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Using Filters in QuickBooks’ Profit and Loss Report

Also known as an income statement, this report can be very telling. Make it tell you exactly what you want to know.

You might think that QuickBooks’ reports aren’t that complicated to master. After all, the program offers dozens of pre-formatted report templates that you can just click on and run.

But you could take an entire QuickBooks training class and still not learn everything there is to know about QuickBooks reports. Their customization abilities actually put the insight of thousands of reports in your hands.

Let’s look at the Profit & Loss report as an example. To start with, there are seven individual templates already provided, not to mention the myriad customizing and filtering options. Click on Reports | Company & Financial to see the list.

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There are seven different Profit & Loss report templates that can be customized to create thousands of individual reports.

Select Profit & Loss Standard. If you simply want to change the time period for the report, click the down arrow next to the Dates field. The report automatically refreshes. You can also change the columns displayed by clicking the down arrow next to the Columns field.

To do more extensive customization, though, click the Customize Report button in the upper left. We’ll concentrate on filters, though there are numerous other options. Click the Filters tab.

Use the scroll bar in the Filter box and scan through the list. Wherever the filter type is duplicated directly to the right of that box, click the down arrow to see your options there. QuickBooks lets you create reports by selecting options down to the smallest detail, like a dollar amount or an amount range.

Let’s say that you wanted to see a list of all of the credit card transactions for all remodel activity in the last fiscal quarter where expenses for over $100.00 were charged. You would select each filter and then open the list to choose your desired item. Each filter that you choose appears in the Set To column. Highlight one and click Remove Selected Filter to take it off of the list.

Your screen would look like this:

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You can pare down your company file to include the exact data you want.

When you’re done, click OK, and your report will appear. If you want to tweak your filters, click Customize Report | Filters again.

Tip: If you think that you’ll want to create this report fairly frequently, click the Memorize button at the top of the screen. Give the report a name you’ll remember and check the box next to Save in Memorized Report Group if you want to do so.

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You might want to memorize frequently-used reports to save time in the future.

If there’s one area of QuickBooks that you should take a QuickBooks training course in, it’s filtering – and understanding – reports. You’ll make better business decisions down the road.


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