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QuickBooks is a widely used accounting software. One thing to bear in mind about the tool is that it has a steep learning curve. There are, in fact, many ways to learn QuickBooks software at home. Depending on the option you choose, your budget to complete the task may be free or it may cost $400. Is it worth your time and effort to learn QuickBooks to handle your small business accounting?

How to learn QuickBooks

Here are some ways you can learn the basic skills you need to properly use QuickBooks:

Video Tutorials – When you first open QuickBooks, the video tutorials screen will appear. The tutorial is a free feature that will take you step by step through many of the processes that you must complete in QuickBooks, including adding customers and suppliers, creating invoices and sales receipts and creating items. If you are someone who learns best through practice, this option may not be for you.

Use the blended training CD – Intuit, the company that created QuickBooks, offers a training CD for those who want to go one step beyond the tutorials. This CD gives students a software description instead of complete training, but there are no exams to pass and the cost is reasonable. To get the most out of this program, they must be motivated and be able to learn through the demonstration and examples. There are few to no practices involved.

Become a certified QuickBooks user – Intuit has a training program, which is aimed specifically at business owners who wish to manage their accounting. It is an online course (or CD) on every aspect of using QuickBooks. You must take and pass a certification exam when completing the course. You must score more than 80 percent to pass.

Become a certified QuickBooks Pro advisor – In addition to the user certificate course, Intuit also offers a course for those looking to manage accounting for businesses. This is an 80 hour course that is more intense than the “User” course. An exam must be taken for each of the 10 sections in each of the four main areas. In total, this includes 40 tests plus the general exam, which must pass with a score of 80 percent or more. The program costs a hefty $440.

Use the “Find an expert” button in the QuickBooks main menu, located under the “Help” menu – Some Pro advisors charge a flat rate for an all-day consultation, while others charge per hour. They can come to your home and provide a curriculum and training so you can be competent with the software. Private instructions will integrate “audition,” “seeing” and “doing” learning styles. This is the most interactive option available, you can ask questions and receive an answer. The cost can vary between $250 and up depending on which Pro advisor you choose.

So… Is it hard? We think so.

Obviously, all this depends on your performance and knowledge in laptops or desired device, computer software management, time and money availability. If you need a tutorial or a course for everything, it could be said that QuickBooks is complicated to learn and manage in its entirety. 

A Fresh Choice

Great news for freelancers and other self-employed individuals, there is another accounting software which provides more robust features that are definitely useful for your business AND it is ridiculously easy to use. No daunting learning curve here. FreshBooks is designed for self-employed individuals and also has basic accounting services. The difference is that this accounting software is packed with more features than QuickBooks. 

What makes FreshBooks so great for the self-employed? Here are the following features that sets it apart from QuickBooks:

  1. Time tracking. Unlike QuickBooks, FreshBooks has a built-in time tracker which allows you to see how much time you spend on a project and also determine exactly how much you invoice a client. 
  2. Customized invoicing. With FreshBooks, you can set up recurring invoicing to save time. You can also customize your invoices like adding your logo and a personal message for your client. There is also an option to charge your client late fees, if necessary. 
  3. Client collaboration. You and your client can discuss projects and share important files with this FreshBooks feature. It allows seamless communication between the two parties, making work more productive.
  4. Custom proposals and estimates. You can kick start a project with a client by sending them customized proposals with estimates. They can be revised until you and the client reach an agreement. Once approved, the estimate can be converted into an invoice with one click.
  5. Simple yet comprehensive financial reports. FreshBooks can generate financial reports such as Profit & Loss and Sales Tax Summary that you can download and use to monitor your business’s health. You can also use these reports in order to get ready for tax time with the help of your accountant.
  6. All device access. Whether using a phone or a computer, you can access FreshBooks anytime, from anywhere. All information is automatically synced so you will still be able to work without losing progress.

FreshBooks also has an award-winning customer support in case you encounter any problems. They will help you resolve your problem and you will be back on your feet in no time.

What are you waiting for? Make the switch to FreshBooks right now! Sign up for a 30-day trial and see why Freshbooks is the best accounting software for a self-employed like yourself.