Filters are extraordinarily powerful tools in your customization of QuickBooks reports.
In the last article, we discussed the process of changing your display options in QuickBooks reports. Though you wouldn’t necessarily have to take a QuickBooks class to learn how to do that, you may want to at least look at a QuickBooks tutorial or video to learn about filters.
It’s QuickBooks’ filters that allow you to drill down on exactly the slices of data you want in reports. The concept is simple: You’re simply telling QuickBooks about the scope of your data that you want to see. When you run the A/R Aging report, for example, maybe you’re going to divvy up collection calls by state. Or perhaps you’re only going to contact customers who are overdue above a certain dollar amount.
So rather than running the complete report, QuickBooks filters restrict its output to a specific subset.
We’ll use that example to illustrate how this works in practice. First, open the report (Reports | Customers & Receivables | A/R Aging Summary. Click on the Customize button in the upper left, then on the Filters tab.
This is the QuickBooks dialog box where you’ll define and view filters for your reports.
If you do not select a filter for one of the numerous criteria listed, the default is to include all data for that filter. So you don’t have to go down the entire list and make choices; you only have to work with the filters where some data should be excluded.
So if you click on the Account filter, for example, QuickBooks will include every account in your report. You’re interested in only A/R reports, so click on Account, then open the drop-down list under Account, to the right. Select All accounts receivable.
Note: If you had left the setting at All accounts, you would have gotten the same results. But the tighter and more specific your Filters are, the faster the report will run. This becomes more of an issue as you add data to QuickBooks.
You’re only interested right now in accounts that are more than $1,000 in arrears, and that are more than 60 days overdue. So you’d:
- Click on Amount in the Filter list and then on the button next to => and type “1,000” in the field.
- Click on Aging and enter “60” after clicking the button next to =>.
- Click on Name State and enter “CA” in the field.
Warning: Do not hit Return after each Filter selection, or QuickBooks will think you’re done there. Hit the Tab button instead.
Your CURRENT FILTER CHOICES box should look like this.
If you make a mistake, highlight the incorrect entry and click on the Remove Selected Filter button, then enter the correct filter. Click the Revert button if you want to start over. And the Tell me more… button gives you access to deeper explanations in QuickBooks’ help files.
When you’re satisfied with your selections, click OK. QuickBooks will display your modified report.