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How to Customize Financial Reports in QuickBooks Online

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Wouldn't you love to be able to look at a single report and see what items brought you in the most income in the past month or even understand which category of sales was highest? If you’re having a hard time getting the data that matters to you most, then we’ve got you covered! 

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Customized Financial Reports in QuickBooks Online will help get the exact data and details you need about your business. 


So why should you customize your financial reports? 


  • It gives you the freedom to make the data make sense to you
  • Allows you to get rid of unnecessary details and focus on account specifics
  • Helps you evaluate each area of your business and the impact that it’s having


Today I will walk you through the different ways you can go about customizing your reports and the reasoning behind them so that you have the information you need to make informed decisions.   

Let’s get started with customizing reports! 


You’ll notice that most reports can be customized by using a consistent set of filters and display settings. These will help narrow down the scope of the data you’re working with and simplify it for you so it's easier to analyze.  


First, start from the “Reports Tab” in the left-hand corner. Select the “Standard” sub-tab to browse through the complete list of reports in QuickBooks Online, or use the search bar to find a specific report.


Now that you’ve located your report, you can customize it in the following two ways: 


  • First method: Click the three dots next to the desired report and select “customize”
  • Second method: If you’re already viewing a report, click the “customize” button at the top of the report to apply customizations.

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One thing to note is that all reports have a basic set of filters at the top of the page. These let you adjust the report period and toggle between cash and accrual calculations of the report. 

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After you take a look at these and make any necessary adjustments, you can move on to the
“Customize” tab on the top right-hand corner. 


Note: Remember that the filters that you see will vary depending on the report.  


Once you’re here, use the expand arrows to bring up all the customization options! It’s important that you figure out which filters and display options work best for your needs. 

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You did it! Remember that your overall goal with customizing your reports is to generate data that will help inform any financial or operational decisions, so it’s super important that the info shown makes sense to you. 

So why should I run a custom report? 


That’s a great question so let’s dig into this a little more! Let’s run a Profit and Loss % Total Income Report together and look at the impact this has on gathering useful data.


For this specific example, I’ve applied the following customizations:


  • Items as% of income - so I can quickly see which areas of my business are having the biggest impact on my bottom line ( Customize > Rows/Columns
  • Columns by month- so I can compare performance trends month-over-month ( Customize > Rows/Columns ) 
  • Negative numbers in red- so I can see where I’m taking the biggest hit
    ( Customize > General
  • Removed the company name- so there are fewer words on the page ( Customize > Header/Footer
  • Items as a % of Row- to see which items brought in the majority of my income for the month and which month had the most sales for each item (customize > Rows/Columns


% report.png

From a quick glance at this report, I can see that Fountain and Garden Lights sold well in January, Plants and Soil has brought in the most income to date, and my combined Landscaping Sales account for roughly 44% of my total sales income in December. February wasn’t such a good month. Maybe it was the season?


I hope this helps you visualize the meaningful impact this can have on getting you valuable business insight.   


Now that you know how to customize your reports and understand the impact that they have, let’s go over some other useful tips for you to know!


  • To Email, Print, or Export your report, you can do so by clicking on the appropriate icon at the top

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  • You can also show custom reports to specific groupsYou can even schedule reports to run and be sent out automatically via email. Let me walk you through this process of adding reports to groups so only certain people can see them: 

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There you have it! 


For more info on all of this, feel free to check out this article on Customizing Reports in QuickBooks Online. 


I hope this info was helpful for you. Like always, feel free to reach out in the Community if you have any other questions!  

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