There are two aspects to Profit & Loss report formatting:

  1. Column layout
  2. Row format 

Which column layout you use is selected from the dropdown when you run the report.  Column layouts are not customizable and examples are a column that shows period totals, another might show YTD, another might show locations side by side, etc.  

The row format is customizable by your organization and this article will describe the customizable options and the steps to customize it.

Elements of Row Format on P&L

1) GL Account - Accounts make up the majority of rows on the P&L.  They will be indented different distances based on if they have a parent account or not

2) GL Type - GL Accounts are assigned GL Types which determine which group in the P&L they belong to.  Standard GL Types come with the system but can be modified and new GL Types can be created.  On the P&L, GL Types are the highest level group and you can tell because they have no indent.

3) Parent Account - GL Accounts can be assigned a Parent Account but it isn't required.  Parent Accounts are sub-total groups for accounts.  If an account has no parent then it will show directly beneath the GL Type (1 indent) but if it has a parent account then it will show beneath the parent account and be indented an extra indent.  The system allows 4 levels of parent accounts.

An example using parent accounts is you could have the account Dishwasher Labor which has a parent of BOH Labor which has a parent of Staff Labor which has a parent of Labor which has the  GL Type of Prime Cost.  In this example there are 3 parent levels so you are allowed one more parent level than that if desired.  On the P&L this would be displayed by the GL Type of Prime Cost with no indent then beneath that indented once would be Labor.  After that, each indented 1 more, Staff Labor then BOH Labor and then the account Dishwasher Labor.

4) Sort Order - The order rows show up on the report is first based on the number field named Sort Order on GL Types and then accounts within the GL Type will be sorted by Account Number.

5) % Based On - Most P&L formats have % columns to help analyze the numbers.  Most common is to view things as a percent of net sales.  System Preferences screen has a "P&L Report Percent Of" field where you can choose between 2 options of Net Sales and Net Sales w/ COGS Detail.  The differentiation is Net Sales will just base all %s on Net Sales.  Net Sales w/ COGS Detail will do all accounts as a % of Net Sales except for COGS accounts which will be based as a % of their corresponding sales type.  This is determined by the Operational Reports Category field on the GL Account.  So for example if the account has the category of COGS - Liquor then its % would be based on the accounts with category Sales - Liquor.  COGS - Food accounts would be shown as % of Sales - Food, etc.  Besides these 2 system-wide settings, individual GL Accounts and Types can also have their % setting customized so its shown as a % of a specific GL Account or Type.  On the GL Account form the Report Settings tab gives the user the option to set this specifically for each one differently.

6) Running Totals - There are common numbers on many P&Ls that are a running total of the report up to that point.  For example, Gross Profit is Sales - COGS or in other words a running total of the report after COGS.  Controllable Profit is a number some people choose to show which would be a running total of the report shown after the Operating Expense total.  Running totals are hidden by default but can be shown after any GL Type and after most GL Accounts.  To show it, on the GL Type or Account form click the checkbox for Show Running Total and when checked the Running Total Label field will show up.  Type the name you want displayed on that row of the report such as Gross Profit or Controllable Profit, etc.

How To Set P&L Format

The best way to view and manage the P&L format is the run the Profit and Loss - Layout Format report.  This report shows how the layout is currently set and each row has a blue clickable link that opens the record associated with that row so you can make changes.  The elements of this report are described below the image.

1) Name - the first column will contain the name of the GL Account, the name of the GL Type, or the Running Total Label.

2) % Based On - this shows what % will be based on for that row.  If no custom % is set for this record then its a global setting in system Preferences, but you can set it on an individual row by clicking that row and setting the Percent Of field.

3) Visibility this shows whether the row is hidden or not.  The 2 things that can be hidden are Running Total rows and GL Type Total rows.  If you want to hide/unhide one of those rows, click the link on the row and on the GL Type record that opens the Show Total checkbox will manage whether the GL Type Total shows or not and Show Running Total checkbox will manage whether the running total shows or not

4) Ops Rpt Category - this displays the Operational Reports Category assigned to that account.  This only matters on the P&L if on Preferences the P&L Report Percent Of is set to "Net Sales w/ COGS Detail" because it uses this report category to get the percent of COGS account based on corresponding sales accounts as described above in Elements of Row Format section in the % Based On field

5) Sort Order - this shows what is making that row show up in the order it is on the report.  For GL Types this is the Sort Order number field and for GL Accounts its the Account Number field.  Changing those number fields will make rows show up in a different order on the P&L