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Level 1

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

I'm trying to figure out how to stop double-counting my employee-paid expenses and the payroll reimbursement. Whenever I follow the recommended methods for employee reimbursement, I end up with the same problem. 


1) I had several employee-paid business expenses to reimburse for office supplies, capital items, etc. 


2) For each receipt, I selected the employee as the payee, designated the corporate bank account as the payment account (it's the only option available), and entered how the employee paid. 


3) I entered each expense, properly categorized it (e.g. FFE, General Office Expenses, etc), and included the taxes paid. 


4) I ran payroll for each employee, entering the amount due to each employee as the (non-taxable) amount to be paid. 


Problem: Both the total amounts for the employee-paid expenses entered, as well as the payroll item for the paid reimbursements are both taken out from my QBO banking account balance. 


How do I properly account for both items? Or, how to I properly reconcile my QBO bank account balance with the balance in QBO without losing any of the information concerning the items purchased and the payroll reimbursements? Every time I think I've come up with a solution, it doesn't work. 


7 Comments 7
QuickBooks Team

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

Hello dmtrue,


Thanks for reaching out and explaining what you're aiming to do in QuickBooks Online. Recording expenses paid by employees as well as the reimbursements can be a bit tricky, but I can explain what's going on and why things are double entering.


The reason you're seeing a double-entry for this expense transaction is because you've recorded it twice: once as an expense with the money going to the employee since you've set them as the payee and then the second time through payroll, where the money is also allocated to the employee.


In this case, you'll want to use one method or the other. Either record the repayment to the employee as an expense, like outlined in the Reimburse an employee article, or by using the payroll system with a payroll item. That way, you can ensure you're only recording it once and your books stay in balance.


I have a feeling you were trying to record both the expense and the payroll reimbursement to show that the expense is toward the business. However, since it's an employee that paid the expense initially, you would only record it once because all the business is paying for is the reimbursement.


Choose whichever method is best for your business needs. When you're not certain, checking in with an accountant is the best course of action as they have the training to advise you how each method will impact your books. If you're already working with an accountant, you can even add them as a user to your QuickBooks account by navigating to the My Accountant tab and using the email field.


If you're not working with an accountant already, you can use the Find a pro to help button on that same tab to search for QuickBooks-certified accountants near you. Having an accountant that knows QuickBooks is a great asset because they'll have that knowledge to back their accounting training.


Let me know if you need clarification about the steps for recording the reimbursement. Have a great weekend!

Level 1

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

Thank you for the prompt and thorough response.


I figured out why it was happening, I just wasn’t sure how to fix it after the fact. This time, I took care of it via journal entry. Next time, I will follow your recommendation

Thanks! Take care and have a great weekend! 

Level 1

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

I too am having similar issues, but I am unsure how to correct it. I entered the reimbursable expense as outlined and now have a negative in that expense account. I can balance that and show it's paid with a journal entry, but I want to have clean books.  How do I reconcile the paycheck that has the expense repaid to where it is accurately reflected in the "reimbursable expense account."  Shouldn't that account be at $0 once the reimbursement is made?

QuickBooks Team

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

Hello again jackofalltrades,


It's important to me that you have a sense of how to work this out and balance your books. With more details about how you've recorded the reimbursement to the employee, I'm confident we can help you with that. It sounds like you're using the method where you record it through Payroll, but knowing exactly the steps you took will help us learn how you got that negative number.


I see you recently had a question in the US QuickBooks Community, where you noted switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. There are a few things to consider with this. The first key to this situation is knowing whether you're using QuickBooks Canada or QuickBooks US as each system handles Payroll in unique ways to accurately calculate for each country. Then there's also the need to consider which Payroll module you're using since each of those has different options and features as well.


In light of all this, I recommend contacting support to share more details about your situation and to make sure you're speaking with an agent that can guide you based on the product and module you're using. Here are the support options.


QuickBooks Online Canada support


Schedule a Callback or Chat: click (?)Help in the upper right > type and enter "Contact support" into the QB Assistant > click Contact Us > explain your situation > click Let's Talk > choose Get a callback or Start a Chat. Support is available from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.

Social MediaFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


QuickBooks Online US support

The Contact the QuickBooks Online Customer Support team article can help you learn the ways to reach the US team.


Take care and have a great weekend!

Level 1

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted



When the employee reimbursement is done via Payroll, how/where should I upload the expense receipt (i.e. the receipt for the expense being reimbursed)?



QuickBooks Team

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

Hi Handyman_,


This is a great question, and I absolutely follow why you'd want to include this sort of thing with the records of your pay run in QuickBooks Online. That way, you can be sure you have a clear trail of information or even just a simple reference if you ever need a reminder of what the reimbursement was. I can go over this.


It sounds like you were able to add a reimbursement item to your payroll and get that taken care of as a part of the pay run. If so, that's great! At this time, there isn't a way to include any sort of attachment with a pay run. While attachments can be added to a variety of transactions in the program, payroll transactions are not among those.


What I recommend is keeping a copy of that receipt in your records outside of the program or using the Memo field on a pay run to note what the expense was. Here's how you can add a memo to a pay cheque.

  1. Select the Payroll tab.
  2. On the Employees tab, choose Pay cheque list.
  3. Click the pay cheque in question to open it.
  4. Scroll down to the Memo field and enter the information you'd like.
  5. Click OK to save.

Doing that will give you the opportunity to make note of it even though your can't attach a file. In addition to doing that, I also recommend submitting your feedback about these options. Feedback about the features in the program helps us learn the ways we can grow QuickBooks Online and its add ons to better serve the business owners and bookkeepers who use it. Here's how to do that: How do I submit feedback?


To keep in the know with new features, bookmark our QuickBooks Online Feature and Product Updates page. Feel free to check on it from time to time to see what's new for you to check out.


Don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have them. :)

Level 1

Employee-Paid Expenses and Reimbursements: Double-Counted

I am having the same issue. However, I have billable reimbursements and in order to make sure the expenses are billed and the employee is reimbursed, I need to do both. So, how do I go about the double counting?

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