QuickBooks simplifies and speeds up your daily accounting work, but you’re missing out on valuable insight if you don’t tailor and customize your report data.
One of the rewards for diligently entering all of your accounting information is a better grasp of your company’s financial performance. That insight ultimately leads to better business decisions that can contribute to your future growth and success.
Make Reports Meaningful
- Understanding what each report is designed to tell you
- Determining which reports are most relevant to your business information needs, and
- Designing each to produce the critical insight you need in order to move forward.
The first challenge is fairly clear. You can understand what many reports do by their titles, their content, and the descriptions QuickBooks offers. We recommend that you spend some time looking at the Report Center in QuickBooks to familiarize yourself with your options.
The second two challenges are a bit more formidable. It’s our job to assist you in establishing a workflow in QuickBooks to keep accurate records and to produce necessary transactions. But we want you to do more than just maintain the status quo. When you analyze and interpret what your reports are telling you, you can make smart business decisions.
So if we haven’t gone over this with you already or if you need a refresher, we encourage you to schedule some time with us so you can get the maximum benefit from your QuickBooks reports. Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule an appointment or to sign up for our “QB for Business Owners” training class which goes over the reports you should be frequently reviewing (next class will be October 16, 2014).
A Simple Set of Steps to Customize Your Reports
Let’s take a look at a report you may already generate:
Sales by Customer Detail (Reports | Sales | Sales by Customer Detail).
QuickBooks comes with a commonly-used set of default columns in its reports. This particular report contains column labels like Type (invoice, sales receipt, etc.), Item and Quantity, and Sales Price. You can easily change the default date range up below the toolbar. But to get to QuickBooks’ powerful customization tools, click Customize Report. A window with four tabs opens. They are:
Display. Options in this window help you specify the columns you want to appear in your report. In the lower left corner, there’s a list titled Columns that contains every possible column label for that report. If you scroll down, you’ll see a check mark in front of the default columns. Click on any item to uncheck it, and click in front of any that you’d like to add.
Other options here include how your data should be totaled and sorted. Some reports let you choose between cash and accrual basis.
Filters. This is the difficult one — and the tool that will provide the most insight. Filters determine which subsets of related data you’ll see (accounts, items, customer types, zip codes, etc.) by including only those that meet certain conditions. Here’s where we can really help you answer critical business questions that will lead you to smart decisions.
Header/Footer and Fonts & Numbers. You can tailor the design and layout of your reports here.
Well-formulated reports can help you spot cash flow problems, maintain correct inventory levels, see your most profitable jobs, and compare your estimates to actual costs. You’ll also be able to identify your best customers, your best selling items, and your top sales reps. Careful customization of your reports — and thorough analysis of their data — will provide clearer answers to your questions about your company’s future. We can help you take full advantage of these powerful tools.
Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule an appointment or to sign up for our “QB for Business Owners” training class which explains the reports you should be frequently reviewing (next class will be October 16, 2014).
“The QB Bob” Team