Accounting Numbers - Accounting Software Secrets
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Accounting Numbers

Accounting Numbers

Account Numbers

This preference is on the “Company Preference” tab which means that the user needs to be logged in with the “Admin” password in order to make any changes.

Account numbers are turned off by default.  The advantage of turning them on is two fold:

  1. For the account numbers that have been committed to memory, the data entry will be faster.  For those accounts that the number is not known, the account name can be typed (the same as if the account numbers were turned off) or chosen from a chart of accounts list..
  2. A logical order for account numbers, such as 1000’s for assets, 2000’s for liabilities, etc. makes it easy to confirm that the correct account has been chosen.  For example, is Automobile the asset or the expense?  Without the number to provide a clue, the pull down menu would need to be shown in order to confirm one or the other.

The chart of accounts in QuickBooks can be modified to include account numbers by changing the preference as detailed below. QuickBooks assigns a 4-digit account number to each account it has created during the set up process or as a feature is turned on. Editing the individual account permits changes to the account numbers. Any user-created accounts will not have an account number until one is individually assigned to it. The account number can be up to seven alphanumeric digits.

Account numbers make data entry more accurate and efficient.  Once account numbers have been assigned, either the number or the name can be used for data entry purposes. 

By default this preference is turned off.  If account numbers are going to be used it is most efficient to turn the preference on before anything else is done to the chart of accounts.  Otherwise, the accounts may need to be subsequently edited for the account number.  The secondary preference of show lowest sub account only is available if every account has been assigned an account number.  The advantage to this preference is that when completing the data entry functions with this feature turned on only the sub-account will appear, rather than the account being displayed in a main account:sub account format.

TIP: If the accountant prefers to use account numbers and the data entry person or business owner does not, changes are not lost by turning on and off the preference.  An added benefit is that when the account numbers are turned back on it is readily apparent which accounts have been moved to a different type of account (i.e. numbers will be out of sequence) and which accounts have been added (i.e. they will not have a number assigned to them).

TIP: To issue financial statements from QuickBooks directly without account numbers, turn off the preference, and then turn it on after the statement is printed.  This step is usually not required if an add-on product is used for issuing the financial statements.

QBRA-2003: Edit > Preferences > Accounting > Company Preferences


More information on this topic


Chart of Accounts

Setting Preferences