Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a new company file, part of QuickBooks for Mac Essential Training.
It's very easy to get started in QuickBooks. QuickBooks will walk you through many of the first crucial steps to setting up your company file. I'm on the no company open screen, so I'm going to select Get Started. You will need to know some details before you start. You need to know the type of company you're creating, such as a corporation, or an LLC. And you'll also need to know the start date for your company. And I'll talk about that in a little bit. But for now, the first thing that we have to do is create the physical file that's going to reside on your computer.
I'm going to create a new company for my company called Two Trees Olive Oil. So the first thing I'm going to do is give it a name, and you can put spaces in there so I'll call it Two Trees Olive Oil. You can save it wherever you want on your Mac, in this case, I'll save it to the default place it wants to go, which is the Documents folder. From here click the blue Save button, and now we can move on to putting in more information. The first thing you can change is the legal name of your company. For example, it maybe different than your company name, which could be a doing business as or a DBA.
You can also put in the address. And then you can put in the country, now here's where you put in the company start date. Once you enter the start date for a company in QuickBooks, you can't change it so it is important. Here's why it's important, this is a date that simply exists so that you can line it up with your opening balances for your accounts, that's what really important. Your transactions start being line itemed as of the date you tell QuickBooks you're in business. Anything before that is considered an existing balance, so you need to know what those balances are.
If you've been doing business for a while and you already have a business bank account, then you need to know what the current balance is for that bank account as of the date you say that your company's starting. Also be aware of what and how many open invoices you may have already been sending to customers. Maybe you created those invoices using a word processing document, and you've been doing it manually up until now. It's important to note all the opening balances for your customers and your bank accounts. In this case, I'm going to say that we've been in business since August 8, 2013.
Next you need to know the income tax form used. It's a pull-down. Are you a corporation, or an S corporation, or an LLC? Now in these cases, you'd have a federal ID number and you'd put that in here. This separates the business from your own identity, and the business has its own tax forms while you keep your tax forms to yourself. Or, you could be a sole proprietership, in which you conduct business as a DBA, doing business as. However, the business taxes are filed using your social security number.
This way you file your taxes and fill out a form itemizing your business expenses, and then you add on your business income as additional income. If you don't know what type of business you are or you haven't decided yet, choose a sole proprietorship, because it's the least amount of paperwork and it's easier to change later on. I'll click the blue Next button to keep going and now you need to choose the industry. Now what this is for is to let QuickBooks choose some chart of accounts that it thinks you might want.
It's just a way to get a head start, so you've got a very long list here. So you can take your time, read through this list, and decide if any of these fit the type of business that you're in. Now, I'm an olive oil business. I can't find an exact match, and if that happens to you also, right down at the bottom, they have a general product-based business, and a general service-based business. And again, don't worry if you do have a product-based business that also has services. I'm going to show you that Two Trees Olive Oil is in that exact same situation.
Likewise for a service based business, you could have products and this is okay. It's just to give you some default chart of accounts. So I'm going to go ahead and select general product-based business, and here's where we can see all the accounts that's going to be activated by default in QuickBooks, and we can turn these on or off at any time. But for now because you want to start off on the right foot, take your time and go through these and see if there's going to be any that you know you're going to want to have. For example, business licenses and permits, charitable contributions.
If you're a sole proprietorship you'll need to get a business license in your own town so you'll want to have that as an expense account. You can also see the type of account over here on the right. For example, is it an income account, a liability account, a cost of goods sold, or an expense account? And if it's confusing, don't worry, it will all make sense when we talk about expense accounts. I'm going to add one more for printing and reproduction as an expense account, because I am going to be making my own ads. I am a small business.
And once I'm happy with these, I can click Finish. I've created my account. It's reminding me where I put it on my computer, and it's letting me know what it's called. It's in the Documents folder and it's called Two Trees Olive Oil.qb2014. It's also reminding you that there is a Help file. And now we can click the blue OK button to access our company file and get started.
- Setting up a new company file
- Working with the chart of accounts
- Adding bank accounts and credit cards
- Setting up sales tax
- Adding customer, vendor, and employee profiles
- Billing customers
- Receiving payments
- Handling refunds
- Recording deposits
- Sharing QuickBooks with others
- Running reports