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Intuit
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How to view Retained Earnings account details

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

At the end of the year, QuickBooks Online uses a transfer called electronic swap to move money to Retained Earnings. This swap does not 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 Income (Loss) amount.

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 fiscal year starts, QuickBooks Online automatically adds the net income from the previous fiscal 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 fiscal years' net profit (or loss), and QuickBooks Online automatically and electronically swaps funds from your net income 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.
  2. Locate and select the Profit and Loss report.
  3. From the Report period drop-down list, select All Dates.
  4. Select Run report.
  5. Select the Net Income 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.
  2. Locate and select the Profit and Loss report.
  3. In the open Profit and Loss report, select Customize.
  4. In the Customize report panel, select the Rows/Columns item to open the section.
  5. From the Columns drop-down list, 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 Quick Report.

Review the Retained Earnings account Quick Report

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 Quick Report.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Locate the Retained Earnings account.
  3. From the Action column drop-down menu, select Run Report.
  4. From the Report period drop-down list, select All Dates.
  5. Select Run report.

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

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