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How to Enter Credit Card Charges in QuickBooks Online

Trish Petak
Trish Petak
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Updated Dec 01, 2021

Manually entering credit card charges in QuickBooks Online gives you the most accurate and up-to-date financials.

  • Manual entry of credit card charges gives you the most current and accurate data. This method eliminates the lag between the time of the transaction and its posting to your statement.
  • Manual entry is especially important if you use accrual accounting.
  • Entering credit card transactions to QuickBooks Online is quick and easy. 
  • This article is for business owners who want to enter their credit card transactions manually in QuickBooks Online.

Manually entering credit card transactions provides you with the most accurate and up-to-date financials in QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Pro. While bank feeds allow your credit cards to sync to QuickBooks Online, making transactions instantly viewable in the register, there’s a time lag between the actual credit card transaction and when the transaction shows as pending before it posts to your credit card statement. 

Pending payments will not transfer via bank feed. Only an actual payment that has been processed via your credit card and appears on your statement will transfer to your bank feeds. 

Given the time lag while a transaction moves from pending to complete, consider manually entering your credit card expenses, especially at the end of your accounting period if you are using the accrual method of accounting. 

Business owners and accountants may want to manually enter credit card transactions into QuickBooks Online if the following is true:           

  • Your business has a low number of credit card expenses.
  • You are not able to import charges via QuickBooks Online bank feeds.
  • You want the most up-to-date and accurate financials daily and monitor your budgets closely.
  • You need up-to-date financials due to end-of-accounting-period reporting, and pending charges cannot be imported via QuickBooks Online bank feeds.

Did you know?Did you know? Credit card charges can show as pending for up to five days.

How to enter credit card charges into QuickBooks Online

The quickest way to enter credit card charges into QuickBooks Online is to manually key in the transaction and match those transactions to your bank feed once the bank feed transactions appear on your register.

Some accountants and bookkeepers are used to manually entering transactions from receipts, then reconciling the receipts to the credit card statement. Bank feeds speed up the reconciliation process and make it more efficient. 

Entering credit card charges into QuickBooks Online is a quick and easy process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to manually enter credit card charges in QuickBooks Online. 

Option 1: Enter transactions and match them to the bank feed.

This method is used most often, due to the simplicity and efficiency of matching and reconciling. 

Complete the following process:

  1. At the top right of your screen, click “+New.”
  2. Under the Vendors subcategory, click on “Expense.”

  1. On the Expense page, fill in the payee. If the payee information is already in your QuickBooks Online system, the dropdown under Payee will allow you to select their name. If the payee is not currently in your QuickBooks Online system, click “Add” to include their name on the dropdown list. Then enter the following information:
    • Name
    • Type: Options include Vendor, Customer and Employee. After selecting the type, you can also update with specifics about the payee, such as their address, phone number, business ID and Social Security number.
  1. In the Payment Account field, select the appropriate account. You’ll see a populated list, as shown below. If the account is not in the present list, select “+Add new” and add the account information:
    • Account type: Select “Credit Card,” “Bank” or “Other Current Assets.”
    • Detail type: Fill out the correct options based on what you selected above.
    • Name: Give the account a name.
    • Description: Optionally, fill out any additional information.

  1. Payment date: Enter the date of payment.
  2. Payment method: From the dropdown menu, select “Cash,” “Check,” “Credit Card” or a previously added payment method from the programmed list. If this menu does not recognize your method of payment, select “+Add new” and key in your information. 

  1. Tags: Think of tags as custom labels that allow you to track, access and retrieve transactions. In the example below, a Business Consulting tag has been added to help the user allocate this expense.

8. What tax category fits? QuickBooks Online provides a dropdown of suggested categories. If none of the tax categories describe your transaction, select “+Add new.”

 

  1. Description: Enter a description of the transaction and hit “Save.”
  2. Amount: Enter this number and hit “Save.”

Key TakeawayFYI: If you reconcile with bank feeds, the date of the transaction may lag a day or two from your manual entry. It can take one to five days for your credit card to fully process a transaction.

Option 1 alternative: Upload receipts.

If you are used to uploading receipts to your computer (or phone) and want to post and match them that way, there is an alternative to Option 1. Complete the following steps:

  1. On the landing page, click on “Banking” and then “Receipts.”
  2. On the Receipts page, select “Upload from computer.” If you’re on your phone, the app allows you to add photos of receipts and upload them from there as well.
  3. QuickBooks Online will prompt you to match the transaction from the Banking command.

Option 2: Use your bank feed to enter transactions.

Once you discover bank feeds, reconciling becomes nearly seamless, and you’ll spend much less time manually entering transactions. 

Make sure your credit card is synced with QuickBooks Online so you can easily import transactions to your register. 

Once your bank feeds are updated and you have entered transactions from Option 1, match your bank feeds with your entered transactions. Make sure you don’t add any transactions that have already been manually entered into the system. 

Option 3: Enter transactions into the credit card register.

Directly entering credit card charges into your register is the third option. Choose this option if you do not use bank feeds or upload receipts from your computer or phone. 

If you have a very small number of credit card transactions, this may be the best method for you. Or if you have a credit card that you no longer use that is no longer synced to your bank feeds, but you still need a record of transactions, this is a good method. 

The following steps outline how to enter your transactions into the credit card register. 

  1. On the landing page, select “Accounting” and “Chart of accounts.” 
  2. Select “New.”

  1. In this pop-up window, complete the following.
    • Account type: Select “Credit Card” in this dropdown.
    • Detail type: This will update automatically, once you have completed the above.
    • Name: This will also update automatically.
    • Description: This step is optional.
    • When do you want to start tracking your finances from this account in QuickBooks? Options in the dropdown include “Beginning of this year,” “Beginning of this month,” ”Today” and “Other.”
    • What was your account’s balance on [date]? Enter your balance from that specific date.

After you have completed the pop-up window, QuickBooks takes you to the Chart of Accounts. 

  1. Find the account you just created and select “View Register.”
  2. Click “Add CC expense” and complete the following items.
    • Date
    • Payee
    • Charge: Enter a dollar amount.
    • Ref no. (reference number): This is optional.
    • Memo: This is also optional.
  3. Hit “Save.”

Once you have entered in one or all of your credit card transactions, you’ll see a Reconcile option on the top right of the page. Performing a reconciliation ensures your entries match. 

How to enter credit card charges into QuickBooks Pro

If you have the desktop version of QuickBooks Pro, you will manually enter credit card transactions differently. QuickBooks Pro looks different from QuickBooks Online, but the process is somewhat similar. Before manually entering your credit card charges, ensure you have your credit card included within your chart of accounts. 

TipTip: Interested in an alternative to QuickBooks Pro? Consider our review of Clover, our Merchant One review, or our review of ProMerchant instead.

To enter your credit card transactions into QuickBooks Pro, click on “Banking,” then “Credit Card Charges.” Before Step 2, ensure “Purchase/Charge” has been selected (QuickBooks Pro should populate this for you). Then, fill out the following:

  1. Purchased from: Select the vendor from the dropdown menu.
  2. Date: Use the calendar to select. 
  3. Ref no.: Optionally, fill in a reference number to help code your transaction, making it easy to organize and retrieve.
  4. Amount: Key in the amount of the transaction.
  5. Memo: Describe the purchase via this text box.
  6. Additional information: While QuickBooks Pro will automatically record the expense account and transaction amount for you, here, you can add more information about the transaction. If you had one total transaction, but the transaction included more than one category of items, additional information is necessary. For example, if 40% of your purchase was for computer products (or office supplies) and 60% of your purchase was for advertising materials, this is where you can separate and fully describe the transaction. 
  7. Account: Select from the dropdown function to help code your expense, and hit “Save.”

Whether you’re a QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Pro user, entering credit card charges on time and ensuring transactions are accurate, up to date, and available for accounting purposes is crucial to your business’s recordkeeping. If QuickBooks isn’t for you, read all our reviews of the best accounting software.

Image Credit:

GaudiLab / Getty Images

Trish Petak
Trish Petak
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Trish Petak is a business educator. Whether it’s serving as an associate professor of business and accounting at Kansas Wesleyan University or offering written expert advice to small business owners, business education is on the forefront of her work. She holds a doctorate of business administration degree and has been a subject matter expert and writer for accounting, finance, and management topics for over 8 years.