Do you avoid running reports because of the time it takes? Here are two tips for making this task less burdensome.

Do you remember trying to summarize your accounting data before you started using QuickBooks? It couldn’t be done, really. You’d have to organize your invoices and bills and purchase orders into stacks and comb through them. A calculator was probably involved, and a lot of time. And trying to match invoices with payments probably had you looking back and forth between your bank statements and your computer screen and the invoices themselves.

The ability to run reports is one of QuickBooks’ top features. A combination database and giant calculator, the software’s dozens of pre-built report templates run in seconds. You can customize them to isolate the exact information you need in neat, organized rows and columns.

But finding the reports you need and customizing them takes time. Maybe you skip using these critical tools because of that. Here are two ways to simplify your reports and make them more useful.

Before You Begin

You might want to use one of QuickBooks’ built-in sample company files to experiment with reports rather than using your live data. Open the File menu and select Open Previous Company. Click on one of the sample companies. Do the same to get back to your company file when you’re done.

Memorize Reports

You can customize QuickBooks reports to see just the data you want, then memorize them so you can easily use those settings again.

When you first run a report in QuickBooks, how does it know what exact set of data you want to see? It doesn’t. It just displays a default group of settings. But that should just be a starting place for you. Open the Reports menu and select Customers & Receivables | A/R Aging Detail. Click Customize Report in the upper left. Change the Display and Filters to reflect your needs (if you don’t know how to do this, let us help).

Click OK when you’ve completed your modifications to view the report with the new format. If it looks right, click Memorize in the toolbar. In the window that opens, enter a descriptive name so you’ll recognize it later. Do you want to save it to a group (optional)? Check that box and open the menu to choose from CompanyCustomers, etc. Click OK. To find a memorized report, open the Reports menu and highlight Memorized Reports. Find your report in the list and click on it.

Comment On Your Reports

As you’re looking at a report, you might want to make some notes about specific line items for yourself or to share with others. QuickBooks allows you to do this within the report itself. 

Here’s how it works. Go to Reports | Sales | Sales by Item Detail. When it opens, click Comment on Report in the toolbar. A second copy opens with small boxes next to every element of the report. Hover over one, and a dialogue balloon opens. Click on it, and it turns into a number. At the same time, a rectangular box opens at the bottom of the screen containing that number. Type your comment in and click Save.

 

Repeat the process to add any additional notes. They’ll be stacked up at the bottom of the screen. The numbers in this box correspond to the numbers in the report, of course. You can edit them by clicking the pencil icon at the end of the row.

Click next to a report item and type a comment in the box below to save those comments for later.

Click Save in the upper left and give it a name so you can find it later. You can Print or E-mail these commented reports. Close them when you’re done to get back to the original report. To find one later, go to the Reports menu. 

Scheduled Reports

You may have noticed an entry in the Reports menu for Scheduled Reports. QuickBooks allows you to automatically  email memorized reports to co-workers or other business contacts at specific times and frequencies.

We strongly recommend that you don’t try this on your own. There are many steps you must take to set up QuickBooks for this process that aren’t particularly easy. And if you use this tool incorrectly, you could end up emailing the wrong report or sending your sensitive QuickBooks data to the wrong person.

QuickBooks 2021 Being Discontinued

You may have heard something about this already. After May 31, 2024, your QuickBooks Desktop 2021 software will be discontinued. This includes all 2021 versions of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. You can continue to use the software, but we don’t recommend it. For one thing, you’ll no longer get critical security patches and updates. And for another, many related QuickBooks services will not be supported and/or even available, including live technical support, payroll, payment processing,  online banking, and QuickBooks Time. 

Not sure what to do? Talk to us about your options. We’ll still be here, and we’ll be able to consult with you on supported QuickBooks products.