What are Categories and Category Groups?

Here at Autobooks, we try to make running your business faster and easier; one way of doing this is through the proactive categorization of your invoices and bills, as well as other types of transactions in our application. 

So what are Categories and Category Groups? Let's first talk about Products/Services

Before we get into Categories and Category Groups, it makes sense to briefly touch on Products/Services. These are merely the product or service that you are providing to your customer, and you choose these when creating invoices. Let's say, for example, that you were in the landscaping business.  An example of a Product/Service that you could create for your business would be 'Lawn Cut - Standard'; you would then choose this each time you sent out an invoice for this service. To learn more about Products/Services, please click here.

Okay, really. What are Categories and Category Groups?


A Category is one step deeper into your business' accounting from the surface level of Products/Services. This is where you code your Categories to; so if you had the 'Lawn Care - Standard' Product/Service in the example above, you would need to have that hit your budget somewhere.

This is so that you can look back at your budget as needed, and also properly populate the various financial reports that our application provides. All of this is done so that you can have a full and clear picture of your business' financials while using Autobooks.

So, when creating this Product/Service, you would choose a corresponding Category for this to impact your budget. We automatically give you a default set of categories to choose from, so in this case, it may make sense to choose your 'Income/Sales' Category. When you then invoice your customers and choose that Product/Service, it will always be coded to that 'Income/Sales' line item on your budget and the corresponding financial reports. 

All of above really boils down to Categories being exactly what their name implies: a way to categorize your business' products or services that it offers, so that you have a clear picture of your finances.

Category Groups

Like Categories, Category Groups are what they say they are: a way to group your categories. So when you go in and select a Category for your Product/Service to be coded to, that Category will have already been associated with a Category Group

If we use our example above, you chose the 'Income/Sales' Category for your 'Lawn Cut - Standard' Product/Service. That Category was already associated with the 'Income' Category Group, along with a few other Categories. This allows you to keep track of your Categories with standard accounting terms like Assets, Liabilities, Income, etc. Now just like Categories, we automatically pre-populate your account with a standard set of Category Groups, so unless you want to add your own, there's no work for you to do!

How do I go and add/edit/delete these?

You can get to both the Categories and Category Groups through the following steps:

  • Start by clicking on the [Advanced Tools] tab and then the 'Categories' option below that.
    • This will take you to the Manage Categories page, where you can add/edit/delete any categories that you add.
    • Please note that you cannot delete the default set of categories that we provide for you, which is why these will show as greyed-out. 
  • At the top of this page you will see both a Related Link and a blue button for the [Manage Groups] page. 
    • This is where you can go to add/edit/delete the Category Groups that contain the various Categories for your account.
    • Please note that you cannot delete the default set of category groups that we provide for you, which is why these will show as greyed-out.




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