Learn how to make accounts inactive from your chart of accounts.
Keep your chart of accounts simple and organized. If you don't plan to use an account anymore, you can make it inactive. QuickBooks makes accounts inactive instead of deleting them so you have access to past transaction data for reporting purposes.
Note: If you are looking to make a banking account inactive, it's better to disconnect it. Then, QuickBooks stops downloading new transactions, but your existing accounting data won't change.
What to know before making an account inactive
- You cannot permanently delete an account, except for merging one account into another.
- Making an account inactive doesn't remove its transactions. Transactions associated with any deactivated (deleted) account stay intact.
- You can't edit a transaction associated with an inactive 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, analyze the account and correct it to a zero balance before deactivating it.
- Before making a balance sheet account inactive, 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 inactive 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.
Make an account inactive to delete it
Note: Before you start, reach out to your accountant. Make sure this change is right for you. Don't have an accountant? We can help you find one.
If you've never used an account or its balance is $0, you can easily make it inactive. But, if you make an account inactive that you’ve used, it's very difficult to undo. Since accounts rely on each other to stay balanced, deleting data from one affects everything else.
If you make an account with a balance inactive, QuickBooks creates a journal entry. This moves the remaining balance to another account. Your existing transactions don't disappear and stay on your financial reports. However, if you decide to use the account again, QuickBooks won't move the balance back or change the journal entry.
Important: Certain accounts in QuickBooks can’t be deleted because they are default accounts.
Some accounts require extra steps before you can make them inactive:
- If products or services use the account, change the account they're linked to. Or you can make products and services that use the account inactive.
- If you want to delete an income account with pending charges, invoice your customers for the billable expenses, time, or charges. Then you can make the account inactive.
- If you have recurring transactions linked to an account, you need to unlink them.
- You can't deactivate accounts with subaccounts until you move the subaccounts.
When you're ready to make an account inactive:
- Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts.
- Find the account you want to delete.
- Select the Action ▼ dropdown and select Make inactive.
See inactive accounts
When you run reports, you’ll still see inactive accounts and their transactions. QuickBooks includes them to keep everything accurate. You can customize some reports to hide inactive accounts, but this may affect accuracy.
If you want to see your inactive accounts in your chart of accounts:
- Select Settings ⚙, then select Chart of accounts.
- Next to the printer icon, select the Settings ⚙ icon.
- Select the Include inactive checkbox.