Nobody’s perfect, especially not Intuit.
No To Self Employed
Quickbooks Online has all sorts of options for you as you get things moving! However, there is one that you should just avoid like the plague… their Self-Employed version.
From what I have gathered this version, created around the time that Intuit acquired Mint.com, uses a bastardized business version of Mint.com that is supposed to help you get a simple Profit & Loss report. However, there is zero way you can customize it to make sense for your business. This leaves your money categorization up to the whims of QBO robots… who as we both know, don’t know what your business is up to!
Don’t just use their COA
COA stands for Charts of Accounts, which is a listing of all accounts used in your books that help dictate the reports you run such as your Profit & Loss and your Balance Sheet.
An accurate COA is vital for understanding your numbers and filing your taxes right.
When you set up Quickbooks Online they give you a general COA that while it has some useful categories – also has some completely confusing and redundant categories.
Good news though- you can customize, rename, and merge things so that they make sense for you! If you take my online course (coming soon) you will learn how to customize the COA for your needs as well as your tax preparer.
Turn off the Auto Recognizing!
If I have learned one thing through the years it’s that there is no one way we spend our money! QBO doesn’t agree and will constantly trying to force you to auto recognize where you spent once, as being the same expenses the second to 8th time around. For example, if you leave the auto recognized on and you bought something from Amazon that was an Office Supply, it will always put Amazon in Office Supplies. However, if the next month you buy a round of gift cards to send out as a Marketing & Advertising expense, QBO Robots won’t know that… so you may miss putting this in the right place.
Don’t link up PayPal the wrong way
QBO is tries to make it easier to work with PayPal bank accounts, but it’s not really working.
Since PayPal is a bank, while be it a weird bank, it should be listed in your COA as a bank and all transactions in and out should be categorized as such. When you are setting this up as a bank and linking it to pull in auto transactions you will see the below screen (after you click “add account” in the banking screen. You would probably assume you would just click the icon image of PayPal right? NO!! Don’t do it! This is actually one of QBO’s new attempts at auto categorize your transactions from PayPal and leaves you pretty helpless to customize what was going on.
Instead, go into the search bar and enter PayPal. Now pick the link to PayPal Smart Connect, this will be the version where you can categorize items for yourself. The other version is the one that QBO Robots use to tell you how you spent your money.
Take a training so you know what you are doing (at least a little)
While QBO has done wonders to help make a confusing thing (accounting) a lot more accessible. It’s still confusing if it’s your first rodeo, so take some time to learn from the professionals!
While QBO also has some decent trainings (https://quickbookstraining.com/self-paced-training/) you may want to look into working outside of the Intuit community for trainings. QBO/Intuit is notorious for creating things (like the aforementioned QBO Robots) which they think are super great but can cause problems. Working with an experienced bookkeeper/trainer who isn’t under the Intuit payroll allows you to learn how to work realistically in the program.
Soon, MKBK llc will have such programs available for purchase as well! Stay tuned
 An income statement or profit and loss account is one of the financial statements of a company and shows the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. This is the report that helps you manage your day-to-day money in the bank (income) and money out of the bank (expenses).