See All Account Balances in the QuickBooks Chart of Accounts Window

How to Customize the QuickBooks Chart of Accounts Window

By default, the QuickBooks Chart of Accounts window displays the balances only for Assets, Liabilities, and Equity (Balance Sheet accounts). To see the balance of an Income or Expense account you must open the account. You can change this view, but you need to understand the data you see.

By default, the balances for Balance Sheet accounts in QuickBooks are displayed in a column named Balance Total. To show the balances of all accounts, right-click anywhere in the COA window and choose Customize Columns. In the left pane select Balance and click Add to add the Balance Column to the COA window. Now you have two balance columns: Balance (which displays the current balance for every account) and Balance Total (which displays the current balance for every Balance Sheet account). There are some other differences between the Balance column and the Balance Total column:

In the Balance column (whichs shows the current balance for every account in QuickBooks), if you have subaccounts the parent account balance should be zero. (If a parent account balance isn't zero, you've posted transactions to the parent account, which you should never do.)

The Balance Total (which displays balances for QuickBooks Balance Sheet accounts) shows the total of the parent account for any Balance Sheet account that has subaccounts (the total should equal the sum of the subaccount balances).

Additionally, in the Balance column the amounts displayed reflect the way debits and credits are posted in QuickBooks. Because there aren't two columns within this column (one for debits and a separate one for credits), you see the following:

  •  Income accounts normally display a negative number (these are credit-side accounts).
  •  Expense accounts normally display a positive number (these are debit-side accounts).


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