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Can I make an account inactive or archive it?

Answer ID: 1106

In QuickBooks Online, the way to archive or make accounts inactive is to delete them. At any time, they can be restored with all data intact. Deleting them does not change reporting (except for listing the accounts as Deleted), and it does not delete the transactions using the accounts.


Warning:   Deleting balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities and equity) with balances in them will cause adjusting entries to be posted to Opening Balance Equity. This is usually unwanted. The accounts should be corrected to zero before deleting them.


Note: Some accounts are created by our product and cannot be deleted. To deal with these accounts See KB 1078

When an account is deleted, it gets removed from the Chart of Accounts, as well as other places where you can choose accounts. If the account contains transactions, they remain part of your company data. You can find them through reports.

When a balance sheet account is deleted, the transactions associated with that account cannot be edited or deleted, unless the account is first undeleted. If the account has a non-zero balance, an adjusting transaction will automatically "zero out" the balance. This adjustment transaction cannot be deleted without the account being undeleted.  Transactions entered to deleted income and expense accounts can be edited or deleted when located and opened from reports.

Deleting and restoring accounts:

Deleting Accounts:

  1. From the Company tab and click  Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click on the account to highlight it.
  3. At the bottom, click Delete.
  4. Click Yes.

Restoring/Undeleting Accounts:

  1. From the Company tab and click  Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click Related Reports on top-right of the list.
  3. Click the Deleted Accounts report. Close the Dialog box.
  4. Click on the Account you want to un-delete.
  5. Click to clear the Deleted checkbox.
  6. Click Save.

Note:  As a precautionary measure, there is no global delete or a way to delete accounts in groups.  The deletion process has to be done one account at a time.

If you received the error: This account cannot be deleted because it is used by a product or service., you will need to either change the account for the product or service or delete the product or service, if not necessary. Please see our related KnowledgeBase article 1929:  How do I change the account my product and service item is associated with?

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