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.

quickbooks audit trail report sample 1

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:

quickbooks audit trail report sample

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.

Any other tips on using the Audit Trail report to help businesses?

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5 thoughts on “What Is the QuickBooks Audit Trail Report For?

  1. Shannon,

    Can an administrator manipulate an audit log by editing the log or by changing the system date and time and adding a new transaction?

    Thanks!
    Bill

    Reply
    • Hi Bill,

      Nope! That wouldn’t be very good accounting control, would it? You could change the computer date and time and then create or change entries and that might obfuscate the audit trail a bit, but those entries would still be in there, and in the case of changing an entry, the original trans date and time would be unaltered. The log itself is non-editable. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  2. Shannon, but you are saying that someone could change the system date and time, add one or more transactions and then change the system date/time back. They just run the risk of corrupting the data in the audit log, correct? We’re auditing a system for our nonprofit and we’re checking to see if someone falsified the “timestamp” for several entries. i.e. entering transactions this year but time stamping them for last year.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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