I’m teaching my brother how to use QuickBooks and he’s a Ph.D. The reason I mention this is because highly educated people can be brilliant in their field and totally lost in other endeavors. Will knew he needed help but wanted to figure it out himself and ask me for help only when he got stuck. I office down the hall from him so I agreed to this arrangement. And so begins the tale…
Will had learned how to enter bills but wanted supervision when selecting bills for payment and printing checks. I showed him how to simply put a check mark by the bills he wanted to pay and asked him which of two printers he was using so I could insert checks. The first check into the printer was shredded in a paper jam and additional checks were ruined before the printer stopped. As I stared at the ruined checks in silence, Will mentioned that he was getting a lot of paper jams on that printer. After directing few expletives at the PRINTER, I showed him how to easily void the checks, returning the bills to unpaid status, and we printed the checks on a printer of known reliability.
Will is incorporated but, after outsourcing some functions last year, had only two employees in January. QuickBooks has this great online payroll service for small businesses for only $9.95 a month. It not only manages payroll accounting, it allows you to file payroll reports and pay payroll taxes online. In order to pay taxes online you have set up a password protected account with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. I did this for Will and gave him his PIN number and password. I walked him through the short steps of writing an electronic check to the government but, when it came time to enter the PIN and password, Will had lost the information. I told him to wait a minute as I headed to my office to get my backup copy. When I came back Will had decided to try his network password and assured me that everything had gone smoothly.
I said okay and went back to my office, waiting for the other shoe to drop. About ten minutes later, Will called me to say he just received an email that the check had been rejected. I went BACK down the hall, “voided” the payment in QuickBooks and, this time we used the CORRECT PIN and password and, in a couple of minutes, everything was done.
Will doesn’t need me much now. I gave him a good start by setting up his books with an understanding of his business and being there for him when he needed advice.
I relate this story to you because I really ENJOY telling it but, also, to make a point. QuickBooks is an incredible productivity tool. It can save users and business owners a tremendous amount of time conducting business, making it easier for customers to buy from you, managing cash flow and profitability, keeping up with government reporting, and arranging financing.
However, to really make it work for them, users need to start with a vision of how to use it most effectively today, and as their business grows. The best, and ultimately cheapest, way to do this is to find an advisor who already has a vision of all QuickBooks can do and the ability to match that to your current and future business needs. They can start you on the right path and help you quickly take advantage of QuickBooks.
Will doesn’t know that I’m writing this about him so please don’t let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He’ll probably tell mom on me.
Robert Guild is certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor in Austin, TX who conducts CPE courses for CPAs and individual training and group classes to QuickBooks users. His company Accounting Insight maintains a sixteen station QuickBooks lab, providing hands on training. You can contact him directly at email@example.com