Friday, May 1, 2009

Setting up the Vendor List

Just as you use a Customer List to keep records on all your customers, you use a Vendor List to keep records on your vendors. Like a Customer List, a Vendor List lets you collect and record information, such as the vendor's address, the contact person, and so on.

To add a vendor to your Vendor List, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Vendors ð Vendor Center command.

    When you do, QuickBooks displays the Vendor Center window, as shown in Figure1.

    Figure1: The Vendor Center window

  2. To add a new vendor, click the New Vendor button.

    QuickBooks displays the New Vendor window, as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: The New Vendor window

  3. Give the vendor a name in the Vendor Name box.

    As is the case with the Customer: Job List, you use this name to refer to the vendor within QuickBooks. For this reason, an abbreviation is fine. You just want something easy to enter and easy to remember.

  4. (Usual Rule) Ignore the Opening Balance and As Of fields.

    Don't do anything with the Opening Balance and As Of boxes. People who don't know better use those boxes to enter the opening balance owed a vendor and the date the amount is owed. But this only creates problems later. At some point in the future, this poor soul's accountant will need to find and correct this error. As when you add new customers, however, an exception to the usual rule exists, as discussed in the tip that follows.


    Although the usual rule is that you don't want to set an opening balance for a vendor, this rule has an important exception. You record your accounts payable balance on the conversion date by setting an opening balance for each vendor as of the conversion date. The sum of these opening balances is what QuickBooks uses to determine your total accounts payable on the conversion date.

  5. Supply the vendor address information.

    The Address Info tab supplies a bunch of easy-to-understand boxes that you use to collect vendor name and address information. You enter, predictably, the vendor's full name into the Company Name box.

    You can click the Address Details button to display another dialog box called the Edit Address Information dialog box, which lets you enter the address in typical street address, city, state, and ZIP code format.

  6. Supply any additional information necessary.

    If you click the Additional Info tab (shown in Figure 3), QuickBooks displays a handful of other boxes that you can use to collect and store information, such as your account number with the vendor, the vendor type, the payment terms that you use when paying the vendor, your credit limit, and the vendor's tax ID number. The tax ID number is actually important if you later send this vendor a 1099 form to report payments to him.

    Figure 3: The Additional Info tab


    A good guideline if you're paying a vendor for the first time is to get his tax ID number. If somebody won't give you his tax ID number — thereby making it impossible for you to report payments that you make to him — it's probably a sign of something a bit amiss.


If you click the Account Prefill tab (the third tab available on the New Vendor dialog box) QuickBooks displays boxes you can use to list the accounts that you want QuickBooks to automatically fill in for you when you record a check to some vendor or when you record a bill from some vendor. For example, if the check to the landlord always pays rent expense and utilities expense, you could tell QuickBooks to "prefill" using these two accounts every time you indicate you're writing a check to or recording a bill from the landlord.

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