We’re pleased to announce another big QuickBooks Online (QBO) release! As always, we’re thankful for your feedback! Keep it coming!


Major changes:

  • Custom Form Styles: Create multiple templates for your sales forms (invoice, estimates, and sales receipts). Gear > Custom Form Styles or Gear > All Lists > Custom Form Styles.
  • The new customization features will provide you with greater control on how you communicate to your respective customers. We’ll be introducing more customization features in the next few months, so stay tuned!



  • Customers split view. Easily navigate between customers! Click the “Customers” button in the left navigation bar.



  • Redesigned settings for everyone. If you used to see (3) old preferences, now you’ll see (4) new settings. It’s cleaner and easier to read!

Go to “Gear”  and then to  “Company Settings”.



Bank feed changes:

  • Import/export bank rules1. You can now export bank rules to an .xls file, and then import them to other QuickBooks companies. Choose which rules to import, and easily set up vendors and accounts in the destination company to support the new rules. This is convenient if you manage multiple companies, like accountants do.  Go to Transactions > Banking > ▼ to the right of Update > Manage rules > ▼ to the right of New rule > (5) Import/Export rules.



  • Match transactions filtering. When you click a transaction and select “Find Match”, the Match transactions window lets you filter transactions by type. Go to Transactions > Banking > click a transaction > Find match > (6)  Show.


  • Partially match invoices. For example, a £8,760 deposit can fully or (7) partially match multiple open invoices. Transactions > Banking > click a transaction > Find match.


  • Home page tasks. If you have sales transactions in your print and send queues, checks you need to print, payments you need to deposit, and recurring transactions you need to act on, you can find this information, directly on the (1) home page!




Other changes:

  • You can now view recurring templates from customer page. Filter transactions by a customer’s recurring templates. Customers > click a customer > Filter > Type > (8) Recurring Templates.


  • Print blank table lines2. When you group items on a sales form by adding blank lines between items, these blank lines now appear on printouts. Create (+) > Invoice.
  • More enhanced lists. The following lists have been refreshed with enhanced list features: Chart of Accounts, Recurring Transactions, Products and Services, Locations, Payment Methods, Terms, and Classes. Gear > All Lists.
  • Transactions > Chart of Accounts replaces Transactions > Registers, with improved accessibility.






  1. If you missed it, here are bank rule basics.
  2. To print blank table lines, turn off service dates and group activity first.
  3. Want to try these updates using sample data? Check out the QuickBooks test drive.



NO VAT Tax code:

1)    NO VAT tax code replaces ‘Out of Scope’ (only visual change)

2)    NO VAT is now also a tax code, i.e you can edit an account in the COA and code ‘NO VAT’ against an account i.e Directors Loan account. Why is this good? – within Online Banking every time you have a transaction which needs to be applied to Directors Loan (in this example) the Default VAT code (NO VAT ) will automatically be applied… so no more manually having to code in VAT codes for these type of transactions in the Online banking experience.

3)    NO VAT Reports, get a list of ALL the transactions where NO VAT code has been applied.





Practice development gurus Steve Pipe and Mark Wickersham, both FCAs, have launched a major initiative to give UK accountants the insights and training they need to improve their profits, cashflow, average fees, service levels, client base and work-life balance. Accessed via improveyourpractice.co.uk, practitioners are already describing it as “profoundly valuable”.  And it is all COMPLETELY FREE.

As sponsors of www.improveyourpractice.co.uk Intuit would like to give you:

  1.  Instant access to a comprehensive Improvement Library containing all the resources you need to get started
  2.  A complete step by step Improvement Curriculum, delivered in bite sized chunks by email, to help you improve every aspect of your practice

Each email in the curriculum will take you less than 45 seconds to read, and contain links to training videos, step by step guidance, research reports, case studies, checklists and anything else you need to take action. And you can opt out of receiving them at any time you want – so you aren’t committing to anything. How will it help? Thanks to our sponsorship you will get free access to over 100 research-proven resources specifically designed to be:

  • Transformational – so you can improve the things you most want to improve, including your profits, cashflow, average fees, service levels and client base
  • Flexible – just use the bits that are relevant to you – nothing is compulsory
  • Convenient – use them at any time you choose – no set timetable
  • Save time – invaluable shortcuts and guidance so you don’t have to spend hours researching and re-inventing the wheel
  • Realistic – everything is broken down into 100% doable bite-size chunks – no impossibly long action plans
  • Save money – many of the resources you get for free are currently available on Amazon for up to £295 each
  • Happy clients – clients will love your improved approach and service
  • Free CPE – your entire team can access and use everything
  • Galvanise action – your entire team will also have everything they need to pull together and make your practice more successful than ever before

How do you get it all for free? Simply click here and enter your name and email address – www.improveyourpractice.co.uk No other details are required to get immediate lifetime access.

October is another month with some great new features and improvements that went live in QuickBooks Online. Here are some QuickBooks Halloween treats (no rocks). Thanks as always for your feedback!

Bank feed changes:

Recognized bank transactions. The Recognized view lists items that are already matched, have a rule applied, or use categories from related transactions you previously accepted (any item shown in green), making it easier to quickly accept bank transactions into QuickBooks! Transactions > Banking >  Recognized.

QuickBooks Online 1

Bank rule “or.” You can now apply a bank rule when a transaction meets condition 1 orcondition 2 or condition 3, etc. Transactions > Banking > ▼ to the right of Update > Manage rules > New rule > (2)  any. (If you missed it, here are bank rule basics.)

QuickBooks Online 2

Turn off automatic categorization
. When you change a bank transaction’s category, QuickBooks automatically uses that category for future transactions that have the same vendor name. You can now turn off that autocategorization. For example, let’s say you buy a lot from Mahoney Mugs; sometimes you want to categorize transactions as Promotional and sometimes you want to categorize them as Office Expenses, but you want them uncategorized to start. Transactions > Banking > click a transaction > (3) Leave uncategorized

QuickBooks Online 3

Import bank .csv files. If your bank supports it, you can (4) import a .csv file of your bank transactions. Transactions > Banking > ▼ to the right of Update > File upload.

QuickBooks Online 4


Other changes:

Receive payment on a batch of invoices: the Receive Payment form now has a (5) Batch checkbox that makes it faster to apply a payment to multiple invoices. Create (+) > Receive Payment.

US 5


Stay up to date

With more than 1.7 million users worldwide, QuickBooks Online is the global leader in cloud business management. Businesses around the world manage their finances, invoicing, bookkeeping and accounting with easy-to-use QuickBooks Online. Spend less time on accounting and more time building your business. Try QuickBooks today – now with FREE Payroll for up to 5 employees.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube to get new content and deals first.

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Are you on Twitter? Want to connect to fellow QuickBooks users?

Then start following us on @QuickBooksUK and join our Twitter #QBOchat at 8pm on Thursday 18th of September.

Cathy from the Iconis group has been doing these Twitter chats for a while now so the chats are super organised, focus on a different topic every week, and the transcripts are even archived so you won’t miss a thing.

It’s a friendly and lively bunch, and as Cathy says herself, “We invite all types of QuickBooks users — small biz owners, bookkeepers, developers, and tax preparers to join our #QBOChat.”

Look through the archives — there are lots of ideas on how to run a business more efficiently. And, of course, QuickBooks tips!

Join the conversation

Search for #QBOchat on Twitter on Thursday or just follow and join the discussion with our Twitter widget here that collects all tweets around the topic. See you on Thursday.

What is a Tweet Chat?

A Twitter Chat or Tweet Chat is using Twitter to talk about a common interest with others during a preset time. It’s like an online chatroom where you add to the discussion by tweeting.

How do I join?

All you need is a twitter account to join the tweetchat! You also want to make sure you use our hashtag in your tweets – #QBOChat to make sure you are included in the feed.

I still don’t understand, can you recommend any articles about how to participate in tweetchats?

Why, yes we can!! Here are just a few:

- See more at: http://iconisgroup.com/resources/qbochat/#sthash.KZZHEmsK.dpuf


Stay up to date

With more than 1.7 million users worldwide, QuickBooks Online is the global leader in cloud business management. Businesses around the world manage their finances, invoicing, bookkeeping and accounting with easy-to-use QuickBooks Online. Spend less time on accounting and more time building your business. Try QuickBooks today – now with FREE Payroll for up to 5 employees.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube to get new content and deals first.

The type of funding that is right for your business is entirely dependent upon the type of business you are starting and your own financial means.

Some businesses, especially when providing expertise-driven services, require little to no capital to start. Some businesses, such as retail, or any form of manufacturing, may require considerable capital to open their doors.

This is an overview of the most common types of small business funding as well as some exciting new developments in crowd-sourced finance.


Do-it-yourself / Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping refers to starting and building a business without any external investment. Growth is achieved from resources provided by the entrepreneur, and later through revenue.

A resource does not have to be cash. For example, if you are setting up as an independent accountant, you might simply use a computer you already own, rather than providing the cash to buy new equipment.

Advantages of Bootstrapping

  • You control your own company and own it outright rather than giving away a slice of the pie before you even start.
  • People tend to be more frugal with their own money than with other people’s money.
  • No time is spent finding investors. All of your time can be focused on the business.
  • Should you require investors for expansion later, they will look favorably on the fact that you are a going concern rather than just a business plan with potential.

Disadvantages of Bootstrapping

  • If the business fails, you will lose most, if not all, of what you have put in.
  • Growing a company organically tends to be a slower path than using investment capital to accelerate growth.
  • Bootstrapping will not be an option for you if the business requires considerable capital investment in assets, machinery, stock, or staff, and you have limited personal resources.

Borrowing Money

Loans from friends and family

Many successful businesses have been built with money loaned from, or invested by, parents, aunts and uncles, or siblings. But this type of business financing comes with some serious risks.

Advantages of family financing

  • It may be easier to convince your family member to lend you the money than a bank as personal relationships take on a more involved form.
  • Repayment terms and interest rates may be more flexible and favorable than an institutional lender.

Disadvantages of family financing

  • Sometimes family loans lack the formality and documentation that are expected with other sources of finance. Should there be any disputes, or should the business struggle to meet repayments, this could cause considerable problems for both you and your relative. Ensure that legal documents outlining the terms and conditions of the loan are drawn up and ensure that they are legally binding for both parties.
  • Family members who lend you money sometimes think they now part own the business. This can lead to interference that takes time away from focusing on building your business. Make sure the loan agreement states which party is running the company.

Bank Loans

Banks are the most common organisation that entrepreneurs approach first for financing. Bank loans can be very hard to get with stringent requirements, although there are banks with dedicated small business lending specialists. Many more bank loan applications are rejected than are accepted.

Advantages of bank loans

  • You are not giving away any equity in your business and retain control.
  • Banks tend to offer lower rates of interest compared with other commercial lenders.
  • You may receive some tax relief on part or all of the repayments.
  • Banks are generally very convenient for businesses, especially if the same bank is being used for the business’ day to day banking.

Disadvantages of bank loans

  • Bank loans can be very difficult to get approved for. The application process may be complex and lengthy, and the evidence required may feel excessive and be more than you can produce.
  • Banks prefer lending to existing businesses, rather than startups.
  • You may be required to put down considerable collateral, most likely your house, if you own one. If you default on the loan you stand to lose it.


Angel Investors

Angel investors tend to be wealthy individuals that provide capital for start-ups. They usually provide the first round of funding for a business, also known as the seed money. Some angels band together to form networks where they collect and share intelligence. Sometimes they pool their investment resources. Angels are generally open to high risk, as they will spread their risk across multiple investments and expect most to fail. Angels tend to invest smaller amounts between £10,000 and £200,000.

Advantages of angel investment

  • When you find the right angel for your business sector, he or she will often make a decision quickly.
  • They will have knowledge in your sector, which can aid you, plus their interest should motivate you to remain focused.
  • You are giving away equity so there will be no loan repayments to make.

Disadvantages of angel investment

  • The right angel for your business can be hard to find, and then hard to approach. They receive many more proposals than they can accommodate so you will have to work hard to catch their attention.
  • The size of equity you may have to give up for the amount of money you receive may become problematic at a later stage should you require additional rounds of investment.

Venture Capital

Venture capital, also known as VC, is private equity money provided to early-stage businesses, usually after they have received seed money or have made some progress bootstrapping.  This type of investment targets businesses with high growth potential.  They aim to recoup a multiple of the original share value through an initial public offering or acquisition by another company.

Advantages of venture capital

  • Venture Capitalists often possess knowledge that can be transferred to the business. It is not uncommon for an executive from the VC firm to sit on the board of the recipient business.
  • They can help forge relationships with important stakeholders such as potential business partners and customers.
  • They have the expertise to facilitate exits, such as IPOs or acquisition.

Disadvantages of venture capital

  • VCs usually limit their window on realizing a return to 5 years or less. If your business plan looks to longer period, or you have no interest in an IPO, it is unlikely this is a potential source of funding for you.
  • They will place conditions on the deal. For example, restrictions on future dilution and executive pay, and will insist on some level of control over major decisions.
  • While it can be an advantage to have an expert on your board, it can also be a disadvantage if there are major conflicts, or differences over how to run the business.
  • You will be committed to providing regular reports on progress, which may feel intrusive to the entrepreneur.

Incubators and Accelerators

Incubators provide shared office space and facilities for up to 20 businesses at a time, all funded by the same private equity fund. On top of cash and facilities incubators provide mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and executives. They also encourage group learning and communication within the network of members. There is no limit on how long you can stay, but eventually your business should grow to the point where it strikes out on its own.

Accelerators are slightly different in that businesses are given space for a limited period of time, usually six months or less. The experience is best described as an entrepreneurs’ boot camp with a whirlwind of seminars and workshops.

Advantages of incubators and accelerators

  • They are ideal for first time CEOs/entrepreneurs who lack general business knowledge.
  • As well as providing seed capital they provide all the facilities you need to get to work, from desks to printers to meeting rooms. You just have to show up.
  • They run their own PR & Marketing programs which have trickle down benefits for their members.
  • They usually have a network of experienced and successful CEOs and entrepreneurs that provide expertise and mentoring.
  • These programs can open many doors for the budding entrepreneur.

Disadvantages of incubators and accelerators

  • A large number of mentors often have a large number of differing opinions, which require critical appraisal before they affect your actions.
  • Sharing space is not always idea, especially if someone is potentially competitive to you. And fighting over use of the meeting rooms can become tiresome.
  • The investments amounts are often small but the equity stakes can be high.
  • The network of companies in the program may offer little benefit to you. It is important that you research the program and its current members thoroughly.

Government Grants

The UK government operates hundreds of funding and assistance schemes for small businesses.  There are regional schemes to encourage establishing businesses outside of the South West, especially in the North, Scotland, and Northern Ireland; grants for research and development; capital grants for purchasing plant and machinery; and industry specific grants in fields as diverse as marine biology and the arts.

At the time of writing there are 809 available schemes on the Gov.UK web site, too many to write about. You can research available options here

Advantages of government grants

  • They incur no financial liability.

Disadvantages of government grants

  • They can come with strict restrictions on how the money is used.
  • The processes for application can be long, bureaucratic, and littered with red tape.
  • There is often stiff competition for government grants.


Crowdfunding enables businesses to receive funding from large groups of people, each donating small amounts. Typically the process is conducted over the Internet.

Through sites such as Kickstarter.com, entrepreneurs can promote their business and set a target amount of investment. Individuals, who collectively make up The Crowd, can donate as much or as little as they wish to this business in return for equity, rewards, or special consideration, like being the first to receive the finished product.

Advantages of crowdfunding

  • The act of promoting your business through a crowdfunding web site exposes you to large numbers of potential customers as well as investors. It is a great form of publicity.
  • It can be used for almost any type of project, from setting up a business, to funding an independent movie.

Disadvantages of crowdfunding

  • Instead of large amounts from a small number of investors, or just one, you are receiving very small amounts from a very large number of investors.
  • Most projects fail to reach their investment target.
  • You will miss the important feedback and knowledge transfer that comes with traditional financing means.
  • Crowdfunding can expose the inner workings of your business, or just the fact that it exists, to potential competition.


There are many different ways to obtain small business funding. You can borrow money but your business must be able to support the repayments. You can receive investment but in return you will have to give up some of your company and possibly some of your control.

Deciding which course is the right one for you is something that only you can do, based on the uniqueness of your needs and your business’ needs. Always seek advice and expertise.

Whichever course you take, it is important to remember the following:

  • Your money is always at risk. Businesses fail and not always for reasons internal to the business.
  • If you have agreed a loan or investment, do not spend the money before it clears in your bank account. Things can go wrong with loan and investment deals.
  • Never spend other people’s money without clear legal documentation than spells out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.


Stay up to date

With more than 1.7 million users worldwide, QuickBooks Online is the global leader in cloud business management. Businesses around the world manage their finances, invoicing, bookkeeping and accounting with easy-to-use QuickBooks Online. Spend less time on accounting and more time building your business. Try QuickBooks today – now with FREE Payroll for up to 5 employees.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube to get new content and deals first.