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If you've just started your company, you can create a QuickBooks company file with a clean slate. But for a company that's been around for a while, QuickBooks wants to know several things about it before the program can create your company file. Gathering that information before you sit down at the computer is the quickest way to get the job done. If your company is brand new, the start date is easy. Use the date you incorporated or opened your business bank account. If your business has been around for a while, you don't have to start your QuickBooks records at the very beginning.
The best start date is the last date of your previous fiscal year. That way, you'll have complete text records for your current fiscal year. Also your initial account balances are like the ending balances on your bank statement. You're ready to start the new fiscal year fresh, and you'll have everything you need at the end of the year. In the middle of the year, you could start at the beginning of a fiscal quarter or fiscal month. However, if you do that, gathering records at tax time will be more difficult.
You also need account balances as of your start date. For each bank account, get the bank statement with the statement date close to but earlier than your start date. Get copies of all your open customer invoices or statements and gather up all your unpaid bills. For assets you own, you need the current value. Your last tax return shows the value and accumulated depreciation. If you track inventory, you need the number of items in stock as of your start date.
How much you paid for them and how much you'll sell them for. Your tax return has another important number, your Federal Tax ID Number. And if you do payroll, get your most recent payroll reports. After you have all this information at your side, you're ready to create your QuickBooks company file.
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