While going through the initial setup in QuickBooks, the program prompts users to select their industry. Sometimes, a user's industry is not clearly listed. For example, "Computer Service & Repair," is not one of the choices. I'm sure there are many other businesses that are not clearly listed in the "Select Industry" section of the QuickBooks setup screen.
QuickBooks asks for your industry for two reasons:
- So it can load a Chart of Accounts that closely matches what you need
- So it can load preset reports that closely match what you may need
If your industry is not listed, don't worry. Select an industry that is the closest match by examining the source of your business' revenue. This will help you determine a close match on the industry.
To use the "Computer Service & Repair" example above, if the majority of this business' revenue is derived from retail sales, then I would suggest to select Retail as the industry. If the majority of this business' revenue is derived from consultations and service, then I would suggest to select Consultant as the industry.
Here's why you don't need to select an exact match on the industry:
1. QuickBooks is extremely flexible about the Chart of Accounts. Even though QuickBooks loads a preset Chart of Accounts customized for each industry, accounts are easily added or modified. When you pick an industry that is a close match, you can create or delete accounts that are custom to your business.
2. QuickBooks is extremely flexible about it's reports. In fact, one of the things I love most about QuickBooks is it's powerful reporting features. Although the preset reports for each industry are nice, custom reports are easily created and memorized, regardless of the industry chosen in the setup.
I'm a huge fan of getting QuickBooks setup correctly the first time. One of the most important parts of the setup is the Chart of Accounts. But don't worry if your industry is not immediately apparent, as QuickBooks is very forgiving if the incorrect Chart of Accounts is chosen. Just add, delete, or modify accounts as needed.