23 Nov Instruction for Use
Each Topic covers one type of QuickBooks account. For each question, there is commentary (i.e. an explanation of why the question is important), as well as instructions on how to find the answer within the QuickBooks accounting software based on the product and version chosen when starting a new analysis. Tips, tricks, and web site links related to the question are also presented as applicable with the commentary.
To use this tool most efficiently:
1. Assemble the information as indicated on the “Before You Begin Checklist”. This will make the process of going through the questions most efficient. If certain items are not available or not easily accessible, it is possible to answer the question as “not sure” and return to it later.
2. Begin by going through the questions and marking the appropriate answers. It may be helpful to keep the “To Do List” close by for notes on what needs to be done to the file and who will need to do what. There will probably be some questions to which you do not know the answer. Don’t be concerned. If you are the consultant analyzing the QuickBooks file for a client, the purpose of this exercise is to provide you with a list of issues to discuss with the client. That is really the point, to not overlook issues, but to have a complete listing to address with the client.
Included with each question is a link to specific pages available for www.quickbooks4cpas.com members. This subscription based resource has information from the basics of QuickBooks features, to specific industry tips and tricks, plus add-on information, business management articles, and countless checklists. It can be used to supplement your existing QuickBooks knowledge, research areas you are unfamiliar with, or simply provide another perspective when dealing with QuickBooks and small business issues.
3. Print the report and prepare for the client meeting as included on the “Completing the Process Checklist.”
The analysis should be completed annually (or more frequently if needed for business and/or personnel changes). One method that works quite effectively is to do the complete analysis with a new client, then to establish a monthly “check up” service with them where a topic or two is completed each month throughout the year. Or, the problem areas are reviewed each month to ensure progress is being made towards solving the issue. This constant interaction with the client often results in additional consulting opportunities as well.
Neither the software, nor its information, is designed to be a replacement for a competent professional. As with other areas of business, a trusted consultant, bookkeeper, CPA or EA can help eliminate situations BEFORE they become problems. As you know, choosing a professional with an understanding of QuickBooks will provide a valuable resource when questions arise in unique business situations. Use of this tool further enhances your perceived value by the professional, organized, complete evaluation the report you will create provides. On more than one occasion, simply having a professionally prepared report completely unique, based on the client’s data, a larger fee has been charged even when lower priced professionals were considered.