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The only time you'll delete an account is if you create it by mistake, haven't used it for any transactions, and simply want to clean it out of your Chart of Accounts. For any accounts you've used, the better choice is to inactivate an account, also known as hiding an account. That way all your historical transactions using that account are still there. It just doesn't show up in the Chart of Accounts. For example, if you decide to stop offering one of your services, you can inactivate its income account to keep your Chart of Accounts slim and trim.
If you reintroduce that service in the future, you can reactivate the income account and use it in new invoices. The first step is to open the Chart of Accounts window. In the Company section, click Chart of Accounts. To inactivate an account, select the account in the list. For example, Furniture and Equipment. Then click Account at the bottom of the window and choose Make Account Inactive. The account promptly disappears from the list.
To reactivate an account, you have to be able to see it. Turn on the Include Inactive checkbox at the bottom of the window. All the inactivate accounts have a gray X to the left of the name. Click the gray X to reactivate the account and have it rejoin the list. If the account has sub-accounts, the Activate Group dialog appears. Click Yes to reactivate all the sub-accounts too. If you do you want to delete an account and it hasn't been used in any way, you can right-click the account and click Delete Account on the shortcut menu.
You must click OK to confirm that you want to delete the account. You can't actually delete an account if an item, a transaction, or payroll setup uses it. You also can't delete an account if it has sub-accounts or a balance. I'll click Cancel in this example. In the future, before you create a new account it's a good idea to turn on the Include inactive checkbox in the Chart of Accounts window to see if you already have an account for the purpose you have in mind.
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