Using Categories on Sales, Purchase and Products and Services Imports to QuickBooks Online

minute read

Last Updated September 19, 2023

Category QuickBooks



Inventory Categories

Intuit has been rolling out a new feature in a phased approach to QuickBooks Online users called Categories.  You can read more on how categories can be used in this Intuit knowledge base article:

A category is a means of classifying products and services you sell to customers. Categorizing what you sell can help you better understand sales volume and who’s buying what. Categories also make it easier for employees to account for inventory correctly and with minimal effort.  Additionally, categories save you time when completing transaction forms, since you can search for items by category.

Warning:  Once categories are turned on in QuickBooks Online you cannot turn them off so make sure you do your homework before enabling this feature.

I found a very comprehensive article on categories written by Charlie Russell on the Sleeter Blog here.  Some great takeaways from this article are listed below.

  • The stated goal for this feature is to “help you better understand sales volume and who’s buying what.”
  • This is a very helpful feature in transaction forms that use items from the Products and services list. For example, in the invoice shown below I start typing “Fou” in the Product/Service field, as a part of the “Fountains” category. You can see that the dropdown is showing all of the items that are in that category. I like this aspect of categories, because if you have a large number of items in this list, this will help you find the right item quickly.
  • Categories have no effect on the accounting side of things.
  • The Categories feature replaces sub-products, so you won’t have the sub-product option any more.

If you have turned on categories in your QuickBooks Online company file, no worries, your same import files will continue to work with Transaction Pro Importer.  For both product or services and categories  the format is the same eg. Parent:Child.  If you want to test this out you can sign up for a free trial of Transaction Pro Importer here.

Since this a newer feature and not available to all QuickBooks Online users we would love to hear what your thoughts are on categories and how they are helping you organize QuickBooks Online.  Feel free to post any comments below.


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