As you know, I keep Mr. A’s books for his two businesses, and for a while I was keeping track using Quicken. That seemed to work out okay, but it started to get cumbersome because I was having to use Excel to create invoices. A friend of mine told me she uses Quickbooks, and loved it, so I started checking into the program. I discovered there is a free version which can be downloaded (which would probably be perfect for bloggers out there wanting to track their blogging income) – Quickbooks Simple Start 2008. That seemed to be working out pretty good, a lot better than Quicken and Excel spreadsheets.
Then I decided to buy Quickbooks Simple Start 2009. I don’t remember why I felt the need to upgrade – I am typically not one to buy every new piece of software that becomes available. Why, I only upgraded my Adobe Photoshop because I discovered Adobe allows you to load one copy to two computers, and my job purchased a copy of CS2 for me to use at work. Up until that time I was happily using Adobe Photoshop 5.0. At times I still prefer 5.0 to CS2. But I digress. I found a copy of Simple Start 2009 on Amazon for $20 and some change. I don’t remember why in the world I decided to buy it – I think it had something to do with thinking it was an upgrade version of the program, since it came on CD. DOH. Once it arrived, I caught wind there is a limit of 20 customers in Simple Start. I didn’t remember seeing that for 2008, so I opened Quickbooks Simple Start 2008 and added a couple more customers which put us over 20 and it still worked. Then I found out it’s the 2009 version that limits to 20 customers! How annoying!
A couple of weekends ago I was working at Mr. A’s books. As I printed out a profit and loss statement, I realized I’d entered some information incorrectly, and had some things entered twice. It was having the effect of making Mr. A’s income much higher, which would have been great, had it been the truth. I don’t want to pay taxes on money that wasn’t actually earned! About that time I started thinking it would be really nice to be able to import the checking account data that I’d been keeping in Quicken, to Quickbooks. Well, that cannot be done with Simple Start. In fact, you can’t import or export much of anything.
AJ was listening to me whine and complain and he did a little research on his own. He informed me that QuickBooks Pro has those options, and so I checked it out. I whined about how Quickbooks Pro costs a couple hundred dollars. We were looking on a Saturday night and discovered a lot of places had Quickbooks Pro on sale for $99. I thought about ordering it online, but I decided I’d rather have it sooner than later. I was able to confirm that it would be on sale at Staples for $99 the next day at CircularSales.com. An ex-boss showed me the site that lists Electronics, Home Appliances, Computer Hardware and Computer Software on by state. Staples would still have it on sale on Sunday, and was also offering three additional software programs available free, Basic Payroll, Intuit Website Creator, and Credit Card Processing Kit. Unfortunately, the store I went to only had the Credit Card Processing Kit in stock. I contemplated going to another store, but it was after church on Sunday, and I just wanted to get home. Plus, I probably wouldn’t use the website program (since one of my other side jobs is web design) or the payroll program.
It stung a bit to not get the other two programs free, there is always that part of me, “But you could have sold it on eBay!” that causes me to hoard much too much clutter. I need Clean House to come rescue me. No, don’t, I couldn’t take it!
The “Buy QuickBooks Pro 2009, Get Three Additional Products Free” deal is still on at Amazon, if you are in the market for Quickbooks Pro 2009. $99.95 and free shipping!
On the way home, I stopped by Barnes and Nobel to see what kind of “guides” they had available for Quickbooks Pro 2009. They had QuickBooks 2009 All-in-One For Dummies for $34.99. I debated buying it, but was just CERTAIN I could find it cheaper online. I was right, whew. Amazon had it for significantly less: $22.09. When I’m learning something new, I like to get at least two books for reference. I’m so glad I have this habit, and decided to invest in QuickBooks 2009: The Missing Manual. I am a lot happier with the Missing Manual guide. I have always been somewhat offended by the “Dummies” books, but I’m willing to overlook the title for the information.
You know it just occurred to me that the Dummies book was written by a man, and the Missing Manual by a woman. The Missing Manual has better step by step documentation so far, at least when I’ve been after something specific.
I was really thrilled to see that Quickbooks Pro 2009 has the ability to track mileage! I was keeping track using Excel, which was working out pretty good, and I’d even put in formulas to show mileage costs per job. But Quickbooks does that automatically, and I can print out several reports with various information. Like mileage per person, per job, per day, etc.
It was a bit of a learning curve, but The Missing Manual gave me explicit instructions on setting up sales tax items and sales tax groups. Exactly what I needed to help me calculate the transaction privilege tax required by the State of Arizona. Prior to this, it was taking several hours of tedious calculations just to figure out what to pay whom! This is going to make my life SO much easier (and maybe I’ll have more time to blog!)
I will be so ready to file our incomes taxes next year!
Have a lovely day!