Making the move, Part 4: Bank and credit card transactions

Part 1: OverviewPart 2: Vendor transactions | Part 3: Customer transactions
| Part 4: Banking and other

This is the last article in a series about moving your historical data into QuickBooks. In previous articles, I gave you an overview and talked about vendor-related transactions and customer-related transactions. Now I’m going to talk about bank and other types of transactions.

If you’ve been working through these articles, well done! You’re almost there.

Where you are now

When you entered your other transactions, QuickBooks automatically recorded:

  • Checks you wrote to vendors to pay your bills
  • Checks you wrote to pay sales tax you collected
  • Deposits of payments your customers made to you

And you can see all of this in QuickBooks. Just go to your Chart of Accounts (on your List menu) and open your bank account. You can see all of these transactions in that register. There it all is! Look at all the progress you’ve made.

Why did I have you do this? I wanted you to see that a lot of your banking-related transactions are already there. You shouldn’t enter any checks or deposits unless you’re sure they aren’t already in your register. You don’t want to end up with double payments and deposits. You may want to print out this register (Command-P) to use as a reference as you go along.

Gathering the information you’ll need

Here’s what you’ll need to enter your remaining transactions. Remember, you’ll only need to enter transactions from the start date you entered for your company file to today.

  • Checks you’ve written
  • Deposits you made
  • Bank statements showing fees, interest earned, and transfers
  • Credit card statements showing charges and payments made

“I want to be able to reconcile my account, but my bank account opening balance is from the statement prior to my company file’s start date. If I’m only supposed to enter transactions between my company file’s start date and today, what do I do?” In this case, go ahead and enter all the unrecorded checks and deposits from the period between your statement date and your company file’s start date. This will make sure that your bank account balance is correct.

Entering your bank transactions

Now you’re ready to go. Enter all your unrecorded bank transactions (the ones not already in the bank account register I asked you to look at earlier in this article) between your company file’s start date and today. You can use the Banking area on the Home page to enter many of these transactions. Be sure you use the actual transaction date rather than today’s date. You can enter these transactions in any order.

  • Checks. Choose Write Checks and enter all miscellaneous checks that aren’t already in your register. Be sure you enter the actual check number in the No. field. Since you’ve already written these checks, click to clear the To Be Printed check box.
    • If the check is for an expense, select the expense account at the bottom of the check.
    • If the check is a payment for a liability you track (for example, a loan), enter the liability account at the bottom of the check.
    • If the check is for items on your items list, enter the item in the Item field of the Items pane.
  • Deposits. Choose Record Deposits and enter your unrecorded deposits. Be sure to refer to your bank account register so you don’t record a deposit that’s already in there.
  • Fees and transfers. In your bank account’s register window, enter any other fees, charges, or interest earned from your bank statement. Be sure to enter amounts in the correct column: Increase or Decrease. Also enter any transfers between bank accounts. (You can also use Banking > Transfer Funds to record transfers.)

Entering credit card transactions

Now that you entered your unrecorded bank account transactions in QuickBooks, let’s look at your credit cards. (Just to be clear, these are transactions on your credit cards. Accepting credit cards as payment from your customers is another topic.)

How you enter these historical transactions depends on whether you pay your balance in full each month.

If you pay your balance in full each month, you can simply record a check (Banking > Write Checks) for each payment. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you entered a balance for your credit card account as of your start date, the first check should pay off that balance. In the Account field of the check, enter the name of the credit card account.
  • For checks written to cover credit card charges made between your start date and today, split the amount of the payment among the various expense accounts it covers.
  • If you don’t record individual credit card charges using the Enter Credit Card Charges window, you won’t have detailed records of charges.

If you don’t pay your balance in full each month, or if you know of charges that have not yet appeared on your statement, choose Banking > Enter Credit Card Charges and enter individual charges.

When you write a check to cover charges already entered in your credit card account (or for the opening balance of that account), enter the credit card account in the Account field of the check. Don’t enter the expense accounts, because you’re already tracking expenses in the Enter Credit Card Charges window.

You can enter interest and other fees directly in the credit card account register.

Reconciling your bank account

Using QuickBooks, you can reconcile your bank accounts to track which checks have cleared your bank.

After you’ve entered your bank transactions, it’s a good idea to reconcile your QuickBooks register with each statement, one at a time, from the first statement after your start date to your last statement. Then you’ll know that QuickBooks and your bank are in agreement.

So that’s it for getting your historical transactions into QuickBooks! Whew. You did good. Now go do something nice for yourself. You deserve it.

[Special thanks to Maria Langer and her QuickBooks 2011 for Mac guide for contributing to this article.]

About Shelly King

Shelly King works for Intuit as a member of the QuickBooks for Mac team. She’s the Managing Editor for Little Square and its main contributor. Shelly grew up in the South until 1994 when the Internet called her to Silicon Valley. She’s done a lot on the web ever since. Little Square was her idea. Yep, it’s all her fault. See all of Shelly's articles

You can also post your own question to the QuickBooks for Mac community.