Chapter 17. Generating Financial Statements

When you keep your company’s books day after day, all those invoices, checks, and other transactions blur together. But hidden within that maelstrom of figures is important information for you, your accountant, your investors, and the IRS. When consolidated and presented the right way, your books can tell you a lot about what your company does right, does wrong, could do better, and has to pay in taxes.

Over the years, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has nurtured a standard of accounting known as GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). GAAP includes a trio of financial statements that together paint a portrait of company performance: the income statement (also known as the Profit & Loss report), the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows.

Generating financial statements in QuickBooks is easy. But unless you understand what financial statements tell you and you can spot suspect numbers, you may end up generating fodder for your paper shredder. If you’re new to business, get started by reading about what the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows do. If you’re already an expert, you can jump to the section on generating these reports in QuickBooks (Other Profit & Loss Reports).


When you close out a year on your company books, these three special financial reports are a must. You’ll learn how financial statements fit into your year-end procedures in Chapter 18. If you’re a business maven ...

Get QuickBooks 2009: The Missing Manual now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.