QuickBooks 2013 Default Classes

Written by Charlie Russell

If you use the Class feature in QuickBooks then the new default classes preference in QuickBooks 2013 may be a welcome addition. This is fairly simple – you can now assign a default class to certain kinds of list records, and if that list record is used in a transaction then that class is filled in for you. This may be useful in some situations.

You will find a new option in the Accounting preferences, Assign classes to… 

Accounting Preferences

You have the option to select Accounts, Items or Names. Note that you can only use this feature with one type of list, you cannot set this for all three list types.

Please note that this feature is only available in QuickBooks Enterprise, not in Pro or Premier.

If you select Names then you will see that you can select a default class in each Customer, Vendor and Employee record. Not, however, in the Other Names list for some reason.

Class added to Customer

When you create a transaction using this record, you will see that the Class field is filled in for you automatically.

Class filled in for invoice

Similarly, if you select Items in the preference you will find a class field in the item record.

Class in Item

As you would expect, if you use this item in a transaction, the class is filled in automatically.

Class from Item

I did find an unexpected consequence from using this in items. Here’s an invoice that I created, where I did not enter a class in the invoice header. I also do not have a class column showing in the form. If I create an invoice this way in QuickBooks 2012 then this line would be unclassified, no class would be assigned to that line value. However, in QuickBooks 2013 with the default class set in the item record, the class is recorded even if it doesn’t show in the invoice template. I don’t think it is a problem – it is just different, and that always makes me stop to think…

Invoice with no class

If you set the preference to Accounts you will see a class field in the account list.

Class in Account

Again, as you would expect, the class is automatically filled in when you create a General Journal Entry record using this account. I was wondering if the class would e used any time that this account is referenced? Let’s say, for example, if I create an invoice that uses an item that refers to this particular account? However, this doesn’t happen. The class is used just if there is an explicit transaction that directly uses the account.Class in JE

My Conclusion

So far as I’ve seen this everything works fine, although I have not used it extensively yet. It is a fairly simple addition. I can see a lot of advantages to doing using this for some businesses.

The Class field is available through the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries feature, and it is available to add to List reports, but it is NOT included in the Excel Export of the lists.

Nice addition, Intuit!

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. Charlie can be reached at [email protected]

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • The majority of my clients who use class tracking are doing so in an attempt to break their GL into segments, or divisions.

    This always leads to a detailed conversation explaining that classes are assigned to transactions, and not to GL accounts, and also elaborating on all the nuances of what this means.

    Imagine my excitement when I read that I can now assign classes to GL accounts! This is always the first thing clients seem to want to do, when setting up Class Tracking.

    My bubble burst, though, when I got to the part about classes only being updated when the transaction directly uses the account in question, i.e. via a journal entry.

    Oh, well, maybe next year!

  • Another great article Charlie…it helped us get a faster understanding of how this might impact our application and the way we analyse the data by Class. The good news is that BizTools Analytics has passed QuickBooks 2013 compatability testing so our customers who upgrade are good to go!

  • I have a client where Class tracking is used for measuring sales activity within sales segments where often the same Item may be sold to different customers types/classes. (Builder/Retail/Wholesale, etc). This has always (over 10 years) been done when creating Sales Orders and/or Invoices during which all Items were automatically classified the same way (in main Class window)unless a new item was added at a later date. (Going back in to enter another charge, etc)

    With the recent conversion from 12.0 to 13.0 it appears that every line needs to be classified individually, even after selecting the correct Class at the top of the Sales Order or Invoice. This is clearly a step backwards for Qbks, especially if the new ‘default’ choices given are not applicable. Adding new features is fine, but disabling the ones that work does not make much sense.

  • Found this article on a google search. I have just installed quickbooks 2013 pro. Love the batch invoicing feature. However i was dismayed to see that i had to manually add the class to each invoice (at the top of the invoice).

    This is the perfect solution as it seems when you batch invoice say 400 employees it will autofill the class for you (not just for the item). Seems i will have to update to the enterprise version although I cant seem to find a price on the inuit website

  • Charlie can you just verify that if I assign default classes to Names then if I batch invoice, the class is auto filled at the top of each invoice.

    Thanks in advance

  • Could somebody maybe tell me if there is anyway I can print GL accounts linked to class I just started working on Quickbooks 2013 and have never worked with classes before so its very tedious for me to go back into history to see what the previous bookkeeper used as a class linked to income and expenses thanks

  • has anyone determined whether the default class setting used in enterprise has the functionality to be applied to previously entered transactions?

    For example: if I were to assign the default class of “landscape maintenance” to the item “lawn mowing” would there be an option to apply that class to all invoices created back to a selected start date or the beginning of the company?

  • I have tried this but it’s not working the way I expected. For example I assigned a class to a vendor, when I write a check to that vendor the class is automatically entered at the top of the check, but not in the expense section at the bottom, so it is showing unclassified on the p&l. I need the expense classed, not the cash account. Am I missing something?

    • The expense account section will take the default set if you choose “Account” as the option, not “Names”. You have chosen “Names” so the default applies to the part of the transaction that is related to the name, which is the class at the top of the transaction and not the one in the detail.

  • In reference to Jeannie’s 12/17/13 post. I have Enterprise 14 R4P and it assigns the class to the expense account when using Banking > Write Checks (it just doesn’t show a “Class” column on the screen). This also works in “Enter Bills” where it autofills the “class” to the default class of the vendor. Same story on the customer side – it autofills the class on “Create Invoices” for each line item. Thus you have P&L reports that show income and expenses by “Class”.

    • Dave,
      When I get payments from customers and try to enter payments, there is no option for Class. Due to this when I need to see customer balance by class it does not work. Is there a way to put class when I enter payments.

      on the vendor side when I write checks there’s option for class but not on the customer side when I receive payments.


      • I have this same question about choosing a class for customer payments. I have the accountants 2014 version and thought this would be essential for a bookkeeper/accountant.

  • i’m used to fixing my class designation at the end of the year when i run p/L by class. the ones i missed during original entry show up in unclassified column and i simply give them a class. this year, i can find the unclassified, but the class column doesn’t show up when i edit the expenses and i cannot add a class to the transactions. I’m using PRO 2014. Any ideas how to add the proper class to the unclassified expenses?


  • I fixed my problem, thought you might like to know my solution
    I went to utilities and rebuilt my data. now i can find CLASS on every transaction. thanks for listening. -jeff

  • I have to update to 2016 in some form. I am using Premier Contractor 2013, Has this been added to Premier yet or do need to get Enterprise to get this feature? Thanks.

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