How to Modify and Customize a Report in QuickBooks 2011 - dummies

How to Modify and Customize a Report in QuickBooks 2011

By Stephen L. Nelson

If you click the Modify Report button, QuickBooks 2011 displays the Modify Report dialog box, which you can use to customize a report. When you customize a report in QuickBooks, you change the report’s appearance, layout, and the information that it summarizes.

The Modify Report dialog box looks different for different report types. Nevertheless, if you look past the cosmetic differences, the dialog boxes pretty much all look and work the same way.

Using the Display tab

The Display tab of the Modify Report dialog box lets you control the report interval date, the report basis, the columns, and some other formatting.

The Report Date Range boxes let you control the reporting interval or accounting period.


The Report Basis option buttons let you specify whether you want QuickBooks to prepare a report on a cash basis or on an accrual basis.

The Columns area enables you to control or specify how many columns a report should display. In addition, the Columns area allows you to add subcolumns (you do this with the Previous Period, Previous Year, and Year-to-Date check boxes) and allows you to add percentages.

To show each line item on an income statement as a percentage of total income, select the % of Income check box.

Using the Filters tab

The Filters tab is probably the most interesting and useful tab provided by the QuickBooks Modify Report dialog box. The Filters tab enables you to set up filters that you can use to specify what information gets summarized in the report. To use the Filters tab, you first select the field on which you want to base a filter from the Filter list box.


After you identify the piece of data on which you want to base your filter, you can pick a standard account filter from drop-down list.


Other fields and boxes on the Filters tab are pretty self-explanatory. Note that different boxes appear on the Filters tab for different filters.

Using the Header/Footer tab

The Header/Footer tab controls what header and footer information appears on your report.


Formatting fonts and numbers

The Fonts & Numbers tab lets you change the font for selected pieces of report information. Use the Effects check boxes to add or remove special effects.


The Show Negative Numbers area lets you indicate how negative numbers should appear on the report. you can display negative numbers normally, in parentheses, with the negative sign after the number, and in bright red.

If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with the amount of data being presented in a report, the Show All Numbers check boxes provide a handy way to truncate the information to get a somewhat clearer view of the big picture.

Click the Change Font button and you can get really crazy with fonts, strikeout, underline, and color.