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Level 1

P&L for attorney

How do I run a P&L for an attorney that only includes the operating account and NOT the Iolta activity? In other words - how can I run a P&L on just one bank account when a client has more than one? 


6 Comments 6
QuickBooks Team

P&L for attorney

Hi there, @PregentBooks


Welcome to the Community family. Allow me to share some insight on how you can pull up a report that shows just one account when a client has more than one. 


In QuickBooks Desktop, the transactions that will show up on your Profit & Loss report are your income and expenses only. On the other hand, the Balance Sheet report gives you a financial snapshot of your company as of a specific date. It calculates how much your business is worth by subtracting all the money your company owes from everything it owns. The bank account will be found in this report.


Let me guide you on how to customize the report for one account only: 

  1. Click on Reports at the top menu bar.
  2. Click on Company and Financial.
  3. Select on Balance Sheet Standard
  4. Click on Customized Report.
  5. Select on Filters.
  6. Click on the drop-down arrow under the Account section.
  7. Select on Multiple Accounts.
  8. Select the account that you wanted to be included in the report.
  9. Click on OK.

I've attached some screenshots to outline the steps:



Also, you can check out this article about customizing reports in QuickBooks Desktop for your future reference: Customize reports in QuickBooks Desktop.


That should do it, @PregentBooks. Please let me know if you have any other questions about this concern. I'll be here to help you out. Happy Weekend!


Level 1

P&L for attorney

Thank you, @BettyJaneBBettyJaneB!

I can see where this would be helpful but I'm not sure it is what my client is looking for.

He would like a profit and loss report - including income and expense activity - for just the operating bank account; not including the separate Iolta bank balances and activity. Is this possible? 



Level 1

P&L for attorney

Thank you @BettyJaneB -- I tried to reply but I can't tell if it went through so I apologize if this is a duplicate message. 

The client is looking for a profit and loss report that shows expenses and income activity but ONLY for his main operating bank account (checking). He does not want the Iolta balances or activity (which are held in two separate bank accounts) to appear on the report. I thought there would be a filter for this, but I can't make it work... definitely appreciate any help you can offer!

Level 15

P&L for attorney





For this question: " that only includes the operating account and NOT the Iolta activity?"


There is a Mistake in how they set up and used QB. The IOLTA Trust Bank is only ever supposed to have Activity in and out that changes Client Liability. There is Nothing about the IOLTA Bank that hits the P&L. Anything you see as income or expense for that account is Wrong.


The data flow is like this: A Client pays a retainer, so use a Retainer Laibility Other Charge Item on a Sales Receipt, deposit to Trust Bank; IOLTA bank goes Up and Client Retainer Liability goes Up. Then, the Firm incurs Advanced Costs, as Other Current Asset. The only expense is Operating Expense. The only Income will be Fees and not reimbursed Advanced Costs.


The costs incurred for the client as Advanced Costs are Items linked to Other Current asset. They are marked for the Client as Billable.


The timesheets are where staff track billable or not billable time. That is Income to the firm.


Once you Invoice the client for their matter, use Add Time & Costs to select the Billable Advanced Costs. This Clears them from the Other Current Asset account. You also select Billable time here, and now this invoice is the data flow for Fee Revenue + advanced costs to be repaid = total Owed against this AR invoice.


And now you would use one Trust Check, payee = the Firm. On the Items tab you list the Client name, the Retainer Item, and the Amount they owe this time around, up to the total they have still on hand with the firm. if you are using retainer funds for paying multiple client's invoices from the firm, just keep listing it here as the Retainer item again and again, Job Tracking = assign Customer, or Client:Matter, and Amounts.


Now you have one Trust Check that you pretend just arrived from the Trust Department = process each of these splits as a separate Receive Payment.


You need some custom reports. What we just did is Get a retainer, then use some of it to pay the invoice for Advanced Costs + Fee Revenue. That means you need Custom reports, total by Name, filter on Liability, to see Remaining Balances and not over-credit their retainer balance. You also need to Reconcile the Liability account to an ending balance of 0 and only using 0, because you will mark as Cleared any name where all their activity leaves that name with 0 retainer on hand.


And custom reporting is used to prove Trust Bank matches Liability balance by Name, all the time, or some entry was made wrong, as when you see IOLTA Trust bank hitting Income or expense. That would be an Error in the transactions made.


Please see my attachment.

Level 1

P&L for attorney

@qbteachmtTHANK YOU! 

This is very helpful and I think I've decided that bookkeeping for an attorney is above my current skill level - wow! I really appreciate your thorough response. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Level 15

P&L for attorney

It's just data flow, as usual, and everything is done using Items, typical to any QB file with Customer Name-related tracking needs. If you want to expand into this market, it's a great method to learn. I even have a set of Memorized Reports as a Group that I have the client import into their QB file. And you know what? Attorneys mostly can afford to Pay, pay a reasonable rate for your services, and pay on time. It's easy to set up and easy to learn and understand these methods. I encourage you to explore it as a consultant to QB users.

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