How to Set General Preferences in QuickBooks 2011 - dummies

How to Set General Preferences in QuickBooks 2011

By Stephen L. Nelson

You can specify how QuickBooks works for you by setting preferences regarding how much help you want when making and recording transactions. In fact, just so you know, much of what you do when you run the QuickBooks 2011 EasyStep Interview (when you set up QuickBooks) is provide information that QuickBooks uses to set your preferences.

The My Preferences tab of the General Preferences set provides check boxes that you can select to tell QuickBooks to do the following:


  • To move the selection cursor from one field on the window to the next field when you press Enter

  • To automatically open drop-down lists when typing

  • To beep when you record a transaction

  • To automatically place a decimal point two characters from the right end of the number

  • To warn you when you are editing an existing transaction

  • To bring back all the one-time Help messages that it shows

  • To turn off pop-up messages for products and services

  • To show ToolTips for clipped text

  • To warn you when you’re deleting an existing transaction or some item on a list

  • To run QuickBooks in the background even when you’re not using it (to make QuickBooks start faster)

  • To automatically recall account or transaction information — telling QuickBooks, for example, to automatically recall the last transaction for a particular customer, vendor, or employee

  • To use either today’s date or the last entered date as the default date

  • To keep custom item information changed as part of entering a transaction

If you have specific questions about the My Preferences check boxes that are available for the General Preferences options, click the Help button that appears along the right edge of the Preferences dialog box. QuickBooks provides brief but useful descriptions of how the Preferences options work and what they do.

In the Company Preferences tab for the General Preferences set, the Time Format radio buttons let you specify whether QuickBooks should show the minutes in an hour as a decimal value or as minutes. The Company Preferences tab includes a check box that lets you specify that QuickBooks should always show years using four digits. It also includes a check box that you can select to tell QuickBooks that it shouldn’t update the name information for a particular customer, vendor, employee, or other name when you’re saving a new transaction for that customer, vendor, employee, or other name.