Linking your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks saves you time and effort by eliminating manual data entry, ensures that you books are always up to date and makes reconciliation of your accounts much easier.
Transactions are downloaded automatically so that you don’t have to enter every line of your statements by hand. QuickBooks learns as you categorise and add transactions, so it can start doing the work for you.
When you’re comfortable with the system you can set up Bank Rules to improve automation of your accounts even more.
This article provides a brief overview of Online Banking within QuickBooks. Our online video tutorials are available here if you want to know more. Select the Online Banking category to find out more about the topics below, and more. You can also check out our online Sample Company to try some of the features yourself.
Connect to your online bank account
Connecting QuickBooks to your online bank accounts is easy. Simply hit ‘Connect an account’ on the QuickBooks home page, then select or search for your bank (most major high street banks are covered, but please get in touch and let us know if yours is not listed). Once you’ve logged in, QuickBooks connects to your bank account with the same mechanism you use to log in directly, to make sure your data is safe and secure – all you have to do is associate your online account with an account in QuickBooks and you’re ready to go.
Once your bank data has been downloaded automatically (this happens every day) you can categorise expenses and deposits, and match them to transactions you’ve already entered into QuickBooks.
QuickBooks helps you with this by ‘recognising’ your bank transactions. A ‘Recognised item’ is one that has a match, has a rule applied or uses categories from related transactions you’ve already accepted into your QuickBooks account. It’s marked as a Match and can be accepted into QuickBooks at the click of a button; multiple transactions – recognised or not – can even be accepted at the same time if everything looks in order. Of course, you can always change the details of each one if you’re not happy with what QuickBooks has suggested.
Items that QuickBooks recognises are marked in green. You won’t see any the first time you work with transactions, but look for it afterwards. As you create more Rules and QuickBooks learns about your preferences, more and more transactions will be automatically matched, saving you more time.
Sometimes you’ll find that your bank statement contains transactions that do not need to be entered in QuickBooks. In that case you can simply exclude them from the process. Select the transactions concerned, then choose ‘Exclude selected’ from the ‘Batch actions’ menu.
You can review your exclusions and undo them if you’ve made a mistake, or delete them permanently if you’re sure and want to keep your data clean and easy to manage.
Rules go beyond automatic categorisation to give you a finer level of control, letting you further customise and automate the bank transactions you accept into QuickBooks. This helps save you time and minimizes errors.
To create a Rule, select the drop-down arrow next to File Upload in the Banks and Cards screen. You can then select the ‘Manage rules’ option.
Within the Rules screen you can create new rules, edit existing ones and delete those that you no longer need. Examples of rules designed to make transaction categorisation more precise might include:
- If the description is Gardening at Bob’s, assign Bob Waldron as the payee
- Split income from Lakeside Lawyers as 30% Services and 70% Products
- If the description is Amazon or AMZN, set the payee to Amazon and category to Office Expenses
Bank Rules can be exported from one QBO company and imported for use in another, so that you don’t have to keep performing the same set-up tasks when the books for different companies need to follow common rules.
Online banking is a powerful tool within QuickBooks to help you save time and manage your finances more quickly and efficiently. Why not try it out for yourself, watch our video tutorials to learn more, or play around in our online Sample Company?