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QuickBooks 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 21. Tracking Your Business with Reports

QuickBooks comes with loads of built-in reports that show what’s going on with your company’s finances. But a dozen report categories with several reports tucked in each category can make for a frustrating search, particularly if you’re new to both QuickBooks and business. The first challenge is knowing what type of report tells you what you need to know. For example, an income statement or profitability report tells you how much income you earned, but a cash flow statement tells you how much cold cash your company generated.

The second challenge is finding the report you want in QuickBooks. After you decide you want to analyze the profitability of the items you sell, do you look for the corresponding QuickBooks report in the Sales category, Inventory category, or Jobs, Time & Mileage? (If you guessed Jobs, Time & Mileage despite that category’s project-oriented name, you’re right.)

The Report Center is a handy way to find the reports you want. Flipping through this book can be even faster, which is why this chapter describes some of the more popular built-in reports, what they’re good for, and where you can find them.

A third challenge—for even the most knowledgeable QuickBooks aficionado—is that the built-in reports never seem to do exactly what you want. A date range is off, information that you don’t want shows up, or the data is grouped in ways that don’t make sense for your business. After using QuickBooks for a while, most businesses ...

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