What is the QuickBooks Audit Trail For?

Do you ever wonder if a transaction got changed? When it was actually entered? What its history is? Who made an entry or a change? The Audit Trail report is handy for those situations. You access the Audit Trail report through Reports / Accountant & Taxes / Audit Trail.

The default sort order for the report is by user, transaction type, and transaction date. In this Audit Trail report for a sample company, you see transactions entered or changed by the Admin:

Audit Trail Sample

The third entry down shows when the date of a previously entered invoice was changed. You can tell because of the boldfacing on the date.

Here’s another section of the same report:

Audit Trail Sample 2

Here you can see that changes were made to the terms of the invoice, and in the second grouping, the amount. If you could see the next column to the right, you’d see the particular G/L account line item that was changed. By clicking the Customize Report button, you can change what columns of information you want on the report. The Audit Trail report only shows changes that could possibly have accounting implications.

This is great in the following situations:

  • Tracking down “lost” transactions
  • Determining who entered what, when
  • Accounting audits (obviously!) and accounting forensics
  • Evaluating effectiveness of existing accounting controls

The Audit Trail function in QuickBooks used to be an optional one — you could turn it on or off. But it has been “on” all the time now over the last few releases of QuickBooks.

Source: QuickBooks and Your Business Blog, 2011

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