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We work with a lot of businesses using QuickBooks to maintain their accounting records. QuickBooks is fabulous and affordable software, but there a few things to keep in mind to make sure QuickBooks continues to serve you and your business well.
Always say “yes” to the updates. This is for your operating system, as well as your QuickBooks software. You should have your computer and software set to “Update Automatically.” When you log-on to your computer or log-in to QuickBooks occasionally you will a message asking you to load updates. Although “later” is a choice, always take the time to load them immediately and restart if required. A few seconds now, will save you hours later.
Always keep you software within the three year support window. The payroll feature requires you renew yearly, but your regular software is good for three years. As you near the end of the three years, go ahead and upgrade to the current year’s version in order to ensure that your software is supported by Intuit in case you have an issue. (example: if you are using the 2017 version, you will want to upgrade to 2020 when it is released in November 2019).
Enter/download your transactions often (we recommend at least weekly). The more up-to-date you keep your data, the more accurate it will be. You are much more likely to remember what items were and where they need posted if you enter your data often.
Reconcile your bank account(s) and credit card(s) each month using the reconciliation feature in QuickBooks. This feature can be reached in the desktop version by going to “Banking” and choosing “Reconcile”. It can be accessed in QuickBooks Online by going to the Gear icon and choosing “Reconcile.” By doing this each month, even if you use bank feeds to download your transactions, you can be certain you have properly captured all of you transactions and have an accurate cash balance each month.
Never change a transaction from a prior tax year. Although QuickBooks will allow you to change anything anytime, this does not always mean that it’s a good idea. Changing items in a prior tax year can cause a myriad of problems that will make your tax preparer frown!
Use “Ask my Accountant”. This account comes preloaded in all versions of QuickBooks and it is a great place to put anything you are unsure of how to classify. Periodically pull up that account and give your Accountant a call so you can get some assistance with your questions. If you post a transaction to a random account and plan to ask about it later, you will forget, or you will not be able to find the transaction later. The “Ask my Accountant” feature prevents you from taking a guess and being wrong.
Have a regular schedule of backing-up your QuickBooks onto a remote server, thumb drive or other storage not on the same computer as your software. The frequency depends on how often you use QuickBooks but be consistent.
Never close your software using the “x”, always go to “file and close company” before you exit. This ensures that everything is posted and your software updates install properly.
Keep your password current and complex
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! QuickBooks is easy to learn, but you can only learn how to do something correctly if you ask, so ASK!!!