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Before you go to the trouble of learning QuickBooks, it is a good idea to make sure it can do what you want. But once you've passed that hurdle, your next decision is which edition of QuickBooks is right for you. QuickBooks can do a lot, but there are some things it wasn't designed to handle. It's meant to track small- business finances, not personal finances. It can't track investments like stocks and bonds or the capital gains and dividends they pay. Quicken is Intuit's program specifically for personal finances.
QuickBooks stores customer information, but it isn't a customer relationship management program. You want to use a CRM database or other programs to keep track of details like event registrations, memberships, sales status, or project progress. QuickBooks has editions for the smallest of small businesses to the biggest fish in the small biz pond. The Mac version is a lot different than the Windows version. This course covers only the Windows version.
QuickBooks Pro is the middle- of-the-road workhorse edition. It handles basics like paying bills, printing checks, invoicing customers, and tracking income, expenses, time worked and inventory. It handles budgeting, foreign currencies, electronic bank transactions and merchant credit cards. You can email forms and import and export data. However, only up to five people can work in a file at the same time and you can only store up to 14,500 names or have up to 10,000 on other lists like your chart of accounts and item list.
QuickBooks Premier is higher-end. There are industry editions with specialized features for accountants, contractors, manufacturing and wholesale, retail, professional services and nonprofits. With inventory, you can assemble it from components. You can also create sales orders and set up price levels, which are discounts or markups on individual items. You can create a business plan or forecast your sales and expenses. Like QuickBooks Pro, up to five people can work in a file at the same time and you can store up to 14,500 names or have 10,000 on other lists.
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is for the largest of small businesses. It has more powerful administrative features like more user permission settings and delegating functions to others. It runs a lot faster too. You can also track inventory in multiple warehouses and use bar coding and you can have up to thirty concurrent users in the company file and you can store up to a million names. QuickBooks Online does less than QuickBooks Pro and it costs more over the long run. It doesn't have time tracking, inventory, merchant credit cards, foreign currencies or importing data.
But you can get to it anywhere you can find an Internet connection. QuickBooks Simple Start is very limited. One user at a time can do basic bookkeeping, no inventory, no time tracking, and no online banking. If you want to track business finances, QuickBooks probably has an edition for you. QuickBooks Pro works for a lot of small companies, but another edition might be just what you're looking for.
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