FormCalc Tutorial: Steps 1 - 5
This tutorial shows how to set up QuickBooks and FormCalc for
doing a simple FormCalc task: calculating a column total for the
Quantity column on a QuickBooks invoice. The same basic steps apply
to more complex tasks, like those in the Problem
||Start both QuickBooks and FormCalc if they are not
Review FormCalc's QuickBooks preferences.
Click on the Preferences tab, then on the QuickBooks tab within
that window. All FormCalc preferences on this tab must
be set to match their corresponding settings in QuickBooks, for
FormCalc to work properly.
Currently, the "Pressing Enter moves between fields"
preference is the only one that must be set identically in both
FormCalc and QuickBooks.
Add a new Equity-type account to the QuickBooks Chart of
Accounts, to use when setting up FormCalc trigger Items which
should not post income or expense. Give it a name like
"FormCalc Item Postings", etc., to identify that as its
Explanation: The purpose of some FormCalc trigger Items
is just to cause FormCalc to display information on the
QuickBooks form. They don't have any accounting function--they're
usually just placeholders for FormCalc results, not for posting
income or expense. When setting up trigger Items which should not
post income or expense, you should associate them with an account
that will help you detect unintentional postings of income or
We recommend you set up an Equity-type account for this
purpose. If you ever notice a balance in this account--in the
Chart of Accounts list, or on a Balance Sheet report, for
example--it will alert you that a FormCalc Item has probably been
Set up one or more new Items in QuickBooks, as FormCalc
Though you may use existing QuickBooks Items as FormCalc
triggers--and sometimes it's even advisable--usually it's better
to set up a few Items specifically to use with FormCalc. This has
- You can give them more meaningful descriptions like
"Total Quantity:", "Cases Shipped", or
"Total weight of this order:", adding useful detail
to your QuickBooks forms.
- You can associate these Items with the FormCalc Item
Postings Equity-type account described above, to avoid
- It prevents confusion with the usual uses for Items, like
recording sales or tracking inventory.
For this tutorial, set up a new Service type Item named
"Total", as shown below, unless that name conflicts
with another Item already in your Items list.
The Help tab in FormCalc's Trigger Items window has details
about QuickBooks Item types you should use. Generally, it's best
to use either Service or Non-inventory Part Item types as
FormCalc trigger Items.
||Enter the trigger Item(s) in FormCalc.
Go to the Trigger Items tab, and add each Item you created in
QuickBooks on its own line. Type the Item name in the QuickBooks
Item name column exactly as the Item name is spelled
in QuickBooks. Don't be concerned with the other columns for now.
Steps 6 - 8 are on the next page...