If you have a bank account you used to use and have closed or a loan account you have paid off, those accounts won’t show up on the Balance Sheet when you pull it up. That’s frustrating when you want to see the activity in that account. How can you find those transactions? There are several options, let’s address a few of them so you can find the one that works best for you. We’ll look at how to display comparitive financial statements, getting transactions from the Chart of Accounts, and how to tell QuickBooks to display accounts with zero balances in addition to those with dollar amount balances.
Pull up the Comparative Financial Statement
Sometimes the easiest way is to just pull up the financial statement that compares this period with last period. If you are looking for an Asset or Liability account’s transactions, display the Balance Sheet Previous Year Comparison report. Go to the Report Center, click on Company & Financial, scroll down to Balance Sheet & Net Worth and find the Balance Sheet Prev(ious) Year Comparison, choose the date you want and open the report by clicking the Display Report button or double clicking the name of the report. Different years of QuickBooks will have slightly different looking Report Centers but the categories of reports and the names of the reports will be pretty much the same.
This report will display the Assets, Liabilities and Equity for today and one year ago today. You can change today’s date and it will then display that date and one year before whatever date you pick. If you are lucky, the previous year will show you the account you are wanting to see and then you can double click the amount in the previous year column to get your Quick Report showing the transactions. You may need to change the date range on that report to see exactly the transactions you want.
If you are looking for an Income or Expense account’s transactions, it will work like the Balance Sheet except that in the Report Center you will pick Profit and Loss Prev(ious) Year Comparison from the Profit and Loss (income statement) section of the Company and Financial grouping. It’s right at the top when you pick Company and Financial. For this trick to work, you’ll have to be looking for an income or expense account that you used last year and haven’t used this year.
I like these comparison statements anyway and use them more than any other report. It’s interesting and informative to see your information compared to last year at this time.
Display the Chart of Accounts
Sometimes this is the easiest way to find the transactions you want – with one little trick. On the Home page, click once on the Chart of Accounts icon to display the entire chart of accounts. You’ll see each account’s balance as of today as well. One of the advantages of this method is that you don’t have to know whether the account you want belongs on the Balance Sheet or the Income Statement because everything is in the Chart of Accounts.
Once you have the Chart of Accounts open, you MAY have to click on the check box to Include Inactive to see all of your accounts. See the big gray X’s in the first column here? Those X’s mark the accounts that have been made inactive and those accounts do not display if you do not have the check mark in the Include Inactive box. (Those green boxes are, of course, just my redaction of my account balances.
Now, here’s the trick to make sure you get the report you want next! If you are looking for an asset or liability account – and that would include things like a closed bank account or paid off loan account – then this trick is critical. If you double click on an asset or liability account, you will get a register displayed. That looks like this and it might not be what you are looking for:
(And yes, you can tell from this that I did NOT have a good experience with HSBC’s online saving account. I’ll write more about that someday.)
If the register is not what you had in mind, if what you wanted was a report type format instead, then you need to Right Click and choose QuickReport when you are in the Chart of Accounts window. The QuickReport option is all the way down to the bottom of the context-sensitive menu that comes up when you right click on the account you need to see.
This is what you will see if you choose the QuickReport option. Compare it to the register above so you can decide when you want one and when you want the other. The QuickReport has a format that most of us find easier to read, especially if the account has a lot of transactions. Also, the QuickReport is designed to print well; the register is not. Of course the register is the place to make quick entries to change a balance – like I did to record my big $3.01 of interest income earned on my saving account that we are looking at here.
This savings account is long closed and so I marked it as Inactive because I do not want to see it as a choice to pick when I’m making transactions. That keeps me from accidently picking it in a transaction or journal entry. If it had a balance, it would still show in a balance sheet. It just keeps it from being in my way when I no longer want it. The transactions, obviously, don’t go away.
Display Zero Balance Accounts on a Financial Statement
Here’s one more option to see accounts with a zero balance on your financial statements. When you have a balance sheet or income statement open, you might want to see all of your active accounts. Click on the Modify Report button.
Click on the Advanced button on the tab.
Then, click to change the Display Rows option to All. Click the OK buttons on the Advanced Options and then on the Modify Report dialog boxes. Your Balance Sheet will now show all of your Asset, Liability, and Equity accounts, including the inactive ones. From there, you can again double click on the dollar amount of any account you want, even the $0 ones to see transactions. Remember that you might need to change the dates displayed on your QuickReport. If you are looking for an Income or Expense account, do this same process on a Profit & Loss statement.
Of course there are other ways to find lists of your transactions by account. These are three of the easiest and most useful techniques for finding your information. As always, please drop Kristin an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how these tips work for you or to suggest topics for future articles.