Updated: Oct 18
QuickBooks Online makes this an easy trip, but be sure you know how the site handles them once you've moved them.
QuickBooks Online will automatically import transactions from your bank feeds, reducing your chance of data transposition errors and inaccuracies in your customer billing, reports, and income taxes. Chances are, you've already made this connection, but if you're still manually entering transactions from your bank statements, we recommend setting up connections to your online banks.
In this article, we'll review the set-up process and walk you through how you can process your transactions in QuickBooks Online.
How to Connect QuickBooks Online to Your Online Bank
First, you'll need to have an online account for your bank in order to connect your bank accounts to QuickBooks. Once you have your login information for your banking institution, open QuickBooks and click Bookkeeping in the navigation toolbar. It should open to Transactions | Bank transactions. Click Link account over on the right. A page opens with suggested financial institutions. If yours isn't there, you can enter its name in the search ribbon at the top. Be sure to select the correct bank by clicking it.
If your bank isn't listed on the options page, enter its name, and then click on the correct one if there's more than one entry. You can click Continue and go through any security steps your financial institution may have. You'll get to a page that says, "Which accounts do you want to connect?" with a drop-down list displaying options from your Chart of Accounts. Select the type of account you're creating (checking, credit card, etc.) and follow the onscreen instructions until your connection is complete and QuickBooks Online has downloaded your transactions. There is also an option on which dates to import. The default may be "This year to date," however, if you've already reconciled the bank or credit card account, we suggest you override that date to the first day after your last reconciliation. Make sure you go through this process for any company credit accounts, too! WARNING: It's important that you set up your linked accounts correctly since you're dealing with the Chart of Accounts. If any step is confusing, we can schedule a session to review your online account connections.
How to Find Imported Transactions in QuickBooks Online
Once you've connected all your online accounts to QuickBooks, you'll notice them appear on the Bank transactions page, displayed in small boxes containing their balances and the number of transactions they contain (there might be quite a few when you first download). You can also see how recently each account was updated (click Update anytime you want to refresh an account).
Once you've connected to an online bank account, you can see how many transactions were downloaded and what the account's balance is.
Select a bank account, and its register will appear below. Above that, you'll see three labeled bars:
For review: QuickBooks Online puts all downloaded transactions in this list first.
Categorized: This is where all of your transactions will be moved once you've categorized them.
Excluded. If you run into duplicate transactions, you can move them here. We recommend you consult with us before excluding any transactions.
Below these bars, you'll see that you can filter your transactions by date, type, description, check number, or amount.
HINT: You may occasionally find your bank feed connections have become unlinked. When that happens, just repeat the connection process again.
Working with Individual Transactions
You'll want to set some time aside the first time you download transactions so you can look at each one and add or edit its content. Click a transaction to open its detail box, which is pictured below. The top line defaults to Categorize. First, select the correct Vendor/Customer (or + Add new), then check the Category and change it from the drop-down menu if it's incorrect.
You can add or edit many details for your individual transactions.
There's one more field here that's very important. If you've purchased something on behalf of a customer and would like to bill them for it, you can attribute this expense to the customer in QuickBooks by selecting their name from the drop-down list under the Customer field and selecting the Billable box. QuickBooks Online will make this transaction information available the next time you invoice the customer. Other fields not shown in the above image are optional, like Tags, Memo, and Add attachment.
Adding attachments is an easy and important way to document receipts for your expenses. We have an entire article about ways QuickBooks allows you to upload receipts for your expense conveniently -- read it here. We also have a popular article about using the Tags feature to track transactions however you need to. Find that article here.
When your transaction is complete, click Confirm to move it to the Categorized list.
There are two other options besides Categorize in these individual transaction boxes: Find match (match downloaded payments to invoices, for example) and Record as transfer (move money from one account to another). These advanced topics aren't necessarily intuitive, so we can schedule a session to review them if you anticipate needing to use them.
The mechanics of connecting to your banks in QuickBooks Online aren't complicated, but you may encounter problems moving transactions along when they're first downloaded. Let us know if we can help here. It's much easier to get it right from the start than to untangle transactions that weren't processed properly.