QuickBooks 2017: An Analysis On Report Optimization And Predictions In Consensus
QuickBooks users are eagerly waiting for the latest edition of QuickBooks i.e. QuickBooks 2017 that has to be launched in the second or third week of September. With every new edition, Intuit enhances QuickBooks features involving changes in its functionality as well as user interface thus making the software more efficient.
People have lots of expectations from QuickBooks 2017 Desktop version. The major expectations are from Reports generated by the QuickBooks. The accounting software requires several amendments in Report generation which makes it more beneficial for users thus elevating business productivity.
The following predictions are being made by QuickBooks users for Reports enhancements in future:
1. In the “Total By” we may have three different options like customer: Job, customer and Job. Other options for Employee/ vendor that also required Payee becomes very confusing, as sometimes it displays the customer.
2. We require a horizontal collapse for Classes: Subclasses and Customer: Jobs.
3. An option for “No Class” is required while selecting the Class Filter. Separate customer: job filter while evaluating missing Customer: Job will add more value.
4. Long and customizable header and footer will be an added advantage.
5. When we save any report, users must be provided with an option of “Add New” to the report groups.
6. In the current scenario, when we choose the Account filter, we can only see the “Cost of Sales” or “Expenses” separately. It would be pretty amazing if we can get an option for the combined COGS & Expenses.
7. “No Job” column must be combined with the “Profit & Loss by Job” report.
8. Numerous options can be added in the “Amount” filter. These options can be either =, >, < To filter an amount as “credit only”, “Debit only” or both would be highly beneficial.
9. A report for the “Un-Deposited funds” details is required so that the user can have specifications of the pending funds that are required to be deposited.
10. A column for the “original Transaction Date” that displays the accrual transaction date in the on cash basis detail reports must be incorporated. In the same way, “paid date” column is required for the accrual basis detail report.
11. While selecting “Multiple Names” or “Multiple Accounts” in the filters, their values must be displayed in sorted order. Also, both the customer/vendor name and the account type needs to be in the sorted order.
12. The default columns that can view reports like item Quick Report, journal and transactions must be customizable.
The main objective of accounting software is to summarize massive data to prepare financial reports that can be used by the management to run the businesses. Although, many QuickBooks users uses the software only for keeping a track of the income and expenses.
It would be really great if we can have the above improvements in the Reports of QuickBooks 2017.However, if QuickBooks 2017 doesn’t fulfil on the above expectations, then we can apply certain tricks to optimize QuickBooks reporting. These tips are generalized for organizing, memorizing and distributing groups of QuickBooks reports.
The following are the Tips and tricks that has been implemented in the prior versions of QuickBooks to upgrade QuickBooks reporting.
Tips & Tricks For Report Optimization
1. Creating and Printing groups of reports :
In order to achieve accurate results, companies usually prefer to generate a number of weekly reports. However, this process proves to be inefficient when these reports are produced one by one.
To rationalize the process, QuickBooks enables you to combine dozens of reports together and print them in a single step.
To incorporate this feature, follow the steps mentioned below:
● Choose Reports.
● Process Multiple Reports
● Click the report group that has to be printed.
● Choose “Print” option.
2. Generating Multiple Report Groups :
If you need to use the Process Multiple Reports feature, you will be required to create some report groups such as “Wednesday Reports” and “Week End Reports”. The companies can also club reports depending on the user or job function such as “Sales Manager’s reports” etc.
For creating a new report group, you need to follow the given steps:
● Click on Reports
● Select Memorized Reports
● Select Memorized Reports list
● Go to the pop up menu of Memorized Reports
● Choose a new group
● Enter the name for the group in the name box
● Click Ok.
● Launch each report you wish to add into the group one at a time
● Do the required customizations such as the addition of columns or adjustment of date.
● From the Save in Memorized Report Group drop down list, select the new group.
● Click Ok
3. Memorizing Reports Multiple Times :
Suppose you need to circulate multiple copies of a particular report, then you have to customize the report name each time while memorizing it into the same report group multiple times.
For Example: The “Accounts Receivable” report can be memorized into the “Month End” reports thrice, referring them as “AR Report for the sales Manager”, “AR Report for the File Drawer” and “Account Receivable Report for the CFO”.
This approach serves two purposes. First is that you can get the report print of all the three copies in a single click. Second is that the recipient for each report is identified in the title of the report to make the report distribution easier.
Follow the given steps to memorize a report into the same report group:
● Open the desired report.
● Make modifications in the columns, filters, and dates etc. of the report as per the requirements.
● Open the dialog box of “Memorize report” by pressing “Ctrl+M”.
● To make additional copies of the same report, select the “New” button.
● Select the “Save in Memorized Report Group” box.
● Click “OK”
4. Examining the group :
To accomplish the last step of generating a new report group, follow the given steps:
● Select Reports and open the required report
● Click on Memorized Reports
● Select the Memorized report list
● Drag & drop the diamond box leading each report name to rearrange them and relate them by recipient
● Collating the reports by recipient enables you to circulate the printed reports to different users quickly and easily.
5. Monitoring of Report Groups Electronically :
Those companies that wish to circulate grouped reports electronically, must repeat all the steps mentioned in the trick No.1, except before the last Print step, and execute the following steps:
● Select any one of the options among: Adobe PDF or Microsoft XPS available in the dialog box of “Print Reports”.
● Choose a destination folder
● Type a filename for each prompted new report file.
● Click OK.
Both the PDF and XPS versions of each report will be saved to the specified location for effortless electronic distribution.
Follow the next trick for encryption of reports before sending them through mail.
6. Encryption of Electronic Reports:
Although, you can send an unencrypted reports from the report screen via mail. But it is highly recommendable to encrypt your reports before sending them and maintains the privacy of your reports.
The following encryption techniques can be used:
A. PDF approach:
With reference to the above point no. 5, print the report group as PDF file in Adobe Acrobat
● Go to the File menu
● Choose properties
● Choose security
● From the Security Method drop down, choose Password
● In the Document open password box, enter the appropriate password
● Click Ok.
● Repeat the above steps for each PDF
B. Excel approach:
You can export any report to excel by following the given steps:
● Choose Excel
● Make New Worksheet
● Click on Export
● This will automatically open the report in Excel.
● Go to the File Menu
● Choose Save As
● Select the Tools dropdown in the Save As dialog box
● Click on General options
● In the Password open box, enter the password.
● Click Ok, Save
Repeat the entire process for every report that has to be encrypted using Excel.
You can safely send reports through mail after encryption. You need to communicate password(s) to the recipient. Although other encryption tools are also available, but these two methods are mostly used by CPAs without any additional purchase of the software.
Since the encryption process can be time consuming, we can select an alternative approach and that is avoiding sending email in bulk. You can also have different password protected data folders on the company’s file server which have different copies of reports in various PDF or XPS files.
Once all the reports have been copied, you can send an email to all the recipients notifying them that up-to-date reports are available in their respective file folders.
7. Custom defined Reports:
All the reports can be summarized using the Visual Report center in QuickBooks. These reports include Memorized, recent, favorite, and contributed reports. The contributed tab available in the Report Center allows users to access a number of custom defined reports made by other QuickBooks users.
The image below describes the details including user ratings, reviews and an indicator which shows the number of times a report has been downloaded and used. You need not make any report from the scratch when another user has already developed it for you.
8. Consistent Reporting
Most of the companies do not prefer to generate reports on a regular basis as they predict that company’s employees are accessing the required reports from QuickBooks whenever needed. This approach leads to a huge problem. Company’s personnel cannot take accurate decisions on the basis of reports, as they do not have the complete minute information in hand.
However, if the company’s personnel are themselves using QuickBooks and generating reports then they need to take care of the inefficiencies mentioned in tip no 1, to avoid bad decision making.
Generating reports on regular basis optimizes reports productivity ensuring that the recipient receives sufficient financial data from time to time so that they can take effective decisions.
9. Proper Utilization of Reports
The approach of creating reports on a regular interval has not been proved effective because there is no guarantee that company’s personnel uses those reports efficiently.
Many bookkeepers have claimed that the reports and financial data generated by them are completely ignored by higher authorities. The following are the reasons for such ignorance:
● Inaccurate Information
● The recipient does not know how to make use of reports
● The recipient does not have enough time to go through the reports
The first reason seems to be valid. It is not worth reading erroneous reports. If these errors are frequent, then bookkeeper requires training. However, if the reports are accurate then it becomes important to train the bookkeeper for the better understanding of reports and makes the best use of it.
If the company’s personnel does not have adequate time to refer to reports, then new employees are required to be hired to balance the excessed workload. A proper financial reporting system requires that accurate reports must be received by the recipient on regular basis for the best performance.
10. Conceal Account Numbers on Financial Statements
Most of the CPAs chooses to use numeric account numbers in QuickBooks to allow transaction data entry using the numeric keypad.
To activate account numbers, follow the given steps:
● Select Edit
● Choose preferences
● Select Accounting
● Go to the Company Preferences tab
● Select the checkbox of Use account numbers.
One problem arises here. The numeric account numbers gets displayed on the financial statements. But, this problem has a solution. To overcome this problem, follow the given steps:
● Choose edit
● Select Preferences
● Choose Reports & Graphs
● Go to the company Preferences tab
● Select Description
For the proper functionality of the above solution, each account must be edited as follows:
● To display the chart of Accounts, Press Ctrl+A
● Right click on every account
● Move to the Edit account from the pop up menu
● Add account numbers and its description for each account.
If you will not provide account description then QuickBooks will display the account name and account number on the QuickBooks financial statements by default.
11. Modification of chart of accounts using Excel:
The above trick to combine a number of accounts to add account numbers and descriptions can be time consuming, but QuickBooks provides an efficient method to make these changes.
You can export the accounts chart to excel and then edit account numbers of each account and their descriptions on a single screen. Then the results can be imported back into QuickBooks. You can save editing time by following the given steps:
● Choose File
● Select Utilities
● Choose Export
● Go to list to IIF Files
● Move to the Export dialog box
● Select the Chart of Accounts
● Click Ok
● Locate the file name
● Click Ok
● Open the Exported file in Excel
● Select the Text Import Wizard
● Select Delimited
● Click on Next
● Move to the Tab
● Click on Next
● Select General
● Click on Finish to open the file.
● Copy the Name column to the Desc column. Set it as a starting point.
● Edit the account descriptions as per the requirements.
● In the ACCNUM column, enter the account number.
● Save the Excel file in the .IIF file format and close Excel
To import the results in QuickBooks, do the following:
● Select File
● Choose Utilities
● Select Import
● Choose IIF Files
● Browse the appropriate file
The Excel file gets imported back into QuickBooks. The entire approach updates the chart of accounts by the account numbers and their descriptions thereby enabling users to eliminate account numbers from the financial reports.
Using these tips and tricks, you can optimize QuickBooks reporting and drastically improve your business productivity.