Classes vs Subclasses in Quickbooks: What’s the Difference?

Quickbooks Desktop makes it easy to categorize your business’s accounting data. You can separate transactions from customers from vendors, for example. You probably don’t want all of these transactions grouped together. By separating them, you can compare your business’s sales revenue to its inventory expenses. But that’s not the only categorization method available in Quickbooks Desktop. Intuit’s popular accounting software offers other ways to categorize your business’s accounting data, including classes and subclasses.

What Is a Class?

A class is simply a customizable tag that’s used to categorize accounting data in Quickbooks Desktop. They aren’t required. Rather, Quickbooks Desktop gives you the option of using classes.

If you want to categorize your business’s accounting data using a custom method, classes are the answer. You can set up classes for your business’s different locations, vendors, promotions, local vs online store and pretty much anything else. When viewing your business’s accounting data in Quickbooks Desktop, you can select one of these classes.

What Is a Subclass?

A subclass is essentially a child-level class. It works like a standard class by categorizing and tracking accounting data. You can create a subclass to categorize data using a custom method. The difference is that subclasses go under a standard class.

All subclasses must be assigned to a standard class. They are known as “subclasses” because they go under a standard class. With subclasses, you can categorize data within a standard class. If your business has three locations, and there are three departments within each of these locations, you can create subclasses for the three departments. The subclasses will simply go under the location-based classes.

How to Use Classes and Subclasses

To use classes and subclasses, you’ll need to enable class tracking in Quickbooks Desktop. Open your business’s company file and choose “Preferences” from the “Edit” menu. Under “Accounting,” click “Company Preferences.” You should then see an option for “Use class tracking for transactions.” Assuming it’s currently unticked, click the box to enable class tracking. When finished, click “OK” to save the changes.

Once enabled, you’ll be able to assign classes and subclasses to your business’s recorded transactions. From invoices and sales receipts to checks, bills, purchase orders and more, most transactions support the use of classes and subclasses. Keep in mind, though, that all subclasses must be assigned to a standard class.

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