March 31, 2020

Your First Hour with QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online
By: Ronald B. Allen

Your First Hour with QuickBooks Online

Whether you’re just launching a business or you’re going online with an existing company, take some time to get acquainted with QuickBooks Online.

The first hour with any web-based application is probably spent exploring and clicking buttons, links, and other navigation tools to get the lay of the land.

QuickBooks Online should be no different with small businesses in Kansas City. In fact, it’s even more important to take it slow when using accounting software. If you start entering data without understanding how everything works, you may make mistakes early on that will be difficult to undo.

Simple Setup

If you’re not certain you’re going to stick with QuickBooks Online, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial (no credit card required). You’ll first create an account by entering a user name, password, etc., then be asked a few simple questions about your business and the features you plan to use (invoicing, inventory, bills, etc.).

If you have data in a desktop QuickBooks file, you can start the import process here, but we strongly recommend that you let us help with setup if you’re planning to do this.

Once you start entering data, your QuickBooks Online Dashboard will give you an overview of your finances.

When you’ve completed your account setup, the main QuickBooks Online screen opens. You’ll see your Dashboard, a collection of data and charts that provides critical information like your bank balances, your outstanding invoices, and your current profit and loss.

Specifying Options

If you’ve used a desktop version of QuickBooks, you know about its many menus and its Preferences window. QuickBooks Online uses a different convention for choosing options and entering the information that will serve as the backbone for your company file. To get there, click the small gear icon in the upper right corner.

Tip: There are two other links next to the gear icon. You’ll be able to search for transactions by clicking the magnifying glass link. The plus (+) sign opens a window with links to screens where you can create transactions and initiate other activities.

You’ll spend a lot of time working with the links in the Your Company window when you’re setting up QuickBooks Online. You can always refer to it later on.

You have access to a lot of data and activity in the Your Company window. You don’t have to go through absolutely every link before you start using QuickBooks Online, but two you should look at early are Account and Settings and Manage Users.

The Account and Settings page is divided into multiple areas that you can access from a navigation bar on the left. They include:

·         Company. Fill in contact details and upload your company logo for use on sales forms.

·         Sales. Customize sales form content (preferred terms, custom fields, discount field, etc.). Would you like to turn on inventory tracking?

·         Expenses. Do you use purchase orders? Track expenses and items by customer? Make expenses and items billable?

·         Payments. Do you want to subscribe to QuickBooks Payments so you can accept credit cards and/or bank payments through QuickBooks Online?

·         Advanced. You’ll have numerous decisions to make here. For example, what tax form will you use? Will you want to automate some activities, like applying bill payments? Do you need to support multiple currencies?

The Advanced page of QuickBooks Online’s Account and Settings presents you with numerous options. You may want our help with this.

Multi-User Access

If more than one person at your company will be using QuickBooks Online, you’ll want to specify what areas they’re allowed to visit and what activities they can do. Click the gear icon in the upper right and then select Manage Users. QuickBooks Online displays a mini-interview in a window here that walks you through the process of assigning access rights to individuals (Custom User, Time Tracking Only, etc.).

We wanted to stress the importance of thoroughly setting up QuickBooks Online before you start entering contact records and creating transactions. If this is your first experience with an accounting application, we highly recommend that you engage us in your first hours of using QuickBooks Online. We are available any time to troubleshoot problems, but it’ll be more economical and less time-consuming if we work with you from the start.

Moving forward into the mobile first world, accepted truths have now become questionable. The days of desktops are dwindling. In their demise, they’ve left most of us energized about the future, yet preparing to mourn the loss of human connection.

As human beings, we need contact.

As business owners, we need automation.

Where do we find the balance?

We understand this struggle because we too are a small business located in the Kansas City metro with a mission to help other small businesses become more profitable. That’s why we became Profit First Professionals, an elite group of accountants, bookkeepers, and business coaches who have helped drive profit in over 40,000 companies worldwide.

The principles behind the Profit First theory resonated with us and our vision. We became so passionate about the process that we want to share it with you. Join us in our pursuit to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty once and for all.

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