I have used QuickBooks since 2003 and I still learn new things with each upgrade. I was lucky when I was first introduced to QuickBooks. I was in a public accounting environment and I had a good fundamental bookkeeping background along with a CPA in the office who was an experienced user. So I felt comfortable that I had a QuickBooks guru in the next office if I had a question or issue I could not figure out. But most people don’t have that luxury, and most people have no bookkeeping experience. However, your business needs you to be an expert user by end of next week. Well maybe I can help you through the process… So many beginners of QuickBooks find themselves thrust into an accounting position and are expected to learn QuickBooks very quickly. This can be a little scary and overwhelming especially if you do not have any bookkeeping background. Yes, QuickBooks does a lot of the work for you, but you still have to know what you are doing. You have to know a debit from a credit, a balance sheet item from a revenue or expense item. Likewise, you need to know several things about your business before you begin. What accounting method will you be using? What does your chart of accounts need to look like? Do you have a good Balance Sheet and Income Statement to use to set up your beginning balances? These are only a few items. There are different versions of QuickBooks: QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks for Contractors, and so on. If you do not have an accounting firm with QuickBooks Advisors to assist you, try to go online to www.intuit.com and look at the product comparisons to find what will best work for you. If in doubt, give my firm a call (210-829-1300) and one of our three QuickBooks Advisors will be able to help you. When I sit down with a client, I like to let them know that it is best to start off simple. Invest your time in learning QuickBooks by going through the tutorials. Learn how the data flows from a deposit or check entry into the general ledger and then look at the reports to see how the information shows up. With your increasing knowledge of QuickBooks, you will be able to pull informative reporting for you and your employer. Because of the number of reports available to you, it is best to pick a couple of reports that give you the best view of your company instead of throwing out a lot of reports that end up causing confusion. Select one or two that really gives you the information that is needed. I find that making a checklist of tasks for end of month and end of year reporting is necessary. Be consistent in the reporting you print and keep it organized and handy when you or your employer needs to go back and look at information. Remember the adage “garbage in, garbage out” has some truth to it. When you are given the opportunity to give a description or memo at the time of an entry, do so. Be consistent and concise with your notes or comments, because you will find this helpful when you need to explain why you made a specific entry, or it will direct you to the document/source of the entry. How long does it take to learn QuickBooks? It really does not matter. What matters is that you learn to do those tasks that you need to do, to print an accurate Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet. If you need assistance getting started or need training on an as needed basis, give ADKF a call at 210-829-1300. We have several bookkeepers that are QuickBooks Pro Advisors and are ready to help you get started today.