If you’re brand new to QuickBooks, there is a lot to cover and the learning curve can be overwhelming. Remember, you don’t need to tackle it all in one day. In fact, learning QuickBooks slowly and thoroughly is a much better approach than quickly trying to go through all of what the accounting software has to offer. The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – once you get through the initial training, QuickBooks offers a multitude of benefits and makes your accounting and bookkeeping tasks simple and clear. 

The best way to approach QuickBooks is to set aside time and gather resources related to QuickBooks for beginners to help you. Here are some tips to get you started.

Have a basic understanding of the accounting principles 

First and foremost, having a basic understanding of the accounting principles is going to make learning QuickBooks a little easier. This doesn’t mean you need to learn accounting and bookkeeping extensively (that’s what your professional accountant and certified bookkeeper are for!), but knowing the rules and guidelines when reporting financial data will set you up for success. You’ll have accurate numbers and can make good financial decisions based on those numbers.

Take advantage of QuickBooks’ Getting Started Tutorials

QuickBooks offers a Getting Started Tutorial that walks you through how the accounting software works, including inputting data, invoicing, paying bills, and more. The QuickBooks tutorial is very practical and easy to understand. It’s designed for beginners to get set up and familiarized with the basic software features.

Make a list of your daily objectives

Like we said above, give yourself time and don’t expect to learn it all in a day. If you’re learning QuickBooks on your own, we recommend splitting days up to focus on 1-3 things at a time. Here’s an example of a learning plan that you can make for yourself:

  • Day 1: Browse through the software and familiarize yourself with the interface. Go through the QuickBooks Getting Started Tutorial.
  • Day 2: Start entering business information , set up accounts, and get organized. Learn how to input customer information and employee details.
  • Day 3: Learn invoicing, inputting expenses and payments, and navigating financial statements. Learn reconciliation, printing checks, and paying bills via QuickBooks
  • Day 4: Start customizing and automating transactions.
  • Day 5: Learn about 3rd-party app integrations and browse through compatible apps.

Make use of QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

Gone are the days of meticulously writing down each and every transaction on a piece of paper and adding them up manually. QuickBooks is here to make your life easier, and one of the convenient features that helps with this is the keyboard shortcuts. Here are some commonly used shortcuts to try (in alphabetical order):

  • Ctrl+A – Displays the Chart of Accounts window
  • Ctrl+C – Copies your selection to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl+D – Deletes check, invoice, transaction, or item from the list
  • Ctrl+E – Edit transaction selected in register
  • Ctrl+F – Displays the Find window
  • Ctrl+I – Create invoice
  • Ctrl+J – Open Customer Center
  • Ctrl+M – Memorize transaction or report
  • Ctrl+N – New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
  • Ctrl+Q – QuickReport on transaction or list item
  • Ctrl+T – Open memorized transaction list
  • Ctrl+W – Displays the Write Checks window
  • Ctrl+X – Moves your selection to the Clipboard
  • Ctrl+Insert – Inserts a line into a list of items or expenses
  • Ctrl+Delete – Deletes the selected line from a list of items or expenses

Customize the software to your needs

Once you’re familiar with the basic functions, we recommend customizing the software based on your needs. You can use ready-made templates to customize invoices and spreadsheets to your liking. 

You can customize your icon bar and choose which links are displayed by adding, removing, or modifying the icons. As you start using QuickBooks, you’ll become familiar with the items that you use frequently and the ones you don’t need. A customized icon bar helps boost your efficiency and make it quick to find the links you need. 

Here’s a quick overview on how to customize your icon bar, which is incredibly simple to do:

  • To remove an icon:
    • Select ‘View’ and click on ‘Customize Icon Bar’
    • Click on the icon you want to remove and click ‘Delete’.
  • To add an icon:
    • Select ‘View’ and click on ‘Customize Icon Bar’
    • Click ‘Add’ and select the icon from the list 
    • Change the label and description and click ‘OK’
  • To modify an dicon:
    • Select ‘View’ and click on ‘Customize Icon Bar’
    • Click on the icon you want to modify
    • Click ‘Edit’ and make your changes, and then click ‘OK’

Always reconcile QuickBooks accounts

One of the most important things you can do on the QuickBook software is constant reconciliation. This helps you check that all of your transactions and bank account details are recorded, ensuring that your financial statements have a beginning and ending balance.

Backup your work

Many people forget this simple but important component until they go into the software and realize that all of their prior work is gone. Fortunately, this is avoidable with QuickBooks’ scheduled automatic backup feature that ensures your work is always saved and gives you peace of mind. If you use QuickBooks Online, it is a cloud-based program that allows you to access your files from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. 

Learn QuickBooks in multiple ways

Last but certainly not least, we recommend learning QuickBooks in different ways as one of the best ways to learn anything is to use different approaches. According to Judy Willis, a neurologist and leading authority in the neuroscience of learning: “The more regions of the brain that store data about a subject, the more interconnection there is. This redundancy means students will have more opportunities to pull up all of those related bits of data from their multiple storage areas in response to a single cue. This cross-referencing of data means we have learned, rather than just memorized.”

Thankfully, there are so many resources that teach QuickBooks for beginners out there, including online QuickBooks tutorials for beginners, YouTube videos, books, and 1-on-1 training with a QuickBooks pro. If you feel stuck, confused, or overwhelmed, there are experts that can help guide you and teach you everything you need to know!

Written by: Sal
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