Every QuickBooks user knows that when you have a report open if you click on a specific transaction in that list, then make any kind of a change, and then return to your report, that QuickBooks will normally prompt you to ‘refresh’ your report. Of course some users have ‘turned-off’ the prompt for this refresh, or they may have selected the Report preference to Automatically Refresh the report.
The reason a report must be refreshed is because it was previously compiled as a result of your query and the displayed information was the information fitting the query at the time it was produced. While QuickBooks updates the information you change within the database, it can’t necessarily update the information displayed on the previously compiled report. When you refresh the report the query is executed again and the refreshed report shows the changes.
Now that we understand the concept of refreshing reports, and why refreshing is necessary, we can talk about another kind of ‘refresh’ that many QuickBooks users, including seasoned professionals are not aware of: “List Refresh”. List Refresh is NOT the same thing as List Re-sort.
When QuickBooks is running in multi-user mode and various users are all accessing the same list(s), a change made by one user will affect the company database but will not necessarily update the information displayed on the same list currently displayed on a different user’s computer. The reason is similar to basis of the report refresh. The list displayed by each user was 'compiled' by the behind-the-scenes query executed when each user opened the list; at the time the list was opened it contained the most current information. But even though the list information has changed behind the scenes it is not updated on the users' display since no new query has been executed to update the list information.
If another user performs a change to the list, when they return to the list, their information will display the most current information. If any user closes the list and reopens the list then the new information will be displayed on their computer, but opening and closing lists all day is a real inconvenience.
Unfortunately, lists don’t have a Refresh button like the one found at the top of Reports; nor do they warn you that information in the list has changed (and needs to be refreshed), but you can still refresh any list you have open as often as you wish from the View menu by selecting the Refresh (name) list option. You can also simply click the F5 key for any open active list window and the information within that list will be updated to the latest changes.
So the next time you wonder why your Chart of Accounts isn’t displaying the same information shown on your fellow workers COA, simply F5 ‘Refresh’.