Business Analysis with QuickBooks is all about getting more bang for your QuickBooks buck. Now, I grant you: The QuickBooks software itself is a bargain. Although QuickBooks has some real drawbacks (such as letting the user sell more inventory than is apparently on hand), when you buy QuickBooks you get a functional accounting package with a friendly user interface at a remarkably low price. So how much buck is there to get bang from?

Well, consider how much time you spend putting data into QuickBooks. You often need to record a sales receipt for a cash or credit card sale. You should prepare an invoice for every sale in which you extend credit terms. You need to record your accounts payable, all your payroll expenses, and the payments you make to vendors. You need to keep your item lists up to date. You may need to do periodic physical inventories and record adjustments as required. You need to record customers' payments in Undeposited Funds and then make the necessary deposit transactions.

In fact, if you use QuickBooks conscientiously to record the company's transactions and to obtain routine reports of business activity, it's likely that you spend an appreciable amount of time navigating its windows, forms, and user interface generally. Why not spend just a little more time to arrange extra payback for that investment? One great way to claim that payback is by analyzing all that very specific data — the sales receipts and invoices and payments and investments and ...

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