I Have QuickBooks Now

Let’s have fun with accounting!

I have two more financial tasks to complete before the end of the week, and I just did one of them: signing up with QuickBooks.

Technically, QuickBooks Self-Employed. It turns out there are a bunch of QuickBooks products designed for businesses of various shapes and sizes, and the version for self-employed freelancers only cost me $5 a month (or $5.48 with tax) for the first six months, because they were having a holiday sale.

(After the first six months… I guess I don’t know what it will cost me. I look forward to seeing what they automatically deduct from my card.)

I assumed that setting up QuickBooks would be like setting up Mint or another financial software; I’d have to connect all of my bank accounts and credit cards, I’d have to put together a budget, and I’d have to create a bunch of custom categories for my transactions.

It looks like it’s going to be a lot easier than that. QuickBooks, like Mint, is an Intuit product, so it was able to pull in all of my accounts and transactions from Mint. From there, it can generate reports on my earnings, estimated taxes, business expenses, profit and loss, and so on. (I should tell you that I am already very excited about this.)

But there’s one thing I have to do first: recategorize all of my transactions.

For the entire year.

I’m kind of irritated at QuickBooks for being able to import so much of my data from Mint but not importing the transaction categories. I did not spend the past year telling Mint which Starbucks purchases were business and which were personal just so I’d have to do it all again with QuickBooks.

Part of me wants to only start using QuickBooks from 2017 forward—in fact, that was always my plan. But since I have the option to recategorize every transaction I made in 2016, and since my CPA would probably be very happy if I gave her a bunch of nice QuickBooks reports instead of my handcrafted financial spreadsheets, I feel like I ought to.

Before April, anyway.

What do you think? (Also, if you use QuickBooks, do you have any tips or tricks?)

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