How to Account for Dividends in QuickBooks

Most companies pass their profits to shareholders through dividends. Dividends refer to a portion of the company’s earnings returned to stockholders that usually come in the form of cash, but sometimes companies pay dividends in the form of stock.

Intuit, the company that initially provided Quicken–a software package for individual financial management–developed another business-accounting software targeting small business owners with little or no accounting experience. By 2000, Intuit had released Basic and Pro versions of QuickBooks. QuickBooks Online edition can now be accessed as a free service. It provides basic features such as invoice creation and money tracking.

Visit QuickBooks online on your browser. Open the “Finance” menu. Choose “Account List.”

Select the particular investment account. Click “Open.”

Open the register. Click the “Register” tab.

Click the “Easy Actions” drop-down list.

Select “Record an income event.”

Select the “Security” drop-down menu from the “Record income” window.

Select the security that paid the dividend.

Click the “Transfer Account” drop-down list to transfer the dividend to another account. Select the destination account.

In the “Dividend” field, enter the amount received from the dividend.

For any additional information, click “Help” to guide you through recording an income from a dividend transaction.

Click “OK” to record the transaction.


  • To use QuickBooks Online in Windows, your browser must be Internet Explorer for Windows version 6 or later, or Firefox for Windows version 3 or later.

    To use QuickBooks Online on Mac, use Safari version 3.1 through 4.0.

    To use QuickBooks Online on an iPhone or BlackBerry, go to

    When recording dividends, keep in mind the declaration date or the payment date set by the board of directors of the company. The second date to keep in mind is the record date of all current shareholders compiled in a list. The last and most important date to keep in mind is the ex-dividend date, which occurs two days before the record date.