When you run a business (or a nonprofit), you track company finances for two reasons: to keep your business running smoothly and to generate the reports required by the IRS, SEC, and anyone else you have to answer to. QuickBooks helps you perform basic financial tasks, track your financial results, and manage your business to make it even better. But before you read any further, here are a few things you shouldn’t try to do with QuickBooks:
Work with more than 14,500 unique inventory items or 14,500 contact names. QuickBooks Pro and Premier company files can hold up to 14,500 inventory items and a combined total of up to 14,500 customer, vendor, employee, and other (Other Names List) names. (In the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions edition of the program, the number of names is virtually unlimited.)
Track personal finances. Even if you’re a company of one, keeping your personal finances separate from your business finances is a good move, particularly when it comes to tax reporting. In addition to opening a separate checking account for your business, you should also track your personal finances somewhere else (like in Quicken). If you do decide to use QuickBooks, at least create a separate company file for your personal financial info.
Track the performance of stocks and bonds. QuickBooks isn’t meant to keep track of the capital gains and dividends you earn from investments such as stocks and bonds. Of course, companies invest in things like equipment and office buildings, and you should track investments such as these in QuickBooks. However, in QuickBooks, they show up as assets of your company.
Manage specialized details about customer relationships. Lots of information goes into keeping customers happy. With QuickBooks, you can stay on top of customer activities with features like to-dos, notes, reminders, and memorized transactions. You can also keep track of leads before they turn into customers. But if you need to track details for thousands of members or customers, items sold on consignment, project progress, or tasks related to managing projects, a customer-management program or a program like Microsoft Excel or Access might be a better solution.