QuickBooks Support and Training Resources

| September 1, 2010 | 14 Comments

Every year I like to revisit this subject – what kind of resources are available for support and training for QuickBooks? Here is my latest list – many of these are free, but some do have a cost involved. Please add your comments about resources that YOU have found that are helpful.

Books and Training

  • Running QuickBooks 2010 Premier Editions: The Only Definitive Guide to the Premier Editions  by Kathy Ivens – an excellent resource if you are new to QuickBooks, or want to know more about the best way to use the program. If you are an accountant this is the one you want to start with. I’m looking forward to her 2011 version in the next few months. Kathy has great insight as to what is really important, and I’m always learning things from her.
  • QuickBooks Essentials: For All QuickBooks Users (Video Training) by Laura Madeira – if you prefer video with screen samples, this is a great resource. Laura is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in QuickBooks.
  • QuickBooks 2010: Solutions Guide for Business Owners and Accountants by Laura Madeira – an advanced book, it has topics that dig into depth in typical problems you might face. This isn’t your first QuickBooks book. I refer to it often
  • QuickBooks 2010 The Official Guide (Quicken Press) by Leslie Capachietti. This is the basic QB book – the author changes each year but the format is roughly the same. Some prefer this book over “Running QuickBooks” – a little softer approach to some information, more for the first time user who might not know accounting in detail. 
  • Free eBook: If you have a current version of QuickBooks you may be able to download a free version of the QuickBooks “Official eGuide” as a PDF. Select Help and then Learning Center Tutorials. In the window that opens, scroll down and look for the download link under “Additional training resources”. NOTE that this link might not always work. If you have an older version, the link may be broken.

Blogs

Well, the easiest one to list here is Practical QuickBooks, of course! However, there are others that are worth watching.

  • Ruth Perryman and QB Specialists: Ruth is a very knowledgeable ProAdvisor and she throws out interesting tidbits in her blog.
  • Scott Gregory: Scott provides insight into many aspects of QuickBooks. We tend to compete a bit on some issues – but he’s a great source of information.
  • Rustler’s QuickBooks Tips: Rustler (Jim Ernest in real life) is an outspoken user of QuickBooks, and a major contributor to the Intuit Community Forum. His blog contains his observations of what works and what doesn’t in QuickBooks, and he has many articles that explain how to use it in many business situations. It looks like he is slowing down on posting, but there is a lot of good information in existing posts. You would never guess that he is from Texas from his writing style…
  • Quickbooksimportexport’s Blog – A specialty blog on how to use the import/export tools from Baystate Consulting. Lots of great tips here if you use their products (which I highly recommend).
  • QuickBooks and Your Business by Shannon Tucker of quickbooksusers.com. Interesting information on QuickBooks from someone who knows it well.
  • QuickBooks for Contractors blog – If you are a contractor using QuickBooks, or a ProAdvisor working with contractors, you need to subscribe to this blog by Nancy Smyth of Sunburst Software Solutions!

Web sites

  • CPA911: A web site run by Kathy Ivens, author of a number of books about QuickBooks. This is an outstanding resource for information on QuickBooks, with tips, a newsletter, and books.
  • Intuit Community: This is an Intuit web site and there is a lot here that can help. I particularly like the Forum, where other users as well as QuickBooks experts can answer your questions for free. The trick here is to ask a simple and clear question (and to state what version of QB you are using). Complicated questions are less likely to be answered.
  • QuickBooks Downloads: Another Intuit site – did you lose your QuickBooks CD and need to reinstall? This site provides links where you can download a copy of QuickBooks to replace that CD.
  • Intuit  Training: Intuit provides a lot of great training material for accountants that you can look into. If you are providing support to users of QuickBooks, look into becoming a ProAdvisor. There is a HUGE amount of training and resources for a very reasonable annual membership fee. Anyone in the business of providing QuickBooks advise or support should enroll in this program.

Tools

There are a number of tools that I use that I find very useful when working with QuickBooks. Here are a few, if I have reviewed the product I’ll link to my article.

  • Data Transfer Utility by Karl Irvin: The number one tool for moving information between QuickBooks company files.
  • Snagit by TechSmith: This isn’t specifically a QuickBooks tool, but I use it often. This is the best screen capture tool there is, helpful in documenting your internal procedures or capturing information to send to support…
  • Import/Export Tools by Baystate Consulting: My preferred tools for extracting transactions from QuickBooks, or importing transactions in from a variety of sources.
  • IIF Tools by Big Red Consulting: If you need to work with IIF files, or you are looking for the lowest cost data import utility, I highly recommend the tools by Big Red Consulting.
  • QODBC Driver: If you want to work with QuickBooks data on a programming level then this is the tool for you. ODBC is a database language, and unless you are a masochist you want to use this instead of the Intuit programming interface (the “SDK”).

Support

In addition to the web sites are articles I have listed in other headings, here are a few people who provide expert assistance with QuickBooks (for a fee). I highly recommend each person listed here.

  • Laura Madeira: Laura is a nationally known expert and author on QuickBooks and job costing in particular.
  • Laura Dion: Another Laura? Yes! If you need help with straightening out your QuickBooks bookkeeping issues, Laura Dion is the expert. She often gives me comments on my blog articles, keeping me straight…

Services

Sometimes you need help fixing your QuickBooks Company file. Here are some web sites for companies that provide repair services. I have worked with each of these to varying degrees, and all are highly recommended. Make sure you know what the cost will be and what you will get in return with each of these services – they are reliable, but you have to understand what is being done to your file (and how long it will take). I hope to be writing articles on these in the future…

  • QB or not QB: If you need to convert an Enterprise company file down to Premier, this is where to go. They also provide a “shrink” service to reduce your company file size, various “cleaning” services, and repair services for damaged files.
  • AccountingUsers, Inc.: This company provides company file repair services as well as a “supercondense” process to shrink your company file.

Do you have any favorite books, blogs, tools or web sites that I don’t list here? Let us know!

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Category: General Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

Comments (14)

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  1. Steve Gill says:

    And let’s not forget the reams of material authored by Joe Woodard, which I have found essential in QuickBooks troubleshooting engagements! And I use his National Advisors Network extensively for answers to the day-to-day questions I encounter.

  2. Charlie says:

    Steve – absolutely! I didn’t list Joe Woodard’s group because it is not available to the general public. If you are a ProAdvisor, two excellent sources of information (but with a fee) are Joe Woodard’s National Advisors Network (http://www.nationaladvisornetwork.com/), and The Sleeter Group (http://www.sleeter.com/). Both organizations host conferences each year, of great value. See http://www.scalingnewheights.com/ and http://www.sleeterconference.com/

  3. and north of the 49th, now that the smoke has cleared, there’s the articles published in Advisor Advantage in Canada by several contributors to note, myself included, Eileen Reppenhagen, CGA, Esther Friedberg Karp, MBA (yes, she writes for south of the 49th, Peter Budreski, CA and we are usually available for consultation on Canadian issues.

  4. Hugh Turner says:

    Does anyone know of good QB support in the UK?

  5. Thanks so much Charlie! Your blog is one of my top favorites too. You’re a mad genius when it comes to all that technical stuff I don’t want to know about!

  6. Nancy Smyth says:

    Thanks for the mention Charlie 🙂 I refer to your blog frequently.

  7. Charlie:

    Thanks for the plug for my blog.

    As Ruth and Nancy mentioned, kudos right back to you – I look forward to your posts as well. Always plenty of things for us to learn in the ever evolving world of QuickBooks.

  8. Alison Ball says:

    HI Charlie,
    In addition to the resources on this list (great job assembling it!) I would appreciate it if you could let your peeps know about the training that Intuit creates for accounting professionals… most of it is entirely free, and all of it was written by accounting professionals.

    You can see the up-to-date course list at http://accountant.intuit.com

    Also – if people are considering becoming a ProAdvisor, they can also go through 16-20 hours of training and become CERTIFIED.

    Alison

    • Charlie says:

      Alison, you are right. For ProAdvisors that is a great site, and it should be listed in my article. I tend to not think of that resource when talking to people, even though I use it myself!

  9. Seth David says:

    Hi Charlie. Please consider adding my blog to the list. Many people tell me they find it very helpful!
    http://www.quickbooksnerd.com

    Thanks!

    Seth

  10. Ron Acher says:

    Don’t Forget “QuickBooks, The Missing Manual” by Bonnie Biafore, and the “QuickBooks for Dummies” series, both published intermittently by O’Reilly and Wiley respectively, as great introductory texts. “QuickBooks,The Missing Manual” is especially well-written, in that it always contains little boxes with answers to the next question the reader who is lloking for more will be about to ask as they reach the end of a particular topic.

    — Ron

  11. Charlie says:

    Ron, Bonnie Biafore’s book is one I list in my Amazon widget, usually. It is a good introductory book. I’m not a fan of the Dummies book in this particular case, but that is a personal preference. Some people like it, some don’t.

    But thanks for your comments, there are a number of good books out there.

  12. Penny Lane says:

    These books are great books and books work for a lot of people, but I find video tutorials even better for software training. There are quite a few products out there – including lots of free tutorials on youtube, as well as the QuickBooks in-product tutorials – they’re really good. Real World Training has some great comprehensive tutorial programs, and there are a few others to be found if you google “quickbooks tutorials”. I produce interactive QuickBooks training tutorials at http://www.quickbooksnow.com, and have free tutorials available as well. I do like quickbooksnerd too! I’m not posting this just to plug myself, but I think tutorials are an important resource!

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