Small Business Owner edition: Getting Started in QuickBooks Online

Getting Started with QuickBooks Online - TwitterGetting Started in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is focused on helping small businesses and more than 80 percent of 29 million U.S.-based small businesses use it. If you’re a small business looking to get started with QuickBooks Online, this chat recap is for you! Dozens of tips and tools were mentioned throughout the chat, so keep reading to gain valuable insight from experts.

One tip shared throughout the chat was to find or hire a pro advisor. We’ll leave that up to you, but sometimes it’s nice to know there is someone out there who can help.

Q1: What #QuickBooks Online navigation tips should #SmallBiz owners know when getting started?

Getting started with any new software or system usually brings a steep learning curve. Use these tips from chatters @QBOchat, @ChristineGalli, @expensify, @Kimtuitive, @AAGJsn, and @jazfun when beginning to navigate #QuickBooks Online:

  • The 3 top buttons on the screen should be your first stop. Search, Quick Create, and Recent Transactions.
  • Company Settings where you can manage Users and activate QBO Labs
  • If you’re trying to manage a portion of your account, you can almost always count on it being under the gear icon
  • Settings – make sure to turn on/ off preferences so you can get used to the layout & make it just the way you like it
  • The gear icon on the top right allows you to manage your company preferences, account, users, and more
  • Set up recurring transactions & bank rules for things that you know will come in each month
  • The “+” sign at the top of the screen is where you want to go to create any transactions
  • On the right of the home screen, get a quick snapshot of your bank and credit card accounts
  • The tabs on the left are where you go to see the transactions that have already been created
  • The left nav bar is quick access to diff aspects of your biz – Customers, Vendors, Employees, Banking, Reports, etc.
  • The top left home button gives you a summary & activities on the latest happenings in your file  
  • The graph on the home screen will only show transactions from the past 365 days.
  • Make sure you get your Sales Tax settings correct #smallbiz

Q2: What first steps should #SmallBiz owners take when setting up #QuickBooks Online? and Why?

The most popular answer for the first step was to hire an accountant. If you aren’t sure where to start with that, each week our #QBOchat features plenty of experienced accountants who may be available for hire. Another popular answer encouraged #smallbiz owners to connect their bank, credit cards, and apps to get a full view of the businesses financials.

@QBOchat: Review your company settings to make sure you have all the features on that your #smallbiz needs.

@jazfun: Make sure you customize your Invoices for beautiful invoicing.

@ChristineGalli: Make sure Chart of Accounts, Products and Services are properly set up so QBO can account for business trxns accurately!

@AAGJsn: If undecided between two versions of #QBO choose the lower. You can always upgrade but not downgrade.

Q3: What are the essential workflows that #SmallBiz owners need to know in #QuickBooks Online?

The #QuickBooks Online knowledge flow continued with these tips from @vrcqbpro, @QBOchat, @AAGJsn, @Madelinekreeves, @ChristineGalli, @QBOPro, @jazfun, and @ignition_max:

  • How to properly receive payments and make bank deposits
  • Invoicing: Create Invoice & Receive Payment to Undeposited Funds & Enter Bank Deposit
  • When dealing with inventory – If you don’t have it in stock in #QBO, you can’t sell it in #QBO
  • Automated payments, invoicing, and sync with apps
  • Bank feeds, matching, rules, excluding transactions
  • Not to accept the “Add” button on the bank download for everything. Research it first
  • Exploring apps by industry are a great way to find the right tools and workflows for a #smallbiz
  • Bills: Create Bill & Pay Bills & Print Checks & Match Transaction to Bank Download
  • Essential workflow for onboarding new clients @ignitionapp & #QBO
  • Before you start connecting #nonEssential Apps create a work flow based on your needs
  • Expenses: Enter Expense & Match to Transaction to Bank Download
  • If your deposit in #QBO doesn’t look just like the physical deposit slip, you’re going to have a hard time reconciling
  • If they don’t understand how the data gets in they are likely to ruin all your hard work

Q4: What time-savers or best practices should #SmallBiz owners know about #QuickBooks Online?

Who doesn’t want to save time and implement best practices? Maybe those best practices will also help save time, and we’re all about that. Here are some tips broken down by category:

Technology/platform tips:

  • @AeroWorkflow: Download and use the Mac or Windows App!
  • @jazfun: Know how to clear your Cache! #QBO time saver
  • @QBOPro: And cookies! RT @jazfun A4: Know how to clear your Cache! #QBO time saver
  • @jazfun: You can use #QBO – Anywhere , Anytime. Utilize your IPad or mobile device
  • @AAGJsn: Use Chrome. Setup a profile just for #QBO to reduce errors during login
  • @vrcqbpro: Using the right apps for your business model is usually a huge time saver for #SmallBiz
  • @ignition_max: Using a password manager tool to keep track of all their logins

#QuickBooks Online software feature tips:

  • @madelinekreeves: Learn to match and reconcile on the go using the QBO app on your phone
  • @Hubdoc: QBO’s auto-matching. It matches bank feed transactions to entries created by Apps. Can help audit-proof the biz!
  • @QBOchat: Reports can be customized, saved, and scheduled to be emailed to gain insights into the #SmallBiz.
  • @QBOchat: Each QBO account has two free accountant users. Don’t feel bad asking for help, use those spots!
  • @QBOchat: The Company Snapshot under reporting gives you a great big picture view of your #SmallBiz.
  • @jazfun: When you customize reports put them on a schedule to review. #CleanBooks

Q5: What are the Apps you most often recommend to #SmallBiz owners that integrate with #QuickBooks Online?

Thanks to @QBOchat, @QBOPro, @Expensify, @CalebLJenkins, @Hubdoc, @AAGJsn, @Kimtuitive, and @jazfun for the recommendations (and a few shameless plugs). Here’s what they recommended:

That’s a wrap for this week’s recap. Do you have more #QuickBooks Online tips for small business owners? Leave a comment below. Join us next Thursday at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST for #QBOchat and stay tuned for our next recap about @expensify’s chat take over.

Posted in

Andrea Mestdagh

Andrea Mestdagh is an award-winning communications and marketing professional.


  1. Andrew Wilder on March 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    The email notification of this chat recap caught my eye because it promoted “App Workarounds.” Your product is so bad that you actually spend time promoting “workarounds” for it.

    One of the experts’ “best practices” in the above post is “know how to clear your cache and cookies.” Seriously? If that’s so frequently necessary as to be commonplace recommendation, you know you’ve got problems. I still use QBO — but only grudgingly.

    • Cathy Iconis on April 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Andrew – let’s be clear with something first, we are NOT associated with Intuit or QuickBooks Online. We are a community of QuickBooks Online Users providing independent feedback and support. Yes, a best practice is to clear cache and cookies. This is because QBO has several areas where they create “sticky” experiences so that it can remember your preferences for the visual display of things. It definitely makes life easier, but sometimes those cookies and other sites act up – sooo, you have to clear your cookies. I am one that has a separate chrome user just to use QBO so that I can keep those “sticky” experiences and not have to clear my cookies often. It is the best of both worlds – in my opinion!

      • Andrew Wilder on April 5, 2016 at 11:16 pm

        Hey Cathy – Thanks for the clarification, and sorry for directing my frustration at you instead of directly at Intuit.

        Even so, cookies shouldn’t “act up” and have to be cleared regularly…that’s just a sign of bad programming. Sure, clearing cache/cookies can help with edge-case bugs, but it shouldn’t be so common that it’s necessary for you to suggest it as a “best practice.”

        • Cathy Iconis on April 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm

          I definitely get your point. I don’t know enough about other accounting systems to know if they are any better on that. Thanks for your comments!

  2. james on March 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I am a CPA and QBO is without a doubt the worst accounting program I have ever used. The functionality is incredibly limited, most functions are not-intuitive and don’t work properly and the limited app selection is a joke. The entire QBO team should feel embarassed for putting out such a shoddy product with so many flaws. I wish I could go back to desktop edition or to another company as QBO gets a 0 out of 10 score from me.

    • Cathy Iconis on April 5, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      James – I am sorry to hear you feel that way. I started my practice on QBO, so I am very comfortable with it. I get very uncomfortable with Desktop, which is what most accountants usually deal with when they use the Online version. I have been able to convert many accountants over to loving QBO.

      Just so you know, I NEVER deal with corrupted files, backup copies, or any of all those IT issues with clients. I truly deal in the bookkeeping and accounting world. Yes there are workarounds to things, but let’s be honest, there are workarounds to any program out there. I for one, am a firm believer of using as much of your program as possible before going out and getting an add-on – so I am good with workarounds as long as they are effective and efficient.

  3. DanThePhotoMan on March 19, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I wish the article had links to find the answers to all of the things you need to know! For instance, I really need to know how to receive payments and make deposits. My income is showing double for what it should be. I am “Receiving Payment” in QB, but also recording bank deposits. I called tech support and the person had no idea ow to handle it! Anybody have a link to an easy-to-understand explanation?

    • Cathy Iconis on April 5, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Sorry we don’t have all the links in just one place. Unfortunately, QBO is a pretty complicated product behind the scenes. I think Intuit does a fairly good job of making it easy – but accounting can’t always be easy. If you are getting duplicates, then it sounds like an issue with your bank feed. You want to first “receive payment” in QBO, then once this clears the bank, you want to go back through the bank feed and accept the “match”.

      I do one-on-one trainings if you’d like to walk through it. $100 for a Go To Meeting session. Feel free to check out our bookkeeping site – (FYI – I am the founder of QBOchat and CEO of Iconis Group).

      • Krystal Mobley on October 12, 2016 at 7:26 pm

        Hi Cathy, how much time do we get for $100.00. I have several questions about QBO but don’t want to spend 100s of dollars for answers. Thanks for your time

        • Cathy Iconis on October 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm

          Hey! It is a 60 minute session. I’m all booked until mid-November though.

  4. muhammad ali @ QB on August 31, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Excellent content Andrea Mestdagh. you are good man..

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