The classes feature of QuickBooks allows tracking various kinds of management information in QuickBooks transactions, and ManagePLUS depends on classes for providing some of its more advanced management information reporting. For this reason, using classes is an important part of making use integral to many of the more advanced reports provided by ManagePLUS. This topic introduces the general idea of classes and where to find more information about using them, and tells how to enable the classes feature in QuickBooks.

Why Use Classes?

Briefly stated, QuickBooks’ Classes list is like a second set of accounts which you can apply to transactions, which allows you to track information that is independent of the financial and tax-related categories provided by the Chart of Accounts. This gives you a second way to group or categorize transaction data to provide useful information about the management units of your business; that is, management information as opposed to merely financial accounting information.

· A farmer may use classes to represent the different crops and types of livestock he raises, so he can determine which areas of his business are making a profit.
· An apartment manager might set up a class for each apartment building, and maybe even subclasses representing the apartments in each building. By tagging rent revenue and maintenance expense transactions with the appropriate classes, she’ll have better information about which buildings or apartments are “problem areas”.  Knowing that a particular building has had high repair costs over a period of time may help with decisions about whether to continue operating the building or to sell it.
· A manufacturer of running shoes might set up different classes for each step in the manufacturing process, to better understand labor and materials costs for each step.  Or he might set up a class for each model of shoe produced, to know what each shoe model costs to produce.
· A trucking/transportation company could set up a different class to represent each truck in his fleet, allowing him to keep track of revenue, down time, repair costs, and fuel expenses for each each truck.

We don’t have space here to explain all you might want to know about Classes. You can learn more by visiting our Web site:  the Articles area has tutorials on setting up and using Classes in QuickBooks. And The QuickBooks Farm Accounting Cookbook™ goes into even significant detail about using Classes in farming and ranching.

Articles about classes: ManagePLUS for QuickBooks weblink Enabling and using classes in QuickBooks

The QuickBooks Farm Accounting Cookbook™: ManagePLUS for QuickBooks weblink Enabling and using classes in QuickBooks

Enabling Classes in QuickBooks

One way to enable classes is during initial setup of your QuickBooks company file, in QuickBooks’ Easy Step interview. But if you didn’t enable classes then, it’s easy to turn on the classes feature later. Here’s how:

1. Check whether classes are already enabled.

 Click on Lists in the main menu and look for a Class list item in its submenu. If you find one, the classes feature is already enabled and you don’t need the rest of these steps.

2. Click on Edit > Preferences in the main menu.

 The Preferences window will open.

3. Click on the Accounting icon in the left pane of the Preferences window.
4. Click on the Company Preferences tab in the right pane.
5. On the Company Preferences tab, select Use class tracking (check mark it).
6. Click OK to close the Preferences window.

After completing these steps a Class column will appear in many of QuickBooks’ forms and windows. In some cases, such as for invoices, you may have to customize the form’s template to have the Class column displayed.

Enabling and using classes in QuickBooks