QuickBooks 2015 R6 Custom Field Problems

Written by Charlie Russell

Intuit released QuickBooks 2015 R6 for the desktop just a few days ago, and we are starting to see reports of some problems that relate to “custom fields.” If you are thinking about moving up to the 2015 R6 version and you depend on custom fields then you might want to hold off a bit until we know more about the issues.

I’m not saying that there aren’t other problems in this release, it is just that these are the ones that can be confirmed.

Custom Fields

Custom Fields in QuickBooks provide you with a way to add your own information to certain lists and transactions in QuickBooks (see this article for an overview). You add them to  a list (customer list, item list, etc.) and then you can add them to sales and purchasing transactions (and a limited few other transaction types).

Many people depend on the information that they enter into custom fields in transactions. Many add-on products also rely on them to hold information.

Losing Data

One troublesome problem is that in some installations, if you enter data into a custom field in a transaction like an invoice, and then move on to another field, the data you enter disappears. I have not been able to duplicate this in my test system, but it has been confirmed in many installations (and it is definitely a new issue in R6). At the time I’m writing this nobody knows what factors control whether this issue appears or not.

In one Intuit Community Forum discussion a correspondent says that a workaround for this is to check the “required on” flag for the field, and to not have a default value set in the custom field in the list record. Again, I can’t confirm that this works as I don’t have the problem in my test systems.

Intuit is aware of this one and they are investigating….

Update 5/1/2015: Here is a workaround from Intuit Tech Support for this problem. The issue happens if you have created multiple custom fields but have un-checked the “Use” column in the Set up Custom Fields for Items window. Any custom field shown below the one that is not selected will not work correctly. For example, looking at Premier in the screen shot below, “Style” is not in use, so “Size” will not work correctly. The workaround is to check the “Use” column for all custom fields.

Set up Custom Fields for Items

Dropdown Lists Don’t Work

In QuickBooks Enterprise you have the ability to specify that you want a “User’s multi-choice list” of options for values in a custom field. Add that custom field as a column to a transaction like an invoice and you have a dropdown list of options to choose from, as shown below.

QuickBooks Enterprise V15 R5 and earlier

However, in the R6 update, for the same custom field, you won’t see the dropdown list.

QuickBooks 2015 R6 Custom Field Problem

If you have set the custom field to only allow a choice from the list then you are still restricted to options in the list, but you cannot see what those options are.

There may be more problems than this, I’m still looking at the various reports. I don’t like to list problems unless I either can reproduce them on my system, or I have a report that I can confirm either by a note from Intuit or that I’ve seen in a system that I have access to.

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.


  • Thanks Charlie.

    Any idea on how long before a fix is in place for this? The May 31st sunset for 2012 is fast approaching and clients need to move off of 2012.

    Is it possible to install an R5 version of QBES15 and if so, where can I find that version to download? I don’t want to wait until the last minute to upgrade clients that rely on online banking and connected services. One particular client uses an IT company for updates and I need to get on their schedule. I also need some time to get the staff up to speed on the new features and new interface.

    • “How long” – Intuit never talks about that, and if they did tell me I would be under an NDA so I couldn’t pass the info on. And I wouldn’t count on any date they would give me anyways, as dates tend to get pushed around.

      You can install R5, it takes some looking around to find that installer.

  • Why would they release this now? As Stacey mentioned, we all have clients chomping at the bit to move to 15. I had one the other day and decided to hold off because I was worried about the new release – glad I went with my gut.
    Charlie – can you give us a link to where we can get old releases if they don’t get this fixed soon so that our clients don’t lose services like payroll?

    • There are ways to get the info from Intuit, best I can say is that you can try calling ProAdvisor support and seeing what they say. Some people archive each release as it comes out, so that you can go to the version that you desire.

      I generally don’t like to provide older releases as a part of The Sleeter Group, since that means we are sending someone back to a version that has known bugs that Intuit fixed. Gets into tricky liability issues…

    • Agilbert, in my QuickBooks Accountant 2015 R6 installation, I can access memorized reports and custom reports without any problem. I’ve not heard a lot of noise about this being a widespread issue, yet. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem, though – as we see with some of the custom field problems, only SOME installations have that problem.

  • I am also facing the same problem of Custom fields right now in QB Ent. 2015, along with the issue of Memorized reports as mentioned by “Agilbert” in QB Ent. 2014 used by one of my client. I also want to know that how can i use more calculated columns than the default one shown in invoice?

    • If you are seeing issues with memorized reports in QBES V14 then it definitely isn’t an issue specifically with the V15 R6 update.

      That is one of the tricky things about updates. Someone can install an update, and then see a problem they have not run into before. The inclination is to think that it is a new problem introduced by that update, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It could be a problem with the database, for example, some corruption that has existed for awhile that just became obvious, or that the update just tipped the scales so that it appeared. Or, it could just be that the problem wasn’t noticed before. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a NEW bug introduced in this update. Until we can clearly say in test cases that we can see the problem occurring only after the update was installed, and we can easily reproduce the issue, can we really blame it on the new update. At this point I think that the memorized report issue falls into the category of not being an R6-specific issue, although the jury is still out on that.

      As far as calculations, there are a couple of things. One is the new feature for multiplying quantity times cost and quantity times a custom field, introduced in the 2015 R6 version. I will have a more detailed article explaining that, next week. If that isn’t the type of calculation you want then there are some add-on products that may help, depending on details. One is a product I created myself, CCRQInvoice (http://ccrsoftware.com/CCRQInvoice/InvoiceQ.htm). Another would be FormCalc (http://www.goflagship.com/products/formcalc.htm) – there are several products by this company that may help.

      • Thanks Charlie Russell for your valuable comments. But i am facing a problem of creating invoice in the following way.
        I need to calculate invoice item’s value by multiplying the QTY with Rate and then multiply it with the Forex Rate = Total Value
        (QTY x Rate x ForexRate=Total Value). because each item used in invoice deals with multiple currencies and the customer is charged with the home currency only.

        Is there any way to deal with it within QuickBooks?

  • We’re having an issue with the new update in which using custom dates in a report is returning only year-to-date info. All of the preset date options seem to work, but when we enter a custom date we just get stuff from Jan 1 2015 – today.

    Is anyone else seeing this issue? Oh we’re using QB Pro Plus 2015.

    We’re trying to get a report of our subcontractor payments for 4/1/2014 – 4/1/2015 for an audit. So far the best we can come up with is print up last fiscal year and the year to date then Frankenstein them together and white out the extra entries.

    • Very odd, Sam. I don’t see that happening in my test installation, so it isn’t a universal problem. Which particular report are you working with?

      Rather than “white out”, you might try exporting the reports to Excel, where you could edit them more easily.

      • Thanks for the fast response Charlie.

        I’m really asking this for my mother. She’s not what you would call a super user and I have very minimal experience with QB. What I’ve noticed since first asking is that it is giving us the correct total for the specified date range but anything from before Jan 1 2015 is getting lumped into one entry at the top called “Retained Earnings”. I think she was expecting and wanted to see a complete line item list.

        Is there a way to expand the retained earnings entry? I think she was able to “craft” up a sufficient list for this instance, but I’m curious about the future. Since she will most likely ask me for help again next time.

        But this may not be within the scope of this comment section.

          • Ah yes sorry. What she was doing was going to Accounts>Cost of Goods Sold>Sub Contract. Then double click Sub Contract and it brings up the QuickReport options. Then setting a custom date and leaving everything else as default. What she would then get was a report with everything pre Jan 1 in one Retained Earnings entry separated from the rest of the entries at the top in its own section, then all of the current year entries as individual lines.

            Hope that helps.

          • Interesting – I don’t see that happening in my test system, but I could have some preferences set differently. I don’t have closing dates, things like that, in this particular system. I would have to have hands on the file to be able to go much further.

            QuickReports generally aren’t the best one to use in many cases. Try using a Custom Transaction Detail report filtered for that account – although I’m not sure if that is going to give you want you want either. You may want to work with a qualified QuickBooks advisor for help on this.

          • Thanks Charlie that worked perfectly. She reprinted them using the new report and learned about a new tool in the process. 😀

  • My company recently upgraded our Enterprise Mfg & Wholesale with Advanced Inventory from 13.0R12 to version 15.0R6.

    The Inventory Center screens are very buggy. Whether using custom fields or solely system fields, the column widths on the list side seem to adjust at will just from navigating back and forth out of the detail window and Inactive inventory items reappear as well.

    I find myself having to constantly re-adjust columns as well as filter and re-filter the items to clear the inactive ones. It’s quite frustrating. Preferences for Desktop View and “X”-ing out of the Inventory window don’t seem to solve the problem either.

    Has anyone else reported similar problems?

      • Mitch refers to the Inventory Center, which isn’t the same as the Item List. You are right, column widths don’t stay set in many lists in QB for SOME customers, but this isn’t something that people see universally.

    • I’m not seeing that problem here, I haven’t heard anything with that. I’m thinking that there is either a database issue or an issue with some of the files that hold user preferences, although that is hard to say. Given that you have upgraded, and apparently have a file that has been in use for awhile, that is what I would start with if I had hands on the system.

      Does this show up with one workstation, or all workstations?

  • If anyone is planning to uninstall and reinstall their Enterprise 15.0 and needs the R5 update, please contact me off list (by clicking on my name, going to my website and e-mailing me from there).

    I can put a copy in DropBox and share it unless someone has a better idea. I bet I will be sharing it a lot. I just offered this to a potential Greater Seattle area manufacturing client.

  • I think the R6 release has an issue with setting up the permission to the Accounting Tools.
    I update the user permission, adding the permission to access to Accounting Tools. Then I can access to that tool. But then a few days later, I couldn’t access anymore. So I go to the permission setup and find that the permission to Accounting Tool is uncheck. It’s very annoying.

  • Thanks Charlie for the information.

    Anyone know if we can install R6 without having to worry about custom fields and using work a rounds? Has there been a hot fix of some sort or do we need to wait for R7 to hopefully fix this issue?


  • has anyone had an issue with QB Pro 15 – setting a custom date range on a report then getting a number of random entries outside that date range? I just updated and wondering if I have a problem with this ??? Really frustrating. Any help is appreciated – thx!

  • Just upgrade my windows to version 8.1. Quickbooks enterprise 2013 immediately shows with data field. Can input chinese or thai language on data field but once I move to another data field, it changes to unredable characters like ???? or Ă ă. It works fine on windows 7. Can someone help please as they have ceased supporting this version 2013.

  • I’m so completely discourage with QB/Intuit right now. The R6 update has been out for months and the same issue still occurs with Custom Fields not working. To make it worse, you can no longer downgrade to the previous release so as QB said, I’m dead in the water on this issue right now.. A release that came out in April and still has the same bugs and I can’t do anything about it and there are no known work arounds 🙁 Don’t do the update if you haven’t already done it.

      • Hi Charlie!

        We currently use Enterprise Manufacturing and wholesale 15.

        We have a custom field on our sales receipts and invoices into which we enter text. (If you want me to explain the exact field and use, I can) After doing the R6 update, you can no longer enter any text into the field. You can type it in, but as soon as you tab over, it deletes anything that has been entered. I confirmed with QB support that it is an ongoing issue with the release. However, the best solution that they had was to sign up for updates on the following article:


        They said the R5 is no longer available so there is nothing I can do about it at this time except wait on a fix which is a bit troublesome.

        • Last I tested this, the workaround in that article (which I note in my post here) worked around that issue?

          Rolling back to R5 is a bit of a hassle, and then you re-introduce any problems that R6 fixed, but it can be done. You can try contacting a ProAdvisor to see if they can help you with getting the R5 update for you. It takes work. Or, supposedly the R7 update fixed that, but again that was pulled off the market (no technical problems with it, though) – again, you have to contact a ProAdvisor who knows how to get that update.

          • Thanks, Charlie! The work around does work for me. However, if a certain user doesn’t have permissions to the item list, it won’t work for them. Or at least it won’t work in our file setup. Very strange. And when I selected ‘use’ it changed the layout of all of my form templates. I had to redo the layout on all of them even though no new field was actually added. It changed the default widths on the columns that were already setup. Was definitely worth the shot, though. Looks like RroAdvisor is my best bet if the field becomes too much of an issue for us. Thanks again! You’re very much appreciated!

  • I was using the QB Pro 2012 version and bought 2015 QB Pro. Have had significant problems with downloading my bank data where it won’t match transaction and seems to be losing entries that I input into my check register. Also, the way I manually match transaction is different on my computer in my office than on my desktop at home and I can’t find a way to change the manual matching type on my office computer.

  • Charlie, I have a customized invoice template for use. however, the amount is the sub total, VAT total and amount fields are not appearing in the invoice when printing. What might be the issue?.

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