QuickBooks Online Tip: Save Time by Setting Up Rules for Bank Feeds

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The process of recording cash activity is arguably one of the most important parts of interim accounting for any business, but it can also be one of the most time-consuming. QuickBooks Online has several features to help make this process more efficient.

The first step is to connect bank feeds, which automatically sync activity to QuickBooks. To do so, go to the banking screen and click “Add account”. This will pull up a screen allowing you to select your bank and go through a one-time process to enter your credentials. Repeating these steps for each bank and credit card account allows transactions to automatically import into the banking center, where a user can approve them for posting to the general ledger and/or reconcile them against any transactions that have already been entered into the books.  Please note that though the transactions are automatically imported, you still control which transactions are entered into your books and where they go.  This step just helps automate the process.

Establishing rules can ratchet up the efficiency of this system even further. It’s a tool that can save you hours, yet many people do not know it exists! Using rules leverages QuickBooks’s ability to remember vendor names and suggest categories for posting while eliminating the step of manually editing categories and payees each time. For example, QuickBooks can learn your office supply vendor and automatically suggest the “office expense” category be used to post transactions. Plus, if a purchase from that office supply vendor exceeds $2,500, you can teach QuickBooks via rules to recognize that the expenditure may be a capital purchase that needs to be posted to your balance sheet as office equipment rather then expensed to the profit and loss as an office expense.

Here is a breakdown on how to get the most out of this feature:

  1. To set up a new rule, go into the banking screen and click “Bank Rules” at the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Click “New Rule” in the green box on the top left side of the screen.
  3. From here, you can name your rule and then specify which bank accounts you would like this rule to apply.
  4. Next, set up the rule parameters. You will type in the bank text that QuickBooks Online captures from the bank feed. You can add multiple lines to have the rule encompass a variety of different conditions.
  5. Once you set up the conditions, you will tell QuickBooks Online where to categorize the transactions that meet the conditions above by selecting a category from the drop-down menu in the screen. You can also select a payee to be displayed.
  6. You can even set a rule to have transactions automatically split between multiple categories and payees each time QuickBooks Online recognizes the bank text.
  7. Click “Save.”

The complexity and variation of rules that can be set up in QuickBooks Online is seemingly endless. Take the time to setup this feature and help streamline your monthly accounting – you won’t regret it!

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