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QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Planning with QuickBooks Decision Tools

QuickBooks includes several decision tools, which explain choices managers must make. Some of these decision tools would be more aptly named training tools, because they mainly explain how typical businesses operate. For example, the Employee, Contractor, or Temp? decision tool discusses when it makes sense to use contractors or temporary workers and when to bite the bullet and hire employees. It also explains the pros and cons of each type of worker. To access the decision tools, choose CompanyPlanning and BudgetingDecision Tools, and then on the submenu, choose the tool you want to use.

The tabs that appear vary, but each tab provides educational information that's helpful if you're inexperienced in an area of business management, as demonstrated in Figure 18-8.

Here're the decision tools that QuickBooks offers and what they cover:

  • Measure profitability. This decision tool displays a graph of your net profit margin for the past four quarters. Net profit margin is the percentage of profit you earn for each dollar you make in sales. Downward trends in net profit margin are not a good sign. Read the information in the Measure profitability decision tool to find out how to stave off problems.

    Top: For the Measure Profitability decision tool, the Basics tab explains why net profit margin is important to your business. The Interpret Results tab tells you how to gauge your company's performance compared to typical businesses. If you absorb concepts better with examples, click the Read Example tab. The Learn More tab provides more detailed information and includes links to even more information. Bottom: If your company is performing poorly in an area or you want to do better than you are, the Improve Results tab explains steps you might take to improve performance in this area.

    Figure 18-8. Top: For the Measure Profitability decision tool, the Basics tab explains why net profit margin is important to your business. The Interpret ...

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