Cloud Accounting News: December 2015

Written by Greg Lam

Welcome back for another edition of Cloud Accounting News. If you’re new to this, Cloud Accounting News is the place that gathers all the little changes that take place with the cloud accounting software. So yeah, they’re minor changes, but they’re good to know about nonetheless.


  • Receive deposits: This allows you to request that a percentage of the invoice be paid up front as a deposit. This seems like quite a simple feature to add, but the truth is that I don’t think any other online accounting software that I’ve reviewed can do this. To enable the feature, all you need to do is click on the “Request a Deposit” link when creating an invoice.2015-11-30_17-10-452015-11-30_17-12-00This will let you request a % amount. This feature is quite basic, so it can’t do the following:
    • Add taxes to the deposit amount (so the deposit will be a % of the subtotal before taxes, not the total price with taxes).
    • Allow for multiple deposits (although once a customer has paid a deposit, they can manually pay off the remainder of the invoice, as FreshBooks allows for partial payments).
    • Make deposits on estimates.
    • Allow for payment reminders based on the final invoice due date. Payment reminders occur based on the deposit due date, meaning that customers that pay the deposit may be reminded to pay the remainder of the invoice before it’s even due.


  • iOS 4.4 update: You can use the native iOS search function in iOS 9 to search contacts found in the Kashoo app. This will allow you to start a call or send a text without having to first go into the Kashoo iOS app.
  • Period locking update: You can now lock all changes to data before a specified date.

QuickBooks Online

  • September update:
    • Subtotals can be added to invoices and estimates. You’re able to add as many as you like. This feature is currently not available with Sales Receipts.Cloud Accounting News
    • Re-order your bank accounts on the Home page and Banking page. To do so, go to the Home page, click on the pencil icon (beside the bank accounts), re-order them, and click on Save. The changes on the Home Page will also be reflected in the Banking page.
    • In the Banking page, instead of showing a Description column, which is a cleaned-up version of the full description from the bank, you can show the entire description in a Bank Details column. To enable this from the Banking page, click on the gear icon and choose Show bank details.
    • In the Banking page, the Copy bank detail to memo option is also now turned on by default. The point of this is to make it easier to view bank transaction details in reports or the register.
    • You can now search for customers and vendors by phone number from within the Customers or Vendors pages’ search box. The number needs to be found in the Phone field (the Mobile field is not searched).
  • Avalara AvaTax App is now available
  • New Redesigned Reports available in Labs: You can test out QuickBooks Online’s new reporting style by turning on the feature in Labs (Gear > QuickBooks Labs > Redesigned Reports). In case you don’t know, Labs is for experimental features that are liable to change and may or may not be incorporated into the product in the future. The data in the redesigned reports is the same, but turning on the features makes it easier to view and adjust the reports.
  • October Update: Updates to inventory, bank feeds, and registers, which are covered in detail in our blog post.
  • Vendor list split view available in Labs: This is exactly like the customer split view that was previously available. It lets you navigate vendors as you’re used to doing in QuickBooks Desktop, meaning that you can see a list of your vendors on the left side of the screen while transaction details are shown on the right.Cloud Accounting News
  • Android 4.0 update:
    • Multicurrency support is added.
    • You can now view your account list, view an individual register, edit your account name and description, filter your accounts displayed, and sort by date or amount.
    • You can now access products and services from the side menu, where you can both view and create new items.
    • You can now search for text in more fields in a list, such as address, date, and other fields.
  • November update:
    • You can add inventory items by typing in the SKU number when creating an invoice.
    • Register updates that include:
      • When switching between registers, your filter options and column widths will be retained.
      • Both Payment and Deposit fields are shown, and the transaction type automatically switches between expense and deposit, depending on which one you choose.
      • The Location field is now editable (again) on payroll transactions.
  • QuickBooks Online Accountant Trial Balance: A new feature that allows users of QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) to take a snapshot of a client’s account, and then make adjustments. The feature will let you see prior year balances, add notes, attach supporting documents, and add checkmarks to keep track of accounts you’ve worked on. When your adjustments are done, you can map the accounts to Intuit Tax Online and transfer the data there. For full details about the feature, please read our first-look analysis.

About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.


  • Adding a sub total was over due and needed, now if they would have enabled it to be printed on the invoice that would have been a home run, rather than a grounder to second.

    • Jim, I did some investigation on the subtotal thing. There are two versions of the “sales form customization” (SFC) templates in QuickBooks Online at this time. Some people are on one version, others on the new version, and Intuit is working on converting people over from one to the other. I’m not sure on the details of why it is being phased, but it may have to do with people with highly customized templates being harder to convert (I’m speculating a bit on that).

      People with the new SFC templates ARE able to print the subtotals on their forms. So, they have this underway. It would have been nice to only allow subtotals if you have the new SFC templates, but that isn’t how it worked out I guess.

      • Charlie they have been “phasing in” form customization all this year, I am still on the old original no option form customization in my QBOA account. I gave up asking why and when my account would be upgraded so I could play with it.

        A few months back I was told this by an intuit rep:

        ” We learn so much once features are released to customers! To minimize disruption, we roll out features in a staggered way …. By gradually releasing features, we’re able to better track reactions and make immediate improvements based on what we’re hearing.”

        Beta testing at its finest ! !

        • The staggered release is used for most of the QB Online releases, but USUALLY that means a release over a week or so. There are some good reasons for that – sometimes it is hard to predict what effect a change will make on server loads, and they don’t want to find that there is something that only shows up when a large number of users jump to the new feature, causing server overloads. I can accept that. But, as you say, the form customization is being brought out over a very, very long period of time. I don’t know the details of what is going on there. I also don’t have the new customization feature…

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