Here are the quickest ways — the shortcuts — to running into trouble with QuickBooks:

  1. Get a business owner — not a professional bookkeeper or accountant — to set up the books. This is like a business owner who is not in the construction business pouring their own concrete and putting in their office plumbing themselves. You can maybe do it, but you probably won’t do it that well, and it’s hard to undo/redo it later.
  2. Postpone reconciling…for months. Sometimes it’s a headache to reconcile your bank accounts and credit card accounts. And who likes a headache? If you put off reconciling for another day, then your reports won’t be accurate and you create an even bigger headache later on.
  3. Don’t backup your data; assume that your computer hardware and software will always be healthy. Assume that because QuickBooks is working great today, it will be fine tomorrow as well. Take a gamble…what’s the worst that could happen? You can always fork out a few hundred to get your data repaired.
  4. Entrust everything to one person. Bookkeeping fraud and embezzlement is what happens to the other guy, right? Have only one set of eyes on the books, the one person who receives and pays the bills, supervises payroll, writes checks, reconciles the books, and prepares the financials. That’s a shortcut to white collar crime in your office.

Anything else to put on the how-not-to list?

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2 thoughts on “How-NOT-to Guide for Using QuickBooks

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday - Tips from Around the Web - 7/5/2011 | QuickBooks for Contractors blog

  2. One way to not use QuickBooks correctly is to decide to not enter any checks you have written.

    A second is to decide not to use it to create sales receipts and/or invoices and payments (and then not have a clue which are your most profitable clients) along with your deposits received via undeposited funds.

    And then try to figure out why you have $6,000 in bank service charges for overdraft fees.


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