If you're using QuickBooks as an accounting tool for your business, it probably contains a lot of financial information about your company. But what good is a lot of information if it isn't useful to you. This article contains some useful QuickBooks reporting tips. You will learn how to make the information in your data file informative by filtering and customizing reports so you can get the information you need quickly and easily.
There are a number of ways to start a report. To see a comprehensive list of reports already created in QuickBooks open the Report Center
Choose Reports > Report Center
Browse through the reports and choose a report you want to start with. Double click the image of the report or click Run on the icons below the name and image of the report to display it.
You can click on each of the icons below the sample image of the report:
Run will display the report.
Info will provide more information about the report. For Example the Profit and Loss Standard report will tell you how much money your company made or lost over a specific period of time.
Fave will let you memorize the report and save it to a Favorite Reports group.
Help will let you learn more about the report such as "What this report tells you" and "Ways to customize this report".
Once a report is open you will see a Customize report button you can click. You will then have 4 Tabs you can work with to modify the report.
Using the Display Tab
Report Date Range
Begin by defining your date range.
You can then choose your Report Basis. If you?re creating a report for your Accountant you may want to find out what Basis to use.
One of the most powerful options for customizing your report is the "Display columns by (dropdown menu) across the top." When you click on the drop down menu you will see multiple options available for what you can display across the top of your report. If you want to create a Trend Report of your Profit & Loss change the "Total Only" to "Month" and you will have a very valuable report you can use to see historical financial trends of your company.
You also have the option of displaying subcolumns including Previous Period, Previous Year, and Year-To-Date. Previous Period will show a side by side comparison of data for the same length of time immediately preceding your selected date range. For Example if your have a 6 month date range January - June and you select Previous Period you will see July - December from the Previous Year on your report as well.
Using the Filters Tab
The filters tab provides you with an expansive list of options you can use to change the scope of the report by narrowing down what data will be included on the report.
What are Report Filters?
Filters are options you can choose to tell QuickBooks what to include or not to include on your report. You can choose as many filters as you want on each report. When you choose a filter the parameters by which you can define each filter will appear so you can further customize your selection. If you're unsure what the filter means click the "Tell me more?." for useful information. Some of the filters you will probably use most often are: Account, Amount, Date, Item (for the goods or services you sell), Memo (for your memo notes on transactions), Name (for customer, job, vendor, or employee names), Number (for transaction numbers like check numbers), and Type (for specific types of transactions like bills or invoices).
What Does the Detail Level Filter Do?
Choose the Detail Level filter to define whether you want to show or hide the detail lines for each transaction. Many transactions in QuickBooks have multiple line items. For example, a vendor bill may be coded to multiple accounts. When you choose this filter you will have 3 parameters you can select to define the filter.
If you choose this option your report will show each individual line as well as the total of the transactions
If you choose this option your report will only show the total of the transactions.
All except summary
If you choose this option your report will only show each individual detailed line, NO total.
This may be a useful filter for shortening a lengthy report or expanding a report that doesn't show enough detail by default.
Using the Header/Footer Tab
The Header and Footer of your report can provide useful information about the report at a glance. You can customize the Report Title and Subtitle to tell the viewer what the report represents. You can include the Report Basis which may be pertinent to your Accountant. You can also include useful information in the footer by adding an Extra Footer Line. You have options for modifying the Alignment of the report on this Tab as well.
Formatting Fonts & Numbers
Many of us are partial to the fonts we use and sometimes we can even be particular about how numbers are displayed. This tab will provide you with a variety of options for modifying the aesthetics of your report.
Memorize a Report
Once you put the time and effort into creating a useful, informative report don't forget to save it for next time. When you choose to memorize a report you can specify which Memorized Report Group to save it in. You can even share the report with others.