Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a company file, part of QuickBooks Pro 2010 Essential Training.
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Creating a company file is easy whether you're new to QuickBooks or a seasoned veteran. The Easy Step Interview steps you through the basics of creating your company file, and setting it up to suit your business. If you don't want the handholding, you can skip the interview and set the company file up on your own. To create a company file, on the File menu choose New Company. The Get Started window tells you it takes about 30 minutes to set up your company file and that's about right.
To use the Easy Step Interview, click Start Interview. The Enter your company information screen asks for your company 411. As you'll see later, you fill in the same information if you create a company file manually. The only field you have to fill in right now is the company name. The legal name is the one you use on tax returns and legal documents. The only time the legal name is different than the company name is for a sole proprietorship, when the legal name is the name of the person.
Fill in the rest of the boxes if you want and then click Next. When you select an industry, QuickBooks sets up the chart of accounts list with accounts typical for that industry. But you can change the chart of accounts later on if you want. If you don't find an industry that sounds right, you can pick General Product-based Business or General Services-based Business. They are at the very bottom of the list. Click Next. Select the type of company you have and QuickBooks assigns the correct tax form for your company file.
Most small businesses use the calendar year. In this case, leave January in the box and click Next. But if your fiscal year starts in a different month, choose it from the dropdown list. The administrator user can do anything in the company file, so you don't want to skip this step. Type the password you want in both boxes. Then click Next. To go ahead and create your company file, click Next.
Choose the folder where you want to create your company file. If you're the only person who works on the file, put it in a folder that you back up. If several people work on the file, put it somewhere they all can reach like a shared folder. QuickBooks sets the file type, so you can type the name for the file, if it's different than the company name, and click Save. It will take a couple of minutes for QuickBooks to create the file. After the file is created, you can start to customize QuickBooks for your business.
Click Next to continue. If you want to take a break, you can always click Leave and come back later. When you click Next, QuickBooks asks a series of questions about how your company works. For example, choose an option to tell QuickBooks what you sell and it sets up income accounts for you. If you don't want to accept an option that QuickBooks offers, just select the I don't option and click Next.
If you charge sales tax, select Yes and the program turns on the preferences for sales tax. Based on the industry you picked, the wizard recommends settings for your business. You can always change the preferences later. So for the most part, you can keep the choices the wizard makes. I am going to accept several of the options that QuickBooks recommends.
Multiple currencies is the one you have to be careful with. You can't turn multiple currencies off once they are turned on, so if you aren't sure whether you need multiple currencies, be sure to leave No selected. Remember the start date you learned about in the video on gathering information? Here is where you tell QuickBooks your start date. Click Next to continue.
You can review all the accounts that QuickBooks setup for you, and if they look right, click Next. When you see the Congratulations screen, your company setup is done. Click Finish to open your company file. You can register QuickBooks at this point or click Remind Me Later to get on with your work. Out of the box, QuickBooks turns on the QuickBooks Coach, which can help you get started using the program. The QuickBooks Coach panel opens up on the window.
When you click Start Working, the Coach begins displaying tips. It won't take long for the Coach to grow old. To turn off the tips, click Hide Coach Tips, or to turn them off permanently, on the Edit menu, choose Preferences. Click Desktop View. Turn off the Show Coach window and features check box, and click OK.
Now that your company file is opened you can start recording transactions and keeping your books with QuickBooks.
- Establishing a company file and Chart of Accounts
- Creating purchase orders and paying bills
- Invoicing customers
- Tracking time, mileage, and other non-inventory items
- Monitoring sales and inventory
- Paying sales tax
- Reconciling accounts and bank statements
- Running and printing reports