Recently, a family client wanted to update the QuickBooks version used to run a family business. Since I had installed the previous version, I was asked. I didn’t realize how long ago I installed the previous version. They were running QuickBooks 99. Perfectly good, of course, but things have changed since then. About the same time, I was offered the opportunity to look at QuickBooks 2012: the Official Guide as a review copy.
The timing was perfect.
This book is a comprehensive guide to QB2012, created in cooperation with Intuit. The opening section lays out how to start from scratch. Capachietti tells you what information to gather for starting out. She also gives choices between the most detailed way (every transaction from the beginning of time) and less detailed ways (customer balances to date). She even tells you how to decide based on how far into the year you are.
QuickBooks gives many choices about the kinds of items you are entering (services, inventory, non-inventory). Because the family I was helping does a service (tanning hides for taxidermists), this discussion was particularly helpful. As I read through this setup section (140 pages), I realized some things we could have done better a decade ago. If you are starting to use QuickBooks, take the time to work through this section. It will shape the rest of your life with the software.
This is not a flashy book. There aren’t lots of fonts and bright headlines and graphics. Those are all in the QuickSteps book (see below). Instead, this book explains how and why things work in QuickBooks. It gives options, tells why you might want to use features (which is very helpful for those of us who experiment but don’t want to blow up the whole company. I discovered this approach when I read “Often, this feature is used shortly after you start using QuickBooks as a way to ‘start all over’.”) More than 10% of the book is table of contents and index. For most books, this would be padding; for this kind of book, it shows respect to the brother-in-law trying to get it right.
QuickBooks 2012: QuickSteps is the picture version of using QuickBooks 2012, also by McGraw-Hill. Lots of screenshots, lots of color in the layout, and one-third the size of the Official Guide. It covers the same material and would be helpful for getting going quickly. But I confess, I needed more explanations because of the way I learn.
Software guides aren’t always interesting, are often not useful, and frequently are poorly designed (from a reading perspective). The Official Guide is an exception for all three.
The links to the books are Amazon affiliate links. If you buy through them, it supports my 300 Words a Day project.
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Jon has been a regular reader and occasional contributor around here since 2006. Jon works as a pastor, but he understands business better than many so-called business people. He gets that it is about people, relationships, service, and yes, even love.