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Entering Job-to-Date Costs & Billing Data at the Item Level

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A QuickBooks tip for entering Job-to-data costs and billing data at the item level when converting or archiving.

Use this procedure to enter Job-to-date (“JTD”) costs and JTD billing so the Job Profitability Detail Report is accurate at the Item level after converting your existing Quickbooks file to a new database file, or after archiving old QuickBooks transactions. In both cases, you are bringing over beginning balances as of the conversion date into your new data file, and this procedure will prove useful for reporting on jobs that are in progress as of the conversion date.

QuickBooks tipsFrom your old data file:

Run your Job Profitability Detail Reports for each job in progress to obtain the JTD cost and revenue 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 in the new data file.

In the new data file:

  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-Conversions-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 Costs” and link it to “9999 · Conversion – JTD Costs”. You will make this inactive after completing this procedure.
  5. Print your Item List. (Reports>List>Item Listing) Modify the report to display columns for Account and COGS Account; remove price, cost, tax code, etc.
  6. Look at your Item list and determine which Service Items appear on your Job Profitability Detail Reports. These are the items to edit in step 9. These are active items.
  7. In the Item List window, make all other Service Items temporarily inactive. Making them inactive will keep them from appearing in the Add/Edit Multiple Items screen allowing you to quickly copy down the account edits you will perform in step 9.
  8. Create a backup before performing step 9!
  9. Using the Add/Edit Multiple Items screen (available in QB 2010 and later) ,edit “all active service items” and point the COGS/Expense account to account 9999 and point the Account/Income account to 9998. Change the top item, and quickly copy down the account edits to the other items. Click Save. Do not update existing transactions. You will have to answer No repeatedly by pressing N until it scrolls through all your changes.
  10. When you are done with the following procedures, you will edit these same Items again, and change the COGS/Expense and Account/Income accounts back to what they were. Do not update existing transactions. You will have to answer No repeatedly by pressing N until it scrolls through all your changes.

To enter the JTD Costs for each item on each job:

Enter a zero dollar Bill to the “Opening Balance” vendor for the JTD cost. On the item tab enter each Item and the costs on the job profitability detail report and the appropriate Customer/Job. Keep the Billable box checked. On the last line, enter a negative number to the “Opening balance JTD Costs” Item with no customer:job.

This results in no AP balance, leaves no effect on GL, but leaves the correct JTD cost by Item in your Job Cost reports.

Create a new zero-dollar Bill 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.  The Add Time/Costs box will pop up, select the Item tab and bring over all Items to the invoice.  You now only have to edit the dollar amounts to agree with your JTD Billing on your Job Profitability Detail report.

Enter a Journal Entry for the total amount of the JTD Billing on the job. 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 find the above Journal Entry is available as a credit against the Invoice you created above.  Apply the Journal Entry to the Invoice.

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, Journal Entry and Receive Payment entry for each active job as of the conversion date.

Run your Job Profitability Detail Reports 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.

I hope you find this QuickBooks tip to be helpful.  If so, please leave a comment or share it on your favorite social media platform by using the buttons below.

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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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