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    What Is QuickBooks Online and How Do I Get Started?

    What Is QuickBooks Online and How Do I Get Started?

    Managing your business’ finances can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have much experience with the subject matter. Luckily, there are many powerful tools that you can use to make things easier on yourself, including cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online. Here’s what you need to know about it and how to get started.

    1. What Is QuickBooks Online And Who Can Use It?

    QuickBooks Online is web-based accounting software that allows you to manage your finances from any location. It can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Its cloud-based nature means there’s no need to install software on your computer, which helps streamline bookkeeping for small businesses because it saves time by removing installation processes. QuickBooks was created by Intuit Inc., which also creates tax preparation software like TurboTax. Because of its parent company, QuickBooks includes tax preparation capabilities as well as financial management tools that allow businesses to track their progress without too much effort.

    2. Choosing Between The Basic And Plus Versions

    You’ll notice when you start your QuickBooks Online login process that you have two versions of it: Basic or Plus. The Basic version is limited in its features, but most small businesses should find that it meets their needs—if they don’t, they can upgrade to Plus. If your business has accounts payable and receivable, multiple employees, inventory management, or recurring billing options, then you will want to upgrade to Plus right away (or at least try it out). It offers a broader range of functionality than Basic. Otherwise, stick with Basic. In both cases, though you have great tutorials available in their Help section along with user forums and other online resources so no matter which plans you go with you will be able to set up your books within just a few minutes.

    3. Getting Familiar With The Interface

    After signing up for an account, you can start a free trial of QuickBooks Online. Once you’ve created your company file, you can log in with your username and password at any time. If you forget either, or if you need to make changes to them, click on My Account in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Here, there is a link to Edit Profile & Settings where you can change information like your password.

    4. Managing Invoices, Customers, And Payments

    Managing invoices is an important part of using accounting software like QuickBooks. Understanding how customers will pay you, how to manage your expenses, and which customers need reminders can save you time. This way, you won’t miss a due date or forget to send a receipt for their purchase. If a customer needs to be paid ASAP or if they have missing information, you can use reminders to make sure you don’t forget about them! It also helps increase customer satisfaction by showing that you care about them as individuals.

    5. Monitoring Your Business Performance

    Successful startups begin with a solid business plan, but growth comes from actively monitoring your performance. It’s important to track revenue, expenses, profitability, and more to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. By keeping an eye on your KPIs (key performance indicators), you can quickly spot problems before they impact your business. For example, if you find that you aren’t making enough money to cover your costs, you might need to make adjustments or even consider scaling back operations until things improve. If sales are slow, on the other hand, it might be time to offer new services or cross-sell products with existing customers.

    6. Printing Checks From QuickBooks Online

    Printing checks from QuickBooks is a little more difficult than it is with desktop software, but there are still plenty of options. You can use a third-party vendor that provides online check printing services, or you can print your checks on blank stock, purchase preprinted checks at your bank or elsewhere, or you can go old school and use carbon paper. All three methods have their advantages and disadvantages, so choosing a method will depend on your needs and how often you print checks. If you need to print frequently but not often enough to justify purchasing preprinted stock, going with a third-party online service might be best for your business.

    7. Creating Reports

    Reports are a fantastic way to get a snapshot of your business's financial health at any given moment. From these reports, you can gauge everything from overall revenue to individual invoices, providing you with an incredibly detailed picture of where your business stands on any given day. Some commonly used reports include Income Statement (also known as Profit & Loss), Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, General Ledger, Trial Balance, and Accounts Receivable Aging Report. Each report provides valuable insight into your current situation; however, it is important to realize that each report is designed for specific purposes. For example, analyzing a single Invoice in Sales Reports will not provide you with nearly as much detail as analyzing specific Invoice information from Customer Statements or Sales Orders within Accounts Receivable Reports.

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