How to Learn Bookkeeping in Quickbooks

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A business owner who knows bookkeeping basics has more control over a business than an owner or manager who must rely on outside help. Learning bookkeeping basics in the popular Quickbooks accounting program is one more tool for a business owner to understand expenses, income and profitability. Schedule a brief amount of time each day to create and enter data in either a practice account or actual company account.

Purchase a software copy of Quickbooks or purchase the Web-based version. Use an industry-specific version if one is available. Register as a user and enter all pertinent company information.

Learn key bookkeeping and accounting terms, such "cash basis," "accrual basis" and "chart of accounts." Skim a basic book on bookkeeping to know the basics of tracking income, expenses and reconciling bank statements.

Set up a company account. Use the suggested chart of accounts, advises Stephen Nelson, author of "Quickbooks 2007 for Dummies." "Unless you know quite a bit about accounting and are willing to find out just as much about Quickbooks, I recommend that you accept the suggested chart of accounts," he writes. Envision the chart of accounts as “a series of buckets into which information is dropped,” writes business author Robert Low. Assign unique names to accounts in Quickbooks. A home improvement company may assign a name to each home using either the owner’s name of that home or the street number.

Enter data in the Quickbooks lists. Choose from the item list, employee center icon, or customer center icon. Create a vendor list of companies who are suppliers or will subcontract services. Log in to the company Quickbooks account, find the vendor list window and enter the appropriate information. Create and print 1099 forms for subcontractors to report their own taxes. Request social security numbers or employer identification numbers (ein) to enter the data and set up accurate records.

Reconcile bank statements “to make sure that your QuickBooks records agree with the paper or online financial statements you regularly receive,” advises the online support directions from Quickbooks. Use the statement from the bank to double check that all deposits and written checks are accurately accounted for.

Prepare to run a profit and loss statement showing ordinary income and expenses for a particular period. Print a profit and loss statement at the end of each month for normal bookkeeping; however, for the purpose of learning bookkeeping in Quickbooks, print the first profit and loss statement after appropriate information is entered. Use this initial report to quickly scan data and check for missing information.


  • Follow instructions step-by-step Call a local bookkeeper for advice if needed Enter all information at the same time each week


  • Do not enter partial information



About the Author

Don Simkovich writes Southern California travel articles and news pieces for business professionals; to date his writing has expanded the online presence of local businesses. Simkovich attended the University of Pittsburgh, has a Master of Arts in communication management from the University of Southern California. His writing has appeared online in WSJ, USA Today and Desert Publications.

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