Unlocking Financial Insights: Using Graph Reports in QuickBooks Online

In today’s fast-paced business world, staying on top of and communicating your financial data is more crucial than ever. Intuit revolutionized how businesses track their finances, with their graph reports tool in QuickBooks Online standing as a prime example of the features that can make your job easier.

Graphs to Interpret Data

Charts and graphs make data easier to understand. QuickBooks Online makes it easy to produce accurate graphs that interpret the data in your files.

  • Compare data easily: If you want to compare how your business did this year versus last year, graphs let you see the difference.
  • Convey a lot of information: It can be overwhelming to look at a series of numbers—especially if you’re not number-oriented. The visuals in a graph or chart make that info easier to understand at a glance.
  • Decide the next step: Graphs empower businesses to make informed decisions based on visualized financial data. Clients can quickly grasp their financial health without diving into spreadsheets.
  • Identify trends and patterns: Visualization makes trends and patterns emerge clearly, allowing businesses to take appropriate action. For example, spotting a consistent expense increase may prompt discussions on cost management strategies.
  • Offer a reference point for team members: Communication among multiple team members can be difficult—especially when complex information is involved. A graph offers a single point of reference all team members can work from.

How to Pull Metrics for Graph Reports

The metrics you can use to produce graph reports in QuickBooks Online include:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Cash flow
  • COGS (Cost of goods sold)
  • Current ratio
  • Expenses
  • Gross profit
  • Net profit
  • Quick ratio
  • Revenue

You can use one metric per report and create up to 25 reports at once in QuickBooks. You also have control over what time period to track and if you want to group your data by factors like supplies or locations. QuickBooks Online divides the reporting function into two categories: quick charts and new charts.

Quick charts provide a handful of common options businesses often need. You’ll find selections like tracking revenue or expenses over time. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or need more customization, QuickBooks Online lets you generate a new chart from scratch.

Quick Chart

  • Go to “Reports.”
  • Click on the “Performance Center” tab.
  • Pick “Quick Add Charts.”
  • Pick the metric you want to use.

The report will be generated as a chart on your dashboard. If you want to customize it by time period, you’ll:

  • Click on the current time period.
  • Click on the period you want from the dropdown menu.

You can group data by other factors as well:

  • Click on the vertical ellipsis.
  • Choose “Edit Widget.”
  • Then, choose what data you want to change.

Brand New Report

If you would rather create a new graph report in QuickBooks Online from scratch, you’ll:

  • Go to “Reports.”
  • Click on the “Performance Center” tab.
  • Click on “Add New Chart.”
  • Pick the metric you want to track.
  • Click “Continue.”
  • Name your chart.
  • Pick the type of chart you want to use.

To customize the report to your liking, you’ll:

  • Click on the “Time Period” dropdown and choose what period you want to track.
  • Click on the “Group By” dropdown and pick the selection that matches your needs.
    • If you want more than one group, go to the “Select from Multiple” dropdown.
  • Choose the “Filter By” dropdown menu if you want to filter specific information.
    • Click the “Select from Multiple” dropdown if you want more than one group.

To compare results over different time periods, choose “Compare” and pick “Previous Period” or “Previous Year Same Period.”

When you’re done, click “Add to Dashboard.” That’s it!

Fourlane Can Make Reporting Easier

Using graph reports in QuickBooks Online can streamline your entire financial communication process—as long as you know how to use it. QuickBooks can be overwhelming to first-time users or people with a basic understanding of the platform.

Fourlane can assist with custom reports while teaching you and your employees how to unlock the full potential of QuickBooks Online.

Contact us today to see all the ways our consultants can improve your business’s financial reporting.


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