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Why Accountants Should Use QuickBooks

Accountant Desktop 2015

offers an exceptionable accounting tool for PC users. The application is clear, intuitive and simple, with easily accessible shortcuts that give visual flowcharts of every accounting need, from transactions related to vendors to customers, employees, and banking. This version also makes it easy to fix accounting errors and to reclassify transactions. This trial version is free for 160 days and works with Windows 7, Vista and XP. The software is available for purchase through Intuit for as much as $499 per year. However, other retailers offer the program for less if one is looking to shop around. POS-Deals.com, for example, is offering it at a $220 discount.

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This software did include a tutorial, which consisted of video guides, offering a basic tour of the software. The video guide was helpful, but the application is already very user friendly so many of the processes are intuitive and not difficult to understand. The Home Page is set to a perfectly comprehensible flow chart, with icons and titles (such as Purchase Orders, Receive Inventory, Enter Bills, Pay Bills) that the user can click, which will bring up a new window into which the required information can easily be entered, as a template for that particular purpose is already prepared.

Section II: Transactional Processing

The Revenue Cycle is clearly illustrated in the Home Page flowchart. Starting at the beginning, the user can create and maintain customers by clicking on the Create Invoices icon, Sales Orders, Create Sales Receipts, or the Receive Payments icon. Each of these icons flows into the other and each allows one to “add new” customers to the database, so there is no confusion about what to do and one can start where one likes. Adding customers is simple: Each new window gives you the option of updating the database with a “new” customer and all you need to do is follow the prompts to input information. The new customer will be added and maintaining the customer within the database is no work at all because once the data is in, QuickBooks keeps it: maintaining it is as easy as updating the Sales or Payments sections, which are accessed by clicking the icon and following the prompts in the new window.

The icon Create Invoices is what you would click on to create a customer invoice and all one needs to do is enter the relevant information into the template. The same goes for applying customer payments.

The reports that can be run to provide information regarding customers and their orders are located in the Reports tab to the left of the screen. The reports that can be generated are numerous and range from Customers & Receivables (what customers owe) to Sales, Jobs, Inventory, Retail, etc. For this section, we would click Sales and then “Run” and the Report would be generated in a new window. One has the option of a basic or a detailed report. In the Appendix, you will find a copy of the summary report for Sales to customer orders.

Reports regarding key revenue cycle information, such as sales, accounts receivable and cash can all be run by clicking on the Reports tab on the left side of the screen and choosing the appropriate report to run in the new window.

The Expenditure Cycle is just as simple to access. The Home Page flowchart shows Vendors at the top of the page. One can choose from several icons to begin — Purchase Orders, Enter Bills, Receive Inventory, etc. You can easily create and maintain vendors the same way that you create and maintain customers, by clicking on any of the icons in the Vendors section that you would like to begin with and clicking “add new” in spot where you wish to select a vendor. The “New Vendor” window will open and allow you to enter in the Vendor’s Name, opening balance, date of opening, address info, contact info, details, and more. This is the same method of entry as with the New Customer entry. To create and maintain an inventory, it is just as simple. The icons Receive Inventory and Enter Bills Against Inventory are front and center of the Vendors section. There is also an icon for Inventory Activities on the right side of the Home Page in the Company section, and inventory can also be managed from here.

Payments to Vendors can be generated by going to Enter Bills and then to Pay Bills in the Vendor section, or by going to Purchase Orders, which will lead ultimately to the same place. Arrows in each section visually direct the user through the process, so there is no difficulty in understanding where to go.

Reports that can be run to provide information regarding vendors and accounts payable are the summary and the detailed report, both of which are found by clicking on Reports on the left side of the Home Page under My Shortcuts, then Vendors in the window that opens and Run beneath the report you wish to select. In the Appendix can be found a copy of the Vendor Summary Report. Purchases, Inventory and Cash reports can also be selected within this same window. Or these can be accessed by using the menu bar at the top of the page, clicking on Reports, scrolling down and selecting from the numerous options.

The Financing Cycle is also simple to find and easy to access. A chart of accounts can be accessed by clicking on the “Accnt” shortcut key to the left of the screen. This will open a new window. New accounts can be added by clicking on “new” and identified according to income or expense, etc. Or you can simply look to the right under the Company section and click on the icon Chart of Accounts. Both ways take you to the same window.

To make general journal entries, you can go to the header bar at the top of the screen, click on Company, and scroll down to the selection Make General Journal Entries. This will open a new window for you to .

Key financial statements can be created and maintained by clicking on Customers in the menu bar and scrolling down to Statements. Key financial reports that are available can be found by clicking Reports in the menu bar, scrolling down to Company and Financial and choosing from the list of financial reports, such as Profit and Loss standard. This would be a key report that could be generated for measuring the firm’s financial performance. Another could be the Cash Flow Forecast which is also a report that can be run. This report can be found in the Appendix.

Section III: Your Final Thoughts

I selected QuickBooks because I have heard positive things about it from others and I wanted to try it for myself. I am very happy I have tried it because it is easy and simple to use and requires almost no guidance. If one knows what one is looking for and can follow directions, QuickBooks Accountant Desktop 2015 is a great way to start accounting for whatever business you are operating. This method of accounting will likely be extremely easy for accountants to use.

I myself had no trouble using it. The application is visually appealing. The Home Page flowchart is perfectly expressive of all one’s accounting needs. It shows how one accounting action connects to another and how the entire accounting universe essentially fits together in one simple to understand flowchart. So while there are many different flavors of QuickBooks (Nelson, 2012), I prefer this one — but that is not to say it is for everyone.

But what is good about the program is that you are not forced to operate directly from the flowchart. The menu options at the top of the page allow you to move quickly to any section that you want to access. The shortcut keys on the left side of the screen can also provide quick and easy access to things like Reports.

Ultimately, QuickBooks is an optimal way to keep accounting practices quick and easy and I would highly recommend it for any beginner or professional accountant, which is probably why QuickBooks is used by thousands of companies and small businesses around the world (Biafore, 2015). Its popularity is attributable to the intuitive outlay of its program and its user-friendly flowcharts that facilitate bookkeeping for even the most amateur accountant yet provide a lightning-quick accessibility for anyone who has previous experience.

References

Biafore, B. (2015). QuickBooks 2015: The Missing Manual. CA: O’Reilly Media.

Nelson, S. (2012). QuickBooks Simple Start for Dummies. NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Section IV: Appendix

1. Sales by Customer Summary Report

2. Vendors Summary Report

3. Cash Flow Forecast Report

4. Screen Copy of Creating an Invoice

5. Screen Copy of Adding a New Vendor

6. Screen Copy of

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