I’ve posted here a few times in the past regarding my unconventional bookkeeping methods… I have gotten some great advice here in the past and have recently decided to try using the “bank feeds” feature starting in 2023, but it is giving me a headache…

Historically, my process has looked like this:

  1. Go in every morning and download the previous day’s activity from each bank/cc account,.
  2. Make a few journal entries to sort out the transactions.
  3. Verify that the balances in QB line up with the ending balance of all my accounts.

And that’s pretty much all there is to it. The whole process takes me less than 30 minutes on most days, my QB balances have always lined up with my actual account balances which has made it easy to spot errors (if the balance doesn’t line up, I know I made a mistake *that day* because it lined up fine yesterday”. It’s also been fairly easy to audit using the “Transaction Detail by Account” report or simply pulling up the journal or ledger when necessary.

Most days I can get by simply making one compound journal entry (with blank space between each transaction to make them easily readable), and attaching all relevant documentation & receipts to it.

I don’t use features like “write checks” or “enter bills” because we’re on a modified cash basis and I don’t accrue anything that isn’t significant. I don’t use features like “invoices” or “payments” because we’re in healthcare and I track AR and patient balances separately in our EHR/Billing software. I don’t run payroll through QB because we use a payroll company…

I’m trying to get the hang of bank feeds because I feel like the automation features will save me time with categorizing routine expenses like phone, internet, utilities, rent, etc. but to be honest after playing around with it I’m tempted to just restore my backup file from the end of 2022 and start fresh the way I’ve been doing it.

From my perspective I see a few issues with bank feeds

  1. It doesn’t work for all transactions, so JEs are still necessary, and then you’re just going back and forth between windows instead of staying in one window and punching in the debits/credits where they should go.
  2. It takes the same amount of time to manually code a transaction in bank feeds as it would to manually enter a JE for it.
  3. Transactions download in a different order than they are displayed in the account activity (at least from Chase)
  4. Leaves room for errors that could go unnoticed for a long time. If your rules are set up poorly than they wont work correctly which is just going to end up costing you more time to sort it out later.

So far. Since using bank feeds I haven’t felt like I’ve saved any time. The time I used to spend doing JEs is now spent tracking down errors and manually coding things in bank feeds since automations only work for simple transactions that are easy to set up rules for…

Maybe I am missing something though! Please comment and share some advice. I can definitely see how these features can be useful, and especially so for businesses that make use of the other features QB offers inside the customers, vendors, employees, and banking tabs… For this specific business though, I almost think I’ll be better off simply using QB as a modern version of a pen & paper style system the way I’ve been doing.

I have also considered using external solutions like Divvy/Expensify and TransactionPro to aid me in my day-to-day workflow. I’m almost wondering if managing our smaller operating expenses on a platform like Divvy where I can manually code them in real time, and then importing certain expenses like payroll from our primary chase account using TransactionPro would be more efficient.

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