QB Tips & Tricks

Export reports to Excel.

QuickBooks' reports are highly customizable, but they don't have Excel's power to manipulate and format data and to run what-if scenarios.

You can easily export QuickBooks reports to Excel.

  • Open the report you want to export.
  • Click the Export button at the top of the report.
  • Choose whether to export as a comma-separated values (CSV) file, or into a new or existing Excel workbook.
  • Click the Advanced tab if you want to preserve some of the QuickBooks report formatting options.
  • Click Export.
Export reports to Excel.

Export reports to Excel.

QuickBooks' reports are highly customizable, but they don't have Excel's power to manipulate and format data and to run what-if scenarios.

You can easily export QuickBooks reports to Excel.

  • Open the report you want to export.
  • Click the Export button at the top of the report.
  • Choose whether to export as a comma-separated values (CSV) file, or into a new or existing Excel workbook.
  • Click the Advanced tab if you want to preserve some of the QuickBooks report formatting options.
  • Click Export.

Clean up your Chart of Accounts.

Clean up your Chart of Accounts.

As you go through QuickBooks setup wizard, you'll indicate what kind of business you have. QuickBooks then assigns a Chart of Accounts (income, expense, and other accounts that serve as the backbone of your bookkeeping) that best matches your needs.

This Chart of Accounts may be overkill for you, or it may not have enough entries for your specific business. Clean it up; it'll help neaten some reports and make life easier for you.

ClickLists|Chart of Accountsto see what you've got, then right-click to customize. Be sure to assign the correct account type—this is critical to the accuracy of your books.


Finding Related Transactions in QuickBooks

Finding Related Transactions in QuickBooks

Often times, we need to find related transactions in QuickBooks, such as the check that pays a bill, a payment applied to an invoice, related deposits, etc.  QuickBooks has made that easy for us with a History button in transactions screens.  Open any transaction, such as a bill payment check, click the History button at the top of the transaction window, and a list of bills paid by the bill payment check will be displayed.  You can double-click on a bill to view the bill details.  This works for all related transactions in QuickBooks!  If you don't see the History button, use Ctrl H on your keyboard.


Moving Columns on Your Reports

Moving Columns on Your Reports

Some users don't realize they can control the order of the columns on a customer report.  It's important to make your reports appealing for the reader, so it's nice to be able to customize reports in a way that makes sense.  Here are the steps for doing that.

Open a new transaction report (Reports | Custom Transaction Detail Report).  To move the Name column to the left side of the Num column, place your mouse over the word Name in the name column.  Notice your cursor has changed to a hand.  Hold the left mouse key down and drag the column to the left.  As you get to the diamond between the Date and Num columns, you'll see a red arrow appear.  Let go of your mouse and the Name column will be on the left side of the Num column.  You can also resize a column by holding your mouse over the diamond between a column until it turns into a cross.  Then press your left mouse key and move the diamond to the left or right to either shrink the column or make it larger.  Don't forget to memorize your report when you have it just the way you want it.


Use program preferences.

Use program preferences.

QuickBooks has a setup wizard that helps you lay the groundwork for your company, but it's not comprehensive: There are many more decisions you need to make that aren't covered by the wizard.

Click Edit | Preferences to open the Preferences window. Among the options you can set here are:

  • What are the default accounts for activities like writing checks and paying bills?
  • Do you want a one-window or multi-window view?
  • What is the default annual interest rate?
  • Do you want to use inventory and purchase orders?
  • Do you create estimates?
  • Do you want to use multiple currencies?
  • Do you want to use payroll?
  • What reminders would you like?
  • Do you charge sales tax?
  • Do you track time?

Customize the icon bar.

Customize the icon bar.

QuickBooks comes with a default icon bar at the top of the screen. You can add, remove, or modify the icons to better suit your work needs.

To remove an icon: Go to the View menu and click Customize Icon Bar. Select the icon you want to remove and click Delete.

To add an icon: Go to View | Customize Icon Bar and click Add. Select the desired item from the list and change the label and description if you wish. Click OK.

To modify an icon: Go to View | Customize Icon Bar and select the item you want to modify. Click Edit, make your changes, and click OK.

  • The Customize Icon Bar window lets you make other changes to the icon bar. You can also add separators between icons, change the order in which icons appear, and opt to show both icons and text or icons only.

Use keyboard shortcuts.

Use keyboard shortcuts.

Just as in other Windows-based applications, there are numerous keyboard shortcuts you can use in QuickBooks. Here are a few:

Ctrl-I     Create invoice
Ctrl-D    Delete entry

Ctrl-E     Edit transaction selected in register
Ctrl-F     Find transaction
Ctrl-J     Open Customer Center
Ctrl-M     Memorize transaction or report
Ctrl-N     New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context
Ctrl-Q     QuickReport on transaction or list item

Ctrl-R     Open register
Ctrl-T     Open memorized transaction list
Ctrl-W     Write new check

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