In QuickBooks Desktop there are two settings for pre-filling an expense or category to a transaction based on the vendor’s name. You can have QuickBooks pre-fill new transactions based on previous transactions. To do this task:

  1. Open the general preferences.
    Opening general preferences
  2. Click Automatically remember account or transaction information.
  3. Click one of the following two preferences.
    • Automatically recall last transaction for this name: Sets up QuickBooks to remember the previous transaction for a person. When you enter a new transaction, QuickBooks automatically fills out the form with information you entered in the last transaction of that type for that person. For example, when you enter a vendor’s name on a bill and press Tab, QuickBooks fills in the bill just like the most recent one you entered for that vendor.
      Restrictions: This preference works only with bills, checks, credit card charges, invoices, and sales receipts. For invoices and sales receipts, it completes Ship Via, Ref Doc (PO Number), and Free On Board (FOB) values. This preference has no effect on purchase orders, payroll liability checks, or credit memos.

    • Pre-fill accounts for vendor based on past entries: Sets up QuickBooks to pre-fill the account for a vendor transaction based on previous transactions for that vendor. QuickBooks remembers all your recent transactions for a vendor, not just the most recent one. If you consistently use the same account for a vendor, QuickBooks will automatically pre-fill that information any time you select the vendor in a bill, check, or credit card transaction.

      This preference is smart about when to pre-fill account information when you select a vendor. For example, if you pay the rent every month from the same account, QuickBooks will soon start to pre-fill the bills you enter to your landlord with the usual account. When you use different accounts for a vendor, the account will not be pre-filled. For example, you might write checks to a warehouse supplier out of several different accounts, depending on the purchase. So the next time you write a check to that warehouse, QuickBooks will not pre-fill the account.

  4. Click the OK button.

 

However, there are some tricks of the trade you can also use.  There is a a way to force the associate expense category to a vendor without regard of the previous transaction:

  1. Click Vendor Center.
  2. Click the Vendors tab.
  3. Right-click the vendor you want to edit and then click Edit Vendor.To create a new vendor instead, click Add Vendor.
  4. Click the Account Prefill tab.
  5. Choose up to three expense accounts.

    If you use only one or two expense accounts for the vendor, leave the remaining drop-down menus blank. To clear all drop-down menus, click the Clear All button.

  6. Click OK to save the vendor information and close the window.

 

This video shows some of that, and some additional advanced techniques that can be used:

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