Custom fields can be created in QuickBooks to keep information that otherwise, you could not track in the software.
Custom fields have limited value in the name (customer, vendor, employee) lists where they are created, or the items list where they are also available. But they prove their worth in custom templates and reports.
We looked at using a custom field with a customer and then customizing an invoice template to use that information a few weeks ago. Today, let’s look at a different scenario.
We’ll use a contractor as an example. The same techniques can be applied to other situations as well.
Let’s say, we are a contractor. We use subcontractors from time to time on the jobs we have. We want to be sure the subcontractors we use are properly insured.
Many contractors do this now with some kind of homemade system outside QuickBooks. Let’s add this capability to our QuickBooks company file.
The first step will be to create vendor types. We will use a type named “Subcontractors” for all our subs.
The above graphic is a screenshot of the Edit Vendor window. The Additional Info tab has been selected. Rock Castle Construction, our fictional contractor, has created a vendor type of Subcontractor. They have assigned all their subs to this type.
The second step will be to create the custom fields.
In the same edit window where we assigned a vendor type, we click on the Define Fields button. This button brings up the Set up Custom Fields for names window.
In this window, we create two new custom fields. One we abbreviate Gen Liab Ins Exp, for general liability insurance expiration.
The second is Work Comp Exp, for workers comp expiration.
Once theses custom fields have been created, we can fill in the applicable expiration dates for our vendors. Now we create the report.
Start with a Vendor phone List. Choose the Customize Report button in the upper left of the report window. On the Display tab, scroll to the bottom of the list of available columns. There are our custom fields. Place a checkmark by both.
Next, switch to the Filters tab. Filter by vendor type and choose Subcontractors.
Now, your completed report will look like this.
Some final thoughts for making this report even better.
Create two reports, one for each custom field. On the Customize report window, Display tab, it is possible to sort the report based on one of the columns. Choose the custom field of whichever report you are working on.
Now the expiration dates coming first are at the top of the report.
Change the title of the report to something more descriptive than Vendor Phone List. Memorize the reports.
You will never need to create them again. Just keep up with current expiration dates in the vendor files and access the reports from the Memorized Report list.