Qbox made Memorial Day memorable.

Written May 30, 2015

My Memorial Day dilemma: Work in my office or go outside and relax? Thanks to Qbox I chose to go outside, relax, and work at the same time.

Work and relax at the same  time, anywhere, with Qbox.

Work and relax at the same time, anywhere, with Qbox.

With Qbox I was able to abandon my office desktop computer. Instead, I sat under the backyard grape arbor, a glass of wine within reach, and did my QuickBooks invoicing on my laptop. My company data file is on both computers. Qbox keeps the two separate file copies synchronized in perfect harmony, so no matter which one I work on, and no matter where I am, the other is updated as soon as I finish my work.  When I’m out of town I no longer need to leave my desktop PC turned on, waiting for me to remote in. I can work on my laptop instead and Qbox just sends all of the new information back to my office and updates that copy of QuickBooks for me. It’s so slick you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Just $9 per month for for multiple files, no matter how many users.   Why not give it a try?

The Magic of Qbox

Qbox is an extraordinary solution for QuickBooks access.

The Magic of Qbox

Written April 14, 2014

Question: How can your QuickBooks company data file safely be in two places at the same time?

Answer: Qbox! It’s practically a miracle worker, an extraordinarily simple and effective solution to an age-old problem.

The problem is how can I work on my office QuickBooks file when I’m somewhere else? I don’t want to leave my computer running to enable remote access while I’m out of town. I don’t want to pay to host my QuickBooks. I don’t want to work on the Internet at all. I don’t want to create and restore backup copies between computers.  Qbox is the solution. Here are several scenarios where Qbox is the best solution for making QuickBooks readily accessible anyplace you need it.

  1. I have QuickBooks installed on both my office desktop computer and on my laptop which I take with me on business trips. I have a copy of my company data file on both computers, and I’ve identified those computers to Qbox using unique email addresses. When I work on my desktop computer and open that specific company file which I’ve told Qbox to monitor, Qbox sees me and locks me out of that same file on the laptop. As soon as I’m finished working, Qbox copies all of my new transactions, then unlocks the file to make it accessible on my laptop. When I start the laptop, Qbox updates the QuickBooks file with the new transactions so it becomes an exact replica of the desktop data file. It also locks me out of the file on the desktop as long as I have it open on the laptop. By allowing access to the data file in only one place at a time, Qbox ensures that it will keep all copies of that file in sync.
  2. I have a client who owns a small retail shop with QuickBooks Point of Sale software on the front counter computer. Her QuickBooks desktop financial software is also on that computer so at the end of the day POS can send the daily sales into the financial file. The bookkeeper works offsite. Since the POS computer must be available to ring up sales during store hours, the bookkeeper used to remote into the POS computer at night, after 9:00 PM, to do the bookkeeping. It was very inconvenient, plus it meant the store had to leave the POS computer running all night. Then along came Qbox. Now the bookkeeper has a copy of the QuickBooks file on her own computer and works during the day. Qbox sends her work over to the POS computer to keep it up to date. While she works, POS is locked out of the QuickBooks file which is fine since POS only needs to access the QuickBooks file at the end of each day when the store closes.
  3. A CPA I know now requires that all of his clients have a Qbox account so he can look at their data file on his own computer at his convenience instead of requesting a backup each time he needs to check something. He can access their QuickBooks data during office hours in view only mode, even if they’re working in QuickBooks. His copy will be updated each time they close their company file. The CPA can then open the file and make corrections or adjustments. No need to send an accountant’s copy back and forth. The time it saves everyone far outweighs the very small cost of the Qbox account.  Learn more about Qbox here.

Read another blog about Qbox.

Qbox is an extraordinary solution for QuickBooks access.

Written July 27, 2014

You want the easiest way to access your QuickBooks company data file from two or more locations without the worry of corrupting the data nor  incurring the cost and  experiencing the lag time that hosting the file typically entails. Qbox may be the answer for you. It certainly is perfect for me. Essentially, you’ll be working with a local QuickBooks file on your own computer but you’ll be locked out of it whenever someone else is accessing an exact copy of that file on their own computer, and any changes either of you make will post into both locations so you’re always in sync. Okay, I know it’s a new concept and tricky to grasp at first but it’s SO COOL!

Here’s an example of how it works. I need to work  on a QuickBooks file at my office. My business associate also needs to work on the same file while she’s in her office. We both have licensed copies of  the exact same QuickBooks version installed on our computers. We have a Qbox subscription. Don’t worry – it’s super affordable at $9.00 per month. I have a copy of  the QuickBooks file on my computer. She has a copy of it on her computer. When I work in the file, Qbox stops my business associate from working on her copy of the file until I’m finished. Then Qbox posts all of my changes into her copy of the QuickBooks file on her computer so we’re in sync. Then it unlocks the file so she can work on it. While she works on the file, I’m locked out of it on my computer. As soon as she logs out, Qbox sends all of her changes over to my computer so once again, our two copies are in sync – exact copies of the same data file.

Now here’s the really big news. This is a fantastic solution for QuickBooks Point of Sale users who must have their financial software and data located at the store so it can integrate with Point of Sale, but they need to work in the QuickBooks financial file at home or another office location. With QBox they can do exactly that.

Read another blog about Qbox.

Simply ingenious!

Import PayPal & eBay transactions into QuickBooks

Written May 24, 2014

I’m often surprised that so few people realize they need to track their PayPal account in QuickBooks along with the rest of their financial data. An alarming number of you say, Read the rest of this entry »

What you may have done wrong when you restored your QuickBooks backup file!

Written April 2014

At some point we all have to restore a QuickBooks data backup file to recover from a problem or to move the file to another computer. Often an important step is missed in that process. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Way to Print a Journal Entry in QuickBooks

Written August 22, 2011

Have you ever noticed that when you print a journal entry in QuickBooks you don’t get the full picture?

Literally – your image is truncated so you can’t read it properly. Read the rest of this entry »

Import QuickBooks and Point of Sale Items to Enter Many Items Quickly

Written June 10, 2011

One of the most arduous tasks in setting up either a new QuickBooks file or a QuickBooks Point of Sale file is entering the Items. I find that many people spend an excessive amount of time entering each item individually. With either program, the easiest method for entering many items is to use the built-in Item template. There’s a trick to making this easy, but it’s a simple one.

Import Items in QuickBooks

First, enter at least one of each type of item that you’re going to use: inventory, non-inventory, service, and other charge. Leave any group items or assemblies items until later. Those are best entered directly into QuickBooks. Next, using the built-in utility, export your item list. The menu path is File/Utilities/Export/Items. This will export as an *.iif file readable in Excel.

Open the file in Excel. The Text Import Wizard will pop up. Don’t worry about understanding the instructions. Just click NEXT, NEXT, FINISH and you’ll be fine. Now just enter all of your items into this spreadsheet. Often you’ll already have your items accessible in another Excel file so you can just cut and paste into this file.

IMPORTANT: Don’t change anything in the column header row, or anything above the header row. In column “A” enter INVITEM for all newly entered items. Be sure to enter the Item Type and use the exported items as examples for the correct code. When saving the file, answer YES, you do want to keep the file in *.iif format.

Then simply import the entire file back into QuickBooks. File/Utilities/Import

So the trick is that by creating at least one of each type of item before exporting the template:

  • You’re not starting from an empty template so there’s less confusion as to what each field represents.
  • You can easily see which columns represent the fields you’ll typically use.
  • You can copy the exact spelling of item types and column A text that QuickBooks expects to see when importing.
  • You don’t have to worry about which excel fields to map to which QuickBooks fields because that can lead to errors and frustration.
Import Items in Point of Sale

For POS, the process used to be essentially the same as for QuickBooks until POS version 10.0 came out. Now the import process is a bit different. If you use the built-in template, you can’t export existing items within the template in order to see what fields you should use.

So you have two choices. One is to follow the steps I’ve described. Then, during the import process, select Custom File instead of Default Template and use the mapping feature to match up the spreadsheet columns with the POS fields.  The other is to start at File/Utilities/Import, select Inventory Items/Default Template/Open Import Template, and enter all of your data into the spreadsheet. There won’t be any existing items for you to look at so just be sure to enter two required fields for each new item, Item Name and Item Type. I recommend that you DO NOT enter an item number (column A). This field is for POS to use in assigning a unique sequential number that it uses for its own purposes including bar code creation. This entire process needs to be performed on the POS server workstation in single user mode.

My final suggestion is that you try the whole process with just a couple of items until you’ve figured out any quirks and you feel comfortable with the process. From there it should be smooth sailing!

Intuitively Yours,


Addendum added June 2019

Times change, software changes, and since QuickBooks Desktop software is still going strong in spite of Intuit’s push towards QuickBooks Online, here’s an important update to this blog. Recent versions of QuickBooks desktop software have a feature in the Lists menu called “Add/Edit Multiple List Entries”. Use this feature to add many Service Items, Non-Inventory Items, or Inventory Items at the same time using a spreadsheet-like format. Be sure to use the Customize Columns button in the upper right corner of the screen to add or remove columns as needed before you start entering your data. If you save the data and then discover mistakes, you can also use this feature to edit many entries at the same time. Warning! You can’t use this screen to delete items, so don’t click the Save Changes button unless you’re sure it’s really ready.