Problems of Delaying QuickBooks Start

If you are planning to use QuickBooks, delaying will only make it more difficult. Here are some reasons why.

Setup While Operating

If you decide not to implement QuickBooks at the beginning of a fiscal year, you will likely find that there is a real conflict later between staying current with your existing accounting system and doing what is necessary to start using QuickBooks. Although you can install QuickBooks with a limited amount of information, at some point you will have to go back and answer some more questions and enter historical information if you expect to get meaningful financial reports. If you are so caught up in the day-to-day operations it is difficult to devote adequate time to planning the implementation. In reality, there should be serious and thoughtful planning done to make it happen smoothly, including such things as:

  • What information do you want? This may sound like a silly question, but it can have significant impact on how you structure QuickBooks. QuickBooks can use things like classes and jobs to provide additional reporting details, but unless you plan for it this will not happen.
  • How will you get information from your old accounting system (such as general ledger account balances, accounts receivable and accounts payable details, etc.) into QuickBooks?
  • How will you collect the information from your old accounting system?
  • Who will handle various QuickBooks tasks and what access do they need to perform these tasks?

These are just a few of many considerations.

Catch Up

Let’s say your fiscal year begins on January 1st and you want to start using QuickBooks on January 1st of the upcoming year. Unless you plan ahead in the existing year, you will not likely be able to setup QuickBooks with accurate information at the last minute. That means you will go forward in a new year using your old system and then later have to go back and enter details in QuickBooks to bring it up to date. Although there is some training advantage of having to use QuickBooks heavily during this catchup period, you will likely continue to use your old system while you also devote time to entering data in QuickBooks. For example, let’s say you sell 100 different products and create approximately 10 invoices 5 days a week. If your year starts January 1st but you wait till April 1st to get QuickBooks activated, your will have in excess of 600 invoices to enter, along with cash receipts to post, bank accounts to balance, etc. Remember this is all being done while continuing to get behind using the old system so you can keep operating.

It is far better to do a little planning in the existing year, do some set-up before the year ends, and then have a crunch period where you enter beginning balances into QuickBooks. Then, you can start using QuickBooks at the beginning of the new year or shortly thereafter.

What is Your Plan?

Do you want to use QuickBooks? If so, here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure it is the correct accounting software for your company. QuickBooks is an excellent program, but it is not right for everyone.
  • Decide when you want to actually start using QuickBooks. Note that the beginning of a fiscal year is generally ideal, but other dates can be used.
  • If a date other that the fiscal year start date is used, determine what level of detail you want for historical information.
  • Establish an implementation plan, assign tasks to people and get moving.
  • Keep in mind that even a smooth implementation will have a period of intense activity, simply because of the nature of converting to a new system.
  • Decide how much training is needed and plan how it will be done.

These are just a few things to consider, but the main point is – Don’t delay too long! If you need assistance, consider letting AimCFO help you.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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