Accounts: Header and Detail

Header Account

Header accounts specify the title of a group of accounts. Header accounts are used only to group detail accounts that have a similar purpose; that is, detail accounts are assigned to specific header accounts.

In the Accounts List window, header accounts appear in bold type, and their detail accounts appear below them in plain type.

Transaction amounts cannot be assigned (posted) to header accounts, only to detail accounts. You may want to create a header account, however, to combine the amounts of several detail accounts under it. To be able to have Detail accounts "fall under" a Header account they need to be the next account in the list (i.e.: Header is account is number 1-5000, you have a detail account that is 1-5025, as long as 1-5025 is the next account in your accounts list this will work fine).

The benefit of having Header accounts and detail is so that you can display the total for the grouping of these accounts on reports.


To display subtotals on reports, use the Details view of the Edit Accounts window to mark When Reporting, Generate a Subtotal for This Section.


Header accounts aren't required, except for the eight Level 1 accounts: Asset, Liability, Income, Expense, Equity, Cost of Sales, Other Income and Other Expense. The level of these eight accounts can't be changed. If you create header accounts, they must be either Level 2 or Level 3. When you change an account's number, the Accounts List is reordered by account number. If a header is separated from its sub-accounts, the sub-accounts are moved up one level.


Detail Account


Create a detail account if you intend to assign transactions to the account (you can't assign transactions to header accounts). If this selection is marked for an existing account, the account has already been designated as a detail account.


Each detail account is assigned to the header account that appears directly above it in the Accounts List window. Detail accounts appear in plain type, and header accounts appear in bold type.


You can assign (post) transaction amounts to detail accounts when you enter transactions. The amount of the transaction will then be included in the balance of the detail account.


If you're using the Multicurrency feature (the "I Deal in Multiple Currencies" option in the Preferences window), and you're creating an exchange account to track the effects of currency fluctuations on a foreign currency account, choose Detail Account. Your exchange accounts must be Detail accounts.


Create an account


  1. Go to the Accounts command center and click Accounts List
  2. Click New
  3. If you want to create a header account, select the Header Account option.
  4. Select the account type from the Account Type list. The Account Classification field changes according to the selection you make.
  5. Enter a four-digit number for the account in the Account Number field. The number must be unique within each account classification
  6. Press the <TAB> key and type a name for the account
  7. Click the Details tab
  8. Optionally type a brief description of the account in the Description field
  9. If you are creating an asset, liability, or equity account (other than an asset that has the account type of Bank), (optionally) select an option from the Classification for Statement of Cash Flows list (operating, investing, financing). Classifying the accounts allows you to generate a statement of cash flows. This report shows how your cash position has changed over time, profit earned, and where your cash was spent. If you're unsure about which classification to use, consult your accountant or a Certified Consultant.
  10. If you are creating a bank or credit card account, (optionally) click the Banking tab and enter your account details
  11. [Detail accounts only] If you want to set up a budget:

    1. Click Budgets
    2. Type the budget amounts in the monthly columns
    3. Click Close

  12. Click OK when you have finished. The account you created now appears in your accounts list

Group detail accounts with a header account

You group accounts by indenting the accounts located below a header account

  1. Go to the Accounts command center and click Accounts List
  2. Select the detail account you want to group
  3. Click the Down button to group the account with the header located above it

Enter opening balances

  1. Select Setup > Balances > Account Opening Balances
  2. Enter the balances in the Opening Balance column
    NOTE: Enter opening balances as positive numbers
    Don't, for example, enter your liability account balances as negative numbers. Enter negative amounts only if accounts truly have negative balances. As a rule, these will be asset accounts that record accumulated depreciation
  3. Check that the amount in the Amount left to be allocated field at the bottom of the window shows $0.00
    If this field displays an amount other than $0.00, check your opening balances again because they are either incomplete or incorrect. You can continue the setup process if there is an amount in the Amount left to be allocated field. The amount will be assigned to a special equity account called Historical Balancing.
  4. Click OK