Setting up a small business is challenging enough for anybody but making the business work requires keeping a firm grip on the finances. Sadly businesses often fail through inadequate control of the accounts even though their creators may have good ideas, flair, perseverance or other ingredients of success.
To the aspiring entrepreneur QuickBooks, the off-the-shelf bookkeeping software package, comes as a godsend. It is easy - even pleasurable - to use; it is free of technical jargon, and is recommended by the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Ideal for any small business (working on a cash or accrual basis) that writes cheques and invoices or tracks accounts receivable or accounts payable, the software works on Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. Invoicing, purchase ordering, income and expense accounts, accounts payable and receivable, stock control, budgeting, extensive management reporting, aged debtor analysis, reconciling bank accounts, profit and loss reports, balance sheets, payroll, VAT the nuts and bolts of general accounting - are featured in the software in a user-friendly way.
No experience needed
No previous knowledge of accounting is assumed, yet QuickBooks works on the principles of sound business accounting according to the double-entry system. Intuit provide an introductory tutorial of the system (QuickTour) in the software; they also provide an excellent beginner's handbook and clearly written user's guide with the software. Good indexes in the guide and on screen guide you quickly to a topic. Intuitive windows throughout the software live up to the software company's name and philosophy. Prompt options give advice within every window.
You are allowed to correct mistakes without going through an elaborate string of journal entries. Data can be entered and amended until it is right. Data correctly entered can be protected.
There is a good selection of pre-set reports with a good flexible report writer for making your own reports that can be memorised. An ingenious user can truly wax creative. Setting your own parameters is made easy with straightforward selection and filtering procedures. The QuickZoom facility enables you to double click on most figures given in any report you have on screen to give you a detailed report of how that figure was calculated or what it represents. Classification and sub-classification of customers and of items and services are possible, however, I have not found a way of linking several customers...