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QuickBooks Tips Blog

Video QuickBooks Tip: Using Ask My Accountant

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jan 2, 2013 7:22:00 AM

The QuickBooks account called 'Ask My Accountant' can be an extremely useful account to use.  QuickBooks started making this a default account on the chart of accounts years ago.  However, seasoned QuickBooks users started using this concept before QuickBooks introduced it.  It is a great way to not only keep all of your questions organized; it can be useful in other ways as well.  Watch the below video for more information on how and why to use the ask my accountant account in QuickBooks.  

When you should use ask my accountant

The most obvious use of the ask my accountant account is when you have a transaction that you are not sure how to code.  However, don't let your use of this account stop there.  Sometimes it helps to put large transactions here, such as asset purchases, to review the details of each transaction with your accountant.  Various assets need to get depreciated in different ways depending on the specifics of what it is you are buying.  By entering the questionable transaction into the ask my accountant account and giving it a memo you are flagging it for review, but also giving your accountant valuable information in the memo.  Another great use of the ask my accountant account is when you have questions for someone internally in the company.  In this scenario subaccounts of ask my accountant become a good idea.  

Making subaccounts of ask my accountant

If you have questions regarding specific transactions for someone internally at your business making a subaccount of ask my accountant with their name is a good idea.  As an example if you have a business credit card that has multiple card holders you may find yourself with questionable transactions.  Let's say you have a card holder with the name of Pappy.  You could make an expense account called Pappy and then make that account a subaccount of the ask my accountant account.  Now if Pappy makes a credit card charge that you are unsure what the charge is for you can code it to Pappy's ask my accountant account.  You can then review the charges with Pappy or export all of his questionable charges to excel and then email it to him to get explanations on each questionable charge.  

Benefits of using the ask my accountant account

There are some great benefits to using the ask my accountant account that may not be obvious.  I think that the biggest benefit is that nothing will keep you from reconciling QuickBooks accounts.  Using the ask my accountant account is literally your gateway to making sure that your monthly reconciliations get done, which I think is the most important bookkeeping task.  Instead of letting a questionable transactions stand in your way of reconciling, bump it to ask my accountant and continue on your way with your reconciliation.  Another obvious but huge benefit to using ask my accountant is that you can be sure that everything is coded appropriately.  If any transaction is confusing at all you should use ask my accountant to get clarification on it from whoever made the charge.  Lastly, the ask my accountant gives you a great way to organize all of your questions in one spot.  You should review and clear all questionable charges with either the person who made the charge or your CPA to make sure that everything gets handled appropriately.

The ask my accountant account may seem like a minor detail or function of QuickBooks.  However, when used appropriately it can be a powerful tool.  The end result of using the ask my accountant account correctly will be more accurate books, financials and tax returns, which should result in lower CPA bills for you.  In addition your updated and accurate set of books will be a tool that you can use to aid you in making key business decisions.  

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