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Quick Books® 2010 All-in-One For Dummies® by Stephen L. Nelson

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Chapter 2. Double-Entry Bookkeeping

In This Chapter

  • Checking out the fiddle-faddle method of accounting

  • Grasping how double-entry bookkeeping works

  • Looking at an (almost) real-life example

  • Figuring out how QuickBooks helps

The preceding chapter describes why businesses create financial statements and how these financial statements can be used. If you've read Book I, Chapter 1, or if you've spent much time managing a business, you probably know what you need to know about financial statements. In truth, financial statements are pretty straightforward. An income statement, for example, shows a firm's revenues, expenses, and profits. A balance sheet itemizes a firm's assets, liabilities, and owner's equity. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, preparing traditional financial statements is more complicated and tedious. The work of preparing financial statements — called accounting or bookkeeping — requires either a whole bunch of fiddle-faddling with numbers or learning how to use double-entry bookkeeping.

In this chapter, I start by describing the fiddle-faddle method. This isn't because I think you should use that method. In fact, I assume that you eventually want to use QuickBooks for your accounting and, by extension, for double-entry bookkeeping. However, if you understand the fiddle-faddle method, you'll clearly see why double-entry bookkeeping is so much better.

After I describe the fiddle-faddle method, I walk you through the steps to using and understanding double-entry bookkeeping. After ...

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