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Getting Around QuickBooks 2015
Getting Around QuickBooks 2015

If you are upgrading to QuickBooks from QuickBooks 2014, you will find that the interface still looks basically the same.   However, we still want to give you a tour so that you will be able to find the features you need.   If you've never used QuickBooks before or have been using a much older version, this tour will help you to become familiar with the organizational structure of the program.   It will make learning to use the program easier, and it will make putting what you learn to use a lot easier as well. 

The Home Page

Every tour starts with the Home page. The Home page of QuickBooks is shown below.

The Home page contains links and icons that you will use to access the features you need. As you can see, it is also divided into sections to make it easier to find those icons and see how the icons fit into the workflow. 

The Title Bar

The Title Bar is located at the very top of every page in QuickBooks. It tells you the name of the file you are working in, the version of QuickBooks, and the user. 

The Title Bar is at the top of the window and pictured below.

The Menu Bar

The menu bar is where you will find the tasks, reports, and forms available in QuickBooks. 


If you have never used QuickBooks before, you can take a few minutes to look at the menus, then the submenus that you see when you click on a menu. For example, click on Company in the Menu Bar to see the submenu options.


The Top Icon Bar

The top icon bar is pictured below.  It is located below the Menu bar. If you do not see it, go to View>Top Icon Bar.


It gives you quick access to tasks and reports that you use often. You can also customize it, selecting the color and adding or removing shortcuts.

NOTE: In QuickBooks, you can either have the icon bar placed at the top below the menu bar, or you can have it on the left side of the Home page. To switch it to the left side, go to View> Left Icon Bar.

If you want to change the color of the Top Icon Bar, go to Edit>Preferences>Desktop View. Click the My Preferences tab in the dialogue box. Put a checkmark next to Switch to Colored Icons/Light Background on the Top Icon Bar to switch to the colored icons. 


Click OK.


Customize the Top Icon Bar

To customize the top icon bar, go to View>Customize Icon Bar.

When you do, you will see this dialogue box:


You can now add or delete icons from the icon bar and change the display options. Click OK at the bottom of the dialogue box when you are finished.

The Insights Tab

The Insights tab is new to QuickBooks. It is found on the Home page next to the Home tab.

When you click on it, you'll see a dashboard that shows your company's financial status. You can change the date ranges to see data for different dates.   The Insight window has three sections:

Graphs.    The top panel shows a Profit & Loss graph.   Your monthly income will be displayed in green bars above the horizontal axis. Monthly expenses appear as blue bars below the axis. The black line is your monthly profit. If you want to change the date range for the graph, choose the range from the dropdown list at the top of the graph.


If you want to view other graphs, click either the left or right arrows on the sides of the panel.


Other graphs that you can view are: Previous Year Income Comparison, Top Customers by Sales, Business Growth, and Net Profit Margin.

Income .   The Income section is located at the bottom left of the Insights window.  

Expenses . The Expenses section is located at the bottom right of the Insights window. It allows you to see where you're spending money. 

The Company Snapshot

The Company Snapshot shows you the financial state of your company.   You can see account balances, income, money owed to your company, your best selling products, and etc. 

Go to Company>Company Snapshot to view your company's snapshot.

QuickBooks Centers

QuickBooks Centers refers to different windows in the QuickBooks program. Each different window displays information about specific areas of your company. Most of the centers in QuickBooks have icons in the icon bar to help you get to them quickly and easily. For example, the icon for the Vendor Center is highlighted below in the top icon bar.


The QuickBooks centers include the:

  • Customer Center

  • Vendor Center

  • Employee Center

  • Report Center

  • Bank Feeds Center

  • Doc Center

  • App Center

  • Lead Center

Let's learn a little more about each of these centers and what information they contain about your company.

The Customer Center

The Customer Center contains everything you need to know about your customers. It is where you will find your customer list. It also contains all the information you will ever need to know about each customer that you have. You can change options in the dropdown list to see specific information about your customers that you want to view. In addition, you can perform tasks using the buttons at the top of the Customer Center window. 

The Vendor Center

The Vendor Center contains all the information about the companies and people you buy from. You can also enter transactions related to your vendors.

The Employee Center

The Employee Center contains information on your employees, your payroll liabilities, and your payroll items.

The Report Center

The Report Center can be opened from the icon bar and is where you will be able to access and run reports. There are three views for you to choose from in the Report Center: carousel view, list view, and grid view. Each view contains the major category of reports in the left pane. Please note that when you open the Report Center for the first time, the grid view will be displayed. You will see a visual display of the reports available for each category. 

The Bank Feeds Center

You go to the Bank Feeds Center to download and enter transactions directly from your credit card or bank accounts. You don't have to manually enter transactions if you use this center.

Doc Center

The Doc Center contains documents and files from your computer that you attach to specific transactions or records in QuickBooks. You access the Doc Center through the Customer Center.

You can use the Doc Center to access attached files or scanned images. To attach a file or image to a transaction; however, you can simply click Attach File when the transaction window is open. The Attach icon looks like a paperclip. For example, you can attach a purchase order to an invoice. 

The App Center

The App Center gives you access to Intuit Workplace Apps. The apps are web-based applications that you can download to help make using QuickBooks even more beneficial to your company. There may be additional fees.

The Lead Center

The Lead Center doesn't have a button on the icon bar. You access the Lead Center through the Customer Center. This is where you can keep information about leads – or prospects who aren't yet customers. You can enter in prospects and keep track of them using the Lead Center.

The Calendar Center

The Calendar Center keeps a calendar of your important transactions and reminders. 

Resizing Dropdown Lists and Columns

QuickBooks allows you to change the height and width of dropdown lists so you can see all the information that you need to see in the menu.   For example, if you're looking at a Customer: Job dropdown list, you may want to see the full names of customers. In addition, you can also resize columns in transaction windows so that you can see all the information in the column.

To change the height or width of a dropdown list, open it and move our mouse over the dots that appear in the lower right corner. The cursor will change to a two headed arrow. Drag to achieve the height and width that you want.

To resize a column, hover your mouse over the two dots that appear between column headings, as circled below. When the cursor changes to a two headed arrow, you can drag to change the width of the column.


Switching Between Windows

You can easily switch between windows by minimizing the window that's currently open.

In the snapshot below, you can see the Customer center window.


To view the window beneath it, click Minimize.


Viewing One Window at a Time

In QuickBooks, you can make it so that you are only viewing one full-sized window as you work rather than dozens of windows that are stacked beneath the current active window. 

To do this, go to View>One Window.

Below is a snapshot of the Customer Center window.


The Home page is beneath the Customer Center window. You can see it at the bottom:


You can minimize the Customer Center window to see the Home page.


However, if you go to View>One Window, the Customer Center is the only window you will see:

Want to learn more? Take an online course in QuickBooks.

Setting up Customers, Jobs, and Vendors

Setting Up Customers

Setting up your customers in QuickBooks begins with creating a customer list. Adding customers to your Customer list means you can send them estimates, receipts, and invoices. 

To create your Customer list, go to Customers>Customer Center. You can also click Customers on the top icon bar, as highlighted below.

Click on the New Customer and Job button. Select New Customer from the dropdown list, as pictured below.

You will then see the following dialogue box:

The first window of this dialogue box is Address Info, as you can see on the left.

In the Customer Name field, type in the customer's name. 

Fill in all information applicable to your customer or business in the related fields.

Now you can click on the other categories on the left to enter more information:

You can enter:

  • Payment settings for the customer
  • Sales tax settings for the customer
  • Additional info about the customer
  • Job info about the customer.

Click OK to save the customer. 

Assigning Customer Types

You can use the Customer Type field when you create a customer list to categorize your customers. For example, you may want to put all wholesale customers in one list and all retail customers in another. 

To create a Customer Type list, go to Lists>Customer & Vendor Profile Lists>Customer Type.

The suggestions of customer types will be based on your industry. 

If you want to add a new customer type, click on the downward on the Customer Type button in the lower left hand corner (shown above). Select New from the dropdown list.

Customer Message List

If you want to add messages to customers on the bottom of their invoices, such as thanking them for their business, you can create a customer message list by going to Lists>Customer and Vendor Profile List>Customer Message List. 

To create your own message, click the Customer Message button, then select New from the dropdown list.

The Customer Center

The Customer Center is where you will find all your customers and jobs for those customers. It is also where you will go to create, edit, and get reports about customers and jobs.

Click the Customers button on the top Icon bar to get to the Customer Center.

The biggest area of the Customer Center is the Customer Information pane. This is where you will see the information about your customers. As you can see in the snapshot below, the information displayed is for Example Corporation, our customer. You can see all transactions for the customer; view contact information, to-do's, and notes; send an email to the customer; and even access reports by going to the right side of the screen.

To select the customer whose information you want to see in this window, go to the pane on the left side of the window.

It has two tabs: Customers & Jobs and Transactions. 

There's always a customer selected in the Customer & Jobs list under the Customer & Jobs tab. If you don't select one, the first one is selected by default. As you can see above, Jane Doe from Example Corporation is selected. 

Now let's look at the second tab, the Transactions tab.

Under the Transactions tab, you will find all transactions for your customers. If you click the Transactions tab in the left pane, you will see all customer transactions. These include invoices, receipts, etc. They are listed by transaction type. If you select a transaction, you will see the details of the transaction to the right.

Customize the Customers & Jobs List

By default, the Customers & Jobs list (under the Customers & Jobs tab) on the left has three columns: Name, Balance Total, and Attach (for attached documents). 

You can add more columns if you want by right clicking anywhere in the list, then choosing Customize Columns.

You will then see this dialogue box:

Select a label in the left column, then click Add to add a column. Alternatively, you can remove a column by clicking on its label in the right side column, then clicking Remove.

Click OK when you are finished.

Editing a Customer Record

If you want to edit a customer record, first locate and double click the customer in the Customers & Jobs list. This will open the customer record. 

Now you can change the information or add more information.

Setting Up Jobs for Customers

QuickBooks allows you to track invoices that you create by either jobs or customers. If you are doing the same job for the same customer on a repeated basis, you may want to create jobs for that customer to make it easier to invoice and to track. 

To set up jobs for customers, you must first create a customer list like you just learned to do. 

Go to the Customer Center, then the Customers & Jobs tab. Right click on the listing of the customer, then select Add Job. 

You will then see the New Job dialogue box.



Follow these steps:

1.    Add the job name. 

2.    Identify the customer.  

3.    If you want, you can put down a contact and other information for the customer and the job. 

4.    Put in the job's billing address.  

5.    Put in the shipping address. 

6.    If you want to add more information, click on the Additional Info tab. Categorize the job. 

7.    Click on the Payment Settings tab. Set a credit limit for the customer, if applicable.  

8.    Enter the amount that the customer owes in unpaid invoices in the Opening Balance box. QuickBooks recommends that you don't do this, but if you want to set up QuickBooks correctly, it is a good idea. 

9.    In the As Of box, enter today's date. 

10. If you want to add more information about the job, do so by clicking on the Job Info tab.

Save the job by clicking OK.

To edit a job, double click the listing in the Customers & Jobs list. 

Adding a Custom Field for Customers

You can add custom fields to the customer records, such as when you create or add a customer. This is helpful if QuickBooks doesn't provide a field for information that you want to track.

To add a custom field for a customer, double click on the name of the customer under the Customers & Jobs tab.

You are then in edit mode.

Go to the Additional Info tab.

Click on the Define Fields button. 

You will then see the Set Up Custom Fields For Names dialogue box. 

You can name the new field and specify which lists in which you want the new field to appear. 

We added a custom field below. 

The label will be Zone. This is the name of the custom field. It is a customer field for our customer list, so we put a checkmark under CUST for customer.

Under "What Kind of Data?" we chose Any Text, because it will be text data that's inputted in the new field.  

Choose where the field is required.

Click OK when you're finished adding fields.

Click OK again to exit out of the Edit Customer dialogue box.

Now whenever we add or edit a customer or transaction, we will see our new field under the Additional Info tab, as shown below.



Setting Up Vendors

Customers are the people who buy your products. Vendors are the people who you buy from. That said, setting up vendors in QuickBooks is very similar to adding customers. 

Go to Vendors>Vendor Center. 

Click the New Vendor button, as circled in red above. 

Select New Vendor.

Now, you can enter information about the vendor by using the tabs on the left just as you did when you entered your customers.

Under the Address Info tab, you'll:

  • Enter the vendor's name.   If you want, you can also add a contact name. 
  • Enter the address where you are to mail checks. 
  • You can also enter the vendor's telephone and fax number, as well as email address. 

Under the Payment Info tab, fill out the information requested including:

  • If you have an account number, add this in the account number text box. 
  • Select the payment terms you have with the vendor from the dropdown list. 
  • You can also enter a credit limit with that vendor, if you have one. 
  • Enter the name as you want it printed on the check. 

Under Tax Settings, you'll enter:
  • Vendor Tax ID. Enter the vendor's social security number or EIN if the vendor receives a Form 1099.
  • 1099 Status. Select the checkbox for Vendor Eligible for 1099 if appropriate. 

Under the Account Settings tab, you can go ahead and select expense accounts to assign to all transactions with this vendor. 
When you select accounts for a vendor, they will automatically appear when you write a check for the vendor.  

Under the Additional Info tab, select a category for the vendor by clicking Type and choosing an option from the dropdown list. 

You can also click the Define Fields button to add a customized field just as you learned to do earlier in this section for customers.

Click OK when you are finished. 

The Vendor Center

Your list of vendors is located in the Vendor Center. In addition, information about vendor transactions is listed there too. You can also get access to reports. 

You can open the Vendor Center by going to Vendors>Vendor Center, or by clicking the icon on the top icon bar. There you will see your Vendors list. 

Just as with the Customer Center, there are two panes in the Vendor Center.

The Vendor Information pane is on the right. All the information you have entered about your vendors, as well as purchase transactions, are located in the Vendor Information pane. You can also access vendor contacts; to-do's; notes; and send an email to the vendor from the Vendor Information pane.

The pane on the left side of the window contains two panes:   Vendors and Transactions.   Vendors contains a list of all your vendors whereas the Transactions tab lists all vendor transactions.

Take time to become familiar with the Vendor Center.

Customizing the Vendors List

Under the Vendors tab, you will see a list of all your vendors, as shown below.

You can use the scroll bar to get to any vendor you want to view. 

If you want, you can also use the dropdown list at the top of the Vendors tab to display: All Vendors, Active Vendors, Vendors with Opening Balances, Custom Filter.

You will also see three columns for each vendor that's listed. These columns are Name, Balance Total, and Attach. 

If you want to add more columns to the Vendors list, right click anywhere in the pane, then select Customize Columns.   The Customize Columns dialogue box then opens.

Choose a column label from the left, then click Add to add a column.  

To delete a column, choose a column label from the right, then click Remove.

Editing Vendor Information

To edit a vendor's information, double click on the vendor in the Vendors List. It then puts the record in edit mode. 

You can edit the information you already have and add new information.

Working with Leads

A lead is defined as a potential sales contact – or a potential customer. Just as QuickBooks allows you to enter customers, it also allows you to enter leads. 

To work with leads in QuickBooks, go to the Lead Center. You can reach the Lead Center by going to Customers>Lead Center.

The Lead Center is pictured below.



In the left pane, you will see leads' names and status.   On the right, you will see To-Do's, Contacts, Locations, and Notes. 

To create a new lead, click New Lead in the Lead Center toolbar located above the left pane.

You will then see the Add Lead dialogue box.

In the Status field, classify the lead as either Hot, Warm, or Cold.

Fill out all information that you have for the lead.

When you are finished, click OK. The lead is then added to your list of leads.

To search for specific leads in your leads list, type part of the lead's name in the search box above the lead list. Click the magnifying glass icon.

To edit a lead, double click the lead in the left pane. 

To convert a lead to a customer, right click the lead in the left pane, then select Convert to a Customer.


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