QuickBooks can be a great accounting tool for a small business. It quickly allows you to get started up for tracking your income and expenses without having to be an expert in accounting. It even allows you to start with template charts of accounts for different types of businesses so that you don’t have to start from scratch. And if you have been diligent, you have done a great job at getting all of your information accurately into the system. So now what?
Depending upon the evolution of your business, your needs for reporting will be different. If you are a sole proprietor, you might just be wondering if you are making money on a month to month basis or if your top line is growing. That is easy to accomplish by running and a Profit and Loss report from the Company & Financial Reports menu. There are a lot of options for filtering and customizing based upon date ranges and what type of accounts you want to see from the Customize Menu available at the top of the report. If you are only reporting for yourself, this may be enough.
However, if you are a more advanced business with multiple shareholders or a board to report to, you may have to get more creative. You can export information to Excel and manipulate it there or look at 3rd party tools to do more advanced reporting from multiple data sources. There are tools in the market which will help you create custom financial statements, dashboards, and even connect to the database to write custom reports exactly the way you want. While these external tools cost a little but more, it may still be much less expensive than some of the pricier accounting systems on the market which do not work so well out of the box.