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Using QuickBooks’ Simple and Advanced Searches

Know when to use which one.

QuickBooks provides numerous ways to find specific pieces or collections of data within your company file. But the most powerful method for doing this is using the Find command. There are two types, Simple and Advanced. You can access them by clicking Find on the Edit menu (or clicking Find in the QuickBooks 2013 toolbar).

You can probably think of many times when this feature would come in handy. Taking a QuickBooks training course would introduce you to even more. But some common uses include:

  • Determining whether you paid a vendor
  • Learning whether or not you billed a customer
  • Looking up time entries, and
  • Isolating transactions related to specific jobs.

Let’s say you know that you invoiced Brian Cook for his kitchen job in December and you want to find the actual invoice (using the Rock Castle Construction sample database included with QuickBooks). You open the Find dialog box and make sure that the Simple tab is highlighted. Select Invoice from the drop-down list and fill in the details. Your resulting screen would look like this:

You can use the Simple Find tool to track down transactions like invoices.

You notice that QuickBooks has found one match. There are three buttons to the right of your search results that let you Go To the original transaction, create a QuickBooks Report or Export it to an Excel worksheet.

Now we’ll look at an Advanced Search. Click Reset, or open the Find window again if you’ve navigated somewhere else. Make sure that the Advanced tab is active. We’re going to look for transactions for all of the residential customers in Bayshore, CA, who have had remodeling work done.

  1. We’ll pull out all of the residential customers first. Scroll down in the Filter box and select Customer Type. Drop down the list below the Customer Type field label to the right and select Residential. Click Find. QuickBooks displays your list in the results box below.
  2. Select Class in the Filter box. Click on Remodel in the drop-down list to the right. Click Find, and QuickBooks narrows down your list further.
  3. Go back to the Filter box and select Name City. Type Bayshore in the Name City box and click Find again. Your screen should look something like this (depending on the work you may have done in the sample database):

You’ve just completed a search using multiple filters.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions offers even more complex search capabilities. You might consider taking a QuickBooks course to see what this more sophisticated version can do for your company.

But QuickBooks Pro and Premier – and QuickBooks Online – are quite capable of tracking down the smallest detail within your company file. Learning how to use the Advanced Search especially can save you time and frustration, and help you deal with customer and vendor queries quickly.

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