As a small business owner, we know your time is limited and your budget scarce. Luckily, there are several free and low-cost QuickBooks training online options. Depending on your preference, we’ll cover a range of online and in-person training resources like self-paced video tutorials and virtual classroom instruction you can attend right from your office.
One of the best ways to ensure you retain what you learn is to get hands on practice. The best way to do this is to sign up for your QuickBooks Online account so that you can immediately apply what you learn. When you’re ready to purchase, click here to receive up to 50% off QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Training — Summary of Options
|Training Solution||Cost||Access Link|
|FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks Online Video Tutorials||Free||QuickBooks Online Tutorials|
|QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides||Free||Intuit|
|Self-paced DVDs and CDs||$450||QuickBooks Training|
|Classroom Training||$550||QuickBooks Training|
|QuickBooks Books & User Manuals||$7-$20||Amazon|
|QuickBooks Training Online and Webinars||$490||Webucator|
|Classroom Training (SoCal/Online)||$765||UCLA Extension|
|One-on-One QuickBooks Training||$100/hour & up||ProAdvisor|
For sole proprietors who have relatively minimal accounting needs, learning to use QuickBooks yourself can be a big money saver. However, for businesses with employees and more complicated accounting needs, it probably makes more sense to hire somebody to manage your books for you.
If you go with a virtual bookkeeping service like Bench, you can get professional help without an over-the-top price tag. It will set up QuickBooks for you and keep your books in order. Basic plans start at $95 per month and include reconciling all bank and credit card accounts, provide you with monthly financial statements and communicate directly with your certified public accountant (CPA) or tax professional to provide info for your tax return.
Listed below is a brief description of eight small business QuickBooks training solutions:
FitSmallBusiness Free QuickBooks Training Video Tutorials
Our very own FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks tutorials for small business owners will help you set up QuickBooks Online and take advantage of more advanced functions. The lessons break down into bite-sized tutorials with an average viewing time of three to 10 minutes in length. This is a great way to learn QuickBooks and become an expert.
Here are some of our most popular tutorials:
- How to Set Up Company Information in QuickBooks Online
- How to Import Banking Transactions in QuickBooks Online
- How to Set Up the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks Online
In these tutorials and the accompanying videos, our resident CPA and QuickBooks expert Crystalynn Shelton will demystify QuickBooks and give you all the information you need to know to use QuickBooks Online to your business’ advantage. Download our free QuickBooks Course and learn QuickBooks fast.
Pros & Cons of FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks Training Video Tutorials
Similar to all the training options we’ve reviewed, there are pros and cons to using the FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks training video tutorials. An advantage when compared to most tutorials is the fact that you can download the FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks tutorials to your computer. However, you won’t earn a QuickBooks certification by watching these video tutorials.
Pros of FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks Training Video Tutorials
The pros of using the FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks training video tutorials are:
- You can download the video tutorials to your computer and watch them offline
- Written instruction is included along with the video that shows how to navigate the steps in a QuickBooks Online account
Cons of FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks Training Video Tutorials
The of using the FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks training video tutorials are:
- There is no live instructor to ask questions. However, you can post your questions on the FitSmallBusiness Forums, and an expert will provide a quick response
- You cannot earn a QuickBooks certification by watching these video tutorials
QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides
Before spending hours trawling through search engine results, it’s important to remember that the solution to your QuickBooks question could already be at your fingertips. The software has a powerful built-in learning center that is accessible under the help menu. Just click on Help and type “videos” in the search box. A list of links to training videos and webinars will display.
Video tutorials can be a terrific way to refresh or expand your QuickBooks knowledge and learn how to use specific QuickBooks functions. You can replay video tutorials as many times as you like and access them instantly whenever you need to learn a new function.
The QuickBooks library is organized into the following seven topics within each topic includes bite-sized videos as short as 2 minutes long.
- QuickBooks Basics
- Money Out
- Online Banking
- Adding Your Information to QuickBooks
- Money In
- Switching to QuickBooks Online
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with using QuickBooks video tutorials and guides. One of the primary pros includes the ability to follow along with an expert as you use the software. One of the primary negatives is the potential for the information to get out of date quickly.
Pros of QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides
The pros of using QuickBooks video tutorials and guides are:
- You can watch the videos and mimic the steps in your own QuickBooks online account
- You can complete all the lessons at once, or come back to them on an as-needed basis
Cons of QuickBooks Video Tutorials & Guides
The drawbacks of using QuickBooks video tutorials and guides are:
- Video tutorials typically require an internet connection because they are stored online
- The information in the video could be outdated if the product has changed drastically
Self-paced QuickBooks Training CDs & DVDs
If you’re more of an audio or visual learner or want something more interactive than a book, self-paced CD/DVD training might be a better option for you. QuickBooks Training offers QuickBooks CD/DVD training guides by mail order that offers the opportunity for self-paced learning and serve as a QuickBooks reference guide.
QuickBooks Training has trained more than a million people on QuickBooks, and they are endorsed by Intuit. They can be trusted to deliver a polished training course that has been thoroughly tested in a real-world application.
Below are some of the topics covered in their Level One Mastering QuickBooks course:
- How to set up a company file
- How to manage sales and income
- How to manage expenses
- Inventory management
- Accounting Basics
It’s important to remember, however, that not all QuickBooks DVD and CD trainers are created equal. Avoid those that do not provide you with printed or downloadable course guide. You will need to refer to the guide when you get ready to use QuickBooks on your own.
Pros & Cons of Self-Paced QuickBooks Training CDs & DVDs
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with using self-paced QuickBooks training materials. One of the primary pros relates to the ability to learn on your own schedule and at your own pace. On the negative side, there isn’t a way for you to ask any follow-up questions of the instructor since it’s a recording.
Pros of Using Self-Paced QuickBooks Training CDs & DVDs
The pros of using self-paced QuickBooks training CDs and DVDs are:
- No internet connection is required to play CDs and DVDs
- Similar to video tutorials, you have the flexibility to go at your own pace and replay them as needed.
Cons of Using Self-Paced QuickBooks Training CDs & DVDs
The drawbacks of using self-paced QuickBooks training CDs and DVDs are:
- Not all QuickBooks DVD and CD trainers are created equal. Be sure to check their return policy in case you decide to return them.
- Typically there is no one that you can follow-up with to ask questions
QuickBooks Classroom Training
Several companies offer face-to-face QuickBooks training in a classroom setting in locations around the US. QuickBooks Training offers an Intuit-endorsed QuickBooks training program in most metropolitan cities. Just visit their website, type in your zip code/city to find one near you. Their extensive Mastering QuickBooks two-day classroom course is $550 for 14 hours of training.
In general, this two-day small business QuickBooks training will cover:
- How to Setup Your QuickBooks Online Account
- Accounting Basics
- How to Create and Send Invoices
- How to Pay Bills
- Tips & Tricks
If you’re looking for training in the southern California area, you can catch Crystalynn from FitSmallBusiness live in the classroom at UCLA Extension where she has taught QuickBooks classes for the last eight years. This course is offered in a live classroom, or you can take it online. Check out the full description of the course and how to sign up.
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Classroom Training
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with using QuickBooks classroom training. The pros include the fact that you will walk away from the training with manuals and contacts you can use later. On the negative side, if you don’t apply what you learn right away, you might forget it.
Pros of Using QuickBooks Classroom Training
The pros of using QuickBooks classroom training are:
- Access to an experienced instructor who can guide you through any sticking points
- Course material and learning manuals you can take back to your office
Cons of Using QuickBooks Classroom Training
The drawbacks of using QuickBooks classroom training are:
- You don’t know how good the trainer will be but, in general, most of them are decent
- Unless you go back to the office and apply what you have learned immediately, you will forget it. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and replay this like you can a video tutorial or CD
QuickBooks User Forums and Support Pages
Sometimes the best people to answer your QuickBooks questions are other people who use QuickBooks every day. Intuit’s official community forum is a searchable database of almost half a million answered questions posed by small business owners like you. Questions often attract multiple answers from QuickBooks ProAdvisors as well as small business owners.
If you’ve got a QuickBooks question, our very own FitSmallBusiness Forum is a great place to post it. We have a number of small business owners, accountants, lawyers and other professionals that post questions and respond to questions as well. As the resident QuickBooks expert here at FitSmallBusiness, I respond to QuickBooks questions every day.
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks User Forums and Support Pages
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with QuickBooks user forums and support pages. One of the main pros is that you’ll be able to tap into a network of users who might have the same questions as you. A drawback is that you can’t know for sure that the response provided is accurate.
Pros of Using QuickBooks User Forums & Support Pages
The pros of using QuickBooks user forums and support pages are:
- Someone else most likely had the same question as you, so the likelihood that you will find an answer to your question is very high
- You will have access to CPAs and accountants who are Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors and frequently respond to form posts
Cons of Using QuickBooks User Forums & Support Pages
The drawbacks of using QuickBooks user forums and support pages are:
- There is no guarantee that the response to your question will be correct; sometimes people may provide incorrect information
- You may not find answers to more advanced topics on QuickBooks which means you may need to contact the Intuit support team for assistance
Small Business QuickBooks Training Books and User Manuals
To be completely honest, we typically do not recommend books when it comes to QuickBooks Online. This is primarily because they become outdated very quickly because QuickBooks Online is generally updated every 6 weeks on average.
Check out Audible which is an app that you can download to your mobile device and listen to books on audio while on the go. You can use it free for the first 30 days and if you like it, pay just $14.95 per month to continue to use it. There are three books we found on QuickBooks, and they were only $6.95 each.
Here are a couple of books that I found on Amazon that you may find helpful:
It’s available on Amazon for $20 (free shipping for Prime customers). It is just one of a handful of guides available for QuickBooks Online that received a good review. The average rating is 3.6 out of 5 stars, and the customers who purchased this book have said “It is a must read for any level,” “It is a good introduction to QuickBooks Online” and “It is an excellent reference guide.”
I’m a big fan of the Dummies series. I own several of these books, and I have never been disappointed. QuickBooks Online for Dummies is also available on Amazon for less than $30. The beauty of the Dummies series is that it does a terrific job of breaking everything down into bite-sized chunks so that anyone can understand and grasp the concepts that are being taught.
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Training Books and User Manuals
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with QuickBooks training books and user manuals. One of the best positives is that you’ll always have reference materials at your fingertips. However, on the flip side, written materials like these can become out-of-date quickly, especially for cloud-based software programs.
Pros of Using QuickBooks Training Books & User Manuals
The pros of using QuickBooks training books and user manuals are:
- No internet connection required (even Audible books can be downloaded so you can listen to them offline)
- You can go to the topic of your choice quickly and start reading about it, no need to start at the beginning of a book
Cons of Using QuickBooks Training Books & User Manuals
The drawbacks of using QuickBooks training books and user manuals are:
- Information can become outdated pretty quickly, especially for cloud-based software like QuickBooks Online
- You don’t have access to someone that you can ask questions if you can’t locate an answer
Live QuickBooks Training Online
Live online classes essentially take the classroom concept and transfer it to the virtual world where interactive video webinars connect you with an instructor in real time. This is a convenient way to access expert QuickBooks training online by logging onto a scheduled course from your own computer and downloading supplementary course materials.
The quality of live online classes and webinars can vary widely. Look for instructor-led webinars that offer the following:
- Ability to view the instructor’s computer screen in real time
- Allows you to ask questions — either via a text chat function or a connected microphone
Webucator has provided QuickBooks classes to more than 70 percent of the Fortune 100 companies and is a Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions. The company offers instructor-led live QuickBooks training online for $490 for two days of training.
In this QuickBooks classroom training, you will learn:
- How to create invoices and credit memos
- Inventory management
- Track job costs
- Generate financial reports
Pros & Cons of Live QuickBooks Training Online
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with live online QuickBooks training. One of best pros is that you have access to an instructor to whom you can ask questions in real time. On the downside, the cost of live QuickBooks training can be expensive, so you need to make sure the investment is worth it.
Pros of Using Live QuickBooks Training Online
The pros of using live QuickBooks training online are:
- Access to an instructor who you can ask questions
- Able to attend the class “virtually” from your home or office
Cons of Using Live QuickBooks Training Online
The drawbacks of using live QuickBooks training online are:
- Virtual and online courses tend to be pricey — on average between $300 and $600
- In general, once the course ends, you don’t have access to the instructor should you have follow-up questions
One-On-One QuickBooks Training
Many private QuickBooks trainers service areas around the United States, and there’s a good chance a friendly local trainer operates in a market near you. Fees for one-on-one private training differ widely between markets but expect to pay around $100 per hour. This may seem pretty steep, but you’ll likely save significant time with a focused one-on-one approach.
Ensure that you engage a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (like myself). Intuit maintains a network of 50,000 expert ProAdvisors in a searchable online database. Check out How to Find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor where you can learn what to look for when hiring a QuickBooks Pro and how to find one near you.
Most private trainers will visit your home or office for one-on-one training sessions that can be customized around your specific business needs.
Training sessions can be booked into gaps in your busy schedule without the need for you to block out whole days to attend classes, and you won’t waste time learning practices that are irrelevant to your particular business processes.
Pros & Cons of One-on-One QuickBooks Training
As with all of the options, there are pros and cons associated with one-on-one QuickBooks training. A great positive is that you’ll receive an individualized training program. On the negative side, the cost can be expensive at $100 per hour on average.
Pros of Using One-on-One QuickBooks Training
The pros of one-on-one QuickBooks training are:
- A customized training experience, you get to select the QuickBooks topics you want to cover
- In general, most QuickBooks trainers will come to your office for one-on-one training sessions
Cons of Using One-on-One QuickBooks Training
The drawbacks of one-on-one QuickBooks training are:
- The cost of a one-on-one QuickBooks training is steep — on average around $100 per hour but could be less depending on locale
- Follow-up questions may require an additional fee. While some trainers will allow you to contact them with questions after a session, this is not the norm.
QuickBooks User Certification
If you are looking to start a career as a bookkeeper, you may want to consider getting certified in QuickBooks. The QuickBooks user certification is ideal for someone who has some bookkeeping knowledge and wants to learn how to use QuickBooks or improve upon what he or she already knows.
Both the courses offered by QuickBooks Training and the UCLA Extension courses provide you with all of the information you need to pass the QuickBooks user certification exam. To take the exam, you need to find a Certiport testing center near you. On average, the exam cost is $150, and you must schedule a day and time to take the exam at your local testing center.
The Bottom Line
If you’re not sure which training resource to go with, give our free FitSmallBusiness QuickBooks course a try. The video works great for the visual learner, and the written instructions work great for those (like myself) that learn best by reading.
For many small business owners, having enough time to get things done is one of the biggest struggles. That’s why it could make more sense for you to have a virtual bookkeeping service like Bench run and manage QuickBooks for you. Bench will take care of all of your income and expenses for you and generate the reports that you need to file your tax returns.