How to Switch Between Cash and Accrual Basis in Quickbooks

When setting up Quickbooks for your business, you’ll need to choose one of the two supported accounting methods. Intuit’s popular accounting software offers cash basis and accrual basis accounting. To learn more about these two different accounting methods, as well as how to switch between them in Quickbooks, keep reading.

What Is Cash Basis Accounting?

Cash basis accounting is an accounting method in which you record cash income and expenses at the time you receive them. Also known as the cash method of accounting, it involves recording cash payments when your business receives them and cash expenses when your business pays them.

The primary benefit of cash basis accounting is its simplicity. When compared to accrual basis accounting, cash basis accounting is easier, making it a popular choice among small businesses. With cash basis accounting, you record all cash income when you receive payment and all cash expenses when you make the cash payment.

What Is Accrual Basis Accounting?

Accrual basis accounting, on the other hand, is an accounting method in which you record income and expenses when your business earns them. A landscaping company, for example, may record income after completing a landscaping project for a customer — even if the customer paid several ways prior to the project’s completion.

While cash basis accounting is more popular among small businesses, many medium and large businesses prefer accrual basis accounting. Since it doesn’t recognize income or expense until they are earned, it’s a more accurate way to record financial transactions.

How to Switch Between Cash and Accrual Basis Accounting in Quickbooks

You can easily switch between cash basis and accrual basis accounting in Quickbooks. To do so, open your company file as the administrator while in single-user mode. Next, click the “Edit” menu, followed by “Preferences.” You can then choose “Reports & Graphs,” followed by “Company Preferences.” To switch from cash basis to accrual basis accounting, click “Accrual” under the “Summary Basis” menu. To switch from accrual basis to cash basis accounting, click “Cash” under this menu. When finished, click “OK” to complete the process and save your changes.

Keep in mind that your preferred accounting method can affect the way in which Quickbooks calculates your business’s sales tax. With accrual basis accounting, Quickbooks will calculate your business’s sales tax at the same time when you invoice a customer. With cash basis accounting, Quickbooks will calculate your business’s sales when you receive payment from a customer.

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