I like pointing out the QuickBooks Online Audit Trail to my clients. Being aware of the transaction history helps them understand when, by who and any changes made to the transactions. In addition, small business clients often are unaware of the consequences of changes to transactions.

I adore my clients, and have had plenty of opportunities to laugh together during our training and review times together. One of my favorite clients has coined his phrase, “If in doubt, delete it out.” I mean, other than deleting and creating all kinds of mayhem, how can I not laugh?

Not until I showed him I know what you are doing did he understand there are no secrets.

The QuickBooks Online Audit Trail was the vehicle I used to show him the transaction history log and the tool I used to share how the deletions changed his financial statements.

I also could tell you about the client who changes Invoices after sales tax is collected and reported. Ugh. Not as fun, but the reality is unless we were able to go back through the history of the transaction, we would be unaware of the actual edits to the transactions and, almost more importantly, who was the culprit.

Even though these examples result in work to get the bookkeeping back in order, these are real examples of actual people who want to be aware of errors created so they can do better. Most people make mistakes because they need help understanding the root of the problem and how they can change their behavior.

Real-time accounting means sharing the bookkeeping with those unaware of their actions’ effects. Thinking about this type of consulting as advisory services puts in perspective the value of training and spending time with clients. 

The QuickBooks Online Audit Log is easy to use. I often use it by looking at one transaction to view the history. However, depending on what you are looking for, another method might be to look at the audit log from the audit center.

So let’s get to what changed

The QuickBooks Online team updated the Audit Trail performance and the amount of data retention to align with generally accepted audit standards. For seven years, audit events will be retained in the audit log.

To learn more about the QuickBooks Online Audit Log, check out this past Insightful Accountant article.

Liz Scott is a multi-business entrepreneur working to bring together technology and accountants through her business, Liz Scott Consulting. A member of Intuit Trainer/Writer Network, she authored and taught Master level courses, including Advisory Guides and Consulting Tools for Accountants. In addition to Liz Scott Consulting, she also owns Accounting Lifeline, a firm to serve small businesses with their financial needs. Liz is a co-host of the “Appy Hour,” which helps other accountants learn about the different tools and apps for small business needs. Holding a high passion for real estate investment, she owns properties throughout Oklahoma.

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