What Are Expense Categories?
FreshBooks makes it easy to keep track of your spending by organizing your business’ Expenses into Operating Expenses and Costs of Goods Sold (COGS) Categories and Subcategories. These Categories and Subcategories follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which are commonly found on tax forms for claiming your business’ Expenses. You can also create Custom Subcategories for your business’ unique reporting needs.
Categories & Subcategories
FreshBooks’ default Expense Categories are equal to the default Accounts in the Chart of Accounts (available on Plus, Premium and Select plans). Default Subcategories are included to provide even more granularity in your reporting.
Operating Expenses are Expenses a business incurs in order to keep it running, like staff wages and office supplies. Learn more about the types of Operating Expenses in this blog post.
Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) are the Expenses related to producing a product or delivering a service. COGS help you see the monetary value of the products or services you sell, which are covered more in detail in this COGS blog post.
- Categories are listed with an icon next to them, and Subcategories are listed underneath a Category
- Default Categories and Subcategories can only be edited or archived if you have access to Advanced Accounting
- In the Profit & Loss Report, Expense and COGS are displayed by Subcategory under their respective sections (Less Expenses and Less Cost of Goods Sold)
- Use the Expense Report to see Expenses under a specific Operating Expense or COGS Category
- Any Expenses that are not automatically categorized will be labeled as Uncategorized Expenses until you can assign them a Category to remember for the future. Search for all Uncategorized Expenses by using the Advanced Search and selecting Uncategorized Expenses as the Category to search by
You can create a Custom Subcategory to organize and report on Expenses specific to your business’ unique needs. Custom Subcategories are similar to default Subcategories:
- Expenses can be assigned directly to a custom Subcategory
- Custom Subcategories are listed under their Parent Category on the Profit & Loss Report, similar to default Subcategories
- Custom Subcategories can be edited or deleted
Create a Custom Subcategory
Watch this quick tutorial or use the below steps to create a Custom Subcategory:
- While editing an Expense, click on the Choose a category and type in the Custom Subcategory
- Click on the + Create (Subcategory name) button
- For the Expense Type, choose between Operating Expense or Cost of Goods Sold
- Next, in Group Under Parent Account, if you’ve selected the Operating Expenses Type, choose the Category / Parent Account to assign this Custom Category to (choosing the Cost of Goods Sold Type defaults to Cost of Goods Sold Parent Account instead)
- Click Save to finish
- This new Subcategory will now appear on the dropdown list as an option.
To edit or delete your Custom Subcategory, edit the Expense and in the Category dropdown, click on Edit… next to the Custom Subcategory, from here you can either:
- Edit - Update the name of the Subcategory or reassign it to a different Parent Account
- Delete – Click on the Delete link and any Expenses assigned to this Custom Subcategory will be reassigned to the Parent Category that it was previously under
Default Categories and Subcategories
Your account comes with these default Categories and Subcategories:
|Expense Category||Expense Subcategory|
|Car & Truck Expenses||
|Education and Training||None|
|Meals & Entertainment||
|Office Expenses & Postage||
|Rent or Lease||
|Cost of Goods Sold||
How do I change or update the Category on multiple Expenses?
You can reassign Expense Categories using these steps below:
- Use the Search, or check off the boxes next to the Expenses you want to edit
- Click on the Bulk Actions button
- Select Change Category
- In the dropdown, type to find the Category, create a new Subcategory or choose from the list
- Click Save to finish. Your Expenses will now be reassigned to this new Category.