8 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of QuickBooks

Developed by Intuit, QuickBooks is one of the world’s premier accounting software packages. It has been helping businesses fulfill all their accounting needs for more than a decade. Aiming at small and medium business owners, QuickBooks brings to them the power of complete and autonomous accountancy that can be done with relative ease. There are a ton of features embedded in QuickBooks and all of them just a click away.

8 Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of QuickBooks

A lot of people who use QuickBooks get familiar with the simple interface quite quickly. However, there are many behind the scene features that they never get to know about. Here we discuss the eight awesome tips that are bound to make your QuickBooks experience a much better one:

1. Customize the Icon Bar:

QuickBooks comes with an icon bar at the top of the screen. While the default set of icons is adequate, you can easily add plenty more icons on it. These icons acting as shortcuts will let you do a lot more work without the hassle of opening up sub-menus. Adding, removing or modifying icons as per your needs are super easy.

  • Adding an Icon: Go to View-> Customize Icon Bar-> Click Add. Choose the item you would want from the list (You can even change the label and description if you want to) and then click OK.
  • Removing an Icon: Go to View->Customize Icon Bar. Choose the icon you want to be removed and click Delete.
  • Modifying an Icon: Go to View->Customize Icon Bar. Choose the icon you want to modify and click Edit. Make whatever changes you feel like making and then click OK to confirm the changes.

The Customize Icon Bar window also allows you to change other aspects of the icon bar. You can add separators between icons, change the order of their appearance as well as opt between displaying both text and icon or only the icons.

2. Make use of keyboard shortcuts:

Keyboards Shortcuts are wonderful.  Like any other computer application, QuickBooks too has quite a few Keyboard Shortcuts to its name. Using these is bound to ease up the extensive accounting you will be doing on it. Here are a few of the common ones:

Ctrl-I: Create invoice
Ctrl-E: Edit transaction selected in the register
Ctrl-F: Find transaction
Ctrl-J: Open Customer Center
Ctrl-M: Remember transaction or report
Ctrl-N: New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
Ctrl-Q: QuickReport on transaction or list item
Ctrl-T: Open memorized transaction list
Ctrl-W: Write new check
Ctrl (While opening):  Start QuickBooks without a company file

Charlie Russell lists out every one of the keyboard shortcuts in this simple and easy to understand article. Check it out if you want to be free from overlong mouse movements forever.

3. Opt for right-click menus:

QuickBooks knows that its users have better things to do than waste time hovering mouse pointers around all over the window. It uses right-click menus extensively for easy accessibility to control features.

Instead of going straight to the toolbar icons and menu you can do whatever you want with the right-click menus. When you right click, a shortcut menu of related commands opens up. Choose the one you want, and you are set to go.

For example, on highlighting an entry in the chart of accounts, the right click menu will let you do a lot of stuff; you can edit or delete the account, customize the columns, transfer funds or get a QuickReport instantly.

4. Use the Internet to solve problems:

Using QuickBooks may get in over your head especially if you are neither a techy nor an accountant. All those options and menus and records might get you confused. But fear not all your questions, and all your problems have an answer and the place to find them in the jolly ol’ internet.

Intuit charges for support queries unless they are dealing with setting up the software and a small list of other problems. So unless you want to pay intuit more money, you need some other means of getting your problems solved. Luckily, the internet had got tons of places and people that have all the answers.

A simple Google search will probably get you your solution, but in case you are facing a unique issue, you can just post your problem in a detailed manner in one of the various forums that deal with QuickBooks.

People on these forums are helpful and would point you the correct way to go. A few of the more famous forums are Intuit’s own Official Community Forum and QuickBooks Users Forum. Browse through their contents, and you will get a lot of additional info as well.

5. Choose cloud hosting for your QuickBooks software:

Using the cloud for data hosting has become a trend that almost all businesses of all sizes are employing. While you can easily have all your data stored on-premise while using QuickBooks, the benefits of hosting it on the cloud are many.

If you opt for QuickBooks hosting, you get tons of goodies. With cloud hosting you get remote access, multi-user access, safe backups, enhanced security and no buying expensive IT infrastructure. If you haven’t done it already, switch out to the cloud whenever you can. The opportunities it offers are endless.

6. Do calculations on QuickMath:

While there is a dedicated calculator in QuickBooks (Click Edit-> Calculator), frequently using it breaks the workflow. To make sure there’s a seamless flow of work, QuickBooks offers the QuickMath calculator. It’s easily accessible and really fun to work with.

  • Click inside the field where the calculation needs to be done (Maybe the amount field on a check for example).
  • Press the = button, and you will see a mini-tape has appeared.
  • Use the calculator (Enter the numbers, use appropriate mathematical signs (=, -, /, * or =)).
  • Pressing C once will clear the current entry while doing it twice will clear the tape.
  • Use the Esc key to cancel the QuickMath calculator

Using QuickMath allows doing calculations quickly and in a handy manner. Get familiar with this tool and you will never go back to the old calculator again.

7.  Save time by filtering your reports before they are generated:

Making reports is an essential part of accounting and hence of QuickBooks too. You need to regularly make reports if you want all information to be analyzed properly. However, a lot of reports that are generated have a specific purpose, and not everything is needed when a report is made.

Now QuickBooks, when displaying a report uses default information. Thus, you may have to change the information and generate the report again. This is both time-consuming and frustrating.

What you might be missing out on is the fact that you can modify the information displayed in the reports before they are generated. Choose Edit->Preferences from the menu and then choose the Reports & Graph option. Go to the My Preferences tab and check in the checkbox that says Prompt me to modify report screen before generating a report.

Once this is done, every time you are generating a report, the modify report screen will come up before the generation that will allow you to put in your required criteria for the generation.

8. Get Add-On apps for QuickBooks:

Even though QuickBooks is a highly versatile tool for accounting, there still are plenty of things it can’t do for you. However, there are still plenty of things it allows its users to do besides all the services it provides inherently. By making use of add-ons, QuickBooks has enabled customers to get all their accountancy work sorted out easily.

There are various add-ons that QuickBooks uses, each with their own purposes. You can use add-ons to pay your employees and file payroll taxes, to accept online and mobile payments, to manage inventory in multiple locations, to get financing for your business needs, there’s a long list of these add-ons and all of them are awesome.


QuickBooks is highly comprehensive and a heavily detailed software. The more you work with it, the more you are bound to get the little quirks that will make you an accounting master. However, we do hope these 8 tips will get on the right path. Feel free to point out other tips and tricks if you know any, in the comments section.

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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Comments (1)

  • Elena Kelareva says:

    The shortcuts were a great help. Thanks for adding that link too. Now I can just type away my accounting problems.

  • Allan Collins says:

    Inutit’s support plans are very bad. These guys ask money for everything. A much better way is just googling your query and chances are somebody else would have already asked that question so you can get your answer.

  • Clifton Griffin says:

    Thanks for the quickmath tip. It really helps out in maintaining the workflow. No I can just do the little adjustments while filling in the records. Much better this way.

  • David Herrera says:

    Using cloud hosting is now becoming almost mandatory these days. It gives a massive boost to the software by allowing for remote access by multiple users.

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