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Five ways to make QuickBooks work for your business

QuickBooks is brilliant software for anyone running their own business.

We’ve supported hundreds of owner-managed businesses with QuickBooks over the years and our experience suggests there are five key things for all businesses to consider if they want to get the best out of the software.


1 Training

Make sure all users know how to use the software to do their job properly.  A great starting point is the QuickBooks Online support site where you can find help and video support for key tasks.

There are dozens of training courses for an overall look at QuickBooks and even more “how to” videos on YouTube that will show you how to accomplish a task such as raising a sales invoice.

All of the cloud accounting software services go out of their way to make it look easy to use but remember – it’s accounting software. It contains things like VAT which you may not be an expert in. So take some time at the start to learn how to use it properly and build from there.


2 Reporting

Reporting is why we have always loved QuickBooks – both Desktop and Online.

You need a little thought at the outset to make sure the accounts you are using to enter transactions are right for your business (be as granular as is helpful). And use account numbers to make the accounts appear in reports in the order you find helpful. Finally you can group individual accounts under a “top account” to make use of collapsed and expanded versions of reports.

Here’s a tutorial to get started!

Having organised your chart of accounts you then configure reports that are right for your business and save them as customised reports to use again and again.

And it gets better – you can schedule reports to be emailed automatically to colleagues who need the information to keep your business on track.


3 Automate data entry

Automation will save you time and improve the accuracy of your bookkeeping.

The first piece of automation is to hook up QuickBooks to your bank and credit cards. Receive all your receipt and payment data directly from the bank whenever you wish. You or your accountant should ensure regular bank reconciliations are completed. Every now and again something might go wrong with the feed from the bank or with the accounting for a receipt or payment. The bank reconciliation will find and correct errors.

The second piece of automation is to use a service such as AutoEntry.  Send suppliers’ invoices and out-of-pocket receipts to AutoEntry from your computer or phone and AutoEntry processes the data on the document and makes it ready for to be sent to QuickBooks, along with a PDF image of the invoice or receipt. Paper-free accounting!


4 Sales invoicing

Import your logo into QuickBooks, set up and customise a sales invoice template and you’re ready to send invoices directly from QuickBooks.

You need to set up “products / services” which are the different things your business sells and each product / service needs to be linked to an income account in which you record the value of the sales of that product or service.

If you have recurring sales to the same customer each month or quarter then you can set up a recurring invoice which can be raised and sent automatically.

FInally, it’s good practice to send the PDF of the sales invoice to your customer rather than just a link to a site where they can download the invoice – why would you inconvenience a customer with just a link and risk being paid more slowly?

Here’s a tutorial to get started.


5 Apps

There is a massive ecosystem of apps that has grown up around cloud accounting software. Some are useful, some simply look useful.

We use GoCardless for direct debits which is brilliant and for over a decade we have used Transaction Pro  in situations where businesses create their sales invoices in their own CRM system and they need to be imported into QuickBooks.

For sure, the right app will save you time, make you more productive but don’t use an app just because it’s out there, use it because it really helps.

Here’s our slightly cautionary blog on apps.


That’s it – five ways to get the best out of QuickBooks. And if you need some training, perhaps we can help?



Sales | Margins | Profit | Cashflow

Learn more about our Bookkeeping services for business, read our dedicated bookkeeping page.

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