QuickBooks® for Contractors Bookkeeping Tips & Training

Business Productivity Tips & Training

This section contains articles that directly relate to business productivity Tips & Training for anyone in the commercial/government construction industry who is using QuickBooks for their day-to-day bookkeeping.

Payroll Deduction Authorization form- Word format

Payroll deduction authorization forms are a must if you are taking money out of an employees paycheck for anything other than required payroll taxes.  Yes, I know - more paperwork!  You can implement a simple system in which the authorization forms can be numbered as they come in and a log may be maintained to help keep track of the forms.  QuickBooks can help you to automate this process and even help you store this information electronically by attaching the authorization form to the employee record.
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Payroll Due Dates for Year-End 2012 and Year Beginning 2013

Year end payroll tasks start in December and really can continue right through the first of April! Payroll due dates always seem to cause a lot of stress - especially at year end when there is so much to do! The holiday's don't seem to help matters any either with extra time away from the office, it's difficult to concentrate, get things done, and stay organized. This article provides some tips for helping you to get organized and you can also download a handy checklist with due dates and tasks that you can do to make this chore go as smoothly as possible. Price:  Free
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Employee New Hire Information & Checklist

There is so much more to hiring an employee than putting an ad in the newspaper and arranging for interviews - even though these are both very important. Once you have gone through the interview process with everyone who has applied and you make a hiring decision; you find yourself with a lot of additional information that you need to have keep on file about the employee that you just hired. That's where this 13 page employee new hire information & checklist will come in handy - and it's in Word format, so you can customize it to meet the needs of your company. Price:  Free
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Email Etiquette eBook

Email messages are surprisingly permanent, take a good look through the contents of your Inbox, and you just might be surprised to see just how old some of these messages are. Would you have kept a paper inter-office memo or letter of inquiry for that long? Probably not. The really worrying part of this is, that most people give very little thought to the content of an email message, even though it might linger around for years. If you are able to deal with email in a professional manner, you will provide yourself and/or your company, with a competitive edge. Learn how with our email etiquette eBook. Price:  Free
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ARTICLE: What to Look for in a Construction CPA

Hiring a CPA or tax accountant for you construction business is as critical as hiring a supervisor on the job site. Not all CPA's or tax preparers understand construction and when they don't your books could be in as much of a mess as your job site would be if you hired a supervisor with no experience! In that perfect world, your company wouldn’t need a CPA. We would all just pack up our adding machines, green eyeshades, and armbands and move on to other professions. But, that isn’t going to happen, is it? In fact, the regulatory environment is headed in the other direction. States are looking for revenue, there are three or four new federal tax acts each year, and GAAP is going global. These current and future changes will make the role of your company’s CPA more important – not less. Price:  Free
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Project Information Worksheet-Keep Your Contract Info Organized

WORKSHEET: The simple practice of recording important detailed information for each contract will make everyone's life easier when you need to complete progress requisitions and/or make collection calls. One of the best ways to stay organized is by using a Project Information sheet, it will help you to keep your project paperwork organized. Our worksheet has been created using Microsoft Word, so that you can easily add more information, specific to your company, and then create a master document to complete with each new construction project. Once you've completed the worksheet, you can use the QuickBooks Attach Documents feature to attach it to a specific job in your QuickBooks company data file. Price:  Free
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VIDEO: How to Calculate Equipment Costs per Hour

VIDEO: Whether you have a mower, a compact tractor, or an excavator on the jobsite, learning how to calculate the cost-per-hour for each piece of equipment that your company owns and uses on a job site is a great tool for understanding, and even eventually, recouping the actual cost of the equipment itself. Most contractors have a rough idea of these costs - but these days is a rough idea good enough? We don't think so. Equipment cost-per-hour rates are calculated by adding together three (3) distinct pieces of information. Watch this YouTube video to learn how to calculate the cost of your equipment.
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Calculating Company Paid Health Insurance & The Affordable Care Act

One of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act that will effect all business owners who provide employee health insurance, is that you now must report employer provided health coverage on Form W-2. Many companies who use QuickBooks usually pay the health insurance premium bill on a monthly basis in one lump sum, which is made up of a specific amount for each employee based on the type of plan or coverage that each employee has.  Often times the health insurance payment is treated just like any other bill that the company receives and when handled in this manner, the amounts paid for each employee will not flow through to the W-2 automatically and these amounts will have to be entered manually when W-2's are prepared.  QuickBooks can be set up to automatically track this information for you, but the problem is how to do the calculations. To help you to get yourself organized, we've developed a free spreadsheet to help you calculate insurance costs, whether they are by pay period or an hourly value. Price:  Free
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About Your Host:
Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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