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The basic record keeping checkup (Proceedings)

May 01, 2011

Do you divide your staff responsibilities? By dividing responsibilities you reduce the opportunity of potential stealing from your hospital. Basically you should never have one person handle all aspects of a task. For example, the receptionist who handles money directly shouldn't be the person who prepares and makes the bank deposit. Likewise the person writing checks to pay the hospital's bills shouldn't be the same person authorized to sign the checks. Is the mail opened and a list of daily receipts prepared independent of the receptionist and bookkeeper? Also the practice owner should open the hospital's monthly bank statements and credit card statements and review them before providing to the bookkeeper for reconciliation.

Do you have more than one user login on your QuickBooks file? Any person who accesses the QuickBooks file should have their own separate user id and password. The practice owner should be set up as the administrator. To set up additional users, you need to be logged in as the QuickBooks Administrator and then from the Company menu select Set up Users and Passwords, then Set up Users. You will then create the user name and password and then select the areas of QuickBooks you would like them to have access to. It can be all areas of QuickBooks or selected areas of QuickBooks.

The reason for separate user names is the audit trail feature of QuickBooks. The QuickBooks audit trail keeps a record of each transaction that is created, modified, or deleted in a data file. The audit trail also records who made the change. The audit trail is always on and cannot be turned off. To help prevent users from creating or modifying transactions undetected, changing certain fields on a transaction that has been saved into QuickBooks triggers the audit trail to save a record of the change. If a user attempts to print or e-mail a transaction, by default QuickBooks forces the user to save the transaction first which posts the transaction to the audit trail. However, the Administrator can override this preference under General: Company Preferences before those actions are carried out (this is another reason why the administrator should be chosen carefully). The following fields trigger an audit trail record: Name, account, amount, quantity, class, unit price, item, payment method; Transaction type, transaction date, shipping date, billed date, due date; Terms, discount, payment terms, sales rep; Document number, modifying user, reconciliation status, posting status.

When you view transactions in the audit trail report it groups transactions by the modifying user. Since a single transaction can be modified by more than one user over time, the transaction may appear in more than one user's group of transactions. The audit trail report highlights values that were changed in each instance of a transaction. If there are multiple versions of a transaction, the earliest version has no highlighting, but subsequent versions highlight each value that differs from the previous version's value in that field by displaying the value in bold italics. If a line item was added to the transaction, that entire line of the report is highlighted. There are limits to the audit trail. The audit trail is not designed as an employee-tracking tool. It records changes made to transactions, but it does not track attempts to access areas of the program by people who do not have permission to use those areas. It only captures changes to transactions it does not capture changes to lists. Audit trail doesn't contain a column to show whether or not a check has been reconciled.

Do you know what QuickBooks release you are on? To check the current release of your QuickBooks program: While in QuickBooks, hold down the Control Key and press the number 1 (CTRL +1). Use the number one key at the top of your keyboard rather than the numbers on the right keypad. QuickBooks will display a Product Information window. The first line provides the QuickBooks product then the release number. If you are not on the latest release you can start the automatic update yourself within QuickBooks by doing the following: From the QuickBooks Help menu, choose Update QuickBooks; Click the Overview tab and click Update Now; Select the desired downloads in the Update Now window; Click Get Updates to download your selected updates; When the Update Complete message appears, click Close; From the File menu, Choose Exit; Start QuickBooks and click Yes to the message to install the update.

Do you set a closing date in your QuickBooks file? Once you have finished the year and filed your respective tax return there are two items that should be done. One is to enter journal entries provided by your accountant to ensure your records match theirs and to close the year within QuickBooks. To close the year within QuickBooks you should do the following: Select Edit from the toolbar menu; Select Preferences; Select Accounting; Click on the Company Preferences tab and click on the Set Date/Password button; Enter your year end date, i.e. 12/31/010 in the closing date box. This represents the date through which books are closed. Set a password in order to edit a transaction on or before the date above. By setting a closing date, this will prevent prior year data being changed inadvertently and will ensure your accounting records match the filed tax return.