March 31, 2020

Getting the most out of your QuickBooks data?

Small Business
By: Ronald B. Allen

To run a successful business you need accurate bookkeeping. QuickBooks is the best bookkeeping and accounting software for both small and medium-sized businesses. To make the best business decisions from your QuickBooks information you need reports that are clear and provide useful insights that you can act upon. Are you getting the most out of your QuickBooks data? Here are a few ways to address this issue.

Custom Reports

QuickBooks Custom Reports are designed with your business in mind. Our Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors will set up reports that let you see the most important issues for your business at a glance. Let us help you use this tool to get the most out of your QuickBooks data.

A Custom Report starts with a concise and readable overview of your finances. It includes breakdowns for sales, forecasting and budgeting, purchasing, banking, payroll, accounts receivable, inventory, vendors and payables, and any other category necessary for you to see how your business is performing.

And when you are looking for a more sophisticated analysis of data, especially when you have multiple businesses and multiple QuickBooks, there are various business intelligence solutions.

Business Intelligence

This is a term that describes a process, driven by computer software programs that analyze your QB data and organize reports in such a way that you derive the most insight and can make the most profitable business decisions.  

Excel, Pivot Tables, and Power Pivot

A simple business intelligence solution is simply to export your QuickBooks data to Excel spreadsheets. Use Pivot Tables to organize the data so that what you need to know is presented clearly. Or, you can go another step into the business intelligence world by using the Power Pivot add-on that comes with Excel. This is actually a database, SQL, tool that is an “instance” of Microsoft Analysis Services. This tool lets you truly “mine” your QB data to find the information that you need. This tool is especially useful if you have more than one QuickBooks running for more than one business operation or if you also have some information that is not in QuickBooks. This tool lets you work with any data that is accessible via a business network or via the internet to create the insightful reports that you need to effectively run your business.

Microsoft Power BI

This is stand-alone software from Microsoft that gives you virtually seamless integration with QuickBooks. This tool is easy enough for a small business bookkeeper to use but generates the kinds of reports usually seen with large information technology departments. The low cost for a serious business intelligence tool is a major factor in favor of using Power BI to get the most out of your QB data.

You can use this software to generate scenarios to test, try out any number of ways to display your data, and along the way work online with others to generate the most informative and insightful reports. The end result will be the reports that best help you generate business profits and reduce unnecessary costs.

A useful, and popular, feature of Microsoft Power BI is the “dashboard” that provides up to the minute “real time” financial information for which you do not need to wait for the end of the month report.

Spotlight Reports

Spotlight Reports are a great way to set up actionable reports, accurate forecasts, and provide up to the minute snapshots of your business. This powerful reporting tool can consolidate reports for as many as fifty clients and in multiple foreign currencies. It lets you intelligently analyze your QB data and highlight the more important parts. It provides a very useful executive summary function as well.

A major strength of this software is its forecasting ability. A scenario builder and forecasting tool are part of this business intelligence software program.

Spotlight also lets you create a dashboard for up to the minute information about how your business is doing. And, its drag and drop operations make this program intuitive and easy to use.

This program is easy to use and you really can get the most out of your QB data, especially when your business data is spread out across multiple platforms, QuickBooks, and multiple organizations.

QQube Reports

This software lets you connect your QuickBooks data to many different business intelligence solutions including Excel, Excel PowerPivot, Access, Microsoft Power BI, SAP Crystal Reports, Tableau Desktop, and QQube’s own QQube™Analytic Schemas.

Think of QQube as the facilitator that helps you get the most out of your QB data by using the business intelligence tools of your choice.


QBAR is QuickBooks’ business intelligence software solution. Its full name is QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Reporting. QBAR uses two sets of specialized software, QlikView and QlikSense. These business analysis and report tools let you extract the information that you need from QB data, hold it in memory, and allow you to work with it without endangering your basic data set. This tool can be used just in your office or across the internet.

QBAR is useful for HR, marketing, sales, or any area of your business where you need accurate and useful reports. It creates subtotals, calculated columns, and many levels of groupings as needed for your business. Its dashboards are useful for up to the minute information and its drag and drop functionality makes it easy to use. And, like many advanced BI tools, you will get more out of it if you are skillful in using Excel and know SQL.

Getting the Most Out of Your QB Data

As you can see, there are several possibilities when it comes to generating advanced reports. Contact us at Exigo Business Solutions for advice on which solution best fits the needs of your business.

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