August 7, 2019

QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting: QBAR

QuickBooks Desktop
Ronald B. Allen

Keeping track of finances is essential to a successful business. But, accurate bookkeeping is only half the story. To make critical business decisions, you also need a clear presentation of actionable data. QuickBooks Custom reports are the answer for many small businesses. And, for others, a better solution is to use QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting, also known as QBAR. This robust reporting tool takes data from QuickBooks and creates interactive reports that provide important insights into your business. It does this by using QlikView and QlikSense.

QlikView and QlikSense are specialized software for data visualization and business intelligence (or “BI”). These are to create executive dashboards and BI products that small business owners can learn and use. QlikView lets you develop data discovery and BI reporting systems for your business. QlikSense is a bit more complicated and allows more robust analytic routines of data on site and on the web. QlikSense uses API connections to allow you to use on-site or via a cloud connection.

The Qlik programming in QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting connects you to stores of data and holds that data. This allows you to manipulate data and try different ways to visualize the information with an easy to use drag and drop interface. You do not need to “write or learn code” with this system. And, because the data you work with is held in memory separate from your data store, your efforts working to build reports will not alter or delete your important financial information.

QBAR and the QlikView software it runs on are clear enough to use that most small business owners do not need specialized training to set it up or use it. This tool can be used for sales, human resources, marketing, or any aspect of your small business where you need clear insights and actionable information.

QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting

Use QBAR to create reports with many levels of groupings and subtotals and columns that are calculated. Use QBAR with your QuickBooks data as well as any other system data you may have. As well as comprehensive reports, use QBAR to create dashboards that include charts, graphs, and reports.

This is basically a “drag and drop” too, but like many advanced reporting tools, having advanced skills in Excel and SQL will be a big plus.

And, because QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting uses its own database, you will not corrupt your financial information in QuickBooks even if you try!

Getting Started and the Basics of QBAR

To use this tool you need “Advanced Reporting” permission. It is important to know that when a user has this permission they will be able to see all information in Advanced Reporting even though their access to other information is restricted within the rest of QuickBooks. To set up permission there are a few steps.

• Sign in as an Admin

• Company Menu: Users > Set up Users and Roles

• Tabs: Click Role List

• Select desired role (or click new to create a new role)

• Edit: Click to edit chosen role

• Area and Activities: Choose File > QuickBooks Advanced Reporting

• Activity Access Level: Click Full

• Click OK to finish granting permission

Because you are using QuickBooks Advanced Reporting to create reports, you need to create a report template or open an existing one.

• Click LIST

o Click a report (templates set to load with your data are marked with a green “S”

o For a blank report click “Start From Scratch”

o Choose a saved report if desired

o Click Open

This tool is full of usable “objects” that you do not need to create from scratch. Go to the Library for these and double click to choose any that fit your needs. These objects include list boxes, tables and charts, date objects like calendars, and “objects” for writing text. All of these can be moved around the report and placed where you want them using with the drag and drop tool.

And, there is a large “Help” file as well in case you get stuck anywhere along the way.

Expressions and Dimensions

In Advanced Reporting you will use the concepts expression and dimension to set up tables, charts, and other objects. Think of “expression” as the size or extent of what you are measuring on a chart and “dimension” as the group of things measured. For example, on a graph of “sales” per “month,” “sales” is the expression and “month” is the dimension.  This is just how the program is written and users get accustomed to the “lingo” in a hurry. It is designed to be very intuitive.

As with any business software tool, you need to use it and learn it. An attractive feature of this tool for any user is its “drag and drop” capabilities for easy use. But, the main reason to use this analytic, business intelligence, and reporting tool is to derive better insights into your business operations and create actionable reports for greater business success. Here is where QuickBooks Advanced Reporting shines. If you need any help, please feel free to reach out to us and we can discuss how these reports can actually help you grow your business.

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