Using Tags in QuickBooks Online

Classes and categories have their place in QuickBooks Online transactions. Tags add another way to track your financial data.

QuickBooks Online is a great tool for creating, storing, and sending sales and purchase forms, and for building detailed customer and vendor profiles. Maybe that’s all you want it to do. But to get the most out of this web-based accounting application, you should really be using its classification tools so you can view related transactions as groups and learn how specific parts of your business are doing.

Tags are the newest tool for this task. They’re customizable labels that allow you to track whatever you want, for whatever elements of your business that you want to track. You could determine how much you’re making and spending on different jobs. You could also track transactions related to, for example, ad campaigns, sales reps, and project managers. You’ll create and store tags as groups that you can view on one page. You can add them on the fly, and even run specialized reports. They’re extremely flexible tools that help you analyze your business in unique ways.

How Are They Different?

You may have encountered tags in other applications. In QuickBooks Online, they’re different from the other classification tools provided. You’ll assign categories to transactions primarily for tax purposes (how much did you spend on advertising or utilities or deductible meals?). Classes help you separate groups of income and expenses for job costing, budgeting, etc. And locations allow you to track income, expenses, and assets by geographic locations.

Tags, on the other hand, are unlimited. You can track virtually any related sets of transactions.

How Do You Create Tags?

Before you can start creating tags, you have to create a Group to assign them to. Click the gear icon in the upper right and select Tags under Lists. This will take you to the Tags home page. Click New and then Tag group. A vertical pane will slide out from the right. Choose a Group name and specify a color. Click Save. Add a tag in the Tag name field and click Add.