It’s a great feeling (in a nerdy kind of way) when you run a report in QuickBooks and you get exactly the information you are looking for.

Sometimes the key to that is using the right filter.

Filters in QuickBooks simply restrict the data that appears on your report. This enables you to fine-tune your reporting results, getting to the crux of what you are looking for much faster.

To add or change a filter in a report, you run the report, then click the Customize Report button. Select the Filters tab. Here is the filter control for Transaction List by Customer:

The report filter dialog box in QuickBooks

You will see the report’s current filters in the right pane of the dialog box. You can change or delete those if you wish.

If you want to add a new filter, pick the field you want to filter in the drop-down filter list on the left. Commonly used filters are date (a specific date, or a range), name, account, transaction type, class, job, and paid status, but there are many more filterable fields you can pick from.

Once you pick the filter field you want, QuickBooks is pretty smart about how you specify your choice of information from there. For example, if you specify Transaction Type, it will offer you a drop-down list of all the transaction types. You can specify one Transaction type, or you can click “Multiple Transaction Types” and click away on the types you want to see in the report.

If at any point you want to go back to the report’s default filters, just click the Revert button.

When you are ready to apply your filter to the report, click the OK button. QuickBooks will apply your filter to the report results and refresh the screen.

Using filters is great for finding a needle in a haystack…when you know just one or two bits of information about what you are looking for, and don’t want to wade through pages and pages of detail to find it.

Filters are also great to find anomalies in your data…transactions with amounts, dates, or numbers that are outside the normal ranges.

Do you have any tips to share on using report filters?

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34 thoughts on “How to Filter QuickBooks Reports for the Data You Want

  1. You are so incredibly right. Powerful, when you can get it. But so often the boiler plate gets in the way. For instance, we would like to filter a report off of the ship to state. Unfortunately, as far as we can find, you can only filter off bill to state. If you choose to filter off name, state, you will get a report that filters off bill to state.

    I got the brilliant workaround idea to filter in that manner and also display the ship to state. Thought I could then export to excel and manipulate the data accordingly. But you can’t export this report as you will get a message that there is not enough memory available. It seems that QB has to work very hard to give you anything off ship to addresses. Do you have any experience with this problem? Any ideas? We need to be able to reconcile sales tax billed based on ship to state (as opposed to bill to state) because this is how our third party software reporting actually does the sales tax returns. Seems like such a simple thing but….!!

    Reply
  2. Hi Steve,

    Well, if you have a pretty big data file and/or a workstation without a lot of RAM and/or you are running QuickBooks Pro or Premier, then I’m guessing that QB is just running out of internal elbow room to generate the report.

    Have you tried running the report from a different workstation that is perhaps newer/more powerful? How big is your QBW file? What edition are you using?

    Reply
  3. We are also trying to run a report needing to filter the Ship To. It would make life easier as we have customers with multiple locations. Is this even possible that you know of?

    Reply
    • We also need a solution for reporting by Ship To that doesn’t include a row for every item on the invoice! In Ohio, CAT tax is based on ship to. Our customers are all over and they have locations all over. Just need amounts for orders shipped to Ohio. QB phone support wasn’t able to help.

      Reply
  4. Filtering doesn’t work correctly in QuickBooks 2011. For example, I have a set of books with more than one set of general journal sequence numbers. Don’t get me started on the idiocy of that, it wasn’t my doing. One set of sequence numbers is YYYY-nnn, so for 2012 I have 2012-001, 2012-002, etc. If I open a report, tell it to filter for Transaction Type = Journal, and Number = 2012-001 to 2012-999, I should get all just those journal entries in just that sequence. What I get is *all* journal entries that end in a number from 1 to 999, which also matches the other two sequences, so I get all journal entries ever. Completely useless.

    Reply
  5. Hi dmp,

    Thanks for sharing that. That numbering method obviously is not what QB is expecting. I guess you could dump the whole report to Excel from the journal report window and then filter it in Excel. Sorry no magic bullet.

    Reply
  6. There isn’t an option in my filters for “Name.” There are options for “Name Address” “Name Zip Code” etc but not just name. Why not?

    Reply
  7. I would like to create a standard report showing prior year actual, current year actual, current year budget. We want to compare actual to actual as well as actual to budget.

    I know I can create one comparison or the other and download to excel. I was hoping I could do it in quickbooks.

    Thanks

    Reply
  8. I’m running into a frustration wall trying to recreate a report like one I used to have at an old job, but which I can’t get to work now.

    I want to see a list of all checks written from a specific checking account, and I want to include which customer the expense was posted to in the expenses tab at the bottom of the check.

    If I do a report on the checking account, it doesn’t give me the option of displaying the Customer. If I do a report based on the expense account(s), it displays the customer information in the Name column, and I can get it to display the name of the actual payee using the Source Name column. But then it includes all checking/cash accounts, not just the specific one I want. I then tried filtering by a number range (as the different accounts have very different check number ranges currently in use), but then it returns no results at all.

    What’s especially frustrating is that I know the last scenario above used to work. But it appears that at some point there was an update that disconnected the check number (in the upper portion of the check) from the details posted in the expense register (the lower portion of the check).

    Do you know of any way to work around this?

    Reply
    • Hi Jessica,

      You’d probably want to get an advanced certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor in the loop to help you with that. You can probably get that report Excel or some 3rd party reporting apps for QB, if not through the regular QB reports. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  9. Hello – can I create a “new” filter like “Packing Lists” – I would like to have the ability to see the numbered packing lists from the “Sales by Item Detail Report – I didn’t see Packing Lists as a choice so does this mean the only filters are the ones listed in the drop down box?

    Thanks
    Jennie

    Reply
  10. Just never try to filter a payroll report by class. This is a flaw in QB coding. All data from a payroll report filtered by class will be inaccurate. QuickBooks has known this for over 12 years and refuses to fix it.

    Reply
  11. I am running a Company Payroll Summary report that includes all employees. I had an employee leave, and now need to remove the name from this memorized report, but keep all other employee data. I have terminated the employee in QuickBooks and made her inactive, but her name continues to show in the summary. Is there a way to fix this? Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Hi:
    We are trying to get a report of transaction detail by account from 06/01/2014 to 07/31/2015 and I don’t get the full report at some account as for example in contract labor It reflects from 06/24/2015 to 07/31/2015 and I want to know why I can not get the 2014 report at that specific account. I need help!

    Thanks
    RR Communicatiions

    Reply
    • Hi RR,

      It’s difficult to say for sure…I would guess that it’s either because there are no transactions for that account for those days in June, or because there are other filters set up in that report that are keeping those transactions out of the report. You could find a QuickBooks Pro Advisor in your city who could look at your report and help you, if needed. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  13. Could anyone tell me how to use same filter twice? for ex i want to find all invoices that contain in their memo either “3g” or “Thin”
    if i use memo filer and type 3g but there is no option for adding another condition thin

    Reply
  14. In 2012 you could get a Transaction Detail by Budget Account report for your expenses which listed the Budget account and the bills, their date, the payee, memo column and amount paid under each budget item. I understand this report has not been available since 2012, however, I am being asked to produce it. Please, please tell me how I can do that.

    Reply
  15. The previous bookkeeper enter about 3 month of transactions on the wrong computer intot he wrong company. How do I move those 3 month from the wrong company to the right company on another computer ?

    Reply
    • Hi Anna,

      Uh oh. No easy fix for that. You can of course reenter all those entries into the right set of books to get caught up. Or you can possibly use tools from baystateconsulting.com to get the transactions out of the one company into the other, or hire a consultant to do that for you. Not free or easy, sorry. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  16. Do you know of a way to filter a large customer list so that i can export only those who have ordered in the past 3 years? We are trying to slim down our catalog mailing. Thanks!

    Reply
  17. why don’t some reports have filter settings? I am trying to get a report for stock take worksheet and we sometimes do not stock certain items , hence i do not need them to appear on the list.

    At the moment I am having to export the list to excel and manually getting rid of the items.

    Its a shame quickbooks wont allow you to put filters on all lists or am I missing something. Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply
  18. I am running the Summarize Payroll data in excel report and going to the deferred comp worksheet. When i get the Pivot Table to display date of birth and hire date, it correctly displays the birth date but on hire date it is only displaying the month of hire. Any ideas how to correct this?

    Reply

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