Write off a Bad Debt in QuickBooks

Author : dancingnumbers
Publish Date : 2021-05-15 10:52:19
Write off a Bad Debt in QuickBooks

QuickBooks might be one of the most sophisticated and popular business accounting software at the present and the application which rules the space of business utilities in the virtual world, but it certainly cannot counter or replace all the nitty-gritty of the business that takes place in the real world. One of the harsh realities for business owners is bad debt. Occasionally when an organization has done everything they possibly could to get their payments back and remained unsuccessful in doing so, then they have to write them off as debts.

This blog will guide you in getting bad debt off the back of your financial accounting software by giving you step-by-step information about how to write off bad debt in QuickBooks.

What is bad debt and why you should write them off in QuickBooks?

Bad debt is the amount that a company or business fails to recover because the person, group, or company that has taken the debt cannot pay the debt for some reason or has gone bankrupt. When you are reconciling the accounts in QuickBooks, then issues related to debt can have consequences on the profit and loss reports as well as sales and income statements of a company.

There are some businesses such as that of finance companies where sales are made on credits and there is a need to have a separate bad debt account. When bad debts are written off in QuickBooks only then will the invoices get cleared from the account receivables and you will get the accurate profit amount in QuickBooks.

What are the steps to write off bad debt in QuickBooks?

Step 1-Examining the Account Receivables Aging Report

Use the Accounts receivable Ageing Details report to check the receivables or invoices which are bad debt. For this follow these steps-

  • From the Reports menu, open an Accounts Receivable Ageing Detail Report.
  • Examine those outstanding accounts receivable which should have been written off.

Step 2- Creating a Bad Debt Account

  • For this, go to settings and choose Products and Services.
  • Click on New and then on non-inventory.
  • Write “Bad debts “in the Name field.
  • Click on Bad Debts, click on Income Account.
  • Lastly, click on Save and close.

Step 3 - Setting up a bad debit item

  • Firstly, go to settings and click on products and services.
  • Click on New and then on Non-Inventory.
  • Now enter “Bad debts” in the name field.
  • Choose the Bad Debts option from the Income account.
  • Press Save and close.

Step 4- Creating a credit memo

  • Click on New and choose the Credit note option.
  • From the Customer drop-down menu, click on Customer.
  • Click on Bad Debts in the product/service column.
  • Provide the amount to be written off in the amount field.
  • Now in the box displaying “Message displayed on the statement “, click on “Bad Debt”.
  • Click Save and close.

Step 5 - Implementing the Credit Memo to an Invoice

  • Click on New.
  • From the customer's option, click on Receive Invoice Payment / Receive Payment.
  • Choose the right customer from the customer dropdown.
  • Select the credit note from the credits section.
  • Click on Save and Close.

Step 6 –Running a bad debts report

An Account Quick Report can be executed to review the receivables tagged as a bad debt.

  • First, go to settings and click on Chart of Accounts.
  • Select Run Report from the Action column of the bad debts account.


We hope that using the information and the resolution mentioned above, a bad debt account can be set up in QuickBooks, reports could be run efficiently and all the bad debts and unpaid invoices can be easily viewed. You may now continue to successfully run your business without fiscal disparities caused by bad debts.

Source: Dancing Numbers


Q. How to run a bad debt report on QuickBooks?

A. A bad debt report can be run by clicking Chart of accounts, then searching for Bad debt, and clicking run report.

Q. How can tell from a bad debt entity from other customers?

A. You can add a note to the customer’s name by selecting customers from the sales menu, choosing the customer’s name, editing it, and entering “Bad debt “or “No credit “ in the Display name as a field.

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