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Part VII: Appendixes > Reports & Graphs Preferences

Reports & Graphs Preferences

If you make some basic decisions about how you want your reports to print, you save lots of time when you actually create the reports. The options in this section apply to all reports in QuickBooks. Click the Reports & Graphs icon in the Preferences window, and then choose the options that will be helpful to you:

  • Refreshing Reports and Graphs— If you make changes to a report or to the underlying data that makes up a report, you might want QuickBooks to update the report immediately, or perhaps you don’t. On the My Preferences tab (see Figure C.14), choose Prompt me to refresh if you want QuickBooks to ask you whether you want a report refreshed to reflect your changes. Choose Refresh automatically to have QuickBooks take care of refreshing your reports every time you make a change. Choose Don’t refresh if you want to take charge of refreshing your reports yourself (by clicking the Refresh button that appears on each report).

    Figure C.14. Enter report preferences on this screen.

  • Draw graphs in 2D (faster)— Two-dimensional graphs work just as well as the fancy 3D kind, and QuickBooks can create them a bit faster. Click this check box if you find that your 3D graphs are taking too long to create, or if you simply prefer the 2D style.

  • Use patterns— Click this box if you want QuickBooks to display your graphs in designs made up entirely of black, gray, and white. The color graphs are nice, but the effect can be lost if you don’t have a color printer.

  • Display Modify Report window automatically— If you spend a lot of time customizing your reports, and are a regular user of the Modify Reports window, you can check this box and QuickBooks automatically displays that window each time you open a report.

  • Summary Reports Basis— Is your company a cash-basis company or an accrual-basis company? Do you typically like to see your company reports on the cash basis or the accrual basis? Generally, the answer is the same to both of these questions. If your company tracks accounts receivable and accounts payable, you want accrual-basis reports. If you report income when you receive it rather than when it is earned, and expenses when they are paid rather than when they are incurred, it sounds as if you are a cash-basis company. On the Company Preferences tab, indicate which basis applies to your company (see Figure C.15).

    Figure C.15. Choose from several options that determine how your reports are prepared and displayed.

  • Reports—Show Accounts by— Another option for displaying information on reports. Choose Name Only if you need to see only the name of your accounts on your company reports. Remember that if you use account numbers, the account number is part of the name and is displayed along with the name. Choose Description only if you prefer to show account descriptions rather than names. If you display your reports with account descriptions, be sure to fill in the description field every time you create a new account. Choose Name and Description if you want your reports to display both types of information for your accounts.

  • Aging Reports— Accounts Receivable Aging Reports show how much is owed to your company and for how long the amounts have been owed. Choose whether aging is determined from the due date of the invoice or the date of the actual transaction. If you create invoices on the same day of your transactions, it doesn’t matter which option you choose here.

  • Statement of Cash Flows— QuickBooks gives you the opportunity to customize your Statement of Cash Flows report. Click the Classify Cash button to display a list of all your accounts followed by three columns, labeled Operating, Investing, and Financing. Check off each account that you want to appear on your Statement of Cash Flows, and in which of the three categories on the report the account is to appear.

  • Format— Click the Format button to display the Report Format Preferences window (see Figure C.16). Choose items in this window that apply to all reports you create. Choose whether negative numbers are to be displayed with a minus sign to the left of the number, in red, in parentheses, or with a minus sign to the right of the number. Choose to display all numbers divided by 1000 (1,000,000 is then displayed as 1,000), not to display accounts with zero amounts, and whether to display cents. Choose font options, and choose a standard header or footer for your reports. Click OK to close the format window when you have made all your choices.

    Figure C.16. Choose standard format options that apply to all your reports.



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