How to Do Accrual Accounting in QuickBooks? Your Comprehensive Guide

Accrual accounting is a crucial aspect of maintaining accurate financial records for businesses. QuickBooks, a widely used accounting software, offers a user-friendly platform to seamlessly implement accrual accounting practices. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process, ensuring you gain a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively utilize accrual accounting in QuickBooks.

Step 1: Access QuickBooks Dashboard

Log in to your QuickBooks account and navigate to the dashboard. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to make accounting adjustments.

Step 2: Choose Your Company

If you have multiple companies listed, select the relevant company for which you want to implement accrual accounting.

Step 3: Set Up Your Chart of Accounts

Accurate accrual accounting starts with a well-organized Chart of Accounts. Go to the "Lists" menu and choose "Chart of Accounts." Review and customize your accounts to align with accrual principles.

Step 4: Enable Accrual Accounting

Navigate to the "Company" menu and select "Company Information." In the "Report Information" section, choose the "Accrual" option under the "Accounting Method."

Step 5: Record Accrual Transactions

Accrual accounting involves recording income and expenses when they are earned or incurred, not necessarily when the cash is received or paid. Use the "+ New" option to create transactions and choose the appropriate accounts.


  • To record revenue: Click on "+ New" > "Invoice" and fill in the details. Ensure the income is reflected in the appropriate accounts.
  • To record expenses: Click on "+ New" > "Expense" and enter the necessary information. Allocate expenses to the relevant accounts.

Step 6: Manage Accounts Receivable and Payable

Keep track of amounts owed to you (Accounts Receivable) and amounts you owe (Accounts Payable). Regularly reconcile these accounts to maintain accurate financial statements.

Step 7: Run Accrual Reports

Utilize QuickBooks' reporting features to generate accrual-based financial statements. Navigate to the "Reports" menu, select "Standard," and choose reports like "Profit and Loss (Accrual)" for a comprehensive overview.

Step 8: Reconcile Your Accounts

Regularly reconcile your accounts to ensure that your books align with your bank statements. This step is vital for maintaining accuracy and identifying any discrepancies.

By following these steps, you'll seamlessly integrate accrual accounting into your QuickBooks workflow. Remember to consistently update and reconcile your accounts for a real-time and accurate financial representation. Embrace the power of QuickBooks to simplify your accrual accounting processes and elevate your financial management.

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