How to Use QuickBooks 2015 Express Setup

By Stephen L. Nelson

QuickBooks 2015 provides you with a very fast setup process compared with other accounting software programs and even with past versions of the QuickBooks software. Basically, you’ll fill in some boxes and click some buttons, and, voilà, you find that you’ve largely set up QuickBooks.

1Choose to use the Express Setup.

With the first QuickBooks Setup dialog box displayed, click the Express Start button. QuickBooks displays the Tell Us about Your Business dialog box.

2Specify the business name.

The name you specify goes on QuickBooks reports and appears on invoices you send customers. Accordingly, you want to use your “real” business name. And if your business is incorporated or formed as a limited liability company (LLC), you want to use the right suffix or acronym in your name.

3Identify your industry.

When you type something into the Industry field, QuickBooks turns the box into a drop-down list showing the industries that it recognizes. You can pick an industry from this list.

Be thoughtful and cautious about the industry you specify. QuickBooks sets up a starting chart of accounts for you based on the industry.

4Identify the tax return you file and your taxpayer identification number.

Use the Company Type field to specify the tax return that your business files. You can click in that field and then select from the list that QuickBooks provides.

The QuickBooks list of tax return options includes only two options for LLCs: single-member LLCs that file their taxes with the LLC owner’s 1040 tax return, and multiple-member LLCs that file their taxes as a partnership by using a 1065 tax return.

An LLC can also file its taxes as an S corporation or regular C corporation, however. Select the appropriate option.

Use the Tax ID # field to provide your business taxpayer identification number. If you’re a sole proprietorship without employees, your tax identification number may be your Social Security number. In all other cases, your taxpayer identification number is your Employer Identification number.

5Indicate whether the business employs people.

Note that a sole proprietor is not an employee in his or her own business. Further, partners paid for work performed in a business are also not employees. Partners, for example, don’t get paid wages — they get paid something called guaranteed payments.

6Click the Continue button. On the next page, supply your business contact information.

When QuickBooks displays the Enter Your Business Contact Information dialog box, verify that the correct business name shows in the Legal Name field. Then fill in the rest of the address and contact information.

If you ever decide that you want to change some piece of information that you entered on a previous page of the QuickBooks Setup dialog box, you can just click the Back button to back up.

7Create the QuickBooks data file.

After you provide the business contact information requested by QuickBooks, click the Create Company File button. QuickBooks creates the data file it will use to store your financial information. When QuickBooks finishes creating your file, it displays the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box.

8Identify your customers, vendors, and employees.

With the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box displayed, click the Add the People You Do Business With button. QuickBooks displays another dialog box that asks, “Perchance, are contact names and addresses stored electronically someplace else like Microsoft Outlook or Google Gmail?”

If you do have contact name and address information stored someplace else that QuickBooks will retrieve: Click the appropriate button and follow the onscreen instructions.

Otherwise: Click the Paste from Excel or Enter Manually button and then Continue.

When QuickBooks displays the Add the People You Do Business With dialog box, use the rows of the displayed worksheet to describe your customers, vendors, and employees. To enter a contact into the next empty row

Select the Customer, Vendor, or Employee option button (as appropriate).

Describe the contact using the fields provided. Each contact goes into its own row.

Click the Continue button twice when you finish identifying your contacts to return to the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box.

In the first Name column, which is used for customers and vendors, provide an abbreviated name or a nickname for a contact. You’ll use what you specify in the Name column within QuickBooks to refer to the contact, so you want to use something short and sweet.

If you add any customers or vendors, QuickBooks asks about open balances. You don’t need to worry about these at this point of the QuickBooks Setup process.

9Identify the items you sell.

With the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box displayed, click the Add the Products and Services You Sell button. QuickBooks displays another dialog box that asks what kind of stuff you want to describe: services, stuff that you track in inventory, stuff that is inventory but that you don’t track, and so on. Click the appropriate button.

When QuickBooks displays the Add the Products and Services You Sell dialog box, use the rows of the displayed worksheet to describe a product or service. For any item, you’ll always enter a name, description, and price. For some items, however, you can specify much greater detail than just this skeletal information. Click the Continue button when you finish identifying your products and services.

10Describe your bank account(s).

With the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box displayed, click the Add Your Bank Accounts button. When QuickBooks displays the Add Your Bank Accounts dialog box, use the worksheet to describe each bank account of your business: its name, account number, balance at the conversion date, and the actual conversion date. Click the Continue button when you finish identifying your bank accounts.

11Start working with QuickBooks.

With the You’ve Got a Company File! dialog box displayed, click the Start Working button. QuickBooks displays the QuickBooks program window. You’re done.