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Reporting - creating a report

Article Objective: To assist users in navigating Active Ledger & Reporting to create a report. 

Context: Active Ledger has various standard reports, as well as the ability to create your own report templates. 

For more information on creating a firm standard report see the administration guide - Reporting - overview. New firm defaults can only be created by a user with administrator privileges.

Please refer to the Glossary for definitions of key terms used in this article.      


Creating a new report

To create a new report navigate to the Reports screen in Active Ledger. From here click on + New Report to select the type of report you want to create.

Note: The list of available report templates will vary based on your firms selections.

After selecting the appropriate report, a user will be presented with the report settings page. There are three sections on this page:  

  1. General options - general settings for the report, names, footers etc. 
  2. Report columns - the columns that will appear in the financial section of the report
  3. Pages - the settings for each individual page, including the layout of financial information 

General options

The general settings fields are outlined below:

Template NameThis is the name given to the template. It is only saved to the local client file, not any other files.  Required
Report TitleThis is the title of the report which will be displayed on the index page. Required
(dropdown menu)
This will determine the look of the report. This automatically sets to the 'default' option. Styles can be created in the Admin Centre. For more information see the knowledge article: Reporting - styles.Required
Default Footer (dropdown menu)This is the default footer which will be applied to all pages within the report. This defaults to 'Compilation'.

The options are as follows: 
  • Compilation
  • Internal use
  • Those created in the Admin Centre
Hide All Page Numbers (checkbox)When ticked, all page numbers are hidden in the report.Optional
Consolidated Options (checkbox)When preparing a consolidation, select the checkbox for 'Consolidated Report' and enter a consolidated group name for the report. Optional
Rounding OptionsThere are multiple parts within this section. The rounding and percent rounding sections are set to default however these can be manually overridden to be standard numbers, if desired. The rounding division is automatically set to be none, however if you wish to change this, select from the dropdown menu. If you require the specific rounding figures for certain accounts, select accordingly from the dropdown menus under 'Rounding Accounts'.Required 
Page Layout (dropdown menu)This automatically sets to 'default'. If you wish to change it to be a short form profit and loss, select from the dropdown menu to change.Required
Swinging BehaviourThis automatically sets to 'default' and determines how accounts which are configured to swing should behave when their balances are negative.

The options are as follows: 
  • Keeping Balances Together With Primary Column
  • Keep Balances Together
  • Separate
  • Disable

Sign Off DateThis is the sign off date you wish to be outlined on the report. This is automatically set to be the date the report is generated, however this can be manually overridden, if required.Required
Use Report Dates from Primary Column
When ticked, the cover page and financial titles will display the report dates used in the first column. If you wish to change this, you can untick this checkbox and input the start and end date manually. Required

Report columns

In the columns section, a user can update and change the column layout for the report. Below is a summary of the different fields and how they can be used:  

(dropdown menu)
Select the dataset from which the data will be displayed.

Note: It is possible to have multiple columns with the same dataset. This is useful for reporting different divisions or time periods.
Column HeaderThese three headings will appear at the top of each financial page. By default, this will be the year and $ sign. These can be manually overridden, if required. This is useful when you wish to distinguish between actual and budget data.Required
Spread By
(dropdown menu)
This will create new columns based on the frequency selected, reducing your need to create multiple columns and filter by a specific date, division, etc.. This is useful for creating quick filters for reports.

Options include: 
  • Division
  • Trading Account
  • Month
  • Quarter
Primary Column (checkbox)This is automatically ticked for the first column as the system assumes this is the current year dataset. If not, untick this checkbox and select the column that is.  Required
By Start Date
(date picker)
Only displays transactions after and including this date. Be sure to select a date within the dataset. Optional
By End Date
(date picker)
Only displays transactions before and including this date. Be sure to select a date within the dataset. Optional
By Division
(dropdown menu)
Select the division you wish to display. Filters the data shown to a single division. For more information on divisions see the knowledge article: Accounts - divisions.Optional
By Trading Account
(dropdown menu)
Select the trading account you wish to display. Filters the data shown to a single trading account. For more information on trading accounts see the knowledge article: Accounts - trading accounts.Optional

Below is a sample of a completed column layout. The report will display only the Brisbane office division with six months of data for each column and the variance between the two. 


Active Ledger comes with a variety of customisable pages that can be used to generate a report:     

Page templates
Compilation Report - SPFR
Accountant's Report Disclaimer
Client Declaration
Profit and Loss
Statement of Comprehensive Income
Balance Sheet
Statement of Changes in Equity
Appropriation Statement
Direct Cash Flow Statement
Indirect Cash Flow Statement
Notes to the Financial Statements
Trial Balance
Financial Excerpt
Income Results
Cashflow Results
Working Capital Results

For more information on adding and customising different page types see the knowledge article: Reporting - pages.  

Generating a report template

There are four options when generating a report:

  • View in browser (default) - select the Generate Report button. Once opened in your browser, you also have the option to export to Excel, PDF or Word
  • Export to PDF - select the arrow beside the Generate Report button and select PDF
  • Export to Excel - select the arrow beside the Generate Report button and select Excel
  • Export to Word - select the arrow beside the Generate Report button and select Word.

Alternatively, you can choose to Save Only, by pressing the save icon.

Viewing a report in Excel

Unlike many other systems, Active Ledger is able to maintain the formatting and layout of your report when you export it to Excel. The Active Ledger add-in provides a formatting function that optimises row heights and page breaks. After exporting the report to Excel, click on the Format Report button of the Active Ledger add-in in the Home ribbon of Excel. You will get a pop-up, as well as a message at the bottom of the screen, indicating that the report is being formatted.

If you have not already done so you can download the Excel add-in directly from Microsoft AppSource by clicking here. Alternatively, follow the installation details that will appear after creating the data source as shown in the knowledge article: How to install the Excel add-in

Saving a report template

Once you have customised the pages and layouts of your report, it is possible to save the report template for that client so it can be used again in the future. 

A few things to note regarding saving a report template:

  • If you leave the Reports page to navigate to any other area in Active Ledger, any changes to your report layout will be lost unless you save the template first
  • If you make changes to a generated report (see the knowledge article: Reporting - content editor), these changes will not be saved to the report template and can only be saved to that particular report.

To save a report, there are two options:

  1. Save Only (default) - this will override the currently selected report settings for the current client
  2. Save As - this will allow you to save the report as a new template for the current client

Regenerating reports

There are a few ways to quickly regenerate and view reports from within various areas of Active Ledger. 

Within the Reports screen

In the Reports screen, you can click on the Run Report button next to any saved template. This saves you from having to enter the report template to generate the report. 

Regenerating a report

Within a generated report you can use the Regenerate Report button to refresh the report with any changes made. This is particularly useful if you have the generated report open in one tab on your browser while working on journals or the chart of accounts in another tab. 

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