QuickBooks is the number one selling accounting software for small businesses. There are a number of reasons for its popularity, including their reasonable prices and the fact that its name has become synonymous for accounting software. Along with their affordable prices, QuickBooks offers many different options to their customers, including industry-specific options, single licenses,  and an online version. The software, once it is set up, is relatively easy to use.

So with all of these great features, you might be wondering what your challenge is with QuickBooks?

For starters, my number one complaint is their advertisement statements. In their commercials they state that anyone can set up and use the software without any accounting knowledge.  This has led to too many small business owners to set up the software themselves without any help from an experienced accountant.

Once QuickBooks is up and running, it is an easy to use program. The problem is getting to the up and running phase. Setting up the software should not be taken lightly, especially if you do not have a basic understanding of accounting.  I am sure you have heard the phrase “junk in, junk out”.  As far as QuickBooks goes, this starts with setting up the chart of accounts without understanding what you are doing.  The chart of accounts is a listing of income, costs of goods, and expenses.  It is used to develop budgets, profit & loss statements, invoices, and balance sheets, which is used to make so many business decisions.  So, what happens if the chart of accounts is set up incorrectly?  The basic answer is that your financial data will be incorrect.

As a small business owner, the number one tool for managing your cash flow and growing your business is your financial numbers.  If you are making choices based upon incorrect data, you run the risk of making decisions that could cost your business money you do not have.  A second challenge is the cost of correcting the mistakes.  Again, this should not be undertaken without accounting knowledge.  If not done correctly, changing, merging, and inactivating accounts will alter your business numbers and cause even more confusion.

So if you are not an accountant or bookkeeper, what should you do?  I always recommend hiring a bookkeeper to set up QuickBooks.  It usually takes only a couple of hours to set up and will ultimately save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Where you can save money is entering the daily activity yourself.  Ask your bookkeeper to teach you how to correctly enter your financial activity and remember to take notes!  The cost of paying a bookkeeper to set up your chart of accounts and teaching you how to use the software correctly is a lot less than paying them to correct your chart of accounts once you have launched and realized your information is incorrect. Just be sure to enter the data consistently each week. 

I can't emphasize enough the importance of accurate financial data for a business, and thus I urge small business owners to really learn QuickBooks in conjunction with hiring a bookkeeper to oversee your financials on at least a monthly basis.  As small business owners, we have a lot to worry about; managing our books does not have to be one of them.

WSBA and Westerville RotaryFreshly purchased laptops await entrepreneurs participating in the WSBA's next installment of their educational program. With determination from the WSBA and a grant from the Westerville Sunrise Rotary purchasing the laptops became a possibility. 

Connected by the City of Westerville, the WSBA and the Westerville Sunrise Rotary share a passion for community, economic development, and dedication to helping the growth of Westerville. Through this mutual goal, the Rotary wrote a grant specifically for the WSBA in order to purchase 10 laptops and software.

"The computers provide a more hands-on experience so attendees and students can walk away with more completed projects," said Mary McCarthy, President and Co-Founder of the WSBA. "It also enables us to provide training for business applications such as Quickbooks and social networking sites."

The laptops will see their first use in January when the WSBA commences the second round of The Inspired Educational Program, starting on January 25, 2014.

The WSBA is proud to announce that we are launching our first Intensive Educational Program in Mid-May.

The Inspired Education Track for start-ups and new entrepreneurs consist of hands-on entrepreneurial development, expert speakers, dynamic instructors, and complimentary resources. The first class begins on Saturday, May 18th, and the WSBA is offering a 10% discount for the first 5 students to enroll by April 30th.

"I'm really excited about launching our first educational program," says Mary McCarthy, President and Co-Founder of the WSBA. "This is a great opportunitiy for small business owners to learn how to be truly effective and sucessful in their businesses, generating the revenue and clients that they're striving for."

Educational Programs for Women Business OwnersThe intensive educational programs meet for a total of 66 hours over a 6 month period of time.  They meet once each month for 8 hours (on a Saturday), and then touch base via a one hour conference call each week.

The cost of the program is only $1,500, which breaks down to only $22 per hour of training. Thanks to generous donations from Sandy Blanquera (Social Boomerang), Caroline Worley (Worley Law, LLC), and Mary McCarthy (Your Management Team, Inc.) the WSBA is offering need-based scholarships, and financing options have also been made available. "We want these programs to be available to any female entrepreneur with a dream, a vision, and the determiniation to make it become a reality," says McCarthy.

Students will complete the class armed with a host of business tools, including completed business, marketing, and sales plans, a credit repair plan, financial worksheets and forms, and more.

Learn more about the the Inspired Educational Track...