BONUS: What is QuickBooks Ledger?

BONUS: What is QuickBooks Ledger?

Warning: This is a machine-generated transcript. As such, there may be spelling, grammar, and accuracy errors throughout. Thank you for your understanding!

Hector: Welcome to the unofficial QuickBooks accountants podcast. I am joined by my good friend Alicia Katz Pollock, the original, the one and only Rockstar CEO and founder of Royal White Solutions.

Alicia: And I have the privilege of collaborating with Hector Garcia, CPA, the founder of Right Tool for QuickBooks.

Hector: And in this episode of the unofficial QuickBooks accountants [00:00:30] podcast, we're going to be talking about QuickBooks ledger. This is going to be a special episode because it's going to be podcast format, and we're also publishing the video version to YouTube. So first of all, hi, Alicia. How are you?

Alicia: Hey, Hector. I'm great. How are you doing?

Hector: Excellent. I'm excited. It's a brand new product. We haven't seen a new product from Intuit in a very long time.

Alicia: And it's completely fun to work on minimal information and speculate about what this might possibly be. And does it fill our wish lists? [00:01:00]

Hector: Absolutely. So let's talk about dating, the dates and the timelines of this. So on November 6th, in the firm of the future website. So you've got a firm of the and you go into the November updates. They first talked about QuickBooks ledger. There's also a post I believe it was November 4th or fifth. There's very close to that November 6th actual publishing date in the firm of the future, Ted Callahan, the director or leader of the accountants segment [00:01:30] in in QuickBooks, posted a LinkedIn post saying, hey, by the way, if you follow me on LinkedIn and you're an accounting professional, message me or click on this in this form and you can get access to QuickBooks ledger, the brand new products. So Alicia and I started speculating. And then between our speculation, the comments in LinkedIn, the comments in Facebook, people calling QuickBooks tech support the subsequent pages that came out. I think we have [00:02:00] about 98% of what this is. So we can map out conspiracy theory exactly what this is, and we assume that in QuickBooks connect next week, because we're recording this right after that November 6th launch of that article next week in QuickBooks connect, they're probably going to clarify and get us to 99.9%. And I'm sure that 0.1% will figure out later. So, Alicia, reader's digest version, what is QuickBooks ledger?

Alicia: So QuickBooks ledger is [00:02:30] a product that's specifically for the accountant users, although the client is going to be able to sign into it, but it's really designed for the accountant user. That's like minimum ledger for what they would need in order to run a PNL, a balance sheet, file taxes. So it's really just a trial balance report in the end. And so there's none of the none of the the typical business transactions, there's no invoices, there's no R, there's no AP, [00:03:00] it's just an after the fact accounting process that allows you to do kind of quick and dirty bookkeeping.

Hector: That's a great summary. I'm going to share my screen. So if you're watching in in in YouTube, obviously you'll be able to see my screen. If you're just listening in audio format that's okay. You can follow along just fine. So in the firm of the future website on the November 6th, what's New in QuickBooks update? The very first thing that shows up is QuickBooks [00:03:30] ledger. In the firm of the future website. You don't get that much information. The most important piece that you see is sort of like the marketing briefing. This is for your year end tax only, low transaction volume clients that essentially you're going to be moving from a Excel spreadsheet, some competing products like Xero ledger or something like that into this version of QuickBooks online that is now quote unquote [00:04:00] affordable compared to what it would cost otherwise to put your clients in QuickBooks online. Simple Start, which used to be the lowest cost QuickBooks online product. You could put a company file a client onto, which was $21 a month effectively, which is $30 minus a 30% ProAdvisor discount. So in contrast, we now have QuickBooks ledger, which is launching at $10 a month. This is per client, per subscription, [00:04:30] per company file. Now will this be $10 a month forever? Probably not, but it's launching at at $10 a month. We are used to QuickBooks online increasing prices, so we'll speculate later on in the future whether this thing will go to 15 or something like that.

Hector: But it is. The target is to give accountants, especially the ones having 20, 30, 50 clients in QuickBooks desktop where they only do their once a year sort of tax only write up work [00:05:00] to get them into the cloud. To get them into Qbo and of course getting accountants to pay per client, which is obviously the ultimate goal in override into it. And obviously they also want to have access to the data and have just more information about more small businesses out there. So when you move your QuickBooks desktop clients, or maybe you were doing things in a spreadsheet or some other software, you're now going to pay $10 a month. They don't say whether the ProAdvisor discount can be applied to this, but I think it's implied that this is $10 a month period. No [00:05:30] such thing as a ProAdvisor discount, and they give five bullet points on the firm of the future website. One is automated, automated bank feeds, the other one is bank reconciliation. The third is financial statements, the third is 1099 tracking and the fifth is seamless transition to tax preparation. Those are the five that we see in the firm of the future website. I think we can extrapolate tons of stuff from here. But listen, these are the things that we need, right? We are accountants.

Hector: We want bank reconciliations. Beautiful. [00:06:00] Xero doesn't have that. And of course Xero Ledger wouldn't have that. And we're making the assumption this is a response to Xero Ledger and also a respond to books which I haven't talked about, which is legal Zoom getting into the accounting business as well. So this is a response to the lower cost online based products for having, again, like Alicia said, no invoices, no standard business transactions, just ledger. Now, the really important thing [00:06:30] about this, and I'm going to suspect this is going to be the single thing that causes the most amount of confusion. Based on the responses I'm seeing in Facebook, a lot of accountants are saying, great, I'm going to recommend this to a client, or I have a client that would be great for this, or have a client that's been trying to move from QuickBooks desktop to online. It was too expensive. Now it's finally affordable. And that is the wrong thinking because you're missing the mark. This is an accountant only product that [00:07:00] the accountant will pay for that the accountant owns and controls. And yes, you're going to be able to give the client access so they can view stuff, but it's not meant for the end user to do the work. It's meant for the accountant to do and own the work. Any comments on that? Alicia.

Alicia: Yeah, I mean, really what it is, is just a quick and dirty bank transactions import allowing you to say this is income, this is this type of expense, this type of expense map that chart [00:07:30] of accounts to your taxes and then get everything in with rules and a minimum of fuss, reconcile it to make sure it's right, and then just import it into proconnect tax and be done with taxes. So if you're not tracking sales, you're not tracking customers, you're not tracking products and services. You're just saying, I made this much money and I spent it on these things. That's absolutely the nutshell.

Hector: Yeah. And so let's dig into the details. So if you were to click on the Learn More button inside the firm of the future [00:08:00] website, you go into the landing page for QuickBooks ledger, and you're going to see the same type of information as you go through that landing page, you don't really see a lot of new extra information. You do see multi company clients with non-operating entities. Okay, I guess that's for somebody that has multiple real estate LLCs or something like that. Obviously a lot more affordable than $21 a month per for Simple Start. So you go through the website, not a lot of information, [00:08:30] but I was clicking frantically through the website until I found a page, which is a comparison chart across all versions of QuickBooks online, and they added a new column for ledger and it says new. So that's pretty cool. And and it's under the heading QuickBooks online. So even though everything else is calling a QuickBooks ledger, this is QuickBooks Online ledger. And the reason why I'm making a distinction to this is because when [00:09:00] QuickBooks Simple Start, sorry, quick QuickBooks Self-employed came out, which I would say 99% of accountants just hate. I mean, there really isn't. I've never heard an accountant say I love QuickBooks. Simple start. They didn't give it the name QuickBooks online, which I like that strategically because, okay, it's not QuickBooks online. It's a software that is resembles QuickBooks, but it's not QuickBooks online. And since you can't go from QuickBooks Self-employed to any of the standard QuickBooks online products, I like [00:09:30] the fact that they kept the word online out of that to differentiate that QuickBooks Self-employed, which is crap, by the way.

Hector: It has nothing to do with QuickBooks online, but I'm going to hate if QuickBooks doesn't call this QuickBooks online ledger or ledger, because I do not want people to confuse this with simple. Sorry. With self-employed there's so many things to remember. So with self-employed, because this is not like self-employed, this is part of the QuickBooks online family. Now the challenge here [00:10:00] is that. It's very obvious that this is something. So you get your clients started with it, maybe transfer from desktop, and then once they graduate from this ledger only type relationship, you can go up to simple start essentials plus and Advanced. The key thing here is that if you go through the website and all the documents are published nowhere, it says whether or not you can go down from simple start to ledger or go down from plus advanced [00:10:30] essentials to ledger. I am going to go out on a limb here, piecing together the information that multiple users in social media have given us, where they're saying they got this from a rep, that this is not meant to be a product, that you bring your existing simple start clients down into. So it's not a down gradable product, but yes, it's going to be an upgradeable product. So Alicia, any thoughts on that? Because I know the the most important thing to you was, [00:11:00] is can I bring my simple start clients down to QuickBooks ledger? And if you cannot do this, are there any negative implications to the accounting community?

Alicia: Right. I mean that what you're talking about is one of my specific use cases that, you know, we have a real estate holding company with zero activity. You know, we formed it when we were going to buy an office building and wound up not buying the office building. And so it's just sitting there paying $21 a month for this thing that I'm going to need five years from now. And so I would love to [00:11:30] be able to bring it down to, to be a QuickBooks ledger account so that I can still keep track of the initial costs that we had. But, you know, so it sounds like I'm going to have to start it over again, which might still be worth it. And for me, it's kind of a welcome opportunity because I get to be hands on with the product from the beginning up. But I kind of think it's shortsighted not to allow simple start people to, to downgrade to it because, I mean, yeah, I get [00:12:00] it. You'd be cutting your revenue in half. What good would that do? But there are so few people on Simple Start that it's basically just a glorified checkbook. And so for the people who are actually using Simple Start, there's probably not a whole lot of difference between using Simple Start and using this, with the exception of the income of R and being able to make invoices and sales receipts to take revenue from your customers. But if all your work is e-commerce or really [00:12:30] occasional, and all you're doing is just pulling in your your revenue and categorizing it through the banking feed, it's kind of a missed opportunity to not be able to have people do this because, you know, I'm tempted to just cancel my simple start file and reactivate it once a year for a month, and then cancel it again just to keep my costs down.

Hector: That's that's a good point. So let's put an asterisk to that because and I think this is a topic we need to develop later on with more [00:13:00] depth and do webinars and all sorts of things to talk about. Like are there workarounds for this? Because there might be workarounds for this, but I also want to discuss I'm going to make a speculation here that the motivation for Intuit not to or to disallow a downgrade might not just be a revenue play, it could also be a complexity play. And again, we're putting an asterisk to this. But I'll give you a quick preview. It's probably going to be hard to figure out [00:13:30] how to do a downgrade, because you're going from an R type of transaction on the positive funds. You know, you have all these things that you have to now convert into like a cash basis type of thing. So what would this look like in the register. So again we put an asterisk to that. We'll go back to that towards the end. Maybe talk about some potential workarounds because that that discussion might spark some ideas in terms of how to go about doing a downgrade, essentially because it will have the same logic as going from desktop to this, [00:14:00] because there will be some weird conversion that needs to happen to go from desktop to this. Go ahead. You know.

Alicia: I would imagine that that complexity would come after they make sure that they have a minimum viable product that actually works and people are happy with it, and then they can take a look at the at the conversion process because like you said, like, what do you do with all of that R stuff? But, you know, I'd like to think that down the line, that is something that they would put into place because it [00:14:30] would be handy to be able to and, you know, think back to, you know, 10 or 15 years ago, it was a hassle to even upgrade from essentials to plus like there was when I first started. You could upgrade, but you couldn't even downgrade. And then that became normal that you can move up and down amongst all of the different versions and except with the exception of self-employed. So hopefully there will be a leap from simple start down.

Hector: Yeah we'll see. Only only time will tell. And then [00:15:00] we'll be able to pick the brains of the. Into a folk over at Las Vegas this year, and we'll come back and tell you everything that we're able. And look, I bet a lot of them don't even know. Like, they got to a point. They're like, they launch this thing and they're like, they didn't even ask the question. So they're waiting for us to sort of give the feedback. So let's go to the comparison chart on the website and we'll compare it just with simple start. So share access with multiple users single user and ledger, single user and simple start. This allows me [00:15:30] to think, or this makes me speculate, that there will be a end user user that you could give. So essentially you, the accountant can give a user access was not clear to me. Is that whether that user could be view only because honestly, if this is a write up only tool, why do I want the customer to do now? If you collaborate with your customer, maybe you want the customer to upload attachments to a transaction. Maybe you want them to use the books review process where they give you information [00:16:00] about what a category could be.

Hector: So like that's really sort of up in the air. Whether that functionality of the collaboration of QuickBooks online accountant with the end user is still there. But I think the logic behind giving the user access, that's essentially where it comes from. I would love for the one user to be view only because again, I don't want to. It would run into the same situation where we have to do a bunch of cleanup in Qbo when we give customers user give customers access. Now we go down to the second [00:16:30] row here, which is build built in reports. Simple start says 40 plus, ledger says 40 plus with limitations. So my speculation about what with limitations means is that, for example, when you pull a PNL in a, in a simple start, you can still do a PNL by customer. For example, even though you can't jump costings in simple start, you can still see a PNL by customer. So there's certain dimensions of data you can run on reports, and I'm going to make the assumption that you cannot do this in ledger. Okay. [00:17:00] Any thoughts on that or would you agree?

Alicia: I'm with you on that one. You know, you know, since we. Well now I'll let you. Okay. All right. No problem.

Hector: All right. So let's go with third row. It says share access with accountants up to two. That's interesting. So like, you could be maybe the bookkeeper that manages this. And then you give another accountant who's a tax preparer or the other way you could be a tax preparer and you give another accountant access as a bookkeeper. So that's interesting. I love I love that. Now remember, if you're a QuickBooks online accountant user, all [00:17:30] your firm users will have access to that. So it's not like there's only two people in the world that can access it. It's just two accounting firms or two main accountants that can be connected to it. Then if you go down and you just scroll down through all the things where the checks are, are the same track income and expenses, same for ledger and same for, um, simple start. Even though Alicia was very clear, tracking income in this case doesn't mean invoices, it just means putting things as a deposit [00:18:00] into an income account, or putting expenses as a check or as an expense.

Alicia: Once we scroll down a little further, you'll be able to see some of the distinctions there with the.

Hector: Ah, exactly. So maximize tax deductions. Again, that doesn't really mean anything. Honestly. It's just a marketing talk. That just means you can categorize things as expenses. That's basically all it means. So that's going to be in ledger and simple start. Then we have download transactions. Download transactions for your accounts basically means you can connect your banks, download your bank accounts, your square your PayPal, all the bank feeds. [00:18:30] That's awesome. It doesn't say whether or not the attachments feature where you can download. I think it's check images and deposit images and and bank statements for certain banks if that's going to work or not. I'm going to make the assumption that they're not going to curtail that feature. It's going to work. And then this one's interesting. Integrate third party apps. So this is a checkbox on ledger meaning that you will be able to do API integration. But it says with limitations. And obviously I guess what this means is if you're going to sync [00:19:00] something that brings invoices, you're going to get an error. If it brings a bill, you're going to get an error. So obviously that's maybe the limitation. But I wonder if the limitation is something else, whether you'll be able to use ledger for ten bucks a month and then use an operating system like a true operating system that's a third party app, and basically run your entire business there and just use this for PNL and balance sheet. As long as that API tool, the third party app, brings everything into the bank register. You know, technically [00:19:30] that could work. So that's going to modify the way some developers develop apps, because they could develop apps strictly for ledger and bring the information in QuickBooks differently, and maybe drive some of the more operating side to a third party app. That's speculation at this point. That's going to be developed in the next couple of years. What do you think, Alicia?

Alicia: So I think the apps that are going to be able to integrate our apps like connect to PayPal or maybe even the commerce app, because right now it doesn't bring [00:20:00] in products, it just brings in daily sales receipts. So I would imagine that any of the apps that can connect are the ones that do just summary transactions, but not the ones that have to do with AR and AP. So yes, it's going to. So when they say with limitations, it basically means, well, what's the function of the app? If it's something that is just a direct ledger import, it'll work. If it's something that involves your business management, it's not going to do what you need to do.

Hector: My only comment [00:20:30] to that is I don't think sales receipts are going to work here. Right. So like I would scratch that. No sales receipts because that contains sales tax. And if you go down you'll see that sales tax is not included.

Alicia: Oh no I meant like. Well, I guess so. So if you want to rephrase that, like more like a daily sales journal entry, not a daily. Yeah that's different. So daily let me use daily sales summary, not the actual term daily sales receipts.

Hector: As a journal entry, which means we're hoping the ledger has journal entries. And that's nowhere to be found here. [00:21:00] But I mean, look, I have.

Alicia: Two.

Hector: Quickbooks costs something. Ledger doesn't have a journal entry. I mean, they're way wrong here. Okay. So print checks is interesting and record transactions. So you will be able to print paper checks. That means the check feature, the the check feature versus the expense feature. So you will have that distinction an expense transaction and a check transaction. So I like that. Prepare and print 1099 for contractors. Now that does not mean it's included for free. You probably have to pay the 20 bucks or whatever at the end of the year. [00:21:30] Plus, you know, however it's per contractor to file 1099. It's not clear whether you can add that add on the contractor payments through it. Um, I don't think this is meant for you to add stuff to it, although you can add payroll. Yes, you can add payroll, which is awesome, but it's not really meant for you to add more than just payroll. I guess for now, maybe they'll they'll do direct pay for contractors or if you add payroll. I guess we talked about this on the on the on the bill pay [00:22:00] payroll episode where if you add payroll, you'll be able to add contractors to ACH, which automatically includes them in a 1099 type of thing. But what's not is not talked about here is whether or not you'll be able to do QuickBooks bill pay. And I'm going to make the assumption that this is not something you can add QuickBooks bill pay to, right?

Alicia: Well, considering there aren't going to be bills, you can't do a bill pay. So I think it's going to be because it's after the fact accounting. You're pretty much just going to get deposits and expenses. [00:22:30] Those are probably the two main and transfers are probably and journal entries are probably going to be the main transaction types.

Hector: Correct. So the last one that's listed here as also being available is import data from Excel or QuickBooks desktop. Now before you jump and get excited, I don't think import data from Excel means anything else that the stuff that's already in Simple Start, which is just bringing in customers, vendors, accounts and products and services, in this case products and services. It's probably not going to work here because there's [00:23:00] no operating transaction. So it's just going to be chart of accounts customers and vendors I assume. So now let's talk about.

Alicia: Just to just to reiterate, that means that there's not going to be a convert from desktop. It's going to be if you can export your customer list, if you can export your vendor list, export your export your chart of accounts, then you will be able to import that data.

Hector: Exactly, exactly. And you will be able to bring a QuickBooks desktop file into this. But it will just be the [00:23:30] the raw file because it says right here, QuickBooks desktop. Like you can literally go from QuickBooks desktop to ledger like that is part of of of the value proposition. You think? No, no.

Alicia: I don't think so. If you put your cursor over that little eye right next to it, it says if your customer supplier details are already saved on your computer, there's no need to type them into QuickBooks by hand. So I really only think we're talking about lists. I do not think we're talking about transactions.

Hector: Oh, so hold on a second. So [00:24:00] what you're telling me is that if I have a QuickBooks desktop file and I convert to ledger, the historical transactions are not coming and only the lists are coming. Is that what you think?

Alicia: I'm not sure that there's a convert at all. I think that this. That's interesting. For ten bucks a month, there's probably no conversion path. It's probably a fresh start.

Hector: No conversion path for historical transactions because.

Alicia: Because, you know, how would you be able to eliminate all the things that wouldn't be in [00:24:30] this?

Hector: Yeah, exactly. That's the part I wanted to put an asterisk on. Yeah. So to go back and discuss that. So this is the one piece that we're not 100% sure about. Although I mean, this is the tricky part where when I talk to a customer service rep and from what everybody else tells me when they talk to a service rep, they literally said so, quote, so you can bring your desktop clients. It doesn't say so you can bring your desktop clients and forget about the history. It says, so you can bring your desktop clients. So again I [00:25:00] am sort of again, look I reserve the right to be wrong. But but I think that there will be a path. So let's let's put an asterisk on that. Just go through all the things that it says is not included. So let's go through them. This is not included in ledger recurring transactions capture and organize receipts. This means when you upload a receipt and QuickBooks tries to OCR and figure things out for you, it's not clear whether you can do your straightforward attachments. Two things I'm going to make the assumption that [00:25:30] it's yes, although it's not in there. Uh, Alicia is on the on the camp that you won't be able to add attachments. Look, because attachments is part of bank feeds, I would assume that they wouldn't remove that. Again. We'll see what happens.

Alicia: Let me be a little more clear about that. What you can tell from this chart is that that you can't use your phone as the mechanism to snap the picture of the receipt to create the expense, correct? I'm not saying that if you have a PDF or a Jpeg, [00:26:00] you can't attach it to the transaction. Then we're in the same saying that there's no expense management receipt capture functionality. Yeah.

Hector: We're on we're on the same page. I think the phone app is probably not going to work through here, which means you're also not going to be capturing receipts, and it's probably not going to go through the OCR process to do something with the receipt for you, but you could attach any regular attachment you already have in PDF or Jpeg or whatever into a document. Right? So what else is not included? Access data from any device. So that answers the mystery of the iPhone. Right? [00:26:30] Right. And in there it says send invoices, categorize transactions, view and manage workflow. Okay. These are the things that you can do on the app. Then no sales tax. We talked about that earlier. No invoices or accepting payments. So obviously you can't add QuickBooks payments to this. No. No estimates, no mileage tracking from your smartphone, no managing bills or bill payments, sales channels. In terms of e-commerce serial channels you can connect. That means that if and I know Alicia talked about it earlier, if you [00:27:00] are going to use this for an e-commerce company, you will have to use a third party app that brings the data, and the data would have to come in into the register, not as a sales receipt. We have to come in either as a deposit or as a journal entry, as a sort of daily summary, then app integration diagnostics. I really don't know what that means, but it says it's not included, so I guess it doesn't matter. Automated bookkeeping again, I don't know what that means. Users QuickBooks uses your input [00:27:30] to learn how to categorize. Oh that's interesting. So it's not going to include automated bookkeeping. Again, let's let's read this. Quickbooks uses your input to learn how to categorize your income and expenses, then auto matches and records transactions for you. And then on. That is interesting because that doesn't answer whether or not you can do bank rules. So that's interesting right?

Alicia: Yeah. There's there's two ways that that could be interpreted because there's two mechanisms happening. There's the AI which [00:28:00] is doing the auto categorization, and then there's the banking rules. And honestly, I'm surprised that there's no check mark on this one, because that's kind of what I assumed was the whole benefit of using this is that you could go in and set up the rules and have 95% of the data entry just take care of itself. Yeah. And I also would be surprised, because we know that the way that it learns is all [00:28:30] there, all in on AI. And they're using our consumer behavior to learn how business operates as the intelligence for this artificial intelligence. So the fact that that automated bookkeeping does not have a check box, a check mark is shocking to me.

Hector: Look, look, this episode is going to be obsolete so quick because this is a classic case of like the marketing team not talking to like the product team and people just making up things on the fly. Like, look, in the accounting world, we [00:29:00] have a concept that we call explicit rules and implicit rules. So explicit rules is when we actually go into bank rules and we say, hey, if it says Starbucks, make it a meals or whatever. And then implicit rules, a term that we made up that's not even a thing is when you categorize Starbucks as meals on your own without using rules. And then the next time Starbucks shows up, QuickBooks tells you automatically, this is probably meals because of the behavior you're done in the past. What I think this is, this is the implicit [00:29:30] rules and not necessarily the explicit rules. I'm still thinking that explicit rules are going to work. Again, I'm speculating about this. And secondly, when it says auto matches and recourse transactions for you, I think that's more talking about matching invoices with deposits and that sort of thing. But I'm still worried about like, okay, if I have transfers between two bank accounts and I already create the transfer on one side, what is it going to ask me to create the other transaction? It's not going to match it for me or or try to figure out whether it's a [00:30:00] paired transfer. So I think if QuickBooks took this out, they're going to have to learn from this because they cannot change our our our workflow. Like if you change our workflow, this is not going to work for accountants, right? Unless you're trying to find accountants that have never used any version of Qbo and you're trying to get brand new people that don't know, and you're okay with them coming in with a brand new workflow. But the matching workflow, especially with transfers and credit card payments, that needs to work the same in my opinion.

Alicia: Yeah, I agree with that, that [00:30:30] I can understand if they're trying to say, hey, we want to be able to eliminate the user error factor because we know that bank feeds are either your best friend or your worst night. And if you use them wrong, you mis categorize things and the automatic what you call it intrinsic. I can't remember what the term that you used, but the. Oh, you.

Hector: Mean the thing I made up? Yeah, the thing that.

Alicia: That you made up implicit.

Hector: Rules.

Alicia: Yeah. Implicit rules. The fact [00:31:00] the fact that the last time you went to Starbucks, it brings it back again. I just spent five hours today undoing a client who just went add, add, add, add, add and reclassifying a year and a half's worth of data errors because of that. Now, under normal circumstances, I adore that feature, but it is one of the you know, a problem exists between chair and keyboard. It's one of the major sources of bad data. And so I would so maybe [00:31:30] they're trying to eliminate the bad data completely by not using that level of automation. But if there's not rules that you can auto add for when you pay the electric bill, that's going to make a lot of extra work.

Hector: Absolutely. Now, I suspect that a bunch of people from Intuit, smart people from into it, because there's a lot of smart people into it. We'll listen to this episode and go, huh, we didn't think about these things, and they're going to get feedback at QuickBooks connect. And but the feedback will be limited because this product [00:32:00] is not live, I believe, until after QuickBooks connect. So it's very easy to go out there and and go in the main stage and get standing ovation because there will be claps, there will be high fiving, there will be standing ovations, there will be shots in the bar around this, but without having the actual product to actually go, hey, wait a second, this is a great product, but you missed the mark here. You missed the mark here. You missed the mark there. And this marketing message of no automated bookkeeping. Again, who knows what they meant by by what they even mean by this. And Alicia and I are making [00:32:30] speculations about implicit rules and explicit rules and matching transfers. Again, this is a this is a missed opportunity by Intuit to be more clear or to ask accountants, hey, what does this mean to you before we publish on the website what this could mean? So let's go through that way.

Hector: We don't want so much into like just one little thing tracking billable hours by customer not included, multiple currency not included. Which is going to be weird for like when they implement this in Canada and the UK. You know, where they [00:33:00] use a lot of multi-currency. Out of the US they use more multi-currency that in the US. No bills of course, no bill payments, no set user access level. That means that if we give an end user access, it's probably not going to be you only threat. Okay, no project tracking obviously because that's plus only. Yeah. No projects, no inventory, no purchase orders, no budgets, no class tracking, no location tracking, no automated [00:33:30] workflows. That's only in advanced anyway. No custom fields, no batch input, invoices, checks and bills, of course. No batching in general, which is kind of a bummer because a ledger should have batching, but a different, different issue altogether. But I think we should have had some batching mechanism to this. No backup and restore, no task manager, no custom report builder, no custom charts, no. No revenue recognition. At this point.

Alicia: You're in advance anyway. So of course, nothing from advance. [00:34:00]

Hector: Is so nothing from advance. So there's a whole bunch of other things here. Not not worth reading them all. Basically nothing in advance is going to be there. So I'll stop sharing the screen now. And then we're going to go back to the last asterisks where we talked about the whole world. Will it convert from desktop or not? So again, my theory about this and again this episode will be obsolete very quick. But but but we won't delete it because I want the Intuit people to to listen [00:34:30] to what it feels like to be a person quote in the know and also be completely out of the know. Right? Because they're just not clear with these things. And the reason why they're not clear with these things is because marketing people, right. This not accountants. You got to get accountants to write this, a proof read this. And you actually beta testers just to view pages like this because like it creates a lot of speculation. And look, Alicia and I are not doing this because, you know, yellow journalism and trying to get, you know, clicks into our podcast. [00:35:00] We're doing this because we are the voice of tons of accounting professionals that trust our judgment and feel the exact same way we feel. And what QuickBooks is trying to do is they're trying to win the hearts and minds of accountants. This is a great path forward, but if you make it confusing, you got to make it worse. So you're basically not going to get what you want now.

Alicia: Now, to be fair, I was pretty stoked when I saw this check mark this check list because other than a few nebulous things that we can't [00:35:30] interpret until we see it, I thought actually, this chart, this checklist is laid out pretty well. I mean, even going to the differences between simple start and essentials and plus. So. Overall, I'm actually going to bookmark this page and use it because I think there is a lot of things that are clear. But of course, you know, there's only so much you can say in five words on a title, you know.

Hector: Thank you for that. And I remind my grandmother, telling me, count your blessings. This page is a count your blessings [00:36:00] type of scenario.

Alicia: It's pretty thorough. Overall. There's just some questions because you just can't go.

Hector: On the desktop conversion. And this is like you know, for the record, Alicia, speculation is that when you go from desktop to ledger, it's only going to bring lists. My speculation is it will bring history. It might be something in the middle where I'll bring a list, but then a trial balance.

Alicia: Yeah. Okay.

Hector: Starting date. That could be interesting.

Alicia: I was about to revise my my, my my [00:36:30] theory on this one that lists. But I think it would have, like, a trial balance as of your start date. Like it'll ask you what's your start date? You say January 1st. It'll bring in whatever your reports say on December 31st. I think I got a question for you. Completely reasonable.

Hector: All right, let's let's have fun on this one. Let's say that's true. So will it bring your. Accrual basis or your cash basis. Trial balance.

Alicia: Well, it would have to bring over your accrual basis. It [00:37:00] would have to because we are going to reality.

Hector: So where's are going to be.

Alicia: And so that's where the mystery lies. Because if there are no because if this is an after the fact accounting then it has to be cash basis. So that's a really good question. Do they is it only for cash based files. If your accrual based you can't migrate.

Hector: But remember there's no such thing as a cash based file or accrual based file. That's just a.

Alicia: Setting.

Hector: Right? It's a it's a toggle for [00:37:30] reports. So like all files in QuickBooks are fundamentally accrual per se. Let's say let's say that's even a thing. It's just a database of transactions. And then the report essentially is the one that converts those transactions to a meaningful format. And whether your cash or accrual, it makes a decision to include income or expense, whether it's an open invoice or not. So long story short, like if it does bring history, it will probably bring it in cash. The challenge is that in the QuickBooks desktop world, [00:38:00] a cash basis balance sheet doesn't always have zero R and zero app because of all sorts of potential issues that we could do a whole episode on that, but that could be an issue too. Like so how do we reconcile that in the future? I assume that QuickBooks ledger won't let you create accounts that are R or AP, right? So the big question is, will it create one for you forcefully, but then you won't be able to access it to zero it out? I mean, that could be a hot mess, which [00:38:30] is maybe where Alicia is closer to the truth, which is it just brings list items, I mean, or customers vendors chart of accounts. Right?

Alicia: I mean, I would think that if you're moving from QuickBooks desktop to this, it's probably just going to bring over your cash reports. And just give you that summary.

Hector: Cash basis trial balance.

Alicia: Right. Okay. Right. Yeah. That's that's what I mean by that. And if you did have ah, well, you know, you're looking at just different workflows that [00:39:00] you can't really use this product if you are invoicing clients. Right.

Hector: But the big problem is if QuickBooks makes a decision in the end, the conversion engine to omit ah, and and there is a value there negative or positive. Well, it's not going to bring is it going to bring in an unbalanced trial balance. Is it going to create an opening balance equity to plug that. That's going to be interesting to see. And I guarantee you the first MVP for this, the first iteration of this will not be the final one. [00:39:30] Like like bringing data into QuickBooks ledger is going to be interesting for sure. So once they solve that, maybe they can solve for downgrading from simple start into into this. So you can start visualizing how this is a problem on both sides. Going from desktop to ledger or going from simple start to ledger. It's the same type of problem. So let's talk about potential workarounds for this. So if you assuming so again assuming assuming that you will be able [00:40:00] to bring in historical transactions from desktop. The only workaround I can think of is you have simple start. You convert simple start to desktop. If the QuickBooks guides allow you to bring the file, because it's always sort of a crapshoot whether or not you're going to be able to have that or not. Right? So if you can convert from simple start to desktop and let's say everything comes in 95% accurate, and then you go from desktop to ledger brand new account, maybe that can work.

Hector: I mean, that's going to be all sorts of hell when it comes [00:40:30] to like cleaning things up and stuff like that. That could be a potential workaround. But other potential workaround is if the API is working, is a developer will develop something that will export all the transactions into the API. Kind of like there was an app called rewind, right? Have you ever used that? Alicia. So there's an app called. Yeah. So rewind was something that allowed you to copy from files to other files and they shut that down somehow. I don't know if into it has something to do with that, but because Chrono Books was the only app [00:41:00] that could do that and that got bought out, and that's only in advance. But long story short, if you have API access, a developer can develop something that will get everything from simple start, convert all the sort of non-bank transactions into a bank transaction and allow you to bring it into ledger. Who knows? I mean, those are the two things I think could be the potential workarounds, but all this stuff is like heavy, heavy speculation on the on the desktop conversion side.

Alicia: It's hard to do a what if scenario about something that we're speculating about that's really going into the weeds.

Hector: Exactly. So [00:41:30] that's it with that's it for QuickBooks ledger. There's a lot more things that were added in November in the firm of the future article. I suspect a lot more exciting things are going to come out of QuickBooks connect, so we'll report on that next week. But since this is already a long episode, Alicia, I want to throw in one thing that's probably that's probably going to be something that we're not going to get a chance to talk about. I just got an email literally today from one of the project [00:42:00] managers or product managers of QuickBooks online bank feeds. And through multiple conversations I've had with that team, they told me that they're pleased to announce that they've made three major, tiny little fixes to the bank feeds workflow. That's going to be a really cool delighter. And one of those things that Alicia would have done. And look what I found in the future, but we're just going to go through them, so let's go through them. The first one is if you take a CSV [00:42:30] file and you upload it into a bank feeds. Traditionally there was only three available fields. You can you can map to that. It was date, description and amount. They now added check numbers. So finally, if you have a CSV file downloaded from a bank because you can't connect the bank into Qbo and it has a check number, it can now bring those check numbers something that you previously didn't get for a manual CSV file.

Alicia: Upload the check.

Hector: Yeah, exactly. What's a check, right? [00:43:00] Probably QuickBooks was trying to think ahead and go, we're going to get rid of checks by the time people want this. But I can tell you a lot of people get mad about that. The second one is, and I know if you have had this issue, Alicia, where maybe you have an Excel file and your numbers were formatted in a weird way with a parentheses instead of a negative, or with a dollar sign or something like that. And then when you upload it a CSV file, it wouldn't recognize it as a negative. And it will put everything like everything on a, on a deposit instead of a, you know, [00:43:30] separating the deposits and payments. So they, they, they announced that this has been fixed. So for whatever reason your CSV file has weird formatting and there's parentheses instead of negatives or dollar signs. Potentially it will now it will now catch that and it will it knows that a parentheses is. A negative number. So that's good because that drove me crazy.

Alicia: So format the columns anymore. Exactly.

Hector: Because the solution before was to reformat the column. But it's not intuitive. Most people don't know intuitively that's what you're supposed to do. [00:44:00] And the third one is a pretty interesting maybe not even look, what I found because it's hard to display is the the sorry, that intermediary screen where you upload a CSV file and it gives you all the transactions that are in the CSV file, and you get to select whether you want some of them or all of them. That screen didn't have shift click enabled. So if you wanted to grab a whole bunch from a particular group by clicking on one and shift clicking down, that's available. [00:44:30] Now again, these are little tiny things, but they're huge for accounting professionals that are doing these things all day long. So these are the three new features.

Alicia: Then you can do a shift, click in the banking feed and you can do a shift click in the reclassify. But you can't do a shift. Click on an import.

Hector: Exactly. And they also and they also well that's a whole nother issue. There's a lot of things you can't use shift click on. Let me go back and correct you on this. You cannot do shift. Click on the reclassify that's not available [00:45:00] now.

Alicia: Oh wait I know why I know why I could do it today.

Hector: You have the right tools.

Alicia: I have the right tool.

Hector: Right? Different issue, different conversation. But yeah, you have an add on that fixes that issue. But a lot of the screens don't have shift click enabled, which drives me freaking bonkers. Like I think that developers should like it should be on top of the checklist before they do anything. The shift click work. Because like, I hate the fact that I have to remember which screens have shift clicked and which ones don't because I'm just always trying to go for shift [00:45:30] click. And if you don't know what shift click is, sorry, but no time to.

Alicia: Explain, but shift click in a reclassify would be my other dream. That would be like that would be another place to put one. So what we're talking about with Shift click because you got to know is anywhere on your computer, not just in QuickBooks, but on whether you're on a mac, whether you're on windows, whatever. If you want to highlight a whole series of anything, if you click in the very beginning of it and you hold your shift key down and you click at the very end of it, your computer will select everything in the [00:46:00] middle. And this works universally.

Hector: That's adjacent to the to the very first one you clicked on, the very last one you clicked.

Alicia: And it works backwards to. You can click the last one and then hold your shift key down and click on the first one, and everything in between those two cursor spots will get highlighted. Works. Excel works like that in word.

Hector: Excel works like that too. Exactly. Yeah. And then there's three other things he mentioned in the email, which are not necessarily new features. They're just fixes. So let's go ahead and get them out. So some people were having the issue where they would [00:46:30] they would have like a transfer that would somehow point to an account that's not a balance sheet account. And it would do that automatically and then it will give an error. And people are trying to figure out what the heck was going on here. So I guess they fixed that. The other thing that that they fixed is this was happening with a lot of Chase Bank accounts too, where some of the data in the bank detail, like the original data that was supposed to come from the bank, wasn't actually copying completely. [00:47:00] And I don't know if it was because there were special characters or the data wasn't parsing correctly. Apparently they found the bug and they fixed that. So all your bank feeds memos should now be sort of whole.

Alicia: Oh good.

Hector: And one more thing that they added was for some people, they were having an issue where they were they were in the bank feed screen and they switched to say to the register and they go back into the bank feed screen, and it wouldn't send [00:47:30] you back to the last bank account that you were working in. It will send you back to some random bank account. And they fixed the problem. It sounds like it turned out with the exception of if you have a bank account that has some sort of attention item to it. So like if it disconnected from from the bank feeds, it will default to that because it will always default to one that has an error.

Alicia: Hey, this is disconnected. Don't forget to reconnect it again.

Hector: Exactly. But but for the people that don't have that, they fix the issue where when [00:48:00] you are in the bank fees and log out the bank feeds, not log out, you go to another screen and you would come back. If there's no errors, it should send you back to the last account you were working on. So we'll test that and see if that works. But I got that email today and I was super excited because there are little things and I got to tell you into it, if you want to win the hearts of and minds of accountants, it's the it's the little things. It's the little.

Alicia: Things, little things.

Hector: Not the not the big flashy things, not the QuickBooks bill pay. Not the X, y, z, not [00:48:30] the insurance products are the banking products. It's the little things. The shift click, the the little errors. That's what that's what we love. And being efficient with.

Alicia: These little things that you've just listed out like these are so little that I wouldn't even catch them in a look what I found. Exactly. Because they're just things that should. Work or it should have been there. Should it not work. And so. Yeah. And so yes, it's the little things I would love for into it just to take one year and stop developing everything and just go through all the feedback [00:49:00] of all the tiny little things and yeah, fix all.

Hector: The little things. I think there should be a just the little things task force, like, yeah, like Ted and Jessica and Susanne and Jeremy and like all the leaders create a task force called. Just a little thing. Just a little thing. Just a little thing. Get us all together and get us all griping about all the little things we hate about which most of them are fixed through. Right tool. Different conversation altogether, but all the little things. And they just work on those things. And you'll be amazed if you [00:49:30] communicate those well if you if you're loud about them. Hey, we heard you on the little things and we fixed the little things. You're going to get a lot more excitement.

Alicia: Let the little thing, every datepicker in every screen should work the same way. Correct that if you're in the sales tax module and putting in the date that you pay your sales tax, you should not have to be forced to use the calendar. You should be able to just type T for today. It should just.

Hector: W for beginning of the week and for the beginning of the month, and [00:50:00] R for the end of the year. Yeah, all the date, all the date pickers should be the same. All the dropdown menus should be the same. You know, some are bluish in the outline, some are greenish in the outline. Again it's small but it's this is what happens is and accountants are very specific specimen of of life like accountants are very very much creatures of habit. And anytime something is not identical to how it was before, even if it's not like in our face [00:50:30] and we notice it in our subconscious, it starts like building up anger, even though like it might not be, it might not be there. But any small sign of inconsistency builds up anger in our subconscious. And when something eventually breaks or doesn't work, we explode. And this is why people in social media, they don't say, oh, into it. Can you please fix this? They just go, oh, into it. The worst company in the world. You messed it up. That's why we explode like that. Not because we're divas. It's because you've been. We have all this pent up anger [00:51:00] from all the little things that are inconsistent across the workflow. Yeah.

Alicia: I mean, keep in mind that what we're experts in is attention to detail. Like, that's why we're good at what we do. And so every single little detail matters. And because we've got this special little knack in this little eye, even something that the normal person might not notice, we're like, here it is. It's right here for you. And so that's why the little things matter. If you want people [00:51:30] to experience delight, you can't pull them out of the delight with every time. One little click doesn't work like there's some. There's a field in the receipt capture that sometimes types backwards, which is always really fun when it comes up, but like.

Hector: It's fun to make fun of it. Fun? Fun from what sense? Right. Because like any time that we're slightly inefficient, it's not fun for us. And look, we accountants are probably 1% of the users, and users are the other 99%. And users don't care about these things. [00:52:00] Don't worry about these things. These things doesn't affect them. When QuickBooks goes out and surveys users, whether it's accountants or end users, all end users are going to complain about the same thing. What's troubling with your business? Oh, I can't find customers or cash flow, blah blah blah. So then it goes out and spends billions to buy MailChimp, which by the way, great company, but buys billions to buy MailChimp, you know, millions to develop cash flow tools and to bring in partners, banking partners and lending partners and QuickBooks payments and and bill pay [00:52:30] and and workflow management for bill pay. Like I get it like they're working around this pain point which is cash flow which every small business you ask them what's your pain point. Cash flow. But they don't know what that means. They just say cash flow. So then Intuit is now trying to like Chase. What's it called, a a white rabbit to fix this cash flow problem, right? Or fix this marketing problem where they can't find customers, where accountants in a very small percentage are saying, hey, just make me 1% faster on every transaction, and [00:53:00] through time we're going to love you and not hate you. And like, it's hard. It's just so hard, you know, to get our feedback out there in this drowned with our drowned voices of customers asking for things are just so generic and so wild, you know, like, you know, customer acquisition and cash flow and, and our voices get lost in that. And that's why this podcast, you know, particularly funded this podcast that we went a whole hour to talk about these things because these are the details that matter. And Intuit leaders need to pay attention [00:53:30] if they want to win the hearts and minds of accountants. Yeah, we are on the rant.

Alicia: Well, I'm going to just finish your rant with we're the one to many relationship. We're the one accountant who has five, ten, 100, 500 clients. And if we love QuickBooks, our clients are going to love QuickBooks. If we're frustrated with QuickBooks, our clients are going to be frustrated with QuickBooks. If our clients are frustrated with QuickBooks, we're the therapists. We're the ones who have to make them happy. So it's you know, it all. Like [00:54:00] as far as I'm concerned, as much as Intuit is really trying to help business owners succeed spectacularly, you still have to come down to the core of getting the data from the front counter. To the tax form, and that's what it's all about. I mean, that's what our economy is is it's unfortunately it all comes down to taxes, not business metrics. So that's where we come in. And that's why we're so important to this equation. [00:54:30]

Hector: With that I'll leave you the last words, Alicia. So Alicia, looking forward to seeing you at QuickBooks connect in a week. Looking forward to hear all the announcements, and hopefully I'll see you in the conference with the best session of QuickBooks. Connect the Qbo tips and tricks. Riff off. Maybe I'll have input in there. Maybe I'll just be a happy audience. But with that, we'll see you on the next one. See you the next one.

Creators and Guests

Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT
Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT
Alicia Katz Pollock, MAT is the CEO at Royalwise Solutions, Inc.. As a Top 50 Women in Accounting, Top 10 ProAdvisor, and member of the Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, Alicia is a popular speaker at QuickBooks Connect and Scaling New Heights. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching, with several QuickBooks books on Amazon. Her Royalwise OWLS (On-Demand Web-based Learning Solutions) at is a NASBA CPE-approved QBO and Apple training portal for accounting firms, bookkeepers, and business owners.
Hector Garcia, CPA
Hector Garcia, CPA
Hector Garcia,CPA is the Principal Accountant Quick Bookkeeping & Accounting LLC, a globally-serving Technology-Accounting firm based in Miami, FL (USA), specializing in QuickBooks Consulting, but also providing traditional accounting services such as: Bookkeeping, Payroll Processing, Tax Return Preparation, and General Business Advisory. He has over 10 years of experience working with small business finance and accounting, along with 3 Post-graduate degrees from Florida International University (FIU) in Accounting, Finance and Taxation.