Does it seem like it takes forever to enter all your transactions into QuickBooks?  If you write checks directly from QuickBooks, those transactions are already in your register.  Also, when you receive payments from your customers, and make a deposit, those transaction are also in the register.  But, what about all the other activity that occurs that will change your bank balance? Your ATM withdrawal, your debit card purchases, automatic withdrawals for bill payments all need to be entered in your register before you can perform a bank reconciliation.

You can enter these transactions manually if you only have a few, but save yourself some time and use the Online Banking feature in QuickBooks to quickly add these to your register.  If you haven’t already done so, you will need to set up an account for Online services.  Go to Banking > Online Banking > Set Up An Account for Online Services.  Follow the prompts to set up your checking or credit card accounts.

Once your account is set up, you are ready to import your transactions into your QuickBooks file.  You can go to the Online Banking Center (Banking > Online Banking> Online Banking Center) and click on Receive Transactions.  This will connect you to your bank, enter your login information, find the statement you want to import and find the prompt to import as a .qbo file.  A pop up window will ask if you want to save the file or import the file.  You can import it directly into your QuickBooks, but I prefer to save the file to my computer.  After saving the file, go to File > Utilities > Import > Web Connect Files.  Browse to where you saved the file, click save.  You will receive a message that your transactions have been entered into QuickBooks.

If you have trouble downloading your transactions from the Online Banking Center, you can do what I do, login to your bank directly from your browser.  Then follow the steps above to import the transactions into QuickBooks.  After your transactions are imported you are ready to review them and add them to QuickBooks.  Click on the bank name in the Items Received box of the Online Banking Center.  If you are using the side-by-side mode, the transactions are on the left.

QuickBooks will attempt to match the imported transactions to existing register transactions.  At the top of the Downloaded Transactions box is a line that says Matched to Existing QuickBooks/Register transactions.  Click on show to see what these transactions are.  These will be transactions such as checks and deposits that you have already entered during the month.  They do not need to be added to QuickBooks, they are already in the register.

The next line shows the number of New Transactions Created Using Renaming Rules.  You will want to review these transactions.  A renaming rule is when QuickBooks gives a vendor that has a several similar names one name.  For example, McDonalds1234 and McDonalds1243 would both be renamed to McDonalds.  It is a good idea to check how QuickBooks has renamed your vendors.  You can click on the Renaming Rules link at the top right of the window to edit the rules.  When reviewing these transactions, also check that they have been assigned the correct account number.

The last line shows Unmatched Transactions.  These transactions will need to be added to the register.  Highlight the transaction, click on the Payee Field in the Record an Expense box on the right.  Enter the vendor name and account number.  If you need more details, such as class, job or other details, click on the Show Splits, memo, date, number… link below the account field.

If there are transactions in the Downloaded Transactions window that have already been entered in the register, you can delete them before you add the other transactions to QuickBooks.  Click on the Select Items To Delete button at the bottom of the window, mark the transactions you are deleting and mark delete.  This is not reversible, if you delete anything that has not already been added to QuickBooks, you will have to manually enter it.

Once you have checked all transactions, mark the Add to QuickBooks button in the window on the right.  This may seem like it will take a while, but in reality it will speed up your data entry time.  Each month as more renaming rules are created, there will be fewer unmatched transactions to enter.  And you will wonder why it took you so long to get on the bandwagon!

One last thing, before importing your transactions, MAKE A BACKUP!