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Restore a deleted balance sheet account

QuickBooks Online lets you restore deleted or inactive balance sheet accounts. Removing an account can cause unwanted effects on your reports. Here are some things you need to know before deleting, and the different ways to restore a deleted account.

  • This does not apply to income and expense accounts.
  • Deleting an account and making it inactive are the same thing in QuickBooks Online, and the terminology is used interchangeably.
  • You cannot permanently delete an account, except for merging one account into another.

What you need to know before deleting balance sheet accounts

  • Deleting is more like archiving. At any time, you can restore a deleted account. Get more help with deleting accounts.
  • Before deleting a balance sheet account, correct the balance to zero. If the balance is not zero, QuickBooks Online makes an automatic adjustment entry to zero out the non-zero balance of the deleted account. The automatic entry posts to the Opening Balance Equity account, which is the equivalent of posting to previous years. The entry could potentially cause incorrect tax info to be filed.
  • Deleting an account doesn't remove its transactions. Transactions associated with any deleted account stay intact.
  • You can't edit a transaction associated with a deleted account. To be able to successfully edit/delete the transaction, you must restore the account first, then go to the register and delete the individual entry. After that, you should analyse the account and correct it to a zero balance before re-deleting it.

Restore a deleted account

On the Chart of Accounts

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Above the Action column, select Settings ⚙, then check Include inactive.
  3. Find the deleted account.
  4. In the Action column, select Make active.

On the Audit Log

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Audit Log.
  2. Find the deleted account.
  3. In the Event column, select the account hyperlink. This takes you to the Account screen.
  4. At the bottom left, uncheck Inactive.
  5. Select Save and close.

The account should be reactivated.

Correct a restored balance sheet account's balance

If you restored a deleted account with non-zero balance, make sure to delete the automatic adjustment entry by QuickBooks. This corrects the account balance to what it was before deletion.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Find the restored account, then in the Action column, select Account history.
  3. Find the transaction with the memo Created by QB Online to adjust balance for deletion. It should be the last entry in the register.
  4. Select the entry, then Delete.
  5. Once asked to confirm deletion, select Yes.

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