Bookkeeping For Dummies
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QuickBooks offers the best of both worlds: an easy user interface (for the novice) and extensive bookkeeping and accounting features (for the experienced bookkeeper or accountant). More small business owners today use QuickBooks than any other small business accounting software package.

It is the number one software on the Top Ten Reviews site as well. Note that you can check out reviews about other top ten accounting programs at this website.

QuickBooks offers the novice an extensive learning center, which walks you through every type of key transaction with an interactive program that not only shows you how to do the function but also explains the basics of bookkeeping.

You don’t have to use the tutorial, but the option pops up when you do a task for the first time, so the choice is always yours. You also can go back to the learning center to review at any time.

Some people have a love/hate relationship with Intuit support (Intuit’s the company that makes QuickBooks). Intuit also makes TurboTax and Quicken.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start, priced around $50, can meet most of your bookkeeping and accounting needs. The $50 price includes an online monthly subscription that gives you mobile access from your PC, Mac, iPad/iPhone device, or Android phone or tablet.

If you want to integrate your bookkeeping with a point-of-sale package, which integrates cash register sales, you need to get QuickBooks Pro, which sells for around $199 for a single user and $650 for up to three users.

You also need to upgrade to QuickBooks Pro if you want to do inventory management, generate purchase orders from estimates or sales orders, do job costing and estimates, automatically create a budget, or integrate your data for use with Microsoft Word and Excel programs. Payroll services also can be added for an additional cost, depending on the size of your payroll.

QuickBooks is the most versatile software if you plan to use other software packages along with it. It can share data with more than 325 popular business software applications. Sales, customer, and financial data can be shared easily too, so you don’t have to enter that information twice. To find out if QuickBooks can share data with the business software applications you’re currently using or plan to use, call Intuit at 888-729-1996.

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Lita Epstein, MBA, designs and teaches online courses in investing, finance, and taxes. She is the author of Trading For Dummies and Bookkeeping Workbook For Dummies.

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