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How to use audit trail in QuickBooks

use audit trail in QuickBooks

How to use audit trail in QuickBooks, can help the user keep track of all the changes that have taken place within the Company’s data file. With the help of the Audit trail, one can have a permanent record of the individual performing the changes in the QB. So, how does one use the audit trail in QuickBooks? Well, that and more about the various aspects of some of the most remarkable features of QuickBooks.

The Importance of the Audit Trail in The QuickBooks Desktop

With the help of QuickBooks, one can easily keep track of various tasks like bill checking, making changes in bills or invoices, and also managing vendor accounts. These activities and more can be easily performed with the help of the Audit trail in QuickBooks Desktops. The software has been designed to enable multiple users to be able to access the required data file by utilizing the feature of an audit trail in QuickBooks. This is especially required in times when we end up missing out on the location of the transaction and need it as and when required.

The Audit Trail in QuickBooks: All About It

Basically, the Audit trail is responsible to retain the history of the changes that have been done in the QB data file. In order to be able to make the most out of this feature, we need to TURN ON the feature in QB, so that multiple users are able to perform the changes that can be done in the QuickBooks Data file. Not, just that, but this feature is a huge asset when it comes to retaining the records of the transactions made. In case there is a situation you find yourself stuck at, you can easily use the ‘Audit Trail’ feature by TURNING IT ON. Here, we will look at some of the major advantages of the Audit Trail and how to activate it on your system.

The Need and Requirement of the audit trail in quickbooks

Let us take a look at some of the major advantages of the Audit Trail in QuickBooks:

  • With the help of this feature one can easily keep track of the previous account names and link them up with the current accounts.
  • The Audit Trail feature also helps keep a track of the Log-In Details and activities.
  • One can easily detect the DELETED and LOST transactions with the help of AUDIT TRAIL FEATURE.
  • The user can also acquire various information about the task performed and to be able to detect who has been working on the Books and when.

How to be able to activate the QuickBooks Audit Trail Report

As mentioned earlier, QUICKBOOKS offers access to multiple users to be able to allow the modification to the QuickBooks data file. 

Here are the steps on how to be able to activate the AUDIT TRAIL:

  • First go to the EDIT MENU and click on the PREFERENCES
  • This will allow a dialogue box to emerge named as ‘PREFERENCES’, on the screen.
  • It is here that one can make the required changes under the ACCOUNTING preferences category.
  • Now, select the COMPANY PREFERENCES tab and click on the QUICKBOOKS  to be able to use the AUDIT FEATURE.
  • This is when you will need to VERIFY  the AUDIT TRAIL and click on YES.
  • Finally, the QB will automatically begin the process of maintaining the record of the users who wish to change the QUICKBOOKS data file.

Steps on How to customize the quickbooks audit trail reports

If the user requires to make the QUICKBOOKS AUDIT TRAIL according to our requirements and choices, you need to navigate to the TOP LEFT CORNER and click on REPORT. It is here, that you will find the modified report located in the AUDIT TRAIL WINDOW. This is when the SCREEN is launched and the  modify report in the AUDIT TRAIL window will be visible. Also, you will be able to find various tabs such as FILTERS, DISPLAY, FONTS, HEADER/FOOTER and also NUMBERS. With the help of these multiple tabs one can easily access the various features.


This is the screen where the user can edit and rectify what ever that needs to appear on the HEADER or the FOOTER of the reports. This is quite a simplified method on how to be able to make the required changes.


This is the step where we are able to make the required changes in the look of the REPORT. In case one does not require any modifications and changes in the reports, you can follow the below steps:

  • Navigate to the EDIT and go to the PREFERENCES
  • Next, you need to click on REPORTS and GRAPHS > COMPANY REPORTS
  • At this point, we need to select the FORMAT
  • Finally, you need to select DEFAULT REPORT SETTINGS’


At this step, we will get the various options for modification of the QuickBooks AUDIT trail report. This is where one can easily make the required changes at the columns displayed in the report.


At this point, the user can easily modify the appearance of the report. In case a user does not require to modify the report, you can follow the below steps:

  • Go to the EDIT and click on PREFERENCES
  • This is the step where we need to select the format
  • Lastly click on ‘DEFAULT REPORT SETTINGS’ and you are done.


Now, that you know about the various aspects of how to set up the AUDIT LOG, here are a few reasons on how to access the AUDIT LOG.

For this you will need to:

  • Go on to the SETTINGS, and click on AUDIT LOG
  • Select FILTER
  • Now utilize the filter panel to be able to select the required USER, DATE, and EVENTS. Now, you need to narrow the filter as per requirements.
  • Select on APPLY.

The best part about the AUDIT LOG is that it allows one to access almost 150 records at a specific time. Usually for most of the transactions or events, the user needs to select the VIEW located in the HISTORY column in order to launch the AUDIT HISTORY. This is where the changes made will be reflected and how they were performed by which user.

Also, you might come across the INDIRECT EDIT. This is where the indirect edits done by a user when a change in the transaction takes place in the book is recorded by the QB. However, as a word of caution, one needs to TURN OFF the AUDIT LOG for security reason. 


There are various advantages of the Audit Log in the QuickBook for the users. One of the best aspects of the QB accounts is that it allows the creation of certain profiles by creating specific user profiles in order to be able to track some actions in the Audit log if any. In case you discover that you have spot a user you have no idea about, this can be because of the following reasons:

  • The online Banking Administrations: This is the change made to the connected bank account done automatically, by the QB online.
  • The Support Representatives: There are times, when you will encounter certain changes that have been done by the Online Support Representative.
  • The System Administration: These are the changes that are made automatically by the QB online. The reason for this can be various, such as:
    • A change in the record has taken place, and this causes the change in the other records. For instance, if a change in the Payment has been done, and it has been linked to another invoice, you will discover the System Administration event for a change in the original invoice.
    • A third-party app has been connected to the QB, hence when the data has been sent to the QB, or when the changes have been made into the existing data, this will appear into the Administration event.
    • When a recurring transaction has been created, like that of a recurring expense, this instance is automatically added onto the transactions of your books and a System Administration event will appear in the AUDIT LOG.
    • There are times when you are not signed-in and set up another events to occur automatically. For instance, a System Administration event can appear as and when there is an update to the bank feeds of your account. 
  • The Import Administration: This is the automatic change that is shown when a conversion of your data from the QB desktop edition takes place.

So, you see, there are plenty of ways, manners, features and factors that are related to the advantages of the AUDIT TRAIL in the QB. The subsequent installation and set of the same is of vital importance of the user needs to keep their reports, records, log and other data in place in time for easy access.


  1. How to access the AUDIT LOG in QUICKBOOKS online?

    Here are the steps one needs to follow in order to be able to access the AUDIT LOG in QuickBooks:

    First, navigate to the SETTINGS option and select the AUDIT LOG
    Next, click on the FILTER
    Now, click on the FILTER PANEL and use it to select the USER, DATE or the EVENTS FILTER.
    Finally click on APPLY.


    In case you need to DEACTIVATE THE AUDIT TRAIL IN QB, here are the steps:

    First you need to access the QB desktop
    Next, locate the UTILITY OPTION and select it.
    Now, go to the RANGE OF DATE and MARK THE required boxes.
    Finally start the CLEANUP.

  3. How do we remove the AUDIT Trail?

    In case you need to remove the AUDIT Trail here is what you need to do:

    First, select the FILE MENU
    Now, with the help of the cursor hover over the UTILITIES TAB
    Click on the CONDENSE DATA.
    Next, you can select to keep all the transactions that are required except the AUDIT TRAIL from the Condense your Company File window.
    Finally select on NEXT, and follow the indications and the proceeding directions.

  4. Where can we find the Audit Trail Report in QuickBooks?

    In case you are using the QB desktop version, you will need to access the AUDIT Log reports by the following steps:

    First, you need to select the REPORTS option
    Next, click on the ACCOUNTANT and the TAXES
    Finally click on the AUDIT TRAIL.

  5. How are the Audit Trails maintained by the Companies?

    As mentioned earlier, the Audit Trail comprises the records that help maintain important documents. Here, some of the Investors or the Lenders might ask for the audited financial statement. Hence, with the help of the AUDIT trails, one can easily maintain the records and the reports of all the transactions and display them as and when required.

  6. How is an AUDIT TRAIL built?

    In case you need to start an Audit Trail and require the idea to do so, you can do it with the help of the INVOICE RECEIPT. The transaction can be followed up via accounts payable and also electronic payments. Likewise, the same can also be done using the Check that has been made from the settled amount.

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