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Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
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Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
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Chapter 14

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Read All About It:  What reports do

How is your business doing?  Reports tell you.  Reports say what your business is worth, whether you have made a profit, which activities are profitable, how much you owe to whom, which customers are (or are not) paying you, and much, much more.

QuickBooks features a broad and flexible reporting system.  If you call up a report, QuickBooks will generate it (fairly soon.)  The content of the report will be what Intuit designed into it.  The report probably will mean what you expect it to mean. On the other hand, it may well mean something else.   How can you tell?  The key is in learning the workings of the reporting system.  Then you will know what is in a given report, and you will know why.  You will be able to make the reports deliver the information you need.  The alternative is to run the reports and take their word for it. 

All of the reports XE "reports" are based on the financial data carried in QuickBooks.  All of this information is in the form of transactions in accounts. The data structure begins with accounts, which start out empty.  Transactions are entered into the accounts.  QuickBooks may mark a transaction as a beginning balance, but that is only cosmetic.  In practice, it is simply the earliest transaction entered into the account. So each and every report in QuickBooks is a compilation of information taken from transactions in accounts. This is the foundation.  Every dollar amount in a report is derived from amounts in transactions.

Each report has an individual form because it is designed with a different approach to selecting and presenting information from the accounts. Reports will be understood when the user understands the information obtained for the report, and the objective in presenting it. 

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You select a report, and QuickBooks  XE "reports:date range" immediately begins generating it. Creating a report takes time, especially with a large data file.  It will have the standard date range XE "date range:report" , which may not be what you want.  Of course, you can change it -- after the report is once generated.  You can avoid the wait.  From the menu bar, select File|Preferences|Reports.  Then put a XE "reports:display customized"  check on Display Customize Report window automatically.   With this done, the Customize window comes up first, and desired dates may be entered.

All of the reports have a row of buttons and data entry windows across the top.  Most of these can be used without explanation.  The more subtle items are described in necessary detail.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004