We get calls from a lot of people who are setting up QuickBooks for the first time and need some help. How do you find local training and consulting resources?

Fortunately, it’s quite easy. You simply dial up a QuickBooks Pro Advisor by zip code. There’s a good chance that there is a professional QuickBooks consultant near you.

You’ll see a list of consultants in your area. Read their information and the reviews their clients have given them. Pick a few that look good to you and give them a call. Find out their rates and, more importantly, their experience in doing first time set up for QuickBooks newbies. Ask them what their approach would be. Then make an appointment with one you feel comfortable with.

If you are looking for online training with live trainer interaction in an online seminar format, explore the online classes offered through AccountingUsers, Inc.

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If you want help while using QuickBooks, you’ve got some pretty good built-in resources:

* Context-sensitive help. Wherever you are in QuickBooks, you can press the F1 key to bring up a side panel of help for the QuickBooks function you are in. On entry screens, there is usually a Help button you can click that brings up the same side panel help.

* If you don’t know how to do something in QuickBooks (or how to get to the right screen), click Help on the top menu, and then click QuickBooks Help. Then click the Search tab. Enter the topic you need help on and click the right-arrow that serves as Enter. It will bring up a list of topics related to your search word(s). Click the topic that looks closest, and QuickBooks will display help content in the sidebar.

If you need “big picture” type help, you can click Help / Learning Center Tutorials. This pulls up a window with built-in video tutorials on various sections of QuickBooks (e.g. Payroll, Inventory, etc.) Here’s what the beginning of the “paying employees” tutorial looks like:

This is the beginning of the "Paying Employees" tutorial

Each tutorial video is several minutes long and has standard video controls for pausing, fast forwarding, and volume.

If you need help beyond what is built into QuickBooks’ internal help system or tutorials, you can access free online help at the Intuit Live Community or the independent QuickBooks Forums. For live help (fee based), call 1-800-999-9209.

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