Whether you are a business owner or not, you have more than likely heard of QuickBooks. More than 4.3 million businesses rely on the software as a key part of their internal financial process.

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is an accounting software solution that was developed by Intuit, the same company that owns TurboTax.

Because most large corporations have professional accountants to give their books personal attention, QuickBooks is mostly used by small and medium-sized businesses. It assists companies with accepting business payments, managing and paying bills and handling payroll functions.

The program is known for its ease of use and can help you manage your taxes with confidence and peace of mind. You can also rest assured that your financial data is kept safe and secure.

More than two decades after its release in 1998, QuickBooks has become a popular option for eCommerce businesses in particular. By default, it integrates naturally with a few eCommerce platforms. However, those who operate their stores on Magento must use a third-party QuickBooks integration extension.

QuickBooks comparison: Desktop vs. Cloud

If you are considering making QuickBooks as an integral part of your business process, you will need to determine which version is right for you. QuickBooks has two premier options available – QuickBooks Desktop Pro and QuickBooks Online Plus. The majority of QuickBooks customers use the desktop version, even though Intuit is putting most of its efforts into its cloud-based service. There are benefits and drawbacks to each version, but Intuit’s long term strategy is to sunset the desktop version of QuickBooks.

The desktop version requires a one-time payment, which is appealing to many users. The cloud-based version has a few different plan options that are all available via a subscription-based model.

With the desktop version, you do not need an Internet connection to use it. However, you can’t access it across all of your devices like you can with the cloud-based version. While the cloud version offers that layer of convenience, it is also vulnerable to outages when the website is experiencing technical issues.

If using QuickBooks feels intimidating to you, that’s understandable. Luckily, there are many resources that can help you become a pro. Give yourself time, and know that you will not master it overnight.

Learn how to use QuickBooks

While the tech-savvy are often able to figure out some functions of new software without formal training, the best way to gain a complete understanding of the program's capabilities is through expert guidance. If you are looking for the best way to learn QuickBooks, here's where to start.

Three QuickBooks training resources

1. YouTube is a great ‘QuickBooks for Dummies’ tool

If you want free QuickBooks training, YouTube is a plentiful resource. This is a good option if you are learning the software piece by piece as you go. Many people who use the service have created multi-topic QuickBooks tutorial videos to share with the online community. QuickBooks also leverages YouTube itself with its playlist of training videos.

Cost: Free

2. Get Quickbooks Certification from Intuit

Many companies require their employees to get official QuickBooks training. Even if you are self-employed, you can benefit from this type of in-depth instruction. QuickBooks offers live events, webinars and virtual conferences, and they offer exams that provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Quickbooks certification costs: The exam costs $149, plus the proctoring fee at the testing center of your choice.

classroom

3. Search for ‘Quickbooks classes near me’

Different people learn best in certain environments, and hands-on experience is the best choice for some. Instructor-led courses are available all over the country and can be found through a quick Internet search. In a classroom setting, a knowledgeable person is readily available to answer questions, and classmates can collaborate and help each other through the process.

The typical cost for independent classes: Free-$149 per student

There are many advantages to using QuickBooks, and that is why it is so commonly leveraged for accounting needs. One of the biggest perks of using QuickBooks in the business setting is the amount of time it saves. Maximizing team efficiency helps widen your profit margin.

While there are more options for learning QuickBooks, the three mentioned above are a great place to start. While the program is complex, it is also known for its user-friendliness and can serve as a great asset for any business.