How to Classify Accounts in Quickbooks? Your Comprehensive Guide

Managing finances is a crucial aspect of any business, and QuickBooks has emerged as a popular tool for this purpose due to its user-friendly interface and powerful features. One of the key functionalities in QuickBooks is the ability to classify accounts, which helps businesses organize and track their financial data more effectively. In this guide, we will delve into the importance of classifying accounts in QuickBooks and provide a step-by-step approach to doing so.

Understanding the Importance of Classifying Accounts

Classifying accounts in QuickBooks involves categorizing transactions and financial data into different classes or categories. This classification allows businesses to analyze and report on their finances in a more detailed and meaningful way. Here are some reasons why classifying accounts is important:

  1. Financial Reporting: By classifying accounts, businesses can generate reports that provide insights into specific segments of their operations. This can be particularly useful for companies with multiple departments, projects, or locations.

  2. Budgeting and Forecasting: Classifying accounts facilitates more accurate budgeting and forecasting by providing a clearer picture of expenses and revenues within different segments of the business.

  3. Cost Allocation: Businesses can allocate costs more accurately by classifying accounts based on different cost centers or projects. This helps in determining the profitability of each segment of the business.

  4. Compliance and Tax Reporting: Properly classified accounts ensure compliance with accounting standards and make tax reporting more straightforward. It allows businesses to track expenses and revenues according to different tax categories or jurisdictions.

Steps to Classify Accounts in QuickBooks

Now let's walk through the process of classifying accounts in QuickBooks:

Step 1: Set Up Classes

  1. Open QuickBooks and navigate to the "Lists" menu.
  2. Select "Class List" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the "Class" button at the bottom left corner and choose "New" to create a new class.
  4. Enter the name of the class and any additional details you want to include.
  5. Click "OK" to save the class.

Repeat this process to create all the necessary classes for your business, such as departments, projects, locations, or any other segmentation that aligns with your reporting needs.

Step 2: Assign Classes to Accounts

  1. Go to the "Chart of Accounts" by clicking on the "Lists" menu and selecting "Chart of Accounts."
  2. Double-click on the account you want to classify.
  3. In the account window, locate the "Account Information" section.
  4. Check the box that says "Track classes" to enable class tracking for this account.
  5. Select the appropriate class from the dropdown menu.
  6. Click "Save & Close" to save your changes.

Repeat this process for each account you want to classify. You can assign different classes to different accounts based on your business structure and reporting requirements.

Step 3: Enter Transactions with Classes

  1. When entering transactions such as invoices, bills, or journal entries, make sure to assign the appropriate class to each transaction.
  2. Look for the "Class" field in the transaction form and select the relevant class from the dropdown menu.
  3. Complete the transaction as usual and save it.

Make it a practice to assign classes consistently to all transactions to ensure accurate reporting.

Step 4: Run Reports by Class

  1. To view reports by class, go to the "Reports" menu.
  2. Select "Company & Financial" and then choose "Profit & Loss by Class" or "Balance Sheet by Class" depending on the type of report you need.
  3. Customize the report settings as per your requirements, such as date range and display options.
  4. Run the report to view financial data segmented by class.

Analyzing reports by class allows you to gain insights into the performance of different segments of your business.

Best Practices for Classifying Accounts

  • Consistency: Ensure consistent naming conventions and classification criteria across all accounts and transactions.
  • Regular Review: Review and update classes as needed to reflect changes in your business structure or reporting requirements.
  • Training: Provide training to your accounting team on how to properly classify accounts and transactions in QuickBooks.
  • Integration: Integrate class tracking with other features in QuickBooks, such as budgeting and forecasting, for comprehensive financial management.


Classifying accounts in QuickBooks is a valuable practice that enhances financial visibility, reporting accuracy, and decision-making for businesses of all sizes. By following the steps outlined in this guide and adopting best practices, you can effectively organize and track your financial data to drive business success. Make classifying accounts a priority in your QuickBooks workflow to unlock the full potential of your financial management system.

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