How hard is it to learn Quickbooks?
September 18, 2013 2:47 PM   Subscribe

How to quickbooks? I'm computer and internet literate, can add/subtract/multiply/divide (usually with a calculator, just to be sure) and I think I understand how to double entry bookkeep. I am clearly not an accountant. Can I learn enough about quickbooks to justify applying for a job requiring it?

Want the job, have everything but the quickbooks skills. I am not an accountant, and have never used quickbooks, but can work outlook and the internet and such just fine (I never really had to use excell, so i'm REALLY rough on that, but the job posting doesn't mention that). I would have 2-3 weeks to study before showing up in the office if I got the job.

So, I guess the questions are:

Can I learn it well enough? They don't mention what level of expertise, but this is not labeled an accounting or upper level job (or mid level, honestly, sounds like). The screenshots I've seen look mostly common sense. They do mention lots of training.

What basics of quickbooks should I know if they ask about it in the interview?

How much accounting skills should I really have? I wish the job posting was more clear; this is the first job aspect I will be asking about.

Where should I train on quickbooks? (I did find this page )

posted by Jacen to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What version of QuickBooks, do you know? The desktop version and QuickBooks online are difference. QuickBooks online lets you sign up for a free 1 month trial, so you could practice with that, without spending any money.

What type of job is it? I'd expect a different level of proficiency from someone doing accounts payable than from someone as a bookkeeper. I learned QuickBooks mostly on my own, and then took a class - I don't think it's terribly difficult, but it depends on what you're using it for.

Feel free to memail me with questions.
posted by needlegrrl at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2013

Entering/paying bills, entering invoices, receiving payments, entering credit card charges, reconciling accounts, running reports? Stupid easy. You should be able to self-teach in under an hour.

Entering things like a payroll are easy once you know how to do it. If you aren't an accountant you will need an accountant or actual bookkeeper to show you how to debit/credit the correct accounts. Once you know you can then just copy for each subsequent payroll.

Paying sales tax is slightly more difficult but again, once you do it once you should be able to do it for all time.

Setting up vendor and customers is pretty easy (just fill in the boxes) but you'll need to know things like what account to map them to. Luckily most companies all do things slightly differently so for a lot of the stuff asking how they do it won't seem out of line.
posted by magnetsphere at 3:01 PM on September 18, 2013

A friend of mine who is the least computer literate of anyone my age that I have ever met did exactly as you are wishing to do. She learned quickbooks and the accounting tasks required for the job in about a month.

She is, however, an over achieving dean's list book worm obsessive pretentious little beast of a learner, so be prepared to need to really dedicate time to this.
posted by skrozidile at 3:32 PM on September 18, 2013

What's the job description? I am not a bookkeeper or accountant but my mom is so I have done a lot of data entry for her, and also a little bit at some previous jobs. It really depends on the company, the job description, and the QuickBooks version. Also it depends on if there will be someone to train you.
posted by radioamy at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2013

This is hard to answer without knowing more about the job. Knowing a bit about accounting is important. But I think with Quickbooks what's more important is knowing the workflow that is specific to the program. The workflow is specific to the software. You don't have to do all the steps all the time, but if you miss a step or enter a transaction using the wrong screen, or do similar transactions in different ways at different times, you could end up with a mess.

The program isn't difficult to learn. I recommend going with Intuit's training programs if you have money to drop or if the company will cover it. If not you can spend around $40 on a book - I like the Missing Manual series personally. There's also stuff on the internet for free if you have the time to google around.

It really depends on the job. If it's basic stuff, or repetitive stuff, I think you'd be good. If they want you to set accounts up for them or take on full charge bookkeeping, you might bite off more than you can chew.

I do think that you should try to learn about it. Qualified bookkeepers seem to be in short supply, and even if you don't get this job it could be a useful skill. Good luck!

EDIT: If the company provides training (I can't tell from your question) I'd jump on this like the last helicopter out of Saigon. It would be a very good skill to have.
posted by natteringnabob at 4:10 PM on September 18, 2013

I worked phone support for QuickBooks for a short while. Our training was six weeks, probably half of which was completely wasted time. I'd say you have plenty of time.
posted by town of cats at 4:58 AM on September 19, 2013

Yeah, so I was an International Affairs major in college (where we really were only required to know how to count countries- 1 country! 2 countries! 3 countries in conflict! ) and basically taught myself and am now on my third job as a Operations Manager/Bookkeeper.

I taught myself using Quickbooks for dummies (which had an intro to accounting which was helpful) and one other book for reference. I had to start the whole file from scratch though- that is much harder for a newbie with no accounting background to do than just updating a file that has already been started. Will you have a supervisor who will help you/train you? Then you are fine. Its basically glorified data entry at that point. If you are it and have to get going and then try and explain the difference between a balance sheet and a profit and loss report.... well, its not so super easy and sometimes makes you a little crazy, but it has been a great skill to have.

Honestly, I could teach anyone some basic quickbooks in a week and not worry, Ive done it before. The excel knowledge is probably the harder skill to learn (depending on how extensively they are using it)
posted by zara at 9:10 AM on September 19, 2013

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