green message icon. This starts your conversation with the bot, where you can interact through text and/or voice commands. While the bot is extremely powerful and can help answer many of your questions about your finances, if you require a more in-depth answer, you have the option to connect to live support from a human.

ClockShark Integration

ClockShark is a mobile time tracking and scheduling solution. This mobile app is free for employees to download, and allows them to clock in and out from any job site. It was designed with construction and field service companies in mind but can work for other industries as well.

With this new QuickBooks Online feature, companies that use ClockShark can now seamlessly transfer their time records into their accounting software. This allows easier payroll and invoicing, and also helps avoid data entry errors. QuickBooks and ClockShark automatically syncs employees, jobs, and tasks every hour, but if you need something to sync immediately, all you have to do is hit the ‘export to QuickBooks’ button.

Performance Updates in QuickBooks Online

Faster Invoice Actions

Looking to delete, void, or copy invoices and/or sales receipts? You are now able to do so! Find these options in the ‘Action’ column of your all sales list.

Quick Link to Your Transaction Audit Trail

There is now an option within the all sales filter to easily find deleted or voided transactions.

Improved Paychecks that are Deposited in Two Accounts

QuickBooks Online now shows paychecks that are deposited in two bank accounts as two distinct transactions. This makes it easier to match when it is time to reconcile.

No Payroll Permission for Users

When adding users to your QuickBooks Online account, you now have the option to assign a no-payroll permission. This helps protect your financial security without limiting the user’s access in any other way.

For further information about QuickBooks product and feature updates, as well as solutions to common QuickBooks error codes, be sure to check out our blog!

QuickBooks Connect 2018 – Agenda, Location, and More

Quickbooks Connect 2018

Quickbooks Connect 2018

What is QuickBooks Connect?

Held by Intuit, QuickBooks Connect is designed to give small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed the opportunity to learn, grow, and network with professionals from around the country. At this conference, business owners will discover the latest trends in innovation and how they can impact their businesses. Between vendor booths, product demos, free design consultations, and more, this event will provide you valuable knowledge on how to maximize your business’ success.

When and Where is QuickBooks Connect 2018?

This year, QuickBooks Connect will be held November 5-7 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. Intuit has set up hotel accommodations at multiple hotels throughout the area, including the Hilton San Jose, San Jose Marriot, and Hyatt Place. All of these hotels are .1 miles or less away from the Convention Center.

QuickBooks Connect 2018 Agenda

There are 3 days at this conference, with each day full of learning and networking opportunities. The agenda for each day is as follows (subject to possible changes):

Day 1 of QuickBooks Connect: Accountant Day (November 5th)

  • 8:30-10:00 am: Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:30am: Accountant Welcome and Keynote
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: First Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Winning Strategies for Working with the Gig Economy: In this session, you’ll learn to identify the unique needs and opportunities when working with self-employed individuals. You will also be introduced to tools that will help keep you and your self-employed clients in sync.
    • Ninja Warrior Strategy For Accountants – How to Rule Your Niche: This session will teach you real-life strategies to position yourself as an expert and acquire premium clients while getting paid what you’re worth.
    • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Assessing and Onboarding New Clients: Learn the best practices for new client assessments and onboarding to keep both your clients and your team happy.
    • Using Technology to Set Your Firm Apart: Wondering how you can stand out against your accounting competitors to help attract more clients? This session focuses on leveraging technology to create innovative solutions that your competition can’t match.
    • Accounting for eCommerce – Data Flow and Management with QBO and Apps: This session will teach you how to use QBO and apps effectively, how moving data and using an import tool can increase efficiency, tips for simplifying Charts of Accounts setup, and more.
    • Tax Session: Description not yet available.
    • Large accounting firm session – Content Designed for the Specialized Needs of Large Regional, National, and Global Accounting Firms: Description not yet available.
  • 12:00-12:45 pm: QuickBooks Connect Tour
  • 12:00-1:30 pm: Lunch
  • 12:00-7:30 pm: Exhibits, Activations, and Connections
  • 1:30-3:10 pm: Second Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Selecting the Right App – Step by Step: This hands on workshop will teach you how to identify exactly what you need in an app, how to analyze your search results, and how to effectively compare similar apps to determine which one to use.
    • Creating Effective Marketing Videos: From equipment, software, platforms, and content strategy, this session will teach you the basics of creating an engaging and informative video to market your services.
    • Transitioning Existing Clients to Value Pricing: Working too hard for not enough money? In this session, you’ll learn powerful reframing strategies to help raise your prices without losing your existing clients.
    • Influencing from the Inside Out: In today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s difficult to not overextend yourself in hopes to stand out. In this session, you will learn the inside-out approach to increasing your influence and help you create a strategy on how you show up in the professional world through writing, speaking, and personal style.
    • Intentional Onboarding – The Key to Strong Client Relationships: Having a set onboarding process is key to forming happy, long-term client relationships. This session will teach you how to create a systematic onboarding process, as well as how to establish clear expectations for your team and your client.
    • Tax Session: Description not yet available.
    • Large accounting firm session – Content Designed for the Specialized Needs of Large Regional, National, and Global Accounting Firms: Description not yet available.
  • 3:10-3:30 pm: Break
  • 3:30-4:30 pm: Third Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Accounting for eCommerce – Data Flow Management with QBO and Apps: See day one, first round of breakout sessions.
    • Blockchain 101 for Accountants: This session will teach you all you need to know about blockchain technology, including how it works, it’s impact on accounting, its strengths and weaknesses, and the impact it can have on your daily work.
    • Diversifying Revenue Streams for Success: Learn about four distinct income types you can generate as an accountant, plus how to establish the right mix to see success.
    • Culture is Everything – Building a Modern Firm: You may not realize it, but your firm’s culture exists at every level of business. From beliefs and behaviors to technology and security, this session learn how to assess the culture of your firm and ways to improve to attract ideal clients and retain top staff.
    • Sharpen Your Consulting Skills: This live demonstration will show you how consulting works with a client, teaching you about valuable tools to help make you successful.
    • Tax Session: Description not yet available.
    • Large accounting firm session – Content Designed for the Specialized Needs of Large Regional, National, and Global Accounting Firms: Description not yet available.
  • 4:30-4:50 pm: Break
  • 4:50-5:00 pm: Fourth Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Accounting for Cryptocurrencies: Learn the basics of crytocurrency accounting, financial accountability around blockchain-based assets, and identify the technology and policies that can help your accounting challenges.
    • Collaborative Coaching for Firm Owners: In this interactive session, you will learn how to overcome distractions to increase focus and grow your firm.
    • Large Accounting Firm Session – Content Designed for the Specialized Needs of Large Regional, National, and Global Accounting Firms: Description not yet available.
  • 5:45-7:30 pm: Welcome Reception
  • 6:00-7:30 pm: Apps Showdown

Day 2 of QuickBooks Connect: Main Day (November 6th)

  • 7:30-8:30 am: Registration and Breakfast
  • 7:30-8:30 am: Exhibits, Activations, and Connections
  • 7:45-8:45 am: First Round of Breakout Sessions
    • How to Become an Inspiring (and Profitable) Practice: Learn a step-by-step system on how to become inspirational, and how that can lead to success, happiness, and profitability for your firm.
  • 9:00-10:30 am: Welcome and Keynote
  • 10:30-11:00 am: Break
  • 10:30 am-3:50 pm: Exhibits, Activations, and Connections
  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm: Second Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Financial Freedom for Freelancers: Oftentimes, those who are self-employed have difficulty managing business finances. This workshop will help you create a solid foundation for future business success.
    • Managing vs. Leading – Inspiring and Growing Your Team: Having difficulty being the boss? This session will help you find your leadership style and help you navigate areas of strength and improvement for you, your staff, and your business.
    • My Job, My Rules – Freelancers on Making Their Big Leap: This session features four fearless women who left their careers to step out on their own.
    • Online Branding to Amp Up Likes and Shares: Social media is constantly changing. This session will teach you the latest tips and tricks to create a relevant online brand.
    • How to Get What You Want, When You Need It: Best for those who are starting and growing a business, this workshop teaches you what you need and how to ask for it.
    • Who Runs the World? Motherhood and Business: There is a rapid growth of female entrepreneurs who are eager to redefine success and workplace norms. Enjoy a conversation with four working mothers and how they achieve a work/life balance.
    • The Ninja Warrior Strategy for Accountants – How to Rule Your Niche: See day one, first round of breakout sessions.
  • 12:00-1:30 pm: Lunch
  • 1:30-2:30 pm: Third Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Legal Know-How for the Entrepreneur: From the right structure for your business to how to tips for contracting, intellectual property, and working with influencers, this workshop is great for new business owners.
    • Mastering the Hustle – Working More than One Gig: This session features four creative minds all in varying stages of their career. Learn how they balance full-time jobs with new businesses working for themselves.
    • Be the CEO of Your SEO – Maximizing Online Search: Learn the ins and outs of online search and how to position yourself above the competition online.
    • No Stone Unturned – New Funding Sources to Fuel Business Growth: Looking for funding tips? This session connects you to experts who are uncovering and funding new companies everyday.
    • Financial Freedom for Freelancers: See day two, second round of breakout sessions.
    • Prime Time – Mastering the Art (and Science) of Retail: Retail is experiencing a renaissance, and with it comes new data insights and distribution channels that are opening up new ways to reach consumers. This workshop features four retail leaders who are blazing a new path.
    • How to Get What You Want, When You Need It: See day two, second round of breakout sessions.
    • QuickBooks Technical Session: Description not yet available.
    • Stepping Up Your Leadership Presence: Learn how to align and elevate your digital and face-to-face presence to help create a powerful and authentic brand.
    • Panel Discussion – Bookkeeping Buds and Their Secrets of Success: From navigating social media, staff management, setting boundaries, and transitioning to a mobile practice, learn lessons these bookkeepers experiences in the field.
  • 2:30-2:50 pm: Break
  • 2:50-3:50 pm: Fourth Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Online Branding to Amp Up Likes and Shares: See day two, second round of breakout sessions.
    • Small is the New Big: Hear tips from four entrepreneurs who have been through the paces and growing a business of one.
    • Managing vs. Leading – Inspiring and Growing Your Team: See day two, second round of breakout sessions.
    • No Stone Unturned – New Funding Sources to Fuel Business Growth: See day two, third round of breakout sessions.
    • Be the CEO of Your SEO – Maximizing Online Search: See day two, third round of breakout sessions.
    • My Job, My Rules – Freelancers on Making Their Big Leap: See day two, second round of breakout sessions.
    • Beyond the Numbers – Correcting and Overcoming Non-Financial Mistakes: Oftentimes, financial struggles are caused by non-financial missteps. This session will teach you how to look beyond the numbers to the root causes of financial mistakes and how you can correct them.
    • Collaborative Coaching for Firm Owners: See day one, round four of breakout sessions.
    • QuickBooks Online for Construction Clients: Learn how to setup a financial structure, create a project budget, basic job costing, how to use estimates, progress invoicing, and other construction-specific workflows.
    • QuickBooks Online for Non-Profits – Tracking Restricted Net Assets: This session is suggested for those who know the fundamentals of how to use QuickBooks Online for the non-profit sector. It will be discussing how to use additional features to get a Statement of Position and Statement of Activities that accurately reflect new net asset standards.
  • 4:00-5:30 pm: Main Stage
  • 5:30-6:30 pm: Exhibits, Activations, and Connections
  • 5:30-6:30 pm: Reception
  • 7:00-10:00 pm: Celebration

Day 3 of QuickBooks Connect: Accountant Finale (November 7th)

  • 7:30 am-12:30 pm: Exhibits, Activations, and Connections
  • 7:30-8:30 am: First Round of Breakout Sessions (TBD)
  • 7:30-9:00 am: Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:00 am: Second Round of Breakout Sessions
    • The Business Growth Accountant – Building Stronger Relationships so Clients Value and Pay You More: In this session, you will learn proven insights on how to build stronger client relationships.
    • Selecting the Right App, Step by Step: See day one, second round of breakout sessions.
    • Tech Stacks for Construction Client Success: This session will explore technology options that are designed to make managing construction-specific tasks easy.
    • Tax Sessions: Description not yet available.
  • 10:00-10:20 am: Break
  • 10:20-11:20 am: Third Round of Breakout Sessions
    • Winning Strategies for Working with the Gig Economy: See day one, first round of breakout sessions.
    • Tax Session: Description not yet available.
  • 11:20 am-12:30 pm: Lunch
  • 12:30-1:30 pm: Accountant Main Stage

Why Should You Attend QuickBooks Connect 2018?

QuickBooks Connect isn’t just a way for you to better understand how to use QuickBooks to maximize your business’ efficiency and success. With a wide variety of breakout sessions and things to do, you can learn valuable business building skills from industry experts.

No matter what stage you are in your career, there are opportunities for you to grow and improve your business. New businesses can benefit from breakout sessions like How To Get What You Want, When You Need It and Legal Know-How for the Entrepreneur, while more established business owners can benefit from sessions like Transitioning Existing Clients to Value Pricing. In addition, there are endless networking opportunities, where you can build valuable relationships and learn important lessons from your peers.

For more information about pricing, be sure to visit the QuickBooks Connect website.

How To Get the Lowest Credit Card Processing Fees

Credit card processing fees don’t seem like a large expense at first. But the more transactions your business completes and the more consumers look to use cards over cash, the fees quickly begin to add up. In addition, merchant accounts can be costly if you choose the wrong provider.

Navigating the credit card processing industry can be extremely confusing, especially for new and small business owners. With dozens of payment processors to choose from, and with each company offering different rates, fees, and contract terms, it can be difficult to know what provider is the best fit for your business.

The bad news is that credit card processing fees are unavoidable. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways you can save money on them! Use our tips below to score the lowest credit card processing fees for your small business.

Credit Card Processing Fee Tips for Small Businesses

1. Look for a Payment Processing Company that has No Hidden Fees

You can’t save money on payment processing if you don’t know what fees you are paying. While every company has its own fee structure, choosing one with no hidden fees will allow you to expect them, which helps prevent from you being caught off guard. In addition, you can know exactly what you are paying for.

It pays to shop around to find the best deal, especially when it could be a difference of a percentage point or more of your credit sales. But be sure to do your research – saving a point on credit sales can be great for your bottom line, but you want to make sure it’s the best fit for your business model. You need to pick a company who offers the features that your business needs, which may include EMV compliance, customized reporting, and support.

2. Purchase a Credit Card Terminal Rather Than Leasing One

Many credit card processing companies will give you the option to rent the equipment as well. While it sounds convenient, think of it like renting anything else: you’re putting money into something you don’t own. Because of that, you’ll end up spending more money in the long run.

3. Set a Credit Card Minimum for Your Customers

Ever walk into a small business and see a credit card minimum sign? That’s a tactic they use to help keep their credit card processing fees down. Since you are often charged per transaction, setting a $5 or $10 minimum can help reduce the amount of fees your small business will pay.

When faced with a set minimum, your customers will either turn to cash or choose to spend more money to meet the minimum, both of which are great for your business. Cash helps you avoid fees altogether, and the extra revenue can help offset credit card processing fees.

To implement this change, all you need to do is prominently display a sign to your customers and ensure your employees follow through with it.

4. Swipe All Credit Cards

Transactions that are manually entered by the merchant have higher fees than cards that are either swiped or inserted. This is because cards that are entered manually are at a higher risk of fraud, as thieves often obtain credit card numbers without a physical credit card to make purchases. The higher the risk of fraud, the more credit card processors charge you in fees.

The chip technology and magnetic stripe contain built-in security features that help reduce the risk of credit card fraud. If an employee suspects fraud, he or she can ask to see a photo ID to ensure the name on the ID matches the name on the card.

5. Negotiate With Your Credit Card Processor

If you’re looking to negotiate with your credit card processing company, you need to prove your business is a merchant that adds value. To do this, you want to show your transaction volume. The more transactions you perform, the more value it adds to the processor. The more you give them, the more negotiating power they have upstream to lower their overhead in different areas.

6. Settle Transactions Quickly

Settling your transactions helps reduce interchange downgrades. To qualify for the lowest interchange rates for many US cards, the capture, or clearing call, must happen within one day of the authorization. For certain industries, like travel and entertainment businesses, the capture can happen within 8 days.

7. Understand the Three Main Fee Structures

There are three main fee structures charged by payment processors. The best option for you depends on the size and type of your business. They are:

Flat Fee Pricing Structure

This is the easiest model to understand. The merchant pays the processor a flat fee for all credit and debit card transactions. While it is easy to understand, this pricing structure often comes with high flat fees.

Interchange Plus Pricing Structure

This pricing model charges a flat fee percentage that combines the interchange rate and assessment fee, plus a dollar amount per transaction that the processor pockets. Compared to tiered pricing, the interchange plus pricing structure is more transparent and less expensive to the merchant.

Tiered Pricing Structure

A tiered pricing model takes into account the interchange rates for various transactions and categorizes them as a qualified rate, mid-qualified rate, or non-qualified rate. Because it is based on transactions, tiered pricing is difficult for merchants to predict and prepare for. This allows the merchant to estimate and manage monthly processing fees at a significant higher processing cost.

The better you understand credit card processing options, alternatives, and the fees associated with it, the more money you can save. Following our tips above can help you achieve low credit card processing fees and save your business money.

Credit Card Processing Guide for Small Businesses

Small Business Credit Card Processing Information

Credit card processing is a complex process that can be overwhelming for many small business owners. But, it is crucial for merchants to understand the basics of credit card processing, as it will help them save money by avoiding unnecessary fees. Below is our complete guide to knowing the main parties involved in credit card processing, what equipment is needed, and the types of processing fees a small business may encounter.

The Basics of Credit Card Processing

There are 5 Major Players Involved in Credit Card Processing

In order for your small business to make credit card processing a reality, five key players will need to work together. They are:

1. Credit Card Associations

These are your major credit card companies, like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Visa and MasterCard are the overseers behind credit card processing. They coordinate the process of using one of their cards by managing rates, setting regulations, and routing transactions. American Express and Discover do not play by the same rules as Visa and MasterCard, and have a unique way of allowing businesses to accept customers’ credit cards.

2. Issuing Banks

These are the institutions that actually issue the credit cards mentioned above (ex: Chase and Bank of America). Issuing banks are the ones responsible for holding the funds or providing the credit that the consumer will draw on to complete a transaction.

3. Acquiring Banks

These are the institutions that provide and maintain merchant accounts for small businesses. Acquiring banks take on the risk of providing refunds or chargebacks if the business is unable to pay back the consumer.

4. Merchant Service Providers

Merchant service providers are the ones that handle the sales and push the transactions through the networks provided by the different credit card associations. There are different types of organizations that fulfill this role, including:

  • Agents
  • Acquiring Banks
  • Third Party Service Providers
  • Processors
  • Independent Sales Organizations

5. Payment Getaways

Payment getaways are special portals that route transactions to an acquirer (ex: an online shopping cart).

Four Ways to Accept Credit Cards

In order for your small business to accept credit cards, you will need to choose one of the options below. Which you choose will depend a lot on your unique situation, as each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. Your options include:

1. Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems

A POS system is more than just a credit card processing method, as it offers functions such as tracking inventory and accessing sales reports. A high quality POS system will integrate with your existing software and bookkeeping tools. Small businesses that have a higher sales volume typically use POS systems. There are two basic types, which are:

  • Traditional POS System: A traditional POS will require some type of merchant account, and will integrate a terminal and a screen with a cash register and receipt printer. There are additional optional features like pin input devices to process debit cards.
  • Mobile POS System: A mobile POS requires a third party device (ex: iPad) that allows you to run a program to accept credit cards. This type of POS system is extremely convenient, as the POS system can be physically moved and you have access to your data no matter where you are. In addition, some mobile POS options don’t require a merchant account.

2. Credit Card Terminals

For small businesses that do not process a large quantity of transactions a day, a credit card terminal may be a better option. A credit card terminal is a small device with a card reader that allows you to accept credit cards. It does not have the extra features that a POS provides, but it gives your business the ability to accept card payments.

The main benefit of credit card terminals is that it is typically the simplest and cheapest option. All you need to do is choose a processing company, open a merchant account, and plug in a few cords. A major drawback of using a credit card terminal is that you must manually track transactions. This can add a considerable workload if you process a large quantity of transactions every day.

3. Mobile Credit Card Processors

A mobile processor is an app combined with a dongle, which allows you to accept credit cards no matter where you are. This option is best for small businesses that work with customers on the go, like a food cart or street vendor. This type of processor can also be beneficial for retailers that want to swipe cards away from a physical register.

One reason that small businesses choose mobile processors is that you do not need a set location to accept payments. This allows you to accept payments where you actually do business, so you do not have to follow up with customers at a later date to collect payment. In addition, many mobile processors offer additional features, like the ability to generate reports. For more mobile processors, no merchant account is required.

One downfall of using a mobile processor is that small business owners have to pay extra for the convenience of mobility. This type of processor typically comes with higher fees than a simpler terminal. In addition, you will have to supply your own device that is compatible with the app you are considering.

4. Online Credit Card Processors

An online credit card processor is a third party company that processes your credit card transactions without the need for a merchant account. As the name would suggest, this type of processor is great for small businesses that primarily do business online. In addition, businesses lacking sufficient credit history or those with a low credit score can benefit from using an online processor.

One of the main benefits to choosing an online credit card processor is that no merchant approval is needed, which is why it’s a great option for businesses with little to no credit or a poor credit history. The downfalls of choosing an online processor is that there are high transaction fees and a higher risk of disputed charges.

There are 3 Types of Credit Card Processing Fees

No matter what method you choose to accept credit cards, all of them come with fees that your small business will have to pay. There are three main types of fees your small business will experience. They are:

1. Transactional Fees

Transactional fees are charged per business transaction. They are non-negotiable and represent the biggest cost of operating a merchant account. This fee is set by an agreement made by representatives from the major banks and those from the individual card brands. Interchange fees are determined on a “per-transaction” basis, and are dependent on the card type, card category, processing method, and business type.

2. Flat Fees

Monthly flat fees are dependent upon the type of business you run. They vary by name, value, and applicability. While you may not encounter all of them, some of the more common flat fees include:

  • Terminal Fee
  • Payment Getaway Fee
  • Annual Fee
  • Early Termination Fee
  • Monthly Minimum Fee
  • Network Fee

3. Incidental Fees

As the name suggests, incidental fees are charged when something happens. Not all incidental fees can be avoided, but small business owners want to aim to have as few of these charges as possible. Some examples include:

  • Address Verification Service (AVS) Fee
  • Retrieval Request Fee
  • Batch Fee
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee

For more information on specific fees your small business may be encountering, read our blog on credit card processing fees.

Common Errors in Sending Email from QuickBooks

Benefits of Sending Email from QuickBooks

While configuring your email may not be the newest feature from Intuit’s QuickBooks, it is definitely one of the most helpful ones. Connecting your email address to your QuickBooks account is highly beneficial, as it allows you to send invoices, as well as send and receive reports without having to leave the software.

With this being an integral feature for your business, it’s important that no mistakes are made when you are setting it up. In this blog, we’ll explain how to connect both Outlook and Gmail within QuickBooks, as well as common errors you may experience and solutions for them.

How to Connect Outlook in QuickBooks

To connect your Outlook email to QuickBooks, you will need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the following information:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Incoming email server address
  • Incoming email server type
  • Outgoing email server address

From there, select the edit menu, followed by preferences. When the dialog box opens, look for the send forms option. When adding your email, be sure to select the Outlook option. If the Outlook option is missing, it may be because of one of the following reasons:

  • You’re using an older click to run version of Microsoft Office
  • Your profile is not set up in Outlook
  • Outlook is not the default email program
  • Your QuickBooks is hosted on the Cloud and your service provider does not have Office installed as a hosted application

The solution to fix this issue depends on what is causing it. Use Intuit’s detailed instructions on how to add the Outlook option here.

How to Connect Gmail in QuickBooks

To connect your Gmail account, it is preferred that you connect with Secure Webmail. This provides you an easier and safer connection to your email provider. With regular Webmail, you will be required to enter your password every time you send an email. Secure Webmail links your Intuit account to your webmail account, so you will only need to enter your password once. You can only connect to Secure Mail if you have a more recent version of QuickBooks installed.

How to Set Up Secure Webmail

  1. Go to the QuickBooks edit menu
  2. Select preferences, then send forms
  3. Select web mail, then add
  4. Choose your provider from the drop down before entering your email address
  5. Check the use enhanced security option, then select ok
  6. Sign in to your Intuit account (note: the username/email address used here may not be the same one you are trying to connect to QuickBooks)
  7. When your webmail provider’s login page displays, sign in and grant Intuit access

How to Set Up Regular Webmail

To set up Webmail, you will need to know your webmail servers and port settings, which are determined by your ISP. While QuickBooks can automatically fill out this information for common providers (like Gmail), you can find out the port and server information on Intuit’s website. Once you have this information, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the QuickBooks edit menu
  2. Select preferences, then send forms
  3. Select web mail, then add
  4. Fill out the add email information requested, then choose ok and save

Common QuickBooks Email Error and Solutions

If you’ve been sending emails through QuickBooks for some time now, there’s a good chance you may have received the following message:

QuickBooks is unable to send your email to Outlook. Close any open Outlook windows and try again.

To fix this issue, you must first figure out what is causing you to receive this error message. It may be occurring for one of the following reasons:

  • You have the incorrect email setting
  • You have a damaged MAPI32.dll file
  • You are running QuickBooks as an administrator
  • QuickBooks was damaged during installation
  • Outlook was damaged during installation
  • You have Outlook open in the background when sending email through QuickBooks

Once you know what is causing the issue, you can use one of the solutions below to fix it and continue sending emails through QuickBooks.

  • Solution 1: Ensure that QuickBooks is not running as an administrator. To do this: go to the properties menu, followed by the compatibility From there, you can deselect the option that says run this program as administrator. If this option is grayed out, first select the show settings for all users. Once you click ok, go ahead and restart QuickBooks.
  • Solution 2: Ensure that your email preference is set correctly in QuickBooks. Please follow the steps above to ensure your email is properly set up.
  • Solution 3: Ensure your email preference is set correctly in Internet Explorer. To do this, first open up Internet Explorer and click on tools, then Internet options. From there, select the programs tab to make sure the correct email program is selected as the default option. For example, if you are trying to use Outlook, make sure that you have Outlook selected. From there, close Internet Explorer and open QuickBooks to see if the issue is resolved.
  • Solution 4: Test and repair your MAPI32.dll. This solution is highly technical in nature and should only be performed by an IT professional to ensure nothing goes wrong.
  • Solution 5: Reinstall QuickBooks or Repair Outlook. To reinstall QuickBooks, see Intuit’s article on how to do so using a clean install. Repairing Outlook is another highly technical procedure and is best performed by an IT professional.

Now that you know how to connect your email address and how to address common errors in sending emails from QuickBooks, you can properly set it up on your QuickBooks account.

QuickBooks Online Test Drive

Quickbooks Online Test Drive

There are many different reasons you could be looking to preview QuickBooks Online. You may be completely unfamiliar with the platform, you may be interested in seeing how it compares to QuickBooks Desktop, or you may want to dive in and try things you might not feel comfortable experimenting with in your company’s QuickBooks file. Whatever your reason may be, Intuit has your answer.

QuickBooks offers a sample company that you can use to try out QuickBooks Online Plus. It is available for those who live in six different countries, including the United States, Australia, and Canada. To view your country’s version, visit QuickBooks’ support page. Please note, this test drive does not allow you to save on the demo file. For those looking to do so, you will need to sign up for their 30-day free trial.

Features to Test in QuickBooks’ Online Test Drive

When using QuickBook’s Online Sample Companies, you can test out many of their features found in their Online Plus edition. While you cannot connect your bank, you can practice utilizing many of their features to help you feel more comfortable with the platform. Some of the features you can test out include:

Become Familiar with the Dashboard

For users who are completely new to QuickBooks, the thought of learning a new computer software may be intimidating. This test drive allows you to become used to the QuickBooks Online dashboard and how to navigate through the software quickly and efficiently. Your dashboard gives you the option to see a high level of many different reports, including your expenses and profit and loss, for various time periods. You can easily see your different bank accounts, their balance in the bank and their balance in QuickBooks.

You can also become familiar with both the left hand navigation and the plus symbol at the top right corner of your screen. These menus will help you navigate through the software and find what you’re looking to do.

Design an Invoice Template

Whether you choose to begin from a template or start from scratch, you can control what your invoices look like. Add your logo, choose your font, incorporate some color, and once you’re finished, you can view it is a PDF. You can even print out a sample invoice to see what it will look like.

Practice Sending Invoices and Setting Up Payments

For those who are unfamiliar with the platform, QuickBooks allows you to go through the motions of sending an invoice, as well as setting up sales and refund receipts. Find these options under the ‘Customers’ tab after hitting the plus sign icon (+) located in the top right section of your screen. From there, you can practice adding your customers and adding line items to these receipts.

Print a Sample Check

For those who are completely new to QuickBooks, you can follow our instructions on how to print a sample check in this online preview. This can be helpful for users who are new to the program adjust before setting up their own QuickBooks file.

Customize Reports

QuickBooks Online Test Drive lets you preview and customize over 80 different reporting options offered in their Online Plus edition. Some of these reporting options include: Profit and Loss, Invoice List, Open Purchase Order List, etc. When you click into a report, you will find the common options at the top. For those more familiar with the program, you can experiment using the advanced customization options as well. You also have the option to change the report’s design.

Practice Reviewing Items from Your Bank

In QuickBooks, it’s vital that you reconcile all of your accounts. Failure to do this can lead to a costly but common QuickBooks mistake. By clicking on the banking tab on the left side of your screen, you can practice matching items to an existing record or add it as a new record. You will also find examples where payment records are already matched, with the option to review the record.

Practice Preparing 1099s

QuickBooks allows you to prepare your 1099 information in their software, and for a fee, helps you e-file with the IRS.

Preview and Add to a Time Sheet

Your employees are a vital part of your business. That’s why it’s important that you know how to enter your employees’ time data and hours worked, as this will help you create their paychecks. In addition, TSheets by QuickBooks helps you track time on any device and enjoy streamlined payroll and accurate invoices. TSheets also has a free trial that users can enjoy.

Keep Tabs on Your Inventory

Whether you need to track your inventory, products you buy/sell but can’t track quantities of, or you provide a service, QuickBooks Online helps you keep track of your products and services. This will help you always know what is running low and what’s out of stock, which ensures that you will always have what your customers want. To reach this screen, choose the ‘sales’ option on the left hand navigation, and then click ‘Products and Services’ at the top.

The features listed above are only a few of the ways QuickBooks can help contribute to the overall success of your business. In addition, once you own a version of QuickBooks, you can add additional plugins, like a payment processing solution, to further enhance the software.

How to Print Checks in QuickBooks Online

Printing checks in QuickBooks Online is easier than you may think! Find out why you should be writing and printing your checks on QuickBooks and step-by-step instructions below.

Requirements to Print Checks in QuickBooks Online

Before you get started, it’s important that you meet all of the requirements of printing a check in QuickBooks Online. They are:

  • Google Chrome or Firefox Browser
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • An active QuickBooks Online Account

Why Should I Write and Print Checks in QuickBooks?

As a general rule to follow, business owners should write and print checks in QuickBooks when payment is due immediately. This will help avoid any mistakes in your QuickBooks file.

There are a couple of advantages to creating and printing checks in QuickBooks Online (compared to manually writing your checks). One of the biggest benefits is that this will help save you time. Writing and printing checks in QuickBooks will skip the step of manually entering the check later into the system. This is especially helpful when it is time to reconcile your checking account with the bank statement. Another advantage is that your QuickBooks file is always up-to-date with the most recent expenses you have paid. While this may seem small, life as a business owner often means wearing many different hats. It could be days that go by before you have time to update your QuickBooks file with your written checks.

Printing Checks in QuickBooks Online

To print a check in QuickBooks Online:

  • The first thing you need to do is navigate to the left-hand side of your screen and click on the ‘Expenses’ option in the drop down navigation.
  • From there, you will click on the button that reads ‘Print Checks’ on the right hand side of your screen.
  • You can also reach this screen by clicking the ‘+’ sign on the top right of your screen, and then choosing the ‘Print Checks’ option that is found under the Vendors section.

Printing Checks in QuickBooks Online for the First Time

If this is your first time printing a check in QuickBooks, you are going to need to align your paper to make sure that everything comes out correctly. To do this:

  • Select the type of check that you want to print (either Standard or Voucher Style). You will be printing a sample to ensure everything prints properly.
  • Next, you will need to load blank paper into your printer for the test run. Once the paper is loaded, click view preview and print sample.
  • QuickBooks will show you a screen that includes a sample page of the content that will print on your checks.
  • If you are okay with the preview, click ‘Print’ at the bottom of the screen.
  • Once your sample has printed, take it and hold it up in front of a light. Place a blank check on top of it to see if the numbers on your sample align with the amount boxes on your checks.

What To Do if Your Sample Check Does Not Print Out Correctly in QuickBooks

It’s important to note that if the numbers do not align with the boxes, it’s okay! Many printers do not align perfectly on the first try. To fix this issue:

  • Go back to the ‘Print Checks’ setup module.
  • At the bottom of the screen you will see “Are the fields lined up properly?” Choose the option that reads “No, continue setup.”
  • You may need to update your Adobe PDF Reader. This is free, and QuickBooks will give you a link to click the latest version.

If you Adobe PDF Reader isn’t the issue, you’re going to need to fine-tune your printing. To do this:

  • Drag and drop the amount grid to match the spot where the misaligned numbers are printing on your sample checks. Be sure that you are placing the grid where the amount is appearing on your sample, and not where you want them to appear.
  • Print out another sample and see if the issue has been corrected.

No matter what version of QuickBooks Online you have, following these simple and easy steps to printing checks can help keep your file up to date and save you time in the long run.

QuickBooks Training – Free and Paid Options

Whether you’re brand new to QuickBooks or looking to learn more about an advanced feature, there is an extensive range of both free and paid resources available to you. But which option is the best for your needs? That depends on your budget, time, and knowledge of the platform. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of our top recommendations, which includes both free and paid QuickBooks training options, to help you decide the best option for your business.

QuickBooks Training Options for Beginners and Advanced Users

Free QuickBooks Training Options

There are tons of great online resources to learn all about QuickBooks at no cost. From the basics to advanced questions, you can learn everything you need to know about QuickBooks with the following resources:

Fit Small Business QuickBooks Online Video Tutorials

Are you brand new to QuickBooks Online or need a better understanding of the platform? You may want to start your research with Fit Small Business. They have released 39 tutorials spanning 7 lessons, with each lesson being explained step by step.

Fit Small Business offers step-by-step instructions in both a video and written format. From setting up invoices, to paying bills, to reporting help, the tutorials offer you options and flexibility to learn at your own pace.

QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides

Sometimes the answer to your questions is one click away! The QuickBooks software is fully equipped with a powerful learning center (find it under the help menu). Their video tutorials are a great tool to use to refresh and expand your knowledge on specific QuickBooks functions. Their video library is organized into the following topics:

  • QuickBooks Basics
  • Money Out
  • Online Banking
  • Payroll
  • Adding Information to QuickBooks
  • Money In
  • Switching to QuickBooks Online

User Forums

Have a specific question you need help with? Intuit’s official community forum is an excellent starting point. These users, like you, are operating the program day-in, day-out, and chances are that someone else has run into the problem you’re facing. Their searchable database includes almost a half a million answered questions about QuickBooks. When a question has multiple answers, they are rated by other users for effectiveness to help give you the best solution.

User forums are the best for merchants who are already accustomed to the platform, but need help learning how to use an advanced function, like how to track payments for a business loan. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can post it, likely attracting an expert’s opinion.


Udemy is a learning platform with over 65,000 courses; some free and some paid. The free classes about QuickBooks vary in topics, with some being general and some are more task specific. The nice part about Udemy is that you can read user reviews on the classes (when available) to see if the course will help you with your specific topic or problem. You can also see how many people are taking the class. If you choose to learn on Udemy, be sure to check back often! New classes can be created at any time.

Paid QuickBooks Training Options

Those seeking one-on-one attention from a QuickBooks expert may want to consider a paid training option. While these trainings come in a variety of formats, all provide a more structured approach to QuickBooks training. Some of our paid training recommendations include:

Self-Paced DVDs and CDs

For merchants who are more audio or visual learners, QuickBooks Training offers DVD training guides that serve as a thorough reference guide. Endorsed by Intuit, these guides deliver a polished training course that covers topics including:

  • How to set up a company file
  • How to manage expenses
  • How to manage sales and income
  • Inventory management
  • Accounting basics

If you decide to find a different DVD set, remember that not all trainers are created equal. Be sure your materials include a printed or downloadable course guide, as it’ll help you when you begin to use QuickBooks on your own.

Webucator: Online QuickBooks Training and Webinars

Those looking for a more interactive experience may want to research an online course like Webucator. These interactive video webinars connect you to an instructor in real time. There are different ways to interact with the instructor, but we recommend finding classes where you can view the instructor’s screen and have the ability to ask questions, either by using a microphone or a text chat function.

Webucator is an excellent option if you’re interested in an online course, as it has provided training to more than 70% of the Fortune 100 companies. It is also a Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions. For $490, you get two days of training on the following topics:

  • How to create invoices
  • How to create credit memos
  • How to manage your inventory
  • How to track job costs
  • How to generate financial reports

Classroom Training

Did you know that several training companies offer face-to-face QuickBooks training across the country? Courses range from beginner to advanced level, and provide you personal access to an experienced instructor who can guide you step-by-step. The standard two-day workshop (cost: $550), which gives you a strong foundation, covers the following topics:

  • Accounting basics
  • Tips & tricks
  • How to setup your QuickBooks online account
  • How to manage sales and income
  • How to manage expenses

One-on-One Training

While they can be pricey, with the typical cost being $100/hour, a personal training instructor can be extremely beneficial. Because they visit your place of business, their training is 100% customized to your specific business needs whether your business is retail, hospitality, construction, legal, or any other. That means you won’t waste time learning practices that are irrelevant to your business and industry.

If you decide to find an instructor, make sure he or she is a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Intuit offers access to its database of 100,000 expert ProAdvisors. Be sure to check out their site to find one near you!