A QuickBooks Desktop company file contains financial records of a business. If you're just starting out with QuickBooks, the first thing you must do is create a company file. If you have an existing company file, you can either upgrade the file or identify if it is the right time to start a new company file to replace your old file.

Quick tip
If you are a new to QuickBooks Desktop, you can use and play around sample company files to experiment and familiarize yourself with the program.

Start a new QuickBooks Desktop company file from scratch

IMPORTANT: If you are creating a new company file and already have another company file saved on your computer, be sure to use a unique name for the new company file. If you use the same name for the new company file, it will override the existing company file and the data in the existing file will be lost.

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. On the No Company Open window, click Create a new company.
  3. Choose between Express Start or Detailed Start.
    • Express Start

      1. Click Express Start.
      2. Fill out the necessary information in QuickBooks Setup window.
        Note: Click Help me choose to see a description for every business type and the preset chart of accounts that QuickBooks will create for you per industry.
      3. Click Create Company.
      4. After creating your company file, you can start creating your customers, chart of accounts and services or you can do it later by choosing Start Working.
    • Detailed Start

      1. Click Detailed Start.
      2. Fill out the Easy Step Interview screen and click Next.
      3. Select your Industry and Next.
      4. Identify your type of Business Entity and Next
      5. Set the first month of your Fiscal year and Next.
      6. Set up your QuickBooks Administrator password and Next.
      7. Choose the location where you you want to save your company file and click Save.
      8. After saving your company file, you can customize your QuickBooks by clicking Next or you can do it later by selecting Leave.