What Are the Differences Between A/R Reports In a Multicurrency Environment?

In QuickBooks 2009 there are 6 reports to provide information about what customers or clients owe to a firm.  They are:

  1. A/R Aging Summary
  2. A/R Aging Detail
  3. Customer Balance Summary
  4. Customer Balance Detail
  5. Open Invoices
  6. Collections Report

These reports are found on the Reports->Customers & Receivables menu selection.  Each report is intended to provide certain information, and in a multicurrency environment the information reported may appear to contradict information on financial statements, such as a firm’s balance sheet.  The contradiction is only apparent, because by design some of these reports do not include transactions that are included in balance sheet accounts, such as General Journal entries from home currency adjustments.

In the example reports that follow, the company’s balance sheet shows a balance for Accounts Receivable – EUR (the A/R account for the 1 customer reported) of $17,500.  This balance consists of a $15,000 invoice and a $2,500 exchange gain recorded as a home currency adjustment.  Home currency adjustments are recorded as General Journal entries.  For simplicity, we’ve filtered these reports to show a single customer.  When comparing the totals on these reports to amounts reported on a balance sheet, it’s important that filter settings for the report match the balance sheet date and include all relevant transactions for a balance sheet A/R account.  However, even when filters are set appropriately, the totals on these reports may not match the balance sheet because of filters that are embedded in the reports themselves that restrict the types of customer transactions reported.  These embedded filters are part of the report design and can’t be changed.

The A/R Aging Summary and A/R Aging Detail reports show unpaid invoices and statement charges by billing period but do not include General Journal entries.  Therefore, these reports do not match the amount reported on the balance sheet.

The Customer Balance Summary and Customer Balance Detail reports show all transactions related to customers.  The detail report is grouped by customer and job, where the Amount column is the original transaction amount and the Balance column is the open or unpaid amount.  Because these reports show all customer transactions, they will include currency adjustments posted to a customer’s account as General Journal entries.  Therefore, the total shown on these reports does match the balance sheet.

The Open Invoices report lists unpaid invoices and statement charges, grouped and subtotaled by customer and job, but it does not include General Journal entries from currency adjustments.  Therefore, the total shown on this report does not match the balance sheet.

The Collections Report lists overdue invoices and statement charges grouped by customer and job, along with the customer’s contact name and phone number.  Because this report only includes invoices and statement charges, it will not include currency adjustments posted to the customer’s account as General Journal entries.  Therefore, the total shown on this report does not match the balance sheet.

If your goal is to produce detail or summary reports to substantiate the amounts reported on a firm’s balance sheet, either the Customer Balance Summary or Customer Balance Detail report is the best choice, because it includes all transactions and doesn’t exclude General Journal entries.  In a multicurrency environment, where General Journal entries are common, other reports may appear to contradict the balance sheet amounts because they do not include these General Journal entries.

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