8 Time-saving tips while using QuickBooks Online

Vidya Gopinath for keySkillset Vidya Gopinath for keySkillset
Vidya Gopinath for keySkillset
8 Time-saving tips while using QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a powerful accounting software that helps businesses manage their financial tasks efficiently. To optimize your experience with QuickBooks Online and save valuable time, it's important to adopt effective strategies and utilize its features wisely. In this article, we will explore time-saving tips specifically tailored for QuickBooks Online users.

And here are some common mistakes to avoid while using QuickBooks

1. Automate Data Entry: Manual data entry can be time-consuming and prone to errors. QuickBooks Online offers various automation features to streamline this process. Take advantage of features like bank feeds, which allow you to connect your bank accounts directly to QuickBooks Online, automatically importing and categorizing transactions. You can also set up rules to automate the categorization of recurring transactions, saving you from repetitive tasks.

Why Automate Data Entry in QuickBooks Online:

  • Time-Saving: Automating data entry eliminates the need for manual input, reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks. This frees up your time to focus on more important aspects of your business.
  • Accuracy: Manual data entry is prone to errors, such as typos or misclassifications. Automation minimizes the risk of human error, ensuring data accuracy and integrity.
  • Streamlined Workflow: Automating data entry simplifies and streamlines your accounting processes. With transactions automatically imported and categorized, you can easily reconcile accounts and generate financial reports.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, manual data entry becomes more cumbersome and time-consuming. Automation allows for efficient handling of a higher volume of transactions, accommodating your business's expansion.
  • Increased Efficiency: Automation speeds up the data entry process, enabling faster and more efficient bookkeeping. This efficiency translates to improved productivity and smoother operations.
  • Improved Data Visibility: With automated data entry, your financial information is up-to-date and readily available. You can access real-time reports and insights, empowering better decision-making.
  • Reduced Errors and Compliance Risks: Automated data entry reduces the chances of mistakes, ensuring data accuracy and compliance with accounting regulations. This mitigates the risk of penalties or financial discrepancies.
  • Focus on Strategic Tasks: By automating routine data entry, you can allocate more time and resources to strategic activities such as financial analysis, business planning, and growth initiatives.

2. Utilize Bank Rules: Bank rules in QuickBooks Online are a powerful tool to automate the categorization of transactions. By creating bank rules based on specific criteria, you can save time by letting QuickBooks Online automatically categorize similar transactions. Spend some time setting up these rules, and they will significantly reduce the manual effort required for transaction categorization.

Why Utilize Bank Rules in QuickBooks Online:

  • Time-Saving: By utilizing bank rules, you can automate the categorization of transactions in QuickBooks Online. This saves you valuable time that would otherwise be spent manually categorizing each transaction.
  • Consistency: Bank rules ensure consistent categorization of transactions based on predefined criteria. This helps maintain accurate and organized financial records, avoiding confusion or errors caused by inconsistent categorization
  • Efficiency: With bank rules in place, QuickBooks Online automatically applies the appropriate categories to transactions as they are imported. This streamlines the workflow and eliminates the need for manual intervention, improving overall efficiency.
  • Accuracy: Bank rules are based on specific criteria that you set, such as transaction descriptions, amounts, or payees. This helps ensure accurate categorization, reducing the risk of misclassification and providing reliable financial information.
  • Streamlined Bookkeeping: Bank rules simplify the categorization process, allowing you to quickly and accurately classify transactions. This streamlines your bookkeeping tasks and makes it easier to reconcile accounts.
  • Time Efficiency: By automating the categorization of transactions, bank rules save you significant time that can be allocated to other important aspects of your business. You can focus on strategic activities instead of spending hours on manual data entry.
  • Increased Productivity: With less time spent on transaction categorization, you and your team can be more productive and concentrate on tasks that add value to your business. This can lead to improved productivity and overall business performance.
  • Scalability: As your business grows and transaction volumes increase, manual categorization becomes more time-consuming and prone to errors. Bank rules provide a scalable solution, allowing you to handle a larger number of transactions efficiently.
  • Data Accuracy: Consistent categorization through bank rules ensures accurate financial reporting. This enables you to make informed business decisions based on reliable and up-to-date financial information.

3. Customize Invoice Templates: Customizing your invoice templates in QuickBooks Online can save time when sending out invoices. By creating a professional and personalized template, you won't need to spend additional time formatting each invoice individually. You can include your logo, business information, payment terms, and other relevant details. Once set up, generating and sending invoices becomes a quick and efficient process.

Why Customize Invoice Templates in QuickBooks Online:

  • Professional Image: Customizing your invoice templates allows you to create a professional image for your business. By incorporating your logo, branding elements, and relevant business information, you present a cohesive and polished appearance to your clients.
  • Time-Saving: By creating a customized invoice template, you eliminate the need to format each invoice individually. This saves you time and effort, especially when dealing with multiple clients or recurring invoices.
  • Personalization: Customized invoice templates enable you to personalize the invoice with specific details relevant to each client. You can include personalized messages, special offers, or other customized information to enhance the client experience.
  • Brand Consistency: Consistent branding across your invoices reinforces your brand identity. When clients receive invoices that align with your overall brand image, it helps build trust and reinforces your professionalism.
  • Clear Communication: Customized invoice templates allow you to include important information such as payment terms, due dates, and accepted payment methods. This ensures clear communication with your clients, minimizing confusion and potential payment delays.
  • Efficiency: Once you set up a customized invoice template, generating and sending invoices becomes a quick and efficient process. You can easily populate the template with client details and invoice items, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Brand Recognition: Customized invoice templates contribute to brand recognition. When your clients consistently receive invoices with your unique branding elements, it reinforces your business identity and makes you more memorable.
  • Enhanced Organization: By customizing your invoice templates, you can structure them in a way that suits your business needs. You can include sections for itemized charges, discounts, or additional notes, making it easier for clients to understand and process the information.
  • Improved Cash Flow: Clear and professional invoices can help expedite the payment process. When your clients receive well-designed and easy-to-understand invoices, they are more likely to pay promptly, improving your cash flow.

4. Schedule Recurring Transactions: For regular expenses or invoices, QuickBooks Online allows you to set up recurring transactions. This feature is especially useful for fixed monthly bills, such as rent or utilities. By scheduling these transactions in advance, you eliminate the need to manually enter them each time, saving considerable time and reducing the risk of forgetting important payments.

Why Schedule Recurring Transactions in QuickBooks Online:

  • Time-Saving: By scheduling recurring transactions, you save time by eliminating the need to manually enter them each month. Once set up, these transactions are automatically recorded, reducing administrative tasks and freeing up time for other important business activities.
  • Avoid Forgetting Payments: Recurring transactions help you stay organized and avoid the risk of forgetting to make important payments. By scheduling fixed monthly bills, such as rent or utilities, you ensure that they are processed on time, preventing late fees or service disruptions.
  • Consistency and Accuracy: Setting up recurring transactions ensures consistency and accuracy in your financial records. It helps maintain a clear and up-to-date picture of your expenses, allowing for better financial planning and analysis.
  • Financial Control: By scheduling recurring transactions, you gain better control over your cash flow. You can anticipate upcoming expenses and plan your budget accordingly, ensuring that funds are available to cover recurring bills and avoid cash flow shortages.
  • Improved Efficiency: Automation of recurring transactions streamlines your bookkeeping process. It reduces the manual effort required for data entry, minimizing the risk of errors and improving overall efficiency in managing your financial records.
  • Peace of Mind: By scheduling recurring transactions, you can have peace of mind knowing that your regular payments are taken care of. You don't have to worry about missing due dates or spending time manually entering repetitive transactions.
  • Avoid Late Fees and Penalties: With recurring transactions, you minimize the chances of missing payment deadlines, thus avoiding late fees and penalties. This helps you maintain a positive financial reputation and saves you money in the long run.
  • Enhanced Organization: Scheduling recurring transactions helps you stay organized by keeping your financial records consistent and up-to-date. You can easily track and review your recurring expenses, making it easier to monitor your overall financial health.
  • Focus on Core Business Activities: By automating recurring transactions, you can redirect your focus and energy towards core business activities. Instead of spending time on repetitive administrative tasks, you can concentrate on strategic decision-making and growing your business.
  • Better Cash Flow Management: By scheduling recurring transactions, you can effectively manage your cash flow. You have a clear view of upcoming expenses and can plan your revenue accordingly, ensuring that you have sufficient funds available to cover your financial obligations.

5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts: QuickBooks Online provides several keyboard shortcuts to navigate and perform common tasks swiftly. Memorizing and utilizing these shortcuts can significantly speed up your workflow. For example, you can quickly save a transaction by pressing Ctrl + Alt + S or access the list of keyboard shortcuts by pressing Ctrl + Alt + ?.

Keyboard Shortcuts in QuickBooks Online:

  • Ctrl + Alt + S: Save a transaction quickly.
  • Ctrl + Alt + ?: Access the list of keyboard shortcuts.
  • Ctrl + I: Create a new invoice.
  • Ctrl + E: Edit the selected transaction.
  • Ctrl + D: Delete the selected transaction.
  • Ctrl + F: Open the advanced search window.
  • Ctrl + J: Open the customer center.
  • Ctrl + L: Open the chart of accounts.
  • Ctrl + M: Memorize the selected transaction.
  • Ctrl + N: Create a new transaction.
  • Ctrl + R: Run a report.
  • Ctrl + U: Use the register for the selected account.
  • Ctrl + V: Paste copied text or data.
  • Ctrl + X: Cut selected text or data.
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo the last action.

Why Use Keyboard Shortcuts in QuickBooks Online:

  • Increased Efficiency: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to perform tasks quickly without the need to navigate through menus or use the mouse. By reducing the number of clicks and movements, you can complete actions in less time, boosting your overall efficiency.
  • Improved Productivity: Using keyboard shortcuts eliminates the need to switch between the keyboard and mouse, enabling you to maintain focus and workflow continuity. This uninterrupted flow improves productivity and reduces distractions.
  • Time-Saving: Memorizing and using keyboard shortcuts saves time by providing direct access to frequently used functions. Instead of searching for specific options in menus, you can execute commands instantly, reducing repetitive tasks and improving overall speed.
  • Ergonomic Advantages: Keyboard shortcuts promote ergonomic practices by minimizing the strain on your hands and wrists. By reducing mouse usage, you can prevent repetitive stress injuries and increase comfort during extended periods of computer use.
  • Accessibility: Keyboard shortcuts make QuickBooks Online more accessible for users with physical impairments or limited mobility. They provide alternative methods for executing commands, ensuring a smooth user experience for all individuals.
  • Better Navigation: Keyboard shortcuts enable quick navigation through different areas of QuickBooks Online, such as opening specific windows, accessing reports, or managing customer or account information. This ease of navigation enhances user control and helps locate information efficiently.
  • Consistency and Accuracy: Using keyboard shortcuts ensures consistency and accuracy in performing tasks. With predefined key combinations, you reduce the chances of errors that may occur when manually selecting options from menus, leading to more accurate data entry and financial management.

6. Take Advantage of Integration: QuickBooks Online integrates with numerous third-party applications, offering additional functionality and time-saving benefits. Look for integrations that can automate tasks like data synchronization, inventory management, or expense tracking. By seamlessly connecting QuickBooks Online with other tools, you can reduce manual effort and streamline your workflow.

Why Take Advantage of Integration in QuickBooks Online:

  • Streamlined Workflow: Integrating QuickBooks Online with third-party applications eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the chances of errors. Data can flow seamlessly between different systems, streamlining your workflow and saving you valuable time.
  • Automation of Tasks: Integration allows you to automate repetitive tasks, such as data synchronization, inventory management, or expense tracking. By syncing information between systems, you can avoid duplicate entries and ensure accurate and up-to-date data across platforms.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: Integration brings together different tools and functionalities, enabling you to access and manage everything from a single interface. This eliminates the need to switch between multiple applications, saving time and effort in navigating and managing various software.
  • Real-Time Insights: Integrating QuickBooks Online with other applications provides real-time access to crucial business data. By having instant visibility into inventory levels, sales figures, or expense reports, you can make informed decisions and take timely actions to drive business growth.
  • Customized Solutions: Integrations offer the flexibility to tailor your software stack according to your specific business needs. You can choose the best applications for different functions and seamlessly connect them with QuickBooks Online to create a customized ecosystem that fits your requirements.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, integration allows you to scale your operations without increasing administrative burden. Automated data flows and streamlined processes can handle higher volumes of transactions and data, enabling you to focus on strategic activities and business expansion.
  • Cost Savings: Integration can lead to cost savings by eliminating manual data entry, reducing errors, and optimizing resource allocation. By automating tasks and improving efficiency, you can allocate your time and resources more effectively, ultimately saving on operational costs.
  • Improved Data Accuracy: Manual data entry is prone to errors, which can impact financial records and reporting. With integration, data flows seamlessly between systems, reducing the risk of human error and ensuring accurate and reliable data for financial analysis and decision-making.
  • Access to Advanced Features: Integrating QuickBooks Online with other applications opens up opportunities to leverage advanced features and capabilities. You can take advantage of specialized tools for inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), payroll processing, or analytics, enhancing your business operations and competitiveness.
  • Competitive Advantage: Integration enables you to leverage the power of QuickBooks Online and complementary applications, giving you a competitive edge. By automating tasks, improving efficiency, and accessing real-time insights, you can operate more effectively, deliver better customer experiences, and stay ahead in a competitive marketplace.

7. Utilize Mobile Apps: QuickBooks Online provides mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to manage your finances on the go. Take advantage of these apps to perform tasks like capturing receipts, creating and sending invoices, or checking your financial reports from anywhere. This flexibility saves time and ensures you stay on top of your business finances even when you're away from your desk.

Why Utilize Mobile Apps in QuickBooks Online:

  • Flexibility and Accessibility: Mobile apps provide the flexibility to manage your finances on the go. Whether you're traveling, attending meetings, or working remotely, you can access QuickBooks Online from your iOS or Android device. This accessibility allows you to stay connected and in control of your business finances wherever you are.
  • Time Savings: By using the mobile apps, you can perform essential tasks quickly and efficiently. Capture receipts, create and send invoices, track expenses, or review financial reports without the need for a computer. This saves time by eliminating the delay of returning to your desk to complete these tasks.
  • Real-Time Updates: Mobile apps provide real-time synchronization with QuickBooks Online, ensuring that your financial data is always up to date. This allows you to make informed decisions based on the latest information, whether you're in a client meeting, attending a conference, or visiting a supplier.
  • Expense Tracking on the Go: With mobile apps, you can easily track expenses as they occur. Take a photo of a receipt using your smartphone camera, attach it to the corresponding transaction, and categorize the expense right away. This eliminates the need to collect and manage paper receipts, saving time and reducing the chances of missing or misplacing important documents.
  • Invoicing Efficiency: Mobile apps enable you to create and send invoices on the spot. Whether you're at a client's location, a job site, or a networking event, you can generate and send invoices immediately, improving cash flow and reducing the billing cycle. This agility contributes to a more efficient and responsive invoicing process.
  • Financial Reporting: Stay informed about your business's financial health by accessing reports through mobile apps. Monitor your income, expenses, profit and loss, and other key metrics on the go. This allows you to make data-driven decisions and address any financial issues promptly.
  • Seamless Collaboration: Mobile apps facilitate collaboration with your team or accountant. You can easily share financial data, reports, or specific transactions, improving communication and efficiency. Collaborative features streamline workflows and ensure everyone has access to the information they need, regardless of their location.
  • Security and Data Protection: QuickBooks Online mobile apps prioritize security and data protection. They utilize advanced encryption and authentication measures to safeguard your financial information. Additionally, you can set up additional security features such as passcodes or biometric authentication for an extra layer of protection.
  • Integration with Other Apps: Mobile apps often integrate with other business tools, enabling seamless data exchange and enhancing overall productivity. For example, you can connect expense tracking apps, payment gateways, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems with QuickBooks Online mobile apps, streamlining your business processes.
  • Business Growth and Scalability: By utilizing mobile apps, you can efficiently manage your finances as your business grows. The flexibility and accessibility provided by mobile apps ensure that you can handle increased transaction volumes, stay on top of your finances, and focus on driving business growth without being tied to a desk.

8. Leverage Reporting Features: QuickBooks Online offers a wide range of reporting features that can provide valuable insights into your business's financial health. Take the time to explore and customize reports that are most relevant to your needs. Utilize features like saved reports, which allow you to generate reports quickly without having to adjust filters and settings repeatedly.

Why Leverage Reporting Features in QuickBooks Online:

  • Financial Insights: By leveraging reporting features in QuickBooks Online, you gain valuable insights into your business's financial health. Reports provide a comprehensive view of your income, expenses, profit and loss, cash flow, and other key metrics. This information helps you make informed decisions, identify trends, and track the overall performance of your business.
  • Customization Options: QuickBooks Online offers a wide range of customization options for reports. You can tailor the reports to suit your specific needs by selecting the desired data, applying filters, and adjusting the formatting. Customization allows you to focus on the metrics that matter most to your business and generate reports that provide actionable information.
  • Time Savings: QuickBooks Online's reporting features save you time by automating the process of generating reports. Once you customize and save a report, you can easily access it whenever needed without having to adjust filters and settings repeatedly. This eliminates the need for manual data extraction and manipulation, streamlining your reporting workflow.
  • Decision-Making Support: Reports provide the data you need to make informed business decisions. Whether you're analyzing sales performance, tracking expenses, or assessing the profitability of a particular product or service, reports offer the necessary information to evaluate and strategize. With accurate and up-to-date reports at your disposal, you can make data-driven decisions that drive business growth.
  • Compliance and Tax Preparation: Reporting features in QuickBooks Online help you stay compliant with financial regulations and simplify tax preparation. The reports provide a clear overview of your financial transactions, making it easier to identify deductible expenses, reconcile accounts, and prepare accurate financial statements. This saves time and reduces the chances of errors during tax season.
  • Investor and Stakeholder Communication: If you have investors or stakeholders in your business, utilizing reporting features becomes even more crucial. Reports enable you to communicate the financial performance and progress of your business effectively. You can share key reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, providing transparency and building trust with your investors and stakeholders.
  • Trend Analysis: Reporting features allow you to analyze trends and patterns in your financial data over time. By comparing reports from different periods, you can identify seasonal fluctuations, growth trends, or areas that require improvement. This analysis helps you make strategic decisions, allocate resources effectively, and identify opportunities for expansion or cost savings.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Reports play a vital role in budgeting and forecasting. By analyzing historical data and generating reports on past performance, you can create realistic budgets and forecasts for the future. Reports provide insights into revenue projections, expense trends, and cash flow patterns, helping you set achievable goals and monitor progress against them.
  • Improved Financial Control: Leveraging reporting features in QuickBooks Online enhances your financial control. By regularly reviewing reports, you can identify discrepancies, detect potential fraud, and ensure accuracy in your financial records. Reports act as a monitoring tool, allowing you to maintain financial discipline and take corrective actions when necessary. 
  • Performance Evaluation: Reports help you evaluate the performance of different aspects of your business. You can generate reports specific to sales, expenses, inventory, customer behavior, or any other relevant area. These reports enable you to assess the effectiveness of your strategies, identify areas of improvement, and make data-backed decisions to optimize performance.


By implementing these time-saving tips, QuickBooks Online users can optimize their workflow and focus more on core business activities. From automating data entry to leveraging integrations and utilizing mobile apps, there are numerous ways to streamline your accounting processes and save valuable time. Embrace these strategies and make the most out of QuickBooks Online to enhance productivity and efficiency in your financial management endeavors. Also, now you can save about 30% getting the QuickBooks software, if you use keySkillset’s referral link, as part of our affiliation program with QuickBooks. 

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