How to Use the QuickBooks Report Window Boxes
The QuickBooks Report window provides five boxes: Dates, From, To, Columns, and Sort By. These boxes also enable you to control the information shown in the Report window and the appearance of the information.
Dates, From, and To
The Dates, From, and To boxes, for example, let you tell QuickBooks what reporting interval you want to show in the report. In other words, you use these boxes to tell QuickBooks the month, quarter, year, or whatever period for which you want to prepare a report.
The Columns drop-down list displays a set of column choices. Initially, QuickBooks displays a single total column for a report. However, if you produce a report that summarizes annual income and expense data, for example, you can use the Columns drop-down list to tell QuickBooks that you want to see monthly columns. In this situation, QuickBooks shows an annual income statement, but it also shows columns for January, February, March, and so forth. To see how this works, take a look at the following figure. The profit and loss statement in the window is composed of only a Total column.
Now take a look at the next figure; it shows the same profit and loss statement, except this time, the Columns drop-down list shows Customer:Job. In this case, QuickBooks shows you a breakdown of your income and expenses by Customer and Job, as well as the total. The Columns drop-down list gives you a bunch of column options.
Typically, some options make sense for the report that you’re working on; others won’t. Nevertheless, you should occasionally experiment with this tool. The Columns drop-down list often gives you a neat way to further segregate and refine your data.
The Sort By drop-down list enables you to choose how information should be ordered on a report. For many types of reports, the Sort By drop-down list doesn’t provide any meaningful options. For some types of reports, however, the Sort By drop-down list provides handy ways to organize report information.