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Help With QuickBooks Beginners Guide to - How Do I Use QuickBooks?

So you are new to QuickBooks.

Good choice thats what I think after being a QuickBooks user for over 10 years.

I have to say I am a QuickBooks fan, it is actually one of those rare products that I use that I would say "I love" I feel the same about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet computer I purchased this January wickedly fast, easy to carry around and a full blown Windows 8.1 Pro PC in a touch screen tablet. That too is I would say the first computer I have purchased in a number of years that has such a good feel good factor to using it turns on in around 5 seconds battery lasts around 7 to 8 hours or around 5 hours with heavier use. Purchased the Arc mouse to go with it so cool and easy to use. Lightning fast and awesome. Love it.

Back to topic! Sorry.

New to QuickBooks Where Do I Start?

That is probably the first question you ask yourself when you start anything new?

Whether you are using QuickBooks Online version or a desktop version of QuickBooks here are a few pointers I suggest you keep in mind.

Let's start by considering why you are using QuickBooks and what you are trying to achieve.

  • To record accounting and financial data and information about your business
  • To monitor and record your income and expenses
  • To balance your books, i.e. for the bank records in QuickBooks to match your actual bank account and petty cash
  • To produce reports that help you see information about your financial records e.g. a profit and loss account 
  • To manage and control your business finances

OK with these aims in mind here is what I suggest you do first.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and take 10 to 15 minutes to observe undistracted by other things.

Often we rush in, when our mind is not focused, rush through something then wonder why the outcome was not ideal or what we wanted to achieve, then give up and move on to the next thing.

Let's take the desktop version for this purpose but the general idea is the same whether you are using QuickBooks desktop or QuickBooks online.

First Observe the QuickBooks Layout

In your first 10 to 15 minutes after installing QuickBooks (or accessing your online account) go exploring.

At the top of the screen (in the desktop version, my personal preference still) you have the usual windows style menu with File, Edit, View etc. Click each one and just observe what is in each drop down menu. The options are logically layout out.

For example under Customers in the main menu for which the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+J perhaps think of "Jobs" to remember "J" i.e. jobs for customers. You can find "create invoices" under the Customers menu item which you use for recording invoices for the services or products you sell to your customers.

Each item you open in QuickBooks opens in its own "window" in QuickBooks.

A window is the square or rectangular box with a title in the top band saying what the window is about, e.g the "home" window which has easy quick links to lots of the sections in QuickBooks again logically paid out.  Each box has the red cross in the top right which you can use to close each window or hit the Esc key to close the current window.

You can have lots of windows open within QuickBooks are any one time.

To move quickly between open windows a keyboard shortcut is Crtl+ tab (i,.e hold the Ctrl key down with one finger then tap the "tab" key with another finger). Personally I hold the Ctrl key down on the left side of the keyboard with my left thumb then use my left index finger to tap the Tab key. Quick and very easy.

Try it. Open a number of windows from the main top menu then Ctrl+tab between them. Then hit the Esc key to close them all one at a time.

Opps... the "home" window has gone, personally I like to leave the home window open for quick access to different sections in QuickBooks.

No problem click "Company" in the top main menu then "Home" is the first in the list tp open it again.

Personally I would leave it there and come back and do the same thing a few times over a cup of coffee before you try to get stuck in.

Feeling defeated too often means people give up feeling over whelmed or lost.

That's the key take a little time to "get familiar", take it in, observe and take small steps to start with.

QuickBooks Help Feature

The far right item in the main top menu is "Help".

Under Help is "Learning Centre" with tutorials and instructions for lots of cool stuff that is great for getting you started with QuickBooks.

Remember take it one step at a time and use QuickBooks frequently in short bursts at least to get started so you can remember all the new things you are learning as you build up your knowledge of QuickBooks.

Now you are focused on the aims and purposes for using QuickBooks (if you read and digested the list above that is!) and taking the initial steps in getting familiar with the menus and navigating your way around QuickBooks that is a great starting point.

If after your first look at QuickBooks you feel lost or don't understand don't panic. That is perfectly normal after all this is a whole new thing for you, right?

Soon you will be feeling a lot more in your comfort zone and flying with QuickBooks.

This Help with QuickBooks Blog has hints and tips for using QuickBooks plus you can post and find answers to questions about using QuickBooks in our online community of UK QuickBooks users forum completely FREE.

Help I have forgotten the Admin Password for my QuickBooks file!

I hear you shout "oh boy, I have forgotten my admin password for my QuickBooks file, HELP!"

Panic! panic! panic!

Lets face it with countless passwords to remember these days it is not unheard of to forget a password, even temporarily, and then get locked out or just frustrated especially if you are new to QuickBooks and not settled in yet or maybe in an office and a staff member set the password and has left without telling anyone the password!

Maybe you changed it to be more secure password and now you can't remember what you changed the password to!

How Can I Recover My QuickBooks Password?

If you have forgotten, lost or don't have the administrator password required to access your QuickBooks company file the Automated Password Reset Tool from Intuit could help you.

What Do You Need To Obtain The QuickBooks Password Reset Tool?

It is Important to note that your license number, e-mail address, telephone number and post code will be validated against your registration record in Intuits database.  If any of the information does not exactly match the information Intuit have on file for you when you registered your QuickBooks product, then the request will fail.

To use the password reset tool, you need QuickBooks 2008 and later and the following:

  • QuickBooks License number
  • Contact name QuickBooks have for you
  • Email address registered with Intuit on registation
  • Phone number
  • Post Code

Where Can I Download the QuickBooks Automated Password Reset Tool?

Once your information is validated Intuit will send you an email (from with further instructions and a "Token Number".

You can only use one Token Number to reset a password in one company file.

If you have multiple company files whose passwords you want to reset, you need go back to the tool and fill out the fields up to the License Agreement BUT don't click the download button.

This will get you another email with another Token Number.

Run the Password Reset Tool and open the company file that has the password you want to reset.

You must be connected to the Internet when you run the password reset tool.

Click here to download the Password Reset Tool.

This password tool only works for QuickBooks versions 2008 and later if you have an earlier version of QuickBooks Intuit have a password removal service available but fees apply.
If you get the error message "Token is either invalid or has expired", go back to the webpage where you downloaded the Password Reset Tool, and fill in all the fields up to the License Agreement. Accept the agreement but do NOT download the tool again. This will generate another email with another Token Number for you to use.
Finally open your company file to verify that the new password works.

Personally I have never had to use the QuickBooks password reset tool (yet!) but it is important to know you can and how to do it if needed!

More information from Intuit about the password reset tool for QuickBooks.

Useful List of QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

Moving a mouse around any bit of software to point to menus to navigate your way around can sometimes feel a slow process.

Quickbooks offers a number of really helpful keyboard shortcut to speed things up which is really handy. The follow list of QuickBooks keyboard short cuts I find really useful. Help with QuickBooks hint and tips.

List of QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

To use the following shortcuts on your keyboard to navigate around QuickBooks quickly and easily simply hold the Ctrl key down with one finger and then click the appropriate letter key with another finger to use each shortcut.

For instance one I use all the time is Ctrl+ i which I remember as "i" for invoice to open the create invoice window in QuickBooks. Very quick. Another favourite is Ctrl+ W to open the "write cheques" window.


P    Print list or report (standard windows shortcut)
F    Find (standard windows shortcut)
A    Chart of Accounts
U    Use account (highlighted account or item in list)
N    New account or item (depending on window open)
E    Edit account or item (depending on window open)
D    Delete account,  item or entry (which is highlighted or open)
Z    Undo delete account
T    Memorised Transaction List
J    Customer centre
i     Create invoice
W   Write cheque
R    Use register (highlighted account in list)
M    Memorise transaction

F Keys Shortcuts

F1   Help
F2   Product information window
F3   Search
F4   Are you talking with a QuickBooks Technical Support Agent? (to allow remote access)
F10  Menu

Alt+F4   Exit QuickBooks (standard windows shortcut)

Know other shortcuts you want to share comment below and share your handy QuickBooks shortcuts.

New Online Support HelpDesk for UK QuickBooks Users

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new online support helpdesk for UK QuickBooks users.

Our QuickBooks support desk is subscription based but you are welcome to try it out for free.

If you are looking for free QuickBooks help and support then get involved with our QuickBooks user forums and post your questions or problems there and interact with other UK QuickBooks users.

The support HelpDesk works along the following lines:

  • Submit support "tickets" online outlining your QuickBooks question
  • Search the Knowledge Base we are building based on user submitted questions or issues

As active QuickBooks users ourselves and helping clients with their own bookkeeping for over 10 years we have built up a substantial amount of knowledge about how to get the most out of QuickBooks.

We have been offering QuickBooks training and courses for the last 10 years as well.

Our goals are:

  • practical workable solutions
  • keeping QuickBooks easy to use
  • structuring QuickBooks data efficiently
  • to get the most out of the software

We are help to help and do our bit in helping UK QuickBooks users.

John (Support)

Help With QuickBooks On Twitter

Help with QuickBooks now on Twitter too...

Our Twitter page is at

Networking and linking up with QuickBooks users on Twitter is one of the ways we use social media to share information with our users and Twitter followers.

Follow us on Twitter to see our twitters about the Help with QuickBooks website and news.

Welcome to Our Help With QuickBooks Blog

Welcome to our Help With QuickBooks blog.

Our new blog section will be updating our users on what the Help With QuickBooks website is doing and information about QuickBooks primarily for UK users of QuickBooks accounting software.

Blogs are a useful way to update users and share information. 

That's what we will be using our Help With QuickBooks blog for!

QuickBooks User Forum for UK QuickBooks Users

We have recently introduced our Help With QuickBooks user forum for QuickBooks users in the UK.

Forums are used for:

  • asking questions
  • sharing and find information
  • sharing hints and tips
  • solving problems and issues

The Help with QuickBooks forum is intended for just that a place to post queries and questions and seek answers from other QuickBooks users.

The more UK QuickBooks users that participate the width the depth of input that there will be queries and questions posted to the forum.