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Job Costing Tips

Money doesn’t grow on trees and neither does your profit on a construction project!

QuickBooks® can provide you with some good job costing reports, the Estimate vs. Actual is one of my personal favorites, BUT QuickBooks needs to be setup correctly and job costing information needs to be entered consistently.

Remember … Garbage in (to QuickBooks®) — equals garbage out (of QuickBooks® reports).

This section provides you with helpful tips to make the job costing capabilities in QuickBooks® work for you.

QuickBooks Tip: How to Calculate Over/Under Billings

You can easily calculate Over/Under Billings and Percent Complete from QuickBooks data IF:
  • You create an Estimate for EVERY job/project
  • You've modified the QuickBooks Estimate Template to include Cost and Markup columns and you utilize those columns when building your Estimate
  • All of your "Items" have been set-up to capture BOTH revenue and costs (double-sided items)
  • You enter ALL job related employee time and vendor costs using double-sided items
  • You create Job Types for Over/Under and Completed (with sub-types for years) and assign them correctly to your jobs
IF all of these things are currently in place in your QuickBooks file, this is how you can create a simple Over/Under Billing Report with Percent Complete WITHOUT hours of manual calculations.  To learn how, read the full blog post. Continue reading

Automating Job Costing Overtime, an 800 pound gorilla with an attitude

Calculating and distributing employee overtime is a burdensome process that many business owners and payroll administrators have to deal with on a weekly basis. Everyone has a different opinion on just "HOW" that overtime is to be calculated and distributed. By everyone, I mean the business owner, the payroll clerk, heck even the Federal and State government. No wonder it's just a problematic situation!

Continue reading

Entering Bills or Checks in QuickBooks – Items vs. Expenses

Your business spends money on a wide variety of things - employee payroll, payroll taxes, office supplies (such as paper and envelopes), utility bills, things that you purchase to resell to others, and goods or services from others are just a few examples. In essence every penny that your business spends is an expense to your business - but how you record the purchase in QuickBooks does make a difference. When entering bills, checks, or even credit card purchases in QuickBooks you have the choice to use an Items or Expenses tab - choosing the Items vs. Expenses tab will depend on what the money being spent was for. Continue reading
About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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