Even though importing transactions is getting easier and easier, it could be worth your while to spend a few minutes here and there cleaning up your QuickBooks Renaming Rules For Downloaded Transactions. Ever scroll through you vendor list and realize you have 13 different Exxon vendors that each have their own store code associated with them? Depending on how these vendor names were set up, simply merging the vendors via a vendor edit won't stop this from happening again and again. After merging the vendor names, you will want to make sure changed to your renaming rules next time you are going through your import process.
It could never hurt to do some clean up on your lists; Vendors, Customers, Items, and even Other Names. In the rarest occasion, a list may max out QuickBooks and you are left with very few options besides upgrading to the next level of QuickBooks products. If you are using Pro, you have to step up to Premier, and from Premier to Enterprise. Once you at the Enterprise level, you have basically unlimited space to use. I find Vendors can become the most diluted, so let's focus on that for now. It seems gas stations, fast food joints, box store chains, etc. are the most frequently duplicated vendors. Usually when importing credit card or bank info, stores are assigned a location code. These codes can snowball if not properly handled the first time they are seen on the import. Bob's Gas Stop Sinclair is the same as Sinclair 66, so why would you want to see them as two different vendors. Before merging the two vendors, I like to click 'edit vendor' first to make sure there aren't any notes or other info that may be lost when they merge. Once you are ready to merge, right click the vendor you want to eliminate, click edit vendor, and then punch in the name you want to see on the list. Most likely QuickBooks will ask you to switch to single user mode, so you may want to give the office a heads up prior to starting the Vendor List clean up.
Ok, so now you have cleaned up the Vendor List and you don't want to do it again. To avoid having to merge the same vendors every so often, you will want to spend some time dialing out your Renaming Rules. While working on your next credit card import, make sure to pay attention to the 'Renaming Rules' button on the upper right side of the screen. This location may vary slightly depending on what year and edition you are using. Walk through the Online Banking steps until you are actually at the final step that brings the transactions into QuickBooks. Click 'Renaming Rules.' A box should pop up that you can now edit the way QuickBooks imports vendor names. My method for finding the vendors that need attention is
to scroll down the list on the left side labeled 'Select QuickBooks Name.' If you see a long list on the right side pop up, then spend some time on that vendor. Not to sound like a broken record, but doing this will save a ton of time down the road and increase your bookkeeping efficiency. I noticed that airlines tend to add the airport code per each flight purchased, but from a bookkeeping standpoint, it's all airfare (don't get me wrong, certain scenarios may unfold where this might be relevant in some bookkeeping systems). Delta LAX is the same as Delta SLC or Delta ALB, it's all airfare. So, on the right side of the box, make sure you have one line that 'contains' 'Delta.' That's it, save it, and move on. Now, all Delta charges get booked to Airfare, no matter what city the flight is arriving or departing. Keep scrolling and repeat until you are satisfied.
Still spending too much time with the downloaded transactions import in QuickBooks and dealing with long vendor lists? Then please feel free to reach out. We are always available to give some pointers and to do some training with a small business owner, office manager, or an in-house bookkeeper.