How to Use Quicken for Business

Cash flow is the lifeblood of business and cash management is crucial. Running a small business requires many different hats and Chief Financial Officer is one. Using Quicken for business financial management helps you save time. Quicken is simple to implement and provides all the information your accounting professional needs for tax preparation and financial statement reporting. Unlocking Quicken's "Home and Business" edition unlocks an inexpensive, efficient and easily used business financial management system.

Setup

Plan data collection. Work with your accounting professional and define the categories, tags and account tracking methods that will be easiest and most efficient for you to manage.

Click the "Business" tab, then the "Business Actions" down arrow and choose "Business Accounts." Select "Add Account" from the menu. Add business banking, credit card and loan accounts.

Select "Add Customer" from the "Customer" command on the "Business Actions" dropdown list. This opens the "Edit Address Book Record" window. Enter the payee name — usually the business name — and contact information. Check the "Customer List" box in the "Include this Payee in" frame.

Select "Add Vendor" from the "Vendors" command on the "Business Actions" dropdown list. This opens the same "Edit Address Book Record" window as for customers. Check the "Vendor List" box in the "Include this Payee in" frame.

Create "Projects/Job" from the "Customer" command and create billable tasks or salable inventory using the "View All Invoice Items" selection on the "Invoices and Estimates" menu under "Business Actions."

Select "Category List" from the "Tools" menu on the command bar, and click the "New" button to create business income and expense categories. Quicken suggests associated federal tax schedules, or you can select the schedule manually. Select "Tag List" from the "Tools" menu and create business tags meeting your record keeping, reporting or search requirements.

Basic Quicken Use

Enter starting financial data in each account. Quicken accommodates entering past data or setting up record keeping from the date of entry. Link your accounts to your banking institution's online download capabilities.

Enter all current unpaid bills using the "Create Bill" command in the "Bills and Vendors" menu under "Business Actions." Quicken allows ongoing charges to accumulate during the month until an invoice or statement is received and an account payable is accrued.

Enter all uninvoiced transactions using the "Create Invoice" command on the "Invoices and Estimates" menu under "Business Actions." Quicken allows transactions to accumulate until it's time to issue an invoice or a statement.

Set up additional business accounting tools, such as the mileage tracker on the "Business Tools" dropdown list. If using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or newer, from the "Business Tools" dropdown list, set up payment and invoice due dates, addresses and other tasks to be coordinated with the time management program. Quicken can also trigger Outlook-generated alerts.

Tips

  • Defer creating asset, debt and investment accounts and accounts payable and receivable during the account setup step. These are more logically added in later steps. Preplanning saves time and money when using Quicken. Repeatedly used customer or vendor transactions can be assigned shortcuts by checking the "QuickFill List" box on the "Edit Address Book Record" window. Add customer and vendor information at any time to the "Contact," "Secondary," "Personal" and "Miscellaneous" tabs for each record. Quicken's support site offers many tutorials and its online help manual has detailed instructions for learning more sophisticated business use of the program.

Warnings

  • Accurately enter address book records to ensure that valid transactions, invoicing, statements and payment records are created. Use the "Create Invoice" and "Create Bill" forms rather than the receivable or payable ledgers to enter the data. This step connects all transactions accurately when money is received or paid. Failing to categorize each transaction can affect the accuracy of reports for exports tax or financial statement reports.

References

Resources

About the Author

Eric Jay Toll has been writing since 1970, influenced by his active lifestyle. An outdoorsman, businessman, planner and travel writer, Toll's work appears in travel guides for the Navajo Nation, "TIME" and "Planning" magazines and on various websites. He studied broadcast marketing and management at Southern Illinois University.