Yeah, there is a setting for it, in AE Preferences. But since AE defaults to previewing the Work Area, you can just as easily set the beginning of the work area by hitting the b key, then previewing. You won't notice the difference.
In the Preview panel, you can choose From Current Time.
BTW, if you're actually using After Effects 12.0, you should really install the update to After Effects 12.2.1: