Like many accountants, my mind thinks in debits and credits.* As a double entry accounting system, QuickBooks works in debits and credits, though it does a good job hiding it from non-accountant users with its use of items and user-friendly input screens such as a “write checks” window that looks like a paper check. Below is an example of an invoice entry screen. I might have a good guess about the debits and credits working behind the scenes of this invoice, but probably wouldn’t know the specific accounts affected.
Crtl + Y is the shortcut that displays the transaction journal (in other words, the debits and credits, as you can see in the screenshot below). The accounting entry that was abstract within the invoice entry screen now becomes clear in my mind.
*I recall several confused students in one of my college accounting classes asking, “what does debit and credit mean?” Our wise accounting professor explained that debit meant left and credit meant right. That explanation oversimplifies it, but I got the point: don’t get caught up in the jargon. While my mind seems to differentiate left and right very well for accounting, I seem to have two left feet when I try to dance. Why is that?