For the last 20 years, Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software has dominated the small business world. When it first debuted in the early 1990s, it quickly claimed up to 85% of the market, and subsequent releases have maintained and even increased that impressive share, with an estimated five million companies using the program today.
Yet, so many business owners struggle with the implementation and use of QuickBooks. Data files won’t update. Multi-user mode won’t work. Old invoices keep showing up in the print queue. Network hiccups keep getting you down.
For all of these problems, there’s CMIT Solutions. We nurture a solid relationship with Intuit that makes our sales and support systems second to none. So whether you’re setting up QuickBooks for the first time, upgrading to a new version, or still getting hung up on a common mistake, check out our list of five simple steps for turning QuickBooks fear into QuickBooks expertise.
1) Decide which version of QuickBooks is right for you.
- The first decision is QuickBooks online or QuickBooks desktop? Pros and cons exist for both, but ultimately, your comfort level with cloud-based solutions will probably dictate which direction you go.
- Next up is QuickBooks Pro vs. QuickBooks Premier vs. QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. Pro is perfect for most small businesses, while Premier features industry-tailored elements and deeper levels of tracking and reporting, and Enterprise is best for medium-sized businesses.
- The final step is what version to purchase—and when. Intuit recommends an upgrade every three years, and QuickBooks 2014 should be announced later this fall. But upgrade options may be available through certified Intuit resellers like CMIT for anyone who purchases QuickBooks 2013 between now and then.
2) Correctly set up your QuickBooks “skeleton” at the beginning. The “skeleton,” or basic infrastructure, of QuickBooks is made up of five components: Vendors, Customers, Employees, Company, and Banking.
- The Vendor function contains Accounts Payable (A/P) information or money owed to a third party.
- Customers applies to Accounts Receivable (A/R) or money owed to you.
- Employees handles payroll and other workforce info.
- Company is where your Chart of Accounts and other core financial data resides.
- Banking handles all check writing and other banking activity.
Since these five elements provide the foundation on which your QuickBooks resides, making sure they’re set up correctly from the get-go will save you from lost time and headaches down the line.
3) Take advantage of QuickBooks’ built-in efficiency-boosting tools. Whether it’s the automated speed of Memorize Transaction, Batch Invoice, and Process Multiple Reports tools, or the ability to set up custom data fields and set closing dates to prevent prior-period changes, QuickBooks contains countless shortcuts and workarounds to help you save time and money while fulfilling your company’s accounting needs. Online training and support can be invaluable tools for learning these tasks.
4) Reconcile, reconcile, reconcile. Reconciling your QuickBooks activity with monthly bank statements is a must for verifying the accuracy of your accounting records. You can sync QuickBooks directly with your online banking service, credit cards, and loans, and reconciling monthly can help you identify and deal with irregularities before they stack up and cause major problems.
5) Institute proper backup procedures—and always open the right backup! Your company’s financial data is important, right? So naturally, it should be near the top of your backup priority list. QuickBooks offers automatic recurring backup services, but the key is setting them up in the first place and adjusting the preferences (like filename, location, and frequency) to your liking. After all, in case of a technological emergency, you don’t want to import the wrong backup and lose recent data, do you?
Whatever your QuickBooks needs, CMIT Solutions has them covered. From purchasing and installation to training, support, monitoring, and backup, we can handle it. If you have any questions or concerns not covered by this QuickTip, call us today to find out how technology truly can get your company’s financial house in order.