Book Review: QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual

Countless small- and medium-sized companies use QuickBooks for their accounting tasks. But those who want their businesses to prosper need to master the program–not only to manage everyday bookkeeping but also to boost sales, control spending, perform more efficiently, and much more. Bonnie Biafore’s new “QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual” (O’Reilly, US $29.95) shows readers how to do just that.
O’Reilly writes – “Despite the many improvements in QuickBooks over the years, one feature has grown consistently worse: Intuit documentation,” says Biafore. QuickBooks comes with one skimpy guide that merely outlines features and
references Help topics. “And online help is renowned for telling you what you already know,” Biafore remarks. “You’ll quickly discover that QuickBooks Help is often unworthy of the screen space it consumes. Topics are terse, offer little in the way of technical background or troubleshooting tips, and lack useful examples (or, in many cases, any examples at all). It rarely tells you why you might want to use any
feature. Marking your place, underlining key points, jotting notes in the margins, or reading about QuickBooks while sitting in the sun are out of the question.”
But “QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual” has arrived. Finance expert Biafore demystifies business finance and accounting, and shows readers how to use QuickBooks in order to make the most of their businesses. Funny and sensible, straightforward and organized, she makes it easy for users to configure QuickBooks 2005 to their individual preferences and needs, or custom fit it to their company’s objectives, policies, procedures, and industry.
“QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual” offers clear explanations and step-by-step instructions for every QuickBooks feature as well as relevant advice (and plenty of real-world examples, complete with screen shots) on solid accounting and bookkeeping. She helps readers determine which features to use when–and always explains why and how.
First-time QuickBooks users will get up to speed with ease, and power users will appreciate expert tips, tricks, and shortcuts for saving even more time and money. Biafore includes sections on:
-Getting started: This book helps users, including those new to QuickBooks
or those new to the 2005 version, to make and manage a company file;
create accounts, customers, jobs, invoice items, and other lists; and
configure preferences.
-Bookkeeping: Biafore includes everything readers need to know for
day-to-day bookkeeping, including how to bill customers, manage the money
that customers owe, pay for expenses, run payroll, manage bank accounts,
and more–right up to end-of-year tasks to satisfy the IRS.
-Managing your business: Biafore shows users how to take advantage of the
unique features that help make business successful–or more successful
than it was before–including how to keep inventory at just the right
level, track time and mileage, build budgets and plan for the future, and
create reports for evaluating every aspect of an enterprise.
-QuickBooks power: With this book, readers can take QuickBooks to the next
level with online banking options; data exchange with other programs, like
Word and Excel; and sophisticated planning and tracking tools.
Biafore equips people to customize QuickBooks 2005 to accommodate how they
(and their accountants) like to work, and make sound accounting choices
and solid financial decisions for their companies to achieve maximum