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QuickBooks Desktop allows you to customize any report that you generate. You can customize the data, add or delete columns, add or remove information on the header/footer, and even personalize the font and style of the report.

Available columns and filters differ for each report/group of reports because each draws information from the company file differently. Knowing report source and targets is particularly important when filtering reports.

Customize reports

  1. Run a report.
  2. On the Report window, select Customize Report.
  3. On the Modify Report window, go to the tab/s you need to update, then select OK when you’re done.

Tip #1: When building a Custom Summary Report, try drawing the report in a blank piece of paper first, just to give you a visual idea of the components you want to see in the report and in which arrangement.

The drawing should always keep in mind 3 components: Rows (in this case is vendors), Columns (in this case is Months) and Body (In this case, there is an Account Filter for Cost of Sales). This drawing will then be used as a basis to build the reports:

Tip #2: Once the Report is constructed and you are ready to memorize (save it), spend a good amount of time thinking of the perfect title. This is especially true if a 3rd party is going to be used for this report, as a bad title will lead to a misunderstanding of the reports content.


For this example, I would call this report: Paid Direct Expenses by Vendor By Month. I am a strong believer that the report title should contain, within the title itself, all the filters and options from the reports:


Tip #3: For Transaction Detail Reports, the most important concept to keep in mind is the difference between the Source and the Destination data from with the transaction that ultimately makes up what will show in the report, for example, if you look at a check:



All the RED areas are part of the SOURCE, and all the GREEN areas are the DESTINATION. In a Transaction Detail report, you must specify if the data you want to pull is the SOURCE or the DESTINATION, and based on that decision, you will know what type of data you expect to see in the report:

Custom Summary and Custom Transaction Detail reports

You can use the Custom Summary and Custom Transaction Detail reports to create virtually any report in QuickBooks. These reports use different combinations from the Display and Filters tab in the Modify Report window. Just remember that this may be subject to accounting and programming limitations as well as your permissions in the data file.

QuickZoom Reports

QuickZoom refers to the magnifying glass symbol that appears in reports and graphs. When the QuickZoom symbol appears over a number in a report, you can double click it to bring up more detail about that number or item.

To open one of the listed transactions in its original form, double-click the transaction.