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View Retained Earnings account details in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

The Retained Earnings account displays the profit a company reinvests in itself.

At the end of the year, after you close your books, QuickBooks Online uses a transfer called an electronic swap. This swap moves money to Retained Earnings. It doesn't show on any report unless there have been other entries made to the Retained Earnings account.

To see what makes up your Retained Earnings, you can run a Profit and Loss report and view details for the Net Earnings (Loss) amount.

Note: Manually adding Journal Entries to the Retained Earnings chart of account does not include them in reports.

View details of the Retained Earnings account

Your Retained Earnings account shows the total of your company’s income and expenses from all previous years. When a new financial year starts, QuickBooks Online automatically adds the net income from the previous financial year to your Balance Sheet as Retained Earnings.

However, you can't simply select Retained Earnings from the Balance Sheet to view details. The Retained Earnings account is a rollover of all previous financial years' net profit (or loss), and QuickBooks Online automatically and electronically swaps funds from your net earnings or loss into the account and doesn't record any visible transactions for it.

Because of this, to see what makes up your Retained Earnings, you have to run your previous year's Profit and Loss statement.

View the Profit and Loss Detail report

To view the Profit and Loss report:

  1. Go to Reports (Take me there).
  2. Locate and select the Profit and Loss report.
  3. From the Report period dropdown list, select All Dates.
  4. Select Run report.
  5. Select the Net Earnings amount to open the Profit and Loss Detail report for All Dates.

The Profit and Loss Detail report shows all of the transactions that make up the net profit or loss that QuickBooks Online automatically switched to your Retained Earnings account.

View the Profit and Loss report by year

You can view the Profit and Loss report by year to track Retained Earnings over time more easily:

  1. Go to Reports (Take me there).
  2. Locate and select the Profit and Loss report.
  3. In the open Profit and Loss report, select Customise.
  4. In the Customise report panel, select the Rows/Columns item to open the section.
  5. From the Columns dropdown, select Years.
  6. Select Run report.

The report displays year-by-year amounts so you can see the amount from the Profit and Loss transferred into the Retained Earnings account as it occurred.

If there is a difference between the current Retained Earnings amount and the amount on the Profit and Loss report, view the account QuickReport.

Review the Retained Earnings Account QuickReport

If the amount on the Profit and Loss report is different from the amount currently displayed for the Retained Earnings account, transactions only affecting Balance Sheet accounts may have been entered against this account.

You can see these user-created transactions on the account QuickReport.

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon., then select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Locate the Retained Earnings account.
  3. From the Action column dropdown, select Run report.
  4. From the Report period dropdown, select All Dates. Note: If you don't see the Report period dropdown, select Switch to classic view.
  5. Select Run report.

The report displays any user-created transactions affecting the Retained Earnings account figure.

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