A person can learn a lot in a year.

I’ve learned I can plant a garden where things actually grow! Those closest to me know how truly amazing this is.

I’ve learned how much fun it is to find new ways and platforms to connect with my community.  This year was the addition of a podcast which has taught me idea-forming and speaking skills, even though my co-host is a total goofball.

I’ve learned I may be addicted to Nutella croissants. I can’t describe the devastation when I found out this was only a seasonal treat and not a permanent menu addition.

And most importantly, I’ve learned where my passion and energy lies.

I’m at my best as an ambassador for Bookkeepers and Accountants who are successfully building their businesses in the cloud. I get so energized when I can help them in any way, no matter how small, because I know what it’s like to be them; hustling to build a thriving business, creating awesome experiences for their clients, and trying to find some kind of balance to stay sane. (I’m still working on that last part.) Their excitement becomes my excitement, even if, or maybe especially if, they can learn from my mistakes to succeed.

This is what I’m truly passionate about.

Through an odd little turn of events, I have been offered the opportunity to spend my work life doing exactly that. In one way, it is a huge change with a steep learning curve of new software products.  However, in another way, it is the freedom to do exactly what I believe I am supposed to be doing – advocating for Bookkeepers and Accountants across Canada while partnering with other resources globally.

I am proud to announce that I have accepted the position of Accountants Group Leader – Canada for Sage. This role will have me connecting personally with Bookkeepers and Accountants in firms and businesses from coast to coast. I’ll also be speaking at events, hosting roundtables, working with Sage partners and more — all so I can help Sage build the features and products that Bookkeepers and Accountants need to serve their clients better than ever.

There will be a lot more learning to come and I welcome every bit of it. I’m excited about this next chapter and I look forward to meeting many of you across Canada soon.


“The most effective teachers are the ones who never stop learning.”


Using Hubdoc to Upload Bank CSV Files to QBO

As many of you know, Hubdoc is one of my must-have apps for any client using any accounting software. The powerful fetch function allows me to work more independently instead of nagging my clients and waiting for copies of bank statements, online-accessible invoices as well as transactions imported through a number of methods including mobile app and email-in.

But that’s not where the fun stops. Not only does Hubdoc fetch statements, but also copies of e-transfers, cheque copies and CSV files.  These CSV files come in handy when you are not able to connect a bank feed to QBO. But there are a few tricks to making these work efficiently. (For the following examples, keep in mind that I don’t know if some of these situations are specific to this bank, QBO or PC vs Mac.)

You can find the CSV files on the left side of the Hubdoc login beneath the accounts they are associated with. In this case, one CSV file belongs to a chequing account, the other belongs to a credit card account. To access the CSV files, simply click on the CSV folder you would like to access.

Hubdoc CSVFrom the CSV folder, select the file you wish to download and select the Download button from the top right of the screen. Notice how the date format appears YYYY-MM-DD.Hubdoc CSV file downloadYou will need to open the CSV file to adjust the date format before uploading into QBO’s bank feed. To do that, I use the drop down arrow to the right of the download file and select Open. The CSV file will open in Excel.Hubdoc CSV file download openFrom the Office button, select Save As then scroll down to Other Formats. I like to change the name of file so it is easy to find later, but remember that it must always stay a CSV file format in order for the upload to work in QBO. Also notice that the date format has changed now that it is viewable in Excel and pay attention to the columns here and what data is in each column. Here we have date, description, credits (for credit card payments) and debits (credit card charges).Hubdoc CSV file download saveYou are now able to upload the file into QBO. From the navigation pane, select Transactions then Banking. Select the account you wish to upload the file for. You can see the account selected here is CIBC MasterCard. On the right side, use the drop down arrow beside Update and select File upload.CSV file uploadSelect the file to upload and select Open. Once the file has been confirmed as selected, click Next at the bottom right.Browse to uploadNow map the file you just uploaded, to the account you want to compare it to in the Chart of Accounts. Then select Next at the bottom right.Map file to accountBy using the drop down arrows, select the options to map the information correctly from CSV to QBO. However, the trouble comes when you go to select the date format. There are only three date formats given as options.  None are based on the company file’s date format, and all three are a variation of “day, month, year” which the CSV file does not come in natively.  To correct this, simply go back to the Excel file and change the date format to match the one you want to select in the file upload screen. I find it most effective to go straight to Custom date format as there aren’t any that match the default options in QBO. Then click OK.change date formatWhen you re-save the file, ensure you keep the CSV file format. Now that you know you need to change the date format, you can do it when you save the file the first time and before you upload it to begin with.  You are now ready to upload the file (or re-upload it, if you forgot to change the date format first), and map it to the bank feed.map file to bank feedSelect Next in the bottom right corner. You will then be prompted to select which transactions that have been downloaded, you want to import.  In most cases, it will be all of them. But this is a good spot to remove transactions for date ranges already reconciled. If you miss those at this step, don’t worry, you can always exclude the transactions within the bank feed later. Follow the prompts to complete the upload process. select transactions to importOnce uploaded, the transactions will appear in the bank feed centre, and you will be able to add, match or even create and apply bank rules on them just as you do with transactions brought through a connected bank feed.  It is a great alternative for Hubdoc clients who don’t want or can’t have direct access to their online banking through bank feeds.bank upload complete

Do you have any other ways you import bank data? Do you have other QBO questions? Join the discussion on Facebook in our QB-HQ Facebook Group – Your QuickBooks Headquarters for Tips, Tricks and Training.

FischBooks answers: “HELP! I Messed up my Setup in QBO! Now What?!”

QuickBooks Online makes setting up a new company file incredibly easy.  You are walked through a step by step process and the file is built based on your answers.  But what if you answered something incorrectly or maybe the needs of your company have changed. There isn’t a menu option to get back to the setup and you can’t seem to find the settings you need to make those changes either. But you CAN access the setup again and make the necessary changes.  Here’s how:

Login to the company file requiring the change.

QBO Login

Make sure you are on the Home Page (Note: This also works for “Your Books”, the FREE QBO Plus Subscription that ProAdvisors get).

Home Page

At the top of the page you will see the address bar ends with /app/homepage.


Block “homepage” with your mouse and replace with “setup” by typing it right on top.


When you hit Enter, the Setup window appears.  Complete the three steps, making the appropriate changes as you go, then selecting Next for each screen. Click Done after the final step and voila! That setup you messed up that you thought you’d have to live with forever and ever is now fixed!

Setup Interview

When have you needed to use this handy tip? Do you have other QBO questions? Join the discussion on Facebook in our QB-HQ Facebook Group – Your QuickBooks Headquarters for Tips, Tricks and Training.

FischBooks answers: “HELP! I Converted from QuickBooks Desktop to Online and my Financials don’t Balance!”

The most important step immediately following the conversion process when going from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, is checking that the Financial Statements for both company files balance to each other. In most conversions I’ve done, there is usually no issue with the Profit & Loss Statement. QuickBooks Online does a great job at maintaining account hierarchies as well (not pictured here – you’ll have to trust me on this one).

Compare financials

However, there is a consistent discrepancy with Balance Sheets when it comes to Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable and tax liability accounts.

Balance Sheet

In most cases, it is because of how QuickBooks Desktop manages tax differently from QuickBooks Online. QB Desktop turns tax into a Customer Receivable or Vendor Payable, which is actually incorrect according to accounting standards. These amounts should stay on the Balance Sheet as a liability. This is why you will always see two tax accounts for each tax type in QB Online. One is the Payable (current activity for that tax liability) and the other is a Suspense (prior period activity where the return has already been done, but the payment has not yet been made or the refund has not yet been received).

The trouble comes when you try to convert a file that has a Customer AR or Vendor AP balance having to do with a tax return. Notice how the AR includes the refund on the Desktop side, but the Online side does not:

Rec Gen AR

And here is an example of what that looks like when there is a payable owing:

Rec Gen AP

During the conversion, the amount has moved from the AR or AP to the newly-created Suspense account on the Balance Sheet.

Rec Gen Suspense

You now have two options: 1.) Move the balance back to AR or AP since that tax return has already been filed anyway, or 2.) Leave it where it is and just make sure when the tax payment is made or tax refund is received, that you offset the Suspense account.

Which is your preferred method? Do you have other Conversion questions? Join the discussion on Facebook in our QB-HQ Facebook Group – Your QuickBooks Head Quarters for Tips, Tricks and Training.

FischBooks’ Must-Have QuickBooks Labs

I love QuickBooks Labs. They are great insights into what the Intuit development teams are working on that will make our QBO lives a little sweeter. Whether converting from QuickBooks Desktop or starting a QBO company file from scratch, there are four QuickBooks Labs that are now my default settings.

To access these Labs, click on the Company Gear Icon at the top right of the screen.  Then select QuickBooks Labs at the bottom of the first column entitled Settings.QuickBooks LabsFeel free to take a peek at the ones I am not mentioning, but my four must-haves are as follows:

  1. Directory View for Vendors – The Customer Centre has had the Directory View for a while now and my clients and I like consistency. By selecting this option, the Supplier/Vendor Centre operates like the Customer Centre. The Supplier list that appears on the left within a Supplier Detail screen makes it really easy to switch between Suppliers.Directory View
  2. Redesigned Reports – Reports just keep getting better and the Redesigned Reports are no exception. Create even more professional-looking reports that are sure to impress and customize even easier using simpler navigations.Redesigned Reports
  3. Autocomplete Widget – This great shortcut tool makes it incredibly fast and easy to add Customer and Supplier contacts into QBO. Using public directories, start typing the name of a contact and QBO will do the rest.Autocomplete Widget
  4. Collapsible Left Navigation – Maximize your work area by collapsing the left navigation bar.Collapsible Left Nav

All QuickBooks Labs features have mini videos demonstrating the tools, as well as Learn more (takes you to lots more online information), See demo (plays the mini video), and Give feedback (let Intuit know what you think of these innovative Labs).

Previous Labs submissions have turned in to permanent features of QBO. Here’s hoping these four will be added to our normal workflow soon.

Which Labs do you love? Which can you do without? Join the discussion on Facebook in our QB-HQ Facebook Group – Your QuickBooks Head Quarters for Tips, Tricks and Training.

Using Banked Time in QuickBooks Desktop

Payroll in QuickBooks Desktop has an element called Accrual Hours.  These hours can be used to manage Sick Hours or Banked Hours, but NOT both.  QuickBooks Desktop defaults the Accrual Hours to be Sick Hours and must be switched manually to Banked.  To do this, go to Edit, Preferences, Payroll & Employees.  Under Company Preferences, select Employee Defaults, then select Accrual Hours.  Change “Sick” to Banked”:

Banked Setup

You will notice in the Payroll Items, the items that had been indicated as Sick Hourly and Sick Salary are now Banked Hourly and Banked Salary:

Banked Items

If you know the number of Banked Hours your staff currently have, you will need to set up the balances in each employee’s payroll information.  To do this, go to the Employee Centre (either from the Menu Bar or the Home Page) and Edit the employee you wish to add the current Banked Hours balance.  Then go to the Payroll Info tab and select Accrual Hours on the right side, entering the employees’ current Banked Hours balance:

Banked Balance

View and edit the Payroll Item if necessary, particularly if you want the item to be mapped to a different account in your Chart of Accounts.  Note: There can only be one account mapped to one Banked Item, and no other Banked Items can be added due to their Accrual nature.

Banked Account

When processing payroll and adding to or paying from the Banked Hours, enter the total hours worked where they belong on your payroll distribution screen.  Any hours the employee is not getting paid for within the current pay (and therefore being Banked) is set as a negative against the payroll item “Banked Hours”.  It may sound backwards, but when you are adding to the employees’ Banked Hours balance, it is actually negative hours within the current pay.  In the following example, the employee worked 80 hours but wants to Bank 10 hours leaving them with the Total Hours paid of 70:

Banking Hours

Then the opposite is true on payout.  To pay out Banked Hours, lowering the balance and increasing the employees’ current pay, you put the hours being paid out as a positive using the payroll item “Banked Hours”.  In the following example, the employee worked 65 hours but wants to get 10 hours paid out from the bank and added to their pay:

Paying out Banked

You can also monitor the balance and verify any increases or decreases by using the Banked Hours Tracker on the right side under “Banked Avail. (HR)”.

As with anything to do with payroll-related items, PLEASE ensure you review the Employment Standard guidelines in your area.  Different regions have laws governing the rate at which Banked Time is stored, as well as the rate and frequency it is paid out.

Do you need help getting and staying compliant when it comes to payroll tasks?  Submit your information in the contact form below to see how FischBooks can help.

Craving Leadership


I’ve had some pretty terrible bosses over the years. I can now see, I have been a pretty terrible employee at times too. I have learned that not all bosses are leaders. Although I have had a few that are.

After 18 years of working for other people in accounting roles for various industries, I decided to start my own business. After a thorough business plan, meetings with business owners and industry professionals in my area, and after months of preparation, there were definitely things I expected to change. There were also many areas that took me completely off guard once my business got rolling. The complete change in employee-based versus consultant-based workflow, the unpredictability of income from one week to the next, and how quickly I realized that not every business was a client I wanted, just to name a few.

The one that I did not expect at all, the one I am still discovering, is how much I actually desire leadership. I was always a very independent employee and I was often convinced I could do a better job at managing the department or the whole company than my own boss. I now know how much they had to deal with that was never even on my radar. I have more respect now for my terrible bosses than I ever thought possible. And that much more for the excellent ones. As business owners, we are not only accounting managers, but billing clerks, collections agents, strategists, marketing professionals, PR agents, IT technicians, and every C-level officer rolled into one. Over the last three years, I have stumbled through these other unexpected roles and have been quite horrible at some of them. At first I thought I needed a boss again, somebody to just tell me what to do and when. Try telling that to my slightly younger self and I would have laughed hysterically. But that would be a task-master and not necessarily a leader. Some days within the last few years, I would have been satisfied with even that.

Forbes.com says leadership is “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”.  I believe it is perfectly natural, and in fact healthy of us to want to be led, even leaders themselves. I don’t think anyone can honestly say they have no need to continue to learn from and be influenced by others, to establish relationships with people you respect that are stronger in the areas in which you are weaker. For me, that meant not finding one person, an all-encompassing mentor for all areas, but many individuals that have strengths in one area at a time that I am clearly lacking.

You always have the opportunity to have leaders in your life as they do not have to be strictly work-related. Teachers, pastors, counsellors, coaches, or even peers can provide leadership if you are willing to accept it. Even my years as a choir director opened my eyes to what people looked for in a leader. I learned how to communicate the same material to multiple skill sets all at the same time and with a unified result. That single role prepared me more for my current training career than any other experience.

When you are an employee, you do not have the luxury of choosing your boss. But as a business owner or entrepreneur, you can hand pick the people you want in your life that will help you improve your business and yourself. I have been blessed and fortunate to now have, and to be able to continue to find, leaders who can set wonderful examples for me in how to do that. Some of them don’t even know who they are. Some do. That craving for leadership is slowly but surely getting satisfied. The desire to continue to improve myself and my business has resulted in some strong client relationships, business partnerships, and wonderful employees. Hopefully, I am a better boss to them than I was an employee. Maybe one day I’ll be a leader too.

Have you worked under a great leader?  I’d love to hear your story! Email me at rachel@fischbooks.ca or check out my website http://www.fischbooks.ca.