QuickBooks Pro is a powerful tool for the small and medium size business. It provides accounting, invoicing, inventory and payroll functionality that will allow you to set up your business with little to no hassle. The program will guide you through each step and answer any question you may have along the way.
Load QuickBooks Pro onto your computer. Select the "Interview" mode if you walk the system to walk you through the set up process. Or, set up the company manually.
Enter your company information. Enter relevant information about your company, as prompted by the interview mode. Make sure to enter the correct fiscal year end, as all reports are driven off of that information. Find your tax identification number and enter it. Click, "Next".
Set up a security password. This is definitely a good idea if there are other people with access to your computer. You can always change your password or grant access to others later on. For example, if you have an employee that comes in once a week to do payroll, you can grant him or her security access to the payroll function. Click, "Next".
Select from the industry. This is one of the most time-saving features of QuickBooks. It starts you off with a chart of accounts that are relevant to your business. If you don't find your exact industry in the list, choose the one that most closely relates. You will be able to customize your accounts later. Click, "Next".
Answer the list of questions. You are next asked a series of questions that will allow QuickBooks to determine what program features you will need. This includes: inventory, estimating, and payroll. Remember that you can always go back and turn these functions on later, so do not concern yourself with whether or not you will need a function in the future. Click, "Next".
Enter a start date. There are several theories on the best way to do this. I recommend that you choose the first day of your fiscal year, even if it has passed. For example, if your year runs from January to December and you are setting up QuickBooks Pro in May, I recommend that you choose January 1 as your start date. This way, you can enter all of your accounting information for the current fiscal year into the program.
Enter your bank account information and then review and accept the chart of accounts. If you are not familiar with the program, accept all accounts now. You can always add or delete accounts later, when you are more familiar with QuickBooks.
Angie Mohr is a syndicated finance columnist who has been writing professionally since 1987. She is the author of the bestselling "Numbers 101 for Small Business" books and "Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar." She is a chartered accountant, certified management accountant and certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.