Getting Started with QuickBooks Training – Part Two

Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in Getting Started in QuickBooks | 0 comments


You now have a company file, and are sitting at the Home page of QuickBooks. Take a long look at this page and familiarize yourself with it, because this is where you will always come back to if you get lost.

Above the Home page you will also see an icon bar and above that, a grey line bar that starts with File. This is called the menu bar. The menu bar has many of the same commands you will see on your Home page.

For now I would suggest that you stay with the Home page and its functions. Notice that the Home page has a flow chart which directs you along the steps you should follow to perform each function.

Starting from the top left you will see a number of tabs beginning with the Vendors (Accounts Payable), below it the Customers (Accounts Receivable) and below that the Employees section. Moving to your right you will have the Company and Banking sections along with a parallel group of boxes which you can arrange or change as needed.

So let’s call those modules. Within all of these modules are icons that you will use to perform the specific duties required in each module.

Before you start entering the data needed for QuickBooks to perform, let’s do a bit more setting up. Many people skip this next procedure then wonder why areas of their modules are not performing the way they expected.

If you go to the menu bar and click on Edit at the bottom of the list you will find Preferences.  In that list are 19 selections and within each of those are two tabs — My Preferences and Company Preferences. Most, but not all of your choices will fall under the Company Preferences tab.

A number of the selections have a default setting while others need your input. Some are simply yes or no selections.

Let’s begin with Accounting. If you have an external accountant, then very possibly they will be using account numbers. If so, you might as well follow their number setup, as it will save time and money at year-end, so mark the box. I’m not going to deal with some of the preferences that are already marked, suffice to say leave them as is.

The button that asks use class tracking is puzzling to some. What does it mean? Well, class tracking can be used in many areas of a business, especially if it needs to track department type revenue and expenses.

For instance, if your business sells a product or service that requires allocation of these, then class tracking would allow these areas to be broken out on the financial reports. This in turn allows you to make decisions on profit margin, areas of costing and revenue stream.

If you have a need for this feature then tag the button. If you find out later that you need this, you can go back and tag it but it will be harder to correct the previous data.

Bills — the norm is usually 30 days except for telephone and utilities.

Chequing — you could add the default accounts from your chart if you use more than two bank accounts.

Desktop View – that’s a matter of preference but you could go with the defaults.

Finance Charge – not too many companies can get away with charging on overdue accounts. If that is your company’s policy then set it up and remember to add a finance charge account in Other Income if it has not been done yet.

General – go with the My Preferences defaults but also tag the button for automatically place decimal point. This will save you from always placing it so all you have to do is key the figure in as dollars and cents. QuickBooks will then place the decimal  point. e.g. 54678 would then be become 546.78. Try it out.

Integrated Applications – in Company Preferences, this is used for third party applications that work in conjuction with QuickBooks. Best to have help from a  Trainer or Pro Advisor on this. I will tell you though, make sure that the application works with the Canadian version as some are only made to work with the U.S. version.

Items & Inventory – If you are going to use inventory then tag the button. This will then activate the rest of the choices. To use units of measure – enable it. This is another area where I would bring in the QuickBooks Trainer or ProAdvisor to help set up.

Jobs & Estimates – If you do estimates and progress billing, just change the default to yes. Estimates are also very helpful in costing a job, especially if it is a fixed-cost. It will be imperative to stay on top of this, or your profit goes out the window with any overage.

Part Three will carry on with the rest of the Preferences.

Remember that you can follow me on Twitter for tips and updates also.


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