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A Quick Guide to Quickbooks

1 minute Read

quickbooksThe day a small business must move from Excel spreadsheets — or even a handwritten accounting ledger — to a more sophisticated accounting system is an exciting day indeed.

By far, the most commonly used accounting software for small to midsized businesses is Quickbooks. Initially developed in the 1980s, the software quickly found a niche with entrepreneurs who had no formal accounting training. Today it dominates this market.

What it does

The big claim QuickBooks makes is that you can run your entire business with their software. While this might sound like a grandiose promise, a brief overview of all the features proves that the modern version of QuickBooks is much more than just an accounting system.

When signing up, you answer a few questions about your company. Your responses are then used to customize QuickBooks into a version that is based on your business. At a basic level, all versions track sales and expenses, allowing you to create invoices, make payments and do everything you need to do for payroll.

In addition to an activity log that tracks payments and deadlines, the new version provides a remarkable level of automation. By connecting accounts, QuickBooks allows you take payment from your tablet or smart phone, and then it automatically updates your books and deposits the money in your bank account.

There’s a lot more to it than this, but needless to say, there’s a clear reason that QuickBooks is the leader.

How to get it

QuickBooks is available as a desktop-based software or via online subscription. Depending on your needs and budget, there are several versions to choose from. The more expensive rates naturally give you access to more features.

A great feature specific to the online version is that it allows you to be mobile. With cloud-based technology, you can synch the program with your laptop, tablet and smart phone so you can do QuickBooks tasks while you’re on the go.

How to get help

At this point you might be thinking this all sounds great, but you have a hundred more questions and very specific business needs. With this in mind, the team at QuickBooks has put together an extensive library of video tutorials to help orient users. Everything is here, from how to prepare for taxes to strategies for specific organizations like nonprofits. If you have more questions, visit the community forums or contact the help service directly.

QuickBooks is a huge program and for many small business owners, an essential one. After all, money is the lifeblood of your business, so you’d better make sure you keep it in order!

Photo credit: Bakhtiar Zein/