How to Customize the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks

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In today’s blog post, I want to show you how to change, add, and rename things in your chart of accounts.

To begin with, we’re going to open up QuickBooks Desktop and load our Sample File. This is the same file we created in a blog post earlier this week. To read that blog post, go here.

Loading Quickbooks Desktop sample file

Once your file is loaded, there are a handful of ways to get to the chart of accounts. In this example, we’re going to look to the top navigation bar and click the drop-down menu item titled “Lists” and then down to Chart of Accounts. You can alternatively press Shift+Command+A on your Mac.

Open the Chart of Accounts in Quickbooks Desktop

Now that the chart of accounts is open let’s begin by adding something. In this example, we’re missing a Checking Account, so let’s go ahead and add that. To do that, look to the lower left-hand side and click the plus sign. Clicking that plus sign will pop up a new window where we can add the details of the account.

Looking for a missing account in Quickbooks Desktop
Adding an account in Quickbooks Desktop

You will see about a dozen items we could potentially fill out for this new account, but right now, we’re only concerned with two — the name and type. For name, input “Checking,” and for type, select “Bank.” Once you click “Ok,” you will be able to see the “Checking” account in your chart of accounts.

Naming a new account in Quickbooks Desktop
Viewing the new account

Now that we can see our new “Checking” account at the top of our list, we realize that we have two checking accounts and would like to rename this one to “Checking 1234.” To do that, let’s highlight the account and right-click it. In the menu that opens from right-clicking, click “Edit Account.”

Edit an account in Quickbooks Desktop

Once the account editing screen is open, simply change the name and click Ok.

Changing account name in Quickbooks Desktop
Updating account name in Quickbooks Desktop
Viewing account in Quickbooks Desktop

If down the road, we realize that Checking 5678 isn’t going to be used anymore, we can turn it off. To do that, right-click the account and mark it as inactive. Marking it as inactive won’t delete the account. This is useful because the history of the account will be preserved.

Making an account inactive in Quickbooks Desktop

If we scroll down in our chart of accounts, we can see that Insurance Expense has a grey arrow next to it. That means we can expand the account and see the sub-accounts associated.

Viewing Subaccounts in Quickbooks Desktop

To replicate this behavior, we need to add an account and name it appropriately, reflecting a form of Insurance Expense. We’ll call it Awesome Insurance for this example, we’ll set the Type as Expense and assign it to be a sub-account of Insurance Expense. And finally, we’ll click OK to update the books.

Replicating a subaccount in Quickbooks Desktop

And there you have it. You’re now on your way to becoming a wizard at updating and modifying your QuickBooks Chart of Accounts. If you would like to see a video walkthrough of all this information, check out our YouTube Video below.

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