How many reports can you get out of QuickBooks - Never Enough...
QuickBooks Custom Reporting
QuickBooks custom reporting is something we must deal with all the time. QuickBooks does a good job of collecting the data, but does not always do the best at returning the information the way the user wants or needs it. Yes, there are quite a few reports included in the QuickBooks program but people always seem to want something more.
Business owners want to see data in a specific format, purchasing managers want to look at inventory in a way QuickBooks just won't present it, and project managers want to bring all kinds of information into a single job costing report that only they could think up and will spend hours and sometimes days generating reports manually in Excel.
Demands for such varied data reports is where programs such as Xpanded Reports, QQube, QODBC, QuickBooks Custom Advanced Reporting (CAR) and others come in handy. Each of these programs have their own advantages and disadvantages, but each does the job of making it possible to do what is impossible inside of QuickBooks.
Some of the custom reporting solutions are rather easy to use and don't require much training to jump in and start using, while others are quite the opposite. I would put Xpanded Reports into the easy bucket although it has more limitations than the other solutions discussed in this series.
Other programs such as QQube can reduce the complexity of creating custom reporting, especially for those that know Excel, but it takes some time and energy to learn and understand. However, it allows for the creation of far more detailed reports and with the power of the pivot capabilities in Excel so many things are possible.
Then there are QODBC and CAR, these tools require a greater understanding of databases and how the data in them is related. I would definitely put these two programs into the difficult bucket. The one thing I like about these two options is that they come with the QuickBooks Enterprise product and therefore don't require an additional purchase. However, if you don't know how to utilize the tools you will find yourself paying someone to create your reports for you; but because these tools give us access to a more raw format of the data our possibilities of what we can create are almost endless.
In future articles we will focus on not only things you can and can't do with some of these tools, but we will examine some actual ‘how to’ examples for these tools, which I use in my own consulting practice.
About the Author of this Series:
Donovan Sachs, is a consultant at Alembic Computer Services, Inc., a business consulting firm specializing in Exact Macola and the QuickBooks line of products, as well as a wide range of third-party products. He joined the Alembic team in 2008 after serving in the U.S. Air force for over 12 year as a computer information technician. At Alembic Donovan works with installation and support for QuickBooks and several third-party applications such as ACCTivate! and Fishbowl Inventory. One of his specialties is custom report development for QuickBooks (via QQube, Custom Advanced Reporting in QuickBooks Enterprise and QODBC). Donovan has his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as well as two Associate’s degrees in Computer Information Systems and also Software Engineering. He is a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor and is also certified in both ACCTivate! and Fishbowl Inventory.