I recently started a group discussion with a group of over 2,000 ProAdvisors, “What QuickBooks reports are on your wish list?” The responses were immediately forthcoming. In addition to wish lists, comments included advice about custom report design tools. It got me to thinking about the nature of reports as and being static or dynamic.
I think of a static report as an end product. You can’t change it or manipulate it but it gives you the information you need. QReportBuilder by FlexCorp offers an amazing tool if you want to learn to “clice and dice” QuickBooks data your way but the result is static.
I think of an analytical tool as a dynamic report. It’s not the end result. Rather, it’s the beginning of further analysis and reporting. The QuickBooks development team obviously created the Excel interface because they knew Excel gives users a tremendous range of tools to manipulate and analyze data, and to publish it as tables and charts in multiple venues including Word, Powerpoint, and web browsers.
In addition, Excel; like Word, Outlook, and Access has an underlying programming language. Tasks that might take a user many steps can be automated into one click on a toolbar. The Intuit Statement Writer is a good example an Excel application interfaced with QuickBooks.
Another example would be cash flow forecasting. It might start with a report of payables, receivables, and bank balances but requires the ability to add additional expected cash flows not yet recorded in QuickBooks.
In addition, the user would need to manipulate the timing of expected receipts and disbursements to see the impact on cash balances. This can be a cumbersome process but, by using Excel’s underlying programming language, I was able to automate it and make it toolbar driven. Those who want to see how Excel can be interfaced with QuickBooks and automated can watch a three minute video of the interactive cash flow manager, accessible from the video toolbar my website at www.ReportsUWant.com
For those who are ready to invest in learning to design their own customized reports, I recommend they investigate QReportBuilder at www.QReportBuilder.com.
Robert Guild designs specialized reports and automated analysis tools for QuickBooks clients to make decisions they can trust. He is a member of Intuit DeveloperNet and an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Visit www.ReportsUWant.com to see pre-designed analysis tools ready to buy or contact him about developing applications for your specific needs at rguild@ReportsUWant.com. You can also follow him on twitter at QBPro