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


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Chapter 29


Many words are used in this book, with specific and perhaps localized meanings.  Most of the meanings are consistent with GAAP (see below) and those that are not are reconciled here.  The usage ranges from the narrow usage of “item” in QuickBooks to the industry-wide terms “portrait” and “landscape.”  “Restore” has three meanings, and “payment’ has four.  A few words in the glossary are not used in the book, but are of interest to people using QuickBooks.

ASCII is the American Standard for Computer Information Interchange.  The numbers 0 through 127 are used to represent numerals, letters, other symbols, and control codes.  The numbers 128 through 255 use the remaining capacity of an eight-bit system, but are less standardized.  Different equipment assigns different symbols to these numbers.

Account is  XE "account" a partition or sub-division of the financial records.  Accounts contain transactions (financial events) of types found by accountants to be similar.  The sales meaning, where account refers to a customer, is not used in this book.

Crash is an unwanted termination of program execution.  At the most controlled level, an error message appears, and the program execution is abruptly ended, usually without saving data.  They program may exit immediately, dropping back to the operating system.  In the worst case, the computer locks up and must be reset (or turned off and on again).

Customer is  XE "customer" any outside entity from whom you receive money (or hope to receive money).  Members of non-profit organizations appear in QuickBooks as customers.

COGS is an abbreviation for Cost of Goods Sold.  This is a special form of expense account, and QuickBooks puts it ahead of other expense accounts, as a convenience in displaying gross income.

Date, in QuickBooks for Windows or Macintosh, is any day from January 1, 1928 through December 31, 2027.  After that, you will have no choice but to upgrade. In the DOS versions, dates run from 01/01/01 through 12/31/99 (1900’s) and 01/01’01 through 12/31’25 (2000 through 2025.)

Default is what you get until and unless you assert that you want something else.  This meaning is used widely in computer applications.

Deposit is used in QuickBooksto refer only to money (cash or other medium of exchange) deposited into your bank account.  For advanced payments on sales see Prepayment.

Drivers are XE "drivers:printer"  programs dedicated to providing an interface with an external device; hard disk, floppy disk, printer, CD ROM, etc.  The device driver provides the operating system with a standardized interface for a specific brand name and model device.  The suffix .DRV usually indicates a driver.

Entity is  XE "entity" any person or thing, tangible or intangible, to which you can make a definite and specific reference.  Used in this book to avoid saying “item” when the reference is not to an entry in the list of items.

Expense is  XE "expense" the decrease in net value owned, when activities necessary to the conduct of business result in present or future disbursements of money (or other value.)  Note that QuickBooks charts of accounts can have both Expense and Other Expense accounts.

File asusedby computers running QuickBooks,is whatever is represented by an icon or name in a folder (directory) listing.  A file is an assemblage of low-level computer data, serving as a QuickBooks company data file, a program, digital representation of a graphical image, or any other information collected together for use by the computer.

Full Screen, when running under Windows, means that the window is expanded to use all available space on the screen. 

GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices)  is  XE "GAAP" a set of rules promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  Where legal definitions of accounting rules are needed, GAAP often has legal support.

GUI (GraphicUserInterface) is a generic  XE "GUI" term for display and control systems using pictures, such as those used by Macintosh computers or the Windows operating system.

Income ( see Accounting chapter) is  XE "income" the increase in ownership of an accounting entity, as profitable activity is conducted, and is equal to revenue minus expenses.

Income Account is an account used in QuickBooks to record revenue.  Note that QuickBooks charts of accounts can have both Income and Other Income accounts.

Item (see Chapter 6) is defined in QuickBooks by an entry in a List (Item List) that provides detail for sales invoices and purchase orders.  This term does not include Payroll Items which provide detail for payroll entries. This book takes care to adhere to this limited meaning.  Where a common meaning is needed, another word, such as “entity” or “entry”, is used.

Landscape XE "landscape"  orientation of paper is the position where the longer dimension is horizontal, typically used for reports with many columns.  This definition is universal in  computer printing operations.  See Portrait.

Liquidity refers to the fraction of your assets which are cash, or readily convertible to cash.

Memorizing a QuickBooks transaction is like making a custom rubber stamp, but with erasable ink.  The memorized transaction is recalled to create a new transaction with  default values provided by the original memorized transaction, just as a rubber stamp makes an impression on paper.  Like a drawer full of rubber stamps, the list of memorized transactions has no direct linkage to accounting records.

Numbers are used for counting, expressing a measurement, or executing any form of calculation.  Before the advent of computers, numbers were always recorded and displayed as numerals.  Internally to computers, numbers are handled in any of various forms that are logical to a computer.

Numerals are graphic characters used to communicate numbers between people, or between people and computers. QuickBooks interprets numerals as numbers if they are in numeric fields.  In a text field, numerals are handled only as text and not as numbers.

Opposing account is the other end of a double-entry transaction.  The full definition is most of the substance of Chapter 2.

PCMCIA (People Can’t Memorize Computer IndustryAcronyms) is an interface configuration and protocol for notebook computers.


1. Bank account: money paid out by check, ATM transaction, etc. 

2.  Credit card account: money paid to the card issuer, reducing the balance owed on a credit card. 

3.  Accounts Receivable or sales activities: cash, check, credit card obligation, or other medium of exchange, received from a customer in return for value provided.

4.  Accounts Payable:  In QuickBooks, payments to vendors for purchases recorded in Accounts Payable are recorded as “bill payments”,  to distinguish them from payments to customers.

Payroll Item (see Payroll chapter) is an entry in the Payroll Items List used to provide detail needed for paychecks. Typical payroll items are salary, wages, deductions, and contributions.

Portrait XE "portrait"  orientation of paper is the position where the longer dimension is vertical, and is the most generally used.  This definition is universal in computer printing operations.  See Landscape.

Prepayment or advance payment, is money received from a customer prior to delivery of value to the customer. 

Record a collection of related data stored in a computer.  Records are usually organized into computer files,  just as business documents may be stored away in file cabinet folders.


1.  (Windows) return a window to its previous size when it has been changed to a maximum or minimum mode of operation. 

2.  (Backing up)  Return to a previous status by copying and perhaps unpacking a file (or files) from a backup medium to a working hard drive. 

3.  (QuickBooks)  As a button provided at the bottom of a register screen, used to undo editing changes.

Revenue, in  XE "revenue" strict accounting terminology, refers to the increase in value owned, before expenses are subtracted. 

SOHO was an “in” term when this book was written, meaning something like Sole Owner Home Office.  Most people saying this seem to have a vague notion of what they mean.

Statement is an information document for a customer, summarizing invoices, payments, credits, etc., for a period of time, and ending with the current balance owing.

UCC is the Uniform Commercial Code, assembled by a very large committee of lawyers, and adopted as state law by every state.  This effort went a long way toward establishing uniform business laws in every state.

Value is anything which somebody would reasonably want to receive or keep, including, but not limited to, money, obligations to pay money, goods, services, and goodwill.

Vendor is  XE "vendor" any outside entity, who supplies goods and/or services that must be paid for.  With this interpretation, services such as roads, schools, fire and police protection, and protection from foreign enemies (real or imagined) are provided by governments, whose tax collection agencies come into QuickBooks as “tax vendors”.

Window is the portion of the screen displaying a given activity.  Running in a window means the activity occupies part of the screen, allowing other parts of the screen to be available for other activities in their own windows.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004