accounting, bookkeeping, farm, ranch

Class and Location Tracking in QuickBooks Online

Welcome back to our blog! We can’t wait to share with you today.

We just finished up a blog series on your chart of accounts. Something that goes hand-in-hand with optimizing your chart of accounts is utilizing the class and location tracking options in QuickBooks Online.


Class Tracking 101

Class tracking is a method of categorizing each transaction by separate classes or fields that you create. Many farm, ranch and agribusinesses are becoming more diversified. This means that income and expense transactions for several different enterprises are utilizing the same bank accounts, loans, etc. However, you might find that you would like to know the income and expense of one of your several enterprises.

That is where class tracking comes in. For some farm and ranch operations, two classes could be appropriate: livestock and crops. A farming operation might want to use: corn, soybeans and pulse crops for their classes. A diversified farming and ranching operation could use: cattle, sheep, corn, hay. A ranch that raises both commercial and registered cattle might consider using: registered and commercial as their classes.  An agribusiness that provides feed and agronomy services could use two or more classes.

You get the idea. Any separate type of operation that you’d like to create an income statement for should have a class attributed to it.


Enabling Class Tracking in QBO

Class tracking can only be used in QuickBooks Online Pro. Turn class tracking on by follow these steps:

  1. Click the Gear icon.
  2. Select Account and Settings.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Click on the Edit button for Categories
  5. Check the Track classes box.
  6. Click on Save.

To add new classes:

  1. Click the Gear icon.
  2. Select All Lists.
  3. Click on Classes
  4. Click on New
  5. Enter the class Name.
  6. Click on Save.


Location Tracking Basics

What if you have the same type of operation in several locations? QuickBooks Online now offers location tracking as well as class tracking. You can enable one or both, depending on your needs. I find that location tracking is helpful for both small and large operations. Many farmers and ranchers own land that is not contiguous or lease land from a landholder. Larger operations may have ranches is different counties or different states. By keeping the separate operations in one QuickBooks account, under separate locations, you can run  your reports to reflect the individual income statements. If you have both Class and Location Tracking, you can run several different reports to meet your needs.

Enable Location Tracking:

1.      Select the Gear icon at the top.

2.      Under Your Company, select Account and Settings (or Company Settings).

3.      Select Categories under the Advanced tab.

4.      Select the pencil icon and put a check mark on the box to Track locations.

5.      Select Save then Done.

Add new location:

1.      Select the Gear icon at the top.

2.      Under Lists, select All lists.

3.      Choose Locations.

4.      Select New in the upper right and add the Name of the location you want to track.

5.      Select Save.

How to Know if Class or Location Tracking are Right for YOU

Every operation is different. That’s an understatement. Figuring out if class tracking is right for you will depend on a few indicators.

1.      If you have separate types of operations or locations.

2.      How detailed you’d like your financial statements to be. Class and location tracking provide another layer of detail that you wouldn’t normally receive.

3.      If you are willing to follow through with the categorization. Class and location tracking take an extra step when categorizing them. If you aren’t willing to do so, its possible that class and location tracking aren’t right for you. If you don’t think you want to do the extra work, but would still like the additional detail, hiring a bookkeeper might be the right choice.

The Next Step

As you MAY have noticed, I’m a little passionate about providing timely, accurate and up-to-date bookkeeping, reports and analysis for my clients *ahem* (you). Its kind of my jam. If we work together and your operation needs class or location tracking, you can ensure I will help you make it happen. If you’d like to hear more about bookkeeping, payroll or financial consulting, click the link below for a free bookkeeping consultation.

Free Bookkeeping Consultation

I also want to share our AMAZING promotions going on right now.

1.      Save $100 on 2018 bookkeeping catch up/ clean up when you sign up for a 2019 monthly bookkeeping package. Bookkeeping packages are starting $225 per month.

2.      Save 5% off your payroll processing when you sign up for a monthly bookkeeping package. Payroll packages are starting at $50 per month.

Just mention this blog post when we chat!

As always, happy bookkeeping!

       –          Michelle




bookkeeping, office management

Filing System Management


It’s that time of year again. The year-end hustle. You’re trying to find all of your tax documents, when you SWORE to yourself last year that you’d stay on top of them.

So maybe you didn’t exactly stay on top of the piles. Here’s a little filing system how-to guide to get you caught up and ready for the new year.

1. First Things First. Organize your documents. Separate your piles into piles. This will take some time and work!

The categories I recommend you begin with are: Income (deposit details, deposit slips, check stubs, credit card reconciliation) , Expenses (bills you’ve paid, receipts and check stubs), Financial Documents (bank statements and credit card statements, loan documents),  Employee Documents (current and past W-4s, singed employee handbook, applications, resumes, performance reviews, disciplinary actions, etc), Business Documents (licenses, EINS, incorporation documents), Planning Documents (operating agreements, marketing plan, big ideas, etc), Retention Documents (Tax Returns) .

If you are a Farmer or Rancher you might want to add: Cattle, Sheep, Livestock or something similar (keeping track of your numbers and their location) and Fields (location and current planting status).

You’ll also have invoices that are yet to be paid by you or to you. An easy to reach set of files on your desk is a good place to add your “Accounts Payable” folder and possibly your “Accounts Receivable” if you have only a few documents for this file. Otherwise, include Accounts Receivable with your other folders in an easily accessible drawer, preferable eye-level or the top drawer.

2. Next you will need to organize the smaller piles into folders and a fling cabinet. I recommend you buy a high-quality filing cabinet that locks and has plenty of room to store current documents and extra room for future documents. For my bookkeeping business, ranching business and personal documents, I use a large 4-drawer filing cabinet because I knew I wouldn’t grow out of it.

You’ll want to label each file. I prefer to use the Avery File Labels- you can download the template from Microsoft Word. Within your Income and Expense Folders, you will separate these into sub-folders. I find that organizing these sub-folders chronologically works best for most business and individuals. So within each Income and Expense Folder, create folders January-December. The Financial Documents folder will generally have sub folders along the lines of “Checking, Savings, Credit Card, Loans, etc” and within each of those you will indicate the specific account, i.e “1st Bank Checking”, “Cabela’s Credit Card” and these folders will be organized alphabetically, with the documents organized chronologically in each folder. Within the Employee Documents folder, I recommend you create a file for each employee with their individual employee documents.  You may have only a few documents for your Business Documents folder and can file them all together alphabetically or you can make sub-folders, whichever seems to work best for you. The same can be done for Planning Documents. Lastly, you’ll probably come across documents that need to be retained, including previous years’ tax returns and the corresponding work papers and documents. For the exact retention guidelines, you can visit Montana Secretary of State website or Internal Revenue Service website. I recommend these stay in your filing cabinet for at least three years after which they can be moved to storage throughout the rest of their retention requirement.

Keep in mind, if this is all happening in December, it will make the most sense to double your Income, Expenses and Financial Document Folders. One set for this year and one set for next.

3. Now that everything is filed and organized, you will want to create a workable filing schedule in order to keep everything filed. Along with your easy to reach files on your desk an inbox is essential. I’ll walk you through your daily, weekly and yearly paper clutter and filing schedule.

Daily: Sort Mail an Emails- Add bills to Accounts Receivable, Add Documents that need filed to Inbox, Receive Payments like you normally would.

Weekly: File everything in Inbox. If the document doesn’t have a place, make one! As your bank statements and credit card statements come in, be sure to reconcile them. This process is unbelievably easy to do on QuickBooks Online. Just give me a call if you would like to hear more about setting up a new file or transferring your old QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online.

Yearly: When all of your documents have come in for the year (including bank statements, etc), you will want to move your Income, Expenses and Financial Documents to a Tax File to be given to your bookkeeper or tax preparer. At this time you can also move tax documents older than three years to storage. Make sure to mark your storage boxes clearly on all sides and the top. This will save the hassle of wondering what’s inside later. Also check your storage and determine if any of those documents are past their retention date. I also recommend you cull your employee file- any employees who weren’t employed with you for the last two years can be moved to storage. The same can be done with yearly business licenses. Don’t throw these away, but its safe to file them in storage.

4. The last recommendation I’ll make is to begin converting your files to electronic files. This process is very easy to do with a scanner of your own, Fujitsu ScanSnap (mine is the ix500) is a great product to use for this. A lower cost option is the Portable Fujitsu Scanner or this Portable Brother Scanner. My office also provides scanning services if you would prefer to outsource.

Comment with any questions you may have.

Happy filing and hopefully not PILING!

– Michelle

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