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Experienced Member

Using Items for expenses

I use items and classes. After I enter a bill using items I get an alert stating one or more items have not been assigned a class. I then have to go to the expenses tab and delete the account, tax, and amount (which is zero). Is there a preference I can change to avoid this? If I don't delete these non-entries under the expenses tab they appear in the P&L by class report as unclassified.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Using Items for expenses



Welcome to the QuickBooks Canada Desktop Community. I'll be happy to help you with the items and classes. With QuickBooks Desktop class tracking, you can easily customize the tracking of specific expenses and also categorize shared expenses across multiple accounts.


If you're seeing alerts stating one or more items have not been assigned a class, I suggest following the steps in this article to make sure that the classes are set up correctly:


If you're still experiencing the same issues after going through the steps, I suggest you reach out to our support line at 1-877-772-9158 for further assistance. Pro and Premier support is available 24 hours and Enterprise support is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.


Let me know if you have any other questions.

Community Backer ***

Re: Using Items for expenses

Classes are not Accounts nor are they linked to Accounts in your COA or Items in your Item List. Items are linked to Accounts in your COA. Classes are used to report on different areas of your business. A class can be a location (like a city or a warehouse), or it can be a type of project (residential or commercial) or for many other areas you may need to track separately. 


First, go to Edit>Preferences>Accounting>Company preferences and select use class tracking for transactions. This adds the Class column to all your forms (Invoices, Bills, Sales Receipts, and JE's, etc.


Are classes set up correctly? Go to Lists>Class List to enter your classes. FYI, classes can have up to 5 levels of sub-classes. Think carefully about what you want to track. 

For instance: I have a client who wants to track 4 different types of services he offers in 3 different cities. the class list looks like this:

City 1

  Service 1 (Sub-class of City 1)

  Service 2 (Sub-class)

and so on get the picture.


When your Classes are set up the way you want, you can apply them to each line item separately, or on some forms (Invoices and Sales Receipts) a single class can be applied to the entire transaction.


Screenshot 1 is an Invoice using only one item and a single class. Screenshot 2 is a Sales Receipt using multiple items and multiple classes. Screenshot 3 is a Bill using a single item and multiple classes.


The P&L by Class displays the overall financial status of your entire business as well as the performance of each Class you have created.

Community Backer ***

Re: Using Items for expenses

I know what you're talking about and I understand how frustrating it can be.  It seems to me that QB exhibits this behavior when the last Bill transaction you used had an amount in the Expenses tab.  It seems to remember which tab was used last.   I've tested it and when I enter a Bill with only amounts in the Items tab, it's not necessary for me to go and delete the first line in the Expenses tab.  But as soon as I enter one bill using the Expense tab, then the next bill automatically opens on the Expenses tab and I have to delete the first line so it doesn't show up on reports, even though I'm only using the Items tab in that transaction.


It sounds like you have also have Prompt to assign classes turned on under Preferences, Accounting, Company Preferences, Use class tracking for transactions.  This would be why you're getting the alert.  You can turn off the Prompt to assign classes to get rid of the alert, but the tab behavior will still be the same, in my experience.  It remembers the last one you used and opens the next bill on whatever tab was used last.


Someone else may have more insight into this.


Experienced Member

Re: Using Items for expenses

thanks for the reply but that was not the issue - the issue is the automatic pre-filling on the expense tab when I am using the items tab.

Experienced Member

Re: Using Items for expenses

thanks for the reply but that was not the issue - the problem is the automatic pre-filling on the expenses tab when I am using the items tab. I have to go to the expense tab and delete the pre-filled information (account, amount, class, customer) or the erroneous information shows up on P&L by Class  reports.

QuickBooks Team

Re: Using Items for expenses

Hi marynoakes,


Don't worry, I'm following what you're saying and can see how that would cause problems with your books. What Rochelley has mentioned above may work for you. A few other things to factor in are how your vendor settings have been configured. For instance, if this is only happening when you've chosen the vendor, it could be because the program is set to remember the last bill information you entered for them. This is QuickBooks' way of helping you save even a little bit of time, but I can see how this could cause some trouble if you want to change up the transaction. Check your settings by following these steps.

  1. Choose Edit from the top menu bar.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Select General from the left menu.
  4. On the My Preferences tab, look for the Automatically Recall Information section.
  5. Uncheck the box for Automatically remember account or transaction information.
  6. Click OK to save these changes.

See if that makes a difference when you're entering your bills. The prompt Rochelley mentioned for class tracking can also be accessed in the Preferences, but in the Accounting menu under the Company Preferences tab.


If you're seeing the accounts populate in the Expenses tab without even entering a vendor name, I recommend giving our phone support team a call at the number Wassim gave previously. I've tried several times in my own test company file and am not having this happen, so there may be something that needs to be addressed. To troubleshoot, you can try checking for data damage before calling in. In any case, I think it would be beneficial for us to see what you have happening.


I hope that helps! Stop by again if you need anything else.

Experienced Member

Re: Using Items for expenses

I tried that but the expenses tab was still being prefilled. Then I deleted the prefilled expense account for the vendor and that seems to stop the behavior.


Yes the prompt alert is on - but as you say turning that off doesn't fix the tab behavior, you just forget to go and delete the info on the other tab!

Experienced Member

Re: Using Items for expenses

I think I fixed it by removing the pre-filled expense account for the vendor.