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QuickBooks 2013 For Dummies by Stephen L. Nelson, MBA, CPA

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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 of Accounting) of Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) of the United States Code requires that you have the capability to compute taxable income by using some sort of common-sense accounting system that clearly reflects income.

If you decide just to blow off this requirement — after all, you got into business so that you could throw off the shackles of bureaucracy — you might get away with your omission. But if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examines your return and you ignored Section 446, the IRS gets to do your accounting the way it wants. And the IRS way means that you pay more in taxes and that you also pay taxes earlier than you ...

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