LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
5 QuickBooks Desktop Training Tips for Beginners
AMANDA HARPSTER, CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER
New software is intimidating. New software that you will use to track your company’s finances is especially intimidating. QuickBooks was designed for small businesses like yours, not for seasoned accountants, but there’s still a lot to discover. You can ease into this learning process by following these five QuickBooks Desktop training tips for beginners.
1. Use a sample file.
When you set up QuickBooks Desktop, you gave your company file a name. This is the file that will open when you launch QuickBooks and which will eventually contain all of your data. The software comes with two sample files that you can open and use as you are learning how QuickBooks works.
Click File in the upper left corner, then hover over Open Previous Company. Click on the one you want to use to open it. The name of the file that is open will be displayed at the very top center of the screen. You can use this file to “practice.”
2. Browse through the Preferences menu.
You might be able to use QuickBooks as is, but it’s likely you will want to eventually change some settings. Click on Edit in the upper left and select Preferences. This is where you will go when you want to, for example, have your Reminders appear every time you launch QuickBooks.
3. Recognize that there are three overlapping navigation systems.
There are three ways you can open working screens in QuickBooks. The standard Windows menu runs across the top of the screen. The middle of the screen displays a typical accounting workflow; this is your Home page. You can customize the vertical Icon Bar on the left to so that your most often-used items get priority placement. Right-click anywhere in the Icon Bar and click Customize Shortcuts.
4. Locate the Chart of Accounts
QuickBooks comes with a standard Chart of Accounts already set up. Click the icon in the upper right of the Home page to open it. You can set up new accounts like bank and credit card accounts, for example. Right-click anywhere on the screen and select either New or Edit Account.
5. Create an invoice or sales receipt.
You are working with sample data, so you cannot hurt anything. Click the icon on the Home page, in the middle customer section, to open the form. Click on down arrows in fields at the top to open their lists and click in blank fields in the actual forms (you will have to enter the quantity manually) to make their down arrows appear. This is how all forms in QuickBooks work.
Once you are done experimenting, be sure to open your company file again before you start entering your own data (File | Open Previous Company | [filename]).
There is a lot more to learn about using QuickBooks. We have helped numerous small businesses get up and running with the software, and we can do the same for you. Contact us when you are ready, and we will schedule some training sessions. You can also visit QuickBooks Support to view articles and tutorials on getting started.
Want to learn more about QuickBooks and other Accounting topics? Check out our outsourced accounting blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AMANDA HARPSTER + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER
Amanda Harpster is a Client Accounting Services Manager at Lutz with over 14 years of relevant experience. She focuses on QuickBooks support, tax and payroll compliance, and small business consulting.
AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- St. Patrick’s Parish, Volunteer
- Cub Scout Pack #409, Treasurer
- Ponca Hills Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary, Member
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