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Closing Books in QuickBooks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sharissa Barnett Jun 11, 2024 8:54:15 AM
an accountant going over the QuickBooks year end checklist

When an accounting period comes to an end, you know it's time to close books and analyze the financial health of your business. Closing books means preparing documents like balance sheets or income statements that help make informed decisions. 

These decisions affect the future of your business, and that's why you need to know how to close the books in QuickBooks correctly. 

With QuickBooks, you can lock your books to prevent accidental changes and maintain data integrity for accurate analysis and reporting. 

In this article, we'll see how to close the books in QuickBooks and get an accurate view of your business's financial performance.

How to Close QuickBooks for the Year

Closing books in QuickBooks involves reviewing, making adjustments, and reconciling accounts. To begin with, backup data and run reports before deciding on a closing date.

The process of closing books in QuickBooks desktop is the same as the online. You can close QuickBooks in desktop or online.

Here are detailed steps of what you need to do.

Step 1: Review QuickBooks Year-End Closing Entries

  1. Log into QuickBooks as an admin
  2. Review accounts to ensure everything is correct
  3. If there's information missing, like payments, invoices, or expenses, add them.
  4. Next, reconcile and update all accounts
  5. Review inventories

Step 2: Close Books

  1. Click settings and select accounts and settings
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and select edit
  3. Enter a closing date
  4. Choose to allow changes and enter a strong password
  5. Save

Checklist: How to close the Books in QuickBooks 

If you're wondering how to close out a year in QuickBooks without missing a step, don't worry. You can use a QuickBooks year end checklist. 

The checklist ensures you capture all the details in the book-closing process. Here's what you need to have on your list to help close year end in QuickBooks.

Review First Month Fiscal Year End

Before you close year end in QuickBooks, review the first month of that year to make sure it's accurate. 

A fiscal year doesn't have to be the same as your calendar year, but reviewing and updating it allows QuickBooks to clear all your ledgers, which saves time. Meanwhile, you can work on other accounting duties.

Review Account balances

Check and update all customer account balances and statements. The last thing you need is to discover that you've left out a customer's account balance during the QuickBooks close year end process. Leaving out information means you'll repeat the entire process or produce inaccurate financial reports, which affects business decisions and profitability. 

Go through all the lender and vendor files and reach out to customers who haven't paid. With the right accounting software, you'll be able to see who owes you money. For example, review customer account balances as follows:

  • reconcile all customer accounts
  • review all invoices
  • Check and confirm that all entries are accurate and valid
  • Make necessary adjustments in files before closing books in QuickBooks 

Perform a Physical Inventory

The advanced features in QuickBooks make it easier for you to take stock and know how much your inventory is worth. 

As you enter the next fiscal year, you'll know exactly how much you have from the previous year. That's how to close the books in QuickBooks more accurately and get a clear picture of where your business stands financially.

Review Supplier Accounts

Check supplier accounts to see if you have any outstanding bills and pay them. Also, review loans and discounts and pay your service providers.

Reconcile all Accounts 

Reconcile all accounts to get accurate data. When you close year end in QuickBooks. For example, check and reconcile the following:

Balance Sheets

To accurately close year end in QuickBooks, you need to reconcile your bank statement. Make sure you debit transactions and clear deposits. 

All information in your balance sheet should match what is in QuickBooks. They should show an accurate figure, including tax returns and your previous balance.

Bank Accounts

Check your bank account information and ensure there are no errors. The information in your bank account should match what's in QuickBooks before you start closing books in QuickBooks. Correct any inconsistencies.

Run Reports

QuickBooks lets you run reports that show any issues that may arise when closing books. Reports help you identify and correct issues. Plus, you can create a profit and loss report to help you forecast business activities for the next year. 

The report helps you plan activities that bring more revenue, and you can identify ways to save more.

Close Books 

After reviewing and working on all your financial data, it's time to close year end in QuickBooks. You close books when you set a closing date at the beginning of the process. 

The date you've set means you've protected information from the previous year, and no one can edit transactions without using a password.

How to Lock QuickBooks Year End

If you know how to close the books in QuickBooks, it's critical to ensure no one accidentally alters the information and files you've worked on. 

QuickBooks has a feature that helps prevent such cases. So, if you want to know how to close the books in QuickBooks without worrying about a team member altering critical information, follow this procedure.

  1. Log into QuickBooks Online and go to accounts and settings
  2. On the advanced tab, click accounting
  3. Next, click the check box to close the books
  4. Enter the closing date
  5. Choose to allow changes after viewing a warning sign and entering a password.
  6. Create a strong password after the prompt
  7. Click save and done

How to Close Your Year End on QuickBooks Desktop


Step 1: Review the first-month fiscal year

Select the first month, then do the following

  1. Go to "company" and choose my company
  2. Choose the pencil icon, then select report information
  3. Confirm the dates

Step 2: Review account balances and statements and clear outstanding bills

To clear balances, run the following reports

  1. Go to reports and select customers & receivables
  2. Next, choose AR/ Aging details

Step 3: Check the reports and clear any outstanding balances

  1. Back up all your data and reconcile accounts, including credit cards and petty cash. 
  2. Make sure the information in your bank account matches with your QuickBooks.

Step 4: Run your year end reports as follows

  1. Go to reports, then "company and financials".
  2. Select the report you want, for example, a profit and loss or balance sheet.
  3. An accountant can help verify that everything is fine and help prepare year end tax returns.

Step 5: Close year end in QuickBooks

For the Desktop version, you don't need to worry about how to close the books in QuickBooks.


How to Close Fiscal Year in QuickBooks: FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to close the books in QuickBooks.

Does QuickBooks automatically close year end?

QuickBooks makes some automatic adjustments, like clearing your income and expenses. This helps you start the new accounting period with zero. It also adjusts your net income accordingly.

Can you run a year end on QuickBooks?

Yes, you can run a year end on QuickBooks. You can also create different management reports like profit and loss or balance sheets.

What is the closing entry in QuickBooks?

They are entries at the end of each accounting period. The aim is to free your income and expense account in QuickBooks for the next year's entries.

How do you do year end closing entries in QuickBooks?

Follow these steps

  • Review the year's first month
  • Review account balances
  • Review reports and pay outstanding bills.
  • Run year end reports
  • Close year end in QuickBooks


Close year end in QuickBooks is a process that lets you produce accurate reports. The locking feature in QuickBooks gives you peace of mind when following the steps above to close your books at the end of an accounting period. You can also produce reports that show the financial health of your business and help you make important decisions. With the right technology combination, users can close books online or use QuickBooks Desktop and Qbox. Qbox offers QuickBooks Desktop remote access and lets you share files and collaborate with users. Sign up, and new users will get the first 30 days free trial.

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