The Ultimate Guide to QuickBooks Setup: Get Started in 11 Easy Steps

• November 17th, 2021

QuickBooks Setup - Featured Image

QuickBooks Online tries to be a seamless replacement for QuickBooks Desktop. It aims to provide seamless product upgrades and unlimited upgrade cycles. All this comes with attractive subscription costs and thus is tailor-made for small businesses. The below guide will help you get started with QuickBooks Online without having to depend on other experts.

As with any application that provides a large feature set, working with QuickBooks Setup for the very first time for a first-time user can be a bit overwhelming. This post is a guide to perform the steps for QuickBooks Setup. So, read along to gain insights and understand the steps for QuickBooks Setup.

Table of Contents

Introduction to QuickBooks

QuickBooks Setup - QuickBooks Logo
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QuickBooks is an accounting software from Intuit that is tailor-made for small and medium businesses. QuickBooks help businesses track their Sales, Expenses, Payments, and Tax calculations. It stores all the financial information related to the operations of a company and makes it available through a very intuitive user interface.

QuickBooks also bundle utilities for Inventory Management, Payment Reception, Sales Tax Aggregation, etc as add-ons. It was initially designed as a desktop-based application. Later a completely Cloud-based solution was brought now both the instances co-exist. Its friendly pricing plans and easy-to-use nature makes it a favorite among small and medium businesses.

To explore more about QuickBooks, visit the homepage here.

Understanding Quickbooks Variants and Features

QuickBooks is available in both Desktop and Cloud versions. Cloud versions have the advantage of having the greatest and latest features at any point in time. Having access to data from anywhere is also a big plus point when it comes to QuickBooks Cloud. Ever since QuickBooks Cloud started gathering steam, Intuit has been gradually phasing out the desktop versions. 

As of now, QuickBooks Desktop is still available in some markets and comes with three variants –  Pro Plus, Premier Plus, and Enterprise Plus depending on the number of simultaneous user support and the features. The one-time license fee-based sale is now phased out and QuickBooks is available only based on a subscription model now.

QuickBooks Cloud can be bought in four variants – Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. Like the Desktop counterpart, the variants are arranged according to the number of simultaneous user support and add-on features. Simple Start can only accommodate one user at a time. The Cloud version comes with unlimited phone support and free upgrades as long as the subscription is kept alive. 

QuickBooks mobile application helps one to automate entering bill details via its import feature. It can also help attach documents to transactions. The mobile application is a great companion for an already useful application suite.

Now that you have gained a basic understanding of QuickBooks and its products, in the next section, you will learn more about QuickBooks Setup. Since QuickBooks Online is fastly becoming the defacto QuickBooks instance, this tutorial will focus on setting up QuickBooks Online.

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Easy Steps for QuickBooks Setup

The first step towards setting up your QuickBooks Online instance is to head to the QuickBooks website and sign up for a subscription. For some locations, QuickBooks even offers a free trial without even needing credit card information. The trial version is a good place to play around before purchasing QuickBooks to assess whether it is a fit for your needs. 

Follow the steps below to perform QuickBooks Setup:

Step 1: Once you provide your information, QuickBooks will ask a few questions about your business as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Enter Business Details
Image Source: Self

Step 2: It will then ask you about the tasks that you want to perform using QuickBooks. To get a full idea about everything that QuickBooks provides, you can click all of them as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Choose Usecase
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Step 3: You will then be redirected to the dashboard as shown below where you can set up everything about your company.

QuickBooks Setup - Dashboard
Image Source: Self

Step 4: Let us now look at what all can be set up from the dashboard to start using QuickBooks. The dashboard has a business overview tab, where you can view a snapshot of everything financial that is happening in your organization as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Dashboard Example
Image Source: Self

Step 5: The next logical step is to add your company and the tax details to QuickBooks as shown below. From the dashboard, this can be done by clicking the Finish set up tab and then clicking on Add your GST and company details. Depending upon your geography, you may find a slight deviation from what you are seeing here.

QuickBooks Setup - Set Up your Company
Image Source: Self

Step 6: Once the company is set up, the next step is to add your products and services to QuickBooks. This is necessary for you to raise invoices which is one of the major functionalities that small businesses use QuickBooks for. Products and Services can be added by clicking the gear icon and then selecting the Products and Services link as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Products and Services
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Step 7: Click Add Product or Service and then select which type of item you want to add as shown below. Let us go with Inventory based products here.

QuickBooks Setup - Products and Services
Image Source: Self

Step 8: Enter the inventory count, category of products, and the code to track the units to complete adding the product as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Add Inventory Details
Image Source: Self

Step 9: Before raising invoices, you have to add the details of your customers. You can do this by heading to the Sales tab in the left section of Dashboard and clicking on Add Customer.

QuickBooks Setup - Add Customer Information
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Step 10: Once customers are added, you can start raising the invoices from the Sales tab. You can pick and choose the products and customers to raise invoices as shown below.

QuickBooks Setup - Create Invoice
Image Source: Self

Step 11: In case you want to change anything related to the company or invoicing terms, you can change it from the Accounts and Settings section found when the gear icon is clicked.

QuickBooks Setup - Customize Account Settings
Image Source: Self

That’s all there is to know about QuickBooks Setup for the first time. Once the initial QuickBooks Setup is done, it is very intuitive and anyone with minimal accounting experience should be able to pick it up.


In this guide, you learned more about QuickBooks and its key products. You understood the detailed steps for performing QuickBooks Setup.

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Share your experience with QuickBooks Setup in the comments section below!

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