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Guide to Write Off Bad Debts in QuickBooks Desktop & Online

account type
discount account

A bad debt account holds the amounts that have been written off by the company due to customers unable to pay what is owed. Initially considered an account receivable, it can then be marked as an expense under a bad debt account. You will only need to complete this step the first time you enter a bad debt. When a customer doesn’t pay a debt owed to your company, the original invoice goes unpaid.

In either case, if a customer defaults on a payment, it’s important to recognize this default properly in your books by writing off the invoice. Select Save and Close.The uncollectible receivable now appears on your Profit and Loss report under the Bad Debts expense account. A. Use these points to summarise or create a report for unpaid balances. Examine the Accounts Receivable Aging Report to write off bad debt. Now, the spending account will get added to monitor the bad debt.

Later, you will need to enter 0 as the Payment Amount in QuickBooks Desktop in order to write off bad debt. Once you write off bad debt in QuickBooks, the invoices in accounts receivable can be cleared, which will help you acquire the net profit amount in QuickBooks. Want to write off bad debts in QuickBooks and don’t know the procedure? Well, if that is the case this article is all that you need. Before learning about the procedure to write off bad debts, let us first understand the basics of bad debts.

Step 4: Creating A Credit Note For The Bad Debt

You will need to create an item in QuickBooks to represent the bad debt. This QuickBooks item will be mapped to your bad debt item. This ensures that bad debt will deposit in the correct account when exported to QuickBooks. Field, enter in the amount you are writing off as a negative value.

journal entries

To ensure the data which is entered in the software is encrypted as well as secured it uses advanced Industry recognized standards to guarantee that. In this blog post, it is discussed about one prominent use of QuickBooks which is writing off bad debts in the QuickBooks desktop. Unfortunately, there may be a time when a customer does not pay you for your services and you need to write off their outstanding invoice. The following information will help you write off the bad debt. In most states, this is good enough to ensure you aren’t paying more income tax than necessary. Otherwise, you will pay taxes on money you never collected.

How to Change Invoice Number in QuickBooks Desktop?

To set and start using the allowance method your tax filing and reporting should be based upon an accrual basis. Before going to learn the process of write-off bad debt, first, you must have a look at the setup process of Bad Debt Account in Quickbooks. Furthermore, using Dancing Numbers saves a lot of your time and money which you can otherwise invest in the growth and expansion of your business. It is free from any human errors, works automatically, and has a brilliant user-friendly interface and a lot more. Next, set up the mapping of the file column related to the QuickBooks field.

Here is a short video on how to write off bad debt in QuickBooks. Data Service Solutions does not have any affiliation from any third-party companies, unless any such relationship is explicitly specified. Now Select Action column of the bad debts account, choose Run report.

While it does take a few different, it’s actually pretty quick to write off bad debt in Quickbooks. You’ll have to create a non-inventory item, to act as a placeholder for the bad debt item. You can go to ‘Settings,’ then click ‘Products and Services’ to get started. You can do this by going to Reports, then clicking on ‘Accounts Receivable Ageing Detail report.’ This should show invoices or receivables that can be considered as bad debt. In Quickbooks, bad debt is what happens when a customer owes you money that you can’t collect. If you know you’re not going to get paid, you can sometimes write off this debt as a deduction .

As the person responsible for handling this bad debt, it is your responsibility to enter the loss into your Bad Debts Expense book and credit it to your Accounts Receivable. Anyone can accumulate bad debt, be it an individual or a business. This debt cannot be collected but should be tallied within your finance books and gross income records. Bad debt is a dangerous concept that can cause you to lose out on money that is rightfully yours.


You can export a Chart of Accounts, Customers, Items, and all the available transactions from QuickBooks Desktop. You must select Credit Memo after selecting +New from the menu. Choose the invoice that you wish to write off from the particular Outstanding Transaction menu.

How to write off bad debt on a cash basis in QuickBooks

At times, when sent invoices cannot be collected due to bankruptcy of a customer or other reasons, a company is required to record them in the category of bad debts. When the company writes off bad debt in QuickBooks, the net income and the accounts receivable can stay up to date in its records. If you are writing off the remaining balance on an invoice that has been mostly paid, you will follow the same method outlined above.

Some accountants and bookkeepers will advise you to simply delete bad debt invoices if you are a cash basis taxpayer. Both of these methods can cause the same issues mentioned in the previous section. When you enter the customer name on both the credit and bad debt debit lines, the journal entry is listed twice on the Transactions subtab of the customer record.


We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. So that your records are always 100 percent accurate, hire a certified bookkeeper to categorise transactions and reconcile your bank statements every month. To create a new account, select New in the upper right corner. Bad debt occurs when a customer owes you money, and you cannot collect it. They owe you money, but you are sure that you’re not getting paid.

The income statement will account for the bad debts expense nearer to the time the sale or service was granted. Next step in the set up process, we are going to create the bad debt line item under the product and services section. QuickBooks Desktop software makes writing off bad debts relatively easy as it is dedicated to cloud-based accounting software. So, any organization, whether big or small, does not need to bother about hiring an Accountant to manage their finances as the QuickBooks software is highly user-friendly. It employs standards of unmatched quality to ensure that the data which is entered into the software is completely secured.

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After that, for Discount Account, choose the account you added in the previous step, and press Done. QuickBooks will now show the amount you wrote off as a negative number on your customer’s balance sheet. ● Next to the customer name, select More, and then Write off the outstanding balance.

Type the amount of the bad debt / unpaid invoices with positive values. Your expense account will be added to keep a track of the bad debt. Click on customers and receivables from the drop-down lists and select “the open invoices” report.

The user will have to type in the amount to write off in the amount column. ● Enter the amount you want to write off in the Amount field and select Save & Close. An array of tax-related limits that affect businesses are indexed annually, and due to high inflation, many have increased more than usual for 2023. If you own a company and travel for business, you may wonder whether you can deduct all the costs of having your spouse accompany you on trips. If you can’t see this option, make sure the invoice is exported.

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This is how to write off bad debt on quickbooks, you just have to follow the exact steps so as to get the required result. When a customer is unable to pay a debt owed to your business, the original invoice will not be paid. Bad debt is a debt which cannot be recovered over a specific period. Some of the reasons for bad debts are; death of debtor, insanity, bankruptcy, etc. Stemming from this, the balance sheet may end up reporting a value that is higher than the amount said individual or company is actually going to end up collecting.

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