Begin to Run the QuickBooks 2012 Setup
After you install the QuickBooks 2012 program, the installation program may start QuickBooks automatically and then start the QuickBooks Setup. You can also start the QuickBooks Setup by starting the QuickBooks program the same way you start any program — and by then choosing the File→New Company command to start the QuickBooks Setup.
The big QuickBooks 2012 Welcome screen
The Let's Get Your Business Set Up Quickly screen of the QuickBooks Setup appears when you choose the New Company command. The screen provides some general information about setting up a new company within QuickBooks. The screen also provides links — such as the link you can click to get help from a QuickBooks certified advisor.
(QuickBooks Pro Advisors, by the way, are people who have taken a test about QuickBooks and paid roughly $500 to Intuit to get a copy of QuickBooks and be listed on the QuickBooks website as a QuickBooks Pro Advisor.) You probably want to read through this screen’s information, but when you’re ready to begin, click the Start Interview button.
The QuickBooks 2012 Express Start method
QuickBooks 2012 provides an accelerated version of the QuickBooks setup process, which you can use when you don't want to customize the setup.
If you click the Express Start button, QuickBooks collects a bit of information about your company and, based on that information, sets up a company file that should work for a business like yours.
After you use the Express Start to create the company file, QuickBooks prompts you to describe the people (customers, vendors and employees) you do business with, the items you sell, and your bank account. You provide these descriptions by setting through a series of screens and filling in on-screen boxes and worksheets.
The QuickBooks 2012 Advanced Setup method
The Advanced Setup button, if clicked, starts the EasyStep Interview, which walks you through a bunch of screens full of information that let you rather tightly specify how the company file that QuickBooks sets up should look.
To move to the next screen in the EasyStep Interview, you click the Next button. To move to the previous screen, you click the Back button. If you get discouraged and want to give up, you can click the Leave button. But try not to get discouraged.
Supply company information during QuickBooks 2012 setup
The first few screens of the EasyStep Interview collect several important pieces of general information about your business, including your company name and the firm’s legal name, your company address, your federal tax ID number, the first month in the fiscal year (typically January), the type of income tax form that your firm uses to report to the IRS, and the industry or type of company that you are operating (retail, service, and so forth.
After collecting this general company information, QuickBooks creates the company data file that stores your firm’s financial information. QuickBooks suggests a default name or a QuickBooks data file based on the company name. All you need to do is accept the suggested name and the suggested folder location (unless you want to save the data file into the My Documents folder, which isn’t a bad idea).
Customize QuickBooks 2012 during setup
After QuickBooks collects general company information, the EasyStep Interview asks you some very specific questions about how you run your business so it can set the QuickBooks preferences. Preferences, in effect, turn on or off various accounting features within QuickBooks, thereby controlling how QuickBooks works and looks. Here are the sorts of questions that the EasyStep Interview asks to set the QuickBooks preferences:
Does your firm maintain inventory?
Do you want to track the inventory that you buy and sell?
Do you collect sales tax from your customers?
Do you want to use sales orders to track customer orders and backorders?
Do you want to use QuickBooks to help with your employee payroll?
Do you need to track multiple currencies within QuickBooks because you deal with customers and vendors in other countries?
Would you like to track the time that you or your employees spend on jobs or projects for customers?
How do you want to handle bills and payments (enter the checks directly, or enter the bills first and the payments later)?