How to Create the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks Online

Jan 26, 2022
How to Create the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks Online

How to Create the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks Online

Proper setup of the Chart of Accounts is essential to produce useful and meaningful reports in QuickBooks Online.

When first setting up your QuickBooks company, QuickBooks Online creates a Chart of Accounts based on the industry you choose. (This is the case unless you import an existing QuickBooks Desktop company file. In that case, your Chart of Accounts would be the same one used in the QuickBooks Desktop file.)

As you set up your Chart of Accounts, follow these steps to get started:

1. Decide if you will use account numbers. If so, enable them using the Advanced tab in Account and Settings (accessed by clicking the gear icon).

2. Open the Chart of Accounts by clicking Accounting in the left navigation bar, then click Chart of Accounts.

Another way to access the Chart of Accounts is to click the gear icon, then select Chart of Accounts.

If this is your first time opening the Chart of Accounts in this company, you’ll be prompted to click See your Chart of Accounts.

3. To create a new account on the Chart of Accounts, click New in the top right corner to open the Account window.

4. Choose the Account Type. The account type is the general account type (e.g., Bank, Accounts Receivable, Long Term Liabilities, Equity, Income, Expenses, etc.).

5. Choose the Detail Type. The detail type is important when planning to use the Books-To-Tax tool with Intuit Tax Online. It references line items on the tax return. Selecting a Detail Type also prefills the Name field.

6. Enter an appropriate name for the account you are creating. Assign an account number if you have chosen to use account numbers. Give it a description, if desired. The Description field is not required.

7. If the account is a sub-account of another account, check the box choosing the appropriate parent account from the drop-down box.

8. The More info on opening balances box (which would appear in the case of Balance Sheet accounts) should not be used in most cases. When an amount is put in this box, an offsetting debit or credit is made to an account called Opening Balance Equity. This may cause major issues when reconciling the account later! (You should speak with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor if you need more insight.)

9. When finished, click Save and Close (or Save and New to create another account).

Create An Account On The Chart Of Accounts

To edit the number or name of an existing account in your Chart of Accounts, open the Chart of Accounts and click the pencil icon at the top right of the list. This opens a grid format allowing you to change the name and account number without opening the edit screen for each account.


To print the Chart of Accounts click the printer icon (also on the top right of the list).


To export the Chart of Accounts to Microsoft Excel® click the Run Report button in the top-right corner of the Chart of Accounts screen, next to the New button.


Once the report is created, it can be exported to Excel or PDF by clicking the export icon.


To modify the columns displayed on the Chart of Accounts, click the small gear icon to the top right of the list.


Every balance sheet account in the Chart of Accounts (except Retained Earnings) has a register. Click View Register to see the transactions in that account.


If you need a bookkeeper … I can help!  I am an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Online Proadvisor.  Check out my acccounting and bookkeeping services here.

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