QB Tax Advisor Accounting

QB Tax Advisor

Setting up a new company file in QuickBooks Online is an important first step to get your accounting and financial management started on the right foot. Following best practices during company file creation helps ensure your QuickBooks Online (QBO) instance is tailored to your business needs.

Overview of Company Setup Process

Here are the key steps to establish a new company file in QBO:

  • Sign up for QuickBooks Online and create an account
  • Choose a subscription plan
  • Start step-by-step company setup
  • Input business info and contacts
  • Select company industry and business type
  • Set fiscal year
  • Input opening balances
  • Establish chart of accounts
  • Import lists like customers, vendors, products
  • Customize invoice branding
  • Assign user roles and permissions
  • Enable accountant features

Getting guidance from an expert like QB Tax Advisor during this process ensures you optimize your setup.

Signing Up for QuickBooks Online

First, signup for a QuickBooks Online account on Intuit’s website. You’ll need to provide basic contact details and create a password.

Make note of the email address used, as Intuit will send confirmation messages and alerts to it. Choose a secure password you won’t forget.

You may be prompted to input your business name if you already know it, but this can be changed later.

Choosing a QuickBooks Online Subscription

Next, select the right QBO subscription plan based on your business needs and number of users. Options include:

  • Simple Start – 1 user, best for very small/new businesses
  • Essentials – 3 users, additional features unlocked
  • Plus – 5 users, provides advanced capabilities
  • Advanced – 10 users, full-featured for larger businesses

You can add payroll, payments, or other bundled services. As your needs grow over time, upgrade your QBO plan.

Starting Company Setup

Once signed up and subscribed, click “Create a Company” in QuickBooks Online to start setting up your company file.

The easy-to-follow wizard will guide you through a series of steps to build out your company within QBO.

Input your company’s legal name and contact details. QuickBooks uses this to customize forms.

You’ll then progress through setup screens covering main company information, users, products/services, bank settings, and more.

Inputting Business Information

Adding key details about your company is critical:

  • Enter your company’s legal name, “Doing Business As” name, addresses, phone numbers, website and main contacts. This populates invoices and other forms.
  • Select your company’s industry from the list of options. Choose an industry as close to yours as possible. This optimizes setup defaults.
  • Identify your business type, such as product-based, service-based, non-profit, or other options. This helps QuickBooks configure settings and charts of accounts.
  • If you have an existing logo, upload it to brand QuickBooks with your logo and colors.

Your business information acts as the foundation. Accuracy and completeness here makes a big difference down the line.

Setting the Fiscal Year

An important step is specifying your company’s fiscal year. This establishes the accounting calendar QuickBooks will follow.

Options include calendar year (January – December) or a custom fiscal year like October 2022 – September 2023.

Make sure the fiscal year set aligns with your real-world financial reporting periods. This avoids re-work later.

Opening Balances

Input the current account balances for key accounts like checking, savings, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and credit cards.

Entering accurate opening balances allows QuickBooks to properly track amounts going forward.

Having previous accounting records from your business makes opening balances easier. If not, provide reasonable estimates. You can adjust later if needed.

Building Your Chart of Accounts

QuickBooks will generate a starter chart of accounts representing the main accounts used to categorize transactions and organize financial reporting.

Based on choices made when setting up your company, your chart of accounts will reflect best practices for your industry and business type.

Review the accounts list and make tweaks so your chart of accounts aligns with your business needs. You can add, hide or change accounts here.

Importing Lists

If you are switching from another accounting system, import existing lists like customers, vendors, employees, and products/services into QuickBooks Online.

This accurately transfers historical records into QBO so you don’t start from scratch. Importing saves tedious data re-entry.

Follow the import wizard instructions. Provide source data files in a formatted Excel or .CSV file. Perform test imports first to validate accuracy.

Customizing Forms and Branding

QuickBooks Online enables you to tailor the look of client-facing forms like invoices, statements and estimates with your logo, colors and messaging.

Upload your logo file. Choose complementary colors that align with your brand style. Customize headers and footers on forms.

This makes forms more professional and customized to your business. Consistent branding builds recognition.

Assigning User Roles

If your subscription has multiple user licenses, set up each team member with the appropriate user permissions and access.

The admin or accountant role should control full access. Other employees can get selected access like entering bills or checking sales reports.

Restricting access helps maintain security and separation of duties as your team expands.

Activating Accountant Features

If you use an external bookkeeping service or accountant like QB Tax Advisor, enable accountant collaboration features in QuickBooks Online.

This allows your advisor to access your QBO company file with an extra layer of permissions. You control what they can view, edit or sync with their cloud workspace.

Smooth accountant collaboration ensures your books stay organized and compliant. Your advisor can catch errors early.


Setting up your new QuickBooks Online company thoroughly from the start saves significant time and effort down the road. Move slow to go fast – the investment on correctly configuring QBO to match your business needs pays off. Leverage experts like QB Tax Advisor if you need guidance optimizing your company file setup.

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