Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Profit & Loss Report?

The Profit and Loss Report (P&L) is a Report that shows your total Income and your total Expenses in a specific period of time. It’s a really useful Report as it shows you your net profit (or loss) based on your Income & Expenses, and that can be used to come up with some cost-cutting strategies!

This Report also goes by a few other names, so it might be referred to as an “Income Statement”, a “Statement of Operations”, a “Statement of Financial Results” or “Income & Expense Statement”. In FreshBooks, we call them Profit & Loss Reports.

You can run a Profit & Loss Report by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Dashboard
  2. Scroll to the bottom to the Advanced Reports section
  3. Select Profit & Loss.  


The Income section of the Report will display your sales for the period.

The Cost of Goods Sold will display the sum of Expenses that have been re-billed to your Clients. You can mark specific Expense Categories as billable if you have categories that are not directly assigned to a Client, but need to be calculated as an overhead cost. To do this, hover over the COGS section and click on Edit next to it. Select any Expense Categories, then click Save.
Categories for assigning to COGS.

The Less Expenses section will display all of your Expenses for the period. The sum of your Expenses are easily viewed in the Total Expenses row.

Net Profit is the total amount earned (or lost) after Expenses. It is worked out by subtracting your Total Expenses from your Gross Profit.

There are a few things you're able to change when running the Profit & Loss Report. Click on the drop down next to the Report title, and you'll see some filters: Profit and Loss report filters to adjust values.

  • Date Range - With the date range drop down, you're able to choose one of the preset ranges (This Year, Last Year, This Quarter, Last Quarter) or choose a Custom date range so you're able to find exactly what you're looking for
  • Income - You can choose to run the Profit & Loss Report with either Billed or Collected income:
    • Billed - This will show you income info for everything that has been sent out, whether the Invoice has been paid or not
    • Collected - This will show you income information only for those Invoices which have been paid
  • Currency - If you've either billed or tracked Expenses in different currencies, you can toggle the currency of your Profit & Loss Report here 



How does the Profit & Loss Report handle multiple currencies?

If you’ve sent Invoices in multiple currencies, you can use the Currency toggle under Filters to run your Profit & Loss in different currencies. 

What about Sales Taxes?

Sales Taxes are not included in the Profit & Loss Report, so you don’t overstate your Income. This information can be pulled from the Sales Tax Summary Report and your Invoice Details Report

How are Expenses determined as Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)?

Note that you can add Expense Categories as a COGS by clicking Edit next to the COGS line on the Profit & Loss report. 

  • If you have assigned the Expense to a Client but have not billed for it on an Invoice yet, the Expense will appear in the Less Expenses section of the P&L. 
  • If you have assigned the Expense to a Client, and it is also billed on a Draft Invoice, the original Expense amount (minus taxes) will appear in the COGS section of the P&L.
  • If you have assigned the Expense to a Client, and it is also billed on a non-Draft Invoice, the original Expense amount (minus taxes) will appear in the COGS section of the P&L. Additionally, the markup (if there is any), will be added to the Sales section of the P&L.  
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