Connecting your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online is a great way to track your income and spending without having to manually enter every transaction. Only recording your income through sales forms while leaving out your expenses provides an incomplete perspective of your business’ overall health, but creating records for every transaction can be a huge task.
If you connect your online bank accounts in QuickBooks Online, the program will automatically download the last 90 days of transactions recorded by your bank. The program will match existing entries already in QuickBooks online and add new records for incoming transactions without a matching entry. This feature ensures your accounts are always up-to-date and drastically reduces the amount of data-entry you need to do on a daily basis.
Connecting your bank accounts to QuickBooks Online and automatically importing transactions recorded by your bank saves a lot of time. Adding invoices and sales receipts takes effort - as your business scales, these tasks will increase accordingly. Using the Online Banking feature to supplement your efforts ensures all of your income and expenses get into QuickBooks so you have comprehensive financial reports and thus a comprehensive perspective of your business’ performance.
This automation also prevents data entry errors that occasionally occur with manual data entry, giving you peace of mind and freeing your day to get more done.
Get started connecting your online bank accounts
You can connect and manage multiple bank accounts (including credit cards and PayPal) from the Banking Tab.
To start, select “Add Account” in the Banking Tab and search for your bank on the list. If you don’t already use separate checking and credit card accounts for your business, you may want to consider opening separate right away - - and you’ll soon see why.
Choose the bank account you use for your business from the list and tell QuickBooks what kind of accounts they are. Remember to use the same login credentials for when you visit your bank online.
It may take a few minutes to establish a secure connection. Now is as good a time as any to browse a few of our other "How to" articles.
Once the secure link is established, you will see all of your available accounts listed. Select the appropriate type and QuickBooks will begin pulling the last 90 days of transactions.
Navigating the Bank Feed
This is what your typical Bank Feed will look like: your various accounts are separated in the header and historical transactions are listed below.
You can filter for each account (and see their totals) by clicking on the blue boxes in the header.
At the top of the columns above the transactions, you will see “All” and “Recognized.” Clicking “All” will display all the transactions for the selected account while “Recognized” filters for transactions that have a match (more on that in a minute).
Finally, at the very top are “Bank Rules” and the Update button, the latter of which you can use to manually update your Bank Feed with new transactions from the bank.
Importing bank transactions
QuickBooks will download all of your bank transactions from the last 90 days into the Bank Feed. However, these transactions aren’t in QuickBooks just yet. Once they’re in the Bank Feed, you’ll still need to categorize these imported transactions so they're recorded to the correct accounts.
Begin with the “For Review" Tab to see all of your uncategorized transactions. Work your way down the list from your most recent transactions since these are freshest in your mind. You can always sort the list columns by category, payee, and payment amount by clicking the top bar.
You can start with either the "All" or "Recognized" list in the Bank Feed. The (#) next to the column title indicates how many transactions are in the specified category - we find it best to start with whichever has with the least amount of transactions.
If you aren't sure where to start, go for the “Recognized” tab. Finishing the list should be a breeze. When transactions appear on this list, it means QuickBooks has found a matching invoice or expense form in the system, a bank rule has been applied, and/or a category used for relatedtransactionsin the past has been applied.
The “records found” means QuickBooks has a match. If more than one transaction matches a bank record, you will see a number next to the green “records found” in the feed. Match criteria are based on the amount and payee.
Most of these will have a perfect match. All you have to do is verify that the bank record matches what's already identified in QuickBooks and click the “match" button to connect the imported transaction.
We recommend going through the Bank Feed line-by-line and review whether the record truly matches what the system recognized. To do so, click the transaction to expand the line and bring up this menu:
From here, you can click the link to bring up the Sales Form QuickBooks is trying to match. If there is more than one match, all of the options will appear under "Records found." Select the appropriate invoice or expense and click "Match." If the match isn’t correct but you know the record exists in QuickBooks, click the “Find other records” button to search for a match.
Important–if you know a transaction already exists in QuickBooks (income, expenses, or otherwise), it’s very important that you use thematch feature. Don’t "add" a new transaction from the Bank Feed without a match – this could result in double-counting your income or expenses since you’re essentially generating a duplicate transaction.
Once you're done matching, you can review or undo matches by clicking the “In QuickBooks” tab. This tab shows all recently matched transactions.
As you createBank Rulesand QuickBooks learns about your preferences, more and more transactions will be automatically matched, saving you even more time.
Adding transactions (not already in QuickBooks)
The Online Banking feature also semi-automates record creation. For imported transactions that do not have a match, QuickBooks will generate a new record and attempt to categorize the transaction into the correct account.
If you see the “add” button next to a transaction, it means the transaction was imported from the bank, but still needs to be created and properly categorized. Clicking “add” generates a transaction in the QuickBooks register. This transaction will be added to the Sales Tab (for invoices) or Expense Tab (for expenses).
QuickBooks Online will attempt to add the payee, date, amount, and account automatically when it updates the Bank Feed.
Before you click “add,” make sure the correct “category” (account) is selected so QuickBooks records the transaction accurately. The system is fairly good at guessing, but you can always change the category from the drop-down menu.
The “add” function also allows you to split transactions into different accounts.
When you add the transaction, QuickBooks will only record the information provided on this line. Once you click "add," go into the Sales or Expense Tab to review the new record and add any additional details.
Important– We want to emphasize again: go into the Sales or Expense tabs and fill out the rest of the information for the transaction right after you add it to the register. Bank records can only provide so much information to QuickBooks. You need accurate details for every record of income and expenses.
As you can see from the example above, in my haste I added this expense without entering any details -- and the record is missing a lot of information. If I walked away from my computer and came back the next day, I may completely forget about adding the details. Even if I do remember to finish the job, I will probably forget the details.
Recording bank transfers
You may have moved money to another account, such as moving funds from a checking account to a savings account. You need to record this transaction as a transfer so it's not reported as income.
Find the transaction under the For Review tab, select Record transfer, then select the account the money was transferred to or from. Add any notes or extra details and select the Record transfer button to add it to your books.
There will be two transactions under the For Review tab for any transfer you make: one transaction for money moving in and another for money moving out. Make sure you record both transactions as part of the transfer to keep your books accurate.
You may want to add more than one category for a transaction, such as a mortgage transaction split between a business expense (work from home) and a personal expense.
Select the transaction, then Split, then enter the amounts for each category.
You can edit the details of a split transaction under the Reviewed tab just like any other transaction.
If you can’t find a matching transaction…
If you know the transaction is in QuickBooks, always look for the match. If for some reason QuickBooks can’t find a match for an invoice or expense you know for certain you’ve entered…
... and you're are in the“All” tab, click the imported transaction on the list. You can toggle from “Add” to “Match” to pull up the Match Transactions window.
This list contains all transactions recognized by QuickBooks. Search the list and put a check mark next to the transaction you want to match. Be sure the total amount of the match record on the list is equal to the total amount of the imported transaction.
...and you're on the “Recognized” tab looking at matched transactions, click the “Find other records” button to pull up the Match Transactions window.
From here, you can search for specific criteria, such as the payor/payee name, amount, etc, to locate the transaction.
If the transaction you need to match is outside the date range at the top of the Match Transactions window, change the dates. When you find the appropriate transaction, check the box. If the total is the same as the imported transaction total, select "Save" and match the two.
If the totals are different or you know multiple transactions are attached to the imported record, you can match multiple transactions or select Resolve Difference until the difference is equal to zero.
Any other tips I should keep in mind to be successful?
Use the descriptions from the imported bank records as clues to help you categorize transactions.
If QuickBooks Online can’t recognize a category, the program may try to put transactions into Uncategorized Income or Expenses. It’s best not to leave transactions in these accounts. Instead, create new accounts in your Chart of Accounts to make sure money is categorized correctly the first time.
Attaching receipts to bank transactions in the Bank Feed can help you keep records organized.
If you don’t select or add a name for a vendor or customer when matching or adding records, QuickBooks Online adds these transactions to the register without one. We highly recommend never adding transactions without a vendor or customer name.
QuickBooks Online will not attempt to match any transactions that are more than 180 days old.