Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Comparison And Expert Analysis


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You must be well aware that for accounting and bookkeeping, you should first decide on what basis you want to record your books. Whether it’s cash or accrual, it does not matter. What matters the most is the books are well-maintained, and free from error. QuickBooks offers both cash and accrual basis of accounting. However, users mostly wonder which out of Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks is better.

This article will help you decide between QuickBooks Cash Vs Accrual and will assist you in learning factual information about the two. So that you can make an informed decision. Having said that, let’s get right into it without delaying any further. But before we learn about Accrual Vs Cash QuickBooks, we’ll learn about what Quickbooks actually is.

What is QuickBooks?

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is among the top accounting software and it offers a variety of features like payroll accounting and reporting. It supports different business sizes but has separate versions for each size. Not only this, with updates, QuickBooks brings out better interface and more better features.

You can create invoice in QuickBooks based on the templates or you can simply start fresh. The templates can be edited and customized as you want them to. Moreover, you can save repeatedly occurring invoices so that you don’t need to create one every time the veal takes place. QuickBooks offers you to send these invoices directly from the application and keep a record of each one of them.

Moreover, QuickBooks connects to your credit cards and bank account and thereby records all expenses automatically. Not only this, these expenses are even categorized based on their type. You can add or remove any expense manually. You can integrate your bank account and pay your bills and other expenses within a few clicks. You can either pay via bank transfer or direct deposit. Several payments can be made together within seconds.

Finally, QuickBooks allows you to review and judge your performance and expense and income via financial reports like balance sheet and profit and loss statements.

What is the Cash Basis of Accounting?

Cash-based accounting refers to recording transactions when payment is made or revenue is earned and not when they are incurred. This transactions may stored to the QuickBooks memorized transactions when they are memorized to the all records of any transactions. This means if you sell a product in September but payment is received in December, the revenue transaction will be recorded in December. Likewise, if you purchase goods in November and make payment in February, expense transactions will be recorded in February. 

Therefore, you do not include outstanding revenue or expenses. You record them when the payment is completed. 

When you operate your QuickBooks account on a cash basis, you get all the reports on a cash basis. This means the transactions will not be recorded until you send or receive income which will cause a good month to seem to be in loss in your reports. 

What is the Accrual Basis of Accounting?

In the accrual basis of accounting, a transaction is recorded as soon as it is made, and QuickBooks does not wait till payment to record it. Meaning if goods are sold in September and payment is received in December, the transaction will be recorded in September itself as you draw an invoice. Similarly, when you make a purchase in November and make a payment in February, the entry will be made in November. 

Therefore, you don’t have to wait until payment and record loans and the transaction as it is incurred. 

The accrual basis generates reports on an accrual basis. Hence, the entries are recorded when a sale or purchase is made. Therefore, the report concludes when the deal is made and not when payment is completed.

By default, QuickBooks is set on an accrual basis of accounting which you can change if you want to.

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Comparison

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Comparison

  • When you record transactions on an accrual basis, the report will include every bill or invoice you receive or create, regardless of the payment made or not. However, in comparing Accrual Vs Cash Basis QuickBooks records only when payment is concluded on cash basis.
  • In QuickBooks Cash Vs Accrual, cash based reports may show good months in loss if payment is not made in the same month as the deal. On the other hand, accrual based reports will show reports of transactions that may or may not be completed.
  • By default QuickBooks is set on an accrual basis and not on cash. However this can be changed.
  • Comparing Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks, you see income that you have actually earned and expenses that you really have paid in cash basis. But on an accrual basis, you’ll see all revenues and expenses, whether payment is due or not.
  • In QuickBooks Accrual Vs Cash, cash accounting is suitable for a simplified system like small businesses that does not or rarely go through bigger deals. Moreover companies with several assets, QuickBooks expense report and inventory might also use cash based accounting. But accrual based accounting is more favorable for larger companies that deal with goods or services almost everyday. Accrual basis of accounting is more complicated and satisfies GAAP needs.
  • When you compare Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks, you’ll see that in cash basis income and deductions are calculated in the year they were paid, whereas in accrual basis they are calculated when they occur.
  • In cash accounting, you record invoices when they are settled. In accrual accounting, invoices are generated and accounted then and there. They are further tracked routinely until they are paid
  • Cash basis is very simple and has an ease to operate but does not provide a complete picture of your finances. On the other hand, the accrual method provides a better and complete picture of your wealth and company’s assets and health.

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Pros And Cons

Cash Method of Accounting

  • Provides a picture of short term finances.
  • It provides a clarified vision of cash flows.
  • Ease of use and is less complex. 
  • You tax tax on cash you actually received.
  • It is suitable for small businesses. 
  • Does not provide accurate vision of long term finances
  • You cannot make informed decisions for your company..
  • It does not fulfill generally accepted accounting principles.

Accrual Method Of Accounting

  • A better vision of the company’s financial health, assets and liabilities.
  • You can plan ahead with confidence because you know the cash you’ll get in future.
  • Provides an accurate and complete picture of long term finances.
  • You’ll have to pay income taxes on unearned revenue.
  • More work because you have to routinely track invoices as well.
  • Immediate cash flow is unclear.

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Switching Accounting Method

We’ve already mentioned that by default, QuickBooks is set to an accrual method of accounting. But you can change it to cash if you want to. Here’s how:

  • Open QuickBooks and navigate to settings.
  • Open account and settings.
  • Move to the advanced tab.
  • Here, tap on the pencil icon. It symbolizes edit.
  • Select the method you want to operate QuickBooks on.
  • Tap on save > done.

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Differentiation

Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks: Differentiation


  • Cash: Records revenue when cash is received.
  • Accrual: Records revenue when invoice is drawn.


  • Cash: Expense recorded when cash is paid.
  • Accrual: Expense recorded as it occurs.


  • Cash: You pay taxes only on money actually received.
  • Accrual: You’ll have to pay taxes on money you have not received yet.


  • Cash: Small business, QuickBooks self employed, solopreneurs or contractors.
  • Accrual: Midsize or large business that deals in goods or services very frequently.


In this article, we have presented you with all facts that differentiate Cash Vs Accrual QuickBooks. Where the cash method of accounting records payments already made or received, the accrual method records as an expenditure or revenue incurred of the payment made or not.

This article comprises details on who can use cash basis and accrual basis. You’ll learn about the difference between tow and the features of QuickBooks Accrual Vs Cash. deciding which method will be most favorable for your business is crucial for your own success. Many businesses use cash basis to know immediate cash flow clearly while others use accrual accounting to get a clear picture of future finances. You decide which one suits you the best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 : What is better accrual or cash accounting?

A: Deciding whether cash based accounting is better or accrual based is a tough choice. As both of them are good for different situations and types of business. If you are a small business owner, the cash method is better whereas larger firms use the accrual method.

Q.2 : What is the difference between accruals and cash?

A: When cash methods record transactions based on the time when cash is received and not when the deal is made. If a deal is made in January and money received in march, transaction will be recorded in march.

On the other hand, accrual methods record transactions when a deal is made and do not wait until money to receive or send. If a deal is made in January and payment completed in March, then the transaction will be recorded in January itself.

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