Is Quickbooks over my head?
October 11, 2006 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Quickbooks: How different is it from Quicken, and how difficult to learn?

I interviewed for a job yesterday that requires Quickbook knowledge. I don't have any, though I do have extensive Quicken experience, as well as other financial experience (light receivables/payables, budgeting, reporting).

The guy liked me and he liked my other experience enough to call me back for a second interview wherein I will be asked more detailed questions, many of them in regard to Quickbooks.

So long question longer, will I be in over my head with Quickbooks if they do hire me? I usually pick things up pretty quickly; self taught (mostly) on other programs such as Excel, Word, Access, Symposium, JD Edwards. I'm not afraid of computers, which probably helps.

Be honest!
posted by suchatreat to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not really the same at all. It's based on old-fashioned (in the good sense) account principles and it makes a lot of sense from an accounting perspective, but I didn't find it obvious to understand, nor did it resemble Quicken.

Have you ever taken even an introductory accounting course? if not, that would help a lot.
posted by GuyZero at 8:24 AM on October 11, 2006

Quickbooks is painfully easy to learn, until you run into one of it's 'gotchas'. For instance, once you close the books for a month and reconcile the bank statements, you can never ever go back and fix them.

Most of the accounts I know treat Quickbooks as a necessary evil. They much prefer MYOBAccounting or Peachtree or ... pretty much anything else.
posted by SpecialK at 8:35 AM on October 11, 2006

Try taking the demos and tours on their website here. That should give you a chance to see it in action and decide if you can bluff through with your Quicken knowledge. I've done that with jobs looking for Peachtree experience, although I haven't had the guts to apply when Peachtree is required-just when it's "a plus".
posted by saffry at 8:35 AM on October 11, 2006

I would STRONGLY advise not delving into Quickbooks until you've had at least some introduction to basic accounting principles. Personal finance software like Quicken is essentially running tallies of financial data that are as independent or intertwined as you want to make them. As soon as you step into a true ledger environment, you can't just "stick" something somewhere- it has to be balanced out somewhere else. If you're not organized, it's easy to quickly turn your books into a mess.
posted by mkultra at 8:43 AM on October 11, 2006

Oh man, I had to learn Quickbooks for work (and I have been using Quicken at home for years) and every month or so, I have the very strong desire to throw my computer out of my 7th floor window. It just has these quirks that annoy the living bejesus out of me. I absolutely loathe it.

But, I don't have an accounting background, and my boss (who brought it into my office) does. He seems to think it's great. Ugh.
posted by pyjammy at 10:10 AM on October 11, 2006

I have used Quickbooks in several settings and taught others to use it. It may not be perfect, but is not difficult. Your financial and computer experience should make it easy for you to put Quickbooks to use. There are plenty of books and websites available to help you. It will be important to get some guidance from the company's accounting advisor on monthly closing procedures; most of the rest will be familiar or intuitive.

The only way you'll find yourself over your head is if you try to hide your lack of direct experience. It sounds like you have a good shot at the job despite it.

Be honest!
posted by Snerd at 10:44 AM on October 11, 2006

I worked at Intuit Canada for a year in 2004 doing tech support for Quickbooks, and a little bit of Quicken. I had taken a couple of Accounting classes in University when I started there, and (with that background) found it easy to use. Without at least some basic accounting knowledge, though, it would have been rough.

Like SpecialK said - it's easy, except for a few gotchas. If you need to do something unusual, there's always a way to do it - but figuring out how can be a treat.

Oh yeah. Make backups. 2/3 of the calls I got would have been easy if people would follow a backup schedule.
posted by Fully Completely at 10:47 AM on October 11, 2006

Snerd, yes, the interviewer was aware of my lack of Quickbook knowledge.
posted by suchatreat at 11:48 AM on October 11, 2006

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