“Setting up for Success” is a series of snack-sized summaries based around task-oriented video tutorials, curatedaround specific accounting workflows and the fundamental concepts behind them. Each article includes several brief video tutorials meant to be watched in successive order - utilize them as a whole or pick the specific areas you wanted to get started with.
These videos cover the absolute fundamentals of QuickBooks Online: basic navigation, program structure, the importance of sales forms and lists in QuickBooks Online, online banking and how these all lead to what is likely your first task – sending an invoice.
For the most part, you will use the Nav Bar on the left to access your lists, dashboards and historical data.
You can access deeper customer insights and transactions details by clicking on specific items from the tab “sub dashboards.”
The Create Menu (accessed by clicking the  button from any page) is the quickest way to start transaction related actions, such as sending invoices and paying bills. You can also access these same basic functions from most sub-dashboards.
The Gear Menu/Settings Menu (accessed by clicking the  button) is where you can customize features and lists, access your QuickBooks user account, start reconciliations, import/export data and adjust your QuickBooks Online preferences.
Two more important navigation features are the magnifying glass and Help Center.
The magnifying glass lets you search your historical transactions and the drop-down lists recent ones - - a very useful feature for quickly recalling recently finished work.
This video is essential for understanding howsales forms(and lists) work in QuickBooks Online. Our instructor breaks down the various components and step-by-step workflows for Invoices and other sales forms.
Before you start entering transactions on your own, watch this video in its entirety and let it all soak in - - understanding QuickBooks Online's unique accounting process is key at this early stage.
Take a moment to look at the highlight areas of the invoice - - each component is connected and builds on one another as parts of a whole
When it comes to creating product and services and customer lists, you have a couple of workflow options:
Build-lists-as-you-go - To save time, you can create new items (products and services, customers, vendors and accounts) directly from forms as you process transactions by clicking + Add New from the drop-down menus. This keeps data-entry to a minimum since you only enter new list items as they are needed.
Note that if you use this method to create new items, enter complete data at the time of the transaction. It’s best not to go back to finish this step later – in all the busyness of business, you may forget.
Build-lists-all-at-once - You may prefer to build out your lists completely before entering transactions. You can always access lists from the sub-dashboards in the Nav Bar:
Customer List - (Sales Tab > Customers> New Customers)
Products and Services List - (Sales Tab > Products and Services> New)
Vendor List – (Expenses Tab > Vendors > New Vendor)
Employee List – (Workers Tab > Employees or Contractors > Add)
Personally, I prefer using the second method so I only have to focus on one task at a time, rather than try to juggle two activities at once. But do what makes the most sense to you.
Why did we include connecting bank accounts alongside other fundamental QuickBooks Online functions?
One of the many areas QuickBooks Online excels in is automation. You can connect your bank accounts to QuickBooks Online and the program automatically downloads the last 90 days of transactions. No more double data-entry on already processed credit card transactions (including systems like PayPal).
Making online banking a fundamental part of your workflow alleviates a huge amount of manual data entry –- and if you deal with hundreds of transactions every day, this saves a ton of time. Instead, you’re simply tasked with double-checking QuickBooks for occasional errors.
Letting the program do the heavy lifting also prevents potential data entry errors from by missed keystrokes which can quickly derail monthly bank reconciliations (matching the data in QuickBooks against bank statements).
Now you know the basic navigation and organization of QuickBooks and you’re ready to record a sale, right?
Well, almost. Memorize the workflow below (taken from the tutorial). This is the basic sales form workflow of QuickBooks Online.
Pay close attention to the receive payment step. This is a unique function of the QuickBooks accounting workflow - you will see them throughout your journey. Learn them now and you’ll be successful in the long-run!