QuickBooks Online Customized Reporting

QuickBooks Online users employ a variety of custom reports, and during a recent #QBOchat we discussed different aspects of customized reporting. The conversation ranged from user favorites to apps that make customized reporting easier and even touched on the ways customized reports help users manipulate and interpret QBO data more effectively and efficiently.

Reports most often used for business and/or clients

Quickbooks Online has many types of reports available, the most commonly used being Summary, Transaction detail, Aging and Lists. Every QBO user relies on different types of customized reports, too. Scott Clark (@MrScottClark) continuously makes A/R and A/P Reports, Gina Rodkey (@ginasnet) relies heavily on P&L Comparative Reports and Juliet Aurora (@JulietAurora) considers Balance Sheets and Income Statements essentials in her office.

Brent Blackburn (@KeepingBooksCC) also frequently runs P&L and Balance Sheets, but he takes it a step further by creating specialized cash flow statements specific to each of his clients. Elaine Orr (@balancesheetsCA) uses the Time Activity by Customer Detail to keep track of cash. Meredith Wood (@Mere_Wood) generously shared a cool Fundera Cash Flow Template with us.

It’s apparent there are many different report favorites in our group. In our office, we use the “Save Customizations” button to save our own customized reports for quick and easy use the next time we need them. To get detailed reports, we use the P&L and Balance Sheets and drill down from those.

QuickBooks Online reports most commonly made

Juliet Aurora removes fields all the time in standard reports and changes the order of columns, too. @QBOPro, Sharon Means, with Redmond Accounting likes to run class-specific reports, and Finagraph has an app that customizes QuickBooks reports in under one minute (which is amazing to ponder – wow!). Often, clients request previous year comparisons from Scott Clark. Thanks to his ability to create and save his reports, he’s able to provide these with a simple click. He also gets very specific with his reporting by making sales reports and separating them by the different sales reps he works with. Elaine Orr customizes P&Ls by month and quarter, and Jessica Garbarino (@gleapconsult) usually customizes reports by class and year comparisons. Brooke Roberts (@BrookeHRob) shared a neat tool that allows you to customize and white-label reports through ProfitSee.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to switch between cash and accrual basis at any time. Customized reports can be shared between QuickBooks Online companies by saving the URL and you can create your own investigative reports by customizing to show all transactions entered on a specific date. We’ve found list customizations to be awesome, and it’s super simple to switch between Transaction Type, Account Customer, Product Class and more.

What reports people want but can’t customize in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online report limits are 1024 columns, 120,000 cells and only 6MB of data, so there are certainly some customization limitations. Different types of reports have more or fewer customization options based on the data being pulled, and expense vs. purchasing pull from different fields (Expenses=Accounts/Purchases=Items). Of course, most accountants know how to work around some of these limitations, and this allows us to have a few secrets in our accounting arsenals to expedite the process. However, these are top secret tips, so we’re keeping quiet on this these for now.

Apps to help create customized reports needed for your business or client

Here’s the short list of the best apps currently used in the industry:

  • LivePlan: Provides you with a live business plan, dashboard and reporting
  • MethodCRM: Database tool used to pull the information needed from QuickBooks Online
  • Insight Squared: Allows you to visualize trends and analyzes the numbers in a web-friendly app.
  • BodeTree: Does several amazing things, but instead of relisting them, we’ll let you check out this recent post about the app.

How accountants use customized reports to help clients and their businesses

Brent Blackburn gives clients a few key numbers to watch on the reports, and for some people he works up those numbers on a weekly basis. Juliet Aurora loves the time-saving auto send feature. Sharing customized reports with clients can save you and your client valuable time, and they provide a direction for discussing business strategy and decisions.

Bodetree sums it up nicely: Good reports facilitate the relationship between you and your clients. I couldn’t agree more. Good reports indicate a higher level of professionalism, and sloppy reports often confuse clients and breed the type of distrust that leads to severed relationships.

What sorts of customizations do you prefer with your reports? Share it in a comment, or better yet, join our Thursday #QBOchat sessions to get in on all the information and fun! We welcome all types of QuickBooks users, from small business users to accountants, developers and others, so sign up for our weekly reminder email here and check out previous #QBOchats.

Looking for the transcript from this tweetchat? Here you go!

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QBOchat Admin

#QBOchat began in July 2013 with the simple idea to host a weekly Twitter conversation around QuickBooks Online (QBO). We have since grown into a very strong community comprised of a diverse group of users. Our weekly tweet chat is held each Thursday at 3:00PM Eastern. The discussions cover a wide range of topics including QBO’s latest features and updates, business operation tips and apps that integrate with QBO, to name just a few.

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