Downloading American Express into QuickBooks
Why choose to
enter each credit card transaction
Reap the benefits of accumulating important
management information in QuickBooks by making an the investment
of time required to
complete the American Express download set-up. More companies are
beginning to follow suit in American Express's lead establishing a
secured link from their website into your QuickBooks company file.
Downloading credit cards into QuickBooks renders a credit card
company that does not offer this feature, obsolete.
Plus they pay you cash as a rebate once a year. Want
more information on
this nifty benefit?
- Always know what your complete liability
picture is when it is time to pay bills. Doing so may
allow you to budget accordingly and put aside enough to pay the
credit card off in full each month rather than incurring
- Searching for a purchase detail becomes
easier when the vendor name, not the credit card company name is
on the transaction.
- If you do not enter each transaction, how
do you record any partial payments? For example, if you
pay 25% of current months charges, which transactions will you
book today, what accounts would you choose for categorizing and
how will you remember this next month? Using the credit card
feature in QuickBooks lets you book the entire months activity
and make partial payments, keeping you abreast of what is owed
and keeping you informed of total purchases.
- The charge date is entered as of the date the transaction took
place, and places the expense in the month that it was incurred not when payment is made,
providing a better view of your current month income and
- Credit card statements can be reconciled in QuickBooks so each
transaction can be verified. This leads to more accuracy and
prevents extraneous charges from slipping through. Details entered
provide an opportunity to see who is spending money and how
providing tighter controls on company funds.
- Entering credit card charges individually is time consuming and
detailed, but that can be mitigated by using generic names like
Restaurant, Parking, Gas, Hotel, and General Vendor, when it is
necessary to have a specific vendor's name on the transaction.
Save over 33% on
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American Express offers a
seamless interface for downloading transactions into
This procedure provides set-up assistance
for downloading American Express credit card transactions, tips
on entering credit card transactions, tips on reconciling the
credit card account at month end and a lead on how to get money
back (not points on your American Express purchases..
Downloading the transactions
using the direct method is the most efficient method, but
will take a bit more effort to set up:
With the direct method, it takes just a couple of clicks (Banking
menu > Online Banking Center) to download the latest
transactions into QuickBooks. Once you have completed the set-up,
entering each transaction is easy. Just assign the account, a
customer name and/or class (if applicable), click ok and your
reports will now have detail you need. If you have purchased
from the vendor previously, QuickBooks will auto-fill these
details in for you. Just review and click ok.
Also available for American Express business accounts is an
indirect method using Web Connect by visiting
method takes more steps and requires remembering
more access codes, web addresses and passwords but once the
download is complete, accepting the data works the same way.
To get started using the direct
- On your chart of accounts (list menu), set up a new account.
Select the account type to credit card
the account any name you would like, but "American Express" seems
a logical choice
- Next connect to the internet- Go to
Sign into your account to verify your login and password.
If you do not have a login, create one, then login to make sure
Write down your user ID and password you will need it in the
- Next- From the Banking menu, select online banking >click
Select the American Express chart of accounts you just set up >
Type American Express in the financial institution window > Next
Select Direct Connect > Next
Enter your American Express user ID from step 2 and your
password > sign in
There is direct telephone number on this page (1-800-297-7500) that you can call if
you have difficulty. (It has been my experience that calling this
phone number and having them walk you through the set-up speeds
the process tremendously, but you are welcome to continue with the
- To download credit card charges into
Change to single user mode in order to
From the Banking menu, choose online banking
Select American Express as the Financial Institution
Click on Send
Enter your pin number (online web password from step 2) . You may need or opt to enter a new pin
number at this time
American express downloads your transactions.
- Click on the icon that appears in the bottom part of the online
banking window labeled
American Express Quick Statement
A register will open which will allow you to add each
transaction to the register Or QB will open to a
side by side mode. You can select which mode you want
under preferences (Edit menu > preferences > checking >
- To add the transaction to your register
Select only those transactions you wish to enter (see step
Highlight the transaction
Click on Add credit card charges
Click on OK
Enter an account and memo and class (if you use class)
Save and close and go to the next transaction.
Then click on done. Click through any message that appears if the
remaining transactions in this window have already been
accounted for (see step 9 below)
Not interested in having all those names created in your vendor
or other names list? Use alias's. Create a generic name
such as "meals" to represent all restuarants. However it
is a good idea to put the establishments name in the memo. Your reports will be meaningful and your list names will remain
manageable. For payments to payees that you use regularly, go
ahead and keep the name in the "purchased from" field.
Also, using generic vendor names such as food, parking, gas, hotel, and Misc Vendor can be set up when it is
not necessary to have a specific vendor's name on the transaction
and you dont need the detail in the memo field.
- For the initial set-up. You will
want to enter only those transactions that are unpaid. This is
assuming the transaction has already been accounted for in
QuickBooks. For assistance
with this step, we offer
QuickBooks support through via telephone, e-mail or
- You can delete the transactions that you do not want to
enter into the register. If using side by side mode on the
left margin there is a button, select items to delete. If
you are using the register mode, when you leave, you will
return to the online banking screen in and in the right margin -
lower right corner of the window you can delete
the remaining transactions that have not been entered into
- In many small businesses credit card
charges do not have packing lists, receipts, purchase orders or
other documentation for the bookkeeper to refer for reference in
categorizing the expense. By downloading new credit card
transactions into QuickBooks every few days your memory will be
fresh and your books and records will become more accurate.
Reconcile this credit card account before making a payment.
Works just like the bank reconciliation.
From Banking > Reconcile > select the appropriate credit card
account and enter the ending balance information.
When you are through marking all the transactions that have
cleared, and the difference is zero, click reconcile now.
At this point, QuickBooks will generate a payment for you
If you are not paying the balance in full, enter a bill for
a payment to be made later. The reconciled balance is then transferred to
One more adjustment is needed. From the accounts payable
summary, drill down on the credit card vendor and find the
transaction that was just created and change to the amount you
intend to pay. This will set the numbers straight for next
months credit card reconciliation.
While the set-up looks complicated. The
time invested will be repaid very quickly. The accounting
for credit card transactions each month will be significantly
reduced and your internal financial reports will become more
meaningful. If you charge your business expenses this is one
QuickBooks feature that you should not live without. Contact
us if you would like assistance.
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