Hello again pondball!
It's great to hear from you and I'm impressed by the amount of research you've already done for the features in QuickBooks Online. It sounds like you're well on your way to being a pro and I'm sure you'll have it mastered in no time! Great work. :)
Now, let's take a look at what you've mentioned today. I'll start with your questions and then clarify how to post a new question in community, as well touch on your comments about chat support.
Your first two questions both centre around the Banking tab feature where you can connect your bank and credit card accounts to filter transactions into QuickBooks Online for easy overall sorting. It's a time-saver for many business owners. Which accounts you connect is entirely up to you.
What transactions enter into your account depends on a few things: what time-frame you choose from the connection process, what your bank has available for download, and what you upload manually to supplement if necessary. Most banks will allow you to download the last 90 days of transactions, but some banks have broader or more limited time frames. You've probably come across this article already in your research, but the Connect bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online article outlines more of the process, including choosing the date range as I've mentioned.
The manual upload process I highlighted is useful for if your bank doesn't quite give you the data you need. For instance, say you did want more than 90 days of data, but the initial setup doesn't give you that option. Following the steps in the Manually upload transactions into QuickBooks Online article, you'll be able to get a file from your bank to download into QuickBooks.
For accounts or cards used for both personal and business expenses, there are certain things to consider and it's best to check with an accountant or bookkeeper to make sure you've got the right option for you. If you were to connect the card to the feed, you could consider excluding the personal transactions from the bank feed during the matching and categorizing process. Based on what you're doing with the spreadsheet, this may work for you.
However, depending on the situation, it may be that you should be recording these kinds of transactions, which is where an accountant or bookkeeper would come in. While QuickBooks community has an article about mixing business and personal funds, it's up to you to decide if and how to record them.
An accountant or bookkeeper that's familiar with QuickBooks would also be ideal for determining the best way to record your expenses for which you can claim a certain percentage. If you have an accountant already, you can use the My Accountant tab in QuickBooks to invite them as a user. That same tab also has a handy Find a pro to help button that shows you with QuickBooks-certified accountants near you.
As for entering the opening balances, you're right, there are a few different ways to do it. Which you choose will depend on how you want it recorded. The Test File for QuickBooks Online I linked in my original response to you might be useful for seeing how each of these works.
Using the opening balance field on the customer setup will enter the amount as a single invoice for the customer. The as of date field lets you choose the appropriate date, and then that becomes the invoice creation date.
Since you have specifics for the transactions that are owed, it may be worth entering them as invoices and partial payments if you'd like to see a clearer picture of what you're dealing with. In these instances, just keep in mind to make sure the dates are correct on the transactions, especially if you're going to be recording the partial payment.
Another important detail is to note that QuickBooks handles customers and vendors separately. Therefore, it'll take a bit of finessing to record any sort of transactions that might be overlapping between the customer and vendor profiles of the individual. Again, I recommend checking in with an accountant, and you can also check out the two community posts below where accountant users have chimed in on these kinds of questions before. One of the following is for QuickBooks Desktop, but the principles of the options should be the same.
I think that about covers your questions, but let me know if I've missed anything or if you need clarification, I know I've given you a lot.
Feel free to reply on this thread this time around. So you have it for next time, here's how you would start a new thread in the community platform.
Finally, the support options. I can appreciate how chatting with an agent that feels robotic wouldn't be useful for situations such as this. I want to assure you that our chat agents are real people, trained and dedicated to helping you. I'll share your feedback about what you've experienced with my team to make sure we're meeting our customer service standards.
I hope that helps!