How to Use QuickBooks Pro to Track Household Expenses

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Although QuickBooks Pro is used primarily by small business owners, it can be used to help manage household finances as well. It offers more features than a household needs, such as payroll and invoices, but the other features that track income and expenses can help a family monitor its money and create a workable budget.

1 Gather receipts

Gather receipts, statements and bills related to household expenses. One great feature of QuickBooks is that it integrates with many banks to allow you to download your bank information into your QuickBooks profiles. If your bank isn't on the list that QuickBooks can connect to, you'll need the information about your expenses from your bank statements.

2 Install QuickBooks

Install QuickBooks and create your profile using your home instead of a business. First-time users of QuickBooks will see the EasyStep Interview Wizard to help them set up their first account. If you don't see the wizard, you can open it by clicking on "File" and "New Company" from the main menu. Follow the steps given by the wizard to set up your home financial account.

3 Set up expenses through the Vendor Center

Set up expenses through the Vendor Center. Since QuickBooks is designed for business, it uses business-related terms. A vendor in business is another business that provides products or services. For a home accounting system, the vendors would be utility companies, the mortgage company, grocery store, etc. Create a vendor account for each of your expenses by clicking on "Vendor Center" and then "New Vendor" from the main menu.

4 Track expenses in the Vendor Center

Track expenses in the Vendor Center. Once you have your vendors created, you can add expense transactions. Open the Vendor center in the main menu and click on the Vendor. Choose "Add Transaction" to enter payment information.

5 Create reports to analyze your spending

Create reports to analyze your spending. QuickBooks gives you several options to review spending. You can export vendor information to Excel by clicking on the Excel option within the vendor account. QuickBooks also provides pre-loaded reports. Click on "Report Center" to find a list of the available reports. Select one related to expenses or vendors to create a new report.

Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.