A company file is where you store your company’s records and it’s the first thing you need to work on in the program. You can create a company file from scratch or convert records previously kept in a small business accounting program. The easiest approach is to use a file that someone else created. If you’ve worked with an accountant to set up your company, she might provide you with a QuickBooks company file configured precisely for your business so you can hit the ground running. If you already have a company file, you’ll learn how to open it, update it and modify basic company information.
Opening an existing company file is easy in QuickBooks. When you open QuickBooks with no current company file open, you’re brought to this screen, where you can view recently opened files, and double-click on them to open them, or you can click Open or restore an existing company, to browse to a particular file in a particular directory.
Now keep in mind, it’s important to know exactly where your current company file is on your computer, because it may not necessarily be one that’s in this recent list. That’s why it’s helpful to see the date that your file was last modified, so that you can use that as a guide for which file might be the right one. As you can see here, I have two that are titled the same. You can also see the file size, and if you click on the file itself, you can see the location of where that file is. So all these things can work together to make sure you’re opening the most current file that you’re looking for.
Once you finish setting up your accounts, you’re ready to close the balance in your opening-balance equity account to retained earnings (or the corresponding equity account depending on the business type you use). Finally, you wrap up the new company setup by closing your books in QuickBooks and backing up your company file.