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Customers & Accounts Receivable

QuickBooks Customers, Jobs, and Accounts Receivable tips & techniques for contractors.

Recording & Tracking Employee Personal Tool Purchases

Quite often, especially in the construction industry, an employee will purchase tools for their own personal use; either using a company credit card or through a tool vendor account.  While most employers don't mind an occasional purchase such as this, it's important for you (as the bookkeeper) to track this information and make sure that the employee actually pays the company back for these purchases.  This blog post will provide you with instructions on how to track this in QuickBooks and provide tips for handling this situation if you use an outside payroll service.
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Unconditional Waiver / Release Upon Final Payment – Part 5

Once you’ve successfully collected your final payment it’s time to give your customer an “Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment” form (#4 release).

Never issue a #4 release form unless you have been successfully paid in full for the entire project. If you do even though you haven’t been paid and you didn’t allow for the exceptions then the courts wouldn’t side with you because unconditional is unconditional – it’s final.

If you have suppliers include the same forms from them.

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.

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QuickBooks Tip – How To Handle Stored Materials and AIA Pay Apps

QuickBooks has no built-in ability to handle stored materials, like many of the more costly construction specific software programs. This causes problems for contractors who need to generate AIA Pay Apps and need to make sure that their books (or accounting data) syncs with their AIA Applications for Payments.

Because the General Contractor allows billing of stored materials on the AIA Payment Application you also need to include the amount of stored materials on your QuickBooks Progress Invoice in order for your accounting records to match your AIA billing records.

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Conditional Waiver / Release Upon Final Payment – Part 4

When it’s time to submit the invoice for the final payment you may need to include a “Conditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment” form (#3 release).

Usually this release form does not include a “release through date” like the #1 and #2 forms do because it’s your final invoice on the project.

Once you’ve received payment and it has cleared the issuing financial institution then typically that Conditional Release becomes an Unconditional Release. That means you’ll never be able to file a lien on the project (which is okay as long as you’re paid in full).

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.

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Unconditional Waiver / Release Form Upon Progress/Partial Payment – Part 3

You’ve successfully collected your progress payment and now it’s time to provide your customer with an “Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Progress Payment” form (#2 release).

If you have suppliers include the same forms from them.

The #2 release is unconditional which means you’re giving up all lien rights through the “release through date”. Never issue a #2 release form unless you have been successfully paid for that time frame. If you do even though you haven’t been paid the courts may not side with you because unconditional is unconditional – it’s final.

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.

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Conditional Waiver/Release Form Upon Progress/Partial Payment – Part 2

When it’s time to submit an invoice for a partial / progress payment you may need to include a “Conditional Waiver and Release Upon Progress/Partial Payment” form (#1 release).

If you have suppliers you’ll probably have to include these same forms from them.

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.

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Conditional and Unconditional Lien Waiver/Release Forms for Progress and Final Payments – Part 1

Knowing which lien waiver/release form to use when on a construction project can be confusing at times. This series of articles will help to clear up some of the questions.

In Part 1, we'll talk about Conditional and Unconditional Lien Waivers/Release Forms for Progress and Final Payments.

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.

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QuickBooks 2013 – Group Item Limit Increase

I’m a big fan of QuickBooks Group Items, I think that they are a HUGE productivity booster – but I’ve always had one gripe – they could only hold 20 items in previous versions of QuickBooks – which meant that you had to create more group items in order to accomplish what you set out to do. This has changed with the release of QuickBooks 2013. With the increased number of items that a group can hold, these item types will be even more powerful.

I often see users on the Intuit QuickBooks User forums asking how they can “memorize” an Estimate to use over and over again – why not create a group item that contains everything that you need to build your estimate?

NOTE: This increase will continue into future versions of QuickBooks from this point forward.

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How to Calculate & Display Retainage on an AIA G-702/G-703

Retainage is a portion of the agreed upon contract price deliberately withheld until the work is substantially complete to assure that contractor or subcontractor will satisfy its obligations and complete a construction project. Retainage or retention can be: a fixed percentage of the contract - such as 10% of the value of the contract, a variable rate - such as 10% of the contract until the contract is 50% complete; at which time it is then reduced to 5%, OR a variable rate - such as retainage is held at 10% on labor and 0% on materials. The amount of retention that is held quite often signifies a portion of the contractors overall profit on the construction project.
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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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