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Change your accounting preferences in QuickBooks Online Payroll

SOLVEDby QuickBooks12Updated 1 week ago

Learn how to manage your payroll accounting settings to map your payroll transactions.

QuickBooks automatically creates default accounts where your liabilities and expenses are recorded. But you can also customize these accounts to meet your accounting needs.

In this article, you'll learn how to:



Step 1: Add or edit an account in your Chart of accounts

Edit the existing account if you want to change the type or name. Or add a new account if you prefer to use a different one for a specific payroll item. 

Follow the steps below to add or edit a payroll account. If you already have the account you want to use, skip to step 2.

If you’re not sure which account type to use, check out the Account type to use for your payroll transactions.

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon., then Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Select New to add a new one. Or search for the account you want to edit, then select Edit from the Account history ▼ dropdown.
    Note: if you see the New category window instead of the Account window, you’re creating a subaccount. If you need to create a new parent account, switch to accountant view.
  3. From the Account Type ▼ dropdown, choose Expenses or Other Current Liabilities.
  4. Depending on the account type you selected, choose a Detail type.
  5. Add or rename the account name in the Name field.
  6. Select Save and Close.


Step 2: Update your payroll accounting preferences

Follow the steps below to update your payroll accounting settings.

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon., then Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Edit ✎ next to Accounting
  3. Select Edit ✎ to update a specific section.
  4. Enter the name of the account, or scroll to choose which account the transactions should go to.
  5. Select Save then Done.

To change past transactions:

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon., then Payroll Settings.
  2. Select Edit ✎ next to Accounting.
  3. Select Edit ✎ next to Update transactions.
  4. Add a Start date and an End date. Select Save then Done. We'll change all accounts except in the Bank Account section.
    Note: There's a limit of 200 transactions per date range. So if you receive an error "There are too many transactions to update all at once.", reduce the start and end date period.

If your payroll transactions don't end up in the correct account

Check if you use account numbers in your chart of accounts. You may need to turn it off:

  1. Go to Settings Settings gear icon., then Account and settings.
  2. Select Advanced.
  3. From Chart of accounts, select Edit ✎.
  4. Select the switch Enable account numbers to turn off.
  5. Select Save, then Done.


Account type to use for your payroll transactions

Here are the different payroll account types you can use to track your payroll transactions.

Not sure what payroll account to use? Consult your accountant before making changes to accounts as this may affect your reports such as your Profit and Loss or Balance Sheet.
  • Other Current Liabilities
  • Expenses and Other Expenses
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Other Current Assets (Reimbursements only)
  • Bank (Reimbursements only)
  • Other Current Liabilities
  • Expenses and Other Expenses
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Other Current Liabilities
  • Expenses and Other Expenses
  • Cost of Goods Sold (Tax Expenses only)
  • Other Current Liabilities
  • Expenses and Other Expenses
  • Other Current Assets (Advance and Loan repayments only)
  • Other Assets (Advance and Loan repayments only)

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