A company file is where you store your company’s financial records in QuickBooks, so it’s the first thing you need to work on in the program. You can create a company file from the start or convert other data files that you previously created in other accounting programs such as Quicken, or in a different edition of QuickBooks like QuickBooks for Mac.
If you’re new to bookkeeping, another approach is to use a file that someone else created. For example, if you’ve worked with an accountant to set up your company, she might provide you with a QuickBooks company file already configured for your business so you can hit the ground running.
The three basic approaches to creating a company file are covered by the QuickBooks Setup dialog box’s two buttons:
- Start Setup. This button is in pole position because it’s the best option if this is your first time creating a company file. If you go this route, QuickBooks launches QuickBooks Setup and asks for a few bits of info at a time before moving to each new screen. If you stop filling in information before QuickBooks creates your company file, the program won’t save any of the values you entered. So make sure you have at least 15 minutes to complete the first set of steps. Instructions for the basic setup begin on Using QuickBooks Setup.
- Advanced Setup. If you’ve been around the QuickBooks block before, click the Other Options button and then choose this entry to launch the EasyStep Interview window, which asks for more information on each screen than the Start Setup approach does. If you need help during the process, you can always click the “Get answers” link at the top right of the window. You can also use Advanced Setup to go back and modify info you entered previously, whether you entered it using QuickBooks Setup or the EasyStep Interview.
- Other Options. The other entries on this button’s drop-down menu cover the rest of the bases. You can use it to open an existing company file or convert existing records that are in Quicken or another accounting program (Converting from Another Program of Quickbooks) for use in QuickBooks.