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Experienced Member

Customize Profit and Loss to compare two date ranges.

Is there a way with Quickbooks to run a P&L with two custom date ranges for comparison? For example I want to run a P&L with the dates of 07/26/2017-08/08/2017 and compare it to the date of 07/26/2016 - 08/09/2016 from last year. I ended up running them individual and exporting them and then creating them manually. I am looking for a faster way.

 

 

(Title has been edited by moderator for clarity)

Solved
Best answer 08-15-2017

Accepted Solutions
Frequent Contributor *

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Yes.  You would create the time period you want for the report and then customize the report and select "Prior Year".  This will create a comparison column for the same time period for the prior year.

 

Capture 1.JPG

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Dawn Brown

16 Comments
Frequent Contributor *

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Yes.  You would create the time period you want for the report and then customize the report and select "Prior Year".  This will create a comparison column for the same time period for the prior year.

 

Capture 1.JPG

 

Hope this helps!

 

-Dawn Brown

Experienced Member

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Thank you, but the problem is the weeks are off by one day. Our year last year ran from 12/30/2016 - 01/03/2017 and this year it is 01/04/2017-01/02/2018. Our weeks start on a Wednesday and end on a Tuesday, so every year it is a bit different.

Frequent Contributor *

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

It is not possible to set-up the comparative columns with different custom date ranges within the basic QB program.  There are some 3rd party custom report writers that will allow you to do this or you can set-up templates within excel.

 

-Dawn

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Oh my.  Just saw this post but have seen this done before and have to assume it is a Tax issue as well since I know it is an issue when doing accounting.  Again wish I could attach a pre-written explanation I have here.

 

First, good for you for understanding concept of accounting periods here, but I would have to suggest a step backwards to re-consider and revise your practices to avoid issues with the IRS but CPA should know.

 

When you setup your company (LLC, S Corp or whatever) your business entity specifies when your fiscal year ends.  Most commonly that is 12/31 of each year, although some companies use other dates, like Federal Govt fiscal year ends on 09/30 of each year.  I have also seen 1/31, 3/31 and 6/30 at prior jobs.

 

So your income tax return each year needs to end on the date you chose, the same date every year end. That date cannot change every year and you definitely do not want it to be different than QB accounting.

 

Sometimes when accounting system "can't" do something, it is because you should not be doing it and that is a big red flag for you to find out why vs. trying to work around it or force it to do something weird.

 

Yes, many companies have accounting periods, timesheet periods, billing periods or whatever that may

be weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, etc. and we know the calendar just does not work that way, but there 

is a right way and a wrong way to accomodate these and I can share easy explanation document if you want to email me at [removed].  No strings attached, already written, I will just email a copy.

 

Active Member

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Patricia - Did you ever get a positive response to your question?  In retail, its important to compare similar time frames like Monday to Sunday so the busy weekends don't get split up.  I could really use the ability to plug in custom dates for both periods in the comparison.

Please let me know if you were ever able to make this work for you without downloading to Excel.  Thanks.  - Carol

QuickBooks Team

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Hi, PDXFinns.

 

I appreciate you turning to the Community for support. I'd like to help point you in the right direction for this custom report.

 

I think the idea of a comparison Profit and Loss report is a great one. While QuickBooks has many reports available for customization, there isn't an option for P and L comparison. To see this report added, I invite you to leave feedback for the Product Development Team. This is the best way to ensure meaningful products are added in the future. Your ideas and suggestions can be submitted directly through your account by clicking the Help tab in the top navigation bar, then Send Feedback Online.

 

I wish you and your business continued success. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Morgan - Why do you say that?  I run this report in QBDT, are we just talking QBO here?

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Attached explanation re: Accounting periods, as mentioned earlier, just saw this post again.

Experienced Member

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

I work for a restaurant group and I am looking to do the same thing as Patricia39.  This is not for tax purposes but rather internal reporting and performance analysis. I currently use QuickBooks Premier 2018 but am more than willing to upgrade if there is a version that allows for custom time periods. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Custom Profit and Loss

Hi kathleen452.

 

While we're unable to create a comparison with different date ranges, I suggest finding a third-party software that can do this level of customization. You can find one in the QuickBooks Desktop Market Place

 

In the meantime, you can create a report per custom date range and combine them on one Excel sheet to better see the comparison.

 

I can see how helpful this option to you and to other users in this thread. I'll share this idea with our product development team, and you can also send them a suggestion. Just click on the Help menu and choose Send Feedback Online.

 

If you need anything else, please let us know.

Experienced Member

Re Profit and Loss Prior Period Comparative Report

In QBOnline when I run Profit and Loss Prior Period Comparative reports, they do not always show the correct prior period dates like when comparing May to April. April prior period dates show up as Mar 31-April 30.  They should be Apr 1 - Apr 30.  Same goes for March/Feb. This happens if I compare months with different number of days.  Also it happens regardless if I choose Cash or Accrual basis.  Is there some way around this in order to get the correct time period dates for the comparative reports?   

QuickBooks Team

Re: Re Profit and Loss Prior Period Comparative Report

Hello TRBurns,

 

Thank you for posting here in the Community. I'd be glad to help provide clarification about the Profit and Loss report in QuickBooks Online.

 

When you run the Profit and Loss Comparison report and comparing them to the previous period, the basis here are the days from the current month. Since April only consists of 30 days, it backtracks another extra day to match your report from May 2019.

 

For additional insights into running reports, such as the profit and loss statement, I'm adding the support links I recommend:

 

I look forward to serving you to the best of my ability, so please don't hesitate to reach out to me regarding the reports. The Community is always available anytime.

Experienced Member

Re: Re Profit and Loss Prior Period Comparative Report

Thank you AlcaeusF for your response. Yes, I completely understand what QBOnline is doing regarding Prior Period Comparison, but that is not what QB Desktop does.  Someone figured it out and made Prior Period reflect the month before, not the days before.  I am not sure who can get meaningful reports out of running a report for the month of March and comparing it to only 26 or so days in February. I need to know how my current month compares to the month before as traditionally a month is an accounting period with month end reports, closing, profit comparison, etc. happening.  Can someone not make the prior period comparison report like the (correct in my opinion) desktop version?  Or at least add a feature where you can input the date range of the report you want to compare. Unless my comparative months are the same number of days, the QBOnline report is really not helpful for a month to month accounting report purpose.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Re Profit and Loss Prior Period Comparative Report

Thanks for the prompt response, @TRBurns.


I hear you and appreciate the feedback regarding the P&L Comparison report in QuickBooks Online. 


The number of days in the custom date range or selected period will then be used to calculate the previous period for comparison, which may not be a full month. Rest assured, I’m passing your idea along here on my end for consideration in the near future.


A suggestion like this is very important for us to know how we can be even better. In the meantime, I recommend visiting our QuickBooks Online Blog to know about the recent news, features, and updates on QBO and what our Product Team is working on. 


That should do it. Please know that I’m always here to help should you need further assistance. Wishing you and your business continued success!

Experienced Member

Re: Customize Profit and Loss to compare two date ranges.

How do I get the prior month I'm comparing to be before the current month I am running the report for?

QuickBooks Team

Re: Customize Profit and Loss to compare two date ranges.

I can walk you through on how to create a comparative reports, stl06.

 

There are lot of reports available that you can customize. But we're unable to add a new column for prior dates to all them.

 

What I can suggest is to create your own custom report if you're using QuickBooks Desktop. From there, we can add a column for previous dates.

 

Here's how:

  1. Go to Reports menu, hover your cursor to Custom Report. Then, select Summary.
  2. On the pop-up, select Display. Modify the date range. 
  3. From the Add subcolumns for section, select either Previous Year, Previous Date, or  Year-To Date.
  4. Go to the Filters tab. Choose or enter additional information that you want to include on the report.
  5. Click on OK button.

If you're using QuickBooks Online, there are ready to use comparative reports. Those are Balance Sheet Comparison, Profit and Loss Comparison, and Profit and Loss year-to-date comparison.

  1. Go to the Reports tab.
  2. Search and select any of those mentioned reports.

If none of these works for you, the best option I can suggest is to export them to an excel file. From there, you can merge the previous data and the new into one. Simply click on the Export button and select Export to Excel.

 

I've listed an articles below about customizing reports:

This should help you to achieve your goal for today. I'm always here if you need additional help.