How to Access QuickBooks 2013 Preferences Settings - dummies

How to Access QuickBooks 2013 Preferences Settings

By Stephen L. Nelson

You can specify how QuickBooks 2013 works for you by setting preferences. In fact, much of what you do when you run the QuickBooks Setup using the Advanced Setup route is provide information that QuickBooks uses to set your preferences.

You can set preferences within QuickBooks in two ways:

  • During the Advanced Setup/EasyStep Interview: You actually set all the preferences, or at least all the starting preferences for QuickBooks, when you run the EasyStep Interview. Most of the time, the preferences that the Advanced Setup/EasyStep Interview sets are correct.

    QuickBooks is very smart about the way it asks questions and translates your answers into preferences settings. But if your business changes, or if you make a mistake during the setup interview, or if someone else in your office ran the Advanced Setup/EasyStep Interview for you, you may still need to check and fiddle-faddle with these preferences.

  • By manually changing the preferences: You can manually change the preferences by choosing the Edit→Preferences command. QuickBooks displays the Preferences dialog box. QuickBooks groups categories of preferences. For example, QuickBooks groups all the accounting preferences into an accounting preference set and groups all the checking account preferences into a checking preference set.

    If you look closely, you see that along the left edge of the Preferences dialog box, QuickBooks displays a list of icons. The first icon is Accounting. The second icon is Bills. To see the preferences within one of these groups, you click that preference’s icon.


One other item to note about the Preferences dialog box is that it supplies, in general, two tabs of preferences for each preference set. Preferences that are specific to an individual user appear on the My Preferences tab. Preferences that are tied to the company data file appear on the Company Preferences tab.


Not every My Preferences tab gives you options for changing the way that QuickBooks works. Sometimes a particular set of preferences gives personal options; sometimes it doesn’t.

For example, the My Preferences tab of the Bills set of preferences provides no personalized options. In other words, you can’t tell QuickBooks that a firm’s accounting works differently for a particular person. This makes sense, right? Billing needs to work the same way for every user within a firm. However, with other preferences settings, QuickBooks may allow different options for different users.