How to Update the QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts

By Elaine Marmel

On the Advanced tab of the Settings dialog box in QuickBooks Online, you can turn on account numbers for the accounts in your Chart of Accounts. To make changes to those accounts, choose Gear→Chart of Accounts. On the page that appears, you can perform a variety of functions.

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For example, you can print a list of your accounts (click the Print button) or a more inclusive report that provides you with more information about each account (click the Report button). And, you can delete an account you have not yet used by clicking it to select it and then clicking the Delete button.

The screens you use to add or edit an account look almost exactly alike. Because you’ll need a bank account for your company, these steps examine the screens as you create your bank account. If you plan to connect your QBO bank account to its corresponding account at a financial institution, don’t follow these steps.

And, if you decide now that you don’t want to connect and later you decide that you do want to connect, all isn’t lost. You can merge the bank account you create here with an online version.

Follow these steps to create a new account in QBO:

To ensure an accurate bank balance in QBO, reconcile your bank account before you set up the account in QBO.

  1. Click the New button on the Chart of Accounts page to open the Account dialog box.

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  2. Open the Category Type list and choose Bank.

  3. Click the entry in the Detail Type list that most closely matches the type of account you want to add.

    QBO uses the choice you make in the Detail Type list as the account’s name, but you can change the name to something else. For my example, I chose Checking and changed the account name to Checking-Chase Bank.

  4. If you’re using account numbers, supply a number for the new account.

    You can, optionally, supply a description for the account.

  5. You can enter your account’s balance as it appears on the last statement you received from your bank.

  6. Click Save.

    QBO redisplays the Chart of Accounts page and your new account appears in the list.

If you turned on account numbers on the Advanced tab of the Settings dialog box, you’ll need to assign an account number to each account. Although you might be tempted to edit each account, there’s an easier way. Click the Assign Account Numbers button, and QBO displays the screen shown.

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If you edit an account, don’t change its type unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Consider consulting your accountant before you make a change to an account’s category or detail type. You also can identify if the account is actually a sub-account of another account.

Type a number for each account; on the bottom right corner of the screen, there’s a Save button that isn’t visible here; click the Save button when you finish adding account numbers. QBO displays the account number as part of the account name on the Chart of Accounts screen.

And finally, balance sheet accounts have registers; by clicking the Register button, you can display the transactions in that account register. You can identify balance sheet accounts by looking in the Type column; balance sheet accounts display one of the following account types:

  • Bank

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Other Current Assets

  • Fixed Assets

  • Other Assets

  • Credit Card

  • Other Current Liabilities

  • Long Term Liabilities

  • Accounts Payable

  • Equity

You might be wondering about the QuickBooks Labs option on the Gear menu. Intuit calls the QuickBooks Lab its “high-tech playground.” If you’re adventurous, check the lab and turn on experimental features to see how they work.