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Caesar's Brook Babblings

QuickBooks News You Can Use

January 2012 - Vol 5, Issue 1

In This Issue
Modifying QuickBooks Reports
QuickBooks and 1099 Reporting
QuickBooks Year-End Resources
Caesar's Brook

Happy New Year   


Welcome to the January issue of Caesar's Brook Babblings!


It has been a while since we sent out this newsletter, so we are starting off the new year with a new volume and a fresh topic.

Make a New Year's resolution to get more out of QuickBooks. This month's feature article starts a series on customizing reports to get more out of them. We'll follow up next month with an article on filtering your reports to get just the information you need.

We also have a very important update on QuickBooks and the IRS mandated changes in 1099 reporting for 2011.

Finally, a QuickTip reminds that QuickBooks has built in year-end resources available at the click of a mouse.

Happy New Year!


FeatureFeature Article

Modifying QuickBooks Reports Can Give You Better Insight Into The Past & Future: Part 1


If you make just one resolution about improving your accounting procedures in 2012, it should be this: Make extensive use of the tools that QuickBooks offers for report modification. Comprehensive, meticulously-shaped reports that flow out of your carefully-constructed records and transactions are your reward for pounding on the keys every day, conscientiously recording income and expenses.


QuickBooks supplies you with a wide variety of pre-formatted reports whose modification options can help you do focused, critical analysis of your financial data. The right set of numbers will help you understand your history and plan for the future more effectively.


Note: The reports discussed and pictured here show only one possible set of customization options. There are many variations. We can answer your questions.


Check your preferences


When you created your company file in QuickBooks, you chose between reporting on a cash (income and expenses are recorded when money changes hands) or accrual (recorded when you invoice or receive a bill) basis. This affects summary reports, but not those that break out individual transactions or are simply lists.


If you want to change this, click Edit | Preferences | Reports & Graphs | Company Preferences and click the desired button:


Figure 1


Figure 1: You can establish a preference for your summary reports' basis here.


You can set other preferences in this window that will affect your report output here, too, as you can see.


Altering the display


Open the Income by Customer Summary report (Reports | Company & Financial). Change the dates to reflect a range you'd like to see. Want the data displayed by different time increments - like week or quarter - instead of just the total? Click the arrow next to Columns and select Four week.

Figure 2 


Figure 2: You can do some report display alterations from this toolbar; the options it offers vary by report.


By default, your report rows display alphabetically. If you want to view a column by total in ascending or descending order, select the column by hovering over the top number until the magnifying glass appears, and click on it. Click the arrow next to Sort by and choose Total, then click the AZ [down arrow] icon (in some reports, there will be other options here).


Additional options in this toolbar let you:

  • Memorize the report
  • Print, email or export it to Excel
  • Hide or Show the Header
  • Collapse or Expand the columns
  • Refresh the report if you've made changes that will alter data


More display options


Click Customize Report to open this window:


Figure 3


Figure 3: This window outlines your report's content options.


Some of the options here duplicate what you saw in the toolbar. In addition, you can switch between Accrual and Cash for just this report, and add sub-columns in some. The latter is a complicated operation, one that you must understand well in order to glean any insight from it. We can help you with this.


Sometimes the sub-columns are generic, as shown in the screen above. In other reports, they're very specific to that group of data.


Clicking on Revert takes you back to the default format, and Advanced opens additional options specific to the current report.


More customization = more insightful results = more informed financial choices


Transaction reports have many similarities and two major differences: You can change the column order by hovering your cursor over the column label until a hand appears. Click, hold and drag the column to the desired spot and let go. You can also add or delete columns by clicking Customize Report and checking or unchecking labels.


Figure 4 


Figure 4: In transaction - or detail - reports, you can alter the column structure.


Learn the mechanics of report display modification well, and your company's finances will come into much sharper focus, improving the wisdom of future choices. Up next month: filtering your reports for additional clarity.


If you have questions on this or any other QuickBooks feature, call or email us. We're your partner and we're here to make your business better.



QuickBooks and 1099s -- Reporting Changes for 2011


1099 MISC formBeginning with tax year 2011, the IRS requires you to exclude from the total you report on Form 1099-MISC payments you made to a vendor using credit, debit, and gift cards as well as PayPal and other third party payment processors that will be reported on Form 1099-K.

The R5 release of QuickBooks 2012 includes a new 1099 Wizard which automatically excludes payments made using Credit Card and CCard Credit transaction types as well as Bill Payments made with Credit Card as the Payment Method in the Pay Bills window. 

If you used check payments (in either Pay Bills, Write Checks, or directly in the register) to record vendor payments made with a credit card, debit card, or gift card, or using a third-party payment network such as PayPal, you need note the payment method in the check number field. QuickBooks 2012 recognizes, and automatically excludes from Form 1099-MISC, any check payment containing one of the following notations in the check number field (limited to 8 characters):

 Payment types table

To verify that you are running R5 or later, with your QuickBooks file open, press F2. An information window will open. The version and release that you are running will appear at the top of the window. Typically the release level is listed as R5P. I'm not sure what the P stands for, but it always seems to be there.

See the following QuickBooks knowledge base article with more information on the new 2012 wizard:


If you are running an older version of QuickBooks, you have several options:

  • You can upgrade to QuickBooks 2012
  • You can exclude non-reportable payments manually
  • Or if you are running QuickBooks 2009-2011, you can purchase a downloadable QuickBooks 1099 Assistant for $0.99.

See the following article for more information on all the options including step by step directions for manually excluding non-reportable payments:


QuickTip: More Year-end Resources


QuickBooks Year End Guide - Did you know QuickBooks has built-in Year End Guide and Checklist? It's located on the Help pull down menu. Double-clicking on any topic will open a help window giving you more how to information.

banner 2I hope you found these babblings useful.  Your feedback is important to me.  Please drop me a line and let me know what you think.


Susan Dugdale
Caesar's Brook Business Solutions, LLC
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