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Customize reports in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 4 weeks ago

QuickBooks Desktop allows you to customize any report that you generate. You can customize the data, add or delete columns, add or remove information on the header/footer, and even personalize the font and style of the report.

Available columns and filters differ for each report/group of reports because each draws information from the company file differently. Knowing report source and targets is particularly important when filtering reports.

Customize reports

  1. Run a report.
  2. On the Report window, select Customize Report.
  3. On the Modify Report window, go to the tab/s you need to update, then select OK when you're done.

The Display tab determines the information displayed in the report. There are several elements that you can change which vary depending on the report you run.

Report date range: You can select the dates the report covers. Select the Dates drop-down and choose from the available date range or manually select the date by selecting the calendar icon in the From and To fields. If you enter a To date but leave the From date blank, you get data as of the To date.

Report basis: Select either Accrual or Cash to select the report basis.

Columns: Depending on the report you’re running, you’ll have one of the following options in this section:

  • Display columns by: Reports like Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet only have the Display columns by drop-down where you can select how you want the columns to appear across the top (by total, by day, by item type, etc.). Open Invoices Report and Unpaid Bills Detail Reports on the other hand, provide a list that you can use for columns. If you set up Custom fields and those fields were added to your form templates and have data, they also appear on the column list. To choose (or to remove) a column, select the data. The ones you select have a check mark.
  • Sort by: A Sort by drop-down allows you to choose how data is displayed (by Default, by Total, etc.). It determines how the report sorts within the subtotal. You can also sort by ascending or descending order.
  • Add subcolumns: Some reports also provide the option to Add subcolumns.
  • Advanced: Options available when you select the Advanced button vary depending on the report. For reports like General Ledger, Custom Summary, Custom Transaction Detail, Sales by Customer, Sales by Item, Sales by Rep Detail, Customer Balance Detail, Supplier Balance Detail, etc., the choices are:
    • Include: Tells QuickBooks which of the accounts, items, names, etc. will be included in the report.
      • All: all list and account elements
      • In Use: only the elements and accounts that have activity in the period selected.
    • Open Balance/Aging: Tells QuickBooks the effective date of the report and displays a transaction’s open balance as of the effective date.
      • Current: show open balances as of Today, regardless of the date range of the report.
      • Report Date: show open balances based on the date range selected for the report.

    For Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet Standard, Statement of Cash Flows and Customer and Supplier Balance Summary reports, you have Display Rows and Display Columns that tell QuickBooks which rows and columns to include in the report.

    • Display rows/Display columns
      • Active: include all rows or columns that have activity in the selected date range, regardless of the balance.
      • All: all available rows and columns. Choosing All overrides the filters.
      • Non-Zero: include only the rows and columns that have a non-zero balance.
    • Reporting calendar: Choosing Calendar Year displays balance from January to December. The Fiscal or Income Tax Year depends on what you set in your company information.

Filters allow you to limit report data to selected criteria. This is particularly important if you need to personalize the report for your needs or to isolate the possible cause of an issue during troubleshooting.

To filter a report:

  1. On the Filter list, select the filter you want to use.
  2. On the Filter detail information, choose or enter additional information that QuickBooks needs so the filter works correctly.
  3. (Optional) From the current filter choices column, highlight a filter that you want to remove, then choose Remove Selected Filter.
  4. Select OK.
  • QuickBooks displays a brief description of a selected filter. To know more about the filter, select the Tell me more... button.
  • If you're seeing 2 classes on filters when you customize a report, select the Class that is connected to All classes.

This tab allows you to modify the information that appears at the top and bottom part of the report.

The header information is the content that appears above the report data. The footer is the content that appears below the report data. Footer content is only seen in a print preview or on a printed copy of the report.

Check or uncheck the box for the information that you want to add/remove. Use the field provided to update the information.

To change the alignment, choose from the Alignment drop-down.

On this tab, you can change the style and appearance of a report. Areas of the report can be modified by changing the font, font size, and font style.

To modify the font:

  1. From the Change Font For column, select the area you want to change.
  2. Select Change Font....
  3. On the Column Labels window, change the Font, Font Style, Size, Effect and Colour for the font.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Select Yes when prompted to apply the changes you made to all labels.

Titles are 57 characters or less. You can add subtitle characters, but the date range is no longer displayed. If a report has a customized title, go to the Help menu and select QuickBooks Desktop Help to see information about the base report from which it was developed.

Collapse Columns

QuickBooks Desktop gives you the ability to collapse report columns related to jobs or classes. This lets you see totals by job or class without a lot of scrolling or exporting your report to Excel.

To collapse a single job or class, click the - at the left of the columns you want to collapse.

To collapse all jobs or classes, select Collapse Columns on the report menu bar.

To see all the detail again, click the + sign or Expand Columns.

Note: This feature can only be used if there are sub-jobs or sub-classes in use.

Custom Summary and Custom Transaction Detail reports

You can use the Custom Summary and Custom Transaction Detail reports to create virtually any report in QuickBooks. These reports use different combinations from the Display and Filters tab in the Modify Report window. Just remember that this may be subject to accounting and programming limitations as well as your permissions in the data file.

How to run? Go to the Reports menu, select Custom Reports and then Summary.

Use this report to create customized income statements that show the profitability of some aspect of your business. The result is similar to a standard profit and loss report, but unlike a profit and loss report, a custom report can show you the bottom line profitability of jobs, items, or classes.

When you create this report, the Customer Summary Report window appears. You can choose how you want the report to break down the profit and loss data using the From the Row Axis drop-down list. For example, select the Row Axis drop-down list and choose Job to change the report to show your profit or loss for each job on your Customers & Jobs list.

Note that the rows and columns must be substantively different. For example, you can't put customers on the columns and suppliers on the rows because both are part of the Name List.

To see a list of the transactions that make up an amount, double-click the amount.

How to run? Go to the Reports menu, select Custom Reports and then Transaction Detail.

This report lists individual transactions, showing each account involved in a transaction on a separate line. For example, a check written to the telephone company would have two lines in the report: one showing that the check was written from your checking account, and another showing that you assigned the amount of the check to your telephone expense account.

The report covers the current month to date. You can change the period of time covered by choosing a different date range from the Dates drop-down list.

To see any of the transactions listed, double-click the transaction's entry.

QuickZoom Reports

QuickZoom refers to the magnifying glass symbol that appears in reports and graphs. When the QuickZoom symbol appears over a number in a report, you can double click it to bring up more detail about that number or item.

To open one of the listed transactions in its original form, double-click the transaction.

This QuickZoom report lists the individual transactions that make up the amount you double-clicked on the profit and loss report you are working with. For example, if you double-click the amount for total income, this QuickZoom report lists the individual transactions from which QuickBooks calculated your income.

This QuickZoom report lists the individual transactions that make up the amount you double-clicked on the balance sheet report you are working with.

If the report you need is not readily available, you can also try to create and customize reports for the following:

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