From the July 2010 Issue
If you need to present proper financial statements from QuickBooks data, you’ve most likely been frustrated for years by the extra steps you’ve been required to go through to get the job done. Intuit has made several ill-fated attempts to resolve the problem, but in general, creating GAAP financial statements from QuickBooks data has been painful, expensive and complicated. There are several third-party solutions that take data out of QuickBooks to create proper financial statements, and those solutions work fine, but the extra hassle of exporting/importing is not ideal. The good news is that in the 2010 version of QuickBooks, I think we finally have a workable solution.
The solution is Intuit Statement Writer (ISW). It is included free with Enterprise Solutions and available with the Premier Accountant Edition as a free 30-day trial, after which the product can be purchased for $149.95.
ISW is a vastly improved offering that allows accounting professionals to prepare GAAP-compliant financial statements as well as a wide range of management reports. It uses Microsoft Excel as the platform for creating and customizing financials so you can design exactly what you want and then save “templates” for future reports for the same client or for other clients. ISW is implemented as a set of macros in Excel that links directly into the QuickBooks data. This means you can refresh the data directly into your formatted reports as opposed to exporting and then reformatting each month.
You can use ISW to create financial reports for your clients and to create a report that includes the client financial report as well as other materials you enter or scan. Once you’ve finalized the reports, you can create one PDF that contains multiple reports and documents such as disclosures or accountant’s notes.
The Intuit Statement Writer provides several built-in functions that streamline
report customization and formatting. For example, you can combine several rows
of a report into a single row. This lets you do things like combine separate
cash accounts into one line on the financial statement and allows you to rename
that line to “Cash and Cash Equivalents.”
FEATURES OF THE INTUIT STATEMENT WRITER
- Create customized financial statements in Excel from QuickBooks data adding all the additional features and reporting flexibility available in Excel.
- Create statements from scratch or use the pre-defined templates. Templates come in a variety of formats for Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, Budget to Actual Statements, and multiple supporting statement documents.
- Refresh reports with current QuickBooks data without leaving the ISW tool.
- Combine multiple QuickBooks account lines into one line on financial statements without changing the QuickBooks chart of accounts.
- Add rows or columns of detail using QuickBooks data and Excel functionality.
- Drill down to QuickBooks data and modify QuickBooks transactions within the ISW tool.
- Automatically include new accounts on reports if and when they are added to the chart of accounts.
WORKING WITH THE INTUIT STATEMENT WRITER
Once you launch the Statement Writer tool from QuickBooks, Excel will launch along with the ISW macros that teach Excel how to build and manage your reports. Inside Excel, you’ll see the ISW Document Actions pane that provides specific options used to customize reports. To expand the menu options, click on the drop-down arrow next to each action (row) name. These ISW-specific document actions are only available when you launch ISW from within QuickBooks.
The Report Properties pane allows you to modify the reporting period, change the basis of the report, and add extra pages, documents and attachments (see Figure 2).