Job Costing In QuickBooks Online

One of the best parts of what I do for a living is when I get a chance to show a client how to do something that is going to make it easier for them to do their jobs. That huge sigh of relief on the phone, or watching seeing them sit back in their chair and relaxing are so cool to witness.

A few years ago, I figured out a way to get QuickBooks Online to do some aspects of job costing that aren’t really built into the program. Sure, you can assign time and costs to customers, but there wasn’t (and still isn’t, as I’m writing this) any feature that allows for Progress Invoicing, Receiving Partial Purchase Orders or Estimate vs Actuals Reporting.

Job costing. While it isn’t sexy, it is helpful for me and my clients. But QuickBooks Online doesn’t make it easy. In fact, a lot of people don’t even think you can do it in QBO. But I’m here to tell you, you can!

Who needs it?

Pretty much any business that wants to send multiple invoices from one estimate or needs to create multiple vendor bills from one purchase order. Even if a business doesn’t need those things, every project based business will benefit by comparing estimated costs and revenues against the actual money in/money out. You could even use it your accounting or bookkeeping practice.  

How can you use it in your practice?

Once you are familiar with the process and have tested it out, use it as a reason to meet with clients – let them know that you can do job costing it for them or train them how to do it. It’s a great way for you to grow your reputation as a trusted advisor, with skills and knowledge your clients don’t have time to figure out on their own.

Case Study

One of our clients at Kildal Services LLC is a architectural consultant firm. As a distributed team that works in 4 different states, they wanted to move to QuickBooks Online but didn’t see it as a good fit because it doesn’t have the built in progress invoicing. They’d been using QuickBooks Premier for a number of years, but the lack of easy access to it as they grew just wasn’t working.

After explaining to them that there IS a way to create multiple invoices from one Estimate, we converted them to QuickBooks Online, and because they were so excited it could be done;  they ultimately decided to have us manage the process. This way, they’re able to do the work that makes them money, and not spend time worrying if the Progress Invoicing is being done, and being done correctly.

In fact, they’re so pleased, the last email we received from them had one line in it:

“Have I told you lately I love having you work for us? Thanks!!!!”
Download it today and get started!


  1. Michael ware

    I switched to quickbooks online and love it. I’ve been looking into tsheets, and quickbooks payroll. I think all of these would be huge improvements to our business.

    We have a lot of room to grow with better systems in our business.

    • StacyK

      We love that love it! And so glad to have you on board!


  2. Michael

    Hey StacyK, can u show us how to do job costing with timesheets?

    I appears that we can affect customers (and subcustomers) while preparing timesheets in QBO but when I complete the payroll, the QBO dont affect those salary expenses to the client.

    Why? Is there a way to do so? Is there a way to see my salary expenses in the income statement?

    Or is there any other report that could show it?

    Thanks a lot!

    • StacyK

      Unfortunately, QBO doesn’t allow for timesheets/payroll to flow into the customer/job info.

      You need to apply those labor costs after the fact with a journal entry.



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