You’ve been convinced (hopefully by us) to setup Quickbooks Online. Great, accounting will magically work itself out right? Well not quite… so we continue our wait for the AI overlord to do everything for us. While we’d love to help with our bookkeeping services, we understand that you may need to do your own DIY bookkeeping until the money starts coming in. There’s a few things you can do during setup to make life easier.

Who is this for?

  • Startups

  • New(ish) Business Owners

  • Side-Hustlers becoming FT Entrepreneurs

Keep reading if you’re…

  • DIY bookkeeping

  • Thinking about using Quickbooks Online

  • Subscribed to Quickbooks Online and don’t know where to begin

TLDR: Go to Company Settings and enter your company information, fiscal year, and enable account numbers. Sequentially number and leave enough space between your Chart of Accounts. Follow a naming convention for your multiple bank, credit, and loan accounts. Link your bank and credit accounts and sales tax to record obviously, bank and sales tax transactions much easier. Sounds overly simple? Well this is a tldr after-all.

Setting up Quickbooks Online

Enter Company Information: Seems useless at first? Enter in company information like your business address, phone, email, business number and branded logo. When you invoice out of QBO, this information will appear on the face of your invoice. Have you ever noticed the GST number on all dining receipts? Well GST numbers are required on the face of receipts/invoices in order to collect GST.

Set your Fiscal Year: If you’re newly incorporated, you have ability to choose your fiscal year-end within 53 weeks of the date of incorporation. You can still choose December 31, but some industries may have a preference for year-end. For example, retailers/ecommerce may want to choose January 31 as a year-end as it’ll capture all the Christmas returns to close out the year. Just make sure to set the same fiscal year in QBO so everything matches up.

Chart of Accounts: This the categorization to track all the transactions in your books — whether it’s cash in the bank, payables, income, expenses, etc. Make sure your Chart can grow with your business by having a sequential order of accounts (Assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, expenses, etc) with enough space to add new accounts. Enable account numbers in your chart of accounts to start and group the accounts as follows:

  • 1xxx – Assets (11xx Bank, 12xx Accounts Receivable, etc)

  • 2xxx – Liabilities

  • 3xxx – Equity

  • 4xxx – Revenue

  • 5xxx – Cost of Sales / Direct Costs

  • 6xxx – Overhead / Fixed Expenses

  • 8xxx – Other Income

  • 9xxx – Other Expenses

Name those Bank Accounts: Most businesses will have multiple bank, credit card, and loan accounts from the same institution. Keep yourself organized by using the following naming convention:

[Bank Institution][Account Type][x][Last Four Digits of Account]

For example, TD Visa x0088 or TD Checking x0088

Link Bank Accounts: This a huge time saver in Quickbooks Online. Connect your bank and credit accounts to your online banking to pull the latest transactions into your books. It’s read only and will only pull transactions, so no one can make payments from QBO.

Turn on Sales Tax: If you’re a startup or side-hustler, chances are that you’re a small supplier and don’t need to collect GST. But if you way past that, turn on sales tax (GST/PST in BC) in Quickbooks Online to track your sales tax. Keep it mind, you’re not just tracking how much you collected and need to pay the government. You’re also tracking how much you’ve paid in GST for expenses and get can that refunded to you.

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