The Express Start feature in QuickBooks 2014 is slightly different than previous versions. In this post, we will discuss how to use the Express Start feature in the newest release of QuickBooks (2014).
You can use the Express Start feature to create a new company file. This feature simplifies and segments the steps in the EasyStep Interview into more manageable sections, so you can get started with QuickBooks more quickly. When you first open QuickBooks, the option to create a company file using the Express Start feature is displayed in the “QuickBooks Setup” screen. Note that this is the same screen that opens if you select “File| New Company…” from the Menu Bar or simply click the “Create a new company” button shown in the “No Company Open” window. If you wish to use the Express Start feature, then click the “Express Start” button within the “QuickBooks Setup” screen to begin.
Also note that for advanced features and setup, you can still use the EasyStep Interview to more thoroughly customize your company file at startup. To do this, simply click the “Advanced Setup” button that is shown within the “QuickBooks Setup” screen, instead. You can then use the EasyStep Interview, which we will discuss in a later lesson, to create your company file.
In the first Express Start screen, enter your Intuit ID or e-mail address associated with your Intuit ID into the “Email Address” field. You must be connected to the internet for this part of the company file setup. If you do not have an Intuit account, enter the business e-mail address you want to associate with your Intuit account. The account will then be created during this part of the process. The Inuit account links you to goods and services available through Intuit. Once you have entered your e-mail address, click the “Validate” button to continue.
If you have an Inuit account, enter the associated password for the account or enter a new password for the account if creating a new Inuit account. To create both a local and online copy of your company file so you can use QuickBooks online, leave the check in the checkbox for “Set up my company file locally and on Intuit’s servers so that I can access QuickBooks features online.” This is an optional step that will make a copy of your company file on both your local machine as well as on an Inuit server, which you can sync to use QuickBooks features online. If you do NOT want this to occur, uncheck the checkbox before clicking the “Continue” button. When you are ready to proceed, click the “Continue” button.
In this screen, enter your company’s name as you wish it to appear to customers and vendors. Note that if you use a different name for legal and tax filings, you will actually enter that name in the third Express Start screen.
Next click the “Help me choose” hyperlink next to the “Industry” text box to open the “Select Your Industry” window. This window allows you to select your company file’s industry. Note that the industry choice will impact which features of QuickBooks are enabled and disabled as well as determine the initial chart of accounts used by your company file. You can also change these settings later, if needed. Within this window, scroll through the “Industry” list in the lower left corner until you find the industry type that most closely matches the type of business that you operate. Then click on the industry to select it. The chart of accounts for the selected type of industry will appear in the window to the right for you to review, if desired. Note that if you cannot find a specific match, you can select the “General Product-based Business” or “General Service-based Business” choices. Note that you should only choose the “Other/None” option if you wish to create all of the accounts used by your company file manually by yourself or with your accountant. Once you have made your industry selection, you can then click the “OK” button to return to the Express Start screen.
Next, use the “Company Type” drop-down to select the legal structure of your company file. This determines the tax-related settings for your company file. You then enter your company’s FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) or your social security number into the “Tax ID #” field. You can then answer the “Do you have Employees?” question by selecting a choice from the adjacent drop-down menu. When finished, click the “Continue” button to move to the third Express Start screen.
In the third “Express Start” screen, you can enter your company’s “Legal Name” used for legal and tax filings if it differs from the “Company Name” that you entered in the previous screen. Then enter your company file’s address information into the “Address,” “City,” State,” “ZIP,” and “Country” fields provided. You can also enter the company’s “Phone,” “Email,” and “Website” into the fields of the same name.
When finished on this screen, you can click the “Preview Your Settings” button to open the “Preview Your Company Settings” window where you can review your company file’s default settings. On the “Features Selected” tab you can see which features will be turned on and off, by default. Note you can change these later, if needed.
You can click the “Chart of Accounts” tab to review the accounts that will be used by your company file. You can check any accounts you wish to add, or remove the check from the checkbox for any accounts you want to remove.
You can click the “Company File Location” tab to view the directory where QuickBooks will save your company file. If needed, you can click the “Change Location” button to open a “Browse for Folder” window that you can use to select a different file location to which to save the local copy of the company file.
When finished, click the “OK” button within the “Preview Your Company Settings” window to return to the Express Start screen. Then click the “Create Company File” button to create your company file. After creating the company file, you can then add the customers, products and services, and bank accounts used by your company by clicking the “Add” button in the respective sections. We will examine doing this in later chapters.