Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28

Chapter 4

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The Inside Story.   A brief discussion of the internal structure of QuickBooks accounts XE "accounts:structure"  will make reasons and details clear as you learn the programs. Intuit does not disclose any information about the database, and some of the following information is assumed from the operation of the programs.

QuickBooks is the direct heir of some essential Quicken concepts, although it has greatly diverged from Quicken.  All balance sheet accounts derive from the Quicken checking account.  Liability and equity accounts show balances with plusses and minusses reversed. Like asset accounts, they are involved with the net worth of the company

Income and expense accounts grew from the category labels on Quicken transactions.  This is why these accounts have no registers.  All of their transactions are recorded in balance sheet accounts.  Reference to the income or expense accounts, in the balance transactions, make the record of the income or expense transaction.  Like equity accounts, income accounts usually contain negative numbers and reverse them for display.

The payment of a bill is an example of a transfer transaction,  XE "transfer" from one balance sheet account to another.  QuickBooks transfers money from the checking account to accounts payable.  Instead of referring to an income or expense account, the transactions contain a reference (link) to a specific transaction in the other balance sheet account, here, payables.  At the other end, the account contains a link back to the original transaction. The secondary transaction also includes coding that it is a derived transaction.

In the graphics versions, transactions generally do not have copies of information that is in lists.  Where you see an entity from a list, the transaction contains a number referring to some list, such as customers, accounts, or classes. This explains a trick of QuickBooks. When you change an account name, you instantly change the account name in every transaction that uses it.  This specific example also applies to the DOS versions.  But DOS and graphics versions are quite different, as for example in notes appended to the bottom of an invoice. The DOS versions have a memorized list of notes, which may be copied into an invoice (and edited there.)  The graphics versions have these notes in a list, The invoice does not contain the note, but only a reference location of the note, in the list.  If the note is edited on a subsequent invoice, this will change previous invoices using that note. 

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Last modified: May 21, 2004