A bit over a year ago I wrote about an exciting new reporting tool, QQube (see QuickBooks Reporting is Simple with QQube). I work extensively with the QuickBooks database and I was really excited by the potential that I saw in this product. This is the best QuickBooks reporting tool available in my mind, and a year after the inital release I’m more excited than ever! Let’s take a look at some of the new features released last month in Release 4.
I’m very interested in inventory management with QuickBooks, it is an area that I write about often. QuickBooks provides some very basic inventory management functions, but it is very short on inventory analysis. QQube is a tremendous reporting tool, but it goes beyond that by providing in-product analysis of inventory activity. Here are a few of the new reporting and analysis features:
- Enterprise 12 Intuit added many new features such as lot tracking and serial number tracking. Unfortunately, the reporting that is provided is sparse. QQube helps by supporting the new features in in several areas, such as the Inventory, Sales and Purchasing Subjects. You can see each serial or lot number on a separate line in the reports, unlike what you see in QuickBooks itself. If you are using these features in QuickBooks, you need this reporting tool.
- Extracting Bill of Materials (BOM) information from QuickBooks can be complicated. QQube has added extensive reporting features that can help you see details of a BOM easily.
- Inventory forecasting is made possible based on consumption, including Sales Orders and Pending Assemblies containing assemblies .
As with inventory, QQube is an excellent analysis and reporting tool for working with accounting reports. You can work with the General Ledger Detail subject (a “subject” is essentially a logical grouping of data, although Chuck Vigeant might think my description is a bit too simple) to generate many reports that you just can’t get in QuickBooks itself. Here are a few of the new features in this area:
- You can choose a 52 or53 week tax year for financial reporting, including the ability to report by 13 week periods. This is a feature that is not possible in QuickBooks itself and is often requested.
- The General Ledger Detail provides an advanced description feature which includes more detail as to what activity is associated with a transaction. For example, if you are looking at a bill payment check, you can see the details of each bill that this was applied to. This goes far beyond the simple inclusion of account or item descriptions you see in QuickBooks reports.
- You can group linked transactions together, to see all transactions that are related to the transaction you are working with. For example, you can see an invoice and the linked payment receipts. This allows you to see the relation of various transactions that are found in many different QuickBooks reports.
- It is simple to see cash activity in the General Ledger Detail subject, letting you analyze inflows and outflows of a cash account.
- Side by side comparisons can easily be generated for trial balance activity for up to 36 periods. You can see the beginning balance, ending balance and period activity side by side.
- It is simple to create a statement of cash activity using the 36 period Trail Balance Summary.
- Job Cost calculated columns for Materials and Labor are now available in the Job Cost Subject. This is a type of breakdown that you won’t see anywhere in QuickBooks itself, and it is something that I often see requests for. Materials represent inventory, non-inventory, and assembly items. Labor includes service items. These columns are available for estimate, cost and income transactions.
Sample Data, Reports and Help
When I work with a tool like this I find that it is easier to understand a feature if I have examples, to give me a start in the right direction. It is easier to start off with a sample database or report than it is to try to figure out something from a list of fields (who reads documentation any more?). With the latest release of QQube this area has been expanded considerably:
- There are many additional Microsoft Excel and SAP Crystal Reports example reports, such as Trial Balance Activity and Bill of Materials explosion.
- There is a complete set of Microsoft Access database examples for each subject. You can just drag and drop fields that you need for your reports.
- There is a new “community” web site (http://community.clearify.com) that includes articles, videos and other instructional materials. In addition there is an active community forum for discussions.
An Example with Serial Numbers
Let’s take a look at a simple example of how this tool can generate reports that you can’t find in QuickBooks.
Intuit added a Serial Tracking feature to the Advanced Inventory option in QuickBooks Enterprise V12. While this is a very useful feature, one of my criticisms has been the lack of detailed reports that are available within the product.
The transaction list by serial number report, for example, only allows you to look at one item per report, and you have to enter the specific serial number that you want to work with. If you want a comprehensive report on all serial numbers from QuickBooks, you are out of luck. Also, if you look at the reports that QuickBooks generates, you’ll see that the serial numbers are lumped together in one field and you cannot see all of them.
Compare that with this report generated by QQube. This is taken from the “Inventory with Lots” sample (which works with either lots or serial numbers) that comes with QQube. This is a pivot table, so you can manipulate it in many ways to generate summaries and add columns.
It is easy to see all items in one report, and the transactions for all serial numbers. This shows the results of purchases (bills), invoices and assembly builds that are using the serialized items. This is the kind of report that I want from QuickBooks, that we cannot generate without a tool like QQube.
This is just one sample of many that show the power of QQube. QuickBooks reporting tools are very simple, and you are limited as to what kinds of modifications that you can make. QQube frees your data so that you can generate the reports that you need for your business. It goes beyond just being a reporting tool, it includes extensive analytical data that provides you with information that goes far beyond what QuickBooks can generate itself.
While it can take some effort to get up to speed on all of the features, QQube provides excellent sample reports in the product itself, and the support community is a wealth of information about how to get the information out in the format that you need. When you need to analyze your QuickBooks data, this is the tool that I recommend that you start with.
QQube was a winner of The Sleeter Group’s Awesome Add-Ons award for 2012.