When you create a new account in the Chart of Accounts, you need to specify both an account type and detail type so transactions are and remain properly categorized. This step is absolutely essential for getting accurate data on what you own and owe, as well as what you are owed and earning from sales (i.e. what appears on your Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Reports).
If you haven’t done so already (or you need a refresher), take some time familiarizing yourself with the main account types in QuickBooks so you understand how each is used to record your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. In the process, you might ask yourself:
Remembering the difference is easy.
Account types are actual accounting-related classifications (income, expense,
asset, liability) that determine whether the money in the account represents a
positive or negative balance.
Account type is more important because that’s what actually determines
how transactions hit your books.
Detail type offers additional information for reporting and tracking.
The only time a QuickBooks user really has to be aware of detail type is when
merging accounts or making sub-accounts. In that case, the new account or
sub-account needs to be same detail type as the merging or the parent account.
So, think of account type as the primary category that designates how money is accounted for and impacts your bottom line. Detail type as the secondary category that helps you track specific information for reporting purposes.
Don't feel nervous. Good organization takes practice. Take a breath and follow Stacy’s recommendation about approaching account creation one step at a time. Focus on the account type first since it has the most significant impact, then find the detail type that best matches the data you’re trying to track.
If you have a particularly tricky transaction or asset that you just can’t seem to categorize, reach out to your accountant and ask the community for guidance – others have certainly dealt with the same scenario.
Try it for yourself
Go into your QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts. Explore a few of your existing accounts but don’t change anything.
Click the “New” Button. Select an account type and read the detail type descriptions in the grey boxes so you know what’s available. When you’re done, hit “cancel” so you don’t accidentally add the account.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Just did a post with a video on this process of cleaning up the chart of accounts. Wonderful task in the summer time. I try to make this a task I do at mid year and year end. This is important because you want to be sure the accounts are mapped properly for your CPA if he/she uses the Intuit tax software that integrates with QBO.
It seems the detail type is fairly useless as reports are unable to utilize this information. If I can run reports by detail type, it would add another dimension to viewing information. This is especially true for taxes since I may have similar accounts that for taxes are grouped together but kept separate for all other reporting.
Hello there, mayer1.
I'm here to help share some additional information regarding the detail type.
In QuickBooks Online, the system includes predetermined sub-categories to make sure accounts will show in the correct position when running the reports according to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). You can select the nearest match if you're unable to find the exact type since the Detail types are predefined and uneditable.
We'd want to hear any feedback you have regarding the account detail types. I believe the more flexibility we add to the product, the more it will attract to the audience. You can send your feedback by clicking the Gear icon and selecting the Feedback option.
Please feel free to get in touch with me here for any additional questions. The Community will keep an eye out on your response.
How can I change the account type name that prints on the Balance sheet in QBO?
I use the credit card account type to track and pay Expense Accounts which works fine, except when I print a balance sheet and I have to explain that even though the Exp Ac is listed under 'credit cards' it is not actually a "credit card". The credit card account type works for this purpose as far as where it appears (expense accounts are a current liability) on the balance sheet and it allows you to record and track expenses to the vendor where the purchase was actually made, then pay the employee for the expenses incurred (just like a credit card), but I just need to have it print something other than "credit cards" as the header type on the reports.
Right now, QuickBooks Online doesn't have an option to change the name on the Account Type section. However, you can export the report to the excel file and edit the account name from there.
You can send your feedback also by following the steps provided by @AlcaeusF above. We'd want to add this in the future.
Let me know if you have other concern. I'm happy to help!