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Use QuickBooks Memorized P & L Reports
for 4 Week Accounting Periods

by John Nessel
Restaurant Resource Group, Inc.


Most accounting software programs require the user to decide “upfront” what accounting periods will be used to create Profit and Loss Statements. The obvious choices are monthly (12 accounting periods per year) or 4 Week periods (13 periods per year). One of the featured articles of this newsletter does a nice job of describing some of the pros and cons of using each of these options. The reason that this decision needs to made at the outset is that most accounting software programs configure the company file to compile all the income and expense data into a fixed periodic structure, that once set-up, cannot be changed at a later date.  

QuickBooks takes a radically different approach, one that is infinitely flexible, and that allows you to view your periodic Profit and Loss statements in any format you wish at any time! In one moment you can see your P&L for the prior month and in the next moment you can also view the same report for the last 4 Week period.  

If you choose to use traditional monthly accounting periods then simply use the QuickBooks default Date format. This is how QuickBooks was designed, and it does not require any customization. From the Menu bar simply select ReportsCompany & FinancialProfit & Loss Standard.  

Note: you can also create a custom icon similar to those shown below that will automatically produce a Profit & Loss Statement for any specified accounting period. Do this by first creating the report in the standard manner and bringing it to the screen,  then from the Menu Bar select View…Add “Profit & Loss” to Icon Bar 

 

Notice the rectangular “window” to the right of the word Dates: (below the green Profit & Loss title bar). The default date (period) is set by QuickBooks as “This Month-to-date”. By selecting the downward pointing arrow to the right of this window you can easily select any “standard” accounting period that you wish to view. Unless you are using 4-Week periods, this will likely be monthly, and will result in you selecting “Last Month” (see below) or manually selecting the first (the From window) and last day of the month (the To Window) for the P & L you are creating. In the example above the date range is “From 09/01/2003….To 09/04/2003”

 

 Some of the standard periods that are available to you are shown in the screen shot below. 

So, how can you create customized and easily retrievable reports for 4 Week accounting periods? The answer lies in the Memorized Report feature of QuickBooks. First, use the two open date windows to select the range of the unique 4 Week period that you are currently operating in. The example below defines the 4 Week period as beginning on August 30 and ending on September 26.  

Now you need to create a memorized report, one that “remembers” the date range of the 4 Week period you are creating. Simply select Edit…Memorize 

 

Finally you will be prompted to create a name for this specific 4 Week P & L. Simply type in a name that will uniquely identify this period such as “P & L Period 9 – Aug 30 to Sep 28, 2003”. Note that you will have an opportunity to save this (and the other 28-day period reports) to a Report Group (second graphic below) 

 

To view your custom created 4 Week reports go to the menu bar and select Reports…Memorized Reports…Memorized Report List (and the Group if one was specified)

 

If you are using 4 Week accounting periods you will have 13 such memorized reports in you Memorized Report List and you will select the appropriate one for the period in question.

 

 

 

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