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Running QuickBooks 2008 Premier Editions
By Kathy Ivens
CPA911 Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2008 CPA911 Publishing, LLC
All rights reserved.
Updating existing company files
Creating a new company file
Configuring the QuickBooks window
Creating opening balances
QuickBooks Premier editions offer features not available in other versions of QuickBooks. If you previously worked with QuickBooks Pro, you'll find that your Premier edition of QuickBooks has all the features available in QuickBooks Pro, plus the advanced features built into the Premier editions.
Many of the advanced features are in both the generic Premier Edition and all the industry-specific Premier editions. However, each of the industry-specific Premier editions has additional features and tools that are helpful for running QuickBooks for that specific industry. If you have the Accountant Edition, you also have all the tools that are in the industry-specific editions. This makes it easier to support clients who install any of the QuickBooks Premier editions.
Company File Setup
You have several options available for setting up your company file in QuickBooks 2008 Premier.
If you upgraded from an earlier version of QuickBooks (any edition), you must update your existing company file.
If you're new to QuickBooks, you need to create a company file, either by going through the EasyStep Interview, or creating the file manually.
(In QuickBooks terminology, the word "version" means year, and the word "edition" means Pro or Premier.)
Opening an Existing Company File
If you installed QuickBooks 2008 Premier in the same folder that held your previous version of QuickBooks, the first time you launch QuickBooks the software opens the company file that was open when you last closed QuickBooks in the previous version. Then the system begins the process of updating the file to Premier 2008.
If you installed QuickBooks 2008 Premier in a new folder in order to preserve the previous version (a common scenario for accounting firms), no existing company file opens when you first launch QuickBooks Premier.
If you already have a previous version of QuickBooks, and you installed QuickBooks 2008 in a new folder, you can copy existing files to your QuickBooks 2008 data folder (the files you want to update to QuickBooks 2008). Then select File [right arrow] Open or Restore Company. Follow the prompts in the wizard, locate the copy of the file, open it, and let QuickBooks begin updating it. This is a good way to install QuickBooks, because it lets you learn the new version without permanently updating your company file from the older version. If something goes wrong with QuickBooks 2008, you can continue to get your work done in the older version. When everything is working smoothly in QuickBooks 2008, you can uninstall the previous version and remove the old company file.
Restoring a Backup File
If you have a backup of your company file and you want to restore it and update it to QuickBooks 2008, choose File [right arrow] Open or Restore Company. Select the option Restore a Backup Copy and click Next. Follow the prompts to locate the file, restore it, and update it to QuickBooks 2008.
Creating a New Company File
If you're just starting with QuickBooks, you need to create a company file. Choose File [right arrow] New Company and then select the EasyStep Interview (a wizard), or select Skip Interview to create your company file manually. I cover both methods in the following sections.
Using the EasyStep Interview
The EasyStep Interview is a wizard that walks you through all the processes involved in setting up your company data file.
The first window welcomes you to the wizard. Click Start Interview to begin. (If you want to set up your company file manually, click Skip Interview, and read the section "Manual Company Setup".)
Company Information Section
In the first window, enter your company information. Notice that there are two fields for your company name:
The Company Name field is for the company name you use for doing business (your d/b/a name), and that name (along with your address) is used on printed transaction forms, and the reports you generate in QuickBooks.
The Legal Name field is used only if the legal name of your company differs from the company name you use for doing business. That name is used for government forms (if you do your own payroll, or you export your QuickBooks files to a tax preparation application).
For many companies, both entries are identical, and when you type the data in the Company Name field and press the Tab key, QuickBooks automatically duplicates it in the Legal Name field. Change it if necessary.
Enter your Tax Identification Number. This may be an EIN number, or your Social Security number, depending on the way you organized your business. When all the information is filled in, click Next.
Continue to click Next to move through the windows, entering the following information:
Choose your industry from the list of industry types the wizard displays. If no listing exactly matches your business, select the industry that comes closest.
Select the legal organization type for your business (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.).
Enter the first month of your fiscal year.
Creating an Administrator
In the next window, you can assume the role of administrator, just by virtue of the fact that you're the person setting up the company file, and the decision about the password is yours to make.
If you're ready to set up an administrator for this company, enter a password, and then retype it to confirm it. This doesn't have to be done during company setup, and many people wait until later to set up the administrator and additional users. Click Next to move on.
Saving the File
The next window is an announcement that you're about to save your information in a QuickBooks company file. Click Next again to get to the Filename For New Company dialog, in which you save the data file.
You don't have to accept the default location for the company file; in fact, I prefer to create a folder on the root of the hard drive (e.g. C:\QB2008Files), or in the My Documents folder (because in most businesses the My Documents folder is backed up regularly — or should be).
QuickBooks automatically uses the company name for the filename, but you can change the filename if you wish. It takes a few minutes to save the file, and then the wizard presents the next windows.
Choosing Features for Your Company File
The next section of the EasyStep Interview is designed to help you set up your company file to suit your business and accounting needs. Whatever data you enter in these windows can be changed at any time in the future. This interview is just a quick way of making sure you cover all the important topics before you start creating transactions in QuickBooks.
In the following windows, the wizard asks a series of questions about the way your business operates. You must indicate whether you sell products or services or both, whether you collect sales tax, create estimates for your customers, make cash sales, track accounts payable, and so on. Go through all the windows, indicating your answers and clicking Next.
Nothing you select is immutable; you can change any Yes to No (or the other way around) at any time in the future, using the Preferences dialog.
Setting Up the Chart of Accounts
After you complete all the questions about the types of transactions you'll use in QuickBooks, the wizard displays a page indicating it's time to establish the accounts you need.
Selecting the QuickBooks Start Date
When you click Next, the wizard wants to know your start date for using QuickBooks. This is your "go live" date, and it means that every financial transaction before that date is historical, and every financial transaction after that date must be created in QuickBooks. QuickBooks uses this date to manipulate some of the information in the following wizard windows.
You should select the option to start tracking your finances on the first day of the fiscal year, because that's the only way to get complete accurate reports about your business finances. You don't really have to enter every single transaction between the first day of the year and the day you're setting up the company file — see the section Creating Opening Balances later in this chapter to learn how to enter historic balances.
Creating a Bank Account
The next window asks if you want to set up a bank account. If you select No, you can add the bank account yourself when you set up your chart of accounts (covered in Chapter 2).
If you select Yes the wizard asks for the bank name (the name you want to use in the chart of accounts, such as Operating Account), and optionally, the account number. You're also asked to indicate whether you opened this bank account before your QuickBooks start date.
Don't Enter Opening Balances for Accounts
If you indicate that the bank account existed before your start date (a highly likely scenario), in the next window you're asked to enter the last statement date, and the reconciled bank balance as of that date. Do not enter any amount in the bank balance field, leave it as zero.
When you enter an opening balance for a bank account or any other type of account that has a field for the opening balance, QuickBooks automatically counterposts that amount to an account named Opening Bal Equity.
The Opening Bal Equity account is something QuickBooks invents to hold balancing postings for opening balances, and after you start using QuickBooks you or your accountant must clear that account. It's almost impossible to figure out which accounts should really have received those postings (most of the amounts really belong in revenue, liabilities, receivables, retained earnings for prior years, and so on). You can post the opening balances properly later, when you set up your Opening Trial Balance (covered later in this chapter).
Selecting Income and Expense Accounts
Next, QuickBooks displays the income and expense accounts that have been selected for your chart of accounts, based on the industry type you selected (see Figure 1-1).
This is not a complete chart of accounts, and you need to create additional accounts (covered in Chapter 2). Select and deselect accounts by toggling the check marks next to each account.
The EasyStep Interview ends in the next window; click Finish.
Manual Company Setup
If you click the Skip Interview button when the EasyStep Interview opens, QuickBooks displays a dialog in which you can enter basic information about your company (see Figure 1-2).
Enter the company name the way you want it to appear on the forms you create. If the company's legal name differs from the "Doing Business As" name, enter it in the Legal Name field.
In the following windows, select the legal organization type for your company (proprietorship, corporation, etc.), enter the first month of your fiscal year, and select a type of business so QuickBooks can install the appropriate chart of accounts. (You can also choose the option "No Type" to enter or import your own chart of accounts.) Finally, save the file.
Now you can set up a full chart of accounts, enable features, add entries to lists, and do all the other configuration tasks required to use QuickBooks efficiently.
Configuring the QuickBooks Window
By default, the QuickBooks software window contains a Menu Bar, an Icon Bar, and the Home page. If you upgraded from QuickBooks 2005 or earlier, or if you installed QuickBooks 2008 as a new installation and created a new company file, you also see the QuickBooks Coach on your Home page.
The Home page is a central access point for commonly used QuickBooks functions. If the QuickBooks Coach resides on the Home page, you can use the Coach to view a tutorial (a video that explains the windows you use when you're working in QuickBooks), or to help you use the workflow icons on the Home page (hover your mouse pointer over an icon to see an explanation of the workflow).
You can stop loading the Home page, or customize it (including getting rid of the Coach) in the Desktop View section of the Preferences dialog.
Customizing the Icon Bar
The icons that appear on the Icon Bar may not include the features you use most frequently, so you should change the Icon Bar to make it more useful. You can also change the way the Icon Bar and its icons look. Choose View [right arrow] Customize Icon Bar to open the Customize Icon Bar dialog, which displays a list of the icons currently occupying your Icon Bar.
Adding an Icon
You can add an icon to the Icon Bar from the Customize Icon Bar dialog, or by automatically adding an icon for the QuickBooks window you're currently using.
To add an icon from the Customize Icon Bar dialog, click Add to open the Add Icon Bar Item dialog seen in Figure 1-3.
Scroll through the list to select the task you want to add to the Icon Bar. Then choose a graphic to represent the new icon (QuickBooks selects a default graphic, which appears within a box). You can also change the name (the title that appears below the icon) or the description (the text that appears in the Tooltip when you hold your mouse pointer over the icon).
To position your new icon at a specific place within the existing row of icons (instead of at the right end of the Icon Bar), first select the existing icon that you want to sit to the left of your new icon and then click Add.
Adding an Icon For an Open Window
If you're currently working in a QuickBooks window, and you think it would be handy to have an icon for fast access to that window, it's easy to add an icon to the Icon Bar.
While the window is open, choose View [right arrow] Add <Name of Window> To Icon Bar. A dialog appears so you can choose a graphic, a title, and a description for the new icon.
Changing the Order of Icons
The list of icons in the Customize Icon Bar dialog reads top-to-bottom, representing the left-to-right display on the Icon bar. Moving an icon's listing up moves it to the left on the Icon Bar, and vice versa.
To move an icon, click the small diamond to the left of the icon's listing, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the listing to a new position.
Displaying Icons Without Title Text
By default, both icons and text display on the Icon Bar. You can select Show Icons Only to remove the title text under the icons. This makes the icons smaller, and you can fit more icons on the Icon Bar. Position your mouse pointer over a small icon to see a Tooltip that describes the icon's function.
Changing the Icon's Graphic, Text, or Description
To change an individual icon's appearance, select the icon's listing and click Edit. Then choose a different graphic (the currently selected graphic is enclosed in a box), change the Label, or change the Description (the Tooltip text).
Separating Icons into Groups
You can insert a separator between two icons, which is a way to create groups of icons. (Of course, you must first move icons into logical groups on the Icon Bar.) The separator is a gray vertical line.
To accomplish this, in the Customize Icon Bar dialog select the icon that should appear to the left of the separator bar and click Add Separator. QuickBooks inserts "(space)" to the listing to indicate the location of the separator.
Removing an Icon
If there are icons you never use, or use so infrequently that you'd rather replace them with more useful icons, you can remove them. Select the icon in the Customize Icon Bar dialog and click Delete. QuickBooks does not ask you to confirm the deletion; the icon just disappears from the Icon Bar.
Removing the Navigation Bar Icons
You cannot use the Customize Icon Bar dialog to remove the icons for Home page, Customer Center, Vendor Center, Employee Center, or Report Center. These icons, which are larger, are actually a discrete group called the Navigation Bar.
To remove the Navigation Bar from the Icon Bar, choose View [right arrow] Navigation Bar. Selecting the Navigation Bar command toggles the check mark.
QuickBooks centers are windows that display data about specific areas of your company. You can see current data, analyze that data, and manipulate the way the data is presented. The following centers are available:
Open each center from its associated icon on the Navigation Bar (the left side of the Icon Bar). If you remove the Navigation Bar you can open all of the centers from their associated menus (e.g. Vendors [right arrow] Vendor Center).
Excerpted from Running QuickBooks 2008 Premier Editions by Kathy Ivens. Copyright © 2008 CPA911 Publishing, LLC. Excerpted by permission of CPA911 Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Note to the Reader - From the Publisher,
Chapter 1 - Getting Started,
Chapter 2 - The Chart of Accounts,
Chapter 3 - Lists and Classes,
Chapter 4 - Sales Tax,
Chapter 5 - Payroll,
Chapter 6 - Premier-Only Accounting Functions,
Chapter 7 - Enhanced Sales Features,
Chapter 8 - Advanced Reporting Tools,
Chapter 9 - Planning and Forecasting,
Chapter 10 - Accountant Edition Features,
Chapter 11 - Contractor Edition,
Chapter 12 - Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition,
Chapter 13 - Nonprofit Edition,
Chapter 14 - Professional Services Edition,
Chapter 15 - Retail Edition,
Appendix A - Importing Excel and CSV Files,
Appendix B - Importing IIF Files,
Appendix C - Tips & Tricks for Accountants,