Starting Your Own Company File

Now that you have completed the ABC's of Goldenseal small business accounting software, you are ready to start using it to run your own company.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new company file, usually from a 'starter' file.
  2. (Optional) import data from Goldenseal for payroll or unit costs.
  3. (Optional) import data from your existing records.
  4. Create a few Customer accounts and/or Prospect records. You'll also need to set up some lists for sales tax and other details.
  5. Start creating transaction records such as estimates-- whatever you want to start out with.
  6. As you have time, add more accounts and more transactions. You may also need to set up more lists.

The remaining sections explain each of these steps in detail.

HINT: If you haven't yet decided what kind of business you want to run with Goldenseal, relax. Just keep doing data-entry for a fictitious company, and at some point inspiration will come to you. And if not, well, that's still not so bad. Running a fictitious company is so much easier than running a real one.

Create a New Company File

Before you start to use Goldenseal, create a company file to store your business information.

Using Starter Files

Goldenseal includes several starter files for specific business types. They already include calculators, category systems, dimensions and unit costs, so they will save you some setup time.

Macintosh Files

To set up a starter file for our Macintosh small business software, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Goldenseal Files folder on your hard drive.
  2. Open the Starter Files folder.
  3. Find the starter file that seems closest to your needs.
  4. Click once on the icon.
  5. Choose Duplicate from the File menu.
  6. Type in a name for the file.
  7. You might also want to move it into the Documents folder, or some other convenient location.
  8. Double-click on the icon to open the file and start entering data.

Windows Files

To use a starter file in Windows 2000 or newer, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on the My Computer icon to view the contents of your hard drive.
  2. Double-click on the Local Disk (C:/ drive), then double-click on the Program Files folder.
  3. Double-click on the Goldenseal folder, then double-click on the Starter Files folder.
  4. Find the starter file that seems closest to your needs.
  5. Click once on the file icon.
  6. Choose Copy To Folder from the Edit menu. (for Windows 98, see instructions below).
  7. Choose a location on your hard drive where you’d like to keep the file. HINT-- My Documents is a good place.
  8. After Windows has duplicated the file, navigate to the file’s directory, then click once on the file icon.
  9. Choose Rename from the File menu, and type in a new name. HINT-- You might want to use your company name.
  10. Double-click on the icon to open the file and start entering data.

To use a starter file in Windows 98, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on the My Computer icon to view the contents of your hard drive.
  2. Double-click on the Local Disk (C:/ drive), then double-click on the Program Files folder.
  3. Double-click on the Goldenseal folder, then double-click on the Starter Files folder.
  4. Find the starter file that seems closest to your needs.
  5. Click once on the file icon.
  6. Choose Copy from the Edit menu.
  7. Navigate to the place where you'd like to save the copy. HINT-- My Documents is a good place.
  8. Choose Paste from the Edit menu.
  9. Click once on the file name.
  10. Choose Rename from the File menu, and type in a new name. HINT-- You might want to use your company name.
  11. Double-click on the icon to open the file and start entering data

Starting An Empty File

If you don't want to use a template, you can also begin with an empty file, and then fill in all of your own data (or import it from our stock data files).

WARNING: A new (empty) file will not include dimensions or the calculators needed for reports like the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. You'll need to import calculators if you want to use those features (see the next section).

To start a totally new company file, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on the Goldenseal icon that was installed on your hard drive.
  2. You'll see a start-up window. To create a new company file, click the New File button.
  3. Type in a name for the company file, then click OK.
  4. You can now start entering information about the new company.

HINT: To save data entry time, you can import starter data into your company file. See the next section for details.

Import Starter Data

Goldenseal includes some 'starter' data-- payroll taxes, calculators, unit prices, and basic setup information. You can use the Import command to bring it into your Company file.

HINT: If you start with a Starter File, you won't need to import any starter data.

Payroll Taxes

To import state payroll taxes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Import from the File menu, then choose Company File from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a standard file open dialog. Navigate to the Goldenseal Folder, and open the US Payroll folder. NOTE: For Canadian payroll, open the Canada Payroll folder.
  3. Choose a file to import, and click Open.
  4. Goldenseal will automatically import the data.
  5. If you calculate payroll withholding for more than one state, repeat steps 1 to 4.
  6. To see the state payroll information, choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, then choose Tax Items, Tax Packages or Tax Tables from the submenu.

Unit Prices, Calculators and Other Data

To import cost items, assemblies, calculators and other information, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Import from the File menu, then choose Company File from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a standard file open dialog. Navigate to the Goldenseal Folder, and open the Other Data Files folder.
  3. Choose a file to import, and click Open. HINT: The All Calculators file includes the calculators you need for the Balance Sheet, Income Statement and other reports. The Unit Prices files include cost categories, cost items, assemblies and dimension calculators.
  4. Goldenseal will automatically import the data.

Import Your Own Data

If you have been using other programs to run your company, you may be able to bring in data from them, and save a great deal of typing.

MacNail and BidMagic Data

You can import accounting and estimating data from MacNail and BidMagic-- two other programs from Turtle Creek Software.

For instructions, check the MacNail to Goldenseal folder.

Other Data

If you have your own data in a spreadsheet, database or accounting program, you can probably bring it into Goldenseal.

The first step is to export from Goldenseal, so you will have an example of the correct data format. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open Goldenseal.
  2. If you don't already have some customers, create a few sample Customer accounts, or use the Sample Company File from the tutorial.
  3. Choose Export from the File menu, then choose One Account Class from the submenu.
  4. Enter a name for the export file, and choose Customer Accounts as an item to export.

Next, export information from the other program, and set it up in the same format as Goldenseal. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Switch to the program that contains the data you'd like to import.
  2. Use that program's Export or Save As command to convert the data into tab-delimited text.
  3. Switch to a general-purpose program. These instructions assume you will use a spreadsheet program (which works best), but you can also use a word processor if you are very careful about tab placement.
  4. Use the spreadsheet program to open the sample Goldenseal export file that you created earlier.
  5. Use the spreadsheet program to open the data file that you created in step 2.
  6. Copy the data in the data file, and paste it into the matching columns in the Goldenseal file. You will probably need to move data column by column.
  7. When you have finished moving data, save changes. Make sure that the data file is still in tab-delimited text format.
  8. Close the data file.

Finally, you can import into Goldenseal. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open the company file in Goldenseal. Before you import data, make a backup copy, so you can go back to the original if you don't like the results
  2. Choose Import from the File menu, then choose One Account Class from the submenu.
  3. Find the file that contains the processed data, and import it into Customer Accounts.
  4. Line up fields so the data matches correctly, then click Import. Goldenseal will import the new customer accounts. HINT: Click the right and left arrows beneath the list to browse through the data you are importing. You may need to look at several records before you decide where to put each incoming data field.
  5. Check the data, and enter any additional information that wasn't imported.

HINT: See Lesson 25 for more about imports and exports.