Is Quickbooks for me?

I am a sole proprietorship, no employees, 500 inventory items. Currently using MS Home & Business. It won't adequately track inventory. I'd like
history on an individual item from time to time in addition to total value. Also MS-Money won't do the sales tax correctly. No provision for paying sales tax on items I take from inventory for business use so the balance sheet never balances. With MS, it's a combination of software and hand written notes. I bought Peachtree Complete hoping it would be better, but now they tell me I'd have to buy (and learn) Crystal Reports. Also, I'm not an accountant. I can learn any software in time, but I have a store to run so I can't spend my life trying to figure out cryptic software and doing work-arounds for software deficiencies. I'd like to implement new software January 1. What will Quickbooks do and what is the learning curve for a non-accountant?
Bob
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Robertm wrote:

1) Talk to your accountant. 1A) No, I'm serious. 1B) Yes, you have inventory. 1C) Yes, you may need permission from the IRS to change. 1D) Yes, QB keeps track of inventory on the average cost method and changing methods requires the permission of the IRS.
2) Sounds like no single software packege will satisy you.
3) QB doesn't have adaquate provisions for taking things out of inventory for personal use for sales tax unless you are an accountant type who knows how to do general journal transactions in their sleep. 3A) Your accountant should be able to give you a template to follow.
4) QB is an accrual basis system. It can produce cash basis reports, but the cash basis balance sheet will look wrong to you because QB is an accrual basis system.
5) Talk to your accountant.
6) Talk to your accountant again.
That is all.
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I'll attempt to explain this better. The information I want to get regarding inventory is strictly for my own use. How many of item A or B or C have I sold in the last year? Are sales on specific items increasing or decreasing? How many should I reorder for next year? The IRS doesn't care if I reorder an overstock or an understock. I want to meet the customer needs while not having surplus inventory. I don't have an accountant and if I did, he or she couldn't advise me on how much inventory to stock. And yes, I agree the IRS uses the average cost method, but I'd also like to know my current cost because current selling price is based current cost, not on average cost over the past two years ago. No, I'm not going to change from accrual to cash accounting.
Regarding sales tax, these items are taken from inventory for business use, not personal use. In some states, anything that is part of the manufacturing process is free of sales tax. In this state, things used in the repair process are taxable unless they end up on the item being sold. Sandpaper is taxable, lacquer and varnish are not. MS Money will also not figure anything other than a fixed rate sales tax. Our tax rate here depends on the price of what is being sold. It may be that I'll have to write my own program in Excel and then link to Access for the inventory database. It'll be a lot of work. I thought perhaps there might be something already out there.
Bob
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Are you are drugs? What are you talking about?

Where did the OP mention changing the method of accounting for their inventory?

Who mentioned taking items from inventory for personal use? Get off those drugs.

Oh a template to follow?

You are telling the OP this because?

Thank god it's over.

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I bought Peachtree Complete hoping it would be better, but

I do not know who "they" are but why did "they" tell you that you had to learn/invest in Crystal Reports? Crystal Reports is used for creating and viewing custom reports. When any of my clients require a special report that is not already built into their software they call me in to design the Crystal Report. All the user has to learn is how to print the report.
If you migrate to QuickBooks 2006 whose data is now also accessible to Crystal Reports, I hope "they" do not tell you the same thing.
Peachtree software is geared more towards users that have more accounting knowledge than the typical QB user. QB is written and designed to hide the fact that it is a fully functional accounting system from the end user.
It really is impossible to tell what the learning curve in QB would look like for you since you are an unknown factor. Surfice it say QB has an 86% market share in the small business sector. With so many users, logic dictates that there are a lot of dummies out there using the program. Don't get me wrong, many of them are using the program incorrectly but they are not aware if this fact so I guess it's ok. What you don't know can't hurt you, right?

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My reference to "they" was a reference to Peachtree. I contacted them after buying Peachtree to ask if it would do what seemed to have been advertised, namely a full software package for all my business records. Unfortunately, their advertising seems to be more wishful thinking rather than fact. If I want to buy add-ons and learn how to use them, then Peachtree will do what is advertised. I guess the perspective is a matter of whether you're the seller or the buyer of their software. In any case I was somewhat disappointed with Peachtree because their stand alone package without add-ons doesn't appear to be capable of doing anything more than MS-Money for H&B will do for handling my inventory. While everyone wants ease of use in software, I don't necessarily have to be shielded from the accounting that is going on behind the scenes. I don't trust any pre-packaged software 100% so I've delved in MS-Money to see how it is handling the accounts. I have a good idea of what it is doing correctly and where it is lacking. As pointed out, I may have to get two separate packages. There is nothing better for inventory than a relational database. Putting it into a financial package means compromising.
Bob
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Peachtree is know for their inventory functionality. Many businesses choose Peachtree over QuickBooks just for this reason.
Stating that Peachtree is on par with MS-Money for H&B with reguards to inventory leads me to believe you did not spend enough time evaluating Sage's product. Your conclusions just do not make sense.
While everyone wants ease of use

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You are correct, I did not examine it that closely. I took Peachtree's word for it that what I wanted to do couldn't be done without Crystal Reports. It may have other capabilities that MS doesn't have, but if those are of no interest to me, then Peachtree doesn't have any added advantage for me. Perhaps for someone with different needs Peachtree would be better than MS. I am speaking only in reference to my needs. Thought I made that clear in an earlier post.
Bob
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Perhaps your request was so unique that the only response was that it could only be done with a custom report.
Just what did you ask for?
It

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I might add that I am using MS "incorrectly" in that I have found ways to get around some of its limitations. I think as long as one knows how they are using it "incorrectly" i.e.unintended by Bill Gates, and why, then there is no problem. What you don't know can hurt bad so it is appropriate for users to know what their software is doing and why. I am aware that computers and software can automate many tasks but they don't care about right or wrong, and you can't tell the IRS, "the software made the mistake".
Bob
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Robertm wrote:

Get an accountant - preferably a CPA who's also a tax attorney - and you will never have to tell the IRS squat. Basic rule = If your outside assistant isn't charging you at least $500/year for your corporate returns, you don't have a good enough practitioner.
The tax attorney will introduce you to terms like "shrikage" and "rodent damage" and "deterioration" and "de minimus" that will solve forever your concern over paying the state for that bit of sandpaper you removed from inventory to use around the office.
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$500 a year to save $20 taxes for a mom & pop store? I'm not questioning the knowledge of accountants, but their fee would far exceed any amount they could save me.
Bob
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Unless of course you put any value on your own time.
--
Ron Anderson
A1 Sewing Machine
  Click to see the full signature.
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Robertm wrote:

You think? One of my customers was field-audited by the IRS. My friend had his books done by one of the largest accounting firms in St Petersburg for many years. After almost a month of auditing, the IRS sent my friend a notice of deficiency for - wait for it now - $248,000.00.
Paniced, he hired a tax attorney, recommended by me, ($5,000 retainer). The first words out of the attorney's mouth were: "I know this dude. He spends most of his time auditing automobile dealers who sell Hummers to drug dealers for cash. Watch me make this all go away."
Five weeks later, a revised notice of deficiency for less than $3,000.
Then the attorney says: "In going over your records, I think you're paying WAY too much in property taxes. $23,000 a year sounds like it's just too much. Let me see what I can do."
Presently, a new property tax evaluation comes in for $9100 - a $14,000 PER YEAR savings.
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Are you sure QB 2006 data is now available to Crystal Reports? Just because Intuit has switched QB to an SQL data engine does not mean that data is directly available via SQL. From what I've gathered from what little info is available is that it is still a proprietary system "based" on SQL Anywhere. I suppose CR could use the QB SDK to get at "some" of the data, but that has been possible prior to QB 2006.
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wrote in message

My understating that CR uses ODBC to read the data. I should be receiving my copy of QB 2006 shortly. I will test it out. I am only spitting out what I have read in the accounting journals and articles about this this years version of QB.

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The biggest limitation for QBooks in handling inventory, is that it can not handle receipt of the goods and receipt of the invoice for the goods as separate transactions. Once you enter an invoice for an item, QBooks assumes that it is in stock, so you have to use paper records to reconcile that the items you have paid for actually show up.
Otherwise, you should be able to get the reports you need to see your inventory levels, etc. As far as sales tax goes, when you create a sales invoice, you can select any number of sales tax types, which can be different %.
One thing that is very nice about QBooks is the ability to memorize transactions. This way, you can work with your accountant to figure out how to handle each different type of transaction, and memorize it, so you can easily use the transaction without remembering all the details of what you have to do.
It's not a perfect program, but it is inexpensive, virtually crash proof, and has a very good user interface. In addition, it now has an API interface, so that you have the option to write custom software that interfaces with Quickbooks that provides industry specific functionality not included in the base program. Note: I wouldn't recommend doing this, unless you have your eyes WIDE open as far as the long term support costs, etc......
Mike Schumann

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I'm currently using QBooks 2004. In this version your only options are "Receive Items", "Enter Bill for Received Items", and "Enter Bill and Receive Items".
What is missing is "Enter Bill for Items Not Received Yet". In our business, this is a common occurrence, as we receive bills via FAX, and the goods often don't show up until a week later.
Mike Schumann

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