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QuickBooks for Contractors Tip-Entering Job to Date Costs & Billing Data

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recording job costs and billing dataContractors switching to QuickBooks from another accounting program are often concerned about how to enter Job to Date Costs and Billing Data when converting, so they don’t loose this vital information.

Below is a procedure that I found several years ago, unfortunately I don’t remember where I found it or who wrote it (otherwise I would be happy to give them credit for it), but I do want to share it with you; as it is one way to handle this task.

Use this procedure to enter Job-to-date (“JTD”) costs and JTD billing so the Job Profitability Summary is accurate after converting your existing accounting software to QuickBooks, when you convert your existing QuickBooks file to a new database file, or after archiving old QuickBooks transactions.

Run your Job Profitability Summary Report to obtain the JTD figures as of the conversion date.  In the date fields, leave the first field blank, enter the conversion date in the second date field. You will use the figures on this report for your data entry.  If your cut-off date is 12/31/08, for example, use the next day  (1/1/09) as the date for all the transactions below.

  1. Create a fake Vendor called “Opening Balance”. You will make this inactive after completing this procedure.
  2. Create an Other Expense account in the chart of accounts called “9999 • Conversion – JTD Costs”. You will make this inactive after completing this procedure.
  3. Create an Other Income account in the chart of accounts called “9998 • Conversion – JTD billing”. You will make this inactive after completing this procedure.
  4. Create a service Item called “Opening Balance JTD Billing” and link it to “9998 • Conversion – JTD billing”. You will make this inactive after completing this procedure.

To enter the JTD Costs for each job:

Enter a Bill to the “Opening Balance” vendor for the JTD cost. On the expenses tab select the appropriate Customer/Job, and select “9999 • Conversion – JTD Costs” for the account.

Enter an AP Bill Credit to the “Opening Balance” vendor for the same amount, but do not select the Customer/Job. On the expenses tab, select 9999 • Conversion – JTD Costs.

In Pay Bills, select the bill, click Set Credits, and apply the credit against the bill.

This effectively removes any AP balance, leaves no effect on GL, but leaves the cost in Job Cost.

Create a new Bill and AP Bill Credit for each active job as of the conversion date.

To enter the JTD Billing for each job:

Enter an Invoice for the Customer:Job for the total Billing-to-date on the job.  Use the new service Item called “Opening Balance JTD Billing”.

Enter a Journal Entry for the total amount, the debit is to the “9998 • Conversion – JTD billing” account, leave the Name field blank. The credit is to Accounts Receivable. Select the Customer/Job name in the Name field.

In Receive Payments, enter the Customer/Job, and you will see the above Journal Entry is available as a credit against the Invoice you created above.

The net effect on GL is zero, the invoice is paid, and the correct Job To Date Billing as of the conversion date will be reflected in your Job Cost reports.

Create a new Invoice and Journal Entry for each active job as of the conversion date.

Run your Job Profitability Summary Report on the new data file and compare with the same report on the old data file.  They should agree. If not, you’ll need to double check your data entry.

5 Responses to QuickBooks for Contractors Tip-Entering Job to Date Costs & Billing Data

  • I think it would depend on the “start date” that you chose when setting up QuickBooks, but basically I would follow this same procedure and enter previous costs.

  • How about if my Job to date cost did not came from any existing accounting software? I’m switching from manual accounting system to quickbooks premier 2011 contractor edition. What would be the procedure? And what are the details that I need (material, labour amount, etc.)? thank you and more power!

  • Lorien – I think you are right, I probably originally found this on the NAN group (I’m a member also). It’s a great tip.

  • Hi Nancy,
    That is actually the procedure I wrote several years ago. I posted it on Joe Woodard’s NAN website when he first kicked it off. Since then, I have actually refined the procedure so that JTD costs and billing are brought forward at the Item level rather than just in totals. If you become satisfied that I authored the original procedure, I’d be pleased to be credited on your terrific site!

    Thanks!
    Lorien Prince CPA
    Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
    Accounting & IT Solutions LLC

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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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