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Set up bank rules to categorise online banking transactions in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks189Updated 1 month ago

Learn how to use bank rules to automatically categorise transactions from your bank.

When you download transactions from your bank, you need to categorise them so they go into the right accounts. Bank rules speed up this review process.

You can create rules that automatically categorise transactions for you. The more QuickBooks uses your bank rules, the better it gets at categorising. After a while, it can even scan transactions and add details like payees.

Step 1: Create a bank rule

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Rules (Take me there).
  2. Select New rule.
  3. Enter a name in the What do you want to call this rule? field.
  4. From the Apply this to transactions that are ▼ dropdown, select Money in or Money out.
  5. From the in ▼ dropdown, select a bank account, or select All bank accounts.
  6. Set the rule conditions. You can set a single rule with up to 5 conditions. Set and include the following, then select + Add a condition.
  7. In the Conditions fields, specify whether the rule applies to Description, Bank text, or Amount. Then select Contains, Doesn't contain, or Is exactly to decide how QuickBooks applies the rules.
  8. Select the settings for the rule. Select Transaction type, Category, Who you paid, GST, Who it was for, and Tags to apply.
  9. Select Save.
  10. (Optional) To reorder your bank rules priority, select reorder Reorder icon and drag the rule to your desired order. The rule with the highest priority will always be applied first.

QuickBooks automatically applies your rules to transactions in the For review tab. These are the ones you need to review every day.

Tips

  • You can quickly add a rule for transactions in the For review tab. Just choose a transaction, then select the Create a rule link to open the Rule Window and start setting conditions for the rule.
  • You can Copy, Disable/Enable, or Delete bank rules from the Actions▼ dropdown on the Rules page.

If you set up banking rules on another QuickBooks Online company file, you can export them to another company file:

  1. Sign in to the company file you want to export the bank rules from.
  2. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Rules (Take me there).
  3. Select the New rule ▼ dropdown and then Export rules.
  4. Save the export file in Excel.
  5. Sign out of the company file and sign in to the one you want to import the rules into.
  6. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Rules (Take me there).
  7. Select the New rule ▼ dropdown and then Import rules.
  8. Select Browse and find the Excel file you exported and select Next.
  9. Select the rules and details you want to import.
  10. Follow the prompts to finish the import.

Step 2: Review recognised transactions

You can view which downloaded transactions were recognised by a bank rule. While inside your For review tab, select Recognised from the All transactions ▼ dropdown menu. This will list all transactions that were recognised by any bank rule. You’ll also see a "Rule" label added to the transaction.

If everything looks good, select Add to move the transactions directly into an account in QuickBooks. You can also select and review it before you move it.

Note: If QuickBooks doesn't know how to categorise a transaction, it uses the Uncategorised Income, Uncategorised Expense, or Uncategorised Asset accounts to temporarily hold them.
You can't use these accounts to create bank rules.

Next steps: Set up the auto-add feature

You can create targeted rules so specific transactions are automatically accepted into your books from the Bank transactions (Take me there) page.

Tip: We recommend starting with easy, consistent transactions like rent or fuel expenses first. Once you get the hang of the feature, you can use it to cover more transactions.

  1. Follow the steps to create a new bank rule.
  2. Turn on Auto-add under Automatically confirm transactions this rule applies to in the Rules window.
  3. Select Save.

After you create an auto-add rule, any transactions on the For review tab that meet the conditions are automatically added. Auto-add rules run when you sign in, upload a file, or create or modify a new auto-add rule.

Note: the auto-add feature can only be used when there are fewer than 300 transactions in your For Review tab. If you have more than 300 transactions, you will need to categorise each transaction to reduce the total number and restart the auto-add feature.

If your bank rules aren't getting applied to transactions

If your bank rules aren't getting applied, it might be because you’re using a rule based on bank text when you meant to make a rule based on description, or vice versa. To explain the difference:

  • The bank text is exactly the same information QuickBooks receives from the bank. The bank text is the transaction you'd see listed in your bank account or on your bank statement.
  • The description is a simplified version of the bank text to make it easier to understand. For example, QuickBooks might simplify bank text by just giving the supplier name.

By default, QuickBooks shows the description in your list of transactions. To show the bank text instead:

  1. Go to Transactions and select Bank transactions (Take me there).
  2. Select the Settings ⚙ within the Bank transactions section.
  3. Select Show bank details.
Have any other questions for our team?

If any of your questions were left unanswered, we'd love to hear them!
Pop over to our QuickBooks Community's discussion on bank connections where you can ask your questions, have them answered by qualified QuickBooks Online experts, and hopefully help others with the same questions out in the process.

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