Friday, December 12, 2014

11 QuickBooks tips for producing stellar reports

Today’s accounting systems capture unprecedented levels of information, requiring CPAs to sort through more data than ever. In last month’s JofA (page 64), the first article of a two-part series on QuickBooks provided general tips for printing, memorizing, organizing, and distributing groups of QuickBooks reports. The software also offers many powerful features that can help you mine financial data for the information and intelligence needed to make business decisions. This second article in the series looks at some of these features, ones that CPAs can apply in their organizations or can show clients how to use, strengthening their position as a trusted business adviser.

1. Controlling columns. QuickBooks provides a unique option for controlling the columns displayed in financial reports, and this tool is easy to use. Open any financial report, click the Columns tool dropdown menu, and then select an option, such as Month, Class, or Inventory Site.

In the example below, a basic “Profit & Loss” report has been customized to display detailed and subtotal columns for each inventory item and item category. This type of report makes it easy to review the profitability of each inventory item or each category of items. For example, on an item-by-item basis, we can easily see that the company sold $2,586.95 worth of regular Lighting, which cost $1,846.00 (generating a 28.6% profit), compared with $980.00 in sales of Fluorescent Ceiling Lights, which cost $796.32 and generated a profit of only 18.7%). By changing this same report to display data by “Item Type,” we could also see that sales for lumber products amounted to $452,312 (generating a 12.1% profit), while hardware sales amounted to $1,280,448 (producing a 22.7% profit margin). The ability to “slice and dice” financial data in this manner unlocks a potential treasure-trove of useful information....

To read full article, click here.

Source: J. Carlton Collins (

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