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QuickBooks Tip: Important Facts About Items Left as Billable

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Many QuickBooks forms have a billable column, do you know what it’s used for and are you using it correctly?

Many QuickBooks forms have a billable column available for you to work with – checks, enter bills, timesheets, enter credit card charges, etc.  The purpose of the billable column is to allow you to choose which expenses and/or time entries that you will be passing through to customers when you create an Invoice based on Time & Costs {also know as Time & Materials billings or Cost Plus billing in the construction industry.}

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Important Facts About Items Left as Billable

Are you aware that if click into the billable column, which places a checkmark in the column {OR you leave that little Invoice icon found on many forms active and don’t “X” it out older versions of QuickBooks} that the information relating to that transaction line is stored within your QuickBooks file in a “waiting to be billed” status just taking up additional space and making your file larger than normal?

Selecting the billable column doesn’t mean that you want the costs assigned to this job {which is a common thought or assumption} but rather it tells QuickBooks that you want to take the information about that transaction and put it into a temporary database until you create an invoice for a specific customer using the Time/Costs button on the Invoice form.

If you really don’t pass these costs or time entries onto customers using the Time/Costs feature of QuickBooks – then this temporary database is just out there growing and growing – which causes the overall size of your QuickBooks file to become bigger and bigger.

If you are wondering if this is happening to you, an easy way to find out it to run an “Unbilled Costs by Job Report” {Report menu -> Jobs, Time & Mileage -> Unbilled Costs by Job} and look to see if there are a lot of entries in this report, if there are; all of those entries are just sitting there waiting for you to do something with them.

Download our 2 page article (from the Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business website) for instructions on how to clear out old unbilled costs – without having to edit each item in the report and manually making them unbillable.

We hope that you’ve found today’s Tuesday Training article to be helpful to your business – if so please take a moment to leave a comment or share this with others on your favorite social media network 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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