All Your Work, All in One Place: Trial Balance in QuickBooks Online Accountant

2017 has been a year of fantastic changes for QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA). With the introduction of practice management features in the Work tab to the reintroduction of the apps tab, Intuit® is making good on its promise to create One Place where accounting professionals can manage their firm, team members and client work.

One feature that’s not so new, but is totally amazing, is the Trial Balance tool. This tool allows you to map accounts in QuickBooks to specific tax lines in Intuit ProConnect™ Tax Online (PTO). Once mapped, you can send the adjusted balances directly to the tax return in ProConnect Tax Online, thus reducing the amount of manual data entry and the likelihood of errors.

The benefit of using this integration is obvious, tax pros can save time by instantly populating amounts directly to the tax return effectively eliminating manual entry. So how does it work? Let’s take a look!

Step 1: Set-up your Tax Mappings

The first step is to set up your Tax Mappings in QBOA, hover over the Trial Balance field in the tax column in QBOA and click on Start Review. This will open the Trial Balance tool inside the QuickBooks company. You can also open the tool by clicking on the Accountant’s Toolbox > Trial Balance while working in your client’s company.

Once you have the Trial Balance tool open, click on the Tax Mappings tab at the top of the Working Trial Balance.

Click the link “Select a valid tax form to view tax mappings, then select the Tax form. The Tax period and Accounting method will be displayed.

Click Continue.

Note: The Accounting method cannot be changed directly from the Trial Balance tool, to change the Accounting method for the tax return, open the Account and Settings > Advanced > Accounting > Accounting method and select the appropriate method. Click Done, then reopen the Trial Balance tool.

Once a tax form has been selected, QBOA will assign the appropriate tax lines to the accounts. Accounts that QBOA was unable to automatically assign will be displayed in the Unmapped section at the top of the account list.

To assign a different tax line to an account, click on Assign tax line in the Action column and select the appropriate tax line.

Once all of the accounts have been mapped, you can send the balances to the tax return in ProConnect Tax Online! And, once you’ve mapped your accounts to the tax lines, the mappings roll from year to year so this step only needs to be completed once.

Step 2: Use the Working Trial Balance

The Working Trial Balance allows you to view unadjusted balances, activity and make adjusting entries to arrive at the adjusted balances that will be sent to the tax return. Keep in mind that the journal entries created here are recorded in the general ledger and will be reflected on your reports in QBO. If you have tax only adjustments, those should be in ProConnect Tax Online after the balances have been imported from QBOA. You can learn more about how to use the Working Trial Balance in your practice in this article.

Step 3: Export the adjusted balances to ProConnect Tax Online

Your final step is to send the balances to the tax return! Simply click on View tax return at the top right the screen and select whether to create a new return or update an existing return with new balances.

The balances will be exported to ProConnect Tax Online and the return will open in a new tab in your browser. Simply review the return, make any changes and adjustments and you’re ready to file!

The QBOA/ProConnect Tax Online integration will save you hours of data entry and setting up the mappings has never been easier.

Editor's note: Be sure to check out the other articles in our One Place series: