5 Quick Tips for QuickBooks

Scott Kalwei
4 min readMay 30, 2018

If you’re a small business then you should use QuickBooks. For me, it’s been the only accounting software that I’ve used and I’m not sure how I’d conduct business without it. The software is incredibly powerful yet surprisingly easy to use.

If you’re a business owner I’d hope that you have some basic accounting skills. Actually, if you’re an adult I’d hope that you have some basic accounting skills. If you don’t know what a P&L is then there may be somewhat of a learning curve. But if, on the other hand, you’ve done the adult thing to do in life and have learned the basics of how money is accounted for, then learning QuickBooks is insanely easy.

Getting to learn the software, or even seeing how it could help your business, is something that you’ll have to figure out on your own. It’s very simple and I’m sure you can do it all on your own like the adult that you are. But, there are some tips that I’ve learned over the years. The tips kind of vary between using the software and just general accounting methodologies.

I’m not an accountant and I’m not a technology specialist. But I am an entrepreneur that uses QBO (QuickBooks Online) every single day. These tips have helped me speed through every day accounting lightening fast.

1 — Be Consistent

Being inconsistent in accounting is worse than making a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s just a fact of life. Mistakes are easy to correct, as long as your consistent.

This means you’ve got to know exactly what transactions go where and to always make sure those transactions go there. If you find out that you could have classified it differently, go back and change all of them and continue forward. But don’t just switch back and forth with no system. This is by far the worst and most common mistake I’ve seen.

2 — Be Detailed

It’s easy to forget to add the details when your rushing through and trying to get your work done before the end of the day. Everybody does it. But everyone has also heard the saying that the devil is in the details. And that’s very true especially in accounting.

Adding a quick description, making sure you add the vendor, and that you do detailed breakdowns of each transaction is critical. This little extra work upfront will save you days of research time down the road. Trust me, I’ve had to go back through and add details to a year’s worth of transactions. It’s not fun. Do the work up front and you’ll be happy that you did.

3 — Get Integrated

Listen, if your bank isn’t integrated with QBO, then your bank sucks. There’s just no easy way around that. I know a few people that have to manual input all of their transactions and it sounds like a nightmare.

To solve that, just make sure your bank is integrated. It’ll make your life about a million times easier. Also QBO has all kinds of amazing integrations with all kinds of different software suites. So make sure when your building out your technology platform for your business you take in to consideration if they are integrated with your favorite account software or not.

4 — Know What You Want

QuickBooks is an amazingly powerful tool, but a tool is only as good as the person’s ability to wield it. If you’re running a small hobby business then you could probably get away with some free accounting software, or just MS Excel for that matter. If you’re a massive organization with multiple legal entities then you may want to look at a larger enterprise level software suite with more specialized options.

I find QuickBooks to be great for just general record keeping, which is all I use it for. I keep all my invoices and HR functions separate of the software. I find their intuitive record keeping and reporting is excellent but found the other functionality cumbersome. If you know what you want and how to use it, don’t worry that you’re not utilizing all of the functionality. You probably don’t need it.

5 — Stay Up To Date

Ever go on vacation and come back to look at your email box and freak out? Yeah, it’s a pretty terrible feeling. Just imagine that with your finances. If you go too long without making sure your books are up to date it’s very easy to fall behind and get overwhelmed.

I personally like updating my books every single day, just because I always like to know where I’m at real time. Every now and then I get lazy and will skip it for a few days. This is never a good feeling when I get on and see that I have 100+ transactions to document and record. Stay up to date and document all your transactions while that memory is fresh and you’ll always have a clear picture of exactly where your business is at.

Originally published at ScottKalwei.