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QuickBooks® 2010 For Dummies® by Stephen L. Nelson

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Chapter 1. QuickBooks: The Heart of Your Business

In This Chapter

  • Why you truly need a tool like QuickBooks

  • What QuickBooks actually does

  • Why QuickBooks is a popular choice

  • What you need to do (in general) to get started

  • How to succeed in setting up and using QuickBooks

I want to start our conversation by quickly covering some basic questions concerning QuickBooks, such as "Why even use QuickBooks?" and "Where and how does a guy or gal start?" — and, most importantly, "What should I not do?"

This little orientation shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Really. And the orientation should let you understand the really big picture concerning QuickBooks.

Why QuickBooks?

Okay, I know you know that you need an accounting system. Somebody, maybe your accountant or spouse, has convinced you of this. And you, the team player that you are, have just accepted this conventional viewpoint as the truth.

But just between you and me, why do you really need QuickBooks? And what does QuickBooks do that you really, truly need done? And heck, just to be truly cynical, also ask the question "Why QuickBooks?" Why not, for example, use some other accounting software program?

Why you need an accounting system

Start with the most basic question: Why do you even need an accounting system like QuickBooks? It's a fair question, so let me supply you with the two-part answer.

The first reason is that federal law requires your business to maintain an accounting system. More specifically, Section 446 (General Rule for Methods ...

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