Report Designer overview

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The Report Designer is a complex but very powerful tool that enables you to design custom reports, financial statements, and letters for your clients and your own firm. Accounting CS includes many pre-defined formats that you can use as is or modify to fit your needs. Like many other popular design applications, the Report Designer uses a column-and-row grid system. The comprehensive and versatile nature of the Report Designer gives you the maximum capability to design reports, financial statements, and letters that provide the exact information you need in the exact format you want.

Choose File > Report Designer.

The Report Designer opens in its own screen so that you can conveniently switch between Accounting CS and the Report Designer without having to close either screen. The Report Designer screen includes standard and formatting toolbars, the documents list frame (Reports, Financial Statements, and Letters), the design grid, and the Design Tools frame.

Report Designer screen

In the Report Designer, you can use variables and formulas to define the client information to display, and format the data in professional, easy-to-read documents that you can use for any of your clients. You can open multiple document layouts simultaneously within the Report Designer workspace, and each one opens on a separate tab so that you can easily move from one document to another. While you're working on a document, you can open or close other documents, resize the workspace areas, and hide the Design Tools frame.

  • To close a document, click the applicable document tab and choose File > Close or right-click a document tab and choose Close <document name>.
  • To resize a frame within the workspace, position the mouse pointer over a vertical border of the frame. When the mouse pointer changes its appearance to a Resize vertical, click and drag the border to adjust the frame size.
  • The Report Designer displays the Design Tools frame by default. To have the application automatically hide the frame when you're working in the design grid, click the push pin Report Designer screen button on the title bar of the Design Tools frame. The application will hide the Design Tools frame when you move the mouse pointer away from the Design Tools frame. When you need to use the fields in the Design Tools frame, hover over the vertical Design Tools button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

    Report Designer screen

    To toggle the auto-hide off so that the Design Tools frame always remains visible, click the pushpin Report Designer screen button.

Main elements of the Report Designer

For detailed information about the Report Designer and the various elements available, see the following articles.

Common terms


Reports list frame

Design grid

Design Tools frame

Using the Report Designer

To learn how to set up, format, and print documents in the Report Designer, see the following articles.

Report Designer procedures

Customizing reports

Making report options available at print time

Report Designer frequently asked questions

Workflow and videos

Report Designer workflow

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