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QuickBooks Productivity Tip – Customizing Lists

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The “List” is another basic QuickBooks feature.  You will fill out most QuickBooks forms by selecting entries from a list.  Lists save you time and help you enter your information consistently and correctly.

QuickBooks Lists are the backbone of the entire process of keeping your books.  Each and every transaction that you enter in QuickBooks will work with multiple lists in order to provide you with job costing and accounting functions.

You will find yourself always using these standard lists:

  • Chart of Accounts
  • Item (Cost Code)
  • Fixed Asset
  • Price Level
  • Billing Rate Level
  • Sales Tax Code
  • Payroll Item
  • Class
  • Workers Comp Code
  • Other Names

When you select any of these Lists, they display various information, arranged in columns.  Did you know that these columns can be customized to display additional information that would be valuable to you and your company?

A good example of customizing information that is displayed in the Chart of Accounts List would be to automatically know, just by looking at the Chart of Accounts, which accounts had been flagged as being 1099 accounts – without having to go into the 1099 Preference and determining which accounts had been selected.

To display a 1099 flag in your Chart of Accounts, you would:

  • From the Lists menu
  • Choose Chart of Accounts
  • Click the Account button at the bottom of the window
Customize the QuickBooks Chart of Accounts

Right click on the image to enlarge it.

  • Choose Customize Columns
select customize columns

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  • This displays a Customize Columns – Chart of Accounts window which displays a list of Available columns on the left and Chosen columns on the right.  Click on the 1099 Account option to select it, then click the Add button.
select the 1099 option

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  • The 1099 Account option is now displayed in the Chosen Columns on the right.  Click Ok to save your changes.
customize columns

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  • Now, when you display your Chart of Accounts List, any accounts that have been selected for 1099 reporting will be flagged and display the type of 1099 required.
accounts flagged as being applicable for 1099 tracking

Righ click image to enlarge it.

Customizing the columns displayed in the Chart of Accounts listing to display 1099 flag provides a productivity boost all year long – not just at year end.

Go ahead and experiment with the information displayed in various lists by selecting available columns on the left and adding them to chosen columns on the right.

Simple customization such as this will help you get more done in less time – because you don’t have to constantly search for information.

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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