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Accounting – QuickBooks Review

Ok, the next main topic I want to delve into is quite large and has the potential to get quite complicated. But the goal here is to start at the beginning and give you what you need, from basic to advanced… so today we start at the beginning.

Where is the beginning with accounting? Most accountants would say it is learning about double-entry bookkeeping, figuring out what an asset and a liability is, etc. I think those are important points, but we will get to those later. I want to start out by helping you build a framework through which you can apply the principles of accounting that I will share later on down the road.

So what is that framework? It is the most prolific and comprehensive accounting software out there for the small business – QuickBooks. Now don’t worry, I’m not here to sell you anything and I don’t get anything out of this deal, but I am telling you this because I believe that QuickBooks is one of the most valuable tools available to you in helping you manage your business and finances. It is valuable in that it is a good deal price-wise for the value you receive, and, if you know how to take advantage of it, can turn raw data from your bank account and transactions into timely, actionable information to help you run your business.

So at the time of this writing, QuickBooks Pro 2012 is selling for $119.99. This is the version I would suggest starting out with. I would choose the desktop version over the online version any day… the online version is cumbersome, counter-intuitive, and provides very limited reports unless you end up paying $40-$50/month, and then in a few months you will have already paid for the desktop version that will do the same thing for 3 years (longer if you don’t need payroll). The desktop version outshines the online version in every aspect – except maybe in that you can’t access it anywhere anytime (but setting your QB program up on a server for $30/month can do just the same thing).

But that is beyond what I am about today. My suggestion is to get QuickBooks, open it up, go through some tutorials, and look around a bit. Don’t worry, you can’t break anything as the worst that will happen is you need to start a new company file… but if you look around over the next few weeks I will walk you through setting up a file.

Before I wrap this post up, let me throw out a few points of consideration about QuickBooks and how it will support your business:

  • QuickBooks is a tool – the tool will not wield itself. You must learn how to use this tool as a carpenter learns to use a hammer or a musician his instrument. However, once learned and mastered, this tool will be one of the most commonly used in your tool belt as you go about your business.
  • What does QuickBooks offer as a tool? QuickBooks is a conversion tool. QuickBooks converts data from your bank account into invaluable information that you can then analyze and track to determine your financial position, value, potential, and patterns along with determining efficiency and profitability in your different projects or jobs. Not only this, but QuickBooks gives you real-time data about your cash flow that is invaluable in decision-making for your business.
  • Where do people go wrong with QuickBooks? Ah, to count the ways… There are many ways people mess this up for themselves. If it were simple, no one would need an accountant. But it is not beyond anyone to learn the basics of QuickBooks and Accounting and avoid the mistakes – the key is to learn.
  • Finally, QuickBooks is the framework of accounting that will help you more than anything else to understand the gibberish your accountant is spouting off to you, and help you see the story of your business behind the numbers.

I hope you make this small investment in your business’ future and your own knowledge and understanding of your business.

Keep Reaching!

Mark

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