Get The Most Out of QuickBooks

Unlock more of the software’s power to track your business’s finances.


If maintaining your business’s finances is sometimes challenging or time-consuming, you’re not alone. That’s why we want to help! You might want to consider QuickBooks®, a market leader in small business accounting software.

“A lot of owners aren’t necessarily focused on accounting at first, but typically after they’ve been using the software for two or so years, they become curious about ways to get more out of QuickBooks,” says certified QuickBooks consultant Scott Gregory.

Here’s some time-saving, helpful information to get up to speed with QuickBooks, so you can focus on bigger goals on the horizon.

Generate Custom Reports

What it does: QuickBooks can serve up a wide array of customized reports to help you keep close tabs on your company’s pulse. What’s more, the software can home in on both the big picture and the granular details of your business.

How to use it: For starters, Gregory, who is also the author of “27 Power Tips Every QuickBooks User Should Know,” suggests running monthly profit-loss reports, a feature that is readily available in the Reports pull-down menu.

For a closer inspection, activate a lesser-known feature that helps you break out specialized reports for every one of your company’s units, locations or product and service lines. The trick is to follow a few additional steps to sort by different groupings or what the software labels as “classes.” Pull down the “Edit” menu and scroll to “Preferences.” There, click on “Accounting” and finally the “Company Preferences” tab at the top of the window. Once there, you’ll find boxes to check off for “Use Class Tracking” and “Prompt to Assign Class.” Voila: What you’ve done is now equipped your QuickBooks to break out everything from invoices to reports for each facet of your business you want to track.

Customize Your Icon Bar

What it does: QuickBooks’ default settings can be changed to better suit your needs — and save time by providing rapid access to functions you frequently use such as “Income Tracker,” “Calendar,” “Customers,” or “Employees.”

How to use it: Click “View” and then “Top Icon Bar” to move QuickBooks Icons to the top of your screen. Next, click “View” once again and afterward “Customer Icon Bar.” You’ll see a list of icons. To remove those of which you don’t want, click on the icon name and then the delete bar that appears on the right of the menu window.

Gregory says a second nifty trick is then to add icons for reports you’ll want to run regularly. Open the report you want to add to your icon bar menu. Next, click “View” and then “Add . . .,” and then a prompt with a label and description for the report will appear. Click “OK” and you’ll have an icon shortcut in no time.

Set Up To-Do Lists and Reminders

What it does: One QuickBooks feature in the program’s “Company” menu can help you stay on top of clients’ needs: To-do lists not only nudge you with individual messages, but they can be added to a list of reminders.

How to use it: Open the “Company” menu and scroll down. You’ll see it’s also possible to organize to-do lists and reminders by customer, vendor, or employees. You can also draft lists of tasks including e-mails, appointments and calls. Finally, QuickBooks lets you have reminders appear whenever you open individual client or company files.

With a little time and effort, you can unlock QuickBooks features to stay both attuned to trends and ahead of the curve come tax season. “QuickBooks can provide valuable financial insights for a business that can help you find deductions, straighten up your finances, or even stop fraud in its tracks,” Gregory says.


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