Editor's Note: This is the third of an exclusive four-part series by William Murphy, Insightful Accountant's senior technical editor, on Intuit's product launch for QuickBooks 2017, which is slated for Sept. 19. The piece features some of Murph's own experiences in reviewing a pre-release copy of the software.
As we saw in our first two installments, Intuit has begun the roll-out of QuickBooks 2017, with the formal product launch set for Monday, Sept. 19. Because they have made the information available, we are giving you an inside scoop of the new features, enhancements and changes prior to it hitting various sales channels.
This year’s product enhancements seem to target customers, with the focus on helping small businesses "run their business" with even greater ease. In this part, we will provide a first look at Report Improvements – Quicker Filter Selection:
Report Improvements - Quicker Filter Selection
I'm not sure about you, but I know there are times I wish I could select an entire set of items in a filter box for a QuickBooks report. Until now, we have had to pick them one by one, or try to zoom down the list hoping that each item was checked marked as we went.
Now, we can speed up that process significantly with QuickBooks 2017 Quicker Filter Selection option to report customization, which enables you to select or exclude filter values using the new "Select All" or "Clear All" options.
QB2017 Report Improvements Quicker Filtering
This has been one of the most needed filter requirements that many of us have had, I for one am very happy that we finally have this option.
Report Improvements – Display Filters on Report
A long time ago, when I first learned about configuring queries from data sources for a report, the various report criteria and filters applied to our reports always were shown on the report. We didn't have to track down the configuration after the report compiled in order to insure that we had prepared the query properly. Unfortunately, QuickBooks has never taken the same approach – until now.
QB2017 Report Filter Display Option
New in QuickBooks for 2017, you can option to display your report filters in the report window in a '"Filters Panel" for any report. By the way, the default state of the Filter Panel is hidden, so you have to option to show this information.
By displaying the information about how your report was customized, you remove any confusion on why certain data either appears on, or doesn't appear on, your report. Here is a closer look (in the red box) at how one of your reports might appear when you select the option to display the report filter options.
QB2017 Reporting - Filter Display
Personally I find this a great enhancement to QuickBooks reporting, especially when first working with new users of QuickBooks, instructing users how to customize reports, or teaching the concepts of Source- and Target-based queries using report selection and filtering techniques.
Report Improvements – The Restoration of Missing User Names
I've been a vocal critic of the fact that the user accounts in QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise permit the deletion of a user. While other lists in QuickBooks prevent the deletion of list elements once they have ever been used, the same control was not applied to the user list.
There really was no formal way to make a user inactive, although you could remove the permissions and change the password (as best practice in my book, as opposed to deleting the user.)
In addition, certain user based data corruptions, like encryption errors associated with a particular user, has resulted in numerous Intuit recommendations to delete the user account.
There always has been one critical issue associated with the deletion of a user account – such deletions left your QuickBooks records incomplete and, in fact, broke the "chain of evidence" from a forensic investigation standpoint. The reason was because the deleted user's name was no longer associated with any records with which the user had performed activities, at least from a reporting standpoint.
Reports like the "voided and deleted" transaction report, and Audit Trail reports contained fields with "Unknown User" when a user had been deleted from QuickBooks (see the example below). If two or more users had been deleted from the Company file, all of their transactions (for either user) were shown as Unknown User, so you had no way of knowing who had done what.
Missing Deleted Users from Reports
But for 2017, QuickBooks has restored missing user names associated with deleted users to QuickBooks reports. Reports now will display the name of Users in the User Name field, even when Users have been deleted from the User list.
QB2017 Report Improvements - Deleted User Details
Wow, this is a big, and long-time needed improvement to reporting, especially for forensic investigation purposes. The absence of user details from Audit Trails and Voided/Deleted Transaction reports as a result of deletion of a user account (for whatever reason) has been a serious issue. Now we can identify deleted users on all reports by user name, giving us better insight into a user's history and activities.
Want more? Register for our QB Talks web seminar on Oct. 12. We offer the same web seminar at 1:00 and 6:00 Eastern time. Click to learn more.