How to Troubleshoot Undeposited Funds in QuickBooks
QuickBooks has a nifty little account, called Undeposited Funds, that is designed to make your bookkeeping life a whole lot easier. But many users don't understand the account, and often end up with a large balance in the account which, unfortunately, almost always means that revenue has been entered twice.
So what is the undeposited funds account and why is is useful? Undeposited funds is the default account used to track customer payments. When used properly, it groups the payments together so they match the bank deposits as shown on your statements. This may not be very important when you first start your business and are receiving only a few payments each day. But it becomes critically important as you grow. Without it, each payment would be entered in the register separately making bank reconciliation extremely time-consuming, if not impossible.
The most common reason for a large undeposited funds balance is if you enter deposits directly into your checking account register. This tends to happen most often when trying to reconcile the checking account, finding that some deposits are missing, and then entering them directly into the register.
Another reason is ignoring the popup list of undeposited funds when properly making a deposit through Banking -> Make Deposits. You should check off everything that's included in the deposit you're about to make before pressing OK. This will automatically make the correct entry on the Make Deposits transaction form, increasing your checking balance and decreasing your undeposited funds balance. You can enter any additional deposits unrelated to customer payments, for instance refund checks, on the additional lines in the transaction form. However, you should not add additional customer payments here. They should always be entered through either Customers -> Enter Sales Receipts (for counter sales) or Customers -> Receive Payments (for invoices) so they flow properly through QuickBooks.
When a deposit is entered twice, revenue is nearly always entered twice as well. When you receive a payment, revenue is recorded. When you make a deposit, either through the Make Deposits form or directly entering it in the register, most people select a revenue account. Even if you somehow knew that undeposited funds was the correct account to use, you can't manually enter this account in either the register or the Make Deposits form.
So, how do you fix it? There's a hard way – deleting all the incorrect deposits and re-entering them again correctly. But if you have many deposits, this could be really time-consuming. Luckily there's an easier way. Find the duplicate deposits in your register and copy down the account used. Then go to Banking > Make Deposits, select all the undeposited funds that have already been deposited and click OK. Under the list of deposits entered from the undeposited funds screen, enter the account(s) that were used in the duplicate deposits and the amounts as a negative number. If done correctly, the deposit should equal $0 and have no affect on your checking balance. It will, however, properly reduce your undeposited funds balance and your overstated revenue account(s). If some of the duplicate deposits were in a prior year, you should consult with your CPA or tax advisor for assistance since you may need to file an amended tax return.
This article is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to be construed as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For further information, please consult appropriate professional advice from your attorney and certified public accountant.