Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Desktop: How to Do It


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When you enter into customer relationships through your business, you expect to accumulate maximum monetary and non-monetary benefits from them. However, at a stage, the exact customer you negotiated with for a long time finds itself unable to make payment for the goods and services delivered from your side. As that happens, after a few attempts, with a distinct amount of loss, you ought to update it in QuickBooks. If something like this has happened to you and you can’t accomplish how to Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Desktop Go for our detailed article guide to withdrawing overdue amounts from your QB accounts. 

What Does Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Mean?

Bad debt is an amount pending to the person who has enjoyed goods and services from your enterprise. You have generated the invoices against the person and given enough time for payment in consideration. However, it is unresponsive to your efforts. Moreover, after some time, you realize you will not receive the amount from that person. It is because the customer has given the response as absolute denial for the payment, or you have found it from other sources. 

With every follow-up of the customer, you write something for further action. However, the final movement is to Write Off unsettled money. That charges off the net income of your business with accurate account receivables. There are ways to write off bad debt in QuickBooks Online and Desktop. 

What are the Requirements to Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks?

Here are some reasons for the account setup for bad debts.

  1. You deal with various customers to run your business progressively. At the initial level, you can’t consider some customers becoming defaulters in the future in the context of your service payments. That can be for various causes. Either they have more or fewer issues with your goods and services. 

Or they have some financial shortages to make your payment. Whatever is the rationale? You have to make sure that the record is up-to-date. So- you can get the exact net income of your business after calculating and deducting the loss from the default amount. 

2. Furthermore, there may be a time when you have created an invoice for the exact services taken by the client. However, the received payment doesn’t match the invoice amount. There, too, you have to keep a record of the pending and settled amount. 

Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks

Why Write-Off & Not Delete Invoice?

You are running a mighty industry, and it is not good to make mistakes when you know it can hurt your CRM financially. Everything should be on record whether you want it at present or not. Maybe! The same invoice, entry, or account can help you not to deal with the defaulter in the future. 

  1. Instead of removing complete information from your account register of QuickBooks, you can Write Off Bad debt in QuickBooks online. It is influential- because you couldn’t make frequent mistakes, at least with the same customer. If you have a record of the same and planning with the same buyer, you can mark the points where you need to step back in the purchases. 
  2. If you simply delete the deposit, invoice or customer entry from the software, you will be responsible for paying more for your tax. Moreover, the company will be unable to configure the surplus in Assets and Liabilities. 
  3. The deleted invoice will relax the customer because it will become free from payment liability created from your side. Without any clearance, you will continue dealing with the defaulters. 
  4. You can analyze the overall record of your company’s defaulters and make a strategy for not confronting the consequences again. 
  5. When you know how to write off bad debt in QuickBooks, you have frequent reports of the customer demanded by him for the denial of future purchases from your side. 
  6. Finally, being a “Cash basis taxpayer,” you need the proper records for not paying an extra fee for incompetent transactions from your company. 

How to Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Desktop?

How to Write Off Bad Debt in Quickbooks Desktop?

If you don’t have a “Bad Debt” expense account, go for the setup process and write off the uncollected money in your QuickBooks Desktop. 

Method 1

  • Click on the “QuickBooks Gear Icon” to select “Chart of Accounts.”
  • Select the “Account” menu to choose “New.”
  • Choose “Expense” and then “Continue.” option. 
  • Type the “Account Name” relevant to Bad Debt identification. 
  • Finally, click “Save and Close” to set up the expense account.

Method 2. 

  • Find the “Customer” menu to select “Receive Payments.”
  • Go for the “Received From” field to type the customer name. 
  • In the Payment amount section, enter “$0.00.”
  • Click “Discount and Credits.”
  • Enter the “Write Off” amount under the “Amount of Discount” field. 
  • Choose the Method 1 account for the “Discount Account” option and click “Done.”
  • Press “Save and Close.”

How to Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Online?

There are six steps for the QuickBooks Online method. 

Method 1. 

  • Select “Business Overview” to click “Reports.”
  • Search and open the “Accounts Receivable Aging Details” Report.
  • Check the Write-off account.

Method 2. 

  • Open “Settings” for “Chart of Accounts.”
  • Select “New” for new account creation.
  • Select “Expense Report” from the “Account Type” drop-down.
  • Choose “Bad debts” from the “Detail Type” drop-down.
  • Enter “Bad Debts” in the “Name” field. 
  • Click on “Save and Close.”

Method 3.

  • Find the “Settings” option for “Product and Services.” 
  • Choose “New” for the “Non-inventory” choice. 
  • Enter “Bad debts” in the “Name” Field.
  • Choose “Bad Debts” from the “Income Account” drop-down.
  • Select “Save and Close.”

Product and Services

Method 4

  • Select “New” to choose “Credit Memos in QuickBooks.”
  • Go for the “Customer” option from the “Customer” drop-down.
  • Choose “Bad Debts” from “Product/Services.”
  • Enter the Write-Off amount under the “Amount” Column
  • Enter “Bad Debt” in “Message Displayed on Statement.”
  • Click “Save and Close.”

Method 5. 

  • Select “+New” and choose “Receive Payment” from the “Customers” section. 
  • Choose “Customer” from the “Customer” drop-down. 
  • Choose the “Invoice” from “Outstanding Transactions.”
  • Go to the “Credit Section” for “Credit Memo.”
  • Choose “Save and Close.”

Method 6.

  • Open “Settings” and select “Chart of Accounts.”
  • Go to the “Action” column of the “Bad Debts” Account to “Run Report.”


As you complete the account setup for bad debts on QuickBooks online or on QBs desktop, you can quickly Write Off Bad Debt in QuickBooks. In case you have a query out of the detailed explanation regarding the write off process, you can get our assistance 24/7. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Do You Account for a Bad Debt Written Off?

  • Go to the list and choose “Chart of Accounts.”
  • Account>New>Expense>Continue.
  • Type Account Name and save & close. 

Q.2 What Does Write Off Mean in QuickBooks?

When a customer doesn’t settle the pending amount of the generated invoice for the service taken, businesses have to write off the amount in the QuickBooks register. 

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