The QuickBooks 2012 Decision Tools - dummies

By Stephen L. Nelson

If you’re a professional accountant, you probably don’t use the Decision Tools command in QuickBooks 2012. However, you should know that some earlier versions of QuickBooks (those versions before 2009) include a Company→Planning & Budgeting→Decision Tools command.

If this command is available in your version of QuickBooks and you or one of your clients or co-workers chooses the command, QuickBooks displays a submenu that includes commands that start little tutorials of how to manage the finances of a small firm.

For example, if someone chooses the Measure Profitability command from the Decision Tools submenu, he sees a window that discusses the importance and provides ideas for measuring a firm’s profitability. This information may allow someone to look at his profit margins and use profit margin data to make better decisions.

Other Decision Tools submenu commands enable a business owner or manager to analyze the financial strength of the firm; compare debt and ownership percentages; learn how to depreciate assets; manage the firm’s receivables; figure out whether someone is an employee, an independent contractor, or a temporary employee; and even improve cash flow. All this stuff is pretty cool.

If you know of a business owner who wants to use QuickBooks for more than just producing forms or getting data ready to file a tax return, alert this person to the possibility that the Decision tools may be available in her version of QuickBooks.

Also be sure that she knows that the Decision tools are written not for accountants but for regular folk who need practical, easy-to-understand discussions of business accounting and financial management.