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Bookkeeping Workflow Tips in QuickBooks Online

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Why should bookkeepers and accountants know all the secrets? When you’re new to QuickBooks Online, we want you to work smarter, not harder. That’s why we’re bringing you workflow tips to help you process transactions faster and more efficiently. 

While some of these shortcuts are for convenience, others can reduce the time it takes you to complete tasks in QuickBooks Online. 

Hm, where to start? How about one of my favorites, hotkeys!

There’s nothing wrong with using your mouse and clicking away, but QuickBooks veterans swear by hot keys and prefer to use them whenever possible.

To bring up the full list of shortcuts (and to get your company ID), press [CTRL] + [Alt/Option] + [? ]on your keyboard. Alt operations begin with [CTRL] + [Alt/Option] + [the associated operation].


As you can see, there are so many hotkey options, you’ll be in and out of QuickBooks in no time. The ones listed on the left let you create new transactions or sales forms, and we use the ones on the right on transaction pages for faster task completion.

There are also “jump-to-date” hotkeys for sales form data-fields that will cut down on your time spent drastically. You can even perform basic arithmetic calculations in sales form data and quantity fields by entering the mathematical formula and pressing the tab key.

Where else can you save time in QuickBooks? Online banking.

Once you’ve set up online banking, take advantage of the split function to divide transactions into multiple accounts.

Split Transaction Button.png

You can split single transactions into separate accounts for a specific amount or assign multiple itemized transactions to separate accounts. For example, you have a receipt containing items tracked in separate expense accounts.

The Rules tab is another useful feature that catches transactions as they come in and categorizes them. Let us do all the work for you! The more QuickBooks uses your bank rules, the better it gets at categorizing. After a while, it can even pick out the details like payees.

Just go to Transactions >> Rules and click on New.

Create a Rule.png

Learn more about how to set up Banking Rules in QuickBooks Online

“Oh I’ll remember that.” If you’re like me, I utter those words so many times in my day only to forget. It only took me 30 years to utilize help with my calendar and reminders. Do you know QuickBooks offers the same help for our customers? In-product reminders are a great way to ensure you never miss an important task or payment.

Recurring Transactions are a powerful automation feature, but sometimes you want a bit more control over exactly how or when invoices and expenses are processed. 

You can take the reins and set reminders to complete these tasks yourself. Just go to the Gear Icon > All Lists > Recurring Transactions. Then click on New and make the Type field Reminder. Start creating yours for a bill, expense, invoice, credit name it!

Recurrring Rent.png

Unlike recurring transactions, reminders make it easy to change transaction details on the fly since they aren't permanently set. Afford yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete these tasks before they're due - otherwise, you may have the urge to roll tasks continuously. 

If you’re feeling a little lost, take some time to write down a list of your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly bookkeeping tasks. Here are a few reminders we recommend entering in your account right now:

  • Monthly rent – set to a monthly interval, 5 days before it’s due
  • Close your books (with a password) for the year – set to a yearly interval, 10 days before it’s due (the date will depend on your business’ fiscal year)
  • Bi-weekly bank reconciliations – set to a weekly interval every 2 weeks, 3 days before it’s due; the first reminder is to prepare and pre-check your transactions, the second will be the actual reconciliation once you have your bank statements in-hand
  • Weekly inventory review – set to a weekly interval, 1 day before it’s due

And finally, tips and tricks straight from our pros over at QuickBooks Real Live Training!

Tip #1 : Know your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and commit to a schedule

No matter your knowledge level, there are common tasks everyone should do regularly. 

Here are just a few tasks you’ll need to do (or at least check) to keep your business on track:


  • Enter all money-in and money-out transactions (invoices, expenses, etc)
  • Send estimates and other sales forms to clients
  • Enter any new assets and liabilities such as loans (as needed)
  • Check incoming bank transactions


  • Keep an eye on unpaid invoices and unpaid bills (A/R and A/P) in the Sales and Vendor Tabs
  • Add and edit vendor and customer profiles (as needed)
  • Add and edit Product and Service items (as needed)
  • Keep an eye on your Bank Feed



  • Check in with your accountant

What else do the exports recommend? Here’s another drop of wisdom: 

Tip #2: Create an “Ask my Accountant” account whenever you get stuck

Don’t let a single, challenging transaction derail your accounting flow. You don’t want to ignore problems until they’re too late to fix, so creating an account for those tricky transactions is a great option.

This "do it later" approach will help you maintain your pace if you ever get stumped, but use it diligently. Use this process to optimize your time with your accountant and ask questions. 

You can name this account whatever you’d like. Go to the Accounting Tab > Chart of Accounts > New.

Ask my Accountant.png You can invite your accountant to access your QuickBooks Online Account whenever you like. Direct them to your "ask my accountant" account and send them your questions to get them up to speed on where you need clarification. Go to the Gear Icon>>Manage Users>>Accounting Firms.

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Now, that was a lot of information I just gave you.  If this seems like a lot, take a deep breath. Take one recommendation and test it out (psst hotkeys). Give yourself time to master a skill and you'll be speeding through QuickBooks in no time!

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