QuickBooks

QuickBooks 2015 Insights

Written by Charlie Russell

Insights is a new dashboard option that Intuit is introducing in QuickBooks 2015. This is, to a degree, a replacement for the Company Snapshot feature (which is still available, I’m happy to say), based on research that Intuit did on what features of the Company Snapshot people were using the most. In addition, Intuit wanted a more up-to-date looking user interface. Note that this feature is available in QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant and Enterprise Solutions.

You can find this as a tab on the Home Page.

QuickBooks 2015 Insights on home page

Here’s what you see – note that this can be configured (somewhat) using the gear icon at the upper right. You also can add your company logo at the upper left.

QuickBooks 2015 Insights

The older Company Snapshot feature as over 20 “widgetized” graph/charts  that you can add to the screen on three separate tabs (Company, Payments and Customer). You had limited customization options and these widgets were fairly compact and dense. You could only print each graph/chart individually. There wasn’t a lot of flexibility here, but you did have a number of options.

With the new Insights feature you have fewer options, but the appearance is cleaner and easier to read, you can print it all as one report, and you have more options to interact with the program. This is a more modern looking “dashboard” view of your company’s financial picture.

In the upper right corner you have options to print the entire Insights dashboard, refresh the information, and configure the “carousel” of rotating graphs at the top. The carousel only has four optional graphs, you can choose which to include.

Customizing QuickBooks 2015 Insights

The carousel is the top portion of the Insights page. You can rotate through them by clicking on the arrows on either edge.

Here’s the Profit & Loss graph.

Customizing QuickBooks 2015 Insights Profit & Loss

Here’s the Prev Year Income Comparison graph.

QuickBooks 2015 Insights Prev Year Income

Here’s the Top Customers by Sales graph.

QuickBooks 2015 Insights Top Customers by Sales

And here’s the Income and Expense Trend graph.

QuickBooks 2015 Insights Income and Expense Trend

Note that you can click on the graphs to see a supporting report, usually. You may get a customized custom transaction detail report, for example, or a profit and loss detail report. Each graph has an associated report, and in some cases even some details in a graph will have a report. For example, click on a particular customer in the Top Customers by Sales report and you get a Sales by Customer Detail report for that customer.

These are the only four graphs that you can show in the carousel area.You have two additional graphs in the bottom section that always show:

QuickBooks 2015 Insight

These graphs are interactive in several ways:

  • Hover the mouse over a section of the expenses graph and you’ll see a popup with details.
  • There are links for create invoice and create bill that will open those transaction windows.
  • If you click on a report element you will be taken to the Income Tracker (from the “Income” graph) or you will be shown a report, such as a customized custom transaction detail report.

Intuit wanted to get rid of the older Company Snapshot as it is less flexible, not very interactive, and the displays are crowded. I’m glad that they didn’t junk it altogether,  because there are some graphs there that aren’t duplicated in Insights that I use in my business. I doubt that we’ll see any further improvements in Company Snapshot feature in the future, though.

All in all, this is a nice feature. I hope that they will expand it in the future, although they don’t want to get it too crowded. This isn’t a comprehensive “business analytics” dashboard like you would get from BizTools Analytics, webKPI or Finagraph. Those add-ons provide you with a wider variety of analytics graphs and true “insight” into your business. However, this feature is a free part of QuickBooks, and it is nice that it interacts directly with various reports and features in your QuickBooks system. I like the ability to see the underlying report immediately.

It serves as an introduction to interactive dashboards and business analytics for businesses that haven’t taken the time to dive into the more comprehensive add-on products. Once again, Intuit introduces a “light” version of a feature, which then validates the market for the more effective add-on products. Accounting professionals can use this to explain the basic concepts to a client who doesn’t understand the power of business analytics using their real-time data, and then when the client asks for more they can be introduced to more advanced products.

About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. He retired from accounting and QuickBooks activities in early 2018.

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

16 Comments

  • Hehe, remember, Charlie – the hand that forms an ‘L’ when you extend your pointer finger and thumb is the left hand! – The print/refresh/configure options appear to be in the upper right corner!

    Of course, you know how much I love your articles. I hope you can forgive me the good-natured ribbing; I couldn’t resist!

    Lyn

  • Guess I must be in the minority. I love the co snapshot and my client business owners do, too – it’s all in 1 place. I realize there were some limitations on what could be printed, etc., but I could quickly see what was due/past due (A/R, A/P, balances, reminders…) all in 1 screen. Oh well…. Maybe when I see the new features in action I’ll be more excited!

    • I’m with you, Monica! I love the Snapshot feature.

      Fortunately, at least at this time, it is still available. It isn’t (yet) being dropped in favor of “Insight”. No guarantee that they’ll keep it going, though.

  • An additional note: In single user mode, Insights page refresh happens automatically. Refresh button is provided mainly to support multi user mode.

    • Andrea, are you looking at the 2015 desktop version?

      Also, I am going to assume you are looking at the Canadian version? Often there are some differences in features between the US and non-US versions. I expect this to be in the Canadian 2015 product, but you would have to check with them.

      And, to answer your question, all users should see it if it is there.

  • How can I get rid of insights? I have employees that are using the company file for entering bills, POs, etc. but I don’t want them to have access to sensitive information like the stuff presented on insights. I have them set up so that when they log in, they get a message saying that they need full access to perform this action, but the information still shows up.

  • How can use insights and not have it total of all class. I would find it help if it can be use by class. Is there a setting that let me do that.

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