In our last blog post, we discusses the value of custom fields and using those in templates like invoices. Today, we are going to continue looking at custom fields. In this post, we will focus on how custom data can be used in customized reports.
The beginning steps of the process are much the same as for setting up a custom field from the customer list.
From the Edit Vendor window, the Additional Info tab is selected. Then, the button Define Fields activates the Set up Custom Fields for Names window. This window is identical to the one from the customer list.
It’s possible to setup custom fields for any name type from whichever name list you might have accessed.
We have added two custom fields. Work Comp Exp and Gen’l Liab Exp. The example we are using is one of a contractor. This contractor must certify that subcontractors they use have valid workers comp and general liability insurance.
Since these subcontractors are used often, this information is tracked. The expiration date for those insurance policies will expire at some point. When this date approaches, the contractor can request new forms certifying the subs are indeed covered.
To track this data, we must enter the dates in each subcontractors vendor file.
The above screenshot is the Edit window for Middlefield Drywall. Note that their Workers Compensation insurance expires on 11/10/14. Their General liability policy is up on 5/18/15.
While that information is useful, it is not in a format that is easily accessible. Now, subcontractors would need to be searched individually in the Vendor List, the details of each brought up to see what those dates are.
By using QuickBooks’ customizing capabilities for reports, we can make this process simple.
We will start by creating a Vendor phone List. Reports->Lists->Vendor Phone List.
Once the Vendor Phone List is displayed, we want to customize it. On the Display tab of the Modify Report window, we can choose what columns we want on our report. Note that our custom fields are available as columns. Select both of them.
The resulting report looks like this:
This report has been further enhanced by changing the sort method from Default (Name), to one of our custom fields. In this case, Work Comp Exp.
The arrow to the farthest right points to a button that allows the column to be sorted in ascending or descending order.
By sorting on Work Comp Exp, we are able to create a report that lists vendors in a certain order. Those whose expiration dates will arrive soonest are at the top of the report.
The report could be sorted by the custom field for general liability insurance. Or, two reports could be created, each containing and sorted on only one of the custom fields.
Another enhancement that could be considered would be to use Vendor Types. A type “Subcontractor” could be created and assigned to the appropriate vendors. This report could then be filtered to include only subcontractors.
This is only an example to show how custom fields can be used to track and report on custom data. Use the techniques to record and report on custom data for your vendors, customers, or employees.