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Reporting - Page Templates and Layouts

Page templates

Page Templates are individual pages that are inserted into the Report Master. 'Notes' can also be inserted into Page Templates. There are four different types of pages: 

  1. Presentation (e.g. Cover Page)
  2. Financial Statements (e.g. Profit and Loss)
  3. Legal (e.g. Compilation Report)
  4. Story Board (e.g. Income Results)

Adding a page template

Page templates can be added by selecting the Admin Centre from the dropdown menu in the top right-hand corner of any screen. From here select Page Templates then + New Page Template 

The following table details the page template fields:

Is used to identify the template when creating reports.Required
TitleThis will be displayed on the page and also in the contents section of the report.Required
(dropdown menu)
The category section of the financial report that this page will belong to. Four options:
- Presentation
- Financial Statements
- Legal
- Story Board
Allow multiple in a single report?
When checked, this means that there can be more than one per report.

Exclude from contents page?
When checked, this page will be excluded from the contents page. Reserved for presentation pages, such as contents or cover pages.

Hide Page Number
When checked, the page number will not be visible on the generated report for this page.
Note:  will continue to be factored into the page number calculations, so it is merely being 'hidden'. 

When checked, this template will be removed from the report masters and not displayed.

Content FieldAllows entity-specific details to be added to a firm-wide page. For more information see the knowledge article: Content Fields.
(dropdown menu)
Details the type of header which will be displayed on the page (see below).Five master options:
- Financial Header as at
- Financial Header for Period
- No Header
- Non-Financial Header
- Non-Financial Header for Period
ContentWhat is included on the page. It can be financial information, text, or various other data. To add and edit content see the knowledge article: Report Content Editor. 
(dropdown menu)
Details the type of footer which will be displayed on the page (see below).
Three master options:
- None
- Report Default
- Custom

Creating headers and footers

To add a custom header or footer, navigate to the relevant area in the Admin Centre. From there click on +New Header Template or +New Footer Template

For a header you will be able to add:

For a footer you will be able to add:

  • A Name
  • Text
  • An Image

Once created, custom headers and footers can be used in page templates. Footers can also be used for the whole report when generating a report.

Once all template fields have been completed click on Create Page Template.

Editing a page template

To edit a page template, click on the relevant template in the list. This will bring up the same fields as when creating a new template.

Note: When one of the master templates is edited it will lose it's 'archive' icon in the list. You can revert back to the master by opening the template and clicking on the Revert to Master button.


To edit the existing page content, click on the text and edit. Click the Save and Close button when completed. See the knowledge article: Report Content Editor for more information on editing various components of the content section of the template.

Note: The example below shows how fields can be used when building content. For more information on fields see the knowledge article Reporting - Fields.

Once a template has been edited click on Save Page Template.

Deleting a page template

We recommend inactivating a template before deleting it to ensure that all users have alternative templates/reports to use. To inactivate a template check the 'Inactive' checkbox when editing the template. 

To delete a page template, edit the template and click on Delete in the bottom right-hand corner.

Note: Master templates cannot be deleted. Any customisations made to a master can be deleted by clicking on the Revert to Master button.

Page layouts

Active Ledger allows you to create multiple page layouts so that you can change the look of reports without having to create multiple files or change the accounts screen for an entity. This is particularly useful if you want to display both a full and concise Profit and Loss in the one report.

Adding a new page layout

Page Layouts are created by navigating to the Admin Centre from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of any screen. From here select Page Layouts then + New Page Layout

The following table details the page layout fields: 

CodeIdentifies the layout.Required
NameUsed to select the correct layout in the page settings of a report.Required
If checked this will be the layout used when generating a report, unless overridden in the page settings of the report.
Page SettingsDetermines how accounts which are configured to swing should behave when their balances are negative. For more information see below.
Three options:
- Keep Balances Together
- Separate
- Disable
Account Labels and TotalsUsed to determine the layout of the report. For more information see the sections below.
Use System Default Totals
This will override any custom totals created and revert back to the master totals.
Note: To ensure custom totals are saved and displayed in the report this must be unticked.
Ticked by default
Show all Profit and Loss accounts as 'Credit' balances
If checked Profit and Loss accounts will be displayed as negative figures.

Page settings

The page settings area is where you determine how accounts which are configured to swing should behave when their balances are negative. This is used for particular Balance Sheet accounts whose balances commonly swing between an asset and a liability from year to year, such as GST, bank accounts and members' loan balances. This saves from having to manually move those accounts in the chart year on year.

Note: Not all accounts have the ability to swing, as it would not make sense for particular accounts to do so. These accounts will not have the Swinging Account Information fields available when editing.

Note: There are two system headers that will swing automatically without having to edit the account, which is why the Swinging Account Information fields are not available for accounts under those headers. The two headers are: 

  • 'GST Payable' which will become 'GST Receivable' when the balance is negative
  • 'Payroll Liabilities' which will become 'Payroll Receivable' when the balance is negative

There are three options in which the swinging accounts can be displayed:

  1. Keep Balances Together
  2. Separate
  3. Disable

1. Keep balances together

This is the default setting for all reports. In this setting balances will stay together on the same account line regardless of their balance. However, the accounts will only swing if the balances in every column are all negative or all positive. In the example below, the 'General Bank Account' is still an asset despite it's negative balance because the prior year was positive. Both years would need to be negative for it to move to a liability.



General Bank Account(15,000)10,000

2. Separate

Separating the balances means that only negative balances will swing to the alternate place on the Balance Sheet, while positive balances will remain as they are. For the example above, in this setting the 'General Bank Account' would end up as two line items in the report; as a liability in the current year, and as an asset in the previous year.



General Bank Account-


Bank Overdraft15,000

3. Disable

This behaviour 'turns off' the swinging option so that accounts will be displayed in the report as they are in the chart of accounts, even for 'GST Payable' and 'Payroll Liabilities' accounts.

Once the swinging behaviour has been determined, accounts in the client's chart can be edited to include the following information:

For more information on editing accounts at the client level see the knowledge article: Accounts.

Account Labels

Creating labels

An account label enables you to show accounts differently from their normal place in the chart. Where linked to a label, account balances will be shown totalled and at the specified location with the name of the label.

To create a label, find the relevant header where you want to add the label from the chart on the layout page and click on the ellipse to the right of the header. This will bring up the option to select Add Label.

A dialogue screen will open for you to enter the name of the label and to select whether it will be the default. 

Default Labels

There can only be one default per header and if selected all accounts that have not been linked to a label (see below) will be totalled to the default label. This is useful for an 'All Other Expenses' label.

Note: There do not need to be any default labels in a chart. If a default is not set up, all accounts that have not been linked to a label will appear in report pages as they appear in the chart.

When selecting a default there are three display options to choose from:

1. Hide Detail

Only the labels and their totals are shown in the body of the report. All unlinked accounts will be grouped under the default label and displayed as such.

2. Expand Detail in Root

The default merely acts as a placeholder in the list of accounts. In the example below, accounts that have not been linked to the 'Rent Expenses', 'Motor Vehicles Expenses' or 'Employment Expenses' labels will appear in the Profit and Loss after 'Rent Expenses' but before 'Motor Vehicle Expenses' and 'Employment Expenses'. The unlabelled accounts will also be individually displayed by their account name and will not be grouped under 'All Other Expenses'.

3. Show Detail Underneath

As above, the default acts as a placeholder. However, in this scenario any accounts without a label would display within a header and total of the default label (see below).

Linking a label to an account

Once all labels have been created for the chart you can link them to the relevant accounts at either the firm or the client level. To link labels at the firm level navigate to the Standard Chart of Accounts in the Admin Centre.

From here you can edit a standard account to include the label. The Report Label dropdown will show all labels for all layouts. You can only select one label per layout, but can choose a label for several layouts at once if desired. Save the standard account to finalise.

Note: Labels are linked to accounts at the entity level in exactly the same manner by editing the account in the entity's chart.

For more information on the standard chart and adding standard accounts see the administrator guide: Managing the Standard Chart of Accounts.

Account totals

The layout can also be modified to add, edit or delete totals. A calculated total is shown in addition to account totals and can be made conditional.

Adding a total

To add a customised total, click on the ellipse to the right of the relevant header to bring up the Add Total option.

This will bring up a dialogue screen with the following fields:

TitleName of total displayed in the report.Required
Title when results are a mix of positive and negativeAlternative name of total displayed in the report if the outcome is a mix of positive and negative balances over multiple years.

Title when results are negativeAlternative name of total displayed in the report if the outcome is a negative balance.

Ledger SideDetermines whether the total is shown as a debit or credit balance.Two options:
Credit (default)
Format result as percentage %
If checked the total will be displayed as a percentage.
StyleDetermines the look of the total line.Three options:
Page Title
Master Account Visibility EditorCan be used to determine when the total will be displayed (see below for more details).
Formula EditorUsed to generate the total displayed in the report (see below for more details).Required

Master account visibility editor

The total can be conditional on a master account being present before it is displayed in the report. To use this function, select a master account from the 'Add Master Account Visibility' dropdown menu and click Add.

More than one master account can be selected. The list of these accounts will be displayed on the left of the editor. If these accounts have no financial information the total will not be displayed.

The formula editor

This is the section where you populate the formula of the total you would like displayed.

Active Ledger & Reporting (formerly Reportance) contains a number of standard formulae for use:

  • Gross Profit
  • Operating Profit
  • EBIT
  • Earnings Before Tax
  • Profit

These can be used alone or as part of a larger formula. To insert, click on the 'Select type of element to insert' dropdown menu. Selecting Standard Formula will bring up a second dropdown menu with the options listed above. Choose the relevant formula and click Insert

It is also possible to create formulae manually. To do this you can use the MasterAccountId and/or AccountId options from the 'Insert Formula' dropdown list. This will bring up a second dropdown menu of system headers or system and custom headers, respectively.

The formula editor is a powerful tool that can be used in conjunction with fields (see the knowledge article: Reporting - Fields) to create fully customised totals. Below is an example showing the formula for Debtor Days.

Editing and deleting totals

System and custom totals are shown in the layout chart in grey. To edit or delete a total click on the ellipse to the right of the relevant total. From here you can edit all the same details as described above when adding a new total. All totals can also be deleted, including system totals.

Note: It is possible to override any changes to the totals and revert back to the system totals by selecting the Use System Default Totals checkbox above the chart.

WARNING: Once the Use System Default Totals checkbox is selected and you save the layout, all custom totals created will be lost.

Using the page layout in a report

A customised layout can be used with the following pages:

  • Profit and Loss
  • Statement of Comprehensive Income
  • Balance Sheet
  • Appropriation Statement
  • Statement of Changes in Equity

To use the layout, navigate to the Report section of the entity and click on the blue Customise button of the relevant page. From here you can choose the layout from the Page Layout dropdown list. It is possible to have different layouts on different pages. This is useful if you want to include both a full and concise Profit and Loss in one report.

An example of a customised Profit and Loss report using labels and deleting totals is shown below:

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