Getting Started With QuickBooks

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011 in Getting Started in QuickBooks | 0 comments

So you’ve made the decision after doing some research, costing, and considering the questions that I asked in my previous article. You have purchased the QuickBooks software from your local business supplies locations which might be Staples, London Drugs or from the Intuit Canada site itself.

Before you install the software I have to ask you if your business will be collecting or paying the GST/HST? If so, it is prudent to have registered with Canada Revenue Agency so that you can set up your QuickBooks correctly. Even if you are a company that does not collect the GST/HST, it does not mean you should not register.

For example, your company does business in the U.S. so it does not charge its customers the tax but it does have Canadian vendors (Accounts Payable) that it deals with. These vendors may be the telephone, utility, suppliers or sub-contractors and these companies will be charging you the tax on their goods and services.

If you have a GST/HST number, then you will be able to claim the input tax credit from the tax paid on your purchases.  Even if your company is small or still in its start-up stage and will gross under $30,000 annually, it’s still worthwhile to have the tax refunded to you.

It’s time to unwrap the package and proceed with installing it onto your computer. Remember though, QuickBooks has limitations as to the number of computers that you can install the software on. So if you are going to use it for more than one station, you will have to obtain a license for three to five users and a specific code from Intuit, in order to install and use it on the other stations.

QuickBooks is very user friendly and will walk you through the installation called the EasyStep Interview. During the installation you will be asked about the type of business (industry) you conduct which will aid you in the chart of accounts it offers you.

Example, if you are a non-profit, then you would choose the non-profit selection for your accounts. If your type of business (industry) does not match any off the list, you can choose leave it and move on.

You will next be asked about the company organization. Are you a sole proprietor, corporation, non-profit, etc?  Selecting the month for your fiscal year will be the next task.

If you are a proprietor, than you will operate on a calendar basis starting in January and ending in December. A corporation will depend on when it started doing business and could be any of the months, just as long as it consistent.

The password setup will depend if you are working on it alone or as part of a work group. In a work group, if you are the senior person in charge, you would be the administrator setting up this password. From there you can setup the users and the levels of security you would like. Don’t forget to keep the password in a safe place.

If you are going to use the following series of blogs for training in QuickBooks, I would suggest that when you save this company file, you rename it to something like TRAINING so that you do not get it confused with a live yourcompany file.

Your final step will be to create the company file and save it to a directory. This file is where all your data will reside. Remember that directory and go back to rename the company file to TRAINING for the practice exercises.

You might as well get used to the next step right away which is the backup.

In the beginning your backup will fit on a memory stick and these days the capacity can be up to 18 Gigabytes and is growing each year. Learn to back it up on a daily basis and if you work in an office, take it off site. If you work at home, than buy yourself a fire retardant safe.

Now it’s time to fine tune or customize your Quickbooks file. What do you sell? Do you charge sales tax? Do you create estimates, use sales receipts, statements, progressing billing, manage bills, print cheques, accept credit cards, track time, have employees, multiple currencies, start date and bank accounts.

If you’re not sure you can skip some of those and move on. Fear not, as these selections can be made and setup at a later date.

The final question has to do with the review of Income and Expense accounts. You can uncheck what you do not use and add ones later. Try not to clutter up your chart of accounts.

All these questions and how you answer them will help QuickBooks set up your company file.

Unlike you Excel, Word or other Microsoft products, QuickBooks saves the data automatically while you are working and everytime you exit the program. What I usually do is close the company file before exiting the program. If there is a power failure, QuickBooks will roll back to the last saved transactions.

Don’t forget to backup!

I am going to stop here and carry on in the next article.

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