QuickBooks Online’s reports can help you monitor your business’s health, set goals, and achieve consistent growth. But there are so many to choose from. Where do you start?
QuickBooks Online’s dashboard, the first screen you see when you log in, provides an effective overview of your company’s finances. It contains at-a-glance information about your recent expenses, your sales, and the status of your invoices. It displays a simple Profit and Loss graph and a list of your account balances.
The dashboard supplies enough information that you can spot potential problems with expenses and sales, accounts, and overdue invoices. But you’re likely to have other tasks that require attention. How’s your inventory holding up? Are you staying within your budget? How about your accounts payable – will you owe money to anyone soon?
QuickBooks Online offers dozens of report templates that answer these questions and many more. To set the stage for future growth, you need to know your company’s financial history and current state. Let’s take a look at the key reports that will keep you in the driver’s seat.
The 5 reports you should be running every week
You can, of course, run any report you’d like as often as you’d like. Most small businesses, though, don’t require intense scrutiny every week. But there are five reports that you do want to consult on a regular basis. They are:
- Accounts Receivable Aging Detail. Displays a list of invoices that haven’t yet been paid, divided into groups like 1-30 days past due, 31-60 days past due, etc.
- Budget vs. Actuals. Just what it sounds like: a comparison of your monthly budgeted amounts and your actual income and expenses.
- Unpaid Bills. Helps you avoid missing accounts payable due dates by displaying what’s due and when.
- Sales by Product/Service Detail. Tells you what’s selling and what’s not by displaying date, transaction type, quantity, rate, amount, and total.
- Product/Service List. An accounting of the products and/or services you sell, with columns for price, cost, and quantity on hand.
Pro Tip: In the Reports tab, click the star next to any report, and that report’s title will appear in your Favorites list at the top of the page. This will allow you to quickly find your most often-used reports.
What about the “For My Accountant” reports?
See the category of reports in QuickBooks Online named For My Accountant? That’s where we come in. The site includes templates for reports that you can run yourself, but that you’d have difficulty customizing and analyzing. These standard financial reports—which, by the way, you’ll need if you create a business plan or try to get funding for your business—include Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, and Trial Balance.
You don’t need to have these reports generated frequently, but you should be learning from the insight they provide monthly or quarterly. We can handle this part of your accounting tasks for you, as well as any other aspect of financial management where you need assistance. Contact us, and we’ll see where we might help provide the feedback and bookkeeping expertise that can help you make better decisions for the future of your business.
Joe Gibbons, CPA is managing partner of Gibbons & Gibbons, P.C., a Northern Virginia-based accounting and business advisory firm that specializes in working with law firms and other professional service providers.