('Four Kings'- oil on canvas. Hey- Elvis is like those dogs playing poker- he proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.)
Many CPA's I know express frustration with the treatment of account numbers in QuickBooks. While most accountants want to use account numbers (even if it's just because we're use to using them), we really don't want to see them on financial statements. Just as a programmer likes to tweak the embedded documentation in their code to make it more user-friendly, the account numbers seem to confuse non-accountants, and like a good editor, we want to remove any superfluous junk on our work product (e.g. financial statements).
I frequently am asked for a method of tweaking QuickBooks settings to use account numbers on most reports, but exclude them on the balance sheet and income statement. What follows is a guide on how to get rid of those pesky numeros de acuentos the heck out of your financials.
There is a description field associated with each general ledger account on the accounts list. Few people use this field, and by default, it is blank.
The trick here is to populate the description field with the account name or other caption to be used on the financial reports for that account. While you could go in and retype the account name in each record, it may be more efficient for you to export the list of accounts, copy the title to the Description field in Excel, and then reimport the IIF file into QuickBooks. (n.b. If the description field for an account is blank, QB prints the account number and name instead- just what we didn't want- so make sure to populate the right field).
Once the description field has been populated, you will then want to change a few default report settings. These change where QB gets its labels for financial statements.
1. Click on Edit, Preferences, and select first the Reports and Graphs tab, followed by the Company Preferences tab. On this screen, change the general report preference to show 'account descriptions' instead of 'account titles. Note there is also a setting which shows both the title and the description. As my wife told me about the painting in the picture, ''I have no idea why you would want that, but it's good to know it can be done.''
2. Select Print, Preview to confirm that the account numbers are gone- follow up on anywhere these numbers exist on this.
3. Dance at your desk- because you can.