Despite the fluctuating size of the tax code, accounting and bookkeeping practices don’t change much each year. The changes in QuickBooks 2015 are mostly small tweaks and subtle improvements, but some of them might be just what you’ve been waiting for:
Insights tab in the Home window
In previous versions of QuickBooks, the Home window contained, well, the Home Page, which shows bookkeeping workflow and helps you access the QuickBooks features you use most often. In
QuickBooks 2015, the Home window has two tabs at its top left. As you might expect, the Home Page tab displays the Home Page you’re familiar with. When you click the new Insights tab (page 44), you see a dashboard that highlights your company’s financial status and activity. Initially, the tab’s top panel displays a colorful Profit & Loss graph: green bars represent your monthly income, blue bars indicate your monthly expenses, and a black line graphs your profit by month. But that’s not all! You can click the arrows on either side of this panel to view other high-level graphs, such as a comparison between the current year and the previous year, top customers by sales, and trends in income and expenses.
The bottom half of the Insights tab displays more details about your income and expenses. On the left, the Income section is like a mini Income Tracker (described next, and covered in detail on page 338); it lets you quickly scan totals for unpaid invoices, overdue invoices, and customer payments received
in the past 30 days. And the Expenses list and pie chart on the right help you identify where you spend the most money.
Income Tracker (page 338) boasts a couple of helpful
enhancements. In addition to colored boxes for estimates, open invoices (that is, invoiced income that isn’t due yet), overdue invoices, and recent customer payments, Income Tracker now also displays a box for unbilled time and expenses.
In QuickBooks 2015, you can specify the unbilled categories you want to see by clicking the Settings icon at the window’s top right (it looks like a gear), and then clicking the checkboxes to turn unbilled categories on or off.
The Reminders window (page 483) has a new look. On the left side of the window, you now see to-dos and transactions that are due as of today, so you know what’s on deck for your workday. The list on
the window’s right shows to-dos and transactions that are coming up soon.
If a category is collapsed, click the flippy triangle next to its heading to show each reminder in that section. To collapse a category, click the flippy triangle to hide its individual reminders.
QuickBooks’ various centers have a new twist: You can now select a note associated with a vendor, customer, or employee and “pin” it so it appears at the center’s top right when you select that name in the center’s name list (page 481). For example, say you create a note about an issue a customer has with an order.
You can pin that note in the Customer Center so that, whenever you select that customer in the Customer Center, the note is easy to spot
New report formatting
QuickBooks’ reports sport new formatting that makes them much easier to read (page 583). The rows for top-level categories are shaded gray, lower-level category rows are shaded beige, and rows with totals
are shaded light gray.
Updated online payments
If you install QuickBooks 2015 when it’s first released (this version of the program is called R1 and usually comes out in September), you won’t see online payment links and settings. Big changes for online payments were still in the works when this book was written.