In this four-part series, I’m reviewing some of my favorite tips for working with bank and credit card feeds in QuickBooks® Online. This article is part two in the series. If you missed part one, find it here.
After connecting your bank and credit card accounts, bank rules help you control, customize and automate how QuickBooks categorizes transactions if a match is not found. You’ll save time on data entry. Here are five tips for creating Bank Rules in QuickBooks Online. In future articles, I’ll share my advice for adding or matching transactions.
Tip #1: Explore Your Conditions
Establishing conditions that work best for your transactions can take some planning, but will pay off in the end. Think about how you’d like QuickBooks to automate transaction entry and create your rules to fit your goals.
When creating a rule, choose Money In or Money Out and applicable bank and credit card account(s).
You can choose to structure your rule around ANY or ALL conditions and utilize the Bank Text, Description and/or Amount. You can create a rule based on a single condition or combine up to 5 conditions in a single rule.
Bank Text is the transaction detail QuickBooks receives from the bank. Depending on the bank, this may include information, such as store #, city, state, phone number, date and, among other items, cryptic abbreviations of vendor/customer names. Expand your bank transactions in the bank feed to see the bank details. If you have the preference on to copy bank detail to the memo field, you’ll also find it there.
Description is the “cleaned up” QuickBooks interpretation of the Bank Text. In this example, QuickBooks shortened the full name, store number, city and date in the detail to just “Starbucks” in the description. In many cases, this will match the Payee name.
Amount, as you may have guessed, is the dollar amount of the transaction. Remember to establish “is greater than,” “is less than,” “equals” or “doesn’t equal” for amounts while creating a rule.
Tip #2: Don’t Forget You Can Split
You can split transactions across multiple categories and/or classes. Note: Class tracking is available in QBO Plus and needs to be turned on in your company’s Account and Settings page.
You have the option to split by dollar amount or percentage across up to 20 lines.
Note: when splitting across classes only, be sure you still select the category on each line.
Tip #3: Use Automatic Add (With Caution!)
You can automatically add transactions to your books that match the conditions you’ve chosen. Auto-add tells QuickBooks to bypass the review page (unless there is a match) and add this transaction directly to the register, saving you even more time on data entry.
Use this with caution to avoid having to “undo” the work this automation performs. Remember, you can always edit the rule to select this option later after you’ve tested it out.
Tip #4: Rearrange Your Rules
Go to Bank Rules to manage your list of rules. You can edit existing rules, copy them to create similar rules and delete rules from this page. Most importantly, you can rearrange the rules to tell QuickBooks how to prioritize the order. Only one rule can be applied per transaction.
Tip #5: Work with a ProAdvisor®
If you are unsure how bank rules will work for you, I recommend starting small and working with a bookkeeper or accountant to set up more complex rules and automation. After all, the goal is to save time and energy and not create more clean-up work for later. You may decide it’s best to have a pro create the rules for you.
Looking for expert help with QuickBooks Online? Visit Find-a-ProAdvisor to find help in your local area.