I discussed custom fields in QuickBooks in an article last year, and it is one of the most popular articles in my blog. Many users depend on custom fields to add features to invoices, sales orders and estimates (and more). The two most common complaints about custom fields have been there need to be more and I need to define the “type” of the field. If you are a user of QuickBooks Enterprise – good news! Intuit has listened.
The bad news is that these changes are only supported by Enterprise, not Pro or Premier, and that at least in the initial release there are some problems that may affect people who use third party addon programs.
More Custom Fields
Up until now you could have five custom fields in the item list, and seven custom fields in the customer, vendor or employee lists (with a maximum of 15 total for all three lists).
With the release of QuickBooks Enterprise V 10 we now have the ability to add up to 15 custom fields in the item list, and 12 custom fields in the customer, vendor or employee lists (with a maximum of 30 total for all three lists).
This is a significant and welcome increase!
Custom Field Attributes
In prior versions the custom fields were simply a 30 character text field. With this release we have a wonderful range of selections and features that are available. I’ll use the Item List as an example. Here is the Define Fields window (forgive me for the simplistic field names):
There are two columns that have been added under the heading of required on, Trans and List. if you check these boxes then you must enter a value in the field in the list or transaction, as you specify. If you check this in the item list you are asked what item type this will be applied to.
If I try to save the custom fields for an item and leave the required field empty. I get a warning.
This is great – you can specify the kind of data this field will accept, from a list of options.
It would have been nice if they provided us with a way to enter our own “mask”, but that would have been complicated. You have options for numbers, dates, phone numbers and a multi-choice list, which I know will excite a number of users.
If you choose multi-choice list you can enter a list of choices that can be used for the field. You have the option of limiting the user to this list or letting them add their own values.
Is This Valuable?
Yes, this is a valuable addition. It is unfortunate that it is limited to Enterprise, but that is consistent with the Intuit marketing approach for the product (and the more robust database manager in Enterprise may be needed to manage this added data).
I know a number of companies that will bite the bullet and move up to Enterprise just to get these features.
Let me know what you think!