QuickBooks Training – Free and Paid Options

Whether you’re brand new to QuickBooks or looking to learn more about an advanced feature, there is an extensive range of both free and paid resources available to you. But which option is the best for your needs? That depends on your budget, time, and knowledge of the platform. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of our top recommendations, which includes both free and paid QuickBooks training options, to help you decide the best option for your business.

QuickBooks Training Options for Beginners and Advanced Users

Free QuickBooks Training Options

There are tons of great online resources to learn all about QuickBooks at no cost. From the basics to advanced questions, you can learn everything you need to know about QuickBooks with the following resources:

Fit Small Business QuickBooks Online Video Tutorials

Are you brand new to QuickBooks Online or need a better understanding of the platform? You may want to start your research with Fit Small Business. They have released 39 tutorials spanning 7 lessons, with each lesson being explained step by step.

Fit Small Business offers step-by-step instructions in both a video and written format. From setting up invoices, to paying bills, to reporting help, the tutorials offer you options and flexibility to learn at your own pace.

QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides

Sometimes the answer to your questions is one click away! The QuickBooks software is fully equipped with a powerful learning center (find it under the help menu). Their video tutorials are a great tool to use to refresh and expand your knowledge on specific QuickBooks functions. Their video library is organized into the following topics:

  • QuickBooks Basics
  • Money Out
  • Online Banking
  • Payroll
  • Adding Information to QuickBooks
  • Money In
  • Switching to QuickBooks Online

User Forums

Have a specific question you need help with? Intuit’s official community forum is an excellent starting point. These users, like you, are operating the program day-in, day-out, and chances are that someone else has run into the problem you’re facing. Their searchable database includes almost a half a million answered questions about QuickBooks. When a question has multiple answers, they are rated by other users for effectiveness to help give you the best solution.

User forums are the best for merchants who are already accustomed to the platform, but need help learning how to use an advanced function, like how to track payments for a business loan. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can post it, likely attracting an expert’s opinion.


Udemy is a learning platform with over 65,000 courses; some free and some paid. The free classes about QuickBooks vary in topics, with some being general and some are more task specific. The nice part about Udemy is that you can read user reviews on the classes (when available) to see if the course will help you with your specific topic or problem. You can also see how many people are taking the class. If you choose to learn on Udemy, be sure to check back often! New classes can be created at any time.

Paid QuickBooks Training Options

Those seeking one-on-one attention from a QuickBooks expert may want to consider a paid training option. While these trainings come in a variety of formats, all provide a more structured approach to QuickBooks training. Some of our paid training recommendations include:

Self-Paced DVDs and CDs

For merchants who are more audio or visual learners, QuickBooks Training offers DVD training guides that serve as a thorough reference guide. Endorsed by Intuit, these guides deliver a polished training course that covers topics including:

  • How to set up a company file
  • How to manage expenses
  • How to manage sales and income
  • Inventory management
  • Accounting basics

If you decide to find a different DVD set, remember that not all trainers are created equal. Be sure your materials include a printed or downloadable course guide, as it’ll help you when you begin to use QuickBooks on your own.

Webucator: Online QuickBooks Training and Webinars

Those looking for a more interactive experience may want to research an online course like Webucator. These interactive video webinars connect you to an instructor in real time. There are different ways to interact with the instructor, but we recommend finding classes where you can view the instructor’s screen and have the ability to ask questions, either by using a microphone or a text chat function.

Webucator is an excellent option if you’re interested in an online course, as it has provided training to more than 70% of the Fortune 100 companies. It is also a Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions. For $490, you get two days of training on the following topics:

  • How to create invoices
  • How to create credit memos
  • How to manage your inventory
  • How to track job costs
  • How to generate financial reports

Classroom Training

Did you know that several training companies offer face-to-face QuickBooks training across the country? Courses range from beginner to advanced level, and provide you personal access to an experienced instructor who can guide you step-by-step. The standard two-day workshop (cost: $550), which gives you a strong foundation, covers the following topics:

  • Accounting basics
  • Tips & tricks
  • How to setup your QuickBooks online account
  • How to manage sales and income
  • How to manage expenses

One-on-One Training

While they can be pricey, with the typical cost being $100/hour, a personal training instructor can be extremely beneficial. Because they visit your place of business, their training is 100% customized to your specific business needs whether your business is retail, hospitality, construction, legal, or any other. That means you won’t waste time learning practices that are irrelevant to your business and industry.

If you decide to find an instructor, make sure he or she is a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Intuit offers access to its database of 100,000 expert ProAdvisors. Be sure to check out their site to find one near you!

Common QuickBooks Software Error Codes

Developed by Intuit, QuickBooks is one of the most well known accounting softwares for business owners. It has completely changed the way accounting is done for small and medium sized businesses. No matter if it’s the Desktop or Online version, QuickBooks is an integral part of how many businesses operate.

But like all programs, there are going to be flaws. QuickBooks File Doctor can help repair some files and get rid of some errors, but it does not help with everything. If you do come across an error message, the first thing you should do is try to understand the root of the issue. Below we’ve highlighted some of the most common QuickBooks error codes, why they may arise, and possible solutions.

QuickBooks Error Code 6000

The most common error in QuickBooks is error code 6000. This error code usually appears when you are trying to open your company file. The following are the different -6000 series errors you may encounter:

QuickBooks Error -6000, -80

This error may be occurring for one of the following reasons:

  • Data is converted over a network
  • There is damage in your file
  • QuickBooks can’t communicate with the server
  • There is more than one computer acting as the host for the data file

This error code can be fixed by running the QuickBooks Company File Diagnostic Tool or by copying the backup file (.qbb extension) or company file (.qbw extension) to a local hard drive. You can then restore the backup or update the file before moving it back to its original location.

QuickBooks Error -6000, -77

There are a few possible reasons that you are seeing this error code:

  • The company file is stored in external media
  • Incorrect folder permissions for where the company file is stored
  • The company file is being opened by QuickBooks by referencing a mapped drive

In most cases, the error is resolved after restarting QuickBooks with increased permission. If the error is still not fixed, QuickBooks File Doctor may be able to resolve it. You can also try moving the company file to the local or network drive or change the settings to select the correct server.

QuickBooks Error -6000, -83

There are many different reasons why this error may occur, including:

  • Incomplete QuickBooks installation
  • Converting your company file from an earlier version over a network
  • Damage in the company file and/or shared folder
  • The server doesn’t have the correct permissions to access company files
  • The user doesn’t have the correct permissions to access company files
  • Service QBDataServiceUserXX (where XX is the version number of QuickBooks) doesn’t have the correct permissions

The solution to error -6000, -83 depends on what the user was doing to make the error message pop up. Below are a few example scenarios and possible ways to resolve this issue:

  1. User was opening a company file stored on a Windows server
    1. Run QuickBooks File Doctor
    2. Turn off hosting on all workstations that access the file
    3. Update to the latest release
    4. Verify hosting on your computers
    5. Edit the hosts file
  2. User was opening a company file stored on a Linux server
    1. Verify connection
    2. Edit the hosts file
  3. User was restoring your company file
    1. Change the extension if it is not .qbw
    2. Check for issues in the file name and/or path
  4. User was creating a backup
    1. Create a manual backup and store it in a new file folder on the root of the C: drive

QuickBooks Error -6189, -816

If you are seeing this error, it means you are attempting to open a file that is already in use. If you’re using QuickBooks in a multi-user environment, check the following items:

  • Ensure your data is not stored on a network drive. A removable drive does not have full computer functionality and cannot run QuickBooks Database Manager. While it is not common, this setup may cause data damage.
  • Ensure you are not using a file sharing service. Some online auto-backup utilities, like Dropbox, SugarSync, etc., cause errors when used in conjunctions with QuickBooks. Copying your company file into your computer’s C: drive can help you avoid problems.
  • As recommended by Intuit, ensure you do not encrypt your company file. Contact your encryption software’s vendor for detailed instructions on disabling the software.

QuickBooks Error -6177, 0

You’ll receive this error if QuickBooks is unable to use the path to open the company file. There are a few different ways to go about resolving this issue. Some of which include:

  • Run QuickBooks File Doctor
  • Move the file to the local hard drive
  • Manually resolve (if QuickBooks File Doctor is unable to run on your system)

Have you run into an error code not on this list? For more help on error codes, Intuit’s community forum is an extremely helpful tool for you to resolve any issues you may be experiencing. Additionally, QuickBooks training may be a good idea to get better acquainted with how to handle and troubleshoot error codes.

7 Common QuickBooks Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

QuickBooks is a vital component to the success of many small businesses. This software helps effectively manage inventory, sales, and payroll, while also offering other important financial record-related items.

While this tool helps millions of businesses succeed, there are some common mistakes many business owners make, which costs their company time and money. But luckily, these mistakes can easily be fixed! Learn more about some of the most common QuickBooks mistakes below, as well as ways to avoid and/or fix them.

Common QuickBooks Errors Made by Business Owners

1. You Don’t Reconcile All of Your Accounts

This first mistake is huge, as the integrity of all of your accounts depends on it. From paying bills, making deposits, and payments against your customer invoices, every transaction your business makes needs to be checked and matched to bank records. That process is called reconciling. Reconciling all of your accounts (checking and savings, loans, taxes, etc.) ensures that the business account register is correct.

Be sure to reconcile not only your checking and savings, but also your loans and state/federal taxes. Even asset accounts like a mortgage escrow account can be reconciled! To do this, click the Gear menu and then Reconcile. Choose the Account you’re reconciling, and hit Reconcile Now. QuickBooks will ask for your Statement Ending Date, as well as your Ending Balance. After each item in the Checks and Payments column is checked off, the bottom right corner should (hopefully) read zero. If not, that’s a red flag to check your work.

2. You Don’t Review the Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement

Your P&L statement is valuable for many reasons. First, it provides insight to the overall health of your business, as it provides a summary of your revenue minus expenses for a specific period of time. Second, it’s a great tool to help you find mistakes in your QuickBooks file. The P&L allows you to compare previous periods, to make sure your expenses and income align with the norm. If your expenses seem unusually high, you know it is something to look into further.

To add or edit the accounts and categories showing in your P&L on QuickBooks, click on the Gear, then Chart of Accounts, highlight the account, and click Edit.

3. You Don’t Keep Your Items List Organized

If not closely monitored, your products, or “items” list can become overwhelming and outdated. QuickBooks gives you the ability to organize and print your lists, as well as export list items to a word processing program (if needed). Some general housekeeping tips for your items list include:

  • Deactivate items you no longer sell
  • Make sure each item is correctly labeled
  • Check that your stock numbers are correct
  • Update the cost of each item

When it comes to organizing your lists on QuickBooks, you need to first make you are in single-user mode.

  • To move an item and all its sub-items:Click the diamond (next to the item) and then drag the item up or down to a new location.
  • To make a sub-item its own item:Click the diamond beside the item and drag to the left.
  • To make an item a sub-item:Move the item so that it’s directly beneath the item you want it to fall under. Click the diamond beside the item and drag to the right.
  • To alphabetize a list:Click the Name button, which can be found at the top of the list window. QuickBooks alphabetizes your list of customers, vendors, accounts, etc. both “A to Z” and reverse “Z to A.”

4. You Use the Write Checks Window to Pay Payroll Taxes

All versions of QuickBase allow you to have payroll for up to 10 employees. As payroll is processed in QuickBooks, it keeps track of how much payroll tax your business owes. It then records that in the Payroll Liabilities account. If payroll taxes are paid using the Write Checks window, it will not be properly deducted from the Payroll Liabilities window.

To avoid this, remember to pay payroll taxes directly from the Pay Liability window. This will ensure that everything is being properly tracked!

5. You Create Too Many Accounts and Sub-Accounts

While creating accounts and further organizing them into sub-accounts can help organize your finances, think carefully about the logical ordering of your account information. Do you really need to break down your office supplies expense account with 10+ sub-expenses for paper, pens, ink, etc? For most small businesses, one blanket parent account suffices. The sub-expenses will just complicate the system.

To avoid this, think about what information you need to know about these income accounts. Sometimes, keeping things simple produces more meaningful reports. This can help save you time and confusion when you’re reviewing these reports later down the line.

6. You Don’t Back Up the Company File Everyday

Life is unexpected. No one ever wants to have their computer crash, but if it does, you’re going to wish you backed up all your files. QuickBooks is no different. Get into the habit of backing up QuickBooks daily. Hopefully you won’t ever need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you did!

To manually back up your data files, you must first be in single user mode. From the file menu, select Backup Company and then Create Local Backup. In this window, select Local Backup and then click on the Options button. This will allow you to choose a location to save your backup copy.

It’s a good idea to save backups somewhere other than your main local drive in case of a system failure. Good places to save your files include Dropbox, a flash drive, or an external hard drive.

7. You Don’t Enter a Bill Before You Write a Check

You don’t want to take any shortcuts when it comes to your finances. You want to make sure you follow protocol to inputting information so that you can use QuickBooks to properly manage your cash flow and plan for future expenses.

When a bill arrives, it’s important that your first step is to enter the bill in the Enter Bills window. Some business owners’ first step is to use the Write Check feature to pay the bill, but that does not create an accounts payable for that vendor. After you enter your bill, you can go to the Pay Bills window and indicate the bill you wish to pay. This small step can save you much time and trouble in the future!

While some of these mistakes seem minor, they can severely impact your financial results. Being aware of these common mistakes can help you maintain a cleaner, more accurate file on QuickBooks!

QuickBooks Desktop vs. QuickBooks Online

Whether you’re a new QuickBooks user or a loyal desktop user considering switching to the online software, you may be confused as to which version of QuickBooks is best for your business. Before you begin comparing the different QuickBooks pricing plans, you first must decide between the desktop version and the online version.

Although Intuit is urging its users to make the switch to their online software, that may not be the best decision for your business. So which should you choose: QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online? That depends on a variety of factors. Below we’ve highlighted the advantages and pricing plans of each to help you make the right choice!

Understanding the Difference Between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

There are some big differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, which depending on your company and personal preferences, may be seen as advantages or disadvantages.

The most significant difference between the two is QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, while QuickBooks Desktop is not. Many users believe QuickBooks Desktop is more powerful, as it has been around longer, but other users believe that can easily be fixed with third party applications on QuickBooks Online (though they do come at a price). Speaking of price, QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time fee or annual subscription, whereas QuickBooks Online is a monthly payment plan.

Advantages of QuickBooks Desktop

Despite Intuit pushing its customers towards Online, there are still some key advantages that QuickBooks Desktop has over QuickBooks Online. Some of these include:

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Multiple Inventory Tracking Options

One of the main reasons why desktop is preferred for product-based companies is its ability to manage large amounts of inventory. When it comes to tackling inventory, QuickBooks Desktop offers both the average cost method or the First In First Out (FIFO) method* (*which is available when you purchase the Advanced Inventory add-on module). The online version only offers the FIFO method.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Batch Invoicing

Desktop’s batch invoicing capability allows you to invoice multiple clients at the same time when the amount and type of service are the same. This can help you save time in the long run.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Industry-Specific Versions

Does your business fall in one of the following categories?

If so, QuickBooks Desktop has an industry-specific version that includes features to help your business succeed.

QuickBooks Desktop Offers Prepared and Customizable Documents

The desktop version has the ability to prepare time consuming documents, like 1099s and budget and track expenses. In addition, it offers great freedom in customizing reports. This feature is missing from most pricing models of the online version.

QuickBooks Desktop Pricing

Intuit has recently changed their desktop pricing model to the following:

  1. Pro 2018 ($299.95)
  2. Pro Plus 2018 ($299.95)

Now you must be thinking: What’s the difference? Pro is a one-time payment, while Pro-Plus is an annual subscription. Pro Plus offers all of the perks that Pro does, but also offers 24/7 support, automated data back up, and easy upgrades. Intuit also gives you the option to add on a hosting service, which offers features like up-to-date info anytime, the ability to collaborate with your accountant, and no expensive servers or IT maintenance costs.

Advantages of QuickBooks Online

The future of QuickBooks is online. Being a newer product, it has been designed with accessibility and functionality in mind. Some of the key advantages of QuickBooks Online include:

QuickBooks Online Allows You to Access From Any Device and Location

Whether you need to check in on something from home or are away on business, QuickBooks Online allows you to login from anywhere. In addition, you have the ability to set up user IDs and passwords for those who need access to your data, for example, your accountant and other employees.

Because the online version does not require software installation, you can log in to your account from a PC, Mac, and even your mobile device. On desktop, you can only access your data from the computer you downloaded the software on.

QuickBooks Online Updates in Real Time

When you make changes to your data using the online version, it all updates in real time, No matter if two users are in the file at the same time, both users will see these updates.

QuickBooks Online is Compatible with Mac Computers

Do you prefer to work on a Mac? If so, you’re going to want to choose QuickBooks Online. Intuit’s QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2016 would be its last version for this type of computer. This is further proof of Intuit trying to steer their customers towards their online option.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

QuickBooks currently offers four different versions of their online software:

  1. Self Employed ($10)
  2. Simple Start ($15)
  3. Essentials ($35)
  4. Plus ($50)

Each price point comes with different features, but all prices above are paid monthly. The self-employed option is geared towards independent contractors, while the other versions are great for small to medium-sized businesses. Here’s a detailed comparison of the different online versions.

Benefits of Choosing Intuit’s QuickBooks

While there are many differences between Intuit’s QuickBooks products, both are used by millions of business owners to help keep their finances in order. Both the online and desktop versions are compatible with a variety of third party software that seamlessly integrates into QuickBooks, making it an even more integral tool to your company’s success.

There are a lot of small-business financial accounting software programs out there, but QuickBooks is composed of a variety of integrated subsystems. This allows you to monitor items like accounts payable, purchase orders, payroll, etc. all on one platform. No matter if you choose the online or desktop version, QuickBooks helps keep everything organized in one place.


QuickBooks Online Editions Compared

Which QuickBooks Online Version is Right for You? 

Now that you’ve decided on QuickBooks Online, your next step is determining which edition of Intuit’s cloud-based software is the best fit for your business. QuickBooks Online has four editions:

  • QuickBooks Online Self-Employed
  • QuickBooks Online Simple Start
  • QuickBooks Online Essentials
  • QuickBooks Online Plus

The primary differences between the versions are price and features; the more money you pay, the more features your software comes with. Below we will explain the key differences between each, as well as what types of businesses are best served by each version.

QuickBooks Online Features Included In All Editions

The following features are consistent amongst the Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus plans:

  • Payroll for up to 10 employees
  • Available on PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone devices
  • BAS completion
  • Unlimited downloads of transactions from bank and credit card accounts
  • Quotes and invoices emailed directly
  • Reporting (the level you purchase determines how many types of reports are available to you)
  • Two accountant users available in each file

QuickBooks Online Self-Employed

The cheapest option of the four, the Self-Employed version of QuickBooks offers the least amount of features. This basic plan is designed for sole proprietors who file a Schedule C.

Features Of QuickBooks Online Self-Employed

The following features come standard in this version of QuickBooks Online:

  • Track miles
  • Track income and expenses
  • Estimate quarterly taxes
  • Run reports
  • Invoice and accept payments

This level is more for freelancers; with the other three levels being designed for small to medium-sized businesses.

QuickBooks Online Simple Start

Simple Start is the cheapest option that Intuit categorizes as ‘small business.’ This edition is great for business owners who have one single user are currently using manual methods to track income and expenses.

Compared to Essentials and Plus, Simple Start is true to its name: it’s the easiest and most simple version of QuickBooks Online. Simple Start is great for new businesses with basic bookkeeping needs. You have the ability to create an unlimited number of customers, quotes and invoices. Simple Start is also a great way to transition from manual methods to an online software.

Features of QuickBooks Online Simple Start

The following features are included in QuickBooks Online Simple Start:

  • Track income and expenses
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Invoice and accept payments
  • Run more than 20 reports
  • Send estimates
  • Track sales and sales tax

In addition to these features, you do have the ability to add additional payroll options and an online payments service (for an additional cost).

QuickBooks Simple Start Vs. QuickBooks Essentials

If the above features are all that you need, then Simple Start is the right edition for you. However, if you need features like multiple users, the ability to manage and pay bills from vendors, and track time, you may want to think about upgrading to Essentials. The chart below explains the key differences between Simple Start and Essentials:

Feature QuickBooks Simple Start QuickBooks Essentials
Manage Accounts Payable No Yes
Number of Users 1 3
Number of Reports 20+ 40+

QuickBooks Online Essentials

QuickBooks Essentials is ideal for growing businesses that may need more than the standard features. It’s also a great option for those who may be making the switch from desktop to online. This edition allows three users to access the file simultaneously.

QuickBooks Essentials includes all the features of Simple Start, with added abilities such as accounts payable, tracking, multiple currencies, remittance advices and expense receipts. In addition, Essentials allows business owners to set up invoices on a recurring schedule and with automated emails.

Features of QuickBooks Online Essentials

QuickBooks Essentials comes with the following features:

  • Track income and expenses
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Invoice and accept payments
  • Run more than 40 reports
  • Send estimates
  • Track sales and sales tax
  • Manage bills
  • Allow multiple users
  • Track time

Like Simple Start, you have the option to add additional payroll and online payments services at an extra cost.

QuickBooks Essentials vs. QuickBooks Plus

There are some features that the Essentials plan is missing. For example, you cannot prepare and issue 1099s, track billable hours by customer, or manage budgets. If your business is in need of these features, you may want to think about QuickBooks Plus. Below highlights the main differences between the two editions:

Feature QuickBooks Essentials QuickBooks Plus
Number of Users 3 5
Number of Reports 40+ 65+
Track Inventory (FIFO Method) No Yes
Prepare and Issue 1099s No Yes
Track Billable Hours (by Customer) No Yes
Create/Manage Budgets No Yes
Track Profitability for Multiple Locations No Yes

QuickBooks Online Plus

With the most features of all four editions, Plus is the most expensive option Intuit offers for its online software. It contains all of the features from the Simple Start and Essentials models, plus lots more. It’s a great option for business owners who are already somewhat familiar with the platform, whether it is the desktop version or a different online edition. Plus allows five users and the option to run 65+ types of reports. In addition, you get features like purchase order tracking, inventory tracking (great for manufacturers), budgets, time tracking for employees (great for hotels) and contractors, and billable hours by customers. If your business consists of multiple departments, QuickBooks Online Plus allows each one to be tracked individually through locations or classes.

Features of QuickBooks Online Plus

Below is a full list of features included in the Plus edition of QuickBooks Online:

  • Track income and expenses
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Invoice and accept payments
  • Run more than 40 reports
  • Send estimates
  • Track sales and sales tax
  • Manage bills
  • Allow multiple users
  • Track time
  • Track inventory
  • Track projects
  • Manage 1099 contractors

As a business owner, it’s up to you to decide if your needs are best met with the Simple Start, Essentials, or Plus edition of QuickBooks. It is important to note that you can upgrade any time if your business outgrows your current plan, but you cannot downgrade to a lower version. There are also many pieces of software that support all versions of Quickbooks Online to help further enhance your business’ financials.