MS Office Small Business Accounting Help?
January 30, 2007 9:30 AM   Subscribe

What is the easiest way to set up Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 for a simple business?

My boss has charged me with the task of setting up Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006 on all the store computers so everyone can access the invoices and what not from any computer. Then he wants me to teach him and my co-workers how to use the new system. My problem is that I know computers and software, not how a business works/should work and all of these accounts that are predefined in the program are a bit confusing.

What do I need and what don't I need?

A bit more about our setup: We have 5 computers total. 1 acts as a server, 2 are in back rooms and 2 are in the front of the store that act (will act) as Point of Sale. We only have 4 licenses for the software, so I thought that we would not install the software on the server, but keep the database for Accounting on it. Does that sound like a good plan? I'm not sure exactly the best way to do it.

We sell furniture, so we have vendors we buy from regularly, vendors we deal with only once, a bunch of inventory, 5 employees, and a ton of clients.

Any tips the hivemind can give about doing payroll, inventory, sales, etc. will be extremely helpful.
posted by idledebonair to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
As a former business owner who's now out of business due to screwing up his accounting badly, I have a big word of advice: Talk to whoever does your bookkeeping, accounting, or tax preparation about what accounts you need and what accounts you don't need. And if you don't have someone else doing that, you really really should find a professional to manage your bookkeeping.

The accounts that you need to use/see/display will vary greatly on how your tax structure is set up. For instance: The owner takes some petty cash to buy materials to make an advertising poster. Is that a tax-deductible expense or not? If it is, the advertising and marketing account needs to get the amount added to it's balance. If not, then the office supplies expense account, which is not generally tax deductible IIRC, needs to have the amount added to it's balance.

I'm not an accountant, and I don't even play one on TV, but this is most certainly a question for an accounting professional.
posted by SpecialK at 11:59 AM on January 30, 2007

Oh, and as far as the server/client ... my understanding is that you need to *host* it on one computer that's running Windows XP Professional, and then it can run on other local computers running XP Home or another variant. However, make sure that the computer you host it on gets backed up regularly... you don't want to lose that file to a hard drive crash. If you can't accomplish backing up daily from that computer, don't do it.
posted by SpecialK at 12:10 PM on January 30, 2007

Yeah... talk to your bookkeeper. I've installed numerous accounting applications and the smoothest installs happen when the accounting people are involved.

Most business owners don't have a clue about this sort of thing, they just expect to see the Balance Sheet and P&L at the of each period. Without a proper setup in the beginning, he'll never get this info.

Someone *has* to be doing all the month end accounting cleanup. Go talk to that person right now.
posted by friezer at 7:40 AM on January 31, 2007

Response by poster: Well, there isn't someone really doing that... There is an external accountant that does all of the tax stuff once a year. Everything else is kind of overlooked by the owner, but he isn't an accountant either. So they've been getting by, but no one really knows what to do.
posted by idledebonair at 8:58 PM on February 1, 2007

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