Speeding Up Access to QBO Reports in Excel

If you’re a QuickBooks Online user — be it accountant or business-owner or bookkeeper — then you know that when you download a QBO report to Excel using Chrome or Firefox, the resulting file name appears at the bottom of the browser window. Usually the next step is to click the file name to open the report in Excel.

However, today I learned a great new trick from David Ringstrom, contributor to the AccountEx Report and Excel guru.

Going forward, Chrome and Firefox can open Excel files automatically for you. The next time you download a QBO report to Excel, once it’s sitting at the bottom of your browser window, just click the arrow adjacent to the file name and select “Always Open Files of this Type”. Magic.

As he notes, however:

Unfortunately, this ability to open files automatically after download is not available in the Edge or Safari browsers. You’ll also have to open reports manually if you use the QuickBooks Online desktop app. The app will prompt you to choose a name for your report, but you’ll then need to manually open the report in Excel by navigating to the folder where you saved the workbook.

He also has some nice tips for unraveling automatic downloads (which I don’t personally allow — I have my system set up to prompt me each time a report is downloaded so that I can rename it and save it where I need it). For those who defer to most browsers’ default “downloads” folder, this later section of the article is particularly handy.

Give it a try! Read the entire article here:

Speeding Up Access to QuickBooks Online Reports – Accountex Report

Pass-through Entities and Sec 199A

Accounting Today recently wrote up a good article on the challenges of the new Sec 199A — popularly known as the “20% Pass-Through Deduction”. I encourage giving it a read. I think the best takeaway for accountants and others running personal service companies comes from the last paragraph:

“Most accountants that are in a flow-through entity should probably continue that way,” Wheelwright said. “I don’t know any accounting professionals that leave money in the business, and if you’re going to take money out, it doesn’t make sense to be a C corporation,” he said. “Where being a C corporation does make sense is if you’re going to reinvest a large portion of the profits back into the business. Because of the double tax related to C corporations [the corporate tax plus the tax on dividends], most pass-throughs will want to continue to be pass-through entities.”

-Tom Wheelwright, Founder and CEO of ProVision

In a related article, Accounting Today reports:

“The National Society of Accountants wants the Internal Revenue Service to provide a six-month extension for businesses to make an election to be treated as S corporations for this year, arguing the current deadline of March 15 is just not enough time to make a decision given the uncertainty surrounding the new tax law.”

“By allowing a six month extension to Sept. 15, 2018, for a corporation to make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year would afford time for all affected parties, as well as their tax adviser, to read and understand any such regulations and how they may impact their tax liabilities.”

-John Ams, NSA Executive Director

Shop Small — Shop Our Clients!

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve created a page on The Dancing Accountant website linking to some of my clients so that you can find them and become a patron. I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments and I wanted to share my enthusiasm with blog readers… and maybe inspire you to share yours as well.

If you follow my blog, you already know that my work isn’t just a job. I honestly feel it’s a calling — a mission. I try to keep my prices low for the industry, offer payment plans, remain accessible to clients at all times, and offer services outside-the-box… stretching my knowledge and abilities as far as I can, taking approximately three times the required continuing education each year, in wide-ranging topics that affect my clients.

Why? Why bother? As I’m reminded regularly by colleagues, salespeople, networking contacts and self-proclaimed “coaches”, I could make so much more money working at a large CPA firm. Or: “Any continuing ed beyond the requirement is a waste of non-billable time.” Or: “You have a waiting list? Well, that’s proof that you should raise prices.” Or: “You should outsource your [fill-in-the-blank] to India; you’re stifling your growth otherwise.” (Note: these are all actual quotes I have been told more than once.)

I struggled for years asking myself why I had such emotional resistance to these criticisms. Aren’t I an astute business-person? Then why am I being insulted as being naive or idealistic or non-business-minded?

The answer is easy — at least now (it took years of soul-searching). I love working with small businesses, and I don’t want to price myself out of their ability to use my services. Part of that is a personal mission and part is selfish; I really want to support the small business economy, especially in my own neighborhood, where daily I see my clients being priced out in favor of big chains. These folks make our neighborhoods quirky, vibrant, and engaging… then people want to shop/dine there… then rents go up… then chains replace them. It’s so painful. I don’t want to be a part of that cycle.

And I want to offer them the services that they need — not just the ones on a pre-determined list of CPA offerings. I want to be able to answer their questions about running a business, not just keeping the books clean and paying taxes. I want my work to be personally rewarding. I love shopping at my clients’ stores, engaging their services, and eating at their restaurants. I love living in a place like Cheers — where everybody knows your name.

Shopping small and shopping local — you’re hearing more about it these days, as large chains and online retailers crush once-vibrant communities. We don’t have to be a part of that. An article in Forbes summed up some great reasons for supporting small businesses.

So: please Shop Our Clients! Shop yours. Go find a small business in your neighborhood you’ve never been in, and pay them a visit today. If you enjoy ordering online, try to choose websites of independently-owned businesses, or platforms like etsy that provide small businesses a sales venue. It’s a win-win-win.

(Note: if you are a client of mine and would like to be listed on The Dancing Accountant’s Shop Our Clients page, please comment below or contact me directly!)

Free Financial/Tax/Legal Resources for Chicago-area Residents

Recently I came across two sets of resources for Chicago-area residents that seem worth sharing.

The Center for Economic Progress is offering free tax preparation and assistance to individuals with incomes less than $30,000 and families with incomes less than $55,000. Complete site locations and hours are available as a downloadable pdf on their site.

The Circuit Court of Cook County has a free seminar series geared toward the elderly, though applicable and open to all. Upcoming topics include: powers of attorney, reverse mortgages, foreclosures, long-term care, funeral pre-planning, property tax savings, evictions, financial literacy, social security, bankruptcy, elder abuse and exploitation, and more.

Add to these the extensive list of workshops that the City of Chicago offers for small business owners, and I’d say we’ve got a pretty rich set of options for free financial, legal and tax assistance in our city of Big Shoulders.