Here’s How to Write off Bad Debt in QuickBooks Desktop

To write off bad debt in QuickBooks is a necessary accounting practice when a business determines that it’s unlikely to collect payments from a customer. It involves removing the outstanding debt from accounts receivable, reflecting the loss as an expense. To write off bad debt, create a “Bad Debt” expense account and offset it against the customer’s outstanding invoice. QuickBooks helps maintain accurate financial records by ensuring that the unpaid amount doesn’t artificially inflate accounts receivable, providing a clearer picture of the company’s financial health. 

It’s essential for accurate financial reporting and tax purposes while acknowledging uncollectible debts. If you need anything from experts, do not hesitate to call us at +1(855)-738-0359.

Learn How You Can Write Off Bad Debt in Accounts Receivable

This process writes off the bad debt, reduces the accounts receivable, and records the loss as an expense in QuickBooks.


  • Go to “Lists” in the top menu and select “Chart of Accounts.” Click “Account” and choose “New.”
  • Select “Expense” and click “Continue.” Name it (e.g., “Bad Debt Expense”) and click “Save & Close.”
  • Go to “Customers” in the top menu and select “Create Credit Memos/Refunds.” Choose the customer with the bad debt.
  • In the “Items” tab, add the product or service that’s unpaid. Enter the amount as a negative number and select the “Bad Debt Expense” account. Click “Save & Close.”
  • Go to “Customers” and select “Receive Payments.” Choose the customer and invoice with the bad debt.
  • In the “Credits” section, you’ll see the credit memo you created earlier. Select it. Click “Save & Close.”
  • Run reports like the Profit and Loss statement to ensure the bad debt expense is reflected correctly.

Why You Should Write off Bad Debt in QB Desktop?

Writing off bad debt in QuickBooks is essential for maintaining financial accuracy, tax benefits, and transparency in financial reporting. It reflects the reality of uncollectible debt while complying with accounting standards and facilitating better decision-making.


  • It ensures that your financial statements accurately reflect the true financial health of your business by accounting for uncollectible amounts.
  • Writing off bad debt allows you to claim a deduction for the debt as a business expense, reducing your taxable income and potentially lowering your tax liability.
  • It helps maintain the accuracy of your accounts receivable (AR) by removing the uncollectible debt, preventing it from inflating your AR balance.
  • It provides transparency in financial reporting by clearly indicating the amount of uncollectible debt, which can be useful for investors, creditors, and stakeholders.
  • Properly accounting for bad debt ensures compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and regulatory requirements.
  • Accurate financial data helps business owners make informed decisions based on the actual financial position of the company.



Knowing how and when to write off bad debt in QuickBooks is a vital accounting practice to accurately reflect uncollectible debts as expenses, maintaining financial accuracy and transparency for businesses. +1(855)-738-0359 is our toll-free number that can help you contact our team directly for any issues.

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