Back Dating Transactions
in QuickBooks

by Ami

A reader asks about back dating transactions in QuickBooks.

Hi Jennifer,

I am not a trained accountant and am a little worried about using QuickBooks. I would like to know how to add bills to QuickBooks but use the dates that they came in. I have started accounting for a company with no accounting system and I have to back date everything for two years. Is this possible?

Jennifer replies:

Hello Ami,

Yes, you can enter any date you want for any transaction you want in QuickBooks. Back dating is certainly an option. There is only one potential problem with this, and it has to do with making sure the financial statements in QuickBooks match the tax returns.

Have tax returns been filed for this company? You stated that there is no accounting system..... that seems strange to me. But perhaps the tax returns have not been filed yet; if so then this works in our favor. Just enter the transactions as of whatever date they occured, and the tax returns can be prepared based on the financial data from QuickBooks.

Just as a quick lesson for you: companies prepare their tax returns based on the financial data from their accounting systems. No accounting system means no tax return.

If the tax returns have already been filed, then I must question how the financial data was obtained to file them, since you state that the company has no accounting system. Whatever that data was, it needs to match what you are doing.

It sounds like a bit of a mess. Without proper training I am afraid that you will, inadvertently and without any ill-will, make mistakes in the QB file that may be difficult and expensive to correct later.

I wish I had better news for you. Since it seems like you are concerned about doing the right thing, the best bit of advice I can offer is to see if the company will pay for you to get some bookkeeping training. This will go a long way to help them get the financial information they need.

I hope this answers your question regarding back dating transactions in QuickBooks. Take care and I wish you much success.

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