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Level 1

Retained Earnings closing entries do not match P&L net income for 9/10 years

I never paid much attention to Retained Earnings account but last year I had to do Schedule L and realized that R/E end of the year automatic closing entries do not equal the net income from P&L as they should. I typically make final bookkeeping entries for a prior year between January and March. Could these late entries after the QB closed R/E show in P&L but not in R/E? If not what could be causing this discrepancy and how to fix it? I currently use QB desktop 2016.

QuickBooks Team
QuickBooks Team

Retained Earnings closing entries do not match P&L net income for 9/10 years

Let me share some information about how retained earning works in QuickBooks, Sleepless.


Retained earnings are profits from earlier accounting periods that have not been distributed to the company's owners. At the end of your fiscal year, QuickBooks computes your profit (or loss) into an equity account named Retained Earnings.


Also, QuickBooks automatically transfers your annual profits, as calculated in the Profit and Loss, to the Retained Earnings Account at the end of each reporting period, where they add to the previous year’s ending balance.


Therefore, the net income is the bottom-line profit earned in a given period. While the retained earnings are the accumulation of those earnings over time.


If there are discrepancies on your account, we can create journal entries to correct your books. Before doing so, I'd recommend consulting your accountant on what posting account you need to apply when creating the transaction.


Here's how:

  1. Go to the Company menu.
  2. Select Make General Journal Entries.
  3. Enter the transaction date in the Date field.
  4. Enter the General Journal Entry details.
  5. Click Save & Close.

You can also check this article to know more about the process: Record a Journal Entry.


I have a link here where you can find articles about managing your business:


I'm just one click away if you need a hand with customizing your financial reports or any QuickBooks related. I'll always here to help. Keep safe and healthy.

Level 1

Retained Earnings closing entries do not match P&L net income for 9/10 years

I think I stated that I understand that annual net income is automatically posted by QB on retained earnings as a closing entry transaction type. Problem is that in my books only 2018 closing entry matches the actual net income. All others are off.

Also as of last year my cumulative balance in R/E account has crossed into minus which doesn't make sense in context of my income and withdrawals. Could this be related to mismatch between net income and automatic closing entries? Has anyone else encountered this? How to fix it and avoid this mismatch in the future?

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