How to Change the Comma to a Point in the Quickbooks Premier 2008 Data Entry

By David Roberts

The difference between a comma and a decimal point in bookkeeping is generally a large one. In U.S. accounting or bookkeeping procedures, a comma indicates a separation between the hundreds place and the thousands place. A decimal point indicates a separation between dollars and cents. When a number appears in QuickBooks that has a comma in the place of a decimal point, the problem is seldom with the QuickBooks software. Rather, it is with the Windows regional settings. The procedure you use to make this change is the same regardless of whether you are using the Premier 2008 version or a more recent version.

Changing Regional Settings in Windows

Click the "Start" button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Type "Region and Language" into the search box and click "Enter."

Click the "Location" tab. Check that the location in the "Current Location" box displays as "United States." Change the location to "United States," if some other location displays. Click the "Format" tab. Check that the format displays as "English (United States). If you use any European format, the decimals and commas don't display in the same way as they do in the US. You may have foreign symbols for currency followed by commas that automatically display in the wrong location.

Click the "Additional Settings" button and select the "Currency" tab. Verify that the "Currency" symbol displays as the dollar sign. If you see the Euro or British Pound symbol, you have the wrong format. Select the "Date" tab and check the "Short Date" sample. If you see the day listed first, as in Europe, you have the wrong format. In the U.S., the month displays first, followed by the day and year.

Return to the "Format" tab in the "Region and language" window, change the format to the "English (United States)" option and click "OK." When you install QuickBooks, it "reads" the format used for Windows and when you enter data, QuickBooks follows the established format for the geographical region you selected. Changing the Windows setting to "English (United States) will change the comma to a decimal point to separate dollars and cents.

Changing General Preferences in QuickBooks

Click on the "Edit" button in the top menu bar of the QuickBooks home screen. When the menu opens, scroll down and click the "Preferences" option. When the "Preferences" menu opens, select the "General" preferences option.

Click on the "My Preferences" tab. Locate the "My Preferences" and "Company Preferences" tabs at the top of the opened window. Locate the "Automatically place a decimal point." option and put a check mark in that box.

Click the "OK" box in the "Preferences" window. Each numerical entry you make will automatically place a decimal point before the last two digits that represent the "Cents" of the number. The entry, "12345" will is the numerical equivalent of $123.45.

If this box remains unchecked, the entry "12345" is the numerical equivalent of $12,345, as the program will assume the decimal point's place is after the last number you entered. This is a possible situation where the decimal point/comma issue in QuickBooks relates to another issue than a comma placement issue.