Smart User Management Key to Data Security

Smart User Management Key to Data Security

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

smart user management key to data security

jimmy burgess, senior accountant

 

You trust your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them. Still, when someone other than you has access to your company’s accounting records, strong safeguards are critical. You store customer profiles, credit card numbers, payroll details, and other information that could hurt you—or someone else—if in the wrong hands.

If you are still doing your accounting work on paper, the best you can do is to lock all accounting files up and restrict access. Computer-based records are another story.

Built-in Security

QuickBooks provides a way to restrict users to specific areas of the software and to the activities performed there.  To explore it, open the Company menu and click Set Up Users and Passwords, then Set Up Users. The window that opens will list you as the administrator. Click Add User and enter the name and password for the employee, then click Next.

Tip: Click F2 and look in the upper left corner to see whether you can Add this user to my QuickBooks license.

QuickBooks then displays a multi-step wizard that will help you define the employee’s role within QuickBooks. You have three options here. You can give the user access to:

  • All areas of QuickBooks. Be cautious here, as this means everything, including customer credit card numbers and check-writing privileges. If you click Yes and then Finish, your setup is complete.
  • Selected areas of QuickBooks. When you choose this option, you’ll be able to assign individual access rights to multiple areas of QuickBooks, including Sales and Accounts Receivable, Checking and Credit Cards, and Sensitive Accounting Activities. Your choices for each are No Access, Full Access, and Selective Access. If you choose the latter, you will be able to select the level of activity that the user can engage in (Create transactions only, Create transactions and create reports, etc.). The final question asks about changing or deleting transactions. QuickBooks then displays a table that shows that user’s permissions.
  • External Accountant. You can give your accountant access to all areas of QuickBooks except for sensitive customer data like credit card numbers.

Helpful Reports

If the worst happens and you suspect an employee may have somehow gained access to a restricted area (for example, by discovering your password) and altered data, there are tools in QuickBooks that can help you assess the damage and learn who is responsible. One of these is the Audit Trail report (Reports | Accountant & Taxes | Audit Trail), which tracks changes to your company’s accounting records, who made them, and on what date. You can also see how a specific transaction has been edited by opening it and clicking Reports | Transaction History.

You have to know what you are looking for to use these methods, though. If you have concerns about the security of your company’s data, please contact us. We have experts in both QuickBooks and technology who can work with you on building protections into your accounting workflow – and other areas of your network.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.514.0016

jburgess@lutz.us

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JIMMY BURGESS + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Jimmy Burgess is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over four years of relevant experience. His primary focus is to provide outsourced accounting to clients with a focus on QuickBooks, tax and payroll compliance, small business consulting, as well as software implementation training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Outsourced Accounting Services
  • QuickBooks
  • Tax & Payroll Compliance
  • Small Business Consulting
  • Software Implementation & Training
  • Construction Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BS in Business Administration and Accounting, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Youth Sports Coach, Volunteer
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OMAHA

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Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

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Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

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Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

3 Things a Business Plan Can Do for You

3 Things a Business Plan Can Do for You

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

3 things a business plan can do for you

Lauren duren, senior accountant

 

Business plans aren’t just for big companies. Your small business needs one, too – perhaps even more than large enterprises. Even if you’re an entrepreneur working in a spare room in your home, having a written framework for your strategy and long-term goals can help you make smarter, more targeted business decisions in the short run.

Your business plan can be one page, or you can do it by the book, filling it with voluminous text, financial statements and organizational charts (you will need the latter if you’re approaching banks and investors for financing).

You don’t have to be a brand-new venture to benefit from a business plan. Existing companies will find that this critical document can be useful in numerous ways. You will be able to:

Know when to grow.

Growth costs money. As your company continues to expand and prosper, you’ll need to make decisions about property and people. When is it time to: Take on a new employee? Buy an expensive piece of equipment? Move to a larger office space? Perhaps acquire another business? If you’ve built a detailed, realistic business plan, you’ll be better equipped to decide on expansion based on your short- and long-term goals and projections.

Paint a detailed picture of your company that can be shared.

Think about the individuals and companies in your orbit. Who could benefit from knowing, for example:

  • What problem(s) are your products and/or services are trying to solve?
  • How do you plan to create those?
  • Who are your target markets – and who is your competition?
  • Who is your managerial team?
  • What are your projected milestones?

Provide a written roadmap for other employees (and for yourself).

If you’re building a complex business plan with a lot of sensitive and financial data, you may want to have two versions. One would be comprehensive, available only to staff in managerial positions. Those individuals would see your entrepreneurial vision spelled out in terms they could apply to their own work, the decisions they make every day, and the way they prioritize their schedules. This also makes them feel part of the “bigger picture.”

Better Planning

Noted business plan expert Tim Berry talks about the theory of displacement: Whatever you do is something else you don’t do. An effective business plan will help you schedule your weeks and months more strategically so your time is spent on activities that support your mission and goals (as much as possible).

We could get involved here in a number of ways and help you shape your business plan based on why you need it. For example, are you planning to sell your company, or do you need a business valuation for another purpose? Are you looking for funding? Or, do you just need help creating a document for your own purposes? Whatever the reason, we are ready to help. Contact us, and we’ll set up a consultation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.827.2062

 

lduren@lutz.us

 

LINKEDIN

 

LAUREN DUREN + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Lauren Duren is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over three years of relevant experience. She provides outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on tax, payroll compliance, and healthcare consulting.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Outsourced Accounting
  • Tax
  • Payroll Compliance
  • Healthcare Accounting Consulting
  • Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • MBA, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Lutz Gives Back, Volunteer

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VIEW MODIFIED SUMMER HOURS HERE

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Lutz Promotes 15 to Senior Positions

Lutz Promotes 15 to Senior Positions

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Lutz promotes 15 to senior positions

 

 Lutz, a Nebraska-based business solutions firm, has promoted 15 professionals to Senior positions.

Juan Ayala-Roman, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the audit department in Lutz’s Omaha office. He is responsible for providing assurance and consulting services to clients with a focus on employee benefit plans and the non-profit industry.

Jack Boulay, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the audit department. He is responsible for providing credibility to clients through financial reporting. In addition, he will work to maintain a high level of objectivity and confidentiality in all areas for clients in a variety of industries. Boulay works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Matt DeLong has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the tax department. He is responsible for the preparation of individual, business and fiduciary income tax returns, estate and business planning, as well as taxpayer representation on IRS matters. DeLong works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Bryan Frew, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in Lutz’s Hastings Office. He is responsible for providing business and individual taxation services to clients in a variety of industries. In addition, he will provide credibility to clients through financial reporting.

Bryson Henkel, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant. He provides individual and business income tax returns with a focus on the agriculture industry, as well as employee benefit plan audits. Henkel works in Lutz’s Hastings office.

Nate Jones, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the audit department. He is responsible for the preparation and examination of financial records for clients across various industries. Jones works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Kim Kaye, CPC, CEMA, has been promoted to Senior Healthcare Consultant in Lutz’s Omaha office. She provides professional coding assistance, chart audits and chargemaster reviews for clients with a focus on the healthcare industry.

Emily Moore, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the client accounting services department. She specializes in providing outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on QuickBooks, tax and payroll compliance, small business consulting, as well as software implementation and training. Moore works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Brad Newton, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the tax and operations departments. He is responsible for providing tax planning and consulting for clients with a focus on tax exempt organizations. In addition, he will assist in coordinating Lutz’s internal accounting operations. Newton works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Emma Perry, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the tax department. She is responsible for the preparation of individual, business and fiduciary income tax returns for clients in a variety of industries. Perry works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Robby Renshaw has been promoted to Human Resources Specialist in Lutz’s Omaha office. She is responsible for leading Lutz’s internship program and campus recruiting efforts. In addition, she helps oversee the onboarding, employee retention and performance management processes.

Kris Rutz has been promoted to Senior Project Engineer in Lutz’s Tech division. With over five years of experience in the technology industry, Rutz is responsible for assisting outsourced IT clients with technology infrastructure enhancements. Kris works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Steve Schaffer has been promoted to Operations Lead. He is responsible for assisting the Chief Operating Officer in leading internal operations, gathering and analyzing firm data, as well as consulting with management on internal business plans. Schaffer works in both the Lincoln and Omaha Lutz offices.

Claire Thelen has been promoted to Senior Healthcare Consultant. She provides chargemaster, billing and coding and revenue cycle consulting services to clients with a focus on hospitals and healthcare systems. Thelen works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Zach Weis, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Accountant in the tax department. He provides tax consulting and compliance services for clients with a focus on individual and business income tax. Weis works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

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Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

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VIEW MODIFIED SUMMER HOURS HERE

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Travel Expenses Out of Control? Add an App

Travel Expenses Out of Control? Add an App

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

travel expenses out of control? add an app

lauren harris, senior accountant

 

Do you and/or your employees submit expense reports for business travel? Are you still doing so manually? If so, you know how time- and labor-intensive this process is – and how error-prone it can be. Employees sometimes expense items and services that aren’t in line with your policies. They may even lose receipts or forget to document important expenditures.

Unfortunately, though it’s equipped to record expenses and pay bills, QuickBooks does not provide an easy solution to this problem. You will need a separate application for that, one that integrates easily with QuickBooks. Several good apps are available. Here are some of the features that many of them offer:

Tight integration with QuickBooks’ account structure.

To ensure that this partnership results in accurate data in your QuickBooks company file, the apps help you “match” things like customers and vendors, items, and employee records in QuickBooks to their own classifications.

Easy employee access.

Your staff members probably live on their smartphones or tablets when they travel. These apps allow them to record expenses as they go, even taking pictures of receipts and assigning them to line items in their expense reports. When they’re back in the office, reconstructing their trips and submitting the actual reports is a simple, automated process.

Powerful administrator tools.

Your employees’ travel expense data will flow directly into your own administrator account, which offers many tools, including the ability to:

  • Set expense policies so no unapproved expense types (or amounts) get accepted.
  • Orchestrate cash advances.
  • Create reports that provide information about past and current trips so you can make better business decisions about future travel.

Travel itinerary assistance.

One of the most popular apps serves as a travel agent, too. You will be able to search for flights, hotels, etc., and book them.

Fast, easy reimbursements.

Once you approve expense reports, you will be able to reimburse employees quickly – sometimes as soon as the next day.

Full visibility in QuickBooks.

Of course, data collected by the app will become part of your QuickBooks accounting records – in real time.

A Precise Process

Intuit maintains an online directory of apps that can be integrated with QuickBooks; you will find it here. It’s organized by category, so you might take a look sometime and see if there’s an area of QuickBooks that needs amplifying for your business. There are a number of expense-tracking solutions included here; three of the most popular are Expensify, SAP Concur, and Tallie.

If you decide to invest time and money in a travel expense solution, we can help you get it installed, integrated with QuickBooks, and running smoothly. Connecting apps to QuickBooks Online is usually fairly intuitive, but desktop QuickBooks connections can be more complicated. Contact us to schedule a consultation, and we’ll help you automate and streamline your expense reporting – minimizing costs and work time in the process.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.514.0012

lharris@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

LAUREN HARRIS + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT

Lauren Harris is a Senior Accountant in the Client Accounting Services department at Lutz with over two years of related experience. She provides payroll tax reporting and compliance, as well as outsourced accounting assistance to small businesses through QuickBooks support and training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • QuickBooks Training & Support
  • Outsourced Accounting
  • Payroll Tax Reporting and Compliance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Finance and Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Midwest YouCan Foundation, Treasurer

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS!

We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

VIEW MODIFIED SUMMER HOURS HERE

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Confused by QuickBooks’ Report Customization

Confused by QuickBooks’ Report Customization

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Confused by quickbooks’ report customization?

amanda harpster, client accounting services manager

 

If you’re still doing your accounting on paper, you know how challenging it is to create reports. You might be able to cobble together a simple report using Excel, but even that takes time and skill.

QuickBooks makes that critical process easier. It comes with dozens of pre-formatted report templates. You simply choose one, and the software fills it with your company’s own data. You can even modify it to target the exact slice of data you need.

Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you want a list of residential customers who are 60 days or more in arrears. You would open the Reports menu and select Customers & Receivables, then A/R Aging Detail. The report will open; by default, it lists all transactions. Click Customize Report in the upper left corner, and the Modify Report: A/R Aging Detail window opens.

 

 Modify Report: A/R Aging Detail

 

Click the Filters tab. The list that displays under CHOOSE FILTER contains all of the data types you can choose for your customization. Click Account. The middle column will provide your options here. Open the drop-down list in the middle column and select All accounts receivable. That filter will appear in the third column.

Go back to the first column and select the second filter listed there, Aging. The middle column actually gives you four options. Choosing Any wouldn’t pare down the list. The next line lets you enter a number that is equal to, greater than, or less than a specific number. You want to see the customers who are 60 days or more past due, so you would click in the radial to the left of >=  and enter 60 in the box.

You are limiting your search to residential customers, so you would go back to the first column and scroll down to Customer Type. Open the drop-down list in the second column and select Residential. The next filter in the first column is Date. Click on that to highlight it, then select Today in the second column. And there’s one more: Select the Paid Status filter and select Open.

As you continue to select filters, you’ll notice that they appear in the third column. At this point, you’ve selected five, and you could choose more if you wanted to, but that’s not necessary for this customization. If you’ve made a mistake, simply highlight the incorrect filter in the third column and click on Remove Selected Filter. When you’re done, click OK. Your modified report will appear.

You can see from scanning the list of available filters that you could set up very complex searches. You could also modify the report’s column structure, its header and footer, and the way fonts and numbers appear. We are happy to help you customize your reports and explore any other QuickBooks features that can help you make better business decisions. Contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.827.2307

aharpster@lutz.us

AMANDA HARPSTER + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER

Amanda Harpster is a Client Accounting Services Manager at Lutz with over 14 years of relevant experience. She focuses on QuickBooks support, tax and payroll compliance, and small business consulting.

AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • St. Patrick’s Parish, Volunteer
  • Cub Scout Pack #409, Treasurer
  • Ponca Hills Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary, Member
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Certified ProAdvisor - Online  

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We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

VIEW MODIFIED SUMMER HOURS HERE

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850

Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

why you need a disaster recovery plan

mike perry, client accounting services director

 

To understand why you need a disaster recovery plan, you need only think about events that have occurred over the past couple of years in the United States. Recent flooding in Nebraska and Iowa, wildfires, and mudslides in California. Hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. Data breach after data breach. And many more localized catastrophes that might only affect your business.

Making a disaster recovery plan takes some time and effort, but not nearly as much as recovery would if you’re not prepared – if recovery is even possible. Here are eight of the things you should be doing.

Determine what your risk level is.

What kinds of risks is your business most vulnerable to? How likely is each to occur? You know what natural disasters are common in your geographical area, but what about a fire in your office? Burst pipes from a frigid cold? A burglary? Figure out the probability of each event and tailor your plans accordingly.

Evaluate your business insurance.

Do you have adequate coverage?  If the worst happens and you are under-insured, you can always apply for disaster loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Create a written inventory of your company’s major assets.

Ask employees to take photos of the equipment at their workstations, and ask someone to get pictures of shared valuable items. Document all of this in writing and store it offsite or in the cloud.

Identify key personnel roles.

Start by assigning a crisis manager. If you’re a sole proprietor or very small business, this may be you. But make sure there’s a digital central location devoted to disaster recovery documentation.

Establish an emergency communication plan.

Not just among employees, but with customers and vendors. How will you all communicate if standard communications systems are down? How will you let the outside world know what’s happening?

Know what your most critical software/website needs are, and prioritize them.

Which software applications are the most important to your ongoing operations? Are they accessible through the cloud? If so, are any or all of your employees able to work remotely? If not, how will you gain access to your local business solutions?

Always have comprehensive offsite digital storage, and make sure it’s secure.

This should be standard practice all the time, but it’s essential to beginning the recovery from a disaster. Any important documents that are on paper should be duplicated offsite, too.

Test your plan.

If you have a staff, schedule some dry runs so that everyone knows what should transpire. Organize a bag lunch or bring in pizza and go over your plans.

Your accounting data is some of the most sensitive information owned by your company. Customer records, accounts receivable and payable, payroll data – all must be absolutely safe and possible to recover quickly. We can help here. If you’re still doing manual accounting, we can help with getting your data into QuickBooks; it’ll be easier to secure. Contact us, and let’s have a conversation about your disaster recovery plan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Perry + Lutz Client Accounting Services in Nebraska

402.827.2087

mperry@lutz.us

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MIKE PERRY + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES DIRECTOR

Mike Perry is a Client Accounting Services Director at Lutz with over 15 years of accounting experience. He focuses on providing business consulting, software implementation and training, accounting procedure assistance and outsourced accounting replacement consulting for closely held companies.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Advanced
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Community Bike Project Omaha, Past Treasurer
QUICKBOOKS PROADVISOR CERTIFICATIONS

Certified ProAdvisor - Online  Certified ProAdvisor - Advanced Desktop  Certified ProAdvisor - Enterprise

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Bill.com Guru Certification   

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We tap into the vast knowledge and experience within our organization to provide you with monthly content on topics and ideas that drive and challenge your company every day.

Toll-Free: 866.577.0780  |  Privacy Policy

All content © Lutz & Company, PC

VIEW MODIFIED SUMMER HOURS HERE

OMAHA

13616 California Street, Suite 300

Omaha, NE 68154

P: 402.496.8800

HASTINGS

747 N Burlington Avenue, Suite 401

Hastings, NE 68901

P: 402.462.4154

LINCOLN 

601 P Street, Suite 103

Lincoln, NE 68508

P: 531.500.2000

GRAND ISLAND

3320 James Road, Suite 100

Grand Island, NE 68803

P: 308.382.7850