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Make an account inactive on your chart of accounts in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 3 weeks ago

Learn how to make accounts inactive from your chart of accounts.

Keep your chart of accounts simple and organised. 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.

If you've never used an account or its balance is R0, you can easily make it inactive. However, active accounts will take a bit more work. Since accounts rely on each other to stay balanced, deleting data from one affects everything else. We'll guide you through what you can do so you can make the best choice.

There's a big difference between disconnecting an account from online banking and deleting one from your chart of accounts. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

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.

Disconnect accounts connected to online banking

Instead of deleting accounts that are connected to online banking, we recommend disconnecting them. This simply stops QuickBooks from downloading new transactions. If you disconnect an account from online banking, your existing accounting data won't change. You can reconnect it any time to start downloading transactions again.

When you disconnect, QuickBooks deletes transactions that you still need to categorise in the For Review tab. If the transactions are older than 90 days, you won't be able to download them into QuickBooks again.

Note: When you disconnect, QuickBooks will delete all transactions that still need to be categorised in the For Review tab.

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, analyse 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 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: QuickBooks uses certain accounts as default accounts for features. Tax and undeposited funds accounts are examples of default accounts. You can't delete default accounts.

Some accounts require extra steps before you can make them inactive:

When you're ready to make an account inactive:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts.
  2. Find the account you want to delete.
  3. 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 customise some reports to hide inactive accounts, but this may affect accuracy.

If you want to see your inactive accounts in your chart of accounts:

  1. Select Settings ⚙, then select Chart of accounts.
  2. Next to the printer icon, select the Settings ⚙ icon.
  3. Select the Include inactive checkbox.
  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Chart of accounts.
  2. Select the Gear icon ⚙ next to the printer icon. Then select Include inactive.
  3. Find the account you want to use again, then select Make active.

Keep in mind, QuickBooks won't add transactions back to the account or edit any journal entries it made to balance your accounts.

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