Ok, which would you prefer doing? Watching ESPN to see your baseball team prepare for opening day or trying to figure the last few expenses that will close your books? Yes, the crack of a baseball bat can be more entertaining. But cracking open an accounting software does not have to be drudgery, even if accounting was not your personal strength.
One book that assures ease is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quickbooks  by Barbara Harvie, an award winning author of small business software manuals. I received a review copy in the mail and felt the book has value beyond Quickbooks related questions.
Learn Accounting Essentials
It may be a bit disingenuous to say that this book covers the features of Quickbooks. Hopefully, that is what you would expect from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quickbooks. But as you look over the pages, you’ll find that the genie grants the wish. From setting up a company file in Chapter 1 to assigning sales taxes in Chapter 17, you’ll find what you need to manage the software correctly.
As I mentioned at the start, what makes this book valuable is how accounting is weaved into the explanations. Again, disingenuous would be the word to use if this book didn’t explain accounting well. But it does make this book useful for those business owners transitioning from other invoice Cloud services that have cropped up since Quickbooks was first introduced. Services such as Freshbooks and Invoicera are excellent for solopreneurs and small businesses that must manage sales, but managing finances across several sales teams require a broad accounting application for quick organization and quicker results.
The accounting topics are well structured. Each topic illustrates how features have a certain value at a certain time. Never knew what closing the books really meant? Just turn to page 407 for an explanation.
Get Into the Habit of Nuanced Service for Customers
Harvie’s arrangement of explaining accounting terms and practices such as tracking inventory, accounts, and vendors reveals business basics that should be aware of throughout operations. You will also gain some of the nuances to help tailor to customer needs with meaningful accounting service. A segment on invoicing customers, for example, includes arranging for separate notice schedules between largest customer and smaller businesses that may need more personalized attention. Such dynamics extend into each reporting, such as the pricing level, as Harvie explains:
“With price levels, Quickbooks lets your charge different prices for different customers. Each time you create an invoice, sales receipt, or credit memo for a particular customer, QuickBooks uses the price level associated with that customer to calculate the price for services, inventory, and noninventory items.”
Further text explains applying a discount, but you get the idea – adjusting customer service instead of one size fit all.
This is still a manual series, so it has the similar The Least You Should Know chapter endings like The Complete Idiot’s Guide to WordPress , but Harvie does provide some resources at book’s end. Most of the book addresses the Quickbooks Pro (PC edition), but you’ll read appropriate references for the Enterprise edition for segments such as inventory costing.
What Complements The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quickbooks
There are a number of articles and book reviews in Small Business Trends that may make for great reading alongside this guide.
- 5 Easy Ways to Stay On Top of Your Accounting : Great tips that can follow up on your understanding of Quickbooks.
- How To Get That Millionaire Mindset : Inspiration for understanding the value of LIFO vs FIFO.
- Will You Build or Buy Your Business : Consider the articles here as an inspiration for how asset and expenses will be tracked.
- Wealth Creation for Small Business Owners : The tips in this book can help you in selecting how to approach your accounting and Quickbooks settings.
- Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months : A good complement of sage advice to the finance and accounting plans from this book.
You won’t be a CPA with this book, but you’ll improve the discussion you’d have with a CPA. The end result are better financial choices needed for your business. That can make the difference in reaching the economic playoffs – growing your earnings and your business as a result.