Financial accounts in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks uses financial accounts (often referred to as just “accounts”) to categorize and organize transactions. Different types of accounts track sales, assets, expenses, liabilities (i.e. loans), and all other financial activities.

This lets QuickBooks users keep track of everything related to their business.

Learn how QuickBooks Online users create and manage accounts.

The list of accounts a business uses to track transactions is known as the chart of accounts.

While there are many common financial accounts, each business will have a unique chart of accounts based on their specific needs and industry. There are five basic account types:

Each account tracks transactions in specific ways:

All of the standard account types are in QuickBooks. QuickBooks also adds additional accounts that break down these higher level categories a bit more. For instance, there are multiple types of liability account types that are designed for very specific uses.

In addition, each account also has a detail type. Detail types (also known as “subtypes”) add additional information that tells users what the account is being used for. For instance, if you choose “Bank” for the account type, you can select “savings” or “checking” for the detail type to get more specific.

Account attribute Description
Name The name of the account. This is normally user-defined. The name must be unique - always check if an account already exists before creating a new one.
AccountType The general classification of the account. This specifies the account’s broad use. Note: Either AccountType or AccountSubType can be specified in requests.
AccountSubType The more detailed classification of the account. For the customer-facing UI, this corresponds to “Detail type.” Note: Either AccountType or AccountSubType can be specified in requests.
How this relates to app development

Businesses rely on financial reports to make smart right decisions about their sales, expenses, assets, and everything else. Reports in QuickBooks get their data directly from accounts.

Moreover, invoices, items, reports, and other core QuickBooks features rely on accounts to accurately track transactions and their totals.

As a developer, you can create and update account information so you can use it with other related features.

Use the Account entity to access a users’ chart of accounts. Individual accounts are organized according to their Account.Classification and Account.AccountType attributes.

Visit the API Explorer to learn more about the Account entity.