Q & A: QuickBooks Employee Payroll Reimbursements & Job Costing

6 thoughts on “Q & A: QuickBooks Employee Payroll Reimbursements & Job Costing

  • Keith Gormezano

    I like DJ’s idea of using a clearing account. Many of my clients in Greater Seattle want to be able to pay their employees one check even though I tell them it is better to pay in two (payroll and reimbursement for job related or other costs).

  • BeyonceJustice

    Thanks for giving that type information.That information is so helpful to us.Will be visit again on your website.

  • DJ,

    Wow, as a tax preparer and payroll provider for my clients I was taken aback by your methodology concerning your employee reimbursements. If your payroll is ever audited, be it from the IRS or the State, I am sure you and your employer are going to be very unhappy.

    Whenever possible, it is best to keep employee reimbursements’ out of payroll. The IRS even suggest this in Pub 583 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p583.pdf).

    To me, In order for this to work, simply write a check made out to the employee from the correct bank account and give it the appropriate expense and Job. Done.


    As for the employer paying it all on one check (payday), go to the “Other Current Liability” account that you use to track reimbursements owed to employees and open the register. The employee is the payee, enter the amount due the employee in the increase column. Chose the expense account and record. Then just add it to his payroll check by way of the “Other Current Liability” account.

    Either way, there really is no right or wrong way to record a reimbursable expense. It just depends on how the company wants to view the financial statement. But, from my experience (only 26 years), if the IRS sees you doubling this up they may question and will require proof that you are not cooking the books. They will want to know if you have an accountable plan or a non-accountable plan. And you will have to prove to them which one.

  • […] Archives by Month Select Month December 2013  (3) November 2013  (6) October 2013  (3) September 2013  (3) August 2013  (2) July 2013  (3) June 2013  (6) May 2013  (7) April 2013  (5) March 2013  (3) February 2013  (1) January 2013  (1) November 2012  (2) October 2012  (2) September 2012  (4) August 2012  (6) July 2012  (7) June 2012  (10) May 2012  (14) April 2012  (10) March 2012  (14) February 2012  (10) January 2012  (19) December 2011  (4) November 2011  (4) October 2011  (8) September 2011  (14) August 2011  (11) July 2011  (12) June 2011  (21) May 2011  (16) April 2011  (11) March 2011  (21) February 2011  (20) January 2011  (13) December 2010  (11) November 2010  (17) October 2010  (10) September 2010  (17) August 2010  (10) July 2010  (17) June 2010  (17) May 2010  (14) April 2010  (21) January 2010  (3) October 2009  (5) September 2009  (9) August 2009  (3) July 2009  (2) June 2009  (2) May 2009  (2) April 2009  (4) March 2009  (8) February 2009  (9) January 2009  (8) December 2008  (13) « Q & A: QuickBooks Employee Payroll Reimbursements & Job Costing […]

  • WOW! A positive deduction? Doesn’t that make your payroll reports look — well odd?

    I understand the desire for just one check by everyone. However, based on a State Unemployment Audit I was involved in several years ago, where the auditor was very unhappy that the business owner was running reimbursable expenses through payroll and not using an accountable plan, I’m not so certain I would recommend this method – even though it seems to accomplish the task at hand.

    The auditor that I dealt with was very insistent that payroll should just be for payroll and that reimbursements for employee purchases should be reimbursed outside of payroll with an accountable plan in place – where the employee submits an Expense Report with receipts attached.

  • DJ

    Our guys prefer one check, and my boss prefers me to write one check… I set up a bank account called “Clearing Account.” I set up a payroll deduction called “reimbursements” that posts to the “Clearing Account.” I then enter a positive payroll deduction for the amount to be reimbursed on the paycheck. (QB will make it negative, then you use the calculator in the field to add back double the amount to force it to be positive. Then QB asks if you are crazy and want to do a positive deduction amount – to which I say “yes I am crazy – make it positive…”)

    Then I “write a check” for that amount from the “Clearing Account” and post it to the appropriate item or general ledger account and enter the job costing information (customer and class). I usually “write a check” to the actual vendor where the purchase was made – this enables us to track the part or material to the actual place of purchase if needed (returns, buy more, etc…). I make a note as to who actually purchased the item and note what paycheck the reimbursment was made on.

    The “Clearing Account” is always zero because the check and the payroll deduction balance each other out. I reconcile the “Clearing Account” every month (balance = zero) so that I make sure I have done both sides of the transaction.

Comments are closed.