Changing Account Numbers in QuickBooks

How to Modify QuickBooks Account Numbers

Readers frequently write to ask us how to increase the number of digits in their account numbers. Usually, they want more digits so they can fine-tune their chart of accounts and they’re running out of numbers. Many of these readers have figured out that the way to increase the number of digits is to open each account and type in a new number (you can use up to seven digits, and many readers have company files that have been in use since early versions of QuickBooks, when the default number of digits was four).

Changing QuickBooks account numbers one at a time is onerous, time consuming, and exceedingly annoying. Here’s a better way.

From the QuickBooks menu bar, choose Files | Utilities | Export | Lists To IIF Files, and select the Chart of Accounts as the list to be exported. Open that file in Excel and change the account numbers in the ACCNUM column. You can use Excel’s shortcut functions to automate this process.

For example, let’s say your Insurance Expenses are currently numbered 6100 for Insurance (the parent account) and you have subaccounts numbered 6110-Automobile, 6120-Building, 6130-Liability, 6140-Workers Comp, and so on. You want to move to a six-digit account number in QuickBooks. In Excel, change 6100 to 610000, and change 6110 to 610100. Select both cells and drag down to see that Excel will follow this pattern, numbering the next account 610200, and continuing the pattern.

Even if you’re going to enter the new account numbers manually, it’s faster in Excel than in QuickBooks, where you have to select each account, press Ctrl-E to edit the account, enter the new number, and click OK.

Save the Excel file as an IIF file (which is really a delimited text file) and import it back into your QuickBooks company file (Files | Utilities | Import | IIF Files).


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