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Create and use QuickBooks standard reports

QuickBooks provides many standard reports that you can generate for your clients. You can also set up the customized reports in your clients' data files and memorize them. This makes it easier to recall the reports you find useful, without repeating all the steps to customize each time.

Statement of cash flows

The statement of cash flows report shows how your client's cash position changed over a period of time. It shows the amount of cash earned from profit, where the client received additional cash, and where cash was spent.

Use the report to see how much cash was provided or used by:

  • Operating activities

  • Investing activities

  • Financing activities

Balance sheet

The QuickBooks comparison balance sheet lets you compare current balances with prior periods (such as last year). If you are preparing a statement of cash flows , the comparison balance sheet shows which items would be affected. It also helps you determine "where the cash went" when your client is reporting net income but no comparable cash increase.

Before printing the report, you can view it onscreen. If you see balances that appear abnormal, use QuickZoom (by double-clicking the balance in question) to see a detailed transaction report on that balance.

While displaying the detailed transaction report, change the date range to look only at a specific month or quarter. You can then print the report for your files. (New fixed asset purchases are a typical use of this type of transaction report. QuickZoom on the fixed asset amount on the balance sheet.)

Profit and loss report (income statement)

For year-end preparation of tax returns or financial statements, create a standard profit and loss report and change the date range to "Fiscal year to date." Customize the report to include columns for Previous Period, % Change (from previous period), and % of Income.

Analyze income and expense accounts and see a detailed transaction report by using QuickZoom to view any amounts that seem abnormal. If the income statement points out a need for "reclassification," you can either merge accounts or QuickZoom to the original transaction and make the changes.

If your changes would affect the balance sheet, you might want to create a journal entry. (Go to the Company menu and click Make General Journal Entries.)

For example, suppose the client recorded a purchase of equipment as "office supplies." You would prepare an entry to debit Fixed Assets and credit Office Supplies.

Cash disbursements journal

The QuickBooks check detail report gives you the same information you would see in a cash disbursements journal. The report lists all transactions that decrease (credit) the bank account, and the expense accounts associated with each transaction for the specified date range. For each transaction, QuickBooks also displays the transaction type (for example, whether it is a check, bill payment check, payroll check, liability check, payroll YTD adjustment, or general journal entry).

This is one of the few reports that provides all the account information for each transaction—even for transactions that are associated with more than one account. (On other reports, QuickBooks displays the word "split," rather than listing each account assigned to a transaction.)

Cash receipts journal

The deposit detail report provides the information you would normally see in a cash receipts journal. The report lists all transactions that increase (debit) the bank account. QuickBooks does not display the income accounts that the payment is linked to. Instead, it displays "Undeposited Funds" or "Accounts Receivable," depending on how the payment was deposited.

Because the QuickBooks deposit detail report (cash receipts journal) does not provide income account information, you may want to generate an additional report that displays all sales (paid and unpaid), with account detail, during a specified period of time. To generate a report that displays all sales and account information, you can customize a QuickBooks journal report.

Purchase journal

The unpaid bills detail lists all unpaid bills by vendor. When you combine this report with a check detail report, you have a complete picture of all purchases during a specified period of time. Together, the two reports provide the information you would find in a purchase journal.

If your clients also make credit card purchases that they track in QuickBooks, you may want to create a customized journal report to show the purchases on that credit card. This report lists all credit card transactions, with complete account detail, for the specified period of time.

1099 reports

The 1099 report is helpful for preparing the annual 1099 forms, as it will indicate only the payments made during the year for each vendor. QuickBooks can print directly onto 1099-MISC forms.

Trial balance

You can create a trial balance report and work from it while recording general journal entries.

You can print the report to disk to obtain the basis for creating a working trial balance using a spreadsheet program. If you have Microsoft Excel, you can export the trial balance report directly to Excel.

General journal

You can make journal entries by choosing Make General Journal Entries from the Accountant, Banking, or Company menu.

You can prepare standard journal entries for recurring items such as depreciation, expensing prepaid items, regular accruals of expenses, or amortization of interest on notes payable (using 1/12th of the annual expected interest expense). You can memorize each of these transactions in QuickBooks and have them automatically post at the end of each month. This lets you capture a significant portion of the year-end expenses.

If you need to, you can reverse a journal entry at a later time. Reversing an entry creates a new entry, dated the first day of the next month, that reverses the debit and credit amounts of the original entry.

Use autofill to add your memo to all lines of a general journal entry. In the General Journal window, make sure the "Autofill Memo" checkbox is selected.

Make sure you provide the client with the journal entries and have the client record the entries in their original data file. Otherwise, you may be repeating entries each time you prepare a financial statement. In addition, the client does not have accurate information to use for managing the business.

General ledger

If you maintain copies of your clients' data disks, you might not need to print a general ledger, but if you need a copy after making journal entries, you can create and print a general ledger report. As with other QuickBooks reports, you can customize the date range to cover the entire fiscal year or any other period of time.


For your client files, you might want to have a hard copy of the QuickBooks bank reconciliations, along with the client's last bank statement. You can print a reconciliation report (detail or summary) for any reconciliation period.

If you do the reconciliation, you can use the reconcile discrepancy report to see which cleared transactions have changed since you last reconciled. The report can help when QuickBooks shows a different beginning balance for the current reconciliation period than the client's bank statement.

Collapsed detail reports

In QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition, several standard detail reports initially display with all transactions containing multiple items and amounts "collapsed" to only show one item and amount per transaction. This provides a more concise report that is easier to scan and print. To view all details, click Expand on the report toolbar.

The following reports are collapsed by default:

  • general ledger

  • journal

  • transaction detail by account

  • profit & loss detail

  • balance sheet detail

See also

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