Was the day I became a forever customer.
If you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes then you know how I
hate, loathe dislike Quickbooks Online (QBO) and the majority of the consumer-facing Intuit products. QBO and its sister QB Desktop have always been, in my opinion, too clunky and too much for the average small business owner. QB made it too easy for business owners to destroy their books! What an accounting nightmare.
Since numbers are the lifeline of your business, it’s critical to keep tabs on them. Like life or death for your business critical. You have to understand the health and state of your business. Period. Reports are the answer. Those lovely visuals represent all your hard work building a business and burning the midnight oil.
If you’ve been in business longer than I’ve been out of high school, then you’re probably old enough to remember ledger books — yep, those 16 column monstrosities — you’re probably especially happy to see that QuickBooks Online can handle reports and in an awesome way.
When QBO launched, I quickly hopped on the bandwagon (as I do with most new technology, software, and apps) and wished I never did. It was worse than desktop and with far fewer features. As soon as I saw the opportunity, I jumped ship and made my way around to the other cloud accounting programs.
Eventually, I went back because some of my clients adored QBO and the convenience it brought.
One day I tripped and fell down the procrastination rabbit hole. QBO was completely re-designed. So much so that I had to give it another try. I’m a sucker for a beautifully designed interface. I spent a few hours playing around with updated features then it hit me.Numbers are the lifeline of your business.Keep tabs on them. It's business life or death. Click To Tweet
The completely re-designed Reports section of QBO was everything I wanted. You mean to tell me that I would no longer need to use another app to create basic reports for my clients? Awwwwesome sauuuuucceee.
I was a kid in the candy store. I was running reports, customizing them, adding notes, creating reports with cover pages, adding graphics. Yep, Intuit finally read my mind.
There are other cloud-based accounting services out there (and I’ve tried them all), but nothing comes close to QuickBooks Online’s reporting.
Types of Reports
Go check them out for yourself. Click Reports in the left menu to see what’s available. QBO’s generous collection of reports is divided into five areas to make access simpler. Individual reports may appear in more than one of these areas:
- Recommended Reports. These reports have been hand-picked. Their data changes every time you or one of your employees work with QuickBooks Online. They contain some of the key information you should be tracking. The Company Snapshot, Expenses by Vendor Summary, A/R and A/P Aging Summaries should frequently be reviewed (in some cases daily) by you and anyone else on your team dealing with accounting and bookkeeping. Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports should be running at least monthly. These reports are complex and can provide a wealth of information. It’s best to review these with your accountant.
- Frequently Run. This list will be generated automatically, based on your pattern of report activity.
- My Custom Reports. QuickBooks Online offers tremendous report customization options. I customize reports so often, I’ve dubbed myself the Customizer Ninja (because ninjas are cool of course) When you create a report that you think you’ll run again (with refreshed data, of course), save it to your custom reports. Next time you need the report, click one button.
Figure 2: When you click on All Reports on this screen, you’ll see how QuickBooks Online divides its reports into related activities.
- Management Reports. Need to make a decision in your business or discuss its financial health? QuickBooks Online comes with three multi-part report templates that you can view and print as is: Sales Performance, Expenses Performance, and Company Overview. These are my fave! You can customize these too. Management Reports are more polished and comprehensive than other reports. I use them for my client presentations.
- All Reports. Click on this link to see everything, divided by type of activity.
Make Them Yours
Besides having several report templates to choose from, QuickBooks Online lets you customize your reports to your little heart is content. If you want to see it, I can make it happen in QBO or at least get part of the way there and Excel will take me home.
To see this in action, click on the Reports tab in the left menu, then All Reports | Manage Accounts Receivable | Customer Balance Detail. Click the Customize button in the upper left. You’ll see this screen:
Figure 3: Use QuickBooks Online’s customization tools to drill down to the exact information you need.
To the left is a list of navigation links that will take you to the section where you want to work. You can also use the scroll bar on the right to browse through your options. Take some time to explore the possibilities so that when you need a particular subset of data in a report, you’ll know how you can use QuickBooks Online’s customization tools to shape it correctly.
Or you can just call me, and I got you.
Not every report in QuickBooks Online is as straightforward and self-explanatory as this one. Under the Accountant heading, you will find reports that I can setup for you. These reports are a bit more complex but still needed for you to interpret your business data. I encourage you to play around with the reports to see what information you like to see. This information always makes it easier for me to pull together a customized reporting package.
I love reports and the information they provide. Almost more than taxes. Then again taxes is more exciting than reports. But since I can’t have one without the other, I’m in heaven.
Do you love QBO? Tell me your experience in the comments.
Join the Free Email Course Today
5 days. Income. Expenses. Systems. Software. Mastery. See you there!