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Setup bank rules to categorize banking transactions in QuickBooks

Learn how to use bank rules to automatically categorize transactions from your bank.

When you download transactions from your bank, you need to categorize them so they go into the right accounts. Bank rules speed up this review process.

You can create rules that automatically categorize transactions for you. The more QuickBooks uses your bank rules, the better it gets at categorizing. After a while, it can even scan transactions and add details like payees.

Step 1: Create a bank rule

  1. Go to the Banking menu or Transactions menu. Then select the Rules tab.
  2. Select New rule.
  3. Enter a name in the Rule field.
  4. From the For ▼ dropdown, select Money in or Money out.
  5. From the In ▼ dropdown, select the bank or credit card account.
  6. Set the rule conditions. Decide the transaction must meet All or Any of the conditions. You can add up to 5 conditions.
    Tip: Instead of creating multiple rules, you can create ones with Or conditions. QuickBooks edits transactions when they meet any of the outlined conditions. Set When a transaction meets any of these conditions, then select Add line.
  7. In the Conditions fields, specify whether the rule applies to Bank textDescription, or Amount. Then select ContainsDoesn’t contain, or Is exactly to decide when how Quickbooks applies the rules.
  8. Go to the settings for the rule. Select the Transaction typePayee, and the Category to apply.
  9. Select Save.

QuickBooks automatically applies your rules to transactions in the For Review tab. These are the ones you need to review every day.

Tip: You can quickly add a rule for transactions in the For Review tab. Just choose a transaction then select Create rule from this transaction link to open the Rule Window and start setting conditions for the rule.

Import existing bank rules

Step 2: Review recognized transactions

To use bank rules to automatically categorize transactions from your bank, Each time QuickBooks uses a rules, it puts those transactions in the Recognized section of the For Review tab. It also adds a “Rule” label to the transaction.

If everything looks good, select Add to move the transactions directly into an account in QuickBooks. You can also select and review it before you move it.

Note: If QuickBooks doesn’t know how to categorize a transaction, it uses the Uncategorized Income, Uncategorized Expense, or Uncategorized Asset accounts to temporarily hold them.
You can’t use these accounts to create bank rules.

Next steps: Set up the auto-add feature

You can create targeted rules so specific transactions are automatically accepted into your books from the Banking page.
Tip: We recommend starting with easy, consistent transactions like rent or gas expenses first. Once you get the hang of the feature, you can use it to cover more transactions.

  1. Follow the steps to create a new bank rule.
  2. Select the Automatically add to my books option on the Rules window.
  3. Select Save.

After you create an auto-add rule, any transactions on the For Review tab that meet the conditions are automatically added. Auto-add rules run when you log in, upload a file, or create or modify a new auto-add rule.

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Related Topics: Connect Bank and Credit Card Accounts to QuickBooks Online

Update the latest Release of QuickBooks Desktop.