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To help students in our QuickBooks training and other business training classes, we’ve invited industry experts to provide additional QuickBooks tutorials. Today, we welcome Dominique Molina, President of the American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches. Dominique has developed the following blog.

Who does your clientele consist of? Do you have lawyers, contractors, interior designers, or other clients that might have multiple projects going on at once? A great opportunity to keep track of these multifaceted projects exists in QuickBooks’ Job costing features.

By using the features that QuickBooks provides, you can keep track of information that can be very useful that you would not otherwise have. In this post, we’re going to walk through how to setup job costing in QuickBooks.

Step 1- Initial Preferences Configuration of QuickBooks

The first step is to be certain that QuickBooks is properly configured. To accomplish this you must first select Edit and then Preferences. Click on Jobs & Estimates and then choose the Company Preferences tab.

Under the Company Preferences tab you must make the appropriate changes before initiating job creation. You may also want to check Time & Expenses on the left hand menu to ascertain that time tracking is active, if you intend on tracking the on the job.

Step 2- Constructing Job Types

You must design Job Types before you assign jobs to clients. To do this, choose Lists > then Customer & Vendor Profile Lists > Job Type List. A small window (Job Type List) will appear with command buttons at the bottom left hand side.

Press the Job Type tab and select New; another window will pop up (New Job Type). From there, fill in information about the job type. For example, if you are a Certified Public Accountant you might have “Year End Tax Return” as a job type.

You can repeat this for multiple job types and create subtypes under each category by selecting New again and entering the name of the subtype. For example, a “home remodel” job might have “painting” or “flooring” as a sub-type.

Step 3- Setting Up Jobs for Customers

Customer Jobs will subsist as their own distinct entity to which you will assign these jobs to your clients. This is achieved by starting at the Customer Center.

Choose to assign a job to a client by right clicking on the client and selecting Add Job. The New Job window appears which ought to include your client’s profile. Select the Job Info tab and enter the Job Name in the appropriate field. Sticking with the Tax theme you could enter Tax Preparation, and skip Opening Balance box.

Next you would select the status of the job under Job Status drop-down menu choices of None, Pending, Awarded, In Progress, Closed, or Not Awarded. Then fill in other necessary fields such as Start Date, Projected End, or End Date, Job Description and select the appropriate Job Type which as set up previously. Once all the information has been added, select OK to save the job.

You will now be able to use this information for transactions and reports. You also need to be aware that to ensure the correct job has been chosen when generating an estimate or invoice for a specific job or filtering a report. This will keep your recordkeeping precise.

Step 4- Producing Invoices Throughout the Job

You may have clients that have ongoing projects that are for a prolonged period of time. This is not a situation in which you would want to wait until the end of a job to bill your client. Using QuickBooks you have the ability to create estimates and dispatch progress invoices which you can use as you see fit.

Creating a progress invoice during a job can be done by following these steps. First create the estimate and then select Create Invoice while viewing the invoice. You will have a window that offers three billing options which include: create invoice for entire estimate, create invoice for a percentage of the entire estimate in which you will enter the percentage of estimate in the box provided, or create invoice for selected items or for different percentages of each item. Once you make a choice on the option you would like, then select OK. The invoice will emerge based upon your selection.

Step 5- Advanced Reporting for Your Jobs

By doing these job definitions upfront you will be rewarded with great reporting capabilities that are offered in QuickBooks. The reports will let you decipher how the projects are performing in several areas: Estimate Accuracy, Time and Mileage, Sunk Costs, Job Status and Productivity.

We’ll cover how to use standard as well as custom job costing reports in a future post.

Dominique Molina is President of the American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches, an organization of tax professionals who are trained to help their clients rescue thousands of dollars in wasted tax. In addition to her blogging and speaking engagements, Dominique provides CPA continuing education as a registered educator with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

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