Efficiency tips for Accounting CS

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Change to CS Support service hours

Our Support department is closed on Friday, April 28th for a company event. However, limited Accounting CS phone support is available on that date from 9 AM - 5 PM ET due to the approaching deadline for quarterly payroll tax forms.

Links to our most popular payroll tax processing topics are available in the Alerts and notices section on the right side of most pages.

The following list of shortcuts and efficiency tips for Accounting CS can save your firm time and money.

Entering data more efficiently

In many of the data-entry screens in Accounting CS, you can add certain setup items (accounts, vendors, customers, employees, etc.) on the fly. Right-click a field that requires a setup item and then choose Add <setup item>, where <setup item> represents the item you are adding on the fly.

In many of the data-entry screens in Accounting CS, you can double-click a field to edit it without clicking the Edit button. Also, if you are in a screen in which lists are displayed, such as the Print Report screen, you can double-click an item in the list to select it instead of clicking the Select button. This applies to all screens in which selection lists are displayed.

When entering bank transactions (other than a payroll check) for which the application has automatically populated the Distributions tab (if you're using a template, for example, or because the vendor is set up with standard distributions) pressing the ENTER key when the cursor is in the Amount field causes the application to save that transaction immediately rather than requiring you to press the ENTER key numerous times to move through the remaining distribution information before saving the transaction. To enable this user preference, choose Setup > User Preferences and mark the Use Enter key as shortcut to save in transaction entry checkbox. Note that the Use Enter key to move between fields checkbox must be marked.

Choose Setup > File Locations to specify default locations for the following types of data.

  • Other CS Professional Suite applications data, including Creative Solutions Accounting data
  • Files created by the application (direct deposit/ACH, EFTPS, electronic/internet/magnetic, SSN verification, etc.)
  • Import and export data

For details, see Setting up file locations.

In any screen or dialog that contains a list of items that you select by marking a checkbox, you can right-click the list and choose Select all to mark the checkboxes for all items in the list.

You can also right-click and choose Deselect all to clear the checkboxes for all items in the list.

All of the data-entry screens in Accounting CS include an associated options dialog (choose Edit > Options) that contains options for specifying default entries, fields to skip, and more to help speed up data entry in those screens.

Accounting CS enables you to work across multiple monitors. In any of the following screens, right-click the screen name in the toolbar and choose Floating.

Using keyboard shortcuts, navigation shortcuts, and menu icons

Accounting CS offers a number of shortcuts to enter dates to help speed up data entry. For details, see Entering dates in Accounting CS.

Accounting CS enables you to select which shortcut buttons and icons to display in the Navigation pane of the main application based on the services that you are licensed for. You can also select which shortcut buttons to display in the Reports list pane for specific categories (Reports, Financial Statements, Letters, or Profiles). For details, see Navigation Pane Options dialog.

  • To save changes or entries in the current data-entry screen, press ALT+N or PAGE DOWN.
  • To move the cursor to the end of the text in a highlighted field, press F2. This also switches from cell navigation mode to cell edit mode.
  • To save the current record in a setup screen (Chart of Accounts, clients, vendors, customers, etc.), press Page Down. When you do this while in edit mode, the application saves the current item, selects the next item in the list, and then returns to edit mode.

For a comprehensive list of helpful keyboard shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts

You can assign keyboard shortcut keys to the various buttons on the Engagement Binders Tree portlet. For more information, see Assigning keyboard shortcuts in the Engagement Binders Tree portlet.

Accounting CS enables you to add annotations, notes, and stamps directly to PDF workpapers that are saved in your engagement binder and to PDF documents that are attached to AP transactions. If the toolbars are missing in the PDF editor, press F11 on your keyboard to toggle the toolbars on and off. For more PDF editor keyboard shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts in the PDF editor.

Updating accounts and transactions quickly

You can assign classification codes and subcodes in the following screens.

To quickly find the accounts that do not have an account classification subcode assigned to them, choose Actions > Enter Trial Balance and click the Account Classification subcode column header to sort the grid by that field. The application lists all accounts with a blank subcode at the top of the list.

In the Actions > Enter Transactions screen, click the Edit Multiple Transactions link below the status bar. In the Edit Multiple Transactions dialog, you can delete, void, reverse, edit, or transfer multiple transactions at the same time. To narrow the list of transactions listed in the grid, use the search fields above the grid.

Making reports work for you

You can use folders in the Report Designer to organize your reports, financial statements, and letters. For example, to organize reports for a specific group of clients, right-click in the Reports List frame, choose New Folder, and enter a name for the new folder. Copy and paste reports into the new folder and then right-click the folder name, choose Properties, and select the applicable clients.

To change the order in which reports are generated for a report profile or in which they are selected in the Print Reports screen, drag and drop the reports to the appropriate position in the list.

If you generate a particular report the same way time after time, you can click the Save Report Options button at the bottom of the Print Reports screen to save the settings for that report.

You can use a journal entry with varying balance amounts for comparison or estimate purposes. Create a journal entry in the Actions > Enter Transactions screen and select Other as the subtype. To retrieve the balance for this journal entry on a report or financial statement, open the report in Report Designer, highlight the desired column, and select OTHR in the Basis field in the Column Properties.

To quickly view the activity for an account, choose Actions > View Account Activity or press CTRL+G to open the View Account Activity dialog.

To quickly view the activity for the selected client, choose Actions > Analyze Client Activity and choose the appropriate view — Trial Balance, General Ledger, Financial Statement Worksheet, Employee Earnings, or Payroll Tax Form.

Filtering and sorting data for maximum efficiency

For additional flexibility, you can create a custom filter in any data-entry screen that includes a filter field (designated by the filter Filter button button). Click the Filter button button and then right-click in the filter field. Choose Add <filter item> Filter where <filter item> represents the type of data being filtered. You can select the custom filter in the Filtering and Sorting section of any report and in the Filter field in any data-entry screen. For details, see Filtering and sorting reports.

Before opening a screen in which filters may be applied, press and hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard and then open the screen. The application will clear any filters that have been applied to the screen. Note that the screen may open slower than usual.

Most of the data-entry screens include a Search field and a Filter above the grid. These fields enable you to narrow down the list of items in the grid, making it easier to find the items you're looking for. For details, see Searching and filtering data.

Many data-entry grids in Accounting CS include a Group by field that enables you to group the items into collapsible lists. For example, you can group all transactions with the same date into their own groups. For details, see Grouping items in data-entry grids.

Processing payroll tax forms more efficiently

  • You can print tax forms directly from the Actions > Edit Payroll Tax Forms screen by choosing File > Process Client Forms or by clicking the Process Client Forms Process client forms button icon in the toolbar.
  • If there are no forms listed or available for selection in the Process Client Forms dialog verify the following.
    • Choose Setup > Clients, click the Payroll Taxes tab, and clear the Do not file checkbox in the Forms section.
    • Choose Setup > Clients, click the Payroll Information tab, and verify that the date in the Payroll tax form start date field in the Miscellaneous Information section falls within the period of the form you are attempting to process.

Working more efficiently with workpapers and engagement binders

You can add workpaper links in the WP Reference column of the Enter Transactions and Enter Trial Balance screens that enable you to launch and view the related workpapers from the client's engagement binder in it's native application (for example, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and so forth).

For more information, see Adding a workpaper link in the Enter Transactions and Enter Trial Balance screens.

The right-click context menu in the Workpapers List portlet includes the Delete Signoff and Edit Signoff commands, enabling you to quickly delete or change the signoff on any workpaper. For details, see Adding signoff types, and adding or removing signoffs for workpapers.

For your NetClient CS clients, you can use the File Exchange Document portlet in the Workpapers Dashboard to quickly add NetStaff CS documents into the Engagement binder.

If you have multiple clients with pending source documents, you can use the Source Document Processing Status portlet on the Firm Dashboard to check the statuses and to transmit and retrieve the source documents for all clients at the same time.

If you get an error while using Source Document Processing, verify that a TIN is entered in the Setup > Clients > Main tab in the EIN/SSN field. For other troubleshooting tips, see Troubleshooting Source Document Processing.

To select several individual documents, press and hold the CTRL key while selecting the applicable documents. To select a range of documents, press CTRL+SHIFT and select the first and last documents in the range. After you select the applicable PPC Checkpoint documents, press ENTER on your keyboard to open the Workpaper Properties dialog for the selected PPC documents.

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