Ask the Expert - Financial Statement Designer Formatting Issue - Accounting Software Secrets
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Ask the Expert – Financial Statement Designer Formatting Issue

Ask the Expert – Financial Statement Designer Formatting Issue

Ask the Expert – Financial Statement Designer Formatting Issue

Q – We have been using the Financial Statement Designer that is included with QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition for version 2005. While we have figured out most of the formatting, there is one area where we are stumped. On the Income Statement, we have modified it to be a Statement of Income and Retained Earnings. Adding the Retained Earnings row was no problem, but we cannot figure out how to have the amount not appear in the monthly column. Can you help? Submitted by Scott

A – Originally we thought this was a rather easy, straight forward question.  However, we were wrong.  Read on to see what we tried, and the solution we finally came up with.

We started with the idea that we could click on that cell, edit the cell properties to be general, and then change the amount to zero.  Then highlight and delete the zero.  This changed the template so that the cell was blank on the screen.  But, the zero still remained in the amount column at the top of the statement when clicking on the cell.  Unfortunately, even though it was blank on the screen, the zero still printed.

So, we came up with a couple more ideas:

  1. Use tools > options > replace 0 with and you can have some other character.  The smallest font size you can choose is 5.  The problem here is that it will change all zeros.
  2. Choose tools > styles > create a new style and made the color white (so it won’t show when you print) then apply that style to the cell you don’t want to see.  Again, even though it is not visible on the screen, when printing to our laser printer, it still prints in black.  Note: We did not test it by printing to a color printer.

Finally, we admitted defeat and called QuickBooks tech support.  After working with a very nice representative who could not figure it out either, he went and talked to the “Financial Statement Designer Guru” of their team.  Upon his return we worked through two alternatives.  Neither is a perfect solution, but either will get the job done.

    1. Insert a blank general row, manually type Retained Earnings in the Description column and the appropriate dollar amount in the year to date column.  The disadvantage to this approach is that at the beginning of each year, the template will need to be updated to reflect the new beginning Retained Earnings balance.
    2. Click on File > Send to > Excel and manually remove the amount from the monthly column.  The disadvantage of this approach is the additional processing time (not to mention remembering to do it) is not very efficient.

P.S. For this and other feature enhancements you would like to see if future versions of QuickBooks, don’t forget to use the Help > Send Feedback Online > Product Suggestion to let Intuit know.  (And a request to do the same of those in your firm, your friends, your family, and/or anyone with QuickBooks access would be appreciated.)

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Financial Statement Designer