Monday, May 4, 2009

QuickBooks to Excel and PDF, the inexpensive way

I've been desperately trying to get the BSGC finances off to the accountant. When I was told to send a PDF of the files, I was immediately stumped. I'm operating with QuickBooks 2003 Basic, and didn't feel like making the expense personally or for the non-profit to get the Premier or Pro version of the software just so I could export the file as an Excel document. However, with some puttering around, I figured out how to get the data to OpenOffice and then export as a PDF. Here's how, if anyone is interested.

Here's the process for anyone running QB 2003 on Vista. I have no idea if this works anywhere else. I'm a Mac person; my knowledge of--and desire for knowledge of--PCs is limited.

1) Get OpenOffice. I think everyone should have this anyway, the software is incredibly easy to use, the files generated are compatible with Microsoft Office, and did I mention it's free? Get OpenOffice here.

2) Print the report (in my case, the general ledger and income statement), to a file. Choose the "comma-delimited" file option. For me, it saved as a PRN file.

3) Change the extension of the file to .xls. A warning notice will pop up. Just confirm that you do want to change the file extension.

4) Open the file with OpenOffice Calculator. When you open the file, a "text import" window will pop up asking you what you want to do with the file. Check the box that says, "comma" in the "separator options" section. The little preview box at the bottom of the text import window will show that all of your pieces of data are now neatly in their own cells.

5) Click "Okay" and you've got yourself a spreadsheet! While in OpenOffice calculator, you can choose "Export as PDF" from the File menu and make a PDF of the information.

Anyway, hopefully someone else can benefit from my puttering around. I love QuickBooks and all, but I'm also a fan of doing things in the most inexpensive way possible.


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