Both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop versions offer tools for processing automatic bank feed downloads.  QuickBooks Online has a good advantage over QuickBooks Desktop with its intuitive user interface and the flexibility of its renaming and allocation rules for auto bank feed downloads.  When trying to set up renaming and account allocation rules, however, the QuickBooks Desktop bank feeds center can be difficult to manipulate.  Also, if you need to set up rules that will involve classes or splitting transactions, you are simply out of luck in the QuickBooks Desktop version.

To begin setting up rules in QuickBooks Desktop, click on the Transaction List button (right side) in the bank feeds center (notice the different bank accounts to choose from on the left side):


Next, review your automatically downloaded transactions and allocate accordingly:


Now, if you want to set up a rule, click on Rules (top left of the same screen above).  In the resulting screen (shown below) click on Manage Rules>Add New:


Now, in the following screen (shown below), notice your options.  Note that there is no opportunity to split transactions or to apply classes:


Now to explore the big differences with QuickBooks Online. To begin, click on Transactions>Banking on the left side:


The resulting screen is your bank downloads center.  Notice how you can easily click from one account to the next and easily see all the automatic downloads that pop up:


The descriptions of each column are easy to comprehend and the recommended actions on the far right side are straightforward as well.

*NOTE* Because of the ease of navigation that QuickBooks Online offers here, it is very easy to accidentally get ahead of yourself and start booking items in a way that may be inappropriate for your books.  ALWAYS understand how clicking on the various actions will affect your financials.

If you want to set up payee renaming and account allocation rules for your auto bank downloads in QuickBooks Online, start by clicking on Manage Rules at the top right:


In the resulting screen, click on New Rule at the top right.  Below is the result:


Notice that towards the bottom, you get an extra field called Class.  (This function must be turned on in your company preferences).

You can also split transactions (after clicking on Split) based on a percentage, as in the next screen shot below:


Both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online have the ability to automatically rename and allocate transactions based on historical usage/memory alone (“Without rules.”  You have to turn on this preference in the QuickBooks Desktop version).  Use these automatic suggestions with great caution, especially when dealing with bank deposits.

There is one more item to note when dealing with bank and credit card downloads.  All rules that you set are going to apply company-wide.  Once you set up a rule, this rule will apply to all of the bank and credit card accounts within your QuickBooks company file.

Note: AccuraBooks is a bookkeeping firm only, so please consult with your C.P.A. for verification and clarification about the contents of this article.

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