Financial Statements

8 Things Every Business Owner Should Know How to Do in QuickBooks

If you are a business owner and wonder if your bookkeeping is being done correctly, there are some quick ways to review the file so you can feel more confident about the work being done.

If you don’t know how to get into your QuickBooks file, look for an icon like this ____  or click on the start menu – Programs – QuickBooks – double click on "QuickBooks".  Typical username is Admin and sometimes it’s ok to leave the password field blank.

If you’re new to QuickBooks….don’t freak out.  It looks scary at first, but don’t be afraid.

Here are the top things you should be looking for:

***NOTE:  If you work with a bookkeeper, check with them first to be sure they have completed their work.  Sometimes these tasks are on their to-do list, so don’t judge too hastily!

  1. Profit & Loss Report (aka P&L or Income Statement)
  2. Balance Sheet Report 
  3. Unpaid Bills Report
  4. Open Invoices Report
  5. Review Checking Account Registers for un-cleared transactions
  6. Review Undeposited Funds
  7. Review “Misc”, “Need Info” or “Ask My Accountant” 
  8. Employee Center - Unpaid Payroll Liabilities


  • Open bank statements and look at the check images. If you don’t receive check images as part of your bank statements, call your bank and request it.  This is not something to take lightly.  Sadly, there are dishonest people out there, so CYA!
  • Be sure your bookkeeper receives any paperwork from government or state agencies.
    • Penalties can add up quickly. If you receive any paperwork from the IRS or any state tax agency, get it to your bookkeeper or accountant ASAP.

Bottom line.....

  • Be aware of what is happening in your QuickBooks file.  You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for your business.  
  • Communicate with your bookkeeper and ask questions.  If they are like me, they will truly appreciate your involvement!  Plus, it keeps us on our toes!  :)

#1 of 8 - Run a Profit & Loss Report (aka P&L or Income Statement) in QuickBooks

#1 on the list of "8 Things Every Business Owner Should Know How to Do In QuickBooks"

Run and Review a Profit & Loss Report (aka P&L or Income Statement)

  • HOW? Reports – Company & Financial – Profit & Loss Standard
    • To increase the fun, modify the report to include a prior year comparison. This will highlight any major discrepancies from prior years.  If you know your business, these will be obvious. When report is open:  
      • Customize Report – Prior Year Comparison (check off $ and %.  It’s enlightening!!)
  • WHY?  You know your business.  Line items that don’t look right, probably aren't.
    • Line items that don’t look right (Wages seem too low?  Meals and Entertainment too high? Income seems off?) You know you went on a business trip but don’t see anything in the ‘Travel” line? You can double click on any line to open up the detail to see what’s behind the numbers.

#2 of 8 - Run a Balance Sheet Report in QuickBooks

#2 on the list of "8 Things Every Business Owner Should Know How to Do In QuickBooks"

Run and Decipher a Balance Sheet Report in QuickBooks

  • HOW?  Reports – Company & Financial – Balance Sheet Standard
    • Date = last day of prior month (assuming current month isn’t completed yet)
  • WHY?  The balance sheet gives you a snapshot of the health of your business.  It will also identify potential issues that would affect the P&L
    • Negative balances in the asset and liability sections.  
      • Accounts that should have a negative balance include:
        • Accumulated Depreciation and/or Amortization
        • Owner’s Draw (in the Equity section)  
    • Review credit cards closely
      • Credit card accounts should NOT have a negative balance unless you truly have a credit balance (which means you overpaid on the credit card). If there is a negative balance in a credit card account, expenses have not been entered against the credit card liability account.  Find your credit card statements and make sure all transactions are entered and then make sure the account is reconciled.