Guide to Customizing QuickBooks Online for Your Business

Make your tasks easier and faster by customizing QBO for your company.

QuickBooks Online was designed to be used by a variety of business types. Its versatility is one of the reasons QBO is such a popular small business accounting website. No matter whether you’re an HVAC repair company or a purveyor of artisanal craft beer, you can customize QBO to fit your company’s needs.

At Gibbons & Gibbons, we’ve been helping our clients set up and use their QuickBooks Online accounts since QuickBooks first launched. We’re proud to be Advanced Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisors. Here are our top tips for getting started customizing QBO for your business.

First Stop: Settings

As soon as you start using QuickBooks Online, your first order of business should be to click on the small gear icon in the upper right corner. The window that opens displays links to all of the site’s options.

Global Settings

The first screen you should visit is Account and Settings. This page is divided into five sections:

  1. Company – Your company’s name and contact information appears here, as well as identifying details like the tax form you file and your industry.
  2. Sales – You can do a lot of customizing here that will affect your company’s selling activities. For example, you can specify preferred invoice terms and delivery method, and indicate whether to turn on features like:
  • Shipping
  • Custom fields and transaction numbers
  • Discounts
  • Quantity and price/rate
  • Inventory quantity on hand

You can also access the site’s tools for customizing the design and layout of your sales forms (like invoices and receipts).

  1. Expenses – You’ll toggle expense-related tools on and off here. You can choose to, for example, track expenses and items by customer and make them billable. Will you be using purchase orders? What will your default bill payment terms be?
  2. Payments – Here, you’ll be able to set up a merchant account, or connect an existing merchant account, so you can accept credit cards and bank transfers from customers through QuickBooks Online.

Advanced – You may not be familiar with some of the concepts here, like “closing books” and specifying default accounts for items like Markup. We can go over these things with you and help you make the best decisions.

Other entries in the Advanced list are easier to complete, though you may still want some guidance. Will you support multiple currencies? Automatically apply credits and invoice unbilled activity? Make individually-tracked time activities billable to customers?

Other Preferences

There are many other areas in this window that you’ll want to explore before you start processing a lot of transactions in QuickBooks Online.

  • Manage Users – if more than one person will have access to QBO, you can use this section to define their access’s limits.
  • Chart of Accounts – but only to familiarize yourself with the accounts that make up the backbone of your accounting data. Please do not make any changes here without talking to us.
  • All Lists – to see what’s available here, like Classes, Recurring Transactions, and Payment Methods.
  • Products and Services – to start building records for the items and services you sell. If you carry inventory and have never worked with a website that helps you manage it, please let us go over these concepts with you.
  • Budgeting – if you plan to create a budget. QuickBooks Online contains a tool that will accommodate this critical task.
  • Audit Log – if multiple people will be using QuickBooks Online. It tracks all activity by date and user.

We Can Help

QuickBooks Online is easy to use, but there’s a lot to learn up front about customizing it to meet your company’s accounting needs. We’re here to help!  Connect with Gibbons & Gibbons, your Advanced Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisors, so we can walk you through the basics.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash