Alphabetize Customer List by Last Name

by Cindy Moors

Hi Jennifer - I like this QuickBooks blog!

I have a client that upgraded from QuickBooks 5.0 (yes, 5.0!!) to QuickBooks 2008, and he wants his client & vendor lists alphabetized by LAST name.

I've looked everywhere and can't find a place to change it under preferences. Right now it's alphabetized by first name. I wasn't sure where to look for this answer on your site (but I did try!).

Jennifer replies:

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for writing. I'm glad you like the QuickBooks 'blog.' I hadn't thought of it as a blog before, but now that you mention it, it makes sense! :-)

As far as your question. Let me first state that I've never seen QuickBooks 5.0, so I don't know what the "Edit Customer" screens look like.

If they look the same as more recent versions of QuickBooks, then I'm sure you've noticed that the "Customer Name" box does not separate the first name from the last name. The first and last names are separated below that, in the "Address Info" area.

Unfortunately for your client, QuickBooks uses the information in the "Customer Name" box to alphabetize the customer list. QuickBooks does not use the first and last names from the "Address Info" area to alphabetize the list.

It sounds like your client put the first name first in the "Customer Name" box, and not the last name first. This is why QuickBooks is ordering the Customer:Job list by first name. So it's not a Preference issue, it's just the way he set up his customers.

The only way to change this is by going into each customers' setup and making the last name first in the "Customer Name" box.

If the Customer:Job list is quite extensive, then it will take some time to do this. Sorry that I don't have a easier answer, but that's as good as it gets.

All of this applies to his Vendors too if he used first and last names in the "Vendor Name" box of the "Edit Vendor" screen.

Take care and thanks again for writing.














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Comments for Alphabetize Customer List by Last Name

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 11, 2008
Change Name Order
by: Professional I.T. Soluitons

You can do what I just did, export the data to an excel file (CSV) and then create a new colum called "Customer" at the top, you'll delete the old one when you are done.

Simply create a formula by typing in the following, your format may be different but the idea is the same. Type in

=J2&", "&H2

J2 is where the last name was
H2 is where the First name was

The comma will make it appear as Smith, John. Now once you have created your formula copy it into the entire Customer Field you created and you should see them all auto fill in. Now go back and review your list, any business names will have to be cut/pasted into the customer field as the formula only picked up names. Wasn't too big of a deal for me, about 10 minutes was put into this.

After you have done that BACK UP your quickbooks data and do an import and tell it to replace your existing entries. Once it was done ALL of my names are sorted ast last, first. Just remember to backup your data and to put in last, first when entering in new customers. Kind of a pain in the butt, stupid intuit doesn't fix this.

Jun 11, 2008
Change name order
by: Professional I.T. Soluitons

Sorry, I don't think this posted.
You can do what I just did, export the data to an excel file (CSV) and then create a new colum called "Customer" at the top, you'll delete the old one when you are done.

Simply create a formula by typing in the following, your format may be different but the idea is the same. Type in

=J2&", "&H2

J2 is where the last name was
H2 is where the First name was

The comma will make it appear as Smith, John. Now once you have created your formula copy it into the entire Customer Field you created and you should see them all auto fill in. Now go back and review your list, any business names will have to be cut/pasted into the customer field as the formula only picked up names. When you are done delete the OLD customer list and resave as a csv file. This wasn't too big of a deal for me, about 10 minutes was put into this.

After you have done that BACK UP your quickbooks data and do an import and tell it to replace your existing entries. Once it was done ALL of my names are sorted ast last, first. Just remember to backup your data and to put in last, first when entering in new customers. Kind of a pain in the butt, stupid intuit doesn't fix this.

Mar 16, 2013
alphabetize my customer list NEW
by: ted

when a customer comes in i have to look at the whole list of customers to find them it is all listed as the customer got their account i dont know much about computors thank you. ted

Apr 12, 2013
QB - does not read my customer name NEW
by: Anonymous

In the active customer & Job list, when entering a customer name quick books does not find the cusotmer.. When I do and advance search the customer information is their.. ???

How can I fix this problem .????

Jun 01, 2015
'customers' in non profits NEW
by: Sue

Customers in non profits = donors. i want to list them by last name first but then the 'contribution' report (sales) shows their last name first. I used to be able to write a name in the list one way and then say 'make check payable to'(but i dont even see that now...why so they change good things). Anyone know a way to show last names first in list but in reports show by first name? (without exporting to XL)?

Jun 01, 2015
'customers' in non profits NEW
by: Sue

Customers in non profits = donors. i want to list them by last name first but then the 'contribution' report (sales) shows their last name first. I used to be able to write a name in the list one way and then say 'make check payable to'(but i dont even see that now...why so they change good things). Anyone know a way to show last names first in list but in reports show by first name? (without exporting to XL)?

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