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Level 1

billable expenses


We are recent converts to QBO from desktop and we are an interior design firm.  

When I previously recorded billable expenses using the desktop version went like this...

Chart of accounts set up to have Income accounts for categories billed, example:  Floor Covering or Furniture or Drapery separate income accounts with corresponding COGS accounts with the same names.  Previously we didn't use Purchase orders.  I need to record loads of billable expenses that were not on purchase orders and when I to enter QBO says I need to associate and "income" account to post the expense (COGS).  I have turned on the accounts in settings to do this however I don't now how to link the corresponding income account with the COGS account?  HELP!!

3 Comments 3

billable expenses

I'm here to take care of your concern about billable expenses, HJI.


In QuickBooks Online (QBO), each item is linked to an account that's usually an income account. That said, you'll want to review the setting of the inventory items and make sure an income account is selected. 


Here's how:


  1. Go to the Gear icon.
  2. Under Lists, choose Products and services.
  3. Select an inventory item. Click Edit.
  4. Scroll down and click the drop-down option from the Income account.
  5. Choose an income and account.
  6. Review the information and click Save and close.

Find out more about managing COGS in QuickBooks through this article: Cost of goods sold: How to calculate and record COGS.


Since you just moved from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you might also want to visit our QuickBooks Online learning guides for tutorials and webinars about the product.


Drop me a reply if you have other questions. I'm always happy to assist you further. Have a great day ahead.

Level 1

billable expenses

Thank you for your reply.


We track income over 8 different income accounts and it appears that QBO only allows 1 income account to associate with billable expenses, correct?



QuickBooks Team

billable expenses

Thank you for getting back to us, @HJI. 


I'm here to help share information about marking expenses as billable. 


You can create individual items and associate the income accounts with each item. Then make it billable. I'll walk you through how to add items to QuickBooks Online. 


Here's how: 


  1. Go to Sales, then Products and Services.
  2. Select New, then select Inventory.
  3. Add a name, SKU, or category for what you're tracking. 
  4. Add your product’s description on sales forms. This shows on invoices, sales receipts, and other forms you send to customers.
  5. Add the Sales price/rate. Select the Income account ▼ drop-down and find the account you use to track what you sell.
  6. Select the Tax▼ drop-down and choose the tax rate to be used for the item. (If you don’t see this drop-down, set up sales tax in QuickBooks)
  7. Add your product’s description on purchase forms. This will show on bills, purchase orders, and other forms you send to suppliers.
  8. Add the product’s Cost
  9. From the Expense account ▼ drop-down, select Cost of Sales (or your preferred expense account) to track the cost of products you sell.
  10. Select a preferred supplier, then Save and close.


You can also check this article for your future reference about entering billable expenses in QBO: Enter billable expenses.


Keep me posted if you have any other questions about billable expenses. I'm always here to help. Have a great day!