You’ve seen those commercials where the business owners have started their new business and needs to organize their finances.  They purchase QuickBooks, install it on their computer, run around with big grins on their faces swiping credit cards to receive payments from their customers and look at the reports that are generated on the screen.  It really does seem simple, so you went and purchased QuickBooks too.

If you are good with numbers then learning to use QuickBooks may not take too long.  But, if you are not good with numbers you may spend hours and hours setting your company up, your chart of accounts, your items (you did set up items, didn’t you?), employees, sales tax, customers, vendors, etc.  I could go on and on with a list of things that need to be set up in order to have a company file that will function correctly.

But, once you get everything set up, the rest is easy.  All you have to do is write checks, pay bills (they aren’t the same thing), create invoices or sales receipts (which one should you choose?), pay employees (don’t forget payroll taxes), receive payments and record deposits (be careful that you don’t do this twice), reconcile your bank statements and credit card accounts (yes, even the credit card accounts need to be reconciled).

Okay, you’ve done all this for the first month and you are ready to run reports.  You are so anxious to see how your business is doing.  You run a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss.  Uh-oh, not quite what you expected see?  You have a balance in the Accounts Payable account.  But you paid all the bills you entered so why do you still have a balance?  Did you pay the bills in the Pay Bill screen or Write Check screen.  Makes a big difference in how the transactions are posted.

Do you have a balance in the Opening Balance Equity account?  That should always be zero.  What about Undeposited Funds?  This is a holding account until you make the transaction that records the deposits.  A balance could mean that the deposit just has not been recorded yet and will be recorded the following month.  If all deposits have been recorded to the checking account, the method they were recorded may have been incorrect leaving a balance in this account.  Is there a balance in your Payroll Liabilities but you have paid them?  Did you pay them by using the Write Check window instead of Pay Payroll Liabilities?

These are just a few of the many, many different reasons your reports may be incorrect.  Now you need to fix everything.  How do you do that?  By now you probably have figured out you can double click on the transaction and just change it.  But that may not fix it.  You can also void or delete (not recommended) it, but again, that may not fix it.  You could search through the Help, the Intuit Community Forum, or watch the training tutorials Intuit offers through the Help menu.  But, all this will take up more of your precious time.

As mentioned before you may or may not be good with numbers, or even working with software.  You are good at what you do, at operating your business, knowing the ins and outs of your industry.   What could you have been doing if using QuickBooks had been as easy as the commercial made it appear to be?  You could have been doing something productive for your business or spending time with your family and friends, not spending time on bookkeeping.

For information on the services I offer check out my Services page.