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Add, edit, or delete accounts in QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to add, edit, or delete accounts from your chart of accounts in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows and Mac.

When you set up a company file, QuickBooks automatically adds accounts to your chart of accounts that fit your business. You can make changes to the existing accounts or add new ones so you can better track how much money your company has and owes, and how much money comes in and out. Here’s how.

Set up account numbers

You can set up account numbers for your accounts so you can easily identify their account type: if they’re an asset, liability, or equity account.

Note: QuickBooks doesn’t assign account numbers to accounts you add. Instead, you assign account numbers when you create or edit your own accounts.

  1. Go to the Edit menu, then select Preferences.
  2. Select Accounting.
  3. Select the Company Preferences tab.
  4. Select the Use account numbers checkbox.
  5. If you have subaccounts, select the Show lowest subaccount only checkbox. This shortens the subaccount details when you use it in your transactions.
    For example, the expense account 5400 Rent: 5410 Office: 5411 Main shows as 5411 Main when you use it in a check.
  6. Select OK.

  1. Go to the QuickBooks menu, then select Preferences.
  2. Select Transactions.
  3. Select the Use account numbers checkbox.
  4. If you have subaccounts, select the Show lowest subaccount only checkbox. This shortens the subaccount details when you use it in your transactions.
    For example, the expense account 5400 Rent: 5410 Office: 5411 Main shows as 5411 Main when you use it in a check.

Add an account

You can add more accounts if you need to track other types of transactions. Here are different account types you can add to your QuickBooks chart of accounts.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. From the Account ▼dropdown, select New.
  3. Select an account type, then select Continue.
  4. Complete the account details.
  5. Select Save & Close.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select Create +.
  3. From the Type ▼dropdown, select the account type.
  4. Complete the account details.
  5. Select OK.

Add a subaccount

You can also add subaccounts so you can keep track of specific accounts under a parent or main account. For example, your utility account (parent) has subaccounts for different utility expenses such as gas, telephone, and water.

Note: The parent and subaccount must be the same account type.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. From the Account ▼dropdown, select New.
  3. Select an account type, then select Continue.
  4. Enter the account details.
  5. Select the Subaccount of checkbox.
  6. From the Subaccount of ▼dropdown, select the parent account.
  7. Select Save & Close.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select Create +.
  3. From the Type ▼dropdown, select the account type.
  4. Enter the account details.
  5. Select the Subaccount of checkbox.
  6. From the Subaccount of ▼dropdown, select the parent account.
  7. Select OK.

Edit an account

If you need to, you can also update an account’s type, account number, description, and tax-line mapping.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Right-click on the account that you want to edit.
  3. Select Edit Account.
  4. Update the account details.
  5. Select Save & Close.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select the account you want to edit.
  3. Select Edit ✏️.
  4. Update the account details.
  5. Select OK.

Delete an account

You can delete an account if you no longer use it so you can keep your chart of accounts organized.

Important:
You can only delete an account if:
  • It doesn’t have subaccounts. If it has subaccounts, you need to delete or move them to another parent account first.
  • You haven’t used it in any transaction or linked it to any item.

If you can’t delete the account, you can make it inactive in your chart of accounts instead.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Right-click on the account that you want to edit.
  3. Select Delete Account, then OK.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select the account you want to delete.
  3. Go to the Edit menu, then select Delete Account.
  4. Select OK.

Make an account inactive

You can make an account inactive if you can’t delete it. This hides the account from your chart of accounts and transaction forms.

Note: Inactive accounts still appear in your reports to make sure they’re accurate.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Right-click on the account you want to make inactive, then select Edit Account.
  3. Select the Account is inactive checkbox.
  4. Select Save & Close.

Once you’re ready to use the account again, you can make the account active.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select the Include inactive checkbox.
  3. Right-click on the account you want to make active again, then select Edit Account.
  4. Clear the Account is inactive checkbox.
  5. Select Save & Close.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Select the account you want to make inactive.
  3. Select Settings ⚙️, then select Make Account(s) Inactive.

Once you’re ready to use the account again, you can make the account active.

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. From the View ▼dropdown, select All Accounts.
  3. Select the account you want to make active again.
  4. Select Settings ⚙️, then select Make Account(s) Active.

What’s next

With your chart of accounts all set up, you can now enter transactions.

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