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QuickBooks Online - tablet view

A Guided Tour of QuickBooks Online for Accountants

Mar 31st 2015
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The first time I looked at the new version of QuickBooks Online I felt pretty anxious. Where do you enter transactions? Where is the chart of accounts? Where is the bank reconciliation? Where is the familiar home screen? I felt like I was playing a game of hide-and-seek and QuickBooks Online seemed to be winning.

QuickBooks Online is gaining in popularity. An increasing number of business owners are choosing to work with it. I recently spoke to a business owner who said that both her accountant and bookkeeper are uncomfortable working with QuickBooks Online. I can understand their ambivalence.

Let’s play hide-and-seek together. I’ll take you through a guided tour of the most common areas in QuickBooks Online that accountants work with. Ready or not, here I come!

Where Are the Sample Companies?

QuickBooks Online has one sample company that you can work with. It’s referred to as a “test drive." The test drive uses a sample company file called Craig’s Design & Landscaping Services. It can be accessed here.

You do not need an account or sign-in to access the test-drive file. Just fill in the security validation and click Continue. This sample company is designed to test QuickBooks Online and does not retain any changes made.

Where Do You Add Transactions?

The Quick Create (+) Menu. The Quick Create icon (the plus sign) is at the top of the page. It’s the + sign that spins into an X when you click on it. The first time you click on the Quick Create menu, there’s a condensed view that just shows a few common transactions and a Show More view where you can see all transactions in QuickBooks Online sorted by Customers, Vendors, Employees, and Other.

Figure 1. The Quick Create (+) Menu.

Where Do You Enter Journal Entries?

Go to the Quick Create Menu by clicking the + sign at the top. Click Show More (if necessary). Click on Journal Entry under Other.

Where Do You Work with Customers, Vendors, and Reports?

The Left Navigation Bar. The Left Navigation Bar is the dark blue bar on the left-hand side of the screen. Use it to work with customers, vendors, transactions, banking transactions, reports, employees, and taxes.

Figure 2. The Left Navigation Bar.

Where Are the Company Preferences?

Figure 3. Click on the Gear Icon (next to the Company Name) on the upper right. Click on Company Settings.

Where is the Items List?

Click on the Gear Icon (next to the Company Name) on the upper right. Click Products and Services under Lists.

Where is the Bank Reconciliation Window?

Figure 4. Click on the Gear Icon (next to the Company Name) on the upper right. Click Reconcile. Select the account you wish to reconcile.

Where is the Chart of Accounts?

From the Left Navigation Bar, click on Transactions. Select Chart of Accounts.

Where Are the Bank Registers?

Figure 5. From the Chart of Accounts, click on View Register on the right.

Where is the Online Banking Center?

Figure 6. From the Left Navigation Bar, click on Transactions. Select Banking. The Bank and Credit Cards window will open.

Where Are the Trial Balance and General Ledger?

Figure 7. From the Left Navigation Bar, click Reports > All Reports. Click Accountant Reports. You will find the Trial Balance, General Ledger, as well as other useful reports.

I encourage you to spend time exploring these features and more. Even though I was nervous at first, I took the time to become familiar with QuickBooks Online and to embrace the change. QuickBooks Online has played a big role in my own firm’s success. We are now able to service clients throughout the United States because we work with QuickBooks Online.

Why not play hide-and-seek and discover what QuickBooks Online can do for you?

About the author:
Veronica Wasek is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a CPA, a public speaker, and a member of the national Intuit Trainer/Writer Network. Veronica is the founder of VM Wasek CPA LLC, a QuickBooks-centric firm specializing in customized QuickBooks set up, training, clean up, consulting, and bookkeeping. Veronica’s blog,, provides tips, videos, and tutorials for small businesses to get their bookkeeping done in as little as five minutes a day using QuickBooks Online.


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By Linda P
Jun 25th 2015 20:12 EDT

Is this demo mode operating on the same servers as the millions of other QuickBooks online customers? Since your tour seems to have worked properly, I am betting it wasn't. After reading hundreds of complaints from QBO customers regarding the increasing number of outages, lack of IT/technical assistance and loss of data, I have vowed not to use QuickBooks online.

Until they can get their service operating properly every single day, I will stick with desktop. The writing is, unfortunately, on the wall regarding QuickBook's move to all online services. A quick look through their main website shows the online versions heavily promoted while the desktop versions are relegated to a tiny spot at the bottom.

If I am forced to choose between having to go to QBO or leaving QuickBooks forever, I'll have to part ways. I will not have my financial information held hostage by an expensive yet poorly run online service that fails to work consistently.

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