I asked Christopher for an after-action on the Small Business Accounting course he led last year. Below are his comments.
My goal with this course was that every student would come away with a functional and well-rounded knowledge of QuickBooks Pro – and the course was a resounding success. Whether the student had never used QuickBooks before (several), was regularly using it with their family business (quite a few), were teenagers (about half), were parents (the other half), or were a CPA (yes, even a CPA was a part of the course) – I wanted each one to be challenged.
In addition to the weekly 1.5 hour webinars, a key component was the hands-on exercises. While each student created multiple company files in QuickBooks during the course, one company (a piano tuning and service company) was not only created, but was populated with real transactions: customers, vendors, invoices, bill payments, inventory, checks, credit card transactions, accounts, and even bank reconciles. I put together the hands-on transactions based upon what we would be covering each week, in addition to some of the little tips and tricks I’ve learned in helping various companies use QuickBooks for their finances over the years. Problem transactions that would have to be properly troubleshot and corrected were also included: mistakes happen in real life and knowing how to properly fix them is an important part of bookkeeping.
It was very rewarding to me as I heard how they were able to apply the various items we were covering in the course, in their businesses. One student, who had never used QuickBooks prior to the course, is an entrepreneur who was in the process of launching his business during the QuickBooks course. As he was going through the process to create a company file for his new business, his comment was, “Oh, this is easy — I’ve done this before”.
If you use QuickBooks and aren’t familiar enough to be able to say that yourself: don’t worry, we have another course scheduled for the summer of 2014. Or, If you’ve never used QuickBooks: it would be a great skill to pick up as a summer course so that you’ll be equipped should you ever find yourself starting, or helping, to run a business.