Chapter 1

Setting Up QuickBooks

In This Chapter

  • Planning how you’ll use QuickBooks
  • Installing the QuickBooks program
  • Preparing for setup
  • Setting up QuickBooks
  • Figuring out your starting trial balance

In order to use QuickBooks, you need to do two things: Install the QuickBooks software and run either the Express Start or Advanced Setup version of the QuickBooks Setup process. This chapter gives you a bird’s-eye view of both of these tasks. I also want to spend just a few paragraphs talking about some of the planning that you should do before you set up QuickBooks and some of the missing setup steps in the QuickBooks Setup process — things it should do but doesn’t. (Don’t worry: I tell you how to complete the missing steps, partly at the end of this chapter and also in the next chapter.)

Planning Your New QuickBooks System

I start with a couple of big-picture discussions: what accounting does and what accounting systems do. If you understand this big-picture stuff from the very start, you’ll find that the QuickBooks Setup process makes a whole lot more sense.

What accounting does

Think about what accounting does. People may argue about the little details, but most would agree that accounting does the following four important things:

  • Measures profits and losses
  • Reports on the financial condition of a firm (its assets, liabilities, and net worth)
  • Provides detailed records of the assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity accounts
  • Supplies financial information to stakeholders, ...

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