Sometimes, business owners, accountants, and bookkeepers have asked me the simple question, “How can I learn QuickBooks better?” A satisfactory answer to their simple question can be complicated, however. My response is that it depends on how the person best learns. I suggest that attending training seminars might work best for some. For others, reading the manual could be helpful. The follow-up question I am asked is usually, “well, how did you learn it?”
My interaction with QuickBooks early in my accounting career (which consists almost entirely of working in accounting firms) was primarily in printing simple reports from client files to use as workpapers for preparing tax returns. When clients started asking “how do you do this and that” in QuickBooks, I realized that I could use more practical experience myself, so a few years ago I purchased QuickBooks Premier Accountant’s Edition to use at home as my own personal finance software.
Some might consider this a crazy idea. There are certainly less expensive software packages out there that are better designed for personal finance rather than running a business (Quicken, for example). However, I accomplished my personal objective of learning QuickBooks better. With my frequent use of QuickBooks at home, entering transactions and reconciling accounts became second nature for me. Although I don’t regularly use some business functions like inventory and sales tax with my personal file, I had the opportunity to experiment with them at home.
So, that is how I learned to use QuickBooks, and I’m passing the advice along to any newly hired bookkeeper or accountant who also wants to become more comfortable with QuickBooks.