The CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) MasterFormat contractor item list is a standard item list used for most commercial building design and construction projects in North America. It lists titles and section numbers for organizing data about construction requirements, products, and activities. The latest version, revised in April 2012, contains 48 main categories or divisions. Two readers have asked questions recently about the CSI MasterFormat list – here’s what they had to say.
Is there anyway that QuickBooks has the MasterFormat codes already on the system? We are looking to start using the codes, but not sure if we have to enter them all ourselves or if there is a way to just find them on QuickBooks online. Thank you. Drew
Hi, I need to know how to turn on the item list for contractor specific items such as 16 for Electrical, 14 for Plumbing. I have QuickBooks for Contractors 2011. Thanks, Toni
Hi Drew & Toni, thanks for stopping by and submitting questions about using CSI MasterFormat cost code items in QuickBooks.
The CSI MasterFormat list is very detailed and is not included as an option in QuickBooks, even if you have the Premier Contractor desktop version. When you originally start a new QuickBooks company file and you choose either General Contractor or Construction Trades, QuickBooks provides you with a very basic item list – so anything beyond that you need to set up yourself.
Toni, you have to be talking about a very old list, pre-2004, as in the new list Plumbing is 22 and Electrical is 26. I’m not even certain where you would find this list, because it is now so outdated. You can find a pdf version of the newest numbers and titles from the CSI website.
If you intend to create the MasterFormat cost codes in your QuickBooks item list make sure that you understand that while these specific codes may be required for billing/invoicing purposes they might not fit into your job costing requirements.
I am currently working on an entire job costing training series that will be available later this fall, one of the things that it will include is a QuickBooks file containing the entire CSI cost code list and an item list export file that can be used to import specific sections into an existing file. This training series will be available from our Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business website.