Installing, Setting Up, and Using QuickBooks Desktop Pro

Though QuickBooks Desktop Pro is one of the most widely-used accounting software suites on the market today, it isn’t always the easiest to use. From initial setup to sending an invoice, this guide will walk you through the process of getting started with QuickBooks Desktop Pro.

Installing QuickBooks on Your PC

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to download and install QuickBooks Desktop Pro. Be sure to refer to the hardware requirements to ensure that your PC can keep up. Now, you’ll need a software license. You can buy the software in two ways:

  • From QuickBooks’ website
  • From a local office supply store (prices may vary)

If you bought your license from the website, you’ll need your product and license numbers to create an account. Refer to your order confirmation email or go here to start the download.

If you purchased the software in an office supply store, you’ll find the product and license number on the back of the box. Once you’ve done that, carefully insert the disc in your PC. From here, the setup and installation processes are the same, no matter how you obtained the software license.

Accepting the License Agreement and Entering Your License Info

When you’ve downloaded and installed the software, you’ll see a screen where you’ll accept the QuickBooks Desktop Pro license agreement. Simply click the “next” button to do so. Now, you’ll enter the product and license numbers referenced above.

Choosing a Setup Method

Finally, you’re ready to choose a setup method. You have two choices: Custom and Network Options or Express. We recommend the Express option, but as always, you can click the “?” icon at the bottom left of the screen to find out which method you should use. Once you’ve chosen a setup option, the software will finish the installation process.

Creating an Account

Now that you’ve installed the QuickBooks Pro software, you can set up an account. Here, you have two choices: starting from scratch or converting existing data from another program. For this guide, we’ll show you how to create a new account, so you’ll click “Start Setup”. However, if you’re converting data, you’ll need to choose the “Other Options” menu and use the QuickBooks guide to convert your files.

Further Account Setup

Next, you’ll type in your business name and choose your company’s industry. If you’re not sure, the “Help Me Choose” drop-down menu is useful. Type in your EIN or employee identification number and enter your business’ address (don’t forget the correct country, city, and postal code). Finally, provide your company’s phone number.

Once you’ve given all of the above information, simply click the button at the bottom right corner of the screen to create a company within QuickBooks Desktop Pro. If you see a welcome screen, your company file creation was successful.

Learning About QuickBooks Pro and Its Organization

The first time you use QuickBooks Desktop Pro, you may be overwhelmed. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll explain its basic organization here.

The first thing you’ll see is the home screen. At first, it may just look like a random grouping of icons, but it’s more organized than it seems at first. Each of these icons represents one of QuickBooks Pro’s most important features, and they’re grouped into five different sections:

  • Banking
  • Company
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Vendors

Along with the home screen mentioned above, you’ll see a menu on the left side of your screen; it has several sections such as Home, Bill Tracker, Bank Feeds, Add Payroll, Services, and Feedback. These shortcuts, as they’re called, are fully customizable. By clicking any one of them, you’ll be taken to the appropriate software feature.

Though the home screen and the shortcut menu will both take you to some of QuickBooks Pro’s most important features, the most crucial area for you to consider is the Quick Access toolbar. You’ll find it at the top of your screen, and it provides access to most of the program’s functions. It works much like the toolbar you’d find in Google Docs or Microsoft Word; each tab brings you to a comprehensive drop-down menu. Though it seems like a lot to remember, don’t worry, as the search bar in the top left corner of your screen will help you find what you need.

Editing Preferences

In QuickBooks Pro, the “Settings” section is known as Preferences. It’s a good idea to take some time getting to know the settings and options here. Of course, your selections will depend on your needs and your industry, so we won’t go into too much detail here. However, we will give you a quick rundown of some of the things you can change:

  • Which currencies you accept
  • Enabling/disabling inventory features
  • Enabling and disabling the time tracker
  • Adding integrations
  • Accepting online payments
  • Editing bill defaults
  • Setting invoice reminders
  • Adding sales tax
  • Selecting a shipping method
  • Turning on automatic 1099 filing

After you’ve changed your preferences, don’t forget to click the “OK” button at the top right corner of the screen.

Inputting Company Information

Once you’ve chosen your settings, you’ll need to add some important company data before using QuickBooks Desktop Pro, such as:

  • Contacts
  • Vendors
  • Items or services
  • Employees

You can input the information by hand or import files into the program.

Creating a Chart of Accounts

Setting up this chart is one of the biggest steps you’ll take toward getting your financial data organized. Your chart will have five categories: assets, equity, expenses, income, and liabilities. In QuickBooks Pro, you can export a chart or start from scratch. For existing charts, go to Lists, then Chart of Accounts, then Accounts, and then Import from Excel. If you’re building a chart, it’s easy. Earlier in the process, you chose an industry. QuickBooks Pro will use that industry to create defaults for your company. However, you’ll probably need to delete unneeded settings and make other changes that suit your company.

Connecting to Your Financial Accounts

You’re almost done with setup, but there’s one more step to take. You’ll need to connect your QuickBooks account to your financial account. You can, of course, input your information manually, but the live bank feed makes things much easier. First, you’ll need to find your bank. Then, log into your online account. Each bank handles the linking process differently, so be sure to follow the on-screen instructions carefully.

You’re Ready to Go

That’s it! You’ve set up your QuickBooks account. Now that you know how to use the software and you’ve added your company’s information, you can use QuickBooks Desktop Pro to run a more successful business.