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QuickBooks Tips Blog

Video QuickBooks Tip: Editing QuickBooks Preferences

Posted by Matt Roberge on Nov 7, 2012 7:13:00 AM

In this video demonstration I will show you how to edit the QuickBooks preferences to tailor them more specifically to your business.  Preferences are a way of changing the settings in QuickBooks pertaining to the way the software handles certain actions.  Basically you can customize QuickBooks more towards your businesses needs as well as the way you prefer to use the program.  This video demonstrates just a few of the more basic preference changes I like to make and your needs may be different.  

Editing QuickBooks preferences

Editing your QuickBooks preferences is as simple as selecting Edit/Preferences from the menu bar.  This will launch a window that has the QuickBooks preferences broken down into groups that are listed on the left hand side of the window.  Each preference has settings options broken down into two tabs; my preferences and company preferences.  My preferences are settings that can be changed to be unique to each QuickBooks user.  Company preferences are settings that are the same for all users in the QuickBooks company file and can only be changed by the administrator for that particular QuickBooks company file.  

Accounting Preferences

Within accounting preferences on the company preferences tab there are a few settings options I would like to point out.  In the accounts section you can turn on or off the use account numbers option.  Class tracking is another option you may want to consider for your business if you need to track different segments within your business.  The last accounting preference I would like to point out is the date warnings section.  I think both of these are valid and you should use them.  However, if you are creating a set of books from far in the past or are doing a bookkeeping clean up you may consider disabling the past transactions date warning until you are caught up.  

Checking Preferences

Within the checking preferences I just want to focus on the my preferences tab.  Notice you can set the default account to use for various actions like write checks, pay bills and make deposits.  Since many of those actions occur out of or into the same account it helps to save time to set this preference.  You will also reduce mistakes if you do have multiple bank accounts.

General Preferences

The my preferences tab in the general preferences section does have a lot options for the user.  Many are self-explanatory and are really just a personal preference for each user.  Many users find the beep annoying when recording a transaction and that can be turned off in this section.  One of the more powerful preferences in this section is in the automatically recall information section.  I like to select this option and at least use the pre-fill accounts option.  What this does is recall the expense code for the particular vendor name based upon past entries.  Since many businesses buy the same types of items from a particular vendor the expense coding stays the same much of the time.  As a warning when users select this option they tend to get lazy and overlook the coding when they are entering a large volume of bills.  If you made a large purchase from a vendor for a piece of equipment that you have to put on the books as an asset you want to make sure to get it coded appropriately.  If you are using the auto recall function you might mistakenly code it as an expense.  Basically use the option but take the time to review what you are inputting as an expense code.  

Send Forms Preferences

The send forms preferences is another section I want to highlight.  If you are sending invoices, statements or any other type of form from QuickBooks those come with a generic message attached to them.  In the send forms company preference tab you can change the general body of the email to be a little more specific to the business.  You can also edit the subject and change how your customers are addressed by name.  Don't worry; even if you have this information set up as a default you can always edit each individual message before you send it.  Lastly, the my preferences tab is where you set up what method you would like to use to send forms using QuickBooks

This is a very brief overview of editing your QuickBooks preferences.  There is much more that you can do to tailor the software to your particular needs.  Play around with it a little bit and see what it can do for you.  Let me know about any specific preference change that you find particularly useful.

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