When working with financial and accounting data, sometimes a picture is literally worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, QuickBooks accounting software doesn't have the ability to create a visual "dashboard" of critical information to help you manage the mountain of numbers.
The Dashboard add-on is designed to provide you a simple overview of the following information from your QuickBooks data file (click the screen shot below for a larger image):
- Open Invoices
- Account Balances
- Item Inventory
- Sales Orders
- Vendor Balances
In addition, this Dashboard can also provide graphical summaries on a monthly or annual basis of:
- Sales Data
- Liability Balances
This is a free download from the Intuit Labs web site. A couple of things you need to know about this tool from my experience with it:
- While the promotional material says you can run the Dashboard without having QuickBooks open, I was not able to replicate that.
- The program crashed unexpectedly several times on me. I was able to restart it right away without any rebooting of the computer required.
- The Dashboard is not a fancy software product nor does it allow any customization. It is a really basic product that provides a quick overview of some of the really important data in your accounting system.
Is this program a sign of things to come in future editions of QuickBooks? I guess we'll have to see what awaits us in the 2009 release of QuickBooks, which should be arriving sometime this fall if their past release schedule holds true this year.
There are other dashboard software products available for QuickBooks, and I'll be talking about those in future posts.
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