"Find" It

QuickBooks offers an often overlooked, yet powerful feature which you need to know about, “Find”. If you are looking for a transaction and you know anything about the transaction, use Find to...yep, that's right…find it.

First, let me explain how to access Find. You can click on "Edit", "Find". Alternatively, you can press the "Ctrl" key and while keeping it pressed, also press the letter "F". This is known as "Ctrl+F" (NOTE: Control or Ctrl keys are another blog subject for another day). Finally, on many screens within QuickBooks, you will notice the word "Find" with a magnifying glass next to the word.

Within QuickBooks there are two find tabs: Simple Find and Advanced Find.

The Simple Find is transaction specific. Say, for example, you are on the Invoice screen and you click on Find, QuickBooks assumes you want to find an invoice. From this screen, you can select a customer, date (or date range), invoice number or amount. It's worth understanding you can enter one or search on many of these fields at once. Perhaps you want to see all invoices for customer ABC, where the date is 01/01/2011 thru 05/31/2011 and the amount is $250. Simply enter these criteria on the find screen.

Furthermore, if your Find criteria only results in one "hit" you are taken to the specific transaction. If your Find criteria results in numerous matching transactions for your criteria, then you are presented with a list of the matching transactions.

If you are not on a specific transaction screen, and you press "Ctrl+F", a slightly different Find window will appear. Here you will see two tabs; Simple and Advanced (as mentioned earlier). Again, the Simple tab is transaction specific. It's a little different from starting a "Find" on a transaction screen in that it will allow you to specify a transaction type. Other than this, it operates the same.

The Advanced Find is simply a more powerful Find feature. Let's say I want to find all deposits for customer ABC which are equal to or greater than $500 and have a deposit date between 01/15/2011 and 05/15/2011. This is easily accomplished with the Advanced Find feature.

Personally, I have used Advanced Find in countless ways to help me locate transactions during a data cleanup engagement. This simple feature has saved me countless hours which equates to numerous dollars we save our clients.

Another illustration regarding how this feature can help... I once showed a client how they could batch print invoices to their clients. The problem was, there were a plethora of invoices in a "To be printed" status from years ago. The client had no interest in printing these old invoices; only invoices marked "To be printed" going forward. Therefore, I needed a quick way to "unmark" these older invoices so they were no longer clouding the real picture. Using the Advanced Find, I specified the following criteria:

Date = 01/01/1990 thru 01/31/2009
Transaction Type = Invoice
Detail Level = Summary Only
Printed Status = To be printed

This revealed 2700+ invoices. I then used another software tool to quickly write a macro to edit each invoice and remove the To be printed status. It worked like a charm and was certainly much easier than sitting there, opening each invoice, removing this check mark and saving the invoice.

If you are new to the "Find" feature within QuickBooks jump in and give it a try. Think about what you know about a transaction or transactions you are looking for and get use to combining multiple find criteria to shorten your list of matches. You're going to love this feature.

If you have any questions about this post, simply post a comment below. If you have questions or issues with your QuickBooks data, call QuickTrainer at 910-338-0488. We are QuickBooks Guru's for a reason; we love helping people.

For more information about QuickTrainer, visit our website at www.quicktrainer.biz.


The find features in QuickBooks are so powerful. I use them all the time. I particularly like the Advanced Find for the date modified so I can see all transactions created on a certain date or date range.