December 2015

In This Edition

Year-End Update 
The complimentary Year-End Update session will address major changes affecting the close of 2015 and beginning of 2016.

Date and Time:
Dec. 15, 2015 | 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Register here>>>

Year-End Seminar
The Year-End Seminar is a comprehensive three-hour session that will provide an in-depth look at compliance issues of year-end payroll processing, fringe benefits, multi-state issues and independent contractor issues. 

Date and Time:
Dec. 10, 2015 | 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
Cost: $30.00
Register here>>>

Sessions are lead by Cindy Randall, a Certified Payroll Professional with more than 20 years of experience. Attendees of each session will receive information on the new 1095 reporting required under the Affordable Care Act. 
Extra Paydays Caused by the Calendarpayday
Each year, some employers will be faced with the dilemma of having an extra pay day caused by the calendar.  Because a normal year has 365 days, one day of the week will occur 53 times in a year. In a leap year (2016), which has 366 days, two days of the week will occur 53 times.  The days of the week that occur 53 times in the calendar year 2016 are Friday and Saturday.

For employers who pay their employees on a weekly or biweekly basis, and whose paydays fall on the extra days of the week just mentioned, an extra payday will occur.
Hourly employees must be paid their agreed-upon hourly wage for all hours worked, regardless of the extra payday.

Employers are free to reduce salaried employees' pay for each pay period in a year when faced with an extra payday, so long as there is no contract guaranteeing a certain amount of pay each weekly or bi-weekly payday, and the employee's pay is not reduced below the minimum required by state or federal law. As an example, Irving, a salaried, exempt employee earning $52,000 per year, is paid weekly on Friday.  His normal weekly gross wages are $1,000.  If his employer pays him $1,000 per week every Friday in 2016, Irving would be paid $53,000 in 2016.  To make sure Irving is paid $52,000 in 2016, his weekly pay is reduced to $981.13.

Many employers do not recompute their weekly or biweekly pay.  Reasons for this include the probability of strained employer-employee relations if wages are reduced for each pay period, and the other reason is that often salaried employees are promised a certain weekly or biweekly pay rather than a guaranteed yearly amount.

If weekly or biweekly pay will not be recomputed, wage expenses may increase in such years, depending on the accounting method used for payroll, and these expenses must be accounted for to company executives and the finance department.

Written By: Cindy Randall, CPP
New Year QuickBooks Checklist newyear
As 2015 is coming to a close, there should be a routine you use to keep your records current and a checklist to be able to do this efficiently. Below is a standard checklist for you to use and follow each year.

The first step on your checklist would be to verify and review payroll information. Before you create paychecks in the new tax year, please update this information so no catch up is needed in the payroll system. 

QuickBooks provides updates to QuickBooks payroll subscribers at the beginning of each year. These updates provide the most current and accurate rates for supported state and federal tax tables, payroll tax forms and e-file and pay options. The majority of the supported changes are released at the end of the year. To download the payroll updates:
  • Click Employees on the top menu bar
  • Click Get Payroll Updates, then select Update
You may also want to review employees' wages and benefits. Before your first payroll of the new year, take the time to review wages and benefits for all active employees. To do this:
  • Click the Employee Center and click the Employee tab
  • Double click the name of an employee to access the Edit Employee window 
  • Click the payroll info tab
  • Review all information to ensure all items, rates and limits are correct in the earning and additions, deductions and company contributions sections 
  • Click OK to save and close the window
It is also a good idea to review your employee files.  Each employee should have an employment folder which contains a Form W-4 (Employee's Federal Withholding Allowance Certificate), WT-4 (Employee's Wisconsin Withholding Exemption Certificate) and any other pertinent payroll information. Employee Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) should be kept in a separate folder. 
Several other items that you should check are:
  1. Check your QuickBooks company file.  Is it full of obsolete information? Review your lists (customers, vendors, items, etc.) and delete or hide inactive entries. 
  2. Update contact information for all customers, vendors and employees.
  3. Consider whether you need to make rate/price adjustments to your goods and services.
  4. Create a budget and enter it in the Planning and Budgeting window (under the Company menu).
  5. Explore QuickBooks to see if there are features you currently do not use that could save you time or money in the coming year.  Check what's new under the Help menu.
  6. QuickBooks occasionally downloads a maintenance release (patch) for existing versions of the program. This occurs when a problem is discovered and fixed after the version has been distributed to users. To download these maintenance releases, go to the Help menu and click Update QuickBooks.
The final item is closing the year in QuickBooks. Closing your books after your accountant completes your tax return and your year-end journal entries have been posted will ensure your trial balance will stay unchanged for the upcoming year. To set a closing date:
  • Click Company on the top menu bar
  • Click Set Closing Date. Set the date to the end of the year and set a password.
Doing the same procedure each year is a good habit to get into and this checklist is a great way to start.  You may have to tweak this list to suit your needs but in the end you will know your books are up-to-date and organized.

Written By: Jamie Lambrecht, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

What's New

Recently, there have been many updates to QuickBooks Online.  Here are a few to pay attention to:
  • There is now a non-inventory item type available.  Non-inventory items are for items that you buy, but don't need to track a quantity for.
  • Items can be added to sales invoices by entering the SKU.
Bank Feeds
  • Bank feed transactions can now be marked as billable and assigned to a customer.
  • Attachments can be added to a bank transaction when the transaction is added.
  • Registers can now be accessed right from the home page.
  • When you switch between registers, filter options and columns width settings are now retained.
  • You can change the order the bank accounts display on the home page by clicking on the pencil to the right of bank accounts and dragging the accounts up or down to put them in the order you want. 
Written By: Becky Doyle, CPP, Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Preparing 1099-Misc in QuickBookstennine
As we come to the end of another year, we are reminded that annual reporting requirements are just around the corner. To ease your reporting burden, QuickBooks has a feature that will allow you to run a report that will list the eligible vendors and the amounts to report on the 1099-Misc. A bit of set up is required, however.

First, you will need to turn on the 1099 feature.
  • Click Edit on the top menu bar> Preferences
  • Click on Tax:1099 at the bottom of the window
  • Choose Company Preferences and select Yes for filing 1099's
  • Click OK to save preferences
Next, you will need to make sure your vendors are set up properly. Find your 1099 eligible vendors in the Vendor Center and double click them to enter the editing function. Verify the names are correct and addresses are entered as well as their tax ID found under the Tax Settings tab. Check the box that they are eligible for 1099s.

All eligible 1099 vendors should have been given an IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer ID) when engaged for services. If you do not have the vendor ID number, send them a W-9 as soon as possible and enter the information into QuickBooks.

The final task is to set up your expense accounts so QuickBooks knows which accounts to search for eligible expenses.
  • Click Edit on the top menu bar> Preferences
  • Click on the Tax:1099 tab
  • Choose Company Preferences and click the link to map your accounts to boxes on 1099s
  • From the drop down, select Show all Accounts
  • You can then review your accounts and select the correct 1099 box to apply the expenses to. For example, a Subcontractor expense would be linked to Box 7, Nonemployee Compensation, whereas a Rent expense would be linked to Box 1, Rent.
  • When done, select Save and close.
If you are doing your own 1099's, you can use the 1099 Wizard under the Vendor menu. If Hawkins Ash will be doing your 1099's, you can print out a report by going to Reports > Vendors & Payables > 1099 Summary. This report will have all the information needed for 1099 preparation, as long as you have completed the above steps correctly.  

If you are unsure which vendors should receive 1099's, please call us as the penalties for not issuing a 1099 have increased to $250 per form. 

Written By: Joe Nurmi, CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

New Features in QuickBooks 2016new
Bill Tracker
  • Accessible:  From the menu bar, select Vendors, then Bill Tracker.  It's also accessible from the Vendor Center, or from the Top or Left Navigationbars.
  • Similar to Income Tracker you already have, it's a dashboard feature that lets you see Unbilled Purchase Orders, Unpaid Bills, Overdue Bills and Paid Bills.
  • You can Filter by Vendor, Type of Transaction, Status of Transactions, or Date Range.
Bulk Clear Send Forms
  • Accessible:  From the menu bar, select File, then Send Forms.
  • Have you inadvertently marked customer invoices to "Send Later" and never sent? New feature allows you to remove forms in the Send Forms window in batch with a single click.  Previously, only one item could be removed at a time.
Fiscal Year-to-Last Month Report Filter
  • Accessible:  From any report that permits you to filter for a specific date range.
  • This feature allows you to choose a new Date Range filter instead of manually choosing the end month in a year-to-date report.
Continuous Feed Label Printer Support
  • Rather than just page-oriented labels, you can now print labels on single continuous roll.
Upgrade Process Made Easier
  • Accessible: When upgrading to QuickBooks 2016 from an earlier version of QuickBooks.
  • The new process creates a backup file using a new, simpler dialog.
Upgrades for Enterprise
  • Sort on Columns in Payment Screen: allows you to click on any column in the Receive Payments window to sort the displayed list of open invoices in ascending or descending order.
  • Advanced Reporting options.
Author: Sue Woznick, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
State Unemployment Rate Change and Adjustment for Wisconsin and Minnesota Employers unemployment
The 2016 Wisconsin Unemployment Tax Rate notifications were mailed in October. If your state unemployment insurance rate changes for 2016, you will need to update your payroll item. Please make this change immediately in your QuickBooks.The 2016 Minnesota Unemployment Tax Rate notifications will be mailed in December.
  • On the top menu bar, click Lists, Payroll Item List, and scroll down to double click the WI (or MN)- Unemployment Company payroll item.
  • Click Next twice and you will be at the Company Tax Rates window to enter the new 2016 rate. On the fifth line labeled "Year 2016 - For 1/1 - 3/31," enter the new rate as a percentage, not a decimal (such as, 3.285%, not .03285). Continue clicking Next. Then, click Finish to save the entry. The rate will flow to the next calendar year. 
If you have already prepared your Wisconsin or Minnesota Unemployment report and the amount that QuickBooks has calculated does not match the amount to pay on your report, you will need to make the following adjustment to your liability check. 
  • Create the liability check in QuickBooks with the wrong amount, but do not save it yet.
  • On the bottom portion of the check window are two tabs. The Payroll Liabilities tab will display the wrong amount.  To the left of the Payroll Liabilities tab is the Expenses tab.  Click the Expenses tab and enter the expense account for your Wisconsin or Minnesota Unemployment tax (can be found by double clicking the WI (or MN)-Unemployment Company item in the payroll item list). Then, enter the difference as a negative to decrease the amount of the check or as a positive to increase the amount of the check. 
  • Click the Recalculate button and your check should be the correct amount.
Written By: Bev Brahmer, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
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