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.