Faster, Easier QuickBooks 2014 Setup

Setting up QuickBooks 2014 takes time and requires a bit of upfront planning, but you can ease the burden and accelerate your success by employing the five tricks below:

  • Use Express Start: You can tell QuickBooks to set up QuickBooks with the standard default settings by indicating (at the very first startup screen) that you want to go with the Express Start option. Though some readers criticize this suggestion, the Express Start route to installation goes much more quickly than the alternative (a custom installation). Note, too, that you can change any of the default installation settings later by choosing the Edit→Preferences command.

  • Convert at start of year: A beginning-of-the-year conversion is easiest because you don't have to enter year-to-date income and expense values during the setup process. Accordingly, consider a start-of-year conversion. This might mean waiting a few months until the current year ends, or it might mean going back and reentering a few months of accounting data. Either way, you'll find a start-of-year conversion way, way easier than any other kind.

  • Outsource your payroll: A quick tip: consider outsourcing your payroll processing to someone who does payroll for a living. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, provides such a service (called Assisted Payroll). Large payroll service companies like ADP and Paychex do too. Outsourced payroll processing simplifies the setup of QuickBooks and (even though such services seem expensive at $1,000 to $2,000 a year) often save you money when you consider all the costs of doing payroll internally, including payroll tax penalties and the effect of a loss of salary confidentiality.

  • Opt for cash basis accounting: If you have the choice, consider the option of using cash basis accounting for your business. Cash basis accounting means that you get to avoid dealing with vendor payables and expense accruals. You simply record expenses when you write a check. By the way, accrual basis accounting (the alternative to cash basis accounting) produces better, more accurate accounting. But accrual basis accounting also complicates your bookkeeping burden, and often, that extra complexity simply isn't worth it.

  • Get your CPA's help: A final quick tip: Though you paid only $200 or $500 or whatever for QuickBooks and you like to save money, consider buying an hour or two or four of your accountant's time. He or she can help you get the QuickBooks software set up quickly and correctly. He or she can also give you a bit of training that's tailored to your specific business's transactions. This investment in doing things right often produces an excellent return.

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