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"The COGS Account Cannot Be Changed" While Importing Items From Excel

When importing Items into QuickBooks through the Add Your Excel Data to QuickBooks wizard, the error The COGS account cannot be changed. appears in the .csv file which is produced after a failed import.

This can occur when importing Non-inventory items which need to be flagged as being used in Assemblies or purchased as being reimbursable for a particular Customer:Job and therefore need Purchase Information such as Expense Account, Cost or Preferred Vendor.


Solution Description
  • This error may be avoided by Importing Items that need Expense/COGS Accounts associated with them with the field Is Reimbursable Charge filled out as 'y' on the first Import
  • The only way to Import the list successfully, after this situation has occurred, is to Import the Items as new unique Items by Renaming the Items or Deleting them.
  • If the Items have not been used in Transactions and all relevant settings for each Item is contained within the Excel file, the originally Imported Items may be Deleted then Imported again.

If there is a large number of Items to be Deleted, it may be beneficial to use the below steps to quickly Delete Items which do not have Transactions.

The following steps will remove a large number of Items Quickly. 
Do not use this technique without creating a Backup of the Company File first.


  1. Open the Item List from the Lists>Item List drop down
  2. Organize the Items in a way that allows all Items to be Deleted to occur below all other items
  3. Select Edit>Preferences and uncheck the option under General>My Preferences labeled Warn when deleting a transaction or unused list item
  4. Click OK
  5. Select the first Item to be Deleted by Left Clicking on the Item
  6. Hold Ctrl and press 'd' on the Keyboard
  7. Repeat until all items that need to be Deleted are removed
  8. Select Edit>Preferences and check the option under General>My Preferences labeled Warn when deleting a transaction or unused list item
  9. Import the Items again ensuring all relevant fields are properly Mapped


KB ID# SLN42768
4/27/2017 12:08:28 AM
QYPPRDQBKSWS08 9138 Pro 2017 0f60b9