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A complete guide to account types and detail types in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks120Updated November 20, 2023

When categorising transactions in QuickBooks Online, you want to pick categories that make sense and match your business's financial reporting needs. To help keep your books organised, make sure you set up your chart of accounts.

Here you'll find a comprehensive breakdown of each account type and detail type available within the chart of accounts in QuickBooks Online. Confused about the two types? We've got you covered in this article.

To access the list of categories:

  1. Depending on your view, go to Bookkeeping or Transactions.
  2. Select the Chart of accounts tab.
  3. If you need to add a new account, follow these steps.

Account types

Select an account type from the list to view the complete list of detail types associated with that account type.

Detail typeDefinition
DebtorsUse Debtors to track money that customers owe you for products or services, and payments customers make.

QuickBooks Online automatically creates one Debtors account for you. Most businesses need only one.

Each customer has a register, which functions like a Debtors account for each customer.
Detail typeDefinition
Allowance for bad debtsUse Allowance for bad debts to estimate the part of your Debtors account that you think you might not collect.

Only use this if you are keeping your books on the accrual basis.
Called up share capital not paidUse Called up share capital not paid to track share capital which has been issued but not yet paid.
Development CostsUse Development costs to track amounts you deposit or set aside to arrange for financing, such as an SBA loan, or for deposits in anticipation of the purchase of property or other assets.

When the deposit is refunded, or the purchase takes place, remove the amount from this account.
Employee Cash AdvancesUse Employee Cash Advances to track employee wages and salary you issue to an employee early, or other non-salary money given to employees.

If you make a loan to an employee, use the current asset account type called Loans to others, instead.
Investments - OtherUse Investments - Other to track the value of investments not covered by other investment account types.

Examples include publicly-traded shares, coins or gold.
Loans to OfficersIf you operate your business as a Corporation, use Loans to officers to track money loaned to officers of your business.
Loans to OthersUse Loans to others to track money your business loans to other people or businesses.

This type of account is also referred to as 'Notes Receivable'.

For early salary payments to employees, use Employee Cash Advances, instead.
Loans to ShareholdersIf you operate your business as a Corporation, use Loans to Shareholders to track money your business loans to its shareholders.
Other current assetsUse Other current assets for current assets not covered by the other types.

Current assets are likely to be converted to cash or used up in a year.
Prepaid ExpensesUse Prepaid expenses to track payments for expenses that you won’t recognise until your next accounting period.

When you recognise the expense, make a journal entry to transfer money from this account to the expense account.
RetainageUse Retainage if your customers regularly hold back a portion of a contract amount until you have completed a project.

This type of account is often used in the construction industry, and only if you record income on an accrual basis.
StockUse Stock to track the cost of goods your business purchases for resale.

When the goods are sold, assign the sale to a Cost of sales account.
Undeposited FundsUse Undeposited funds for cash or cheques from sales that haven’t been deposited yet.

For petty cash, use Cash on hand instead.
Detail typeDefinition
Cash on handUse a Cash on hand account to track cash your company keeps for occasional expenses, also called petty cash.

To track cash from sales that have not been deposited yet, use a pre-created account called Undeposited funds instead.
Client trust accountUse Client trust accounts for money held by you for the benefit of someone else.

For example, client trust accounts are often used by solicitors to keep track of the expense money their customers have given them.

Often, to keep the amount in a client trust account from looking like it’s yours, the amount is offset in a "contra" liability account (a Current Liability).
CurrentUse Current accounts to track all your current activity, including debit card transactions.

Each current account your company has at a bank or other financial institution should have its own Current type account in QuickBooks Online Advanced.
Money MarketUse Money Market to track amounts in money market accounts.

For investments, see Current Assets instead.
Rents Held in TrustUse Rents Held in Trust to track deposits and rent held on behalf of the property owners.

Typically, only property managers use this type of account.
Savings Use Savings accounts to track your savings and CD (Certificate of Deposit) activity.

Each savings account your company has at a bank or other financial institution should have its own Savings type account.

For investments, see Current Assets instead.
Detail typeDefinition
Accumulated AmortisationUse Accumulated amortisation to track how much you amortise intangible assets.
Accumulated DepreciationUse Accumulated depreciation to track how much you depreciate a tangible asset (a physical asset you do not expect to convert to cash during one year of normal operations).
Accumulated DepletionUse Accumulated depletion to track how much you deplete a natural resource.
BuildingsUse Buildings to track the cost of structures you own and use for your business. If you have a business in your home, consult your accountant or the HMRC website for relevant rules and regulations.

Use a Land account for the land portion of any real property you own, splitting the cost of the property between land and building in a logical method. A common method is to mimic the land-to-building ratio on the property tax statement.
Depletable AssetsUse Depletable assets to track natural resources, such as timberlands, oil wells, and mineral deposits.
Furniture and FixturesUse Furniture and fixtures to track any furniture and fixtures your business owns and uses, like a dental chair or sales booth.
Leasehold ImprovementsUse Leasehold improvements to track improvements to a leased asset that increases the asset’s value.
For example, if you carpet a leased office space and are not reimbursed, that’s a leasehold improvement.
Machinery and EquipmentUse Machinery and equipment to track computer hardware, as well as any other non-furniture fixtures or devices owned and used for your business. This includes equipment that you ride, like tractors and lawn mowers.

Cars and lorries, however, should be tracked with Vehicle accounts, instead.
Other Tangible AssetsUse Other tangible assets for tangible assets that are not covered by other asset types.
Tangible assets are physical property that you use in your business and that you do not expect to convert to cash or be used up during one year of normal operations.
VehiclesUse Vehicles to track the value of vehicles your business owns and uses for business. This includes off-road vehicles, aeroplanes, helicopters and boats.

If you use a vehicle for both business and personal use, consult your accountant or HMRC to see how you should track its value.
Detail typeDefinition
Accumulated amortisation of non-current assetsUse Accumulated amortisation of non-current assets to track how much you’ve amortised an asset whose type is Non-current asset.
Deferred TaxUse Deferred tax for tax liabilities or assets that are to be used in future accounting periods.
GoodwillUse Goodwill only if you have acquired another company.
It represents the intangible assets of the acquired company which gave it an advantage, such as favourable government relations, business name, outstanding credit ratings, location, superior management, customer lists, product quality, or good labour relations.
Intangible AssetsUse Intangible assets to track intangible assets that you plan to amortise.
Examples include franchises, customer lists, copyrights and patents.
InvestmentsUse Investments to track the amounts received from individuals or other organisations.
Lease BuyoutUse Lease buyout to track lease payments to be applied toward the purchase of a leased asset. You don’t track the leased asset itself until you purchase it.
LicencesUse Licences to track non-professional licences for permission to engage in an activity, like selling alcohol or radio broadcasting.

For fees associated with professional licences granted to individuals, use a Legal and professional fees expense account, instead.
Organisational CostsUse Organisational costs to track costs incurred when forming a partnership or corporation.

The costs include the legal and accounting costs necessary to organise the company, facilitate the filings of the legal documents, and other paperwork.
Other Non-current AssetsUse Other non-current assets to track assets not covered by other types.

Non-current assets are long-term assets that are expected to provide value for more than one year.
Other intangible assetsUse Other intangible assets to track non-monetary assets that cannot be seen, touched or physically measured that don’t fall into the other intangible asset types.
Prepayments and accrued incomeUse Prepayments and accrued income to track payments and income paid in advance to cover costs that will be charged in future years.
Security DepositsUse Security deposits to track funds you’ve paid to cover any potential costs incurred by damage, loss, or theft.

The funds should be returned to you at the end of the contract.

If you accept down payments, advance payments, security deposits, or other kinds of deposits, use an Other Current liabilities account with the detail type Other Current liabilities.
Detail typeDefinition
CreditorsCreditors tracks amounts you owe to your suppliers.

QuickBooks Online automatically creates one Creditors account for you. Most businesses need only one.
Detail typeDefinition
Credit Card Credit card accounts track the balance due on your business credit cards. Create a separate credit card account for each credit card account your business uses.
Detail typeDefinition
Client Trust Accounts - LiabilitiesUse Client Trust accounts - liabilities to offset Client Trust accounts in assets.

Amounts in these accounts are held by your business on behalf of others. They do not belong to your business, so should not appear to be yours on your balance sheet. This "contra" account takes care of that, as long as the two balances match.
Current LiabilitiesUse Current liabilities to track liabilities due within the next twelve months that do not fit the Current liability account types.
Current Tax LiabilityUse Current tax liability to track the total amount of taxes collected but not yet paid to the government.
Insurance PayableUse Insurance payable to keep track of insurance amounts due.

This account is most useful for businesses with monthly recurring insurance expenses.
Line of CreditUse Line of credit to track the balance due on any lines of credit your business has. Each line of credit your business has should have its own Line of credit account.
Loan PayableUse Loan payable to track loans your business owes which are payable within the next 12 months.

For longer-term loans, use the Non-Current liability called Notes payable, instead.
Payroll ClearingUse Payroll clearing to keep track of any non-tax amounts that you have deducted from employee payroll payments or that you owe as a result of doing payroll. When you forward money to the appropriate suppliers, deduct the amount from the balance of this account.

Don't use this account for tax amounts you have withheld or owe from paying employee wages. For those amounts, use the Payroll tax payable account instead.
Prepaid Expenses PayableUse Prepaid expenses payable to track items such as property taxes that are due, but not yet deductible as an expense because the period they cover has not yet passed.
Rents in trust - LiabilityUse Rents in trust - liability to offset the Rents in trust amount in assets.

Amounts in these accounts are held by your business on behalf of others. They don't belong to your business, so shouldn't appear to be yours on your balance sheet. This "contra" account takes care of that, as long as the two balances match.
Short term borrowing from related partiesUse Short term borrowings to track loans that need to be paid back within 12 months.
Tax and National InsuranceUse Tax and National Insurance payable to keep track of tax amounts that you owe to HMRC as a result of paying wages and taxes you have withheld from employee payroll payments.

When you forward the money to HMRC, deduct the amount from the balance of this account.
Detail typeDefinition
Accruals and Deferred IncomeUse Accruals and deferred income at the accounting year end to track expenses for invoices which have not been received by the end of the accounting period.
Long term borrowingsUse Long term borrowings to track the amount due on long term borrowing.
Notes PayableUse Notes payable to track the amounts your business owes in long-term (over 12 months) loans.

For shorter loans, use the Current liabilities account type called Loan payable, instead.
Other non-current liabilitiesUse Other non-current liabilities to track liabilities due in more than 12 months that don’t fit the other Non-Current liabilities account types.
Provision for liabilitiesUse Provision for liabilities to track the funds set aside in anticipation of future expenditures.
Shareholder Notes PayableUse Shareholder notes payable to track long-term loan balances your business owes its shareholders.
Detail typeDefinition
Accumulated adjustmentSome corporations use this account to track adjustments to owner’s equity that are not attributable to net income.
Called up share capitalUse Called up share capital to track share capital which has been issued.
Open Balance EquityQuickBooks Online creates this account the first time you enter an opening balance for a balance sheet account.

As you enter opening balances, QuickBooks Online records the amounts in Opening balance equity. This help ensure that you have a correct balance sheet for your company, even before you’ve finished entering all your company’s assets and liabilities.
Ordinary sharesCorporations use Ordinary shares to track its ordinary shares in the hands of shareholders. The amount in this account should be the stated (or par) value of the stock.
Owner’s EquityCorporations use Owner’s equity to show the cumulative net income or loss of their business as of the beginning of the financial year.
Paid-in capital or surplusCorporations use Paid-in capital to track amounts received from shareholders in exchange for shares that are over and above the shares’ stated (or par) value.
Partner ContributionsPartnerships use Partner contributions to track amounts partners contribute to the partnership during the year.
Partner DistributionsPartnerships use Partner distributions to track amounts distributed by the partnership to its partners during the year.

Don’t use this for regular payments to partners for interest or service. For regular payments, use a Guaranteed payments account (an Expense account in Payroll expenses), instead.
Partner’s EquityPartnerships use Partner’s equity to show the income remaining in the partnership for each partner as of the end of the prior year.
Personal ExpenseUse Personal Expense for costs incurred for individual needs and not running your business.
Preferred sharesCorporations use this account to track its preferred shares in the hands of shareholders. The amount in this account should be the stated (or par) value of the shares.
Retained EarningsUse Retained earnings tracks net income from previous financial years.
QuickBooks Online adds this account when you create your company and automatically transfers your profit (or loss) to Retained earnings at the end of each financial year.
Treasury SharesCorporations use Treasury shares to track amounts paid by the corporation to buy its own shares back from shareholders.
Detail typeDefinition
Discounts/Refunds GivenUse Discounts/refunds given to track discounts you give to customers. This account typically has a negative balance so it offsets other income.

For discounts from suppliers, use an Expense account instead.
Foreign Taxes IncurredUse Foreign Taxes Incurred to track expenses related to taxes paid to foreign governments.
Non-Profit IncomeUse Non-profit income to track money coming in if you are a non-profit organisation.
Other Primary IncomeUse Other primary income to track income from normal business operations that doesn't fall into another Income type.
Rent a room relief - Rents ReceivedUse Rent a room relief - Rents Received to track rental income received under the Rent a Room Scheme.
Sales of Product IncomeUse Sales of product income to track income from selling products. This can include all kinds of products, like crops and livestock, rental fees, performances and food served.
Service/Fee incomeUse Service/fee income to track income services you perform or ordinary usage fees you charge.

For fees customers pay you, late payments or other uncommon situations, use an Other Income account type with the detail type called Other miscellaneous income instead.
UK Taxes withheldUse UK taxes withheld to track taxes that are withheld from income tax or payments.
Unapplied Cash Payment incomeUnapplied cash payment income reports the Cash Basis income from customers payments you've received but not applied to invoices or charges. In general, you'd never use this directly in a purchase or sale transaction.
Detail typeDefinition
Dividend IncomeUse Dividend income to track taxable dividends from investments.
Interest earnedUse Interest earned to track interest earned from cash at bank and in hand accounts, investments or interest payments to you on loans your business has made.
Other Investment IncomeUse Other investment income to track other types of investment income that isn’t from dividends or interest.
Other Miscellaneous IncomeUse Other miscellaneous income to track income that isn't from normal business operations and doesn't fall into another Other Income type.
Premiums paidUse Premiums paid to track payments made for insurance coverage.
Premiums receivedUse Premiums received to track money received for insurance coverage.
Tax-Exempt InterestUse Tax-exempt interest to record interest that isn’t taxable, such as interest on money in tax-exempt retirement accounts, or interest from tax-exempt bonds.
Detail typeDefinition
Cost of Labour - COSUse Cost of labour - COS to track the cost of paying employees to produce products or supply services.

It includes all employment costs, including food and transportation, if applicable.
Cost of SalesUse Cost of sales to track costs related to sales you provide.
Equipment rental - COSUse Equipment rental - COS to track the cost of renting equipment to produce products or services.

If you purchase equipment, use a Tangible asset account type and the detail type Machinery and equipment.
Other costs of sales - COSUse Other costs of sales- COS to track costs related to services or sales that you provide that don't fall into another Cost of Sales account type.
Shipping, Freight and Delivery - COSUse Shipping, freight and delivery - COS to track the cost of shipping products to customers or distributors.
Supplies and materials - COSUse Supplies and materials - COS to track the cost of raw goods and parts used or consumed when producing a product or providing a service.
Detail typeDefinition
Advertising/PromotionalUse Advertising/promotional to track money spent promoting your company.

You may want different accounts of this type to track different promotional efforts (Yellow Pages, newspaper, radio, flyers, events and so on).

If the promotion effort is a meal, use Promotional meals instead.
AutoUse Auto to track costs associated with vehicles.

You may want different accounts of this type to track petrol, repairs and maintenance.

If your business owns a car or lorry, you may want to track its value as a Tangible Asset, in addition to tracking its expenses.
Bad DebtsUse Bad debt to track debt you have written off.
Bank ChargesUse Bank charges for any fees you pay to financial institutions.
Carried Forward ReliefUse Carried Forward Relief for certain unused deductions, losses or credits that are to be carried over from one tax year to another.
Charitable ContributionsUse Charitable contributions to track gifts to charity.
Cost of LabourUse Cost of labour to track the cost of paying employees to produce products or supply services.

It includes all employment costs, including food and transportation, if applicable.

This account is also available as a Cost of Sales (COS) account.
Distribution costsUse Distribution costs to track the cost of shipping goods to customers or distributors.
Dues and SubscriptionsUse Dues and subscriptions to track dues and subscriptions related to running your business.

You may want different accounts of this type for professional dues, fees for licences that can’t be transferred, magazines, newspapers, industry publications or service subscriptions.
EntertainmentUse Entertainment to track events to entertain employees.

If the event is a meal, use Meals and entertainment, instead.
Equipment rentalUse Equipment rental to track the cost of renting equipment to produce products or services. This account is also available as a Cost of sales account.

If you purchase equipment, use a Tangible asset account type called Machinery and equipment.
Finance CostsUse Finance costs to track the costs of obtaining loans or credit. Examples of finance costs would be card fees, interest and mortgage costs.
InsuranceUse Insurance to track insurance payments.

You may want different accounts of this type for different types of insurance (auto, general liability, and so on).
Interest PaidUse Interest paid for all types of interest you pay, including mortgage interest, finance charges on cards, or interest on loans.
Legal and professional feesUse Legal and professional fees to track money to pay to professionals to help you run your business.

You may want different accounts of this type for payments to your accountant, attorney, or other consultants.
Meals and entertainmentUse Meals and entertainment to track how much you spend on dining with your employees to promote morale.

If you dine with a customer to promote your business, use a Promotional meals account, instead.

Be sure to include who you ate with and the purpose of the meal when you enter the transaction.
Office/General Administrative ExpensesUse Office/general administrative expenses to track all types of general or office-related expenses.
Other Miscellaneous Service CostUse Other miscellaneous service cost to track costs related to providing services that don’t fall into another Expense type.

This account is also available as a Cost of Sales (COS) account.
Payroll ExpensesUse Payroll expenses to track payroll expenses. You may want different accounts of this type for things like:
• Compensation of officers
• Guaranteed payments
• Compulsory Employers Liability Insurance
• Salaries and wages
• Payroll taxes
Promotional mealsUse Promotional meals to track how much you spend dining with a customer to promote your business.

Be sure to include who you ate with and the purpose of the meal when you enter the transaction.
Rent or Lease of BuildingsUse Rent or lease of buildings to track rent payments you make.
Repair and maintenanceUse Repair and maintenance to track any repairs and periodic maintenance fees.

You may want different accounts of this type to track different types repair and maintenance expenses (auto, equipment, landscape, and so on).
Shipping, Freight, and DeliveryUse Shipping, freight and delivery to track the cost of shipping products to customers or distributors.

You might use this type of account for incidental shipping expenses, and the COS type of Shipping, freight and delivery account for direct costs.

This account is also available as a Cost of Sales (COS) account.
SuppliesUse Supplies to track the cost of raw goods and parts used or consumed when producing a product or providing a service.

This account is also available as a Cost of Sales (COS) account.
Taxes PaidUse Taxes paid to track taxes you pay.

You may want different accounts of this type for payments to different tax agencies.
TravelUse Travel to track travel costs.

For food you eat while travelling, use Travel meals instead.
Travel mealsUse Travel meals to track how much you spend on food while travelling.

If you dine with a customer to promote your business, use a Promotional meals account, instead.

If you dine with your employees to promote morale, use Meals and entertainment, instead.
Unapplied Cash Bill Payment ExpensesUnapplied cash bill payment expense reports the Cash basis expense from supplier payment cheques you’ve sent but not yet applied to supplier bills.

In general, you would never use this directly on a purchase or sale transaction.
UtilitiesUse Utilities to track utility payments.

You may want different accounts of this type to track different types of utility payments (gas and electric, telephone, water, and so on).
Detail typeDefinition
AmortisationUse Amortisation to track amortisation of intangible assets.
Amortisation is the spreading of the cost of an intangible asset over its useful life, like depreciation of tangible assets.

You may want an amortisation account for each intangible asset you have.
DepreciationUse Depreciation to track how much you depreciate tangible assets. You may want a depreciation account for each tangible asset you have.
Exchange Gain or LossUse Exchange gain or loss to track gains or losses that occur as a result of exchange rate fluctuations.
Other ExpenseUse Other expense to track unusual or infrequent expenses that don’t fall into another Other expense type.
Penalties and settlementsUse Penalties and settlements to track money you pay for violating laws or regulations, settling lawsuits, or other penalties.

Now that you have an idea of which categories to use, let's walk through a step-by-step guide on how to find, add and match bank transactions in QuickBooks Online.

If you're in the business of selling products and/or services, you can also group similar items together and create sub-categories to stay organised.

Need more help?

If you’re still not sure which category to choose, ask your accountant for help. If you don’t have an accountant, we can help find an accountant or bookkeeper near you.

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