Commonly Overlooked Features in QuickBooks Pt 1

As I work with clients, I frequently see that there are features that can be useful but my client was unaware.  So, today’s article takes a look at several features you might find helpful.QuickBooks

First, whether or not you have admin privileges, it is worthwhile looking at the preferences. As a user, the My Preferences lets you customize QuickBooks in a way that you prefer.  As the admin, you can turn features off/on in the Company Preferences for the company file. Most the items on this list come from the Preferences. (Edit>Preferences).  Personally, I recommend going through the list any time you have a new version installed.  You never know what might have slipped in there that you could use!

Don’t save the desktop – For some unknown reason, the default setting in QuickBooks is Save the Desktop. That means, every window, report you had open, has to open and/or run before you can begin working in QuickBooks.  It can also impact other users if you are in a network environment.  So, either select Don’t save the desktop, or if you have a few that you need to see as soon as you open QuickBooks, then leave those windows open, and then select.



  • While we’re in the desktop preferences, if you like a top toolbar, like I do, I find color makes the icons easier to see, then check Switch to colored icons.
  • And if you work in multiple company files, I highly recommend making each company a different color so you know which one you’re in. Would be disheartening to realize you entered transactions in the wrong company file!
  • QuickBooksWhile NOT in the preferences, if you have multiple bank or credit card accounts, you can make them different colors. Simply open a bank or credit card account, then select your color!

1-line display : Another feature I use for bank/credit card accounts (for me, it’s my default view) is to use the 1-line display. I find can see more transactions (you don’t see the memo in that view)


QuickBooksTop Toolbar –Since I mentioned icons on the top instead of the side, click on View and you can switch from the left icon bar to the top if you’d like. 

Open Windows –If you’re like me and keep lots of windows open, I like the Open Window features. Then I can quickly move between screens by locating the desired one in the Open Window box that appears on the left.

Reminders –  Did you know you can choose the timing for your reminders?


Report Preferences – While there are many changes you can make to a report when you customize, some you might appreciate are in the company reporting preferences.


(Note: 2018 now has a quick cash accrual toggle right on the report page)

And here’s a look at the default formatting options. 


You might even want to exclude accounts that have a $0 balance


 Batch Enter –If you find that you are downloading transactions into a spreadsheet, this might be useful.  One aspect it has that you can’t do in the bank feeds is use Items, which is very important for job costing.  This feature is available in the accountant’s edition of Premier and all editions of Enterprise.


Did you find features you will begin using?  I’d love to hear which ones you found most useful!

If you need help with any of these or would like me to take a closer look at how you use QuickBooks, contact the office.

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