If you’ve used accounting software for any length of time, it quickly becomes tedious repeatedly entering the same transactions. There must be a better way than re-keying the same information over and over. Fortunately, most applications, such as QuickBooks, have a function that will allow you to set up memorized transactions to reduce the repetition.
In QuickBooks, memorized transactions can be used with nearly any transaction, from bills and invoices to customer payments received and journal entries. Any time you find yourself thinking, “Do I have to do this again?”, the transaction is probably a candidate for the memorized list.
What’s great about QuickBooks is the flexibility you have in using memorized transactions. They can be daily, monthly or even annual transactions. You can set them up to be entered automatically on a specific date or only when you want them to be posted. You can limit the number of times a transaction is scheduled to be posted. Further, you can change the information before saving the transaction.
Here are some examples I’ve used:
- Invoicing a customer a monthly hosting fee. The exact same info is used every month with the exception of noting which month it’s for. It saves me having to recreate the invoice. If you have a lot of the same kind of invoicing, you can assign them to a “group” within the memorized transaction list, to keep things organized.
- Invoice/bill for the same sale/purchase to different customers/vendors. If you find yourself entering the same invoice or bill for the same thing over and over, you can create a memorized transaction with this information and just change the customer/vendor before saving.
- Facility lease bills. Our current landlord doesn’t issue bills for monthly rent, so I have a memorized transaction to add the bill to our payables every month. Easy-peasy.
- Period-end journal entries. Ninety percent of any month’s journal entry uses the same general ledger accounts. I still have to manually change the posting amount when necessary, but having the accounts already set up reduces the chance of a “keypunch error” ruining my day. Having the year-end journal entry memorized will also save some time in determining items to research for entry.
Of course, you might spend more time changing the information in the transaction than creating it from scratch, but having QuickBooks remind you to enter it in the first place may keep you from forgetting. It’ll also save time keeping track of it on another checklist if you’re not using QuickBooks’ Reminders List. (Task management is another topic for another day)
To keep you from having to dig through QuickBooks’ help topics, here are the definitions of the schedule options:
- Add to my Reminders List — The transaction will be shown in the sortable memorized transaction list and your reminder list but won’t be carried out until you want it to.
- Do Not Remind Me — The transaction will be shown in the sortable memorized transaction list but not in your reminder list but won’t be carried out until you want it to.
- Automate Transaction Entry — The transaction will be carried out at the set time & frequency you set up without any action on your part.
I have an aversion to too much automation and would prefer to review transactions before they are posted to the ledger, so I typically don’t use option three. But it is a valuable tool in certain circumstances. Most of my memorized transactions are saved with option one.
In the constant battle of time management, memorized transactions are a great way to be more efficient as well as more accurate in your transaction entries. Please let me know how you use memorized transactions in your organization or have a question about this or any other topic in the comment section below.
To learn more about the QuickBooks platform visit their website here.