Tag Archives: accounting-software

140 QuickBooks Tips eBook is Ready to Help You

Seth has written another eBook, and I was only too happy to collaborate with him on it. Following is his introduction to the newest creation.

I have written another eBook, and this one is called 140 QuickBooks Tips. Once again, Chris Pirillo has been gracious enough to co-brand this with me so that more people might benefit from the help it offers in terms of the little things that make it easier to use QuickBooks. There is a reason why QuickBooks is the #1 accounting software in this country – and possibly in the world. I have used QuickBooks since the DOS version and it has always been very easy for me to use. Since I live, eat, and pretty much breathe QuickBooks, I have a search column set up on my Tweet Deck Application based on the word “QuickBooks”.

This lets me see any time someone uses the word “QuickBooks” in their tweet. Of course, I see a lot of people like me posting blurbs with links to blog posts with QuickBooks Tutorials. In my case, every QuickBooks Blog post comes with some sort of QuickBooks Video Tutorial. These are screencasts showing you step-by-step where to click and what to type in order to accomplish those things that you need to be able to do with the software. While viewing this Twitter feed on QuickBooks, I see many complaints about the program not being able to do something. I will probably make some people mad when I say this, but the reality from my own experience is that 90% of time it is user error. This is not to say that the QuickBooks user is a bad person. The QuickBooks user more than likely is a very good person frustrated by their own lack of experience and knowledge. Again, QuickBooks is the #1 Accounting software in the country and because of that I think people expect it to be completely easy to do everything that they want to do in QuickBooks.

The fact is that QuickBooks is accounting software and as such it helps to have some knowledge of accounting. It goes beyond writing checks and recording deposits. Usually from what I see, the frustration sets in when the person using QuickBooks does not have the accounting background and therefore not only doesn’t understand how to do what they want to, but doesn’t understand from an accounting perspective why it is not feasible to do it. Nine times out of ten it is not that it can’t be done, it is more a matter of understanding the accounting fundamentals which gives rise to the understanding of how to get QuickBooks, an accounting program to do what you need it to. Since I have the accounting knowledge as well as the practical I am able to go from what we want the transactions to look like (this takes a good solid understanding of how the financial statements work and relate to one another) to how it needs to be accomplished at the nuts and bolts level.

It is based on this experience that I have written 140 QuickBooks Tips. My expectation is that you will find more than a few gems in here that will help you do something you didn’t know before or help you to do it better than before. There are also some Accounting tips that will help you understand what you will want to learn more about in order to be a more effective QuickBooks User such as learning about the relationships between the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet Accounts. When CPA’s review or audit a set of books, they go through the balance sheet thoroughly knowing that along the way they will hit most of the important areas of the Profit and Loss. Then they review the profit and loss. And did you know that the Statement of Cash flows is really the most important one, yet it is the least often understood by owners of small businesses? Get your copy of 140 QuickBooks Tips today and please visit my blog for a whole lot more of great QuickBooks tips and free video tutorials on how to use QuickBooks more effectively in your own business.

Be sure to check out the many other excellent eBooks we have available.

Accounting Software

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – My parents are visiting because they attended our Gnomedex conference. Dad is an Accountant, and I thought it would be a fun twist to get his take on some technical issues… beginning with accounting software.

The first computer we had at home was an old Imsai. It was a huge machine, with two floppy drives. We had to install a program disc into one drive to run Dad’s accounting programs for work, and a data disc into the other drive. This machine, complete with software, cost around $20,000.00 back then.

The first spreadsheet program Dad remembers using was called Multiplan. Multiplan was developed by Microsoft, and was the basis for Microsoft Excel. Dad then used Lotus 1-2-3 for several years. Even though he’s used Excel many times, he just is more comfortable with Lotus. He finds that it is easy for him to write a macro for Lotus to perform functions for him… but not easy in Excel. Excel is not as user friendly, and Microsoft makes it hard to find proper help for basic tasks.

QuickBooks is not a program that Dad recommends. You should be very careful when using this software. If you make a change to a transaction that is a few years old, it will change everything up until the present, and not necessarily correctly. Quicken, on the other hand, is a very user friendly software for home users. It works well with Turbo Tax. The advent of programs like Turbo Tax has made people essentially lazy, much as the calculator made people forget how to do basic math.

Dad and I played around a bit with Apple’s Numbers 08. This is a spreadsheet program for Macs. The templates are good. You can find mortgage calculators, invoice creators, and even expense reports. Without delving too deeply as of yet, Numbers appears to be an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel. Apple offers free video tutorials to help you figure out advanced functions.

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Free Software vs Free Trial

I don’t know if I’d call myself a software expert, by any stretch of the imagination – but I do know good software (and a good deal) when I see it. Window Clippings just went shareware, and I started an exchange with Kenny Kerr about this move – specifically, related to the new licensing structure (what it was, how it works, etc.). After sending him the following bit of text, he responded with a link to his earlier assertion.

I suppose the following is applicable to anybody who develops and releases software online as “free trial” or has software downloads geared towards on generating registrations.

So long as you don’t get picky about licenses tied to machines (please, don’t get me started about activation crap). If registration isn’t convenient for me (read: PayPal) , and if licensing is annoying (read: limited), and if the upgrade path is cost-prohibitive (read: paying for the same thing over and over again), I’ll walk – or, I’ll find something that’s open source and/or free.

Either way, subsequent licenses should be at *LEAST* half off (if not more). Let me put it to you this way: $10 isn’t much, but it means more to me if that covers a perpetual license that’s not tied to any one computer or another. It’s the reason I switched from UltraEdit (shareware, hellish upgrade path – even discounted) to PSPad (free).

Most shareware authors are mediocre developers and rotten marketers. They’re either too greedy, don’t understand their own marketplace, or they have absolutely no business savvy whatsoever. It’s the reason why I believe the entire shareware industry is in deep trouble. Deep, deep, deep trouble. The Web is killing ’em.

Exception to the rule? OS X.

You could do $10 once, $1 for each additional upgrade – and if you tie the registration into the user’s PayPal account, and you have a seamless upgrade path (all done within the utility itself), you could make upgrading painless and affordable. They could still upgrade without paying the extra buck for the new version, and the new version would fall back on its “basic” self. No harm, no foul. EVERYBODY can afford a buck, especially if it’s convenient.

Just don’t nag, man… ever. That’ll wipe you off my radar quicker than you can say “Milli Vanilli.” There are very few software titles that I’m willing to pay for – and even the ones I do pay for wind up disappointing me at some point. Right now, Window Clippings is nice to have – but not “$10 nice” yet, especially with a questionable upgrade path.

There are too many [X] utilities out there for me to say this is a slam dunk for you.