How Do I Produce a Report of Vendor Purchases?

Let’s assume that vendor purchases include both purchases of inventory and expenses paid.  With that assumption, there no simple report to address all situations.  Finding the right report depends on the information you want to include on the report.

QuickBooks provides 2 reports that include vendor purchases: the Purchases by Vendor Detail Report and the Purchases by Vendor Summary Report.  Both of these reports can be found on the Reports->Purchases menu.

These reports are a simple way to identify vendor purchases, but they contain an important limitation: the reports only include purchases recorded on the Items tab of bills, checks, and credit card charges.  They do not include transactions recorded on the Expenses tab or payroll-related expenses.

Another approach is to use the Expenses by Vendor Detail Report or the Expenses by Vendor Summary Report, found on the Reports->Company & Financial menu.  However, this approach also contains a limitation: it only includes transactions sent to a general ledger expense account (whether or not the transaction was entered on the Items or the Expenses tab), not vendor purchases of inventory, which are additions to assets.

Vendor purchases (both purchases of inventory and expenses paid) are not the combination of the Purchases by Vendor and the Expenses by Vendor reports.  That’s because it’s possible to enter a transaction on the Items tab where the amount is sent to a general ledger expense account based on the account for that Item.  As a result, such a transaction would appear on both reports, and combining the values on these reports would result in double-counting.

Yet another approach is to start with a Custom Transaction Detail Report (or the Summary report if only summary totals are required) and to filter the report for certain transaction types.  At the simplest level, filter the report by Transaction Type and choose Multiple Transaction Types from the pull down.  When the Select Transaction Types window appears, select Check, Credit Card, Bill, CCard Credit, and Bill Credit.  Those selections will capture vendor purchases by check, bill, or credit card, net of all credits.

With that 1 filter applied, this report is a comprehensive list of purchases by vendor.  However, the report includes the payment side of each transaction, and there is no easy filter setting to restrict which accounts appear on the report and avoid the risk that a vendor purchase in that account would be missed.

Which approach is best suited to identify vendor purchases ultimately depends on the how transactions are entered in QuickBooks and the information sought after on the report.

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  1. Hi,
    I simply want to print a report which breaks down (either bills paid, or bills entered, preferably paid) for the given year, for each “account” (raw materials, office supplies, freight, utilties, etc.).
    I cannot seem to filter any report properly so that I may get what I paid in each category of expenses.
    Any thoughts?

  2. Joy Peoples says

    On the Purchases by Vendor Detail report, the PO # does not populate when I customized the report to add PO # as an additional column. Can you tell me how this can be fixed?

    • Chief Mechanic says

      To clarify, “populate” is a term that usually applies to getting data into the company in the file in the first place. So that leads to the question of whether you entered the data into the QB form when you entered the bill/purchase. If you did enter it and see it when you view the form but you don’t see that on a report, first check to make sure you’re on the latest release of QB for your version. At that point if it is still not working, you might want to check with Intuit to see if this is a known bug.

  3. Is there any way to have the vendor payment Bank transfer in any custom format showing the vendor details ( name, address, bank account)??

  4. i want see the reports of credit memo or refunds

    • Chief Mechanic says

      Once you’ve chosen your report, simply click the Filters button. Apply a filter to transaction type. If you want both credit memos and refunds to appear on the same report, set your filter to include multiple transaction types.

  5. Recently we had an auditor come in and he wanted the purchases report for the top 10 vendors. I was unable to produce it as the items that we are purchasing are paid for and booked under an expense(COGS). they were not set up as items to be entered on the items tab of the bill. I have now set up the items under the same expense accounts and my question is that if I go ahead and change all the bills(already paid ones and the open ones) so as to remove the info from the expenses tab and put it on the items tab, will it affect the reconciled bank statements. What other adverse effect can it have. As far as P&L is concerned, it should still show under the same expense accounts. What else would it affect.

    • Chief Mechanic says

      That change won’t impact reconciled bank statements. If you’ve set up an item that goes to the same expense account as entered on the original bill, and you simply change the bill to including an entry on the Expenses tab to one having an entry on the Items tab, there should be no change to your financial statements. The risk is that if you do this to a large number of entries, you run the risk of making a small error, which can introduce a change. It would be a good idea to have financial reports (balance sheet and P & L) before you make any change. Then, make the changes in groups or batches, and compare your new reports with the originals. If there’s a difference, you know which batch is the problem.

  6. Jenny Taylor says

    I know how to print a vendor balance summary but I am interested in creating a running report. One where you can run the report each month showing each months purchases from all vendors and also a running total of the vendor to date. Is there a way to set up a custom report in this fashion?


    • Chief Mechanic says

      It’s possible, but the details will depend on how you account for things. Try starting with a custom transaction detail report, and set filters for GL account (the accounts you want to include), names (the vendors you want to include), and transaction types (such as bill or check or possibly journal) so that you get the transactions that represent your vendor purchases.


    • Chief Mechanic says

      Follow the steps in the article for creating a custom transaction detail report. For transaction types, include all those listed in the article PLUS these additional types: Inventory Adustment and Item Receipt. If you’ve used Transfer transactions, you can also select that transaction type. That should get you a more complete report. If there’s a transaction that you want to include but you don’t see it, identify the transaction type of that transaction and select it in the pull down list of this filter for this report.

  8. I would like to produce a report of monthly purchases which shows a breakdown of the net purchase price as well as the sales tax paid on the purchase. Can this be done?

    • It won’t be easy, and it will depend on how you are recording the sales tax paid. If you are recording the sales tax as an expense when you enter the bill for the item, you’ll need to follow the suggestions in the above article to create both Purchases by Vendor and Expenses by Vendor reports. For your Expenses by Vendor report, you’ll need to filter by account. Then, you’ll need to merge these reports in Excel and remove any duplicate entries (which could occur if you have an item mapped to an expense account and you don’t exclude that account with your filter on the Expenses by Vendor report).