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Fixed Asset Accounts in QuickBooks Online

April 5, 2015

Here is something I learned about the conversion of fixed asset accounts (like machinery or vehicles) from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks Online. (While I am a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and currently in the middle of studying for advanced certification, many new issues come up on a daily basis that are not obvious or well-documented. This is just one of many that might be useful to share).

In QuickBooks desktop separate depreciation accounts have to be created. In the past I handled depreciation as a manual operation, usually at tax filing time.

In QuickBooks Online the depreciation option that results in the system automatically being linked to the asset account. This creates a primary asset account , an original cost sub account, and a depreciation sub-account.  By default, the depreciation account is simply called Depreciation. I wish they had called it Accumulated Depreciation which is a term that, IMO, more accurately describes the account in terms that we have used in the past. Perhaps the developers did not which to confuse this with prior accounts called Accumulated Depreciation that were manually created as described above.

So it seems that there are at least three new issues to consider:

1) After conversion, you may have depreciation for a single asset recorded in more than one account. Adjusting journal entries may be useful in some cases, but are not required.

2) The new QB Online system opens the door to asset valuation adjustments outside of the depreciation schedule (for example, if you want to show market value under an IFRS system while your books are kept on a tax basis).

3) The new system will make it easier for businesses to comply with IRS’s new fixed asset accounting rules. Journal entries can be better controlled or limited to one sub-account.

I found this article to be helpful: http://quickbooksmanual.com/chart-of-accounts/creating-a-fixed-asset/

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